Pre-College at SFCM
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Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion Pre-College Faculty

Learn Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion from our amazing Pre-College Faculty.

 

Flute

Victoria Hauk

Flutist Victoria “Tori” Hauk loves exploring the beauty of music through collaboration with fellow Bay Area musicians and by sharing it with the next generation of young musicians through coaching and teaching. Tori was born and raised in San Diego but has been teaching and performing in the Bay Area since 2013. She is the winner of the University of Arizona President’s Concerto Competition, Arizona Flute Society Competition, award winner of the Musical Merit Foundation of Greater San Diego, award winner of the MTNA Southwest Regional Competition, and has received the Presser Foundation Award. Tori was the featured soloist for the season opener for the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra in 2010 performing both the Nielsen and Mozart concerti. She has performed abroad at the Charterhouse International Music Festival (U.K.) and toured in China with the University of Arizona Harp Fusion. In summer 2011 she was a member of the Opera in the Ozarks Orchestra performing Die Fledermaus and Le Nozze di Figaro. In the summers 2012 and 2013, she performed in Graz, Austria with the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) Orchestra alongside world-class singers such as Linda Watson.

Tori can be seen in San Francisco performing with the unconducted chamber orchestra One Found Sound, The Fête Concert Series, and Triple Wavelength trio (flute, oboe, cello). She is on Faculty as the Private Instructor of Flute at several Bay-area organizations: Young Musician’s Choral Orchestra based in Oakland, Albany Music School in El Cerrito, Little Mission Studio in San Francisco, Scherzo Music in San Mateo, and After School Music Academy in Atherton. In 2015 & 2016, she and her trio, Triple Wavelength, performed around the city with the San Francisco Symphony’s Education Program, Adventures in Music, for students in the 1st through 5th grades.

B.M. University of Arizona; M.M. Lynn University Conservatory of Music; P.S.D San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ms. Hauk studied with Brian Luce, Renee Siebert, Jeffrey Khaner, and Tim Day. vhauk@sfcm.edu

Catherine Payne

A member of the San Francisco Symphony since 1996, flutist Catherine Payne was appointed to her current position of Solo Piccolo by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Before joining the SFS, Ms. Payne performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as acting second flutist for two seasons. As a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, she appeared on many “Evening at Pops” telecasts, including the annual July 4th broadcasts live from the Esplanade. Ms. Payne was formerly principal flutist of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and associate principal flute and piccoloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as a soloist many times with the SFS, including the premiere of a work the SFS commissioned for Ms. Payne, Meredith Monk’s “Realm Variations”, both in San Francisco and at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Payne was invited to perform for several weeks as guest Solo Piccolo with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim, playing concerts in Chicago and Europe.

An experienced teacher, Ms. Payne has given master classes at many music schools and conservatories, including the New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. She is currently a Professor of Flute at San José State University and serves as the flute section coach of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. 

B.M. New England Conservatory of Music; B.A. Tufts University, magna cum laude. Ms. Payne studied with Thomas Nyfenger, Lois Schaefer, and Leone Buyse. cpayne@sfcm.edu

Oboe

Laura Reynolds

"I center my teaching on ease and efficiency of technique in the pursuit of musical line, sound concept, and rhythmic sensibility. I enjoy helping students expand their 'tool kit' which they can use to become their own best teacher and problem-solver."

Ms. Reynolds is an active performer and educator throughout Northern California. She is principal oboist with the Santa Rosa and California Symphonies and a member of the Marin Symphony and has appeared as soloist with all three organizations. Ms. Reynolds also performs regularly with a number of other regional orchestras and is a lecturer in oboe at Sonoma State University. A chamber music enthusiast, she is a member of the reed trio Trois Bois, and was a founding member of Citywinds, a San Francisco based woodwind quintet dedicated to contemporary repertoire. Ms. Reynolds, a student of William Bennett and Harry Sargous, holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.M.) and the University of Michigan (B.M.). lreynolds@sfcm.edu

James Moore

Contact James - james.moore@sfcm.edu
Bio Coming Soon

Clarinet

Ginger Kroft

“My teaching blends an enriching program of artistry and technique, enabling students to find and develop their creative voice. I guide students toward artistic independence, while building a strong foundation to support their art.” 

 

Ginger Kroft is Principal Clarinet with Carmel Bach Festival and Sacramento Philharmonic; and a Vandoren International Artist. Mrs. Kroft regularly performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for many seasons and has performed with San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Bridge Players, ADORNO, and Avenue Winds. Mrs. Kroft is on faculty at Santa Clara University and maintains a private studio in South Bay. She is a frequent adjudicator for local and national competitions, most recently for USIMC. 

 

As an education advocate, Mrs. Kroft serves on numerous board of directors, including MTAC and CAPMT. She’s been a featured Presenter at the CAPMT State Conference and guest lecturer at numerous universities. Ginger Kroft holds degrees with distinction from Northwestern University (B.M.) and San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.M.), studying with David Breeden, Dan Gilbert, and Clark Brody. gkroft@sfcm.edu

Bassoon

Yueh Chou

Dr. Chou is dedicated to inspiring a passion for classical music in the younger generation. Her teaching style includes musical analysis, improving tone production, clean finger technique, and the performance practices of diverse musical styles and time periods, as well as mental training for performance. She has been on faculty at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, pre-college division, teaching bassoon since 2001. She also has been teaching bassoon at San José State University since 2011. She is the founder and director of Bassoon Academy West, her large private studio. 

Dr. Chou has an extensive and varied performance career. She premiered the solo bassoon pieces Under the Open Sky by Veronika Krausas (Los Angeles) and Group on a Row the Same by Lou Harrison (Santa Cruz). She has performed in Den Haag and Amsterdam (Muziekgebouw aan't IJ) in the Netherlands, Geel and Chimay (Theatre du Chateau) in Belgium, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center in the United States, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. 

Dr. Chou holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Juilliard School and has obtained both Masters and Doctorate degrees in Music Performance (with minors in Baroque Bassoon and Music Education) from the University of Southern California. She also earned a Certificate Diploma in Period Bassoons at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag, the Netherlands. ychou@sfcm.edu

Horn

Jessica Valeri

Jessica Valeri has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony since 2008.  Prior to her appointment, Ms. Valeri was a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Grant Park Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra.  After studying with Doug Hill at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ms. Valeri went on to earn her Graduate degree and Performance Certificate from Northwestern University, as a student of Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, and Norman Schweikert.

Ms. Valeri has participated in many recording projects including a Grammy-nominated recording with the Bay Brass and is a frequent guest with the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Arizona Music Festival, and the Lakes Area Music Festival.  Passionate about education, she is currently on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, serves as a coach for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and is a sought-after clinician and teacher.  Ms. Valeri also serves as a musician advisor in the planning and programming of the Adventures in Music educational concerts for the San Francisco Symphony.  When not playing the horn, you will find her practicing yoga and sketch comedy (not simultaneously – although that would be a great skit idea), and entertaining friends at home with her husband and fellow SFS musician Jonathan Vinocour, and their son, Luca. jvaleri@sfcm.edu

Daniel Wood

"Every student has a degree of potential on any instrument. It is up to me -- as their teacher -- to help them discover that potential and take them as far as they want to go along the path of music education.  I believe in teaching students to be complete musicians and teaching them to be complete technicians on their chosen instrument. I stress musicality and stage presence in my methods and expect commitment in return when warranted.  Ultimately, it is my responsibility to teach my students how to be their own best teacher."

Chair of Musicianship and Composition for the Pre-College Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Daniel Wood is an accomplished composer, performer, and educator. His compositions favor small groups such as brass, wind and string chamber music, steel drum ensembles, and jazz combos and his most recent commissions have come from Ceora Winds, Presidio String Trio, and Avenue Winds. Mr. Wood has written and performed solo shows as an improvisational musician including "Life on an Island" and "Brother, Can you spare a Dime." As a founding member of the Quadre horn quartet, he has toured extensively since 1998, and composed and performed for Quadre's 4 albums with guest horn player James Thatcher, Grammy award-winning flutist, Molly Barth, and soprano Elizabeth Weigle.  Mr. Wood has lectured on the Business of Music for the American Federation of Musicians, San Francisco Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, University of Oregon, and the International Horn conferences. He is also a member of the Avenue Winds and the Teal Crane Trio, both focused on championing new work, and runs Solid Wood Publishing. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Wood received his training from the University of California, Los Angeles. dwood@sfcm.edu

Trumpet 

Adam Luftman

Adam Luftman joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Principal Trumpet in 2007. Originally from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, he also holds the position of Principal Trumpet in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Prior to moving to San Francisco, Mr. Luftman held positions with the Baltimore Symphony, the New World Symphony in Miami and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has also been a guest artist with many of the country's finest orchestras, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony and San Francisco Symphony. He has also enjoyed touring and recording with many of these ensembles.

 

During summers, Mr. Luftman has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival, Sun Valley Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Spoleto Festival, Aspen Music Festival and the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

 

In addition to his orchestral work, Mr. Luftman has been a featured soloist with numerous groups. He is also a member of The Bay Brass, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and is an avid jazz musician. Mr. Luftman also recently performed and recorded as a member of the National Brass Ensemble, a group comprised of principal musicians from the nation's top orchestras.

 

He also can be heard on recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, ESPN Sunday Night Football and on many movie and video game soundtracks recorded at Skywalker Ranch in CA.

 

Mr. Luftman is currently on the faculty of San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford, UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. He has presented masterclasses all over the country including at the Curtis Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, New World Symphony and Tanglewood. He is an honors graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Mr. Luftman lives in San Francisco with his wife, Reva and their daughters, Riley and Nora. aluftman@sfcm.edu

Guy Piddington

Contact Guy - gpiddington@sfcm.edu
Bio Coming Soon

Trombone

Nicholas Platoff

Nicholas Platoff joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2016 as Associate Principal Trombone. 

He also enjoys a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, vocalist, improviser, conductor, composer/arranger, concert producer, and recording artist. He performs and creates in non-classical genres ranging from pop and hip-hop to sound healing and music for multi-tracked trombone. Outside the concert hall, Platoff has performed in such disparate locales as Black Rock City’s deep playa, Moroccan dance clubs, Miami yoga classes, Alpine peaks, and San Francisco homeless shelters. 

In addition to teaching at SFCM, Platoff serves as guest faculty with the National Orchestral Institute and the Miami Music Festival, and as the low brass coach for the award-winning SFS Youth Orchestra.

He is a proud alumnus of New Haven’s Neighborhood Music School, Northwestern University, and the New World Symphony.

Tuba 

Michael Roest

M.M. The Juilliard School of Music; B.M. Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Michael studied with former Principal Tubist of the Cleveland Orchestra Ronald Bishop, Principal Tubist of the New York Philharmonic Alan Baer, and former Principal Tubist of the Baltimore Symphony David Fedderly. Michael trained at the National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, Lucerne Festival Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Roest served as Teacher of Brass Studies and Brass Ensemble Director at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, as well as the Artistic and Executive Director of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra. mroest@sfcm.edu

Percussion

Tommy Kesecker

B.M. San Francisco Conservatory of Music; studied with Barry Jekowsky, Rick Kvistad and Johnny Rae; faculty member, Jazz School in Berkeley; performances with Zakir Hussain and the Rhythm Experience; performances and recordings with Larry Vuckovich; performances with Michael Feinstein at Davies Symphony Hall. tkesecker@sfcm.edu

Stan Muncy

"My goal as a teacher is for my students to be able to teach themselves; to self-improve. The majority of any musician's time will be spent in the practice room, so in our studies, we will learn how to practice efficiently. The artistry covered in lessons can generally be broken into three areas: sound concept, musicality, and technique. The end result is a musician that can listen critically, think for themselves, and have the physical capacity to achieve anything."

Stan Muncy is a regular extra with the San Francisco Symphony, a member of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and was acting percussionist/assistant timpanist with the Honolulu Symphony. His recording credits extend to the NAXOS classical label and many film and video game scores recorded at Warner Brothers Studios, Capitol Records, and Skywalker Sound. He has recorded with the San Francisco Symphony for Harrison's Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra, Varese's Ameriques, Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette, Ives' Symphony No. 4, and Copland's Symphony No. 3. He also enjoys a prolific new music career performing with SF Contemporary Music Players and having toured with four-time Grammy-winning new music sextet eighth blackbird. He is currently on faculty at CSU, Stanislaus, and SFCM. smuncy@sfcm.edu