Geoffrey Gallegos, a San Francisco native and sixth generation Californian has been a fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area music community for 30 years. From 1985 to 1990, Maestro Gallegos served as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Chamber Players Orchestra. In 1991 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra and continued in that capacity until 1993. He resumed his association with the SFCO from 2000 –‘06 as Principal Guest Conductor. In 2003, he was engaged as Assistant Conductor of the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra (N. CA) and served in that position until 2008. It was also in 2003 that Maestro Gallegos made his debut with Golden Gate Opera in San Francisco conducting I Pagliacci and was subsequently invited to assume the position of Music Director and Principal Conductor. Since his appointment, he has conducted several productions including Gianni Schicchi, The Telephone, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Suor Angelica, Hansel and Gretel and, most recently, the world premiere production of Lincoln & Booth. In 2004, following an extensive search, Maestro Gallegos was invited to become Music Director and Conductor of the Kensington (CA) Symphony Orchestra, only the third in the Orchestra’s 30 plus year history, a position he holds currently. During his tenure, he has contributed to a significant increase in the orchestra’s membership and audience, broadened the repertoire and the KSO’s visibility in the community, and raised its artistic standards exponentially. Maestro Gallegos was invited to guest conduct the opening of the 49th season of the Diablo Symphony Orchestra (CA) and has also guest conducted other ensembles throughout the Bay Area, US and in Europe.
Maestro Gallegos has a deep commitment to music education. In 2001, he was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Golden Gate Philharmonic, an all-city youth/community orchestra in San Francisco. From 2001-2010, he also participated in the Artist in Residence program at the School of the Arts (S.O.T.A.) in San Francisco where he has served as guest conductor of the orchestra and wind ensembles, and taught music theory and sight singing. During the 2000-01 academic year, Maestro Gallegos was appointed Conductor of the San Francisco State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In the summer of 2002 he was invited as a Guest Conductor of the Orchestra at Cazadero Music Camp and was reengaged for the 2004 summer session. From 2007-2010, Maestro Gallegos served as Instrumental Music Coordinator and Liaison at The Nueva School in Hillsborough where, among many duties, he oversaw the prestigious Menuhin/Dowling instrumental music program and organized and managed the Menuhin/Dowling Competition for Young Musicians. Maestro Gallegos has served as an adjudicator for a number of youth competitions, master-classes and workshops throughout the Bay Area and was recently invited to participate as a jury member for the 2014 annual Parade of Orchestras Festival held in Honolulu.
Maestro Gallegos studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory School and San Francisco State University, completing, with honors, a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Education and Conducting. Advanced studies in orchestral and operatic conducting continued at the University of Iowa School of Music, where he received a Master of Arts degree with High Distinction and served as Conductor of the University Chamber Orchestra. Four times he was awarded fellowships, chosen from a large international pool of applicants, to the prestigious Conductors Institute held at West Virginia University and the University of South Carolina. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Music Center in San Francisco where he began his music studies with the trumpet at the age of nine. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife Julie.
West County Winds had a whirlwind season searching for a new Music Director. Four talented conductors each conducted one concert this season in hopes of obtaining the illustrious position. Geoffrey Gallegos wowed the audience and band members with his technical skills and exciting repertoire.
Fall 2010 to Spring 2014
Jessica Bejarano became Musical Director of the West County Winds in September 2010 after a detailed search.
She is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Passport Chamber Orchestra of San Francisco, and Artist-In-Residence with LEAP…Imagination in Learning in San Francisco. Bejarano also serves as Assistant Conductor of Peninsula Symphony, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, and the Community Women’s Orchestra. She teaches sixth grade music at Gateway Middle School and is the Instrumental Music Director at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. For more information about her musical activities, visit: www.jessicabejarano.com.
Her education includes an Associates of Fine Arts in Music Education from Casper College, a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Arts in Conducting from the University of California at Davis. She continues active study and has garnered further training and experience through the International Academy of Advanced Conducting with the Classical Symphony of St. Petersburg, Russia (2007), and the Urbino Summer Academy of Music, Urbino, Italy (2008). Also in 2008, she studied in Bacau, Romania with the International Institute for Conductors and the “Mihail Jora” Philharmonic Orchestra.
In September 2010, she participated in a masterclass led by Jorma Panula in Ruse (Rousse), Bulgaria, working with the Ruse Philharmonic.
Well before Bejarano committed to conducting, she played trumpet. She has played with some decidedly non-symphonic groups– marching bands, pep bands, and drum and bugle corps– yielding a breadth of experience beyond what her academic history might indicate. As a conductor, she has appeared with the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, San Francisco, GLAM Youth Choir, San Francisco, the Community Women’s Orchestra, Oakland, and many others.
Sue Crum stepped in as Interim Conductor during early preparation for the Silver Screen concert when Rice Majors departed for the University of Colorado at Boulder. She rehearsed and conducted that concert, then directed the Silver Anniversary concert from music selection through its celebratory presentation. Her solid performance anchored the band during this transition, allowing us to carry out a careful, unrushed search to find a new permanent director while continuing to make music with confidence and enjoyment.
Crum joined the band as oboist in the fall of 2005 after moving to California with her husband. Since 2006, she has been the assistant conductor of the West County Winds, assisting in rehearsals and preparing and conducting selected pieces for concert performance.
Crum earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and a Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Idaho. She has been performing and teaching music for over 20 years.
Crum played with the West County Winds for over 8 years when not conducting. She has performed in the past with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra in Traverse City, Michigan, and with the Boise Philharmonic and the Boise Opera Orchestra in Boise, Idaho.
She has also taught elementary instrumental music in Cleveland, Ohio; Boise, Idaho; and Albany, California. She currently has an active private music studio in El Cerrito.
Fall 2005 to Winter 2009
Band members selected Rice Majors to be our conductor in the summer of 2005 and his tenure began several months later. Majors previously conducted the Rose City Gay Freedom Band of Portland, Oregon, the Ithaca Opera and the Cornell Savoyards of Ithaca, New York. He has also conducted the Pink Singers in London. Majors has served on the board of directors for the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, a global organization. At the 2009 Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC, Majors was proud to be Artistic Director of the LGBA’s marching unit.
Locally, Majors performed as a tenor with the San Francisco Lyric Chorus, the San Francisco Lyric Opera, the San Francisco Concert Chorale, and the Schola Cantorum for the Latin mass at St. Patrick’s Church. He also played in the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Freedom Band.
Majors has a BA in Musicology from Cornell University and a Masters in Library Science from Emporia State University. By day, he was a Product Manager with a local library software company. Early 2010, Majors left to become Faculty Director for Libraries Information Technology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
In 2006, Sue Crum became assistant conductor of the West County Winds. For a full
bio of Sue, see the Spring 2010 section, above.
Heather Habig was previously assistant conductor, leading the band in Hanssen’s Valdres March in June 2006. Habig, a 1998 graduate in music at Indiana University, played flute in the band though her primary instrument is piano.
Fall 2003 – 2005
For two years we had the good fortune to be led by Spiros Xydas during his tenure as band director at Hercules Middle School. Xydas earned his BA in three years at UC Santa Barbara and then continued his music education at CSU Hayward and Sonoma State University. Xydas left us and California to join his wife in Troy, Michigan where he now teaches music at Baker Middle School and has just earned a Masters in Music Education from Northwestern University.
Fall 2002 – Spring 2003
Brian Barfield, with a BA in music performance from CSU Hayward, conducted West County Winds while teaching music at El Cerrito High School.
Robert Calonico joined forces with Brian for Spring 2003. Calonico has long been Director of Bands at UC Berkeley and conducts the University Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. He has performed with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Oakland Ballet, Berkeley Symphony, and California Symphony.
Fall 2001 – Spring 2002
Ray Iniguez, cofounder and conductor of Winds Across the Bay, received the BS in Music Education from the University of Southern Colorado and the MA in Music Education from CSU Los Angeles. After playing tuba with the band for many years, he took up the much easier to carry baton.
1985 to 2001
Terry Clark founded West County Winds while serving as Band and Orchestra director at El Cerrito High School and supervisor of music programs for the Richmond School District. He retired from that position to become Principal of Sonora Union High School. Some of our current band members joined WCW when Clark first established it.