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About Us

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C), a UCSD affiliate, performs 6 concert pairs per year in Mandeville Auditorium, as well as community concerts in other venues. It is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit corporation comprised of 230 volunteer musicians from all walks of life: doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, and professional musicians – a diverse and talented group with a passion for making music together. LJS&C sponsors an annual Young Artists Competition, an annual commission of a new work for orchestra and/or chorus, and provides music education to San Diego K-12 schools.

Donations will directly benefit the artistic mission of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C), its 230 community musicians, and its music education and community outreach in San Diego County.

Help us to sustain our musical integrity.

Diversity Statement

“The La Jolla Symphony and Chorus renews its commitment to core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Though we fully believe in the power of music to unite and inspire— underlining and strengthening our shared humanity—we also know that, historically, many communities have been neither well represented by our activities nor included in our projects. Therefore, in addition to sustaining the worthy traditions of the symphony orchestra and chorus, we shall re-double our efforts to make them more inclusive and diverse. We pledge to strengthen our commitment to presenting works from traditionally under-represented artists and to creating musical programs and institutional structures that are equitable, inclusive, and welcoming to all.”

Our Directors

Stephanie Weaver Yankee began her tenure at LJS&C in late September 2019 and had previously served as executive director of the Cape Conservatory in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a position she had held since 2011. In addition to being an experienced arts administrator and educator, Stephanie Weaver Yankee is an accomplished pianist. She received her D.M.A. degree in Piano Performance from Michigan State University and her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to her position with the Cape Conservatory, she served a dozen years at the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts, first as the School’s Dean of Music and next as its president and executive director.

Prior to joining San Diego State University in September 2019, Dr. Khaefi served as director of choral activities at Fullerton College in California and at Towson University. He holds D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in conducting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the University of California, Los Angeles, respectively. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Dr. Khaefi is also the current Vice President of the Choral Consortium of San Diego.

Board of Directors

Betty McManus has combined lifelong interests in music and conflict resolution to provide both professional and volunteer support to a number of nonprofits. A piano major in college, she taught piano privately for many years and performed in chamber music ensembles while living in Washington, DC, Savannah, Georgia, and San Diego, CA, where she now lives with her husband, UCSD Professor Emeritus and pianist Cecil Lytle. They frequently collaborate on musical projects including the production of the annual Lytle Family scholarship concerts that provide funds for graduates of the Preuss School attending Thurgood Marshall College at UCSD. In a second career, after graduating from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1986, she was closely associated for over 20 years with the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC, formerly San Diego Mediation Center) as a mediator, board member, director of mediator credentialing, and member of NCRC’s training team in San Diego and abroad, most frequently in Germany and Bulgaria. She became involved with the international student exchange program AFS in her teens when her family hosted several students in their Selma, Alabama home, and at age 16, went to the Netherlands for her senior year in high school. As an adult, she served a total of 15 years on the national AFS-USA Board of Directors. During the academic year, she and her husband divide their time between San Diego and a second home in Tucson, AZ, and spend their summers in Paris, where Mr. Lytle teaches the UCSD Global Seminar course, Jazz in Paris.

Einar Gall has lived in La Jolla since 1993, when he and his wife, Sally, moved to California from New York along with The Neurosciences Institute. He was the Institute’s research director and chief operating officer from its founding in 1981 through its closing in 2017. As an independent non-profit entity, the Institute carried out basic research on brain function in an environment that encouraged interdisciplinary cooperation. It also supported the local arts community by allowing many non-profit performing arts groups to use the Institute’s superb auditorium (now the Auditorium at TSRI) without charge. Einar received his Ph.D. in Life Sciences from The Rockefeller University and continued on its faculty until moving to La Jolla. His own research was in cellular and developmental biology and theoretical neurobiology. He enjoys expedition travel to places with especially interesting natural history; photography; and music both old and new. He has sung with several vocal ensembles. Einar is also on the board of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and previously served as its President.

Brian E.C. Schottlaender is a Founding Principal of re:work library consulting and the Director of the Library Senior Fellows Program at UCLA. For 18 years, Schottlaender led the UC San Diego Library as the University Librarian and inaugural holder of The Audrey S. Geisel Chair. He retired from UC San Diego in June 2017.

Long a proponent of cooperation between and amongst libraries and related organizations, Schottlaender is a past President of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services and of the Association of Research Libraries. Currently, he serves as a member of the Portico Advisory Board and as an Endowment Trustee of the American Library Association. Locally, he serves as Vice-President/President-Elect of the Board of Directors of the La Jolla (CA) Symphony and Chorus, and as Treasurer of The Dr. Seuss Foundation.

In 2015, Schottlaender was named ILS Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University and was awarded the Hugh G. Atkinson Memorial Award by the American Library Association (ALA) for innovative leadership in the work of academic libraries. Schottlaender, who held positions at the California Digital Library, UCLA, the University of Arizona, and Indiana University before joining UC San Diego, is also the 2010 recipient of ALA’s Melvil Dewey Medal for creative professional leadership of a high order.

Erica Gamble joined the flute section of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus in 1998 as an undergraduate student at UC San Diego, where she received a B.S. in Animal Physiology & Neuroscience, a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in music performance. She currently works as a Marketing Data Strategist at Sharp HealthCare, after having held previous positions in sales and marketing in both semiconductor and healthcare companies in San Diego. Ms. Gamble loves the outdoors and is an active scuba diver and skier. She lives in Bay Park with her husband and two cats.

Cathy Funke received a BA in History from the University of Washington, a MS in Special Education, and an Administrative Credential from National University. A retired special education educator and administrator, Ms. Funke taught middle school special education, coordinated special education programs as a Program Specialist for the San Diego Union High School District, and worked as an adjunct professor in teacher credentialing at National University. Shortly after retirement, Ms. Funke joined the LJS&C as a member of the alto section. With a lifelong commitment to children, Ms. Funke developed the project “Love in a Paper Sack”, a bi-annual gifting program for homeless teens in San Diego County in support of the nonprofit organization Stand Up For Kids. Active in Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Ms. Funke sings in the church choir and serves on the Board of Deacons. A long-time resident of Carlsbad, Ms. Funke also enjoys walking her two labradoodles, spending time with her ever-expanding family and traveling.

Prof. Graeve joined the University of California, San Diego, in 2012, and is currently  Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Director of the  CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials and Systems, and Faculty Director of the IDEA  Engineering Student Center. Prof. Graeve holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and  Engineering from the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor’s degree in  Structural Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. Her area of  research focuses on the design and processing of new materials for extreme  environments, including extremes of temperature, pressure, and radiation. 

Prof. Graeve has been involved in many activities related to the recruitment and  retention of women and Hispanic students in science and engineering and has received  several prestigious awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science,  Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2020. She has been inducted into the Tijuana  Walk of Fame (2014), the Mexican Academy of Engineering (2016), the Mexican  Academy of Sciences (2019), and has been named Fellow of the American Ceramic  Society (2017).

James Lauth, a resident of Carlsbad, is a trusts and estates attorney and founding partner at Beamer, Lauth, Steinley & Bond, LLP, a trusts and estates specialist firm. His practice also includes charitable planning and he has established dozens of charitable remainder trusts and private foundations. Mr. Lauth has long been interested in both contemporary music and charitable organizations. He received a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University while working part-time for Composers Recordings, Inc. a non-profit record company for new music. He received his law degree, also from Columbia University, before moving to San Diego in 1986, where he first worked at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and then Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye before the formation of his current law firm. Mr. Lauth advises a number of San Diego charities about non-profit governance and charitable giving, he currently also serves on the board of Fresh Sound, and he is on the KPBS Advisory Committee. Past boards include the Walden Family Services Foundation, San Diego Institute for Arts Education, San Diego Natural History Museum, and the local office of the Anti-Defamation League.

For over three decades, American soprano Susan Narucki has forged a unique path; her dedication to the music of our time has led to award winning recordings, critically acclaimed performances with musicians of the first rank and close collaborations with generations of composers.  Since joining the faculty at the University of California at San Diego in 2008, she has been deeply engaged in commissioning, producing and performing chamber operas that illuminate critical issues in society.  Her projects have earned major philanthropic support from the MAP Fund /Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, UC MEXUS, Creative Capital Foundation, New Music USA and multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ms. Narucki commissioned and produced Inheritance, a chamber opera written by Grawmeyer Award winning composer Lei Liang, addressing gun violence in America. Co-presented by ARTPower and the Department of Music at UC San Diego, Inheritance had its premiere performances in October, 2018.  

Ms. Narucki also commissioned and produced Cuatro Corridos (2013), the critically acclaimed chamber opera that addresses trafficking of women across the U.S.- Mexico border.  With libretto by internationally renowned Mexican author Jorge Volpi, and music by Hebert Vazquez, Arlene Sierra, Lei Liang and Hilda Paredes, the opera has been performed throughout the United States and Mexico and has had multiple broadcasts on Canal 22, Mexico’s art and culture television network.  Ms. Narucki’s recording of Cuatro Corridos on Bridge Records earned a 2017 Latin Grammy Nomination and was a Critic’s Choice of both Opera News and Gramophone.   

A dedicated mentor to the next generation of singers, Ms. Narucki’s recent residencies include the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Aichi University of the Arts, the Longy School of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory.  At UC San Diego, she directs the vocal ensemble kallisti. In December 2018, she was appointed Director of Arts and Community Engagement, a new initiative of the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.

In November of 2019, Ms. Narucki was nominated for a Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Recording for The Edge of Silence: Vocal Chamber Music of György Kurtág (AVIE Records). The recording was included in the New York Times Best Classical Tracks of 2019 and was named a Critic’s Choice of Opera News.

Peter Taylor is a long-term resident of Carlsbad with a longstanding interest in youth education, development and participation in the performing arts and music. He is an Executive business leader with extensive experience in multi-channel retailing, on-line marketing and business development and revitalization. He is a creative “metrics based” strategic thinker, highly skilled at business development and organization performance optimization. Career experience has included senior management roles at NAADE Inc. Digital River, Sport Chalet, Road Runner Sports, Price Enterprises and Price Club. He has also been a founding senior Executive at various internet start-up ventures. As an Ecommerce expert he has been a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events. Taylor has served as President of the Carlsbad Music Festival. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Dancer, choreographer and scenic director. Founding member of Lux Boreal Dance Company  based at Tijuana, Mexico since 2002. Born in Culiacan, Sinaloa he truly trusts in art as a  tool to transform society, develop awareness and better human beings. He has created  more than ninety dance pieces, in a wide range of scales and styles. Touring his work in Mexico, United States, Latin America and Europe. As part of Lux Boreal, he has contributed  to develop education programs in the performing arts, as well as platforms that pursuit to  exhibit emerging and consolidated artists. He is Member of the National System of Art  Creators of Mexico (SNCA 2019-2022). 

Pat Finn previously served as a producer for KPBS Midday Edition and KPBS Evening Edition. Finn began her career in broadcasting at KTLA and KCET in Los Angeles. In 1979 she became KPBS’ Public Information Director, then Director of Advertising and Promotion, Program Director, and Director of Broadcasting. She oversaw the station’s local and national productions, including the one-hour documentary Los Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar, and Child Protective Services, a one-hour look inside the San Diego County agency responsible for the welfare of at risk children. Both programs also aired on public television stations nationwide. Finn has earned honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Honorary Artistic Board

John Luther Adams is the recipient of the 2010 Nemmers Prize in Music Composition. The biennial award honors classical music composers of outstanding achievement who have had a significant impact on the field of composition. A NEA and Rockefeller Foundation grantee, Mr. Adams has been called “one of the most original thinkers of the new century” by The New Yorker.

 Flutist Claire Chase has been praised for her “extravagant technique, broad stylistic range and penetrating musicality” by the New York Times. She is active as a soloist, chamber musician, curator, and arts entrepreneur as founding director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Ms. Chase has given the world premieres of more than 100 new works for flute, and she has been featured on critically acclaimed releases from the Naxos, Tzadik, Bridge labels.

Philip Glass is considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Through his operas, symphonies, compositions for his own ensemble, and Oscar-nominated movie scores, he has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of our times. His wide-ranging collaborations with artists include Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie.

David Lang is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who embodies the restless spirit of invention. Deeply versed in the classical tradition he is also committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms. The music of David Lang is used as a musical accompaniment in many online casinos in Switzerland. On the Resuko website you can find a great list of the best of them, which will make you the right choice. And the music of David Lang is an excellent musical background for this pastime. In the words of The New Yorker: “Lang, once a post-minimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.”

Wu man is an internationally renowned pipa (Chinese lute) virtuoso, cited by the Los Angeles Times as “the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western World.” Born in Hangzhou, China, Ms. Wu performs regularly with Yo-Yo Ma as part of his Silk Road Project. Her touring has taken her to the major music halls of the world including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Bernard Rands is established as a major figure in contemporary music through his more than 100 published works and many recordings. His work Canti del Sole, premièred by Paul Sperry, Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His large orchestral suites Le Tambourin won the 1986 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. His work, Canti d’Amor, recorded by Chanticleer, won a Grammy Award in 2000.

Molli & Arthur Wagner Music Director, Conductor
2007 – 2022

“I think the role of an arts organization in a community is to both reflect and lead. In the San Diego music community, there is a real niche for La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, a place for our point of view. For one, the idea of contemporary music and the linkage between it and traditional orchestral music is not widely addressed outside of this organization. The connections between contemporary and classical, and the fact that we perform in the community we live in and are willing to take a stand to guide rather than follow, that’s our niche.”

Percussionist, conductor, and author Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For forty years he has championed contemporary music by commissioning or premiering more than 150 new works. He was the founding percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars (1992-2002) and served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève (2000-2005). Schick is founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, “red fish blue fish.” Currently he is Music Director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He will also serve as music director of the 2015 Ojai Music Festival in June. In 2012 he became the first Artist-in-Residence with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

Schick founded and is currently Artistic Director of “Roots and Rhizomes,” a summer course on contemporary percussion music held at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He maintains a lively schedule of guest conducting including appearances in this season with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Nova Chamber Ensemble and the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble. Among his acclaimed publications are a book, “The Percussionist’s Art: Same Bed, Different Dreams,” and numerous recordings of contemporary percussion music including a 3 CD set of the complete percussion music of Iannis Xenakis (Mode). Mode released a companion recording on DVD of the early percussion music of Karlheinz Stockhausen in September of 2014.

In 2014, Schick received two notable honors: he was named Champion of New Music by the American Composers Forum and he was inducted into the Percussion Hall of Fame. Steven Schick is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. In June 2015 he served as the Music Director of the 69th annual Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California.

Ex-Officio Board Members

Stephanie Weaver Yankee
Executive Director

Arian Khaefi
Sally & Einar Gall Chorus Conductor

LJS&C Staff

Stephanie Weaver – Executive Director
(858) 822-3774 • sweaver@ljsc.org

Adam Perez – Operations Manager
(858) 534-4637 • boxoffice@ljsc.org

Ted Bietz – Orchestra Manager
(619) 733-6239 • orchestra@ljsc.org

Mea Daum – Chorus Manager

Melanie Intrieri – Marketing and Development Coordinator
(858) 822-2166 • mintrieri@ljsc.org

Ryan Beard – Orchestra Librarian