Meet Our Concert Career Pathways Cohorts
Cohort #7 (2022-2023)
I was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and moved to the United States when I was five years old. I lived in Los Angeles, CA and found out as a child I love music from listening to a Nirvana CD that was gifted to me. I moved around the US growing up and while living in Florida, I started playing guitar at the age of 12. I loved playing guitar so much that I decided to pursue music more seriously. I started to formally study guitar while attending boarding school abroad and transferred to Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. I started dabbling in a lot of different music genres and got accepted into college as a classical guitar major.
As I pursued my musical studies, I realized that a musical career relies on a certain degree of entrepreneurship and became more interested in the business aspect of a musicians career. I am currently finishing my music business degree from Berklee College of Music.
I am really excited to start this new chapter of my musical education to find out all I can about running an entertainment venue. I am drawn to the marketing and talent buying aspect of the operation and one of my goals is to learn these two areas in depth.
My career goal is to understand how to integrate music and business for the benefit of the artist and the arts community in general.
My name is Alissa Chow and I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I moved to the Bay Area to study media studies and psychology at UC Berkeley, where I am currently a senior. Music has been an integral part of my life, from learning how to play the piano, to attending different live events. Although playing such a big role in my life, I was always discouraged from pursuing a career in music and told to find a “money making” career. But after attending my first concert, I knew right away that I wanted to work in music.
I found this program while looking around at venues for shows to watch, and fortunately, I landed on the UC Theatre Instagram page. Reading more about Concert Career Pathway, I realized this was the perfect program for me to expand my existing skills with my passions and interests. It seemed like the perfect way to explore what the music and live events industry had to offer, especially as someone with minimal experience and connections.
As I start my journey into learning more about the behind the scenes of live events, I hope to bring more attention to global artists that have helped to shape my identity. Live events are truly unique and I hope that what I take from this program are the appropriate tools to pay it forward and allow many others to experience the same joy I get from attending concerts.
Hello! My name is Ashleigh Budiwarman(she/her). My hometown is San Diego, CA. I am a transfer student/senior at UC Berkeley double majoring in Film & Media and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. I want to be able to bridge these two passions of mine together. Proper representation of Asians in the entertainment industry is really important to me as an Asian American.
I really want to work in the entertainment industry somehow after I graduate. I’m an aspiring event producer/assistant director. I love all things planning and logistics, which may seem boring, but I love organizing spaces for people to be able to create freely and be in a community that they feel seen in. I grew up in a small predominantly white beach town in San Diego so I did not see very many people who looked like me in my small town or in the media that I consumed. This made me turn to Asian tv shows, Kpop, and other forms of media that had a better representation of Asians. This inspired me to get the degrees I’m studying at Cal and be in communities that centered around being Asian American.
I applied to the Concert Career Pathways Program because I really want gain experience in the concert side of the music industry. Concerts are a place of community that is unexplainable. I want to learn more about all of things behind the scenes that need to be done in order for a concert to run smoothly.
Dmitri Castillo Russell
I was born in a small town near Barcelona, I lived there for the first 8 years of my life, after those 8 years I moved to Amsterdam where id properly start to develop the kind of person I felt like I wanted to be and thats where I gained my interest in doing music professionally. I started playing bass there and I was in a small band with a small group of my friends where we'd jam on occasion. After another 8 years of living in Amsterdam I moved out to the bay, since moving here I've adhered to audio production, I produce music on my own time as a hobby but I'm also able to actually study it in school. I've been studying it for about a year now and am planning to continue to study and do it for as long as I can.
After I graduate high school my plan is to move out to New York and hopefully take a gap year to figure out fully what I want to do in life. At the moment I know that I for sure want to do something with music. In a perfect world I'd want to be able to do everything from producing music to also writing and touring in a band. So that is my main goal for now. But I also want to learn much more about other sides of music, more to do with the business behind it like managing bands or getting tours up and running which is somewhat what I gain from being in the program.
Most of my inspirations come from the performing world, my favorite musical artist is Les Claypool, I somewhat strive to be like him in the sense that no matter how hard you look you won't find anyone who plays their instrument as uniquely as him. I want to one day be able to tour the world much like he has, a lot of the music I write is very inspired from the way that he plays his bass. I also have many friends in my school that have similar goals to mine where they want to be able to become a musician who stands out from the rest and creates something that they are proud of and is true to them so being in a group of people who have those kind of goals is a very big inspiration for me.
I first heard about this program through my audio production teacher, I'm not sure if he has been in touch with you before and this is how he would have heard of you but his name is Kumar Butler in case he has been in contact with you. After hearing about this program from him I was immediately interested in auditioning since it was a way for me to learn more about the music world and of course to meet many more people who might think like I do, I want to find people who actually want to take music seriously and do it professionally in the future. Getting the experience from this program would also help me a lot when moving to New York which is a very big reason why I'm very glad to hear I have been accepted.
I am a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in applied linguistics and multilingualism. I’ve been passionate about music and theater since I was very young, as I started piano lessons when I was 4 and was in my first play when I was 7. I was in a choir in elementary school and still carry on my love for singing today. Although I was a performer and did not work in the production aspect of the theater, I helped out with a few set designs and was always interested in doing sound and lighting, as they’re such crucial components of any performance in order for it to come to life.
Throughout my college career, much of my focus was on school but I always found time to be involved with music, whether I was performing at open mics, helping my friend’s band with their music equipment, or writing my own music on the piano. I’ve always missed the family I became apart of when I did theater. As I was finishing up with college, I realized that I desperately wanted to join another program that was involved with some aspect of theater or music. When I heard about this opportunity, I applied as soon as I could in hopes of becoming more involved with the part of myself that I did not have the time to pay as much attention to as I wished I could when I was in college.
In this strange post-graduation part of my life, it has been difficult to navigate what my future is supposed to look like, or what exactly I want to do with my degree. One thing I know for sure is that, for as long as I can remember, music is always something that I end up falling back on. It is consistently something that makes me feel joy, something that provides a kind of catharsis that not a lot of other things can do, and something I want to continue doing for the rest of my life.
A person who has always inspired and was also the person who told me about this program is my good friend Savannah. I lived with her throughout college where she started taking piano lessons. After my brief hiatus from playing the piano when I stopped taking lessons, I heard her practicing and it instantly made me want to get back into it. I helped her go through the basics and learn her pieces, and she helped me regain the passion I had for piano. Together, we hosted open mics in our home, performed at others’ open mics, and made music together. After focusing so much on my studies, singing and playing instruments with her was like a breath of fresh air. She applied to this program, told me about it and encouraged me to apply too. After looking into it, I realized that this was definitely what I wanted to do. I also have a family friend who works in production for different theaters in the Bay Area and that is something I aspire to be involved with in the future. This program is a great opportunity for me to set a good foundation for my understanding of the kind of effort that goes into working behind the scenes in a theater.
I am known to most by Esmy but my full name is Esmeralda Martinez and i go by she/her. I am a recent college graduate from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema. Some of my hobbies include cooking, fashion, cannabis, and watching a good tv show. What really brought me to this program is my goal to put together my own festival and even collaborate with like minded individuals to curate a festival with. I aspire to learn all of not most aspects of production. I aspire to make connections with people my age who have similar ambitions to create a space where music is whats bonds people in that space. I am inspired to achieve my goals by my family who came from very humble beginnings to give me the life I ultimately want and sore i’ve towards. The main reason I applied to CCP was because of the opportunities it would provide me and most of all the connections. Graduating during COVID was extremely difficult on my mental health and it made me re-evaluate what J was putting my time into and made me quite selective in who I associate with as well. I was most inspired by my roommate Sierra to apple to CCCP because we essentially grew up together and she knew I would thrive in this type of environment. I am so excited to meet my peers and start refining my skills!
My name is Hiro Salvoro and I’m a 19-year-old musician and artist. I was born and raised in the East Bay Area. Throughout my life, I have performed dozens of times as a singer, a dancer, an actor & even as a pianist. I’m very familiar with the stage and performing, so ever since I was young I’ve dreamed of making some sort of living from it.
I have always found freedom in expression through art. Live music has always been my favorite medium to do so. Whether that's me performing, or going to concerts to immerse myself with my favorite songs, I can never get enough of it all. I want to help create these experiences for more people to enjoy, and this exact passion is what drives me to have a music-based career. However, it’s nearly impossible to get into this industry without help.
I applied to Concert Career Pathways to finally get my first step in the music industry, expand my knowledge, and create long-lasting connections. I can’t wait to see what kinds of opportunities this program will bring me.
Jose Mari Cancio
My name is Jose Cancio and I’m currently a Junior at San Francisco State University studying Visual Communication Design. I’m a transfer student from College of San Mateo, where I got a degree in Graphic Design. I have a passion for poster design and illustration, but I also love working on logos, branding, and print media like brochures and magazines.
My passion for music and design started in high school, where I would design album covers and posters inspired by my favorite artists. I would love to work in the music / concert industry and design posters, merchandise and other visual media for musicians. I feel that I am the happiest when working on music-related projects. I am also inspired by graphic designers like Robert Beatty who has made album covers for singer-songwriter, The Weeknd.
I applied to the Concert Career Pathways Program because I wanted to get to know the music / concert industry better and get my foot in the door. I feel that this is a unique program and a good opportunity for me to learn about concert and event promotion.
My name is Kamieko and I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada but I go to school at UC Berkeley. I lived my whole life in Las Vegas until moving to the Bay Area, so I definitely feel a different type of connection to Vegas. But, the Bay will always be my second home. There’s no other place like it.
At UC Berkeley, I plan to study Media Studies with a concentration in Law & Policy. I see myself working at a record label in the future. I’ve always loved music and especially my favorite artists behind the music. Making sure the industry is made up of diverse artists that are receiving proper credit for their work is something that I would like to help be a part of, and I think my major could help me get to that position. I am currently pre-law and have my goals set high in terms of that. My dad is a huge inspiration for me since his current position is related to my dream career — I hope to learn from him and follow in his footsteps.
When I’m not focusing on school, my days are mostly filled with finding new music, checking films off of my watchlist, journaling, or updating my food IG page. When I get the chance, I also love visiting museums, checking out live music events, and traveling. It’s even better when I get to combine the 3 by exploring new cities and cultures!
I’m very excited to be a part of the CCP program. When I found out about it, I was surprised that there could be a program that not only gives you hands-on experience working in the live music industry, but also has an emphasis on education. I’ve always wanted to explore the possibilities of live music, but have also been somewhat scared of doing so due to my lack of experience/knowledge. Through the CCP program though, I know a safe space exists for me to ask questions and discover what it is that I love about putting on live music productions. I’m looking forward to seeing what new heights I can reach with the UC Theatre throughout this year and beyond.
My name is Katherine Cortes, I am currently attending college and excited to also be a part of the UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways Program at the same time. I love attending concerts, both for the artists and for the rest of the concert-goers. Although I am a bit introverted, I enjoy making new friends, and concerts are a safe place where people can bond over a common interest.
In the future I plan to be working within the concert industry. I have always found marketing to be interesting and would love to work in marketing. Marketing is an aspect of concerts that may be overlooked by many, yet it is so important. The way that an event is promoted plays an important role in holding a concert, and I am excited to learn the different ways in which it is done at the UC Theatre.
I applied to the Concert Career Pathways program to learn about how concerts are put together and all the different jobs it takes to run an event. Working in the concert industry has always been a dream I never knew how to achieve, until I found this program. The shadow shifting portion is a great way to explore the different fields within the industry, and the internship will allow us to gain experience and skills. I believe I can gain a lot of useful knowledge that will be helpful in the career I want.
I am very grateful to be chosen for a spot in the 22-23 Concert Career Pathways program.
My name is Keith Emery and I am currently 20 years old and living in El Cerrito, California. I was born in Berkeley and have lived in the bay area my entire life. I graduated from El Cerrito High School in 2020 and in September 2020 I attended Western Washington University Bellingham, Washington and left in April 2021 because the covid policies at the time made it a very difficult environment to learn and socialize in. Since then, I have chosen to gain experience working in various fields including luxury retail and audiovisual production.
My aspirations are to become satisfied with whatever place I find myself in the future, whether that be financial success, physical success or inner success. As for aspirations for a career, I would like to find myself working with one of my passions, either clothing or music in the future. Something that inspires me to achieve my goals is self-image and thinking about who I would want to become in the future. This has changed a lot in recent times as I am still working through my current self-image and how I would want to work towards the ideal self.
I applied to the Concert Career Pathways program because it is going to be an excellent step towards a career in the live music world. Going to shows has always been a big passion and pastime for myself and now that I have a chance to be involved I'm going to put my all into the program.
I am Kelly and I am from Philadelphia. I am an aspiring industry professional who wants to add value to the guest experience. My passion for this industry came from my years of musical theatre. A theatre is home to me!
The process of putting on a show is what inspires me to pursue a career in this industry. Anytime I attend a concert, there is a special energy that promotes excitement and wonder. I want to make this industry more experiential with a focus on making the crowd say “Wow!”. Whether this is done through sound production, lighting production, marketing, talent buying, or even through food and beverage; I want the future of this industry to blow people away.
Coming together to watch live entertainment gives people a sense of community which is important, especially during times like these. Music is one of the purest forms of emotion that we get as humans. To share that experience with strangers in a crowd teaches compassion and kindness.
I am super excited for this program to teach me the skills I need to actually make an impact in this industry. With the knowledge I gain from this program, I also hope to break down barriers within the industry itself and show people that everyone is deserving of pursuing their passion no matter where they come from or what their background is.
I'm Koen Miller and I'm thrilled to become part of the Concert Career Program at the UC Theater. Born in Berkeley and grew up in the Richmond Annex where I currently live, I grew up being a music fan supposingly loving classic, country, and yacht rock from the 70's and 80's. In my downtime I really enjoy playing guitar, watching Youtube, hanging out with friends and family, and traveling.
I came into the program having interest in working in the live music industry after being recommended to join the program from a close family friend who’s involved with the UC Theater. Throughout the duration of being in the program, I want to achieve some goals that might help me in the future. One of them is perseverence. Every now and then I might have to do tasks that aren’t my favorite but would eventually push through them. Something else that I want to work on executive functioning wise would be taking initiative of myself throughout the program. Time management is really important while having a job and it’s been an ongoing problem for me. It’s really important for me to show up on time if I want to keep my job but luckily it’s been improving for me.
I'm looking forward to learning more about the program as time goes on and learning the aspects of being in the live music industry.
My name is Lizette Trujillo. In the Salinas Valley, I was raised in a town called Greenfield. After high school, I continued my educational journey at San Francisco State for four years. In May of 2022, I earned my B.A. in Psychology and Race and Resistance, along with a minor in counseling. Time after graduation has consisted of searching for jobs. I aim to find a place in a clinic or hospital that specializes in the mental health field to support others on their path of life.
Before this job search, I had a difficult time figuring out what type of career I wanted to look into. During the year 2020, I had a change of perspective of what I truly want in life. I realized that music has always been a part of me. I believe this realization came from the loss of my best friend. She motivated me to work on becoming the best version of myself. This included to never stop with music and allowing it to be a part of my life.
Growing up in a household of musicians, I was constantly surrounded by various genres of music. My talented family members have inspired me to find where I stand with music. Because music has become the stepping stones of overcoming pillars of hardships throughout life, I would love to help others everywhere in finding their own path through music and entertainment. With my understanding of the mind, the cultures of communities of color, and my strong admiration for music, it would be an honor to combine these areas all together to create positive change in the concert world. Applying to the concert career pathways program was that first step I needed to take to make the vision into reality.
My name is Makeda Kaya Tucker. Also known as Queen Mak or Mak. I am an Artist and a song writer. I really enjoy making music whether it is for me or another person. I hope to own my own music business in the near future.
My son inspires me to achieve my goals. He does not know it yet but he is my motivation! I do what I love so that he can see that whatever he has a passion for he needs to go for it and shine doing it. My mom also inspires me! She’s a performing artist and she has always challenged me to be the best I can be. She’s very encouraging and is a big supporter.
I applied for the Concert Career Pathways Program because I would love to dive into the back stage of things. I have been on the stage all my life. One day I would like to put on a show and when I do I will love to know know how everything works back stage.
My name is Sabrina Herrera, I am currently a third year at Berkeley studying sociology and political science minoring in journalism and hopefully french! On campus I like to be involved in the music and art sphere- I am part of the music magazine and also just joined the radio station KALX! I have a lot of creative and politically involved friends so I tend to be involved there too, I recently joined Telegraph for People as a friend of mine is currently on the executive board! I have really found my niche in music since joining all of the clubs I'm in and taking subject-specific courses in journalism. Right now I'm really eager on getting more of my stuff published for the magazine I'm writing in! Also, I am hoping to DJ consistently on KALX. This internship will hopefully show me new things in the music industry that might catch my attention! Excited to learn more!
My parents and family have been my main inspiration for achieving my goals. They are both workaholics who immigrated from Mexico. Despite this, they are constantly motivating me to do what I want to as opposed to forcing me into a single career. I really want to make them proud, and though I know I already have I just want to keep constantly improving. Other than them my friends are also constantly inspiring me with the passions they have for their majors or jobs. I rarely see that in my hometown as we are pushed to pursue community college or trade school but seeing that in my Berkeley friend group has inspired me to go out and apply for clubs, submit my workplaces, and apply to internships like this! They give me a lot of confidence!
Applying to the Concert Career Pathways program only seemed natural after I learned about it at a concert! I have been to two concerts at the UC Theater and I think my first time it was talked about before or after the show. It was honestly perfect. My first impressions of the venue were very positive, I had a great experience with the staff and the concert itself was amazing. Then I learned about the pathway program and I had already thought about a career in some type of music avenue, though I've only had experience writing about the music or concerts I've been to. Exploring different avenues is very compelling to me!
Hello! I am a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz, with degrees in History and Cognitive Science. I enjoy skating, going on hikes, painting, and all aspects of music- from seeing live shows to writing and producing songs of my own. I aspire to use art to find new ways of experiencing the beauty in life every day. I am in love with the composition of music- the way each element comes together to create a song always captivates me. I have surrounded myself with music my whole life- from being in shows as a young girl, to guitar and piano lessons, to performing with my friends in college. I am a poet and a writer, I enjoy writing my own songs, and the notes app on my phone is always filled with lyrics.
I am inspired by my mother and her determination to provide a loving environment for her family. With dedication like hers, I hope to successfully include music in my career for the rest of my life. I would like to be a part of the music industry while I am young, and then eventually work as a music therapist for children.
I am very happy to be a part of the Concert Pathways Program. I applied because I want to experience giving back to the community with music. I think that the music industry and the connections I make will really help me grow on a personal, and hopefully professional level. I also want to get more experience with music production, I have a little bit of knowledge, but I really want to learn more. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I can't wait to get started!
My name is Sophia and I use they/them pronouns! I’m a sophomore at UC Berkeley by day, singer-songwriter by night. I grew up in San Francisco and I began my journey in the music industry recording and producing my music at local teen arts blog Sunset Media Wave. As of recently you can catch me playing with my band Swell Foop at DIY venues and backyard stages near you :D
I'm studying Ethnic Studies and Art History at Cal, combining the two as I explore the ways in which art reflects social and historical phenomena and strive to find ways that thoughtful curation and analysis can deconstruct and challenge our biased and unjust social infrastructures. As a mixed-race person, I’m also very interested in the ways in which the cultural exchange that has occurred through international art spaces over the centuries literally paints a history of people like me, who transcend conventionally known cultures, aesthetics, and categories. As music helps me find the words to express my experiences, I am simultaneously continuing that process of self-discovery by engaging with and drawing inspiration from this history.
Over the past year living in the East Bay I have been welcomed into Berkeley’s student-driven music scene, and I feel strength in my community and the interdependent networks of exchange, support, and love that sustain it. The generosity I have received has propelled me to where I am today, and I am motivated and committed to return to my community throughout this journey, sharing my growing knowledge as a musician and audio engineer. I will do my part to make professional venues and studio spaces more accessible to the people who share in this interdependent web, and to all of the new faces that come to join it. I’ve gotten a taste of what this work looks like through programs run by Bay Area nonprofit Women’s Audio Mission and SF-based nonprofit Big Leap Collective, which bridge that gap and strive for empowerment and inclusion. I also write for Berkeley’s student run music magazine, B-Side, which centers BIPOC artists in the hopes of challenging the whiteness that dominates music, expanding and diversifying our perspectives about the music industry. Along with covering shows by major artists, the publication is attuned to the happenings of the local scene—it brings me joy to interview and write about students and alumni who have become its most dedicated figures, and who I have had the honor of crossing paths with along the way. I hope to boost their voices so the world can hear what they have to say.
When I’m not hunched over my laptop in one of Berkeley’s various on-campus libraries or playing a set with the band, I love to bake and crochet. I have an alarmingly large plant collection that seems to grow by the day—hit my line for philodendron cuttings. My most recent new pursuits are learning how to knit (!!!) and growing my humble CD library. I hope to see you at the UC Theatre or at one of my shows someday!
My name is Thomas Gerney, I’m 21 years old and a Sophomore at College at College of Marin. I love fashion, design, pop culture, and obviously music. I’ve always had a passion for music and have felt a strong pull towards doing it as a career, but it wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I decided to put everything I had to make it happen. I plan on transferring to either NYU, USC, Berklee, or CSU Northridge to pursue a degree in music business.
I'm the pursuit of this I was on the hunt for internships, volunteer opportunities, or mentorship programs that’s would give me the opportunity to put my foot in the door. But quickly I found that these opportunities were inaccessible, mainly because of a lack of experience. After tens of hours searching for opportunities, I received an email from the UC Theatre and was put on their volunteer Usher list. After doing a few shows I noticed the CCP booth and read the information, quickly realizing that this program was exactly what I was looking for. Within the week I sent in my application. A couple months later I was accepted and was one step closer to my goal of being in the industry.
My goal in the industry is to inhabit the record label space and work as an A&R executive, eventually starting my own label. As a BIPOC and a member of the LGBTQ, my goal is to create a label focused on diversity and representation. I feel record labels have a duty to promote artists who are from underrepresented communities and who promote ideologies that aren’t being talked about in the mainstream. Culture is the biggest influence on social structures and to change the culture is to promote social change. The tools learned at CCP will give me the knowledge and the foundations to be able to do this.
Toriano Arystin Joe
So, a quick run down of who I am and where I’m from. My name is Toriano Arystin Joe, He/him/they/them. I just go by Joe though because it’s easier and a lot of my friends usually refer to me as that. You can also find me on social media @arystinily. But besides that I was born and raised in Modesto CA. Although it may be a small town, I’ve always been the type of person to take cross country road trips and travel as far as I could. I love the bay area and lived here for about a year when I was 18. And I have family here so I’ve spent a lot of time in the City and in Oakland. I love seeing new things and being involved with places with a lot of life. Im Native American Tlingit and am proud of my heritage and people. Besides that though I am hispanic coming from Natives that originated in New Mexico and family is really important to me.
Career wise , I’ve always been interested in theatre and have been since I was a child. Music has always compelled me and finding a career I would enjoy doing and make money while doing it sounds great. And although amateur I was apart of an in depth theatre production program throughout highschool called the PAA. I am also an aspiring engineer because I’ve recognized that we need more personal action towards finding solutions to reverse climate change. And that’s what I’m currently going to Uni for. But also as a background I took a couple years off to think about what I wanted out of my life and during that time I was a Carpenter’s Apprentice. I’m definitely proud of my work but moving thousands of pounds of metal studs and sheetrock on the daily just seemed unsustainable to keep doing for another 25 years. It also made me realize how grateful I was for the opportunity to go to school.
And then I guess that leads us to here. I’m super excited to participate in this program and can’t wait to be as involved as I can. All the workshops and training that is available all sounds definitely so dope. The connections the Theatre has are very inspiring. So I’m excited to meet you all and talk too for sure some interesting people with interesting stories. So that’s me, if there is anything else you’d like to know or would just like to talk, I’m a pretty open person so let me know.
I've loved music my whole life and knew that that was the industry I wanted to work in ever since I saw Hannah Montana for the first time when I was 6 years old. In high school, I started a rock band where I played guitar and played at various venues across the San Francisco Bay Area. That band ended when we all graduated, and I took a break from playing in bands when I got to college, but I still attended many local shows and saw other bands play. The new music scene I became a part of in college inspired me to create an Instagram account that promoted local shows and posted about local bands’ new music. In my last year of college, I had the chance to take classes about recording audio, as well as mixing and mastering. I also got to take film production classes where I was able to work on a short film. For the short film, my roles were to record sound, work on set design, do makeup and wardrobe for our actors, and help with editing in post-production and help promote the premiere event.
For now, I’ve had my fill of being a performer, but I’d really like to gain more experience on recording audio in a studio or work on sound for other artists’ live performances. I also loved recording sound and editing for the short film, so video/film production is also something that I would really love to do more of in the future. While I was applying to jobs after graduating college, I found myself feeling very underqualified for many of the positions that were being offered for jobs related to audio or video. When I saw Concert Career Pathways, it seemed like a great opportunity to gain more practice on the skills I already had, as well as learn new skills and be able to work on larger scale concerts.
When I was younger, I was inspired the most by female musicians such as Joan Jett, Avril Lavigne, The Runaways, and Taylor Swift, and I wanted to be famous and successful like them. I’m still inspired by them, but now, I look up to my friends and former bandmates. They’ve all grown so much beyond our little high school band, and I’ve always admired how hardworking and passionate they are about writing, recording, and performing their music especially as women, and they inspire me to work hard and achieve my goals.
Lemme break it down for you: On paper I was born as Valerie Templos, and around the time I was in elementary school I knew I wasn’t cisgender. I started going by Wheatley around 2014 when I figured out I was agender. How? I heard about it on tumblr. Cringe? Maybe. But there is no shame in figuring out who you are. I moved to San Francisco after I graduated from high school, I wanted freedom! Individuality! Things that were never given to me when I lived with my family, whom I’ve yet to come out to considering their response to when Caitlyn Jenner made her transition in 2015.
One of the few things I was allowed to do when I still lived with my family was go to concerts. I’m the type of person who camps out eight hours before doors open to ensure that I get a spot at the front. Eventually, I camped out at the same venues enough times that I befriended venue staff, where I had an epiphany on the sidewalk: could this be my destiny, working within concerts? Contributing to the collective experience of enjoying music with hundreds of other fans? It was one thing to attend the concerts & another to meet the artists afterwards, but I thought long and hard, connecting it to life lessons taught to me by my role models: that we are put on this earth for three reason: to work hard, to enjoy & be fulfilled by our work, and to eat well. So I switched my major from Computer Science (a major my family wanted me to pursue) to Tourism & Hospitality. I was determined to get my start in the concert industry to eventually work my way into a Tour Manager, where I’d make sure bands that deserved some exposure got to see what the west coast has to offer.
In regards to who inspires me, there’s a lot of people! One of the first bands I got to see perform live, Ninja Sex Party, gave me a lot of ideas on how I could live my life. Brian Wecht, also known as Ninja Brian from NSP, was this renowned theoretical physicist that retired in 2015 to pursue a career in music & now makes beaucoup bucks slinging out comedy albums. I ran into him once around that time, and we talked a lot about doing things that make you happy but also knowing you can be two things, as he put it. A notable individual that excels in whatever field they choose, but also pursues their dreams & lives them! For me, that’s living as my Real Self, Wheatley Hastings, being the first college graduate in their family & making their dreams of working within concerts a reality. My cat Archimedes is also my main motivation these days. Everything I do, everything I sacrifice or compromise for, is for him! I take an hour-long bus to get the fancy raw cat food he likes so much. In return, he steps on my frail body & pokes his whiskers in my face
Cohort #6 (2021-2022)
My name is Izabella Rocio Estrada, however, I go by Bella. I am originally from Los Angeles and moved to the Bay Area to go to school at UC Berkeley where I majored in Media Studies and have since taken interest in project management and the live music industry. In my free time, I enjoy reading, cleaning, traveling, working out, or of course, going to concerts.
My aspirations are to hold a senior project management position at a live music company or venue. Two things inspire me to achieve my goals: my love for live music and also the motivation to bring Latina representation to senior management positions. My love for music began at an early age with the influence of my parents— from introducing me to classic rock, oldies, and Mexican rock to naming me after a Jimi Hendrix song, they really planted the seed of my love for music from the get-go. As I grew older, my knowledge base increased as did my interest when I was able to attend live shows and discover my own taste in genres. Since then, I have found true solace in the art of music and the communal togetherness it brings to everyone through a shared experience unique to each night or performance in any venue at a given time. Moving on to college and the job force, I have increasingly found that there is a need for more LatinX women in the music industry. Although that need is not limited to the corporate level, of course, my interest and push to excel have been fueled by my recognition of this necessity.
I applied to Concert Career Pathway Programs because of their comprehensive and thorough curriculum. The program is one that is committed to its intent to educate and prepare its students to succeed in the concert industry after its completion. Additionally, the UC Berkeley Theatre is an amazing venue and hosts a diverse array of spectacular shows, and also recognizes the importance of wholesome and progressive initiatives.
Citlalli Odette Coria is a multidisciplinary artist and storyteller that likes to exist and observe in the in-betweens of life. Though her formal introduction to storytelling and creative expression was introduced to her through dance at the age of 7; it did not begin there, nor does it end —— in general.
As much as she loves to put her ideas and emotions into words, her constant is telling a story without them; like the silence and stillness. She believes this is what pulls to her the most about capturing or creating moments through a lens.
A mantra that has stayed with her from dance is thinking of a ball you need to balance and keep flowing from limb to limb. And to do so you must effectively use your space, pauses, stillness, and movement to allow the story to unravel itself. This is what she carries in all the ways she gets to express a story.
She is slowly coming to terms with knowing that perhaps what she desires/aspires to be is something; an idea she must re-imagine —— something she is unintentionally, but with intention; challenging. Yes she is a multidisciplinary-dimensional artist, yes she is a storyteller; but how does she exist this way for herself? In a way that isn’t something, she is regurgitating into the world? —— how does she make it her own, to then invite others to do the same; live in your own purpose, allow space for that self-freedom to actualize itself.
She is gifted with the opportunity to even ponder on her purpose and existence. She has the privilege of choice. When she thinks about this she can’t help but to feel inspiration from her lineage, from her DNA, from the people who see her, hold her, protect her, and love her —— Ancestors & family in blood as well chosen. With grace, strength, and courage she walks this path with the honor of imagining and re-imagining a future that is not here yet but on its way.
Hello! My name is Dylan Guzman and I am a musician from the East Bay. I have loved creating music and art all my life and I am most inspired by my parents and my family. My family has worked their way to bring our family to the USA from Mexico to give us better opportunities. It is a privilege to be able to spend my free time expressing myself through music. My parents inspire me to be creative, freely express myself, and follow my dreams of being an artist. I am looking forward to joining the UC Theatre Concert Career Pathways program as it would be the first major step I take into my career of working with live music. I love where I am from and I am looking forward to joining my community and sharing a love for music and education.
My name is Eric Sweeney, and I’m a recent graduate of UC Davis, where I studied English with a focus on literature and critical theory. While I was a student, I became interested in the concept of intertextuality and how different art forms such as music might be understood as texts. When I heard about the Concert Career Pathways Program, I realized that this would present an opportunity to explore and express the value of music beyond its auditory dimension.
While I haven’t settled on a clear career goal, I want to expand arts education in Bay Area schools. At the present moment, I think our education system undervalues music and arts in general. Additionally, I am a firm believer that community-building is an important aspect of learning and understanding different perspectives within the education sphere. As such, I hope to work towards building stronger communities into the structure of the education system.
When I’m not listening to music, you can find me riding my bike up to Grizzly Peak or running on any of the East Bay’s numerous trails; or, you could just as likely find me at home reading or watching movies.
Who am I? Besides the simple fact that my legal name is Erik Ikeda Lafferty (I go by my mom’s maiden name, Mamanta, when possible), I’m 21 years old, a Gemini, queer and non-binary (they/them). I’m a radio DJ, gardener/landscaper, and community activist. A lot of my inner fortitude and motivation to live comes from my tapping into my Filipino and Japanese culture, and reconnecting with myself after being socialized as an American for most of my life (as most of us are!). It is a lifelong goal of mine to always be growing, evolving, and contributing my energy to the communities that I love.
Being a part of continuous change for a community that I respect and cherish is a journey I have always wanted to be traveling on. Growing up queer and nonbinary, I never really had role models or saw people like myself in media which felt extremely isolating. I KNOW if I had some kind of queer community around me, I would have come out sooner and begun the process of loving my authentic self.
These coming-of-age experiences led me to want to be some kind of queer youth advocate and help create spaces where queer people can live our queer lives, in our queer worlds. I want to be a mentor who facilitates educational workshops and community organizing opportunities with queer youth because I am exactly who I wish younger Erik had in their life. Continuing this journey through your program will provide me with not only a wide set of skills that I’ll take with me after, but give me the opportunity to begin building important connections here in the Bay Area. And, I learn quickly and know how to get stuff done, so I know I’ll be a pleasant addition to your team :)
Israel Flores, is a 22-year old man born and raised in the SF Bay Area. He is currently in his final year of college, pursuing a degree in Business with a concentration in Management. Flores is mainly inspired by his family. Before starting a family, his parents made a hard decision to move to the Bay Area. Being the youngest (and last) person in his family to pursue a career inspires him to prove to his parents that they made the right decision. Because the Concert Career Pathways program provides hands-on experience in many aspects that Flores is interested in, he felt like it was a good addition to his life. He also wants to figure out if concert management is where he would want to take his career, and the CCP program will help him figure out just that. Even though he has not been to many concerts, his initial thoughts were that these big events are all coordinated for the love of the music. His love and interest in music have made him want to learn how to be a part of what it takes to coordinate big events.
Jay C. Williams
Jaylen C.Williams (Jay C.), is a current college student at San José State University majoring in Radio-Television-Film, where he has held the position of Video Manager for SJSU’s Peer Connections for two years. Jaylen has a strong passion for cinema and the process in which it is created. Jay C. has demonstrated production experience in photography and video editing software programs such as; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Media Encoder, and more.
Jay C. is aspiring to be a great screenwriter, producer, and director. Jaylen uses his current knowledge in film production to create his own content. As he maneuvers through the continuation of nine years of experience; he seeks to connect and form a stronger creative community. Jay C. is truly passionate about the Concert Career Pathways program and he will not waste the opportunity. His plans are to apply the skills he will learn in the program for managing or creating music videos in the future. He wants people to know that what he learns will not be pure spectacle or entertainment, but he has the need and he wants to understand the overall production that goes into projects that cross between industries.
I'm an artist (musician and writer) who is passionate about what they do. I love watching movies, hiking, going to museums, and finding new experiences. I've learned that there's always something new to learn and want to always keep growing.
I aspire to put myself in a position where I can exist comfortably doing things that I love with people who can admire similar things.
I applied to the concert career pathways program because I believe that I will experience some of the things that inspire me most, namely being around music and the people who love it and the people who create it.
My name is Katherine Millo and I grew up in Southern California. In high school, I always had the vision that I would pursue a future in the sciences, such as a path in medical school, because that is what everyone told me what I should do. I did it, but I never had a passion for such things. In college, I started listening to a lot more music and found myself researching the different jobs behind producing music to actually performing it. This was the type of industry I had a genuine interest in and could clearly see myself being apart of for the rest of my life. I would love to explore the different realms of technology in music and hopefully, one day end up building recording studios.
Hello! I’m Kenji and I am a musician, programmer, and game enthusiast! I love doing yoga, cheffing and eating yummy food, and playing games with my friends. I’m a fan of all manner of games; I play Commander MTG, board games, and a variety of video games. I’m interested in game development because it is a fascinating amalgamation of interactive media!
I have been using Ableton for 9 years now, but my musical interests took root because of Berkeley’s music program! In seventh grade, I started writing music for a band I was in. I kept on making music with friends and different groups I was in throughout high school and college thereafter. Some of my musical inspirations include Sam Gellaitry, KAYTRANADA, Flying Lotus, Wheezy, Ellzo, Far Caspian, and much more!
Ultimately, I want to synthesize my skills and interests into art that moves people. I love being able to identify creative decisions in art and appreciate the artist’s skill and judgement. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to learn about how a venue like this comes together to produce a performance because artistic spaces inform the perception of art displayed within. Through this experience, I hope to elevate the experiences I’m able to create through my art!
Hi there, I’m Le-Anne! So to start off with the basics: I’m 24 years old, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019, and now live in the city with 3 of my closest friends from college. My favorite cuisine is Thai food, I’m always up for a good, psychological thriller, and I'm always trying to push myself to try new things and learn new skills. Most recently I’ve taken up skateboarding; I’m no pro yet but I'm pretty proud of myself for being able to ride down a smooth, flat road without falling :D
Other than that, the rest of my life is occupied by music! I play the piano and guitar, I sing, I make my own music, and consume hours of it on a daily basis. In my spare time you’ll most likely find me looking up the chords to a random song I just discovered, experimenting with writing my own music, listening to Alvvays or Young the Giant on repeat, and/or desperately trying to mix my own music (still in the process of learning lol). As a result, I hope to have an exciting, successful, and long-lasting career in the music industry, whether I’m making it or helping to make it happen!
The two main things that drive me to always strive for more are my fear of not living up to my potential and the desire to do right by all the amazing, supportive people in my life. I hate letting people down, especially the people I care most about; and that includes myself! Which is in a nutshell why I chose to apply to the Concert Career Pathways Program.
Music has always been a huge and important part of my life. However, I never really considered it as a career until the pandemic hit. When we were all suddenly forced to stay at home with just our thoughts to keep us company (and haunt us), I started to take notice of what truly made me happy in life. I discovered (as you probably have already guessed) that it was music.
Unfortunately, I had no idea how to break into the industry, let alone what roles or careers one could pursue in the illustrious space. So, when I got a newsletter from the UC Theatre boasting this explorative program for people passionate about music but having little to no experience, I jumped at the chance to apply! And the rest is history…
Hello! My name is Logan Hammon and I am a 21-year-old born and raised in the East Bay Area. Living here my whole life I feel so lucky to have been surrounded by such an amazing community that has shaped me into the person I am today. I attended San Leandro High school and was a part of their multimedia program for 3 years where we learned about videography, graphic design, and photography. My whole life I have been interested in how we can use technology in a creative way to bring people together. I took these principles and carried them into my band Small Crush. I love to design every part of our releases and build branding that is fun and recognizable.
In my time playing in my band I have discovered so much about the world. Through the power of music, we can connect and unite people to do amazing things and inspire others through my words and melodies. I have always played a huge role in booking, managing, and designing for my band. I have been lucky to meet some of my favorite musicians and host shows bringing my closest friends and newcomers to the scene altogether. Seeing how people are able to make connections and enjoy themselves has been the most fulfilling part for me. It inspires me and pushes me to keep the DIY morals in everything I do. I am super fortunate to be a part of Asian man records, a record label that is based in good ethics and treating musicians fairly.
In the future I hope to continue making music and be a part of the scene in any way possible whether it’s helping in design, managing or helping bands grow to their fullest potential. I am super excited to be a part of this program to learn more behind the scene aspects of what it’s like putting full production shows together. Every aspect of putting on a show is equally important and helps bring people together for a night of fun that they will remember for years to come. I am eager to help out in any way I can to make a show a great experience for everyone involved.
Mal is a 24-year old graduate from Northern California. After studying Communications at San Francisco State University for 4 years, they decided to extend their stay in the city and be with their family. Outside of work, Mal is a homebody that enjoys cooking, crafting, making playlists, and binge-watching reality TV.
Finding the application for the Concert Career Pathways Program felt like the perfect opportunity for Mal to find her footing in her career; she has always had a love for music and the overall experience of attending a live show, but was never sure how to make it into the industry. What inspires Mal is their family and their chosen family; they firmly believe that the love and compassion one finds in their community, at whatever stage in life, can truly help shape you into the best version of yourself, even when you’re not sure what that looks like yet. Mal finds it crucial for spaces to be curated in a way that feels safe, especially in an industry where the environment can be loud and overwhelming at times. Mal wants to further their exploration into the live music industry, in any capacity where they can learn and integrate their own thoughts, ideas, and grow their knowledge into a career.
Miguel Marquez (he/they) is a Senior at the University of California, Berkeley studying Sociology. Growing up, many kids teased him about his music taste by saying that it was "too gay and too girly". However, now that Miguel has been fortunate enough to study sociology he understands that there was (and is) nothing wrong with the type of music they listen to. Because of this, Miguel has a commitment to diversifying the music industry. They believe that there is nothing more powerful in this world than music. because music is universal and transcends many borders and barriers. He hopes to be able to bring his commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to The UC Theatre in order to learn how it is possible to advance initiatives around this. Working in entertainment has been a new career pathway for Miguel after deciding that law school was not for him. Therefore, he feels very blessed and grateful to be a part of a program, and community, that also feels the same way!
Nicholas Soriano Smith
My name is Nicholas Soriano Smith. I’m a 20-year-old Filipino-American undergrad student from Daly City. I’ve studied within San Francisco State University’s BECA program for over a semester after transferring from Skyline College in San Bruno. I’m a part-time poet and used to frequent open mics around the Bay Area with my friends. Having been raised in a musical household, I’ve also grown to have a very deep-seated love for all things music.
While I truly aspire to be a solo musician, I understand the risk associated with the pursuit of such a goal, and, after years of self-producing and recording in my bedroom—a process which helped me appreciate the role of good mixing in a recording or live performance—I decided that I would study audio engineering. Not only will what I learn to allow me to better record and produce my own music, but it will enable me to still have a career in which music (or, at the very least, sound) is a central component. Hopefully, a job as an engineer for a good studio (or, maybe, even as a studio owner) is in my future.
I found out about the Concert Career Pathways Program while searching for seemingly-nonexistent audio engineering internships around the Bay Area. After reading further into it, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for me; I’d get to learn about the operations of a concert venue, get to meet people within the industry, and get to develop my audio engineering skillset in a live-music setting. Naturally, I applied as quickly as I could, and am excited to be a part of the program today.
Hi! My name is Olivia Cerio and I’m a recent graduate from UC Berkeley where I majored in Film and Media studies. I’m a huge film buff with a greater interest in all forms of visual art including live performance. I’ve directed several short films/music videos and volunteered with the BAMPFA to create events to connect students with the museum.
At UC Berkeley, I also co-taught a production course on how to make music videos with a strong focus on DIY and accessible filming styles. I was really inspired by all of the students’ unique perspectives and was so proud to see all of them be able to make their own music videos with my guidance.
I hope to be able to further work with artists and uplift their work more, especially by setting up events and shows that allow them to further connect with a wider audience and community. I would like to learn more about what career options align with this aspiration and how I can integrate my passion for concerts and digital media as well. My mom was a talent manager for many years, so I’m very interested in the idea of directly dealing with the talent when working on an event. I also have a lot of stagehand experience which I am comfortable in and love to do.
I applied to this program because I appreciate how it provides a good transitional opportunity for me right out of college where I can get direct experience in the industry while still having access to a class-like format. I also applied because of a good friend’s recommendation; developing a greater community and artist base to create art with would be wonderful, and this program seems like a great place to cultivate that. I really enjoy being able to talk with people about their passions and seeing if there is an opportunity to collaborate together. I am very excited to be a part of this program!
Paulina [Pau] Acosta Ruiz (they/them, she/her, he/him) was born and raised on Tamien Ohlone Land (San José, CA) and is an artist, music teacher, lover of folkloric protest music from the Americas, and all things that move people to create social movements. Paulina’s love for live music also stems from her family’s history and legacy: Her grandparents made a living performing and composing songs. They honor this family tradition by making their own music and creating covers and experimental autobiographical audio projects.
They are excited to be a part of the Concert Career Pathways Program because concerts were the first place they discovered that music was powerful enough to move masses of people. As an advocate for LGBTQIA+ BIPOC artists, venues, and music students throughout the Bay Area, they are interested in what social, racial, physical, gender, and financial accessibility looks like in the concert industry and plans to serve as a connection for their students and other Bay Area youth and young adults who have less access to the industry.
I began in music on a very traditional route with lessons and recitals. It wasn’t until I was in college that I chose to follow a career in the music industry and focused my studies on music technology. Here I noticed the difficulty in breaking into any aspect of the industry and questioned my place in this profession. I decided to continue my studies and find a way to break the barriers that almost held me back.
There are two main reasons I find myself driven enough to keep working towards a career in the music industry the first of which is my family. I see it as my duty to make them proud while appreciating them and acknowledging the privilege I have in following the path I chose for myself while being fully supported by those I trust most. Second I am driven by my passion for music. There is so much more to the music industry than people realize and the opportunities for innovation in music are everywhere if we’re willing to look for them. The idea that music is universal is debatable, to say the least but if we don’t allow diverse creators and distributors to thrive how can it truly be universal.
When I found out about the Concert Career Pathways program I was in disbelief that such a perfect opportunity was available to me. Not only was there a reputable and experienced organization willing to teach but they were specifically reaching out to those that are hungry to work in the industry and pay it forward. The assortment of learning opportunities pushed me to apply due to the real-world applications of these skills. I am certain this program is the right fit for me because I too believe in creating more diverse and equitable spaces in music.
Hello! My name is Ruby Burley and I’m a student at the American University of Paris where I study communications and film. I grew up in Berkeley, CA, with my parents and older brother. Growing up my mom inspired my love of live music by introducing me to a wide variety of artists and genres at a young age. As I got older, my love of live music has encouraged me to travel both in and out of the US. Going to see unique artists in South Korea and Paris ignited my passion to work in the music industry and led me to the UC Theatre’s program.
What truly inspired me to apply to the Concert Career Pathways program, however, was watching live sets from DJs and other artists during the pandemic. These sets brought me so much joy and made me feel connected to other people during an isolating time. I realized the importance of music not as just as a fun experience but as a way of connecting to people and communities around me. After the lockdowns in Paris, I decided that I wanted to be a part of bringing artists and people together through live music.
Going forward in the program I hope to learn the ins and outs of artist and stage management and I aspire to bring more global talents to communities across the US as well as locally.
My name is Sabina Lyon-Freedman and I am currently a high school student in San Francisco. My parents raised me surrounded by music and encouraged me to play music at an early age. As I got older, I became involved in volunteering and attending shows at local venues. Becoming immersed in the Bay Area music scene inspired me to want to pursue a career in the music industry and provide people with the great experiences that others in the industry provided me with.
Sharleen Esico is a 4th-year Business Management and Hospitality student at San Jose State University. As a second-generation Filipino-American, she grew up to be very family-oriented. She values hard work and selflessness, as these are characteristics that she finds in her mom.
Some things that inspire her are her student communities and skateboarding. To her, skating can teach someone perseverance, kindness, and unconditional support-- all of which are her fundamental rules to live by. Sharleen has a passion for performing arts and sporting events, as she has seen the impact it can make on event-goers. She applied to the Concert Career Program to learn more from mentors and get first-hand experience in the industry. In this program, she hopes to be a part of a community that promotes inclusion, resilience, and open-mindedness.
My name is Sierra Grindstaff, I am a 22-year-old, curious Gemini, who enjoys listening to new music, taking care of her plants, and loves to read books from those whose voices we rarely hear from. I'm a caring friend who enjoys listening and learning from others.
With little to no connections, combined with my high intimidation of the heavily male-dominated industry, I didn't know how to get involved in live music. I had almost given up on college because I felt like I would have to settle for a different career than what I had been interested in pursuing. When I discovered our on-campus radio station, KZSC, I learned that I could gain experience in radio broadcasting and other aspects of the music industry, but also earn a college degree in something that genuinely interested me. From there, I gained meaningful career experience and earned two Bachelors's degrees from UC Santa Cruz in Sociology and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies. My majors gave me additional insight into working with diverse populations and grew my compassion towards others.
I applied to the Concert Career Pathways Programs in hopes to continue building my skills within the live music industry so that one day I could open my own all-ages music venue. One day I will have a welcoming and safe music venue for all ages to enjoy live music performed by artists that are often underrepresented or left out completely by mainstream media. I hope to take these skills and give back to my communities by making my venue an educational space to youth and an employer to those who have difficulties finding work. Overall, with everything crazy in the world, I hope to hold space for joy.
By pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I will be able to add more tools to my tool belt, become more confident in my abilities professionally, and grow into the person that little Sierra always daydreamed about becoming.
My name is William Perez and I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I moved up to the Bay Area for college, and I'm about to enter my senior year at UC Berkeley.
Since my freshman year, I've been asked the same question over and over... what do you want to do? It's a valid question, but for about two years I could never give a valid answer. To fix that, I began exploring different areas of interest and taking a bunch of different classes. Funny enough, it wasn't a class or a club that helped me figure out what I truly wanted to do… it was my first concert.
My first concert was a Vince Staples show that had JPEGMAFIA and Channel Tres as openers. The concert was two years ago and I still talk about it as if it happened minutes ago. The range of emotions I felt before, during, and after the show, followed by the amazing experience I had within the span of 4 hours, made for an unforgettable concert filled with unforgettable memories. After that day, aside from beginning to spend all my money on concert tickets, I was finally able to truthfully answer the question, what do you want to do?
I want to work in music! Music has surrounded my life since the moment I was born, and I have my parents and brothers to thank for that. When I was growing up, my parents were informal dancers that would dance the day away from any chance they got, and my brothers were musicians that spent their days learning as many instruments as they could. So, it was no surprise to anyone when I asked my parents to teach me how to dance, or when I asked my brothers to teach me how to play an instrument. This mixed with my obsession with live music, led me to the realization that I want to work in music, specifically concerts.
In an effort to make my dream of working in concerts a reality, I applied to the Concerts Career Pathways Program. I love live music and this is exactly where I want to be. However, there’s more to the reason as to why I applied, and that’s due to the fact that I want to make the concert experience memorable for others. Attending a concert offers limitless possibilities towards making it a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The passion, excitement, and happiness that comes from seeing your favorite artist is unlike anything else. To be able to contribute to that feeling for other people, in any way possible, would make me the happiest person on the planet.
Hernan Ureña-Valdes, is a 22-year-old Mexican-American artist and designer from Northern California. He’d like to think of himself as a peaceful, easy-going, and curious person that loves all things creative. This past spring, Hernan graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Design, emphasizing fashion and graphics. Despite his love for design, and hard-earned degree, music is his true calling. His musical journey began the summer after his freshman year of college. After four years, he is a self-taught producer, songwriter, and keyboardist. His passion for music, interest in performance, and drive to learn, led him towards the Concert Career Pathways Internship. He hopes to learn the ins and outs of the concert Industry, support rising artists, and help put on a good show for the music community.
Cohort #5 (2020-2021)
My name is Abigail Armendaris, I’m a first-generation Mexican-American from Richmond, CA. The arts have always been a big part of my life. One of my aspirations is to build a company that creates and produces, shows that are geared towards a neurodiverse audience, for people to enjoy no matter their sensory needs. Concert Career Pathways Program is a one-of-a-kind program that will provide me the opportunity to learn what I need to know to achieve my goal. I believe this program will give me the tools to stand out and thrive in this industry.
Hello! I am Carlos Martin and some things to know about me are that I have lived in the East Bay my entire life, I am very passionate about music, I love to learn new things, and I love connecting with people. One of the reasons why I fell in love with music is because everyone who makes music, or any sort of art, has something to say and if you are open enough to it, you could take something very meaningful away from it.
I aspire to be able to say one day that I’ve built something meaningful for myself and others in my lifetime, whether that be through making music, helping my communities, or achieving things in my future work. It is my dream to make my loved ones proud and one day can give back to them and the communities that have helped me in my life.
I am at a stage in my life where I have a general idea of what I like to do and what my interests are, and the Concert Career Pathways Program has allowed me to explore and learn the ins and outs of the music industry.
My name is Cecilia Graham, I use She/Her pronouns and I am a senior at Berkeley High School. I’ve always loved music and have been going to shows at the U.C Theater since I was little. I was drawn to the Concert Career Pathways program because I want to be able to work behind the scenes and still be involved with live music without having to worry about performing. I am looking forward to graduating high school and going to college where I am looking at either majoring in communications or stage management. From there, who knows but I hope this program will allow me to pursue more opportunities in the music industry.
Chris Pun is from Hong Kong, China, and moved to San Francisco, California seven years ago. Currently, he is a freelance percussionist and percussion instructor based in San Francisco Bay Area.
His goal is to inspire and provide well-rounded percussion education for young percussionists in the community. Besides performing and teaching, his experience working as a concert manager at SJSU allows him to explore different paths in the music industry. Through this program, he hopes to explore many positions and gain new skills, especially in graphic design, marketing, and production.
Claire Talbott is a 21-year-old creative director from San Francisco, CA. She has developed and led multiple creative initiatives and advocacy groups for underrepresented youth all over the world. In addition to her extensive activism, Claire is constantly experimenting creatively, whether that means directing short films over FaceTime, devising performance art pieces, or animating experimental music videos. Through the Concert Career Pathways program, Claire hopes to develop her understanding of the live entertainment business and connect to the new generation of leading music industry professionals. In her rare moments of free time, you can find Claire surfing in odd corners of the world, scouring eBay for rare British music magazines, or spending all her money on dog toys.
My name is Eva Mukai and music is the one thing I have always loved immensely. I’m very passionate about live music and all the emotions that come before, during, and after the show. I long for the feeling of the crowd lifting you and diving off the stage into the arms of strangers that are all there for the same reason as you. Now in my free time, I find myself blasting my records and moshing alone while I pretend I’m in the pit. Due to the number of shows I attended over the years, I realized I aspired to be involved with the music industry in any way possible.
I am currently in my second year at UC Berkeley studying rhetoric and media studies. When reflecting upon both my experiences and friendships it is clear that most of my relationships stem from a mutual connection over music; thus, concert venues and live music hold a special place in my heart. With the changes that have ensued over the last year, I have been feeling an immense sense of loss for the smaller artists and creatives that are losing their income and ability to disseminate their work as a result of the virus, and am both eager and grateful to be a part of the fight to bring back live music in the safest way possible. Especially in times like these, I am so excited to be a part of a community that is equally passionate to not only bring music and joy to people during hard times but also support artists and community members while doing so.
My name is Fernanda Rojas and I was born and raised in the Bay Area. One of my favorite things to do is going to live concerts and seeing my favorite artists perform. I am inspired by my parents and have learned from them to work hard and achieve any goal. Thus, one of my goals is to pursue a career in the entertainment industry and to open a business of my own. I know this program will be a great learning experience to explore all these areas and gain the skills necessary to accomplish my goal.
Gabriela is a singer-songwriter, director, and recent graduate of USF’s Performing Arts and Social Justice program. Gabriela’s musicianship is driven by her love for learning and storytelling and found herself especially compelled by the community force of live performances.
She has had the privilege of directing small stages in the proscenium and black box theaters showcasing both cover songs and her compositions, as well as co-directing full-length choral concerts with Voices, USF’s collection of contemporary choirs. In participating in the UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways Program, she hopes to delve more deeply into sound engineering and lighting design, as well as gain a greater awareness of the other administrative and logistical roles involved in creating a full concert experience.
Gabriela has a variety of aspirations for her career, including nonprofit work in the concert sphere, continuing to write and produce her shows, and activism via music and the arts.
Hey, my name is Hudson Howard, and I am a 22-year-old musician from Berkeley, CA. I love being out in nature and I spend a lot of my time focused on creating music in pursuit of making a career out of it. I am fascinated by live concerts and aspire to put together a unique tour that combines animation and special effects with my music by using custom-made equipment that I would love to engineer one day. Down the line, I want to build a sort of artist collective/label where any and all artists can collaborate with and support each other in a robust creative community. My core aspiration is to make great music and inspire others through it.
My name is Jessie Gonzalez, and I am a senior at Madison Park Academy high school. I am really big into entertainment like sports, music, and video games. My dad is the person who introduced me to the live music industry and got me involved with mixing life, setting up speakers, cables, and lights. Because of him, I realized I liked learning these skills and bringing entertainment to people. As of now, my biggest aspiration is to someday be in a record label recording for people, making concerts live, or sound engineering a professional team. Applying to this program was really important to me because I think it is the first step to become a professional in this industry.
I go by Luci, and I’m a second-year college student who came to Berkeley to experience life away from home. Growing up close to family members who were artists and musicians made me appreciate different forms of self-expression and seek out opportunities to get involved in entertainment, culture, and performance. Especially in these times, when the industry is struggling to survive through the pandemic, I think it is really important to find ways to preserve these creative spaces that are so significant to many people.
My name is Marco Alvarado, and I am majoring in Business with a concentration in Marketing at Sacramento State. Aside from my studies, I currently write, record, and produce my own music, as well as have a background in podcasting. I come from a musical family that always pushed me to express myself and taught me to not be afraid when faced with adversity. Those tenants, thoughtful communication, and concentrated confidence serve as the cornerstones for my philosophy in business, my creative endeavors, and life. It is my goal to begin a career that will allow me to combine my love for music and artistry with my marketing degree and I believe this opportunity with the UC Theatre is my first step in achieving my goal.
Margelia Perez Moreno
Growing up, I have always had a deep interest in being part of the media and entertainment industry. I dreamed about being an actress or perhaps a pop star and now I’m fascinated with the planning, dedication, and learning process of trial & error that occurs behind the scenes. The unconditional love and support and numerous sacrifices my parents have done and continue to do for me are what encourages me to achieve my dreams. Whether it comes to personal goals or career ones, my parents’ words always ring in my head, “Elige lo que a ti te guste y te haga feliz” meaning go for whatever makes you happy.
Maritza M. Tapia
Maritza was born in the Central Valley of California and into a family which is native to the southern state of Michoacan, Mexico. Learning from the people who influence her the most, she looks to grow as a better person within her community. Agustin, Celia, David, Esther, Guadalupe, Jose, and all of her ancestors have inspired her to always be open to experiencing different realities, hoping to learn something better every day.
Live music and film photography are some of her favorite forms of human expression, and she hopes to one day produce her own album. Deeper than materialistic goals, she also wishes to form valueable bonds with those who cherish the same values along the way. Music has always inspired her by replicating life's themes in a way that diverts from words, which can be hard to understand. In the end, she is greatful to be a part of the CCP program because that means she can play a small role in that.
Originally from the San Diego area, Miranda Gauss didn’t grow up in a town with tangible opportunities for pursuing a career in the music industry. Once she moved to Napa, she found herself immersed in concerts and a music scene that only a place like the Bay Area could offer. The excitement she experiences at concerts feels even more powerful knowing that the rest of the audience is reveling in that energy too. She sees music venues as a space where people can feel something, whether joy or sorrow, in a collective way that makes you feel less alone and creates a sense of belonging. Miranda hopes to be someone who helps others feel that same magic that she feels at concerts.
My name is Naya. I guess you could say I am a person who doesn't really like the idea of biographies. I can list off facts about myself - I like going places alone, I hate canned tuna, and I sometimes drink too much tea - but what will you learn about me? The idea of independence inspires me to achieve my goals. I do not have a person that inspires me or a dream that I long for, but an idea of how I will live my life. While I do not have my life goals exactly laid out, I know that I will be striving for self-sustainability and happiness.
I was born in San Ramon, California, and graduated from Dougherty Valley High School. I’m in my senior year as a Cinema Major at San Francisco State University. My aspiration is to have a career where my creative practice is working at its fullest potential while being financially stable. I became interested in music after seeing my friends record their own music and as I was working with a video production company that did mostly music videos. As a film major, at San Francisco State University, I am interested in the effect that music has on the overall creation of film.
My name is Peter Deyi. I am a Great African Scholar. Born in Oakland, California residing until my preteens, then raised in Richmond, California. I am a Bay Area native from birth. Throughout grade school, I was an avid student-athlete playing basketball as my primary sport. After graduating from El Cerrito High School, I leaned toward creative arts and became inspired by artists and entrepreneurs like Damon Dash, Peter Tosh, and Jean-Michael Basquiat. One of my goals in life is to own a grassroots apparel flagship store based in the Bay Area. Ownership and becoming a creative entrepreneur are very important to me. I feel that Art, Technology, and Music go hand-in-hand. Knowing this I aspire to master the business of all these genres of our society. I believe that I can grow not just as a businessman but as an artist as well with my involvement in this program.
I was born and raised in Santa Monica, California, and recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Music has always been central in my life, so it became clear to me in early high school that my adult life would focus on music and bringing people together. I am fascinated by the way music can viscerally engage our emotions, and even our bodies, which speaks to the power of individual and collective connection this medium holds.
I applied to this program to figure out how I can meaningfully contribute to the music industry and to connect with other young people interested in making a positive impact in the world and on others through music and live events. Specifically, I want to do my part to create safe and inclusive spaces for underrepresented people.
My name is Slade Niemann and I am an excited and grateful recipient of the UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways Program Internship. I am someone who feels lucky to have had the support given to me throughout my life (so far) that has been full of adventures, learning, and challenges. My learning and challenges are somewhat intertwined: I was tested for and received an IEP in 4th grade which explained the difficulties I had which didn’t seem to be shared with others in my classes. In high school, while I had a small circle of close-knit friends and extremely supportive teachers, I also endured bullying from students and teachers as well. As difficult as this was, it taught me that it is important to find my voice and speak up when facing situations that are unacceptable, both on behalf of myself and others. I am a lover of music, playing guitar and being an unapologetic super-fan of several classic rock, punk, and metal artists, as well as having a deep appreciation for other music genres and artists. My inspirations in my life who push me to achieve my goals are, first and foremost, those who raised a me-my family and close family friends. Without their support and ongoing reminders of my self-worth, it would have been tough to impossible for me to have the confidence to go for the opportunities and experiences that have and will push me to grow and reach my true potential such as this internship.
My name is Sydnie, and I’m a Bay Area native who was involved in music during my high school experience, most notably in the choir and have maintained a strong interest in music and the creative fields since. Music helped me create my sense of self in my formative years, and still keeps me from a certain sense of inertia. I learned to understand my life through various Bjork albums, lived my teenage angst through entire Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson discographies downloaded on Mediafire, processed heartbreaks through Billie Holiday and Etta James, discovered the world through Ofra Haza and Lilly Tchiumba, emulated my writing through the works of Jeff Mangum and Pj Harvey. While I am comfortable saying that I do not know exactly what is in store for me, I can say that I hope to engage myself in some media platform and feel that the UC Theatre will equip me with the tools to get there.
Cohort #4 (2019-2020)
Arianna Briones was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has a close relationship with her family and part of that bond was formed around music. They’ve always enjoyed going to concerts together and listening to music. This opened a creative side to her and is one of the reasons why she does music, dance, and art. Her current goals are just to be as happy as she can be while still being productive. Her biggest goal is to have her own music venue where she can put on shows that bring everyone together. Though this is a lofty goal, Ariana hopes that this program will help her develop skills and find her niche to begin a career in the industry in the meantime.
Ben Sintchak, 17 years old, was born in Oakland and raised in Albany, California. Currently, he is a freshman at Diablo Valley College taking classes to explore his interests. His hobbies are skateboarding, photography, and graphic design. His goal is to take these hobbies and turn them into careers. When Ben was introduced to the Concert Career Pathways program he was really interested to learn more about the industry, especially production. With this opportunity, he wants to begin to build a portfolio as a concert photographer.
Bryanna Law was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Throughout her education, she was involved in band, choir, baton twirling, and musical theatre. However, while she loved having a life full of music, she didn’t see space for herself to create a career in the music industry. After discovering a love of electronic music events, Bry began doing promotional and volunteer work for music festivals. These experiences helped her realize that there are many career opportunities in the industry. Through this program she hopes to gain as many new skills as possible, especially in lighting design.
Cheryl Cushing was born and raised in Sacramento and recently graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California. She grew up in a family that loved music, but it wasn’t until high school that she realized she wanted to work in the industry. A guest speaker visited her band class to speak about his career. He had begun his career managing bands and eventually transitioned into owning and operating a recording studio. The next day she spoke to a guidance counselor about choosing a college with a music business program and was disappointed when they told her that programs like that didn’t exist. She is thrilled to be a part of the Concert Career Pathways Program. While participating in the program, she hopes to explore as many positions within live music as possible and develop a better sense of where her interests and skills are.
David Murphy is from Berkeley, California. While studying neuroscience at Northeastern University in Boston, David became immersed in the local DIY music scene, playing in bands and helping friends run shows out of their basements and attics. He quickly realized that his true passions were in booking, promoting, and organizing live music, and so he transitioned into a new career path. Now back home in his native Bay Area, David is excited to be a part of the Concert Career Pathways Program where he will gain firsthand experience in the technical and business details of the live music industry. His long-term goals point towards front-of-house management, where he can be involved in building relationships between artists and venues and to create a positive and inclusive environment for patrons, artists, and staff alike.
Degen Gleason-Hyman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to California with his parents when he was 13. As he grew, so did his interest in media entertainment. He wanted to become part of organizing and contributing to projects including short films, documentaries, and concerts. This interest led to him learning about the Concert Career Pathways Program, which has introduced him to everything that goes into creating a live music experience. Degen is happy to be involved with the graphic design and promotions departments at The UC Theatre.
Isaiah Upshaw is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and moved to Richmond, California three years ago. As a young musician, he has been exposed to numerous genres of music. He completely immersed himself into the music and arts scene in Minneapolis and feels that experience has shaped him into the person he is today. Through the program, Isaiah hopes to gain experience and network with professionals in the concert industry. He’s most excited to explore promotions and production more in-depth.
Ivan Cardenas is from San Francisco, California. There, he has been exposed to many different live music events. He believes that music brings together people from various backgrounds and makes them become a community. The connection that music makes amongst many people has driven Ivan to pursue a career within the music industry. He hopes to learn about the various departments that exist within the industry. In particular, Ivan is interested in artist management and bar operations. The Concert Career Pathways Program will provide the fundamental understanding Ivan needs in order to successfully thrive in his future endeavors.
After high school, Kate Konstantynowicz wasn’t sure what they wanted to do with their life. They spent about 5 years working in food service until they realized their passion for music production, audio engineering, and event production. They signed up for school at SAE Expression and have spent the last two years studying what they are most passionate about. When they found out about the Concert Career Pathways program, they thought it was too good to be true. This program has given them some incredible real world experience in the live music industry. Kate is confident that through this program, they will be able to gain enough experience and build connections and relationships that will help push them towards the career of their dreams.
Oakland native Kristian Manning is a nineteen-year-old student at Berkeley City College. Since her mom is a school provider and owned a summer camp, all of her childhood, she grew up around kids of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Through the Concert Career Pathways program, she is planning to gain more knowledge about the entertainment business. Her current goals are to elevate her creative production company, MasHoney, as well as start to create more content as a filmmaker. Her future career goals are to put MasHoney on the map that supports and elevates young artists of color, while working on becoming a professional writer, film director, etc. She wants to insert herself into as many creative positions as possible and knows that The UC Theatre will give her the tools to help reach her never-ending goals.
Marissa Gutierrez is originally from Manteca, California. Growing up, she always had a deep appreciation for the arts, especially music. If you were to ask her today, she would still tell you that going to concerts is one of her favorite hobbies. After she graduated from California State University, Chico in Media and Communications, she decided to follow her passions. She is most excited about being able to combine her love for the industry with her love for writing and photography. Marissa has always seen and felt the impact that live music can have on an individual, and is excited to contribute to creating spaces that are inclusive and safe. One of her career goals is to do photography professionally, either for an artist directly or for a music publication.
Monica Motta grew up in the small town of Discovery Bay, California. Some of her earliest memories are listening to music in the car and singing along with her family. Her family started taking her to concerts when she was a child and her love for live music grew as she got older. She started to go to multiple concerts a month and she couldn’t get enough music. That’s when she knew that she wanted to be in the live music industry. She is finishing up her degree in the Music Industry Program at the University of the Pacific, where she has had the ability to gain lots of experience in recorded music from studying it at school in a professional recording studio. Her career goal is to become a live sound engineer and feels that her participation in the program will help improve her skills and experience in order to get a job in the music industry.
Naomi Harrison-Clay was born and raised in New York City, where they were exposed to a robust community of artists, musicians, and poets from a very young age. They grew up experimenting with a variety of artistic mediums before landing on music– a discipline to which they choose to devote themselves as an interdisciplinary art. Naomi recently graduated from Mills College where they had many moving experiences collaborating with others and performing in unique and nurturing environments. This has led them to want to pursue a career in event management and sound engineering, which they believe The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program will aid them with. Naomi’s passion lies in creating environments that can facilitate vulnerable connection and collaboration across mediums, and provide resources to support folks who are generally excluded and underrepresented in the music industry. They hope to work specifically towards developing and running spaces that are 100% accessible and center the talent and management of queer and trans/nonbinary people.
Growing up in a very musical family has had its perks for Sarah Zamjahn. In the past 4 years, she has attended so many concerts that she’s lost count. She thinks that getting to experience something you love with other people that love the same thing as you is the best feeling. She went to Los Medanos College for Recording Arts, but she always knew that she wanted to get into the live music industry, which is where the Concert Career Pathways Program comes into play. Something that has always fascinated Sarah about this industry is the potential for her to make a living touring with acts and visiting other places around the world, all while doing something she loves. She is excited to see where in the live music industry the connections made in this program will lead her to as she begins her career in the industry.
Wanny Mei grew up trying to absorb as much culture as she possibly could. One of her favorite mediums to do that was through music. Now, at 21 years old, Wanny is studying Sociology at UC Berkeley to further analyze the society around her and hopefully apply that knowledge to make a positive impact. Wanny hopes to learn as much as she can from The UC Theatre Concert Career Pathways Education Program in marketing and promotions and the roles they play in making the concert experience memorable and impactful for the audience. She believes that live music can connect people and build community, and she is excited to be a part of that. Ultimately, Wanny would like to work on putting together and promoting larger-scale festivals in the future.
Cohort #3 (2018-2019)
Briana Pike is from Clayton, California. As a pre-teen, she was exposed to live music environments and has found her passion. She has met some of her best friends and favorite bands through going to shows from an early age. Live music has provided her a consistently safe space for herself over the years. She studied within the Music Industry program at Diablo Valley College through participating in the Concert Career Pathways program, Briana is excited to learn all of the aspects of running a venue, including how to create a great atmosphere. She is most excited about marketing, production, and front-of-house operations. She is hoping to get into artist management or even possibly owning a venue!
Cameron McGowan aka JusDizz is a rapper from Oakland, California. He spends his free time working diligently towards achieving his goal of touring the world; hip hop has been his way of progressing towards that goal. Cameron has been performing and writing his own music for 10 years. It has shaped him to be very comfortable with public speaking. He intends on becoming a lead artist on the charts. Through using this position he wants to impact the world to change. Cameron believes the ability to market is highly necessary to achieve this and feels that his participation in the Concert Career Pathways program will help him hone his skills to become a force in the industry.
Cristal Molina is 17 years old, born in Berkeley, raised in Richmond, and now lives in San Pablo. She is a senior at Richmond High Schools CAPA program. She finds music relaxing and is very interested in seeing all of the different ways that go into making an artist successful. Ideally, she wants to become an actress and she is also interested in other career paths – editing, finance, and education. She sees herself participating in the Concert Career Pathways program as an opportunity to explore various ways to express herself and see where life takes her.
Jade Aguigui is from Fairfield, California, and attends Diablo Valley College, where she double majors in Music Industry Studies and Sociology and hopes to prepare herself for a career that tackles social injustice within the music industry. Her main interest is to create inclusive spaces for women of color and LGBT+ folks because she has noticed a lack of representation in the industry. While she loves learning as much as possible about the industry in general, she is especially fascinated by audio since women make up less than 5% of this field. In addition to participating in Concert Career Pathways, she works with Another Planet Entertainment, Women in Music festival, and as a multimedia manager for an emerging rap collective. Jade is excited to learn about the ins and outs of the live music scene from a nonprofit venue.
Joey Miller is from Martinez, California where his interest in concerts sprouted. His small-town didn't have any venues so he started putting on concerts at places from garages to veteran halls. He graduated from Martinez DIY to 924 Gilman Street Project in Berkeley, California, where he continues to book talent and do sound. Through all of the artists that he listened to, he realized that it was the support of the DIY community and record labels that made it possible to hear these artists. This piqued his interest in the recording side of the industry and he started to volunteer for the local record label, Asian Man records. He is grateful for all that he has learned about the music industry through the DIY scene and now he is excited to learn even more through The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program.
Lauren Lamboy grew up throughout the Bay Area – Pinole, Albany, Richmond, and Oakland. Since she was a teenager she has had a passion for the music industry doing both front-of-house and monitor sound mixing as well as concert photography and videography. She is excited to learn about all of the aspects of the live music industry and sees The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program as a way to further her skills in sound engineering and explore talent buying, graphic design, box office, and bar operations. She is particularly interested in establishing connections within the industry so that she can pursue her career goals of becoming either a touring sound engineering or artists’ photographer/videographer.
Mamie Willis was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico into a family of artists, scholars, dancers, architects, and poets, all black women. Through these people, she learned that she is an artist of many media and that her passion and imagination can take her anywhere. As a singer, bass player, occasional actress, and dancer, she realized that a good show is equally dependent on both the quality of performance as well as the event production. She believes in spaces where artistic people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ people are celebrated and promoted. Through participating in The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program, she hopes to learn the skills that will help her create these spaces. She loves the feeling of bringing a community together to celebrate and express themselves and plans to work hard on making this happen.
Rebekah Gonzales is from the small city of Dinuba in California’s Central Valley. Growing up in such a small and limiting area lead her to do performing arts from 1st to 12th-grade education. She loves attending concerts and knowing that for a few hours, everyone around is experiencing something similar. That's why she is excited to learn about production and other aspects of the live music industry through The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program. She wants to be knowledgeable and capable of helping create the spaces that have made her life fun and meaningful. Rebekah’s career goal is to be a working music journalist and photographer. She is excited to learn as much as possible about the entertainment industry.
Rosy Wu is from San Diego and is studying Business Administration at U.C. Berkeley. In her Events and Program Assistant position at Haas Alumni Relations Office, she has gained valuable experience through helping plan seven signature events which include Homecoming, Gala, and the Alumni Conference. Event planning comes naturally to her and she loves the adrenaline rush she gets during the event that she’s been working towards. From The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program, she wants to learn the process that goes into planning a concert from start to finish. One day, she would like to become an event planner and she is very excited to soak up the knowledge from UCT staff which she can hopefully apply in the future.
Solomon Davis was born and raised in the lively and diverse community of South Berkeley. As a senior majoring in radio, television, and film at San Jose State University, he hopes to pursue a career in the production world of feature films. He is currently working as a video production assistant for San Jose State’s information resource center, where he films lectures and events throughout the SJSU campus. He is passionate about the entertainment industry and thrives in the hands-on environment of the music and film industry. Solomon is looking forward to building upon his production skills and learning the logistics of running a venue through The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program.
William Sorensen is from Castro Valley, California, where he has lived all his life. He has always had an interest in poetry writing, especially lyrical poetry, and started singing as a teenager. He has honed his singing skills at Bedford Studios and performed at Alameda County Fair amongst other outdoor summer venues where he sang Beatles and Johnny Cash covers. Through participating in The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program, he is excited to see what goes into keeping a concert hall going, how people there interact with artists and the day-to-day operations of live music promotion and production. He is curious to see what skills are required that he can apply in his future career in the music industry.
Zaid Johnson is from Oakland, California, and loves the Bay Area for many reasons including its diversity, technology, beauty, and opportunities. He is a recent graduate from Oakland Technical High School and is in his freshman year at San Francisco State University. His passion for music started at a very early age, keeping beat while in his mother’s womb. Not only does he love listening to music, playing covers, and performing, but he also finds songwriting very rewarding. He has started to record his own music in his home studio and is teaching himself sound mixing. He believes that he will be able to enhance his skills through The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program as well as learn behind-the-scenes aspects of running a live music venue. He feels that this program has been designed for him.
Zari Fernandes is from Richmond, California, and a senior at Leadership High School. Her passion within music is to learn how to make music sound good during a live concert for thousands of people. She is excited that The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program will help her improve her communication skills and she’ll get to learn how to use different types of soundboards. Her career goals include becoming a producer and working in production, both on the technical side and in backstage hospitality.
Cohort #2 (2017-2018)
Jessica Jimenez is a nineteen-year-old, second-year student attending the University of California, Berkeley. As a first-generation college student, Jessica struggled her first year figuring out what exactly she wanted to do with her education. After experiencing a free concert on campus, she realized that the music industry is something she wanted to pursue. Although not musically talented, Jessica wanted to find her place in music. She realized that she enjoys taking charge of situations, as well as helping others. With those characteristics, she figured management would be an engaging and challenging position to accomplish one day. The fact that men dominate management positions inspires Jessica even more to reach her goal. With the help and guidance of The UC Theatre, Jessica learns and experiences more each day about the music industry. She continues to meet and work with impactful figures that motivate her to work harder towards her goal.
Max has experience working with hundreds of concerts around the Bay Area, and through the UC Theatre’s Concert Careers Pathways has an understanding of how each of the fundamental positions of a concert is run. For Max, there is no better sight than the crowd of a concert losing their minds over their favorite artist taking the stage. People don’t go out to a concert lightly - every member of the audience temporarily puts their lives on hold and trusts both the artist and the venue to deliver an experience worth remembering forever. Max is dedicated to taking every step possible to learn the best practices for delivering this feeling night after night.
Sonia’s biggest passion in her life is music. She always realized this but it wasn’t until her first year of college that she was beginning to think about it seriously and turn something that she loves into a career. Since starting in the Concert Career Pathways Program at the UC Theatre she has more insight into the different aspects of the music industry and is starting to figure out what she wants to pursue in the industry. At the box office, I get to be face to face with ticket buyers. Box office deals a lot with customer service because it involves keeping the ticket buyer happy. The main tasks include preparing the box office before doors open by printing out the seating map, stamping tickets, guest lists, and once doors are open we make sure that everyone has their tickets to get through the door to enjoy the show. Development involves being at the venue on any day not just show nights. That’s where I search for potential donors since the venue is a non-profit, think of copy for upcoming fundraising campaigns, and sending out newsletters. Being at the UC Theatre has been my start of being involved with a tremendous group of diverse workers that share the same passion for the music industry as me. This is why I want to continue with my dream of being a part of the entertainment industry. Becoming involved even more in unique programs such as the ones partnered with Well Dunn, it will give me a chance to get a clear understanding of how to be a successful professional in the entertainment industry. These hands-on learning opportunities are what I need to get a solid start on my career. I hope to network and work with experienced creative individuals.
Aly grew up in San Diego, CA. As the daughter of two music-loving parents that met while working in radio, her love for music developed quickly and she began making music of her own at age 5 when her dad bought her a toy Casio. By the end of high school, she had found her way into digital production and was composing her own electronic music. After being accepted to Cal, she moved to Berkeley to pursue a career in anthropology, which ultimately solidified her love for art and music. After much consideration, she graduated a semester early in December 2016 to be able to commit more time to create music and put together an EP, which she independently produced and released in early May 2017. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of running a live music venue and hopes to use this experience to further her career in the music industry.
Tony Bibb Jr.
Tony Bibb, 22, is born and raised in Oakland. His passion is music! The Beats, the sound, make him move. The music in his soul is all that he thinks about. He wants to work in the music business because he wants a career in something he loves. Tony is autistic, and he does not let it does not define him, he sees it as just one part of his entire self. Through The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program, has introduced Tony to some of the technical aspects of live music concerts such as sound and lights. He is also getting hands-on experience in promoting shows by helping the venue’s Promotions Coordinator, Bobby with hanging posters, changing the marquee. This experience has been transformative for him, he has learned to travel independently using public transportation and has improved his communication skills and time management. Upon completion of the program, he hopes to continue his career path within the music industry and learn how to run a light and soundboard. His ultimate goal is to feel energized by work.
Nehemiah James Murray is an artist/musician from Richmond, CA. He was born on May 1st, 1996 to David and Beverly Murray at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. He is the youngest of six siblings (two brothers, four sisters). With his father being a drummer and his mother a singer, he was inclined to music at an early age. He graduated from El Cerrito High School in 2014 and immediately went on to further his education at Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College. Growing up, Murray would help his childhood best friend (Malachi Williams) film/edit choreography videos, as well as watch him write/record songs. Murray’s decision to pursue music began in the summer of 2015 when Williams encouraged him to team up in writing, recording, and filming a video to a remix of Chris Brown’s “Ayo”. Since then, Murray has gone on to create a rap group (The Family Music Group, 2016) and garner the attention of a few well-known local rappers. Along with his group, he has performed with artists from R&B singer Jacquees to fellow Bay Area rappers J.Stalin, Mistah FAB, Kool John, and AKA Frank, to name a few. Murray is currently working as an intern at The UC Theatre in Berkeley, CA. He plans to complete the program and use the knowledge instilled in him to fuel his career as an artist. He is also currently working on his debut project, which is yet to be named but is scheduled to be released around Fall 2018.
Alex Hauser (26), from Piedmont, CA. He attended Marymount in Los Angeles as well as Laney College in Oakland, where he worked toward a communication degree. While attending school, he started working for an electronic music blog as a campus representative, where he helped with promotion and helped curate music for the website. He worked at Petfood Express before coming to The UC Theatre, where he able was to further develop customer service and sales skills. Bringing his good attitude and work ethic to the UC Theatre, Alex enjoys working as a customer service representative and helps out with other positions when needed. When he isn’t working, Alex loves spending time with his dog, fishing, and studying topics such as; geopolitics/ current events and military history/technology. He looks forward to being able to continue helping The UC Theatre grow and providing excellent customer service to our patrons.
Diana Bui, born and raised in Oakland, now lives in Alameda. Because it is a quiet place to live. I love to in Alameda it is my home town now. Diana was introduced to The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program through the Berkeley organization, Center for Independent Living. Not only does Diana have the opportunity to fulfill her dream to work in the music industry, she is also able to develop important skills that make her more independent as she transitions into adulthood and makes long-lasting friendships with fellow interns and staff at The UC Theatre.
My name is Gaby Fooks and I am originally from Los Angeles, California. Growing up, my parents were always going to concerts – I never questioned it, and just assumed it was something everyone’s parents did for fun, as well. It was no coincidence, then, that I similarly discovered an inner passion for going to shows and getting involved with the local DIY music scene in any way that I could. Some of my closest friends were those I would run into at shows each weekend at the same small venues all over LA, fostering a community of like-minded individuals who were single-handedly crafting a close-knit, underground music scene in such an expansive city. When I moved to Berkeley, the first thing I searched for was a similarly close and passionate DIY music community – I immediately got involved with music-related clubs on the UC Berkeley campus, such as The B-side, a student-run music magazine, and SUPERB, a student club dedicated to bringing free concerts on campus. Over the summer, I lived in a co-op that had the potential for being a fun venue space, so I did what I could – I helped organize several band nights, bringing together local acts that were looking for more exposure with the student population.
Although these efforts were (and continue to be) rewarding, I have longed to enter the music industry in a more professional sense. For this reason, I am extremely passionate about learning how the music industry runs on a much grander scale, getting involved in ways that are beyond student clubs and co-op concerts. As such, I hope to gain hands-on experience with actual industry professionals who can pass on their knowledge, ultimately gaining a better understanding of what it takes to operate a live venue and make sure a live event/concert goes smoothly. I particularly hope to learn more about marketing and general management, specifically what it takes to book, market, and “sell” a show – and all the minutiae that happens in between. Ideally, within the next 5 years, I would love to get more into the PR/Marketing sector of the entertainment industry as a whole, with a particular focus in music. It would be awesome if I got more involved in the management side of a venue, as well.
Isaac is a 19-year-old from El Sobrante, loves live music, going to festivals, and all kinds of shows, whether big or small. I got interested in the music industry through journalism. While participating in The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program, he hopes to gain enough experience and knowledge to be able to work at a music venue. It has been his dream to contribute to putting on live music concerts by working at a venue. Within the next 5 years, he hopes to also publish a music magazine and maybe even produce a documentary.
I am from Berkeley, California. I'm passionate about working in the music industry because it has opened my eye and as well as many doors to a whole new world. The music industry is one of the most exciting things to do, you can't compare a job in the music industry to another job! I know that I will gain so much from this program because this program shows you so many things you've never learned before, it gives you a whole different perspective on things. It will give you different specialties and will make you uncover things you didn't know you had in you. I'm not sure what I want to do as a career in five years, my mind is indecisive but from what I'm doing now, it looks like I'm going through a great path!
My name is Mackenzie and I am passionate about working in the music industry because I want to be a part of what makes me happy in any way I can. Music has helped me tremendously in my life and seems to be one of the few things that have always been there for me and I want to make that possible for others too. I hope to gain more experience in the music industry and find my place in it through the Concert Career Pathways program here at the UC Theatre and music industry classes I am hoping to take at community college in the Spring after I graduate high school. In the next 5 years, I am hoping to get my diploma at DVC and possibly transfer to a university and learn more about Music itself and my growing interest in being an Audio Technician.
What’s going on groovy guys and gals my name is Dela-Paul Jovan Hernandez and I am a firm believer in dreams and the ability to accomplish them. I am from Stockton, Ca. and I moved here to the Bay Area in 2013 in search of musical freedom and love. I’ve always been fascinated about having music sound tonally lush and dialing in a vibe that exudes magical and mystique transcending frequencies. Essentially music found me and has been guiding me ever since I felt its touch…. it has helped me through the good times and bad times and everything in between. The shows I have seen have led me to where I am today here at The UC Theatre which is a dream come true to be around other folks that are into the same goals that I am into. I am striving for excellence and working my way up to becoming a great sound engineer and have started the process of climbing up the ladder to further my career. I one day want to pay the future generations the same hand of love that I have been given and to share as much knowledge that I gain from my adventures! Within the next five years, I want to be switching between BOH/FOH Sound engineer at The UC Theatre and The Fillmore and doing some touring with my band during the off months. I am hoping that in the next five years that the world does not suffer any explosions from bad politics and that the talented arts and music are in full swing with a cause and effect of having people turn off their television sets and going back out to musical and other artistic acts!
I’m a Southern California native attending the University of California Berkeley striving to pursue a career in digital marketing and multimedia. My involvement with the music industry allows me to capture moments through a digital medium using my unique creative talents, to in turn allow others to relive their experiences through forms of both tangible and intangible art. Through the program I hope to better develop myself as both an artist and an entrepreneur, learning applicable business and social skills to allow me to thrive in whatever work environment I choose to pursue later in life. Looking towards the future, I ultimately strive to learn how to better allow others to share experiences through evolving social platforms, as well as finding contentment both within my work, my passions, and myself.
Shannon Kaplan is all the way from Miami Beach, Florida. Her passion for the live music industry stemmed from participating in her friends’ local band scene. Because she didn’t play an instrument or sing, she figured the best way to get involved was through production. Since then, Shannon has been involved in working in Backstage Hospitality for Live Nation venues in the Bay Area. Shannon applied for the UC Theatre’s CCP Program to broaden her understanding of the different roles in the live music industry. Her goals for the next five years change frequently, but she does aspire to be a Backstage Manager for a venue.
Cohort #1 (2015-2016)
Phil’s passion for working in the live music industry comes from his experiences playing in bands and organizing backyard shows while growing up in the suburbs of Walnut Creek, CA. For him, the Concert Career Pathways Program was a huge step forward in his dream of organizing shows at venues and festivals. Apart from his time at The UC Theatre, Phil was mostly to be found working at a pizza restaurant, jamming and playing gigs with his grunge-ska band “Leftover Bowlskies”, volunteering at 924 Gilman, or seeking out cool shows and experiencing the fullest of what the Bay Area music scene has to offer. He has been inspired by his musician and artist friends, many of whom were also working post-college food service jobs to support themselves while they pursued their dreams.
Originally from Orange County, California, Sofia Duarte moved to Berkeley in 2014 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Outside of school and her work as a Marketing and General Management Intern at The UC Theatre, Sofia was the Director of Communications for UC Berkeley's premier music publication, The B-Side. Additionally, she was an Undergraduate Research Apprentice in Advertising within the Media Studies department and Student Administrative Assistant for the Office of the Chancellor. Sofia sought to further explore her passion for the music industry and its intersections with creativity, business, and entertainment.
David Rogers is from an unincorporated town of no particular consequence called Castro Valley. When not living the dream on production or floor staff at The UC Theatre, he would put on ties and work as a house manager and bartender at the Berkeley Repertory Theater just over the wall; during downtime, he would burn hours trying to make his Telecaster sound like a pedal steel guitar. David is driven to a point of euphoria by the chaotic energy of production, he deeply admires those that harness the tempest and build a show out of the bedlam; ultimately, he thinks he fancies becoming one of those conductors of pandemonium. His inspiration has always been music, those who craft, perform, and produce it, and those who truly enjoy it; they are the best of people.
Cesar was born in Oakland, CA. During the program, he was a full-time student in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department at San Francisco State University with the goal to work for a Broadcast company like ESPN or VICE. Aside from his loved ones, other people who inspire his dreams include Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Donald Glover and their admirable work ethic.
Nancy is from Richmond, CA with a deep passion for creative arts, whether it’s performing or visual. At the time of the program, Nancy would hold down two part-time jobs and attend community college with plans to acquire a BA in business administration to help her create a business modeled after The UC Theatre and its community. She is inspired by all she has learned in life so far and works hard daily to pursue her dream of helping her community, attributing her success to her roots in Richmond and the SF Bay Area.
Kelly is originally from San Jose but studied at UC Berkeley. Outside of The UC Theatre, she would volunteer at a local design studio (ODALC), do freelance photography/videography, and participate in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at Berkeley (UAVs@Berkeley). She lives to create to inspire and intends on combining her passions in visual multimedia and technology down the road.
Rosie is from Millbrae, CA, and studied at UC Berkeley studying Media Studies and Film Studies while in this program. Outside of The UC Theatre, Rosie worked at the legendary Berkeley destination Yogurt Park but also enjoyed hanging out with her dog Tyke. As a Bay Area native, Rosie resents anyone who claims that "the SF music scene is dead" and hopes to run her own venue someday.
Bryan was born in Redwood City and raised in the small village of San Lorenzo, CA. His interest in audio and entertainment was sparked by a middle school teacher who introduced him to running sound for school events and dances. While studying philosophy in college, he spent the rest of his time as a dedicated sound designer and audio tech for a theatre troupe. He worked as a full-time tutor for youth and utilized his spare time to create intricate music projects in Reason, his favorite production software. He is driven to one day open a space similar to the UC Theatre to continue to educate the youth of tomorrow through live music and gains his inspiration from his college theatre professor and friends who have been successful in the entertainment world.
Kevin was a high school student hailing from Richmond, CA who would seek opportunities to further him into the music industry. He attended the East Bay Center of Performing Arts where he performed live as part of a jazz trio and began to teach his peers about big productions like the UC Theatre while running the technical side of his school’s events. His dream to be a professional musician is inspired by artist Joey Vannucchi as well as his school’s band director who continues to encourage him to pursue music.
Marquis, born in Oakland and raised in Richmond, CA, studied Recording Arts at Los Medanos College during the CCP Program. His love for music extends from recording and songwriting to dance, which earned him a spot on America’s Got Talent in 2011. His goal within the music industry is to become a mainstream hip-hop artist and inspire global change while putting the Bay Area on the map. He draws his inspiration from his favorite music, people, movies and life experiences.
Kayla was born and raised in San Jose, California. In 2014, she started school at UC Berkeley studying biology and journalism. Outside of her work at The UC Theatre, she would make time to practice photography and videography. Kayla remained involved at the campus newspaper The Daily Californian after previously serving as its Night Editor and on its Senior Editorial Board. After finishing college, she hopes to find a job that combines her interests in music and writing, though she doesn’t know exactly what form it will take.
Nicole's passion for live events stems all the way back to when she was 4 years old growing up in a dance hall in Mexico, to her more recent years at UC Santa Cruz's activities department. The Concert Career Pathways Program has been a major step into her learning the skills necessary to pull off successful events in large venues. Outside of her time at the UC Theatre, Nicole was also at The Marsh Theater and Studio One Art Center, where she worked hard to bring the creative arts back to the community. She hopes to one day open her own event venue.
Tarik was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Outside of the UC Theatre, he would attend Laney College, where he worked on transferring to a CSU down the road. In his free time, he would enjoy photography, design, and creating music. The Concert Career Pathways program has exposed him to the inside of the live music industry and thoroughly expanded his knowledge in the arts. He would focus on enjoying life while pursuing whatever topics would spark his interest. One of his main inspirations is Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino, whom he describes a modern-day renaissance man, citing his versatility and seemingly limitless potential.
Melissa, hailing from Berkeley, California, worked as a SPARK Health intern at Berkeley Youth Alternatives when she was not holding down the UC Theatre’s Box Office. She attended Berkeley High School with goals to become an astronomer, her biggest inspiration being her own hopes for the future.