Meet Our Concert Career Pathways Cohorts
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.
I am currently a full-time student looking to learn and grow as a person and within my community. My main aspirations are to always be open to experiencing different things and realities, hoping to learn something new from them every day. Because music is one of my favorite forms of life expression, one of my personal goals is to produce my own full-length album and form valuable bonds with those who cherish the same things along the way. Music, film, and arts of all types have always inspired me by replicating and recreating life's themes within themselves, and I am grateful to be a part of 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 ([email protected]). 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.