Now in his fourth season with the Santa Monica Symphony, violinist Reggie Collier studied music and computer technology at Ithaca College in New York. Currently he works as a senior computer specialist for ABC Entertainment, facilitating communications among software, hardware, networks, and people. In addition to lending his talent on the violin to the symphony and to several chamber ensembles, Reggie can be found at various South Bay nightclubs, playing electric bass and violin and doing some lead vocals with a band that covers blues, funk, and rock tunes. He also composes, and has set up a mini-recording studio at his home in Redondo Beach. When he's not making music, Reggie enjoys sports like snowboarding, in-line speed-skating, golf and basketball.
Los Angeles native James Kawakami began playing with the Santa Monica Symphony in the early 1970s, when he was in high school. After a long break, he returned, and this is his tenth consecutive season with the orchestra. A strong member of the first violin section, for the last few years James also has served as the symphony's librarian, in charge of the organization and distribution of music. He also plays violin with the Marina del Rey-Westchester Symphony. A registered nurse, James has worked for Los Angeles County for more than 17 years. Presently he works at the University Southern California's Medical Center. In addition to music-making, James enjoys camping, particularly along the California coast. He resides in West Hollywood and is the fond owner of an umbrella cockatoo named Carmen.
Sonia Luna is beginning her ninth season with the Santa Monica Symphony. She works at UCLA in financial planning despite having an MBA from USC. Her undergraduate degree is in mathematics from the University of Kentucky. She is an avid college basketball fan, but most enjoys hosting chamber music dinner parties for her musician friends from the Santa Monica Symphony. She frequently spends time with fellow symphony members John and Liz Dunkelberger and her boyfriend, Paul Dolid, playing string quartets. Sonia assists the orchestra in publicizing its concerts and assists Mark Wang in maintaining the symphony's Web Page.
Violinist Mark Wang, a policy analyst for the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, joined the Santa Monica Symphony in 1995, after being invited to the December 1994 concert by RAND colleague Ed Keating, a violist in the orchestra. Mark holds degrees in physics and mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). An accomplished pianist as well as a violinist, Mark performed Saint-SaŽns' Second Piano Concerto in 1982 with the Lawton Philharmonic in Lawton, Oklahoma; baritone Robert Merrill was featured on the same program. Mark and his wife, Sally, enjoy cooking and hosting "dinner and duets" evenings for friends. Mark admires those Santa Monica Symphony members with long tenures, and he hopes to be involved with the orchestra for many years.
The Gig Quartet, from left to right. Jordan Kaplan, Jennifer Argenti, Paul Dolid and Carol Summers. Musicians from the Santa Monica Symphony enjoy getting together in their free time to play chamber music. The Gig Quartet, composed entirely of symphony members, has played for weddings, private parties, and special occasions at The Broadway department stores. The quartet's repertoire is varied, including selections from Bach to Scott Joplin to the Toyota theme song.
Violinist Jordan Kaplan works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he designs and builds interplanetary spacecraft structures for NASA. Originally from the Boston area, he holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in mechanical engineering. Presently he is working on the Cassini spacecraft, bound for Saturn in 1997, and the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, scheduled to land on Mars on July 4, 1997. An instrument-rated pilot, Jordan spends his spare time punching holes in clouds in his 1946 Ercoup single-engine classic airplane.
A native of Maryland, violinist Jennifer Argenti attended the Baltimore School for the Arts and studied violin performance at Baldwin Wallace College in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently she is taking classes in environmental studies and Chinese. An animal ]over, she is active in local animal rights groups. Last summer, Jennifer and fellow quartet member Jordan Kaplan attended chamber music camp at Colorado's Rocky Ridge Music Center.
Cellist Paul Dolid was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and presently resides in Culver City, in a bungalow near the Culver Studios once inhabited by one of the Little Rascals, Paul attended the University of California at Riverside, where he majored in economics and business, and spent his junior abroad at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. He works as a credit analyst in the Equipment Finance division of Toyota Motors Credit Corporation. Besides music, Paul's hobbies include photography, investing, chess, golf, and computers.
Violist Carol Summers graduated from California State University at Northridge with a degree in viola performance. This is her second season with the Santa Monica Symphony. Carol works for UNUM America as a claims adjuster, specializing in long-term disability. In addition to her musical activities, she enjoys playing tennis and bicycling. A native of Pasadena, she shares a house there with two roommates, two rabbits, a bird, and two cats.
'Thirty Year Veterans" Left to right. Cellist Robert Godfrey, cellist Nancy Friedmann; flutist Judy Karinen; violinist David Bendett; and violinist Innis Richards. These veteran orchestra members have served an average of 32 years with the symphony, from Innis Richards who has performed for 44 years to Nancy Friedmann who joined the orchestra 24 years ago.
BOB GODFREY first joined the orchestra as a tympanist and now volunteers as stage manager.
NANCY (BUBAR) FRIEDMANN joined the orchestra as a young teaching therapist for deaf children and has since married, raised two children, formed her own string quartet, and commutes weekly to symphony rehearsals from her home in Long Beach.
JUDY KARINEN joined the orchestra as a college student who then completed her Dental School studies (and never missed a rehearsal!), married, started a family, and has established her own private dental practice.
DAVID BENDETT, a native of New York, now serves as the orchestra's Executive Director, negotiating all contracts and handling every last minute crisis such as finding final dress rehearsal space when all facilities were suddenly closed after the earthquake.
INNIS RICHARDS joined the orchestra as a young bride, raised a family, worked as a physical therapist, and became and outstanding community service volunteer. Innis serves as an Association Director and has played in the orchestra continuously for 42 years. She first performed under the baton of beloved composer/conductor Arthur Lange. Innis has served as Association Secretary, for many years Wrote and produced the concert programs, and has worked diligently on every benefit/fundraiser. Innis is by profession a physical therapist. Innis received the 1993 Santa Monica YWCA WOMAN OF THE YEAR award for her volunteer service as Chair of the "Angel Tree" Project, a support group for children of parents in prison.