Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman
Music Director

Nathaniel Berman maintains an active presence as a performer and music educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a member of the UC Santa Cruz Music Department faculty, where he conducts the Concert Choir, the Wind Ensemble, and has appeared as guest conductor of the University Orchestra and Opera Theater. An active educator, Mr. Berman is also the Music Director of the Santa Cruz County Youth Symphony. He has been assistant conductor of the Peninsula Symphony and served as assistant conductor of the Oakland Civic Orchestra from 2011 to 2012. In July of 2012, Mr. Berman appeared with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as one of the participants of the Eastman Summer Conducting Institute selected to perform in concert with the RPO.

Equally dedicated to new music and interdisciplinary collaboration, Mr. Berman has been a member and assistant conductor of the professional new-music chorus Volti, and he is the conductor for the San Francisco-based new-music collective Wild Rumpus. He has appeared as a conductor and trumpet player for puppet theater at the San Francisco Performance Art Institute, and in April of 2013, he premiered music by Korean American composer and UCSC faculty member Hi Kyung Kim at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. Berman received his Master’s degree in conducting from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he studied with Nicole Paiement. His first instrument was trumpet, and he grew up playing duets with his dad, a jazz pianist and singer.


Gerry Mandel
Symphony Operations Manager

Gerry Mandel recently stepped down from her longtime position as Editor and Co-Publisher of Stone Soup, the national magazine of writing and art by kids. She was part of the group of UC Santa Cruz students who founded and began publishing Stone Soup out of their dorm rooms in 1973. Originally from Los Angeles, Gerry lives in a Victorian house in Santa Cruz with her cat, Rosie. Her interests outside of work revolve around music. She grew up studying piano and played modern flute in college. Now she studies recorder with Carol Panofsky and recently took up the Baroque flute. A highlight of her year is attending Pinewoods Early Music Week in Massachusetts every summer. Gerry looks forward to meeting our Youth Symphony families and making sure everyone has a fun and rewarding experience.



Ruth Updegraff


Carol Panofsky


Joe Brookshier


Tammy Feinberg
Laura McShane
Helene Milner
Cynthia Strauss

Advisory Committee

Cynthia Baehr-Williams
Judy Roberts
Alice Talbot
Kumi Uyeda