Pin Chen began studying the violin with her father at the age of six and went on to earn her Bachelor of Music degree in music education with Department Honors from Northwestern University. She holds a Master of Music degree in Music/Music Education with a Conducting Specialization from Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Her extensive experience with teaching music in public schools, both in affluent communities and in the inner cities, led her to found CYMG as a way to use music to bring together students from any and all backgrounds. Pin Chen is currently Orchestra Director at Arcadia High School, which boasts one of the largest school orchestra programs in the state. Chen has also been teaching private violin and viola lessons since she was 14 years old and is the conductor of the PYSO String Orchestra.
Akhani Cacao is the Band Director of Los Angeles High School. He had been a percussion instructor for 20 years and has judged for the American Drum Line Association as well as instructed many percussion ensembles since he began teaching at age 18. He had helped restart the Marshall High School drumline program as well as worked with CYMG musicians to provide entertainment and community participation in local parades and events. Akhani graduated with an English Literature degree from CSULA and has a Masters degree from Bard College.
David Diaz is a music educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as well as a freelance clarinetist. Born in Los Angeles, he was educated at Hamilton Academy of Music and at the University of California, Los Angeles where he studied clarinet performance and chamber music with the acclaimed studio musician and centaur recording artist Gary Gray. His musical mentor and confidant was the late Kalman Bloch, the legendary retired principal clarinetist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. To his credit, David Diaz has performed in major concert halls in the US such as: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Royce Hall (Los Angeles), Hollywood Bowl, and many others. In addition to being a music educator and recitalist, he enjoys giving master-classes in the inner-city schools as a way to promote the arts in the communities.
Rosawan Rusmeepongskul | Treasurer
Rosawan Rusmeepongskul is the Business Manager for Anser Capital Group, LLC, a consulting firm that provides consulting services to healthcare companies regarding mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy. Her Bachelor of Arts is from City University of New York’s Center for Worker Education, and she has over 25 years of experience providing administrative support in the investment banking industry. Having grown up as a child of immigrants, not knowing much English when she came the U.S., she volunteers for CYMG because she believes that anyone who works hard should always have open doors.
Claudia Biezonsky | Parent Representative
Claudia is career development professional that currently works for INROADS, Inc. as a manager and mentor to under-represented college students who intern in corporate internships. She has been in the field for almost 20 years. Claudia graduated from USC with her BA in Communications and is a proud Trojan. She has always loved the arts and is a strong supporter of exposing children to both visual arts and music. She joined the CYMG Board to help make music education accessible to more young people. She keeps busy with her 5 loves – her husband Serafin, Victor 7 (CYMG student), Rebecca 6, Zarah 3, and Aaron 1.
Entrepreneur Bobby Heller has always had an affinity for strong, innovative, and passionate artists. Founding Opus Photo in 2005, Heller created a leading management and production companies with one of the most diverse rosters of talent, recognized for its progressive fashion, editorial, music, celebrity, and advertising clients. Heller originally studied economics and mathematics at Babson College and finished his Bachelor of Arts & Communications Sciences at Emerson College.
Yu Tsai | Primary Initial Investor
Yu Tsai was made in Taiwan but assembled in the USA and raised on good ole’ mid-western American corn. He attended UC Riverside and majored in Biology, then attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and studied graphic design. It was during this time that he discovered his true passion for the arts along with directing and photography as a means of telling a visual story. Tsai’s inspirations are a compilation of his studies and his extensive travels to Africa, Europe, Asia and the Mid East. Drawing from his expertise and talents in design his journey lead Yu Tsai to his present focus of fashion and advertising photography which has bridged so seamlessly into the world of celebrity. Yu Tsai’s resume of the industries most beautiful and provocative musicians and celebrities includes Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Anne Hathaway, P Diddy, Leona Lewis, Sienna Miller, Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Evan Rachel Wood, Rihanna and more. Yu Tsai also creates some top imagery for international brands such as Emporio Armani, Guess, Clairol, Neiman Marcus, Bebe, BCBG & Apple. He has been creating covers/stories for top magazines like Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaar UK, and Muse. Yu Tsai made his mark in television as a regular photographer, judge, and mentor on America’s Next Top Model. Mr. Tsai generously provided the majority of CYMG’s funding in its first year.
Becky Tsai received her Doctorate and Masters in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. She has had a long-standing interest in advocating for educational experiences and is the founder of Science in Action, which provides science workshops in elementary schools. Tsai mentored teens as a youth group leader for the Hsi Lai Temple. She was instrumental in securing funding for CYMG from the first year and is one of the greatest and most consistent contributors of her time and networking resources for CYMG. Dr. Tsai is currently working as a genomics curation scientist.
Jennifer Moss was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois and received her Bachelor of Music in theory/composition from Northwestern University. Moss is the Founder/CEO of one of the internet’s first parenting websites, BabyNames.com. Moss has always enjoyed a variety of creative outlets: song writing, web design, photography and writing. Moss is a published author: her first book, The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book, was published in 2008, and her debut novel, Town Red was published in 2012. Moss was a board member of the Northwestern University Club of Los Angeles for many years. She also founded and organized the LA Female Business Owners (LAFBO), a networking group for female entrepreneurs in the greater LA area. Moss currently serves on the executive board of The Bully Police Squad, an organization founded by police officers to help schools define and enforce their bully prevention strategies.
Kenton Chen is the music director and founding member of The Backbeats, 3rd place winners on Season 2 of NBC’s The Sing-Off. Kenton grew up taking violin lessons from his father and singing in church and school choirs. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Vocal Jazz. In recent years, Kenton helped launch LA’s first Asian American Music Festival and shared the stage with many artists, including Ben Folds, Sheryl Crow, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, and the late Natalie Cole. An avid songwriter, Kenton combines his jazz, classical, and pop influences to a music that is playful, thoughtful, and full of heart. Currently, Kenton is performing regularly around LA and with Rozzi Crane, the first artist to sign with Adam Levine’s record label. Kenton is following his debut album, Something About Love, and new EP, Fierce Tears, by working on new material for his upcoming album, Speakeasy.
Sara Hackney is an attorney and actress. During the height of the Cold War, Sara’s family sought political refuge in the United States where she was raised and educated. During her formative years, her love for performance – in theater, dance, and music grew, and she was trained in violin, piano, drama, ballet and traditional Armenian dance. Hackney is a corporate generalist attorney who concentrates on entertainment, intellectual property, and negotiation, specializing in contract drafting; technology/IP licensing; regulatory compliance; government contracts.
Lacey began her violin studies at the age of four. Throughout her youth, she won and placed in numerous competitions and studied with the most prestigious violin teachers in her home state of Utah, including Leonard Braus. Lacey was the youngest concertmaster of the All City Children’s Orchestra, and later sat concertmaster of the Utah Youth Symphony for several years. At age 12, Lacey toured Poland and the Czech Republic with her performing group, the Rocky Mountain Strings.
Lacey entered the USC’s Thornton School of Music on scholarship in 2005. There she studied with Margaret Batjer, concertmaster of the LA Chamber Orchestra, and world-renowned soloist and teacher, Hagai Shaham. Lacey received her Bachelors in Music in violin performance from USC in 2009. Lacey was a substitute member of the Utah Symphony during her summers home from college. Lacey has enjoyed teaching the violin to children since the age of 15. Her private students acquire excellent form and a high level of playing. Lacey was the CYMG’s first Strings for Kids Teaching Artist and Coordinator prior to moving to the San Fernando Valley.
Charlotte discovered her love for music at the age of six when she began taking piano lessons and singing in her school talent shows. When she grew older, that love transformed into a passion for the violin and orchestra, where music became her main focus in life. Charlotte is currently a violinist in the Chamber Strings program and aspires to a career in the field of performing arts. “Music is my boyfriend” is just one of the many ways she expresses her dedication and commitment to the musical society. As the student representative to the Advisory Board, Charlotte hopes to have the chance to make a difference in the vast world of music, and share her passion with the young musicians of CYMG and the community around her.
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