Conductor: Jan Klimala
Jan Klimala is a music educator who thrives on helping students achieve their full potential. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in the East Bay for 12 years. Jan started her music endeavors at age 5, when she took up the accordion. She played flute (primarily) and trumpet in high school. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. She combined that desire with her love of music and pursued a Bachelor’s of Music Education, from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She later received her Master’s of Music Education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
After receiving her Master’s Degree Jan taught in The Southwest Allen County School District in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, being named the new Woodside Middle School’s Band Director. She also traveled to three elementary schools where she taught beginning band and strings, and enjoyed assisting the Homestead High School Band Director with its award-winning marching band.
Since moving to the East Bay, Jan has been a subcontractor for M.U.S.E. Inc., a Portland, Oregon, company that staffs tuition-based band programs in Bay Area and Portland schools. She has taught at as many as six area schools at a time and is also a flute coach for Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward. Three years ago, she was tapped to start a band program at a new charter school, Caliber: Beta Academy in Richmond. Starting with about 20 students she built that program to over 50 last year. Throughout her career she has always taught private lessons. This school year she decided to semi-retire and cut back to one school.
Winds Across the Bay is near and dear to her heart, as Jan’s son was in Winds Across the Bay in high school where he played under Ray Iniguez and Jamison Smeltz. Her son has followed her lead in music and is now working on his Master’s in Bassoon Performance at the University of Oregon.
When Jan heard that Winds Across the Bay was in need of a conductor she jumped at the chance to help return this fine group to its prominence as an outstanding performance opportunity for young, dedicated musicians. She looks forward to working with the students and recruiting more members to the group.
Student and Guest Conductors
Winds Across the Bay proudly features Student Conductors, Guest Conductors, and Guest Instructors for sectionals.
Summer Band Guest Conductor: Sasha Barish
Sasha Barish was Concert Master at Winds for more than three years and member of the Majors for almost five. At Winds, the Berkeley High Band, and Cazadero Music Camp, Sasha has mentored younger students and collaborated with peers throughout high school. He will be heading to Harvard College in August. He is excited to dig through the music library and find some wonderful music to perform. Please see the calendar for the dates and concert.
Past Conductor: Jamison Smeltz
Conductor Emeritus: Ray Iniguez