Administrative Staff

Administrative Staff

Administrative Staff


Administrative Staff


Chris hails from the Bay Area and is a graduate of San Jose State University and the Juilliard School, along with having been a fellow with Michael Tilson Thomas’s New World Symphony. From 2008 to 2019 he was the Principal Percussionist with the Kansas City Symphony, having served on their Board of Directors, Orchestra Committee, and created high profile development and marketing events. He has also served as a strategic development and marketing consultant for arts groups around the country. As a musician, besides the Kansas City Symphony, he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and others.


Brooke Mickelson is a violist, music educator, and social entrepreneur passionate about community arts engagement. Through all of her roles, Brooke’s mission is to connect people through the arts and provide access to music education. In addition to working for CYS in Palo Alto, Brooke is on the String Faculty at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, CA. She also volunteers to play with the Palo Alto Philharmonic community orchestra. Brooke has played in orchestras at prestigious music festivals from Brevard Music Institute to FOOSA Festival. She placed in the finals of the 2019 Boise State University Concerto-Aria Competition. Performing the first movement of Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher viola concerto, she was lauded for “exceptional tone colors and range of intensity.” Brooke holds a Master of Music Performance (Performance Pedagogy) from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Boise State University. Her primary teachers were Nancy Buck, Dr. Linda Kline, and Jennifer Drake.


An alumna of the California Youth Symphony, Carmina Eylar graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance on String Bass. She was under the tutelage of principal bassist Robert Manning from the former San Jose Symphony and Bruce Moyer from Symphony Silicon Valley.  Prior to joining CYS, Carmina was as Assistant Account Manager in the commercial casualty and health insurance industry at some of the top insurance brokers worldwide. She was also a co-owner and teacher of a Polynesian dance school in the Bay Area from 1998 - 2002. Carmina is thrilled to be part of the California Youth Symphony - a prestigious organization and leader in arts education and performance.


Violet Leone Rivers is in her third year as the Operations Coordinator at CYS. Leone received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from UC Davis, where she specialized in Percussion Performance. She studied with Chris Froh. She has performed with numerous UC Davis ensembles, as well as Symphony d’Oro Rancho Cordova and Camerata California. She served as Manager for the UCD Concert Band, Music Librarian for the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh, and conductor for the UCD Campus Band. She has premiered pieces in the UC Davis Graduate Composers Concert, and performed in a masterclass with Mayumi Hama. During the pandemic, Leone guided hundreds of 8-80 year olds through the technical aspects of Zoom rehearsals and virtual performances. As of July 2021, she helped put together six virtual concerts, and coached the percussion section of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Freedom Band for three more! As rehearsals get back in person, she helps with rehearsal planning and setup, making sure they run smoothly and safely.

Recent Performance Photos