Margaret Gonzalez, a musician and educator from Venezuela, is a product of El Sistema. She grew up in the capital city of Caracas in Venezuela where she learned the core values of El Sistema, and how it has the power to create social change. Through these life experiences, Margaret developed a deep sense of being valued and how to confidently face the challenges of life's journey. She knows first-hand what a difference this can make in one's life, and with a profound passion for teaching, is excited to share the same opportunities and experiences with the children of San Francisco.
Margaret earned a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance and Minor in Violin and Piano from Shenandoah University (Virginia) where she was a student of violist Doris Lederer from the Audubon Quartet. Prior to her studies in the United States, she performed with the world-renowned Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela under Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. Additionally, she has worked with several professional chamber ensembles and symphonic orchestras in the United States, and continues to actively teach both children and adults on a variety of string instruments. At Music Mission San Francisco, Margaret serves as co-founder, artistic director and teaching artist.
The founder of El Sistema, Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu believes in the transformative power of music in making positive and lasting changes in the lives of all children. Continuing the legacy of the founder, Margaret uses music as a vehicle for social change, traveling locally and internationally to share her passion and vision with other Sistema inspired programs.
Cellist Luna Alonso-Glasner was awarded a B.A. degree from Bard College in New York. She grew up in a bilingual and multi-cultural household, surrounded by a community of musicians from all over the world. Luna has inherited her parents' thirst for creativity and expression through performance art as well as a lifelong commitment to civil and environmental justice. She pursued her musical development as well as an environmental career at Bard College and graduated in Environmental and Urban Studies with a focus in Ecology and Conservation in Latin America. Luna has worked as an assistant music instructor at several summer music camps in Berkeley and San Francisco where she coached chamber groups and gave individual lessons. At Music Mission San Francisco, she teaches cello.
Mae Frank was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended the Cowden School of Music (Berkeley) and was a part of San Domenico’s Virtuoso program in Marin county. She studied under violinist and teacher Eugene Chukhlov and currently works as his teaching assistant. Mae also studied violin performance at the University of San Diego under Eddie Stein and San Francisco State University under Fed Lifsitz, a member of the Alexander String Quartet. She was principal second violin of the SFSU orchestra and has performed with the Solano Symphony and San Francisco Choral Society.
Mae has a BA in Psychology, with an emphasis on child development from San Francisco State University. She has taught at multiple music centers and elementary school music programs. Her main focus is on teaching the discipline and patience it takes to learn a string instrument while fostering the love of music that will last a life time. At Music Mission San Francisco, Mae teaches violin.
Catherine Heusner is a member of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra and for 10 years, she was Assistant Concertmaster of the Stockton Symphony Orchestra. She currently works as a substitute teacher in the Davis Unified School District (Davis, CA) and maintains an active private studio. Her education includes studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of Southern California where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. Her private teachers at SFCM and USC included Eudice Shapiro and Isadore Tinkleman. Catherine is the proud mother of two sons; both graduates of the University of California-Santa Barbara. At Music Mission San Francisco, Catherine teaches violin.
Evan Kahn holds principal/assistant principal cello positions in four orchestras; the Symphony Silicon Valley, Opera San Jose, San Jose Chamber Orchestra and West Bay Opera. He also performs in the Lazuli String Quartet/Sutro Strings and several Bay Area music collectives and ensembles including After Everything, Mythica Foundation, and hip-hop band Ensemble Mik Nawooj. As a soloist, Evan has performed with the North State Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Veridian Symphony Orchestra, Segah Festival Orchestra, Diablo Symphony Orchestra, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic, and Livermore-Amador Symphony.
Evan graduated with a Master’s in Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Jennifer Culp. He received a Bachelor’s with college and university honors from Carnegie Mellon University, studying with David Premo. In February 2019, he was named Musical America’s New Artist of the Month. At Music Mission San Francisco, Evan teaches cello.
Irving Santana-Garcia serves as assistant professor at San Francisco State University where he coaches viola with undergraduate and graduate students. He also serves as Principal Violist of the Golden Gate Symphony and works with many other professional orchestras in northern California. Irving’s teaching experience includes coaching middle and high school students in the Golden State Youth Orchestra. He previously taught instrumental classes for elementary students and violin and piano lessons in the Sacramento area. Irving graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master in Music Performance degree including an award for Outstanding Student Musician at graduation. At Music Mission San Francisco, he teaches violin.
Angela Solis is a violin and viola teacher who began her musical studies in Spain where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music. During that time, Angela's performance and teaching experience was forged between classical, contemporary and regional styles. Her experience includes performing in many orchestras, ensembles, recording studios and as lead singer and founder of the band “Costellas”.
One of her greatest professional achievements was obtaining the viola teacher position in the state music system in Spain. It is an arduous process that can take years to achieve; one must prove a high level of competence in performance, teaching skills and instrument- related knowledge. Angela earned the 6th highest score in the test that year. At Music Mission San Francisco, she teaches violin.