Walter Zooi, Executive Director


Walter Zooi is an award-winning arts entrepreneur and organizational leader with over 20 years of experience in program development, strategic and fiscal planning, marketing and communications. He is the founder and prior executive director of South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory, which he led through 12 years of dynamic growth. Walter is the founder and past artistic director of the South Pasadena Eclectic Music Festival, a city-wide, multi-stage event that showcases musical artists from across a wide variety of cultures and genres. As director of communications at the California Institute of the Arts he oversaw the branding and development communications program for both the Institute and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Walter held a similar position with USC’s Thornton School of Music, where he was part of the development that helped secure Flora L. Thornton’s $25 million naming gift to the school. Walter is a native of Philadelphia, where he attended Temple University. He is currently completing an M.S. in Philanthropic Leadership through the University of Denver.


Kelsey Smith, Program Director


Kelsey Smith is a Los Angeles native, soprano vocalist and music educator who began her collegiate career at Berklee College of Music as a vocal jazz and R&B performance major before returning to California to pursue her interests and degree in the fields of Music Education and Developmental Psychology. She holds a B.A. in music education and a minor in applied developmental psychology from UCLA, and is a Kodaly certified music educator who has worked with musicians from diverse backgrounds and of all ages in choir, guitar, piano, songwriting, music technology, and general music. A lifelong learner, she is constantly researching and developing curriculum, and engaging in professional development opportunities. She is passionate about helping create access and opportunity for students to engage in and experience music. As a part of the Young Musicians Foundation team, she is looking forward to contributing to the incredible program offerings, helping grow the team of Teaching Artists, and expand TAP's reach and impact.


Cesar Tinoco, Community Engagement & Programs Coordinator


Cesar Tinoco joins Young Musicians Foundation with over a decade of experience working alongside youth in the fight for racial and social justice. Shaped by his upbringing on LA's eastside, Cesar's work centers the experiences of folks from Chicanx/Latinx, people of color, and LGBTQ communities. He previously coordinated personal and leadership development programming at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where he empowered youth to advocate for their well-being while expressing themselves creatively. With his passion for music and love of playing guitar, Cesar pursued a Bachelor of Music in Production and Engineering at Los Angeles College of Music and looks forward to building bridges between culture, consciousness, and creative expression through music.


Karlie Carbone, Program Coordinator


As a passionate advocate for social justice within music education, Karlie Carbone approaches service from a point of understanding and being in solidarity with the communities she serves. She developed this approach while volunteering for Ignatians Service Organization and completing a Child Development Associate Teacher Permit. Karlie graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where she received a BA in Music with an emphasis on Vocal Performance. While at LMU, Karlie was cantor at the LMU Music Ministry, music director of The One Night Stanzas, LMU’s resident acapella group, in addition to being a stage technician at the Murphy Recital Hall. As a vocalist she has performed with the San Diego Master Chorale and participated in the Frost School of Music Summer Program in Salzburg. Recently, Karlie was Lead Teacher at St. Mark Preschool in Encinitas. Karlie is looking forward to serving the students and teachers of the Young Musicians Foundation.


Shaianne Homann, Program Intern


Shaianne Homann is a recent graduate from California State University Long Beach’s Bob Cole Conservatory of Music with her degree in Instrumental Music Education. She plans on continuing her education and pursuing her credential in Fall 2019.

While at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, she participated in the National Association for Music Education (NafME), has been a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA), has been a member of a professional music fraternity whose mission is to promote music education and performance at an international level (Sigma Alpha Iota), and has started a club so that saxophonists at CSULB are able to have more access to resources and educational workshops (Saxophone Club).

In the past, Shaianne has taught general music classes at a summer camp at the Rosemead School District and was a Student Ambassador for the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Currently, she volunteers as an Education Volunteer for the Aquarium of the Pacific and will be working as the Program Intern in Summer 2019 for the Young Musicians Foundation.


Board of Directors


Margot Smith Thomas, Board Chair

Fred Scholder, Secretary

Arnold Seidel, Treasurer


Wallis Annenberg

G. Beverly Bergmann

Dr. Alexander Gershman

Lori Hyland

Stella Jeong

Yolla Kairouz

Trudy Kallis

Daniel Rothmuller

Riko Weimer

Honorary Members

Bette Y. Cox

Lawrence N. Field

Tom Hormel

Betty Rose *

Directors In Memoriam

Norman Ackerberg

Robert Ahmanson

Sheila Allen

Olga Altman

Anne Jeffreys

Shirley Livingston

Ann Rutherford

Gunther Schiff

David Weiss

Chairman Emeritus

G. Beverly Bergmann

Susan Chalek

Moe Greendale

Michael L. Tenzer

Jonathan Weedman

Special Recognition

Sylvia Kunin, Founder, Young Musicians Foundation

Gregor Piatigorsky, Honorary President

Merv Griffin, Honorary Lifetime Chairman

Ted Bergmann, Music Board of Trustees