Featured Members


Jerry Adams

Like many trumpet players, Jerry was inspired as a youngster by Rafael Mendez, the famous virtuoso trumpet player (1906-1981). In the fifth grade, a Mendez concert and music clinic got him started on what became a life-long love of the horn. Growing up in a small town in Illinois, he enjoyed a well-supported music program and studied with the school music director who also conducted band concerts in the town square on Saturday evenings in the summer.

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1965, Jerry came to California for graduate school at UCLA and a job with the Hughes Aircraft Company in the then-new communication satellite industry. Throughout his 34-year engineering career, he always found time for music as well, participating in community bands and smaller brass ensembles in Westchester and Palos Verdes.

Jerry was instrumental in establishing the Peninsula Symphonic Winds in 1996 and served as President from 2005 to 2014. He and his wife Jeanette live in Rancho Palos Verdes and have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.



Bill AilorBill began playing clarinet in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia "many years ago." During his musical career, he was Principal Clarinetist for the Richmond Youth Orchestra, Principal Clarinetist for the North Carolina State University Symphonic Band, Principal Clarinetist for the Purdue University Summer Band, Principal Clarinetist for the Torrance Symphony, and Principal Clarinetist for the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band. He joined the Peninsula Symphonic Winds shortly after its founding. He attended the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop for several years and has played with several local clarinet choirs and chamber music groups.

Dr. Ailor, a resident of Palos Verdes Estates, earned a PhD from Purdue University and currently Distinguished Engineer with and former director of the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at The Aerospace Corporation. He has appeared on local and national television as an expert on the breakup of space hardware during reentry. He is Founder and President Emeritus of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, and was elected President of the Peninsula Symphonic Winds Association in 2014.


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Richard BabcockRichard Babcock studied at the University of Utah, where as a performer he specialized in woodwinds. He graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Music degree, emphasis in jazz theory and secondary education. He spent three years teaching music and working as a freelance musician in Salt Lake City. He was then accepted into the MFA program in composition at California Institute of the Arts. He graduated in 1986, and in 1987 was appointed Director of Orchestras for Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, in which position he continues to serve. As conductor, teacher, composer, and performer Mr. Babcock has been ever willing and even eager to test new things. Risks and challenges inherent to the new are not uncommon in concerts he leads. Mr. Babcock is also the music director and conductor for the newly formed Peninsula Symphony Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles Harbor College.


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Mya CarusoMya Caruso earned her M.M. and D.M.A. from UCLA studying with Sheridon Stokes. She received her B.A. with majors in both math and music from Tufts University where she studied with Nina Barwell. At Tufts, she won the Concerto Competition twice, the Elizabeth Tishler Prize in Music Performance, and the Mabel Daniels Prize in Music Performance. Dr. Caruso has participated in many summer programs including Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, International Festival of Music at Round Top, Brevard Music Festival, Oxford Summer Flute School, and Las Vegas Music Festival. In the Los Angeles area she has performed with the Culver City Chamber Orchestra, West Hollywood Orchestra, and the Beach Cities Symphony. Currently, Dr. Caruso teaches math at Windward School and performs with the Peninsula Symphonic Winds.



Karin ChafetzMusic has always been an entirely pleasurable experience for Karin, who was born and raised in San Francisco. She began studying the piano at age seven and the violin in elementary school. Inspired to participate in her high school music program, she played violin in the orchestra. Karin began teaching piano, and had 22 students, aged 4 to 74, by her second year in college. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she also won the concerto competition playing Liszt's Piano Concerto #2. She has performed on television for the Miss California/Miss America pageant, initially as a contestant (as Miss San Francisco), and later as a guest performer, playing excerpts from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Karin currently owns and manages a medical service organization and participates in her childrens' school music program as an accompanist and performer with the Chadwick Jazz Chamber Ensemble.



Joanne DavidsonJoanne Davidson is a Manhattan Beach native who started her love for music through her parents, Paul and Ardath, he a trombonist and she a pianist. Joanne began her music career at the age of 7 on the accordion, added piano at the age of 8, and finally clarinet at the age of 10. Besides studying privately under Clairon Williams, playing Dad's arrangements for the family and performing in her school bands and orchestras, she was a member of the All Southern California Junior High Honor Orchestra and the Southwest Youth Symphony. She was principal chair throughout high school and at El Camino College. Joanne retired her clarinet for about 10 years to raise a family, but could not stay away, so she joined the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band and the El Camino College Community Band. She eventually left the PV and ECC bands to join the Palos Verdes Symphonic Winds at Harbor College. She is currently the principle clarinetist with the El Camino Community Orchestra, free-lances around town, has attended the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop the past 10 summers, and is a member of the Palos Verdes Chamber Players.



Roger EastmanRoger Eastman earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in aeronautical & astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois and currently works as an engineer at TRW. Roger started his musical education by studying piano and singing in all six choirs at his church. In the fifth grade, he took up the French hom, and has played in some notable groups, beginning with the MacArthur High School Jazz Band in Decatur, Illinois, which Downbeat Magazine rated as one of the best in the country. While at the University of Illinois, Roger played in their premier symphonic band under the direction of noted composer and arranger, James Curnow. Since then he has played in several concert bands, orchestras, woodwind quintets, and stage musicals, including the Peninsula Symphony, the Beach Cities Symphony, and of course, the Peninsula Symphonic Winds.



Joel FierbergJoel Fierberg, a graduate of Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, received his B.A. in Music from UCLA in 1982, where he played with the marching and concert bands, performed in pit orchestras for campus theater productions, studied bassoon with David Breidenthal and Michael O'Donovan and studied conducting with Jerry Anderson and Donn Weiss. He has played with the UCLA Alumni Band since 1984 and has served as Music Director since 1997. He joined the Peninsula Symphonic winds in 2001, originally playing baritone saxophone. He is currently its Principal Bassoonist as well as Associate Conductor.



Tom KahelinA native Southern Californian, Tom grew up in Manhattan Beach. Music has been a part of his life since the age of 10, when he began playing the trumpet. He continued at Mira Costa High School, with director WIlliam B. Power, culminating in his conducting debut with the concert band.

He graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, having studied with Morten Lauridsen, James Hopkins, Anthony Vazzana and Robert Linn. After winning the inaugural Hans J. Salter Composition Award, he was inducted into the national music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda.

Tom's work encompasses a wide variety of ensembles, from Brass Quintet to Choral to Concert Band to Full Symphonic Orchestra. His concert band pieces are regularly performed in Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association festivals. Tom is very pleased that his piece, On An American Hymn Tune has been added to SCSBOA's official festival music list.

In June of 2006, the Peninsula Symphonic Winds presented the World Premiere of The Coast Is Clear, a work that PSW commissioned him to write in commemoration of its 10th anniversary. His most recent concert band piece, Western Horizons was premiered in festival competition in March, 2007.

Outside the concert hall, Tom has an equally varied presence: Among recent projects, he has arranged and produced music for Hal Leonard Publishing, produced two CDs for Intellivision Music Productions, composed and produced critically acclaimed music for the stage, contributed to a number of multimedia projects and even designed large scale "sonic atmospheres" for several galleries at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.



Mary McKainMary received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and Police Science from California State University. Los Angeles. She studied trumpet with Rafael Mendez. Jane Sager. Sidney Lazar and others. She has been a member of the Highland Park, Beverly Hills, South East. Latin American, Mexican Tipica and West Covina Symphonies. and the San Fernando Valley Opera Orchestra. She has also played with the Monterey Park, Los Angeles Police Department, and California Concert Bands. She is the leader of the Pieces of Eight Polka Band and is currently with the Elks 99 Concert Band and the Hollywood Showcase Orchestra. Mary has also performed with Jack Benny. Jose Iturbi, and was a musician for the 'IV series "Here Come the Brides" and the film "E.T." She is a Life Member of Musicians Local 47 and leader of The Frivolous Five.



Joe SiegelJoe Siegel developed a lifelong avocation for music performance while a member of the accomplished wind groups of West Torrance High School and CSU Long Beach. He graduated from CSULB with a minor in music and has performed with community groups ever since. Joe toured Europe with the American Winds Concert Band and performed in Lake Placid under celebrated band conductor Leonard B. Smith. Joe has played with the Torrance Symphony, South Bay Wind Ensemble and was a founding member of the Palos Verdes Saxophone Quartet along with fellow PSW members Richard Babcock and Andy Meyer. Joe is a charter member of the Peninsula Symphonic Winds and he previously played with the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band, where he held the positions of Principal Saxophonist and Band President. Joe manages the Justice and Public Safety solution practice for a large Vancouver-based technology consultancy. He and his wife Charlene enjoy listening to the next generation of Siegels, Isaac and Nina, in their own band and orchestra performances.



Karen YokoyamaKaren grew up in a family where music, both classical and jazz, was a part of life. Although her parents were not professional musicians, her Dad worked his way through college playing jazz at various night clubs. Her Mom, an accomplished pianist and singer, has served as the accompanist for various community choral groups, sang lead roles with community opera troupes, and served as church organist for many years.

It is not surprising then, that at a very young age, one of Karen's favorite pastimes was to stand in front of her parents' stereo console and conduct the orchestra. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would respond emphatically, "a conductor." Karen began studying piano in the second grade, but switched to the flute in the fourth grade. Her musical journey continued through high school and has included such highlights as winning second chair in the Tennessee All State Band, being the assistant drum major of her high school marching band (her one opportunity to fulfill her childhood dream of conducting), and joining her high school band at international band festivals in Italy and Spain.

Karen has played with community bands and orchestras since moving to California in 1984. After a 10 year break to raise two daughters through their toddler years, she joined the Palos Verdes Symphonic Winds in the fall of 1999.