About Us

The Carson Symphony was formed in the fall of 1972 under the auspices of Carson Parks and Recreation. Its founding director, Pete Quesada, conducted the first concert on Sunday, October 1, 1972. The program included Rossini's Overture to La Gazza Ladra, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, and selections from Bernstein's West Side Story. Rehearsals were held at Carnegie Junior High School, and concerts were presented at Stephen M. White Junior High School. Pete Quesada was succeeded as conductor by Dr. Frances Steiner for the 1977-78 season.

During Dr. Steiner's tenure, the orchestra became associated with California State University, Dominguez Hills (while still being funded by the City of Carson). Performances were moved to the CSUDH University Theatre, with occasional concerts being given at the Carson Community Center. Upon Dr. Steiner's retirement in 2009, Hector Salazar was named Artistic Director/Conductor.

Due to the State of California's financial crisis, the orchestra went into hiatus from 2011 until 2015. The orchestra has recently reorganized and has resumed presenting regular concerts at the Carson Community Center.

Carson Symphony's mission is to advance and support orchestral music in the city of Carson, CA through high-quality community concerts, recordings, and educational outreach.

Carson Symphony members and staff:

HECTOR SALAZAR (Artistic Director/Conductor)

Hector received his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills where he studied conducting with Frances Steiner. He earned his Master of Arts Degree from CSU, Long Beach and studied conducting with Larry Curtis and Rubin Gurevich. In addition to Carson Symphony, Mr. Salazar is also the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Southern California Brass Consortium, assistant conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay and is Music Director for the Music Ensemble of Los Angeles. Mr. Salazar has conducted premieres of Kurt Weill's Marie Galante, Benjamin Lees' Labyrinths, Douglass Fake's Symphonic Episode (world premiere and dedicated to Mr. Salazar) and in 1992 gave the West Coast premiere of Claude Debussy's Suite bergamasque. In 2009, he conducted the World premiere of Timothy and the Magic Garden composed by Philip Westin and narrated by KOST's Karen Sharp with the Carson/ Dominguez Hills Symphony Orchestra. The Los Angeles Times said that Mr. Salazar "reveals a fluid and clear baton technique and an intelligent sensibility." Mr. Salazar has also worked on numerous motion pictures and musical theatre productions throughout the Southland. (www.maestrosalazar.com)

NANCY ROTH (Violin/Concertmaster)

Nancy Roth is currently concertmaster of the Culver City Symphony and Marina Del Rey Summer Symphony, principal second violinist of the Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, and a member of the Pasadena Symphony. Dr. Roth has been a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and was co-principal violist of the Graz Philharmonic in Austria. She has been a featured soloist with numerous Southern California orchestras including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, Carson Symphony, San Fernando Valley Symphony, Valley Symphony, and Rio Hondo Symphony. She has given numerous recitals and radio broadcasts in the United States, Austria and Mexico. Dr. Roth is a member of the String Family Players—a string quintet, which performs educational children's programs through the Los Angeles Music Center On Tour. She has played baroque violin and viols with Los Angeles Musica Viva and the London Early Music Group. Dr. Roth holds a Bachelor of Music from California State University Northridge, a Master of Music from the Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California. She joined the MAVI faculty in 2001.

NEIL JANSEN (Production Manager)

While completing his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Neil studied music privately under trombonist Roy Main. He now performs on trombone and euphonium as a freelance musician in the Los Angeles area. Neil is also lead euphonium in the Southern California Brass Consortium, and is a regularly featured soloist with the Los Angeles Symphonic Winds of Pierce College. He is currently working on his M.M. in euphonium performance at CSULB and maintains a private studio teaching euphonium and trombone. Neil works in operations and is also the euphonium specialist at The Horn Guys in La Crescenta.


Patrick is a freelance trombonist and private instructor in the Los Angeles area. He recently completed his Master's degree in trombone performance at Cal State Long Beach, where he performed in two of the top ensembles, Wind Symphony and the Concert Jazz Orchestra. He is also the bass trombonist of the Southern California Brass Consortium. Patrick has appeared on-screen as a featured band member in the 2014 Sundance award-winning and Oscar-winning film Whiplash.

C. LEONARD CODUTI (Assistant to the Artistic Director)

Lee Coduti has a multi-faceted career as a performer, vocal coach, mentor, musicologist, arranger, and orchestrator. Mr. Coduti was a member of the Opera Pacific Chorus for 17 seasons, performing in over 50 productions. He also performed with the Pacific Chorale for 14 years, and served as Musical Assistant to the Artistic Director, John Alexander. He earned his B.A. in music from Cal State Fullerton and his M.A. in musicology from Cal State Long Beach. Lee serves as a music research and repertoire consultant to several conductors and performers. As an arranger and orchestrator, Lee's work has been played in ensembles across the nation. In September 1992, his all-string arrangement of The Star-Spangled Banner was given its premiere by the Long Beach Symphony under JoAnn Falletta. He is currently the manager of The Horn Guys's Long Beach location and is also responsible for marketing and educational outreach.

ANTHONY O'TOOLE (Composer-in-Residence)

Anthony O’Toole holds a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a M.M. in Composition from George Mason University. He has composed more than 100 works and has written for virtually every major idiom and instrument. Mr. O’Toole has been commissioned, performed and recorded by musicians and ensembles all around the world. His music for wind band has been played and recorded by some of the finest ensembles, including the United States Coast Guard Band, the Kansas State University Wind Ensemble, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, and the University of North Texas Wind Symphony. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, ASCAP and The American Composer’s Federation. Anthony currently resides in Long Beach, CA where he fulfills his commissions for new works and creates orchestrations and arrangements as a freelance writer.

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