Board of Directors

Our board of directors is made of up many talented professionals and business men and women from the Bay Area. Each of them brings their own diverse talents and perspectives to the group. Their hard work and dedication helps make our group a successful one. For our conductor, Richard Wong, click here.

Jim Carter – President

Jim Carter

Board President Jim Carter

Jim has been the President of the Newark Symphonic Winds (NSW) since 2006. He plays saxophones (alto and tenor) with the NSW. He, along with others, established the Newark Saxophone Quartet (NSQ) in 2007. He plays soprano saxophone with the NSQ. The NSQ performs regularly throughout the year for many other nonprofits in the SF Bay Area.

Jim holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and has taught courses in the biological sciences at both California State University, East Bay and University of California, Berkeley. Jim was an aquatic ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey for almost 40 years. Over that period, he led numerous scientific investigations from basic research to national surveys that evaluated the application of aquatic ecology for environmental assessment. His studies have been principally focused on the benthos of streams. He currently holds an Emeritus position with the USGS.

Brenda Nixon – Secretary

Board Secretary Brenda Nixon

Brenda began her study of the clarinet at age nine, performing through college and enjoying music into adulthood. During her 35-year career in elementary education teaching grades K-6, the clarinet provided needed accompaniment to songs taught to students.

Brenda has a B.A. in Liberal Studies (HSU), an M.A. in Reading Instruction (CSUN), and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching Studies (UCLA). Now retired, Brenda enjoys gardening, art, reading, and baking. She is a twice weekly volunteer at California Nursery Historical Park in Niles.

She and husband Terry are the parents of four adult sons.

Dave Smith


Board Member Dave Smith

Dave began playing trombone in the sixth grade, and when he was a senior at Calumet (Michigan) high school, he was selected to be the student conductor of the Calumet High School Band. After a bit of a hiatus, Dave began playing trombone again so he could participate in the Alumni Band when Calumet High holds their All-Classes reunions.

After 6 successful years as Executive Director of the Ohlone College Foundation, Dave retired on December 30, 2011. On December 8, 2011 Dave also retired after serving 16 terms as Mayor of the City of Newark. At 34 years of service, he was the second longest-serving Mayor in the United States at the time of his retirement. During his Mayoral tenure, the City’s participation was important in helping resurrect the music program in Newark’s schools.

Dave has loved playing trombone with NSW since 2005. He also played in “YOWZA!” a band comprised of current and former City of Newark employees. He is currently playing in the Centerville Presbyterian Church orchestra. Dave also enjoys golf, fishing, and being a grandpa. He is single, has 2 children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

Glenn Wiegand – Treasurer; Principal Percussionist

Board Treasurer Glenn Wiegand

Glenn began his drumming career in the 6th grade following his father’s footsteps (who was the only snare drummer during his college years at S.J. State) when he bought Glenn his first drum set. In high school, there were six drummers already in the band but they needed a bass player, so he taught himself in one semester and was the sole bass player for the high school jazz band and pep band until he graduated. He now plays all of the instruments in the Rhythm section: Keyboards, Guitar, Bass, Drums and Percussion.

After being accepted into the Industrial Engineering program with the second highest scores at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo (SLO), Glenn passed auditions and became the bass player, and subsequently, drummer, for the University Jazz Band; stage drummer for the “PolyPhonics” stage choir; tri-tom and snare drum player for the “Mustang” marching band; and toured with the Cal Poly St. University Marching and Symphonic bands during the Fêtes de Genève in Switzerland.

Glenn has played in multiple bands throughout his musical life from Country to Rock, Big-Band to Jazz, Musical Theater to Symphonic Orchestras and is a skilled sight reader.

When he is not writing music, Glenn’s other hobbies include deejaying, dancing, creating his Bi-Annual Haunted Garage for the neighborhood, and garden railroading. He and his wife Carole have choreographed first wedding dances for newlyweds to-be, and create theme party props.

Virginia Valentine

Virginia Valentine

Board Member Virginia Valentine

Virginia began her music career in 6th grade playing baritone in concert band, then learning trombone later for jazz ensembles. This led to performances at all-state concerts in high school and many television appearances in the USC Trojan Marching Band. She has enjoyed playing euphonium in the NSW for several years.

While the love of music was constant, Virginia has followed a varied career path. After receiving a BS in astronomy, she taught math for 8 years in West Africa and Redwood City. Now a Lead Zookeeper at the Oakland Zoo, Virginia cares for warthogs, hyenas, monkeys, meerkats, and reptiles. She specializes in coaching behavioral modification techniques in positive reinforcement training.

Matthew Jorgens

Matthew Jorgens

Board Member Matthew Jorgens

Matthew has been a clarinet player with the Newark Symphonic Winds since 2018. During his school years, he was an active musician in Newark schools, including as the Drum Major for Newark Memorial High School. He was also a member of the marching band at UC Davis, where he studied Economics and Political Science.

Professionally, Matthew works as a Field Representative for Newark’s local state legislator. Matthew is also involved with the Newark Optimist Club, the Newark Days Parade Committee, and other community groups throughout Newark.

Matthew Nguyen – Webmaster

Matthew Nguyen

Webmaster Matthew Nguyen

Matthew Nguyen has played the euphonium since 2005, when his elementary school band teacher realized he was too tone-deaf to play the trombone (true story!). Since then, he has played in numerous honor bands throughout middle and high school, and played in the Solid Gold Sound of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band.

Professionally, he has pursued his love of aerodynamics and wind tunnel testing to NASA Ames Research Center, where he works as an Instrumentation Engineer at the Air Force-operated National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC), the largest wind tunnels in the world. In his free time, Matthew enjoys 3D printing and trying new restaurants in the Bay Area.

Clark T. Denning – Member Emeritus


Board Membership Chair Emeritus Clark Denning

Clark had been an active musician and player all of his school years. After which he has continued to play in various adult school bands, and does various gigging for area community theatre and groups.

He been an professional Electrician since 1979 , and ran his own firm for several years before joining the local Electrical Union I.B.E.W. in 1998, of which he is now the Vice President.

He and his wife JoAnn have a daughter in high school who is also a musician playing flute and sax in the Fremont Youth symphony, and Moreau Catholic High School bands. Clark loves to play trombone and in his leisure time enjoys varied activities, Science Fiction, and spending time with family.

Betty Cole

Music has been a big part of Betty’s life since she started piano lessons at age 7. She started the flute in elementary in the 5th grade and played throughout high school. Besides working, she has always been active in the community and still is the Secretary for the Newark League of Volunteers, and continues to book artists for the Newark Days stage shows. She played flute with the Newark Symphonic Winds for over 10 years and loved it.

Betty holds a BS in Music Education from the University of Tennessee and a Masters in Special Education from CSU East Bay in Hayward. She did Social Work and taught private piano lessons in Florida for 15 years. In addition, she taught school in California for about 25 years. She was the organist and sometime soloist at the Fremont Christian Science Church for 15+ years. She retains her memberships in the Music Teachers of California for voice and piano and National Association of Teachers of Singing for voice.

She is presently retired and no longer lives in Newark. She presently plays the flute in the Roseville Community Band and sings soprano in the Maidu Singers, a senior chorus that performs at local nursing homes. She intends to return to teaching private piano lessons when the threat of COVID-19 is no longer viable.