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.

Richard F. Wong – Conductor

Conductor Richard Wong

Richard F. Wong received his B.A. in Music at U.C. Berkeley, and his teaching credential and M.A. in Music at CSU, Hayward. In addition to teaching at the high school level, he has taught elementary band through the Fremont Education Foundation and remains active as a performer, clinician, and as a lifelong learner.

Learn more about Richard…

Jim Carter – President

Jim Carter

Board President Jim Carter

For the last 14+ years, Jim has been the President of the Newark Symphonic Winds (NSW), which is comprised of approximately 50 local musicians. The NSW performs 5 free concerts per year to full-house attendances. 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 is currently the Treasurer of the nonprofit Newark Educational Foundation (NEF). The mission of the NEF is to support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education in the Newark Unified School District (NUSD). Jim is the principal NEF board member organizing the NUSD elementary band program.

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 has been an aquatic ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey for almost 40 years. Over that time period he led a host of scientific investigations from basic research to national surveys of the application of aquatic ecology for environmental assessment. His studies have been principally focused on the benthos of streams. Over the last decade his research has been focused on the influence of the benthos on nutrient cycling in lentic environments. He currently holds an Emeritus position with the USGS.


Steve Leitner – Woodwind Group Leader; Secretary


Board Secretary Steve Leitner

Steve began studying clarinet in the 4th grade in Daly City, and later expanded to tenor saxophone, and flute. During his college years at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, he tripled on all three in the University Jazz Band and its off-campus alter ego, “The Collegians” dance band. He is currently concert master (1st chair clarinet) in the NSW.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and moving into the work field, he never stopped playing music. He has performed with the San Jose City College – Monday Night Jazz Ensemble, spent over 25 years with a Dixieland/Jazz combo, 35 years with a seasonal area quintet called the “Santa Band”, and over 10 years with the Hewlett-Packard Symphony Orchestra.

Steve is now retired after careers with Hewlett-Packard, LeapFrog and Underwriters Laboratories.

In his leisure time, besides music, Steve likes woodworking, digital photography, computers and home automation, biking, hiking, walking the family dog and RVing. He’s been happily married over 39 years, has two grown sons and three granddaughters.

Clark T. Denning – Membership Chair


Board Membership Co-Chair Clark Denning

Clark was 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.

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 loves to play trombone with NSW, and also plays in “YOWZA!”…a band comprised of current and former City of Newark employees. Dave also enjoys golf, fishing, and being a grandpa. He is married to Marsha, and has 2 children, 2 stepchildren, and 7 grandchildren (soon to be 8!).

Betty Cole


Board Member Betty Cole

Betty has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Tennessee. She performed (including solos) with the Jacksonville Opera Company Chorus for 3 years. She has been a choir/chorus member in several states and presently is a member of the Ohlone Chorus. She is the organist and part time soloist for the Christian Science Church in Fremont.

Betty has directed the vocals for several local productions including “Fiddler on the Roof” for Stage One, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” for Contra Costa Theatre and “Oliver” in Oakland.

With a Master’s Degree in Special Education from California State University East Bay, she now teaches Special Education students at Thornton Junior High School in Fremont. She has also taught private piano and voice lessons for over 30 years.

In her spare time, Betty volunteers and currently serves as President of the League of Volunteers (“LOV”), Newark, is on the board of Directors for the Newark Days Organization, and is a member of the Newark Arts Council.

Glenn Wiegand – Treasurer; Principal Percussionist

Glenn Wiegand

Board Member 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. Univ. Marching and Symphonic bands during the Fêtes de Genève in Switzerland.

Glenn changed majors and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, (Multiple subject teaching credential/Music Emphasis), in order to teach Broadcast Communications (radio/TV production) at Cuesta College, the local Community College in SLO. After 12 years of teaching, he had the opportunity to transition into the Graphic Communications field and now works as an Installation Supervisor for Hallmark Cards covering the entire Bay Area.

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, line dancing (President of Boots ‘n’ Buckles Dance Club), creating his Bi-Annual Haunted Garage for the neighborhood, and garden railroading in his father-in-law’s backyard. He and his wife Carole have choreographed first wedding dances for newlyweds to-be, and create theme party props for their dance club.