Brant Ruggles, Music Director and Conductor, has over thirty years of vocal music and choral conducting experience. He began his choral career as a high school choir director and, over time, conducted choirs in the Miss Iowa Pageant, in various churches and, most recently at Gavilan community college.
Brant graduated from the University of Wisconsin where he studied under Robert Fountain and earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting.
In both his teaching and church work, Brant has provided a wide range of musical experiences. He has conducted larger works with chorus and orchestra as well as smaller works with and without instrumental accompaniment.
Sandi Lien, Accompanist, has over 60 years of experience as an accompanist, starting with playing for church and choirs and individuals in grade school through high school. She developed a passion for musical theatre and was involved in directing and assistant directing Community Theatre broadway musicals for 12 years.
The South Valley Symphony is a community orchestra that has been performing for audiences in the South Bay for 39 years. Local musicians volunteer their time and talent to be part of the orchestra that performs at four subscription concerts during the concert season under the direction of music director Anthony Quartuccio. Many of our musicians also perform with other orchestras and ensembles in the Bay Area. The Symphony's mission is to make live music available for all ages, and in particular to introduce major modern and classical works to the younger generation. To this end, the Symphony includes music from many genres and styles, including classical symphonic works, opera, jazz, Broadway, and pop. Many performances feature well-known soloists, chorales, and musical groups.
In 2011 the Symphony performed a special free concert for the parents and students of Live Oak High School. Part of the program included a performance by the Live Oak High School Jazz Band. In additon, a master class was held for the Live Oak advanced band students.
In August 2012, in alliance with the newly established Jackson Academy of Math & Music, several musicians from the Symphony orchestra performed at the Jackson Music Festival. Gilroy and Christopher High School Chamber singers were the highlight of the May 2013 Music at the Mission Concert when they joined the Symphony orchestra under the direction of Choir Master Phillip Robb in a moving performance for Mothers Day. Each year the Symphony hosts the Al Navaroli Young Musicians Competition, The purpose of the competition is to encourage young musicians to develop their talent and skill, and to motivate them with the chance to perform before a live audience. The winner(s) of the Competition are rewarded for their dedication and hard work by performing as the featured soloist with the Symphony orchestra at our Youth Concert in the spring of the concert season.