Founding Board of Directors
Armando Castellano, President, is the founder and artistic director of Quinteto Latino, a performance and education organization that performs classical music by Latin American and Latino composers. Quinteto Latino works to collaborate with communities not traditionally served with chamber music and culturally relevant arts education. As an arts advocate, Armando is the lead teaching artist for Quinteto Latino, providing bilingual residencies, music education, and performance services to students of all ages, in the Bay Area and across the country. He also actively mentors classical musicians of color all over the country. His equity work is far reaching and tireless, giving talks on diversity in classical music, culturally relevant arts education and cultural expression in the arts. He currently sits on four boards nationally, where he is also an active committee member: The California Alliance for Arts Education, Chamber Music America, The Castellano Family Foundation and Donors of Color (founding board member). As a professional French horn player, he is active internationally as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral performer.
Chaz Salazar, Secretary, Mexican-American flutist, employs “classical” music as a catalyst for social justice as an orchestral musician, teaching artist, and musical activist. He works to ensure that students who are part of marginalized communities, specifically those of socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and people of color, have equitable exposure and access to music and music education. In his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, he has served as the flute instructor for Harmony Project Phoenix, an El Sistema -inspired program. Chaz was a founding member of the in-home chamber music series, An Evening of Music. Along with performances at churches, community centers and retirement homes, Chaz has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony as a substitute musician. Currently, he is attending the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in the Artist Diploma program under the mentorship of Demarre McGill (Principal Flutist, Seattle Symphony). He is a flute instructor for the CCM Preparatory Department and was awarded the National Orchestral Institute Sphinx Futurist Fellowship. A first-generation college graduate, he earned both his BM and MM degrees in Flute Performance from Arizona State University.
Marianne LaCrosse, Treasurer, is General Manager and Education Programs Director at Music@Menlo, an internationally acclaimed summer chamber music festival and institute based in Atherton, California. In her role, she oversees the festival’s production and operations, as well as Music@Menlo’s Chamber Music Institute for emerging and pre-professional musicians, and the Arts Management Internship Program for college students and young alumni. Prior to her arrival at Music@Menlo in 2005, she worked for fifteen years at the University of Washington in Seattle in a variety of departments, including the School of Art, Student Affairs, Educational Partnerships, and the School of Public Affairs. Her past volunteer experience includes board service with youth orchestras as well as community-based chamber music organizations. A passionate advocate for the arts, Marianne received her bachelor’s degree in viola performance from Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Karen Cueva is a Peruvian-American violinist, educator, and arts administrator. In 2015, Karen co-founded the Du Bois Orchestra, a Boston-based orchestra that sought to amplify the orchestral repertoire by performing works of underrepresented composers. Passionate about ensuring that young people have equitable access to high-quality musical instruction, Karen currently serves as the Assistant Director for Learning and Engagement Programs at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. There, she oversees professional development for music educators in public schools and community music education programs across the country. She is also a Knowledge and Strategy Associate at The Lewis Prize for Music, which partners with leaders who create positive change in their communities by investing in young people through music. Karen holds degrees from The Juilliard School (B.M., M.M.) and Harvard University (Ed.M.). She enthusiastically supports the mission of Quinteto Latino and is honored to be a founding board member.
Dra. Julia Curry Rodríguez for over three decades, Chicana and Chicano Studies professor has dedicated herself to advancing Chicana/Latino student success including all undocumented students. She has worked diligently to expand access to higher education in order to develop leadership and civic engagement in our societies. Dr. Curry led the creation of the undergraduate degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies at San José State, the UndocuSpartan Resource Center, and helped to shape the Africana-Asian American-Chicano-Native American Studies Center of the King Library. Dr. Curry is a core member of the SJSU Human Rights Institute Collaborative contributing in the area of immigration and human rights. As a first-generation immigrant, Curry has been an advocate for the academic success of immigrant students, helping them overcome financial and administrative barriers. Her research focuses on immigrant women and children in an effort to integrate their experiences into policy, theory, and needs. Her goal is to help in the removal of barriers and biased understandings of immigrants and immigration by focusing on contributions immigrants make to humanity, society, and culture. Curry received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and her bachelor’s in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She grew up in La Puente, California and credits her mother and sister for her tenacity and courage as well as for her love of her culture- language, food, art and music.
Laura Hale is an early childhood educator and Piano Teacher in Menlo Park, California. After a brief career practicing law (University of Wisconsin JD: 1982) she took a hard turn and began practicing piano. She went back to school and got an early childhood credential as well as a Masters of Piano Pedagogy from Notre Dame de Namur University. For the past 20 years she has taught scores of children and adults in her home studio.
Jose Santos is a program officer at The Grove Foundation, where he leads the Foundation’s Safety Net grantmaking. His work at the Foundation focuses on ensuring that basic human needs are met and partnering with communities and individuals to improve their prospects, become self-sustaining, and thrive. Jose currently co-leads racial justice/equity work within the Foundation, the goal of which is to improve the degree to which the Foundation’s grantmaking advances racial justice and cultural proficiency. Jose serves as a steering committee member for the Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative, and on the grant review panels for two local tax measures. Prior to his work at the Foundation, he was a community organizer in East Palo Alto working on substance abuse prevention issues. He earned his BS in Business Administration and MPA from the University of San Francisco. Jose is also Manager, Safety Net Program at the Grove Action Fund.