Our Audition Judges
Active as classical, world and jazz pianist, composer and festival curator, Stephen Prutsman explores and seeks common ground in music of all cultures and languages. In the 1990’s, Stephen was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky of Moscow and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Piano Competitions, and has since performed concertos worldwide with leading orchestras and as a soloist. For several years he was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Music Festival. As a composer his music has been performed throughout the world by artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Tom Waits and the Kronos Quartet. Passionate for causes related to the needs of the developmentally disabled, in addition to being on five Bay Area autism boards, Stephen cofounded with his wife the non-profit organization “Autism Fun Bay Area” which creates artistic and recreational environments for people on the autism spectrum and their families. These “Azure” events occur throughout the bay area and are taking place in other cities in North America.
Mr. Zaldivar is a native Californian who was born and raised in the Silicon Valley. He is the Executive Director of San Andreas Regional Center (SARC) and has worked for the past 18 years in various functions, including; Director of Consumer Services South (2011); District Manager for the South Santa Clara and San Benito Counties (2006); District Manager of the Transition Unit (2002). He also served as a service coordinator serving adult individuals (2006). During his tenure, he has had the opportunity to work with every age group, including early start and intake. He has also managed several technical contracts related to state and federal reimbursements. Mr. Zaldivar has also served as a primary manager of the regional center electronic data base as well as coordinator for staff development. He continues to work in his role of Executive Director with many community partners which help the individuals with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Jody received her Master's and Bachelor's of Music in music therapy from Michigan State University, and is a Board-Certified Music Therapist. Jody currently provides music therapy to children and adults with varying diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. Experience in clinical music therapy work includes neuro-rehabilitation, emphasizing Neurologic Music Therapy, with which she published her thesis entitled “The effects of Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation [RAS] on gait training for persons with Traumatic Brain Injury.” Jody is also an active presenter of music therapy in-services and workshops nationwide. Her research interests include Psychoneuroimmunology and music imagery, palliative pain care management with music, and the effects of expressive art forms on the body’s immune system.
Lisa Kleinbub is the Executive Director of Regional Center of the East Bay. Prior to assuming this position in July 2017, Lisa was the Director of Health and Behavioral Services and a Clinical Nurse Specialist at RCEB. She also led RCEB’s diversity and equity efforts. Lisa is committed to building partnerships with the people we serve, their families, staff, providers and the larger community so that individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities can have satisfying lives in inclusive communities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University and a Master’s degree in Nursing from San Francisco State University. Lisa has also worked as an independent living skills instructor, a vocational trainer, and a direct service professional. A native of Flushing, NY, she has considered California and specifically the East Bay, home for over 30 years.
Our Final Competition Judges
Christopher Showerman is an American actor and producer who is best known for his role as George in George of the Jungle 2. Chris was born and raised in Michigan where he started his acting career at Michigan State University as a music major. He has appeared in films like Sea of Fear, Idol, Live Fast, Die Young, Complacent, and Big Game. On television, he has appeared on Jack of All Trades, The OC, CSI Miami, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and held a recurring role on Supergirl. On his acting career, he has said, “I moved to Los Angeles to dive into the deep end of the talent pool. Once in California, I took any and every job to pay the rent, including working at the world famous Gold’s Gym in Venice and parading as a giant pink ball for a supermarket that delivers. I continued to take acting classes and occasionally book small roles in small movies or local plays...Yes, I’m the luckiest kid in the world, but not because of my career or the money I have made and lost. My fulfillment comes from loving what I get to do and loving those that support me in doing what I love.
NANCY BARGMANN was appointed Director of the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) on March 4, 2016, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. The Department, in conjunction with the 21 private nonprofit regional centers located throughout the State, provides services and supports to over 300,000 Californians with developmental disabilities. Director Bargmann has extensive experience in the developmental services field, both in the private, non-profit and corporate sectors, and the State. From 2012-2015, she served as deputy director of the Community Services Division at DDS where she developed policy and oversaw regional center operations and services. Since 2015, she has served as associate executive director at the San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center. From 2009 to 2012, she held a variety of positions at Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment Inc., including executive director and business consultant, and held several positions at the MENTOR Network from 1998 to 2009, including vice president of operations, vice president of business development and California state director. In addition, she held several positions at the Inland Regional Center from 1985 to 1998, including community services director, resource manager, adult services program manager and consumer services coordinator. Ms. Bargmann started her career working with individuals who have developmental disabilities as a direct service professional with The Arc of Orange County in 1984. A native Californian, she was born and raised in San Bernardino. Director Bargmann earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management, and a Master of Science degree in social work from San Diego State University.
ANGELA INKYUNG SOHN
Born in Seoul, Korea, Angela Inkyung Sohn was raised and educated in Hong Kong and entered Stanford University at the age of 16. She was the first Korean to receive the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Angela Inkyung Sohn is a member of the Soma Trio and the Korea Festival Ensemble. Her performing career as both soloist and chamber musician has taken her to Japan, Singapore, China, Spain, Germany, Scotland, Canada, United States and Russia as well as cities throughout Korea. She has appeared as soloist with the KBS Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the St. Petersburg State TV and Radio Orchestra and her recordings include KBS FM's "Korean Musicians", "Reminiscence" (Sony/BMG), Soma Trio albums 1~3 and a solo violin Christian Contemporary Music album "With All My Heart." She has taught at Yonsei University and the Korean National University of Arts and is the founder and conductor of the Onnuri Sarang Chamber Orchestra, a full chamber orchestra comprising over forty members with intellectual and developmental disabilities (including Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Sarah Nematallah is the co-founder and Executive and Artistic Director of Xenia Concerts Inc., an organization that offers high quality music and arts performances, presentations, and educational programs, in an environment that welcomes those who might not have access to such events and activities due to physical, mental, or financial barriers. Ms. Nematallah has led a rewarding career as a performer and arts administrator since 2004, with an extensive history of representing Canada and the Canadian Arts Scene both nationally and internationally, in over 30 countries on 5 continents. As a violinist, she was a founding member of the award winning, JUNO nominated Cecilia String Quartet, and has performed solo, orchestral, and chamber music internationally for institutions such as the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam); the Berlin Konzerthaus; London's Wigmore Hall; the Library of Congress (Washington D.C.); the Verbier Festival (Switzerland); and the Banff Summer Arts Festival. In addition to her touring profile, Ms. Nematallah has performed and given presentations on music for hundreds of non-standard venues and audiences, including California School for the Blind (Fremont CA), San Francisco County Jail (San Francisco CA), the Monarch School for Homeless Youths (San Diego CA), and Learning Through the Arts at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto ON). In 2005, she was the recipient of the University of Toronto William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award given to a graduating student deemed by the University to have the greatest potential for making an important contribution to the field of music. Ms. Nematallah was previously Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, as well as Co-coordinator of the Faculty's Chamber Music Program. She has appeared as a panel speaker for organizations such as the Canadian Arts Presenting Organization (CAPACOA), Chamber Music America, and the International Artists Managers' Association (IAMA).
Mimi Kwan is ABC7’s (KGO-TV) Vice President of Community Affairs. She oversees community outreach efforts with regard to airtime for non-profit groups, event sponsorships, and other support. She has received three Emmy awards for Community Excellence and community affairs programs, Beyond the Headlines, and Profiles of Excellence. She has been honored by several organizations, including the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition. She has volunteered with Asian Women’s Shelter, Oakland Asian Students Educational Services, Self-Help for the Elderly, and Asian American Cancer Support Network, among others.
JINYE (RAINCAT) WANG
Renowned concert organizer and professional piano instructor Jinye Wang has been dedicated to cultivating a lifelong love and understanding of music in young musicians and the California Bay Area community for more than four decades. A classically trained and award-winning piano teacher, Ms. Wang maintains a full and diverse studio of piano students -- known as Raincat Studio. Students in Raincat Studio are known for not only achieving musical excellence but also using their talent to engage in their communities. Ms. Wang frequently invites highly-acclaimed international artists to the Bay Area to deliver masterclasses, lectures, and performances, and organizes unique educational programs including summer music programs and chamber music and small ensemble opportunities. Raincat Studio students have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, on broadcast television and radio, and have amassed countless awards and honors from international and national music competitions and evaluations. They have gone on to study at renowned colleges and universities including Yale, Juilliard, Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, MIT, CalTech, and NYU. Ms. Wang is the founder of Artch, a non profit organization dedicated to music education and outreach. She has previously served as a board member of The Steinway Society - The Bay Area and maintains professional affiliations with the Music Teachers’ Association of California and the Chinese Music Teachers’ Association of Northern California.
Matt Keller is a familiar face for FCSN. He was the emcee of the very first FCSN Special Needs Got Talent (now known as Special Needs Talent Showcase) in 2015. He has returned every single year since then as emcee with the exception of last year when he was one of the judges. In 2017, Matt also started emceeing for FCSN Gala as well. His wonderful sense of humor and personality won the audience over and kept them thoroughly entertained. Matt is currently the Media and Public Relations Supervisor at Valley Water. Before that, he was an anchor and reporter for more than 20 years. Matt won two Emmy awards and Edward R. Murrow award. He was most recently a reporter and fill-in anchor for ABC7 New here in the Bay Area. During his time off, Matt enjoys running, spending time with his family and supporting his friends at FCSN.