A Message from the Maestro

This Sunday’s “Extraordinary Women” concert promises to take you on one of the most fascinating journeys of your LA  Winds season. From the 15th century heroine Joan of Arc to the present-day royalty of Queen Elizabeth, the Winds will share with you the power, majesty and beauty of some of history’s most influential women. Many of you have already reserved additional free tickets for this special Mother’s Day concert by sending an e-mail to Mary Gallegos at mgallegos2@aol.com. For additional tickets, contact Mary ASAP so they’ll be waiting for you at the box office Sunday.

On Sunday, June 18 – FATHER’S DAY, we’ll celebrate such legendary men as King David, Cyrus the Great and George Washington. The LA Winds “Flight 584” Big Band will also perform.

After the concert, I’ll host a special “invitation only” reception at the concert hall for members of the Maestro’s Circle and the LA Winds Board of Directors. If you or someone you know is interested in helping to fund the Winds’ important activities by joining our Executive Board, let me know at member@lawinds.org so I can get complimentary tickets for the concert and reserve a place for them at the reception.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, May 14th and Sunday, June 18th. Both concerts are at 2:30 pm and we’re back at our new home in Calabasas!


Member Spotlight
Joel Kabakoff (Bb Clarinet, Alto Clarinet)

I’ve been a band member since 1994. After speaking with bandmate Bob Crosby after a rehearsal of another group we played in, he suggested that I call Steve Piazza. I did so, telling him about my clarinet background. He replied with: “We can always use good ones.” Within 5 minutes of my first rehearsal, I knew I was finally in the right place. Playing with the LA Winds has led to years of enrichment, playing before appreciative home audiences and going on many great ventures, including 5 European trips! My favorite moment was on our first European trip in 2000 where we played a joint concert with the local band in the hill town of Prossedi, Italy.

In addition to the LA Winds, I  play alto clarinet in the Los Angeles Clarinet Choir. I’ve been working as a paralegal for over 20 years and currently work in the recording department at a Westlake Village title company. I enjoy golf, photography and rooting for Cleveland sports teams.


Subscriber Spotlight
Marcy and Mike Orkin

Now retired, Marcy, a paralegal and Mike, a scientist, were raised in the San Fernando Valley. We subscribed when our high school daughter, Dena, joined the nurturing Wind’s clarinet section. She is now completing a DMA degree in clarinet performance and literature. When her brother, Daniel, returned from college, she encouraged him to join the trombone section.

Tuesday nights, we may be found at Viva Cantina in Burbank watching/listening to Daniel and fellow LA Wind’s members performing in the Flight 584 Big Band.

Marcy volunteers to help Mary Gallegos. Mike helps (?) by nagging Maestro Piazza to program more Henry Fillmore marches.


Special Thanks

Thanks to Nancy Lew and her husband, Lee, for their generous support of the LA Winds and for hosting the LA Winds Woodwind Quintet (Juan Rivera, Steve Piazza, Jessica Wilkins, Charles Fernandez & Joy Armstrong) and Saxophone Quartet (Caryn Rassmusen, Ed Etayo, Tom Stipulkosky & Dave Weston) at their lovely home. The cake was amazing (see inset above) and the ribs were unbelievable!

To find out more about how you can host a chamber group at your home next season, as a Maestro’s Circle member, email member@lawinds.org or check out the subscriber form in the next concert program.


We are sorry to have lost a dear friend of the LA Winds family last month

Elaine Kinkel
It is with much sadness that we pass on the news that Elaine Kinkel has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Elaine was a huge supporter of the LA Winds who helped with many fundraising events, including our Ralphs program, and tirelessly volunteering her time and energy over many years. Her son, Rick Kinkel (trumpet) and daughter-in-law, Audrey (clarinet) are LA Winds alumni. 

She will be missed by the entire LA Winds family