Seth Brenzel, Executive Director & Director, Young Musicians Program
Marguerite Ladd, Director of Operations & Development Project Manager
Esther Landau, Director of Development
Caroline Mallonée, Director, Creative Musicians Retreat & Academic Dean, Young Musicians Program
Jefferson Packer, Director of Administration
Sam Pluta, Academic Dean, Young Musicians Program & Director, Electronic Music
Director, Young Musicians Program
Seth Brenzel has been associated with The Walden School for more than 25 years. He was fortunate to be a student at Walden for six magical summers (1985-1990), and since 1994, has served the School as a staff member, faculty member, Director of Operations, and as the Associate Director from 1996 to 2003, when he became the School’s Executive Director. Since 1995, he has sung tenor with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and is currently a professional member of that ensemble. He currently studies voice with Ruth Rainero.
Seth serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Friends School, and in the past, he has served on the boards of The Walden School, Swarthmore College, and Earplay, a San Francisco-based new music ensemble. Seth received his B.A., with degrees in Music and Political Science, from Swarthmore College, where he served as President of the College’s Alumni Association. He received an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, with a focus in non-profit management and marketing; he has also served on the Haas School’s Development Council. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership San Francisco, where he has also served as an alumni advisor.
Prior to becoming Walden’s first full-time Executive Director, Seth worked part-time for Walden during the year and held positions as a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting, in marketing and public relations at the San Francisco Symphony, and most recently led both the marketing and the enterprise sales teams for an internet software company, now part of Adobe. When not at Walden, Seth lives in San Francisco with his partner, Malcolm Gaines, and their daughter, Cora.
Director of Operations
Development Project Manager
Marguerite Ladd, Director of Operations, received a bachelor of music degree in composition from New England Conservatory of Music and a masters degree in music theory and composition with concentration in scoring for film and multimedia at New York University. She has studied with Ira Newborn, Deniz Hughes, Michael Gandolfi, and Lee Hyla, and has worked closely with Mark Snow, John Malia, and Malcolm Peyton. Marguerite’s music has been performed by the Hudson River String Quartet, New England Conservatory’s Honors String Quartet, Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Singers, among other contemporary ensembles. She was awarded a full scholarship to attend the 2009 ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker. She worked for PBS in Boston composing music for several different kinds of media publications that focus on education. She has scored many short films and commercials including films for L.A. directors Celeste Ward and Kelly Donovan. She currently works for composer Tan Dun.
Director of Development
Esther coordinates fundraising and development efforts for The Walden School. Prior to her arrival at Walden, Esther was the Managing Director for Citywinds, a critically acclaimed new music wind quintet which commissioned and premiered more than 100 new works for winds. Esther received her B.M. in Flute Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and her M.M. at the San Francisco Conservatory. She is a passionate advocate for new music, and has had the privilege of working directly with such composers as Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, and Chen Yi. With more than two decades of teaching under her belt, Esther currently teaches flute lessons privately and through the San Francisco Conservatory’s Preparatory Division. Esther enjoys doing international folk dancing and in addition to the classical flute, has dabbled in playing the Irish penny whistle and the Bulgarian kaval. Esther lives in San Francisco with her spouse Caroline Pincus and their expressive daughter Ruby.
Director, Creative Musicians Retreat
Academic Dean, Young Musicians Program
Caroline Mallonée has been on the faculty of The Walden School since 1998. Her work has been performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Symphony Space, Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, Tenri Cultural Center, and Tonic, as well as at the Tribeca New Music Festival, Long Leaf Opera Festival, Carlsbad Music Festival, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, 21st Century Schizoid Music, on the New Music New Haven series and at Boston’s Jordan Hall. Her music has been performed in the U.S., the Netherlands, Wales, England, Japan, Iceland, Italy and Mexico, and has been broadcast several times over National Public Radio on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion.” Several of her choral pieces, including The Carolers At My Door, are published by Boosey & Hawkes. Carrie holds degrees from Harvard University, The Yale School of Music and Duke University, and she was a Fulbright scholar to the Netherlands in 2004.
Director of Administration
Jefferson joined The Walden School in Fall 2011, after completing Level I of the Teacher Training Institute. Previously, Jefferson served as Youth Orchestra Manager at the San Francisco Symphony, and Manager of Human Resources and Finance at Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Jefferson received his joint B.A. degree in Music and Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, and received an M.M. in Piano Performance from San Francisco State University. In addition to being an active piano accompanist of both singers and instrumentalists, he has sung with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, and is currently a member of the American Bach Choir and the baritone soloist at St. Thomas Anglican Church in San Francisco. Jefferson lives in San Francisco with his partner, Marcel Gemperli, a professional violist.
Academic Dean, Young Musicians Program & Director, Electronic Music
Known internationally for his laptop performances with groups like Rocket Science, Wet Ink Ensemble, and The Peter Evans Quintet, New York City-based composer/improviser Sam Pluta, Academic Dean and Director of Electronic Music, is one of the most compelling electronics performers of his generation. As a composer, he has been commissioned and premiered by Mivos Quartet, Yarn/Wire, ICE, Timetable Percussion, RIOT Trio, So Percussion, Dave Eggar, and Prism Saxophone Quartet and has performed internationally as a laptop soloist and chamber musician, with appearances at the Donaueschingen Festival, the Moers Festival, Bimhaus, Porgy and Bess, and the Vortex, amongst other international venues and festivals. A devoted pedagogue, he directs the Electronic Music Studio at Manhattan School of Music and is Academic Dean and Director of Electronic Music at the Walden School. Sam’s music is released on quiet design and Carrier Records, a label he runs with Jeff Snyder and David Franzson, and his performances can also be found on More Is More, Tzadik, and hat[now]ART. Sam holds a Doctorate in Music Composition from Columbia University.
Anne Deane Berman
Tanja Shipman Gubser
Lynn Taylor Hebden
Pamela Layman Quist