Musicians Union Local 6
116 Ninth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-2603
Office Hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Dues Department closes at 3:30pm
Kale Cumings - President
Kale Cumings, a native of Michigan, received a B.M. degree from Wheaton College and a M.M. degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with Vincent Cichowicz. Kale is an active freelance player and performs with many local orchestras.
Forrest Byram - Vice President
Forrest Byram is a freelance tuba player who performs throughout the Northern California area. He plays regularly with the Monterey Symphony, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the California Symphony and the Modesto Symphony. He has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, and the orchestras of the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Byram is a founding member of the San Francisco Brass Quintet. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he studied with Arnold Jacobs, and has lived in the San Francisco Bay area since 1982.
Beth Zare - Secretary-Treasurer
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Beth Zare has played the French Horn since the age of ten. She grew up in the Palo Alto, and got her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of Southern California. She played principal horn in Mexico City for eight years. In 1995 she returned to the Bay Area to play with the San Jose Symphony. In 2005 Beth served as Vice President of Local 153 in San Jose, CA. When Wally Malone stepped down as president Beth filled that position until 2008. In 2010 she was elected President once again of Local 153, a position she held until December of 2013 when the local merged with Local 6. In 2013 she was appointed by the Board to replace Gretchen Elliott as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 6, a position she assumed on January 1, 2014. When she is not busy with music Beth enjoys playing golf and billiards.
Board of Directors
Meredith Brown - Trustee
Ms. Brown is well-known throughout Northern California, holding Principal Horn positions with the Napa Valley, Fremont and Vallejo Symphonies, and serving as Acting Principal Horn of the Santa Rosa Symphony. She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet, as well as with the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Marin Symphony, the Fresno Philharmonic and the California Symphony. In addition she has extensive experience in musical theater, including the San Francisco appearances of White Christmas, La Boheme, Ragtime, Fiddler on the Roof, Titanic, Sound of Music, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Educated at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, with a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, Ms. Brown lives in the East Bay.
Gretchen Elliott - Trustee
Gretchen Elliott began studying the cello at the age of seven. After growing up in Phoenix, AZ, she attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for her senior year in high school. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in 1970 from Indiana University. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, she worked as a freelance cellist and was an extra with the SF Symphony and SF Opera Orchestra. She was also a member of the SF Ballet Orchestra for nearly 10 years when chronic shoulder pain forced her to retire. In 1994, she joined the Local 6 staff. 2 years later when Melinda Wagner assumed the presidency, Gretchen was appointed to succeed her as secretary-treasurer of Local 6, a position she held until her retirement at the end of 2013. Subsequently, she was elected to a 3-year term in the Board of Directors, beginning in 2015.
Josephine Gray originates from New Zealand where she graduated with a Bachelors of Music Performance (Violin) from the University of Auckland. She certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 1998. Other than the violin, which she plays professionally in many Bay Area regional orchestras, Josephine plays piano, guitar and sings. She has taught Alexander Technique at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, at Chevron, and at the Opera Academy of California. Josephine has served on the Executive Board for Local 6 since 2004.
Steve Hanson, a Minnesota native, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Moorhead State University. He toured throughout Europe for three years as a U.S. Navy Musician in the NATO Band headquartered in Naples, Italy. He received his Master’s degree in Music from North Texas State University. During his five years in Texas, he worked as a freelance musician with membership in Dallas Local 147. He moved to New York City and performed there for four years while he was a member of local 802. Steve moved to the Bay Area in 1986 where he has been active as a bass player. He has served on the Executive Board for Local 6 since 2004.