Meet Our Concert Career Pathways Cohort #4


Arianna Briones was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has a close relationship with her family and part of that bond was formed around music. They’ve always enjoyed going to concerts together and listening to music. This opened a creative side to her and is one of the reasons why she does music, dance, and art. Her current goals are just to be as happy as she can be while still being productive. Her biggest goal is to have her own music venue where she can put on shows that bring everyone together. Though this is a lofty goal, Ariana hopes that this program will help her develop skills and find her niche to begin a career in the industry in the meantime.


Ben Sintchak, 17 years old, was born in Oakland and raised in Albany, California. Currently he is a freshman at Diablo Valley College taking classes to explore his interests. His hobbies are skateboarding, photography, and graphic design. His goal is to take these hobbies and turn them into careers. When Ben was introduced to the Concert Career Pathways program he was really interested to learn more about the industry, especially production. With this opportunity he wants to begin to build a portfolio as a concert photographer.


Bryanna Law was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Throughout her education, she was involved in band, choir, baton twirling, and musical theatre. However, while she loved having a life full of music, she didn’t see space for herself to create a career in the music industry. After discovering a love of electronic music events, Bry began doing promotional and volunteer work for music festivals. These experiences helped her realize that there are many career opportunities in the industry. Through this program she hopes to gain as many new skills as possible, especially in lighting design.


Cheryl Cushing was born and raised in Sacramento and recently graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California. She grew up in a family that loved music, but it wasn’t until high school that she realized she wanted to work in the industry. A guest speaker visited her band class to speak about his career. He had begun his career managing bands and eventually transitioned into owning and operating a recording studio. The next day she spoke to a guidance counselor about choosing a college with a music business program and was disappointed when they told her that programs like that didn’t exist. She is thrilled to be a part of the Concert Career Pathways Program. While participating in the program, she hopes to explore as many positions within live music as possible and develop a better sense of where her interests and skills are.


David Murphy is from Berkeley, California. While studying neuroscience at Northeastern University in Boston, David became immersed in the local DIY music scene, playing in bands and helping friends run shows out of their basements and attics. He quickly realized that his true passions were in booking, promoting, and organizing live music, and so he transitioned into a new career path. Now back home in his native Bay Area, David is excited to be a part of the Concert Career Pathways Program where he will gain firsthand experience in the technical and business details of the live music industry. His long term goals point towards front-of-house management, where he can be involved in building relationships between artists and venues and to create a positive and inclusive environment for patrons, artists, and staff alike.


Degen Gleason-Hyman was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to California with his parents when he was 13.  As he grew, so did his interest in media entertainment. He wanted to become part of organizing and contributing to projects including short films, documentaries and concerts. This interest led to him learning about the Concert Career Pathways Program, which has introduced him to everything that goes into creating a live music experience. Degen is happy to be involved with the graphic design and promotions departments at The UC Theatre.


Grey Janowski began playing music at a young age. He got his first drum set from his mom in 2nd grade and was signed up for lessons. This was just the beginning. Over the years, he has picked up trumpet, guitar, and singing. During college, he discovered his passion for the music technology industry, including all aspects such as recording, live sound, and more. His current goals are to receive more hands-on experience in the music technology/live sound area, as well as the concert industry as a whole. He believes the Concert Career Pathways program will benefit him greatly in achieving these goals. In the future, he aspires to be a sound engineer at a music venue in the area, or working in a recording studio of any kind, whether it be working with artists, or in a movie studio recording/producing film soundtracks.


Isaiah Upshaw is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to Richmond, California three years ago. As a young musician, he has been exposed to numerous genres of music. He completely immersed himself into the music and arts scene in Minneapolis and feels that experience has shaped him into the person he is today. Through the program Isaiah hopes to gain experience and network with professionals in the concert industry. He’s most excited to explore promotions and production more in depth.


Ivan Cardenas is from San Francisco, California. There, he has been exposed to many different live music events. He believes that music brings together people from various backgrounds and makes them become a community. The connection that music makes amongst many people has driven Ivan to pursue a career within the music industry. He hopes to learn about the various departments that exist within the industry. In particular, Ivan is interested in artist management and bar operations. The Concert Career Pathways Program will provide the fundamental understanding Ivan needs in order to successfully thrive in his future endeavors.


After high school, Kate Konstantynowicz wasn’t sure what they wanted to do with their life. They spent about 5 years working in food service until they realized their passion for music production, audio engineering, and event production. They signed up for school at SAE Expression and have spent the last two years studying what they are most passionate about. When they found out about the Concert Career Pathways program, they thought it was too good to be true. This program has given them some incredible real world experience in the live music industry. Kate is confident that through this program, they will be able to gain enough experience and build connections and relationships that will help push them towards the career of their dreams.


Oakland native Kristian Manning is a nineteen year old student at Berkeley City College. Since her mom is a school provider and owned a summer camp, all of her childhood, she grew up around kids of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Through the Concert Career Pathways program, she is planning to gain more knowledge about the entertainment business. Her current goals are to elevate her creative production company, MasHoney, as well as start to create more content as a filmmaker. Her future career goals are to put MasHoney on the map that supports and elevates young artists of color, while working on becoming a professional writer, film director, etc. She wants to insert herself into as many creative positions as possible and knows that The UC Theatre will give her the tools to help reach her never ending goals.


Marissa Gutierrez is originally from Manteca, California. Growing up, she always had a deep appreciation for the arts, especially music. If you were to ask her today, she would still tell you that going to concerts is one of her favorite hobbies. After she graduated from California State University, Chico in Media and Communications, she decided to follow her passions. She is most excited about being able to combine her love for the industry with her love for writing and photography. Marissa has always seen and felt the impact that live music can have on an individual, and is excited to contribute to creating spaces that are inclusive and safe. One of her career goals is to do photography professionally, either for an artist directly or for a music publication.


Monica Motta grew up in the small town of Discovery Bay, California. Some of her earliest memories are listening to music in the car and singing along with her family. Her family started taking her to concerts when she was a child and her love for live music grew as she got older. She started to go to multiple concerts a month and she couldn’t get enough music. That’s when she knew that she wanted to be in the live music industry. She is finishing up her degree in the Music Industry Program at the University of the Pacific, where she has had the ability to gain lots of experience in recorded music from studying it at school in a professional recording studio. Her career goal is to become a live sound engineer and feels that her participation in the program will help improve her skills and experience in order to get a job in the music industry.


Naomi Harrison-Clay was born and raised in New York City, where they were exposed to a robust community of artists, musicians, and poets from a very young age. They grew up experimenting with a variety of artistic mediums before landing on music– a discipline which they choose to devote themselves to as an interdisciplinary art. Naomi recently graduated from Mills College where they had many moving experiences collaborating with others and performing in unique and nurturing environments. This has led them to want to pursue a career in event management and sound engineering, which they believe The UC Theatre’s Concert Career Pathways program will aid them with. Naomi’s passion lies in creating environments that can facilitate vulnerable connection and collaboration across mediums, and provide resources to support folks who are generally excluded and underrepresented in the music industry. They hope to work specifically towards developing and running spaces that are 100% accessible and center the talent and management of queer and trans/nonbinary people.


Growing up in a very musical family has had its perks for Sarah Zamjahn. In the past 4 years, she has attended so many concerts that she’s lost count. She thinks that getting to experience something you love with other people that love the same thing as you is the best feeling. She went to Los Medanos College for Recording Arts, but she always knew that she wanted to get into the live music industry, which is where the Concert Career Pathways Program comes into play. Something that has always fascinated Sarah about this industry is the potential for her to make a living touring with acts and visiting other places around the world, all while doing something she loves. She is excited to see where in the live music industry the connections made in this program will lead her to as she begins her career in the industry.


Wanny Mei grew up trying to absorb as much culture as she possibly could. One of her favorite mediums to do that was through music. Now, at 21 years old, Wanny is studying Sociology at UC Berkeley to further analyze the society around her and hopefully apply that knowledge to make a positive impact. Wanny hopes to learn as much as she can from The UC Theatre Concert Career Pathways Education Program in marketing and promotions and the roles they play in making the concert experience memorable and impactful for the audience. She believes that live music can connect people and build community, and she is excited to be a part of that. Ultimately, Wanny would like to work on putting together and promoting larger-scale festivals in the future.