L-R: Celeste Rosen-Rooney, Lisa Guan, Ronald Gutierrez, Kathy Doan, Ronald Deans, Gary Pieroni, Jave Kane, Rosemarie Girard, Barbara Williamson,
Diane Williamson, Kyle Baldwin, Suzanne Balmaceda, K~lee Kemp, Xiaorou Ruan, Michael Garcia, Piyamaporn Creel, Mhel Kavanaugh-Lynch.
El Cerrito’s New Amateur
Orchestra Is Music To Our Ears
One of El Cerrito’s best-kept secrets is their new
musical orchestra! The El Cerrito Community
Orchestra (ECCO) has helped quench the thirst
of amateur musicians looking to perform in a
local ensemble. The ECCO was formed in June
2019, bringing such musicians together with
support from the El Cerrito Arts and Culture
While the players are indeed “amateurs,” it
helps to remember the term’s root meaning.
In Latin, amator means “lover,” which aptly
describes the ECCO—a group of people who
play music for the love of it.
ECCO members are as diverse as their
instruments, which include strings, woodwinds,
and brass. So far, the ensemble has been made up
of students, retirees, and everyone in-between.
Some members have not played an instrument
in over 30 years while others are taking up a
40 MARKETPLACECONTRACOSTA.COM FEBRUARY 2020
By Kathy Doan
new one. Members gain the precious experience
of performing with an ensemble while being
coached by a professional conductor.
“I’m absolutely excited to conduct the El
Cerrito Community Orchestra,” Kyle Baldwin,
ECCO conductor, commented. “There are few
opportunities for amateur musicians to play in
large ensembles, and I’m delighted to be part of
one of the few in the East Bay.”
ECCO members come from all over the
Bay Area, from Pleasanton to Oakland, and
even Conductor Baldwin commutes from San
Francisco. All diligently attend weekly rehearsals
in El Cerrito, and some open up their homes
to host extra practices —a true testament to the
Unlike some other East Bay musical ensembles,
the ECCO is open to all instruments as well