Board of Directors
Leading The Symphony To New Heights
David Derks, President, is also Vice President of ASIFA-Hollywood, as well as digital producer for EuroPacific Films and Web producer for AnimationScoop.com and LeonardMaltin.com. He is currently in Business/Legal Affairs and Production at Viacom Media Networks and works with MTV, BET, Paramount Television, Comedy Central, TV Land, CMT and Nickelodeon. He was previously at ABC Studios and involved with shows like Desperate Housewives, LOST, Alias, Grey’s Anatomy, According to Jim and Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as television miniseries like Muppets’ Wizard of Oz and Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital. He was recently a digital producer at Twentieth Television and oversaw Divorce Court, Judge Alex and Dish Nation. Additionally, David is also producing animation for an independent film that’s currently in post production, and is getting ready to launch his online digital cartoon site String Theory Cartoons.
Hiten Ratanjee, Treasurer/Director of Finance, grew up in Southern California. He attended Troy High School, earned his Bachelor’s degree at Cal State Fullerton and went on to pursue his Graduate degree from the University of Illinois. He loves spending time with his family (wife, son, & dog) and traveling the world. He shares a passion for music and enjoys playing guitar and performing on stage with his music school throughout the year. Hiten brings his love of music and his experience in business finance to help promote the arts to the community and the younger generation.
Pilar Graves, Secretary, spent the last 25-plus years supporting the arts as an art dealer running galleries in New York and Los Angeles. As a native of La Mirada, her love of music was reinforced during the many ballet, tap and modern dance classes she took in her early years. Pilar studied Classical Archeology at the University of Arizona.
As a young student, she studied piano and clarinet and is particularly impressed with the Symphony’s commitment to music education.
L. C. Harnsberger is an accomplished composer, author, and arranger. He received his degree Music Composition from the University of Southern California where he studied with internationally respected composers including Morton Lauridsen, and Stephen Hartke.
His published works include music for band, full orchestra, solo piano, chorus, reference books, and method books; some of which have been translated into multiple languages including German, Japanese, and Korean. His multimedia opera “Golondrina” was performed in Los Angeles in 2015 and again in 2017. Many of his orchestral compositions have been performed by the La Mirada Symphony. He is a member of the La Mirada Symphony horn section and performed with them as co-soloist in Schumann’s “Konzerstucke for Four Horns and Orchestra.” Samples of his compositions are available at LCHmusic.com.
Joan Cain, Orchestra Manager/Contractor moved to La Mirada in 1955 and joined the La Mirada Symphony in 1964. She remained with the orchestra as principal flute for the next 47 years. During this time, she was a featured soloist seven times. In 2011, she retired from her flute position, but continued as Manager/Contractor/Librarian for the Symphony. She also maintained a private flute studio for 46 years. Her students have gone on to be professionals in music, science and education.
Her most meaningful time with the orchestra was performing the Vivaldi Concerto in C Major for two flutes with her son Brad, who made his debut with the La Mirada Symphony at the age of 12 and is now co-principal flute of the orchestra.
Like most musicians, Greg Adamson wears many hats; cellist, composer, conductor, and educator. He has performed worldwide, in such diverse venues as Vatican City, Disney Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and Radio City Music Hall, to name but a few. He has performed with a broad range of artists including James Taylor, John Williams, Rod Stewart, Yo Yo Ma, Dr. Dre, Glenn Campbell, The Who, Guns ‘n Roses, and Elton John, and has been seen on numerous occasions performing on the MTV Awards as well as the American Music Awards. Locally, Mr. Adamson has performed with the La Mirada Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Long Beach Symphony, Burbank Chamber Orchestra, Redlands Symphony, Riverside Philharmonic, San Bernardino Symphony and Pasadena Pops. He is the solo cellist for the renowned Bach Cantata Series at St. John’s.
He has been nominated for the Grammy Music Educator Award for the past four years. For the last two years Greg was a quarter finalist; one of just 200 educators in the United States.
Past President and Director Pat Ruiz has been a resident of La Mirada since 1956 when she and husband Nick moved with their daughter and subsequently raised 4 children. Pat considers La Mirada to be a wonderful place to live has served the city in a variety of ways through the years. She retired from teaching at Escalona Elementary School after 26 years, was a member of the Norwalk-La Mirada School Board for 8 years and the La Mirada High School BEST foundation for 5 years. Pat has also served as Human Services Commissioner, Cantor at St Paul of the Cross Church, Community Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and the Ebell Women’s Club member. She has been a member of the Kiwanis Club and on the Advisory Board of St. Paul of the Cross School. We are proud to add, Pat served 11 years as president on the board of the La Mirada Symphony.
Melissa Harter Meeks