Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Board members left to right: Don Pender; Nancy Gadol-Abrams; Steve Kurasch; Margaret Warton; Lisa Kenney; Jim Blodgett

James Blodgett

Born into a musical family, Jim’s mother is an accomplished organist and grandfather a noted opera singer. Jim graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in history and a minor in voice. Jim is a successful insurance executive whose passion is music. Recognizing that he hadn’t the talent or drive to make a career in music, Jim settled for choral singing and bit parts in operas and musicals. Supporting the arts, particularly fine organizations like New Millennium Chamber Orchestra, is a very worthy endeavor for Jim

Nancy Gadol-Abrams

Nancy Gadol Abrams worked as a scientist for 20 years in various biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the Bay Area and then blossomed into a medical writer. In 2007 she became a freelance medical writer ( To keep her sanity, she played her clarinet in various bands, orchestras, Lyric Theatre, Mission City Opera and chamber music workshops. She feels very lucky to be playing in the New Millennium Orchestra with so many talented musicians.

Lisa Kenney

Lisa has been playing violin since she was 8 and has performed with many and varied ensembles on and off in the many years since then in NJ, MA and CA. Currently working as an IP paralegal, Lisa has worked in Intellectual Property Law since moving to California in 1990, but her passion has been in participating in the many performing opportunities available in the SF Bay Area. She has a strong dedication to NMCO’s vision and commitment.

Steve Kurasch

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Steve’s father was a violinist and his mother an actress. Steve began playing trumpet at 8 years of age, and studied with John Clyman (Principal with Los Angeles Philharmonic and Fox Studios). Steve was a member of the Los Angeles Pops Symphony at 15, and he also played with Glendale Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and Music Center Orchestra. Steve has been a studio musician playing on records, television shows, motion pictures, commercials and cartoons, and has performed in Australia, Asia, Canada and across the United States with different rock bands. Steve has a B.S. in Mathematics/Computer Science from UCLA.

Don Pender

Don attended Berklee School of Music and holds an M.A. in Music education from Boston University, in addition to participating in music programs at various other institutions. Don has had a long and prestigious career composing, recording and performing on his many instruments of expertise with many of the greats of jazz. Since coming to San Francisco in 1985, Don has played in several top Jazz Clubs and has been studying Oboe and English Horn with Jim Matherson, Principle Oboist with the San Francisco Opera. Don has recorded SD-1002-1007, the latest three BY-PASS 1V SD-1005, HARDING PARK SD-1006, and STORYVILLE SD-1007. For Don’s full bio, see his website at,

Margaret Warton

Margaret Warton, flute and piccolo, earned her music performance and chemistry degrees from Portland State University in 1989-1990. After moving back to the Bay Area, she took a long break from performing, working in accounting, finance and HR for 15 years before earning her Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley in 2007. She has worked as an analyst at Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research for 10 years and is co-author on over 40 articles in various research journals. She returned to the flute several years ago and enjoys playing with several different community music groups.

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