Board of Directors

Nat Collins, President
Stefan Gerhard, Treasurer
Kyle Adler, Secretary
Geri Actor, Personnel Manager, Strings
Lee Actor, Assistant Conductor and Composer-in-Residence; Music Committee Chair
Annette Grot, Concert Coordinator; Marketing-Communications Committee Chair
Rebecca Ritger, Personnel Manager, Winds
Natalie Haworth-Liu, Board Member; Fundraising Chair
Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia, Board Member
Cyonee Mukhopadhyaya, Board Member



Nat Collins, President

Nat Collins has been a musician in the Palo Alto Philharmonic since 2002, a Board member since 2004, and President since 2010. Besides playing violin in the Philharmonic, he plays in the Tempo Giusto quartet, and participates in Music at Kirkwood, an annual music camp for chamber musicians.

Nat is also a founding Board member and the Chairman of the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, a non-profit evening adult education center in Cupertino, where he also takes History and Art History classes. Other volunteering efforts include teaching Economics to high school seniors through Junior Achievement, as well as teaching music to kindergarteners and first graders.

Nat is an avid bicyclist, photographer, and electronics tinkerer. Currently starting his own bicycle accessory company, Nat has held semiconductor technology development positions with Texas Instruments and Micron Technology in Texas, Italy, and California. Nat has earned a B.S. and a M.S. degree from Boston University's College of Engineering and holds two U.S. patents.

Stefan Gerhard, Treasurer

Stefan Gerhard's bio will appear here shortly.


Kyle Adler, Secretary

Kyle Adler began playing the trombone in the fifth grade. While an undergraduate at Harvard College, he performed with numerous ensembles including as principal trombone with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra, with which he appeared as soloist in the Wagenseil Trombone Concerto. He studied trombone with Lawrence Isaacson of the Empire Brass Quintet and Per Brevig of the Juilliard School and the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. After college, Kyle continued to play and perform actively as a trombonist in the Boston area and later in Philadelphia while a graduate student at the Wharton School. Relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area after finishing graduate school, he held a variety of management positions over a 26-year career with Hewlett-Packard. In 2016, Kyle switched careers to pursue his lifelong passion for travel photography. A recent winner of the prestigious international competition Travel Photographer of the Year and a finalist in National Geographic’s Travel Photography Awards, Kyle has had his work published in a variety of major outlets internationally and exhibited in the US and the UK. He leads photography tours and workshops in locations around the world. Married with two daughters, Kyle continues to play the trombone in Bay Area community orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is principal trombonist with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and the Foothill Symphonic Winds, having performed the Rimsky-Korsakov Trombone Concerto as soloist with the latter group. In addition to professional and musical pursuits, Kyle also enjoys hiking and worldwide travel with his family.

Geri Actor, Personnel Manager, Strings

Violist Geri Actor is a frequent contributor to several bay area musical groups, also as a pianist, keyboard player and percussionist. She has been principal violist of the Palo Alto Philharmonic for almost 24 years. To support her musical habits, Geri has worked in high-tech industries for over 30 years, principally in engineering, product development and program management; she has degrees in Physics and Materials Science, and is co-author of several patents and papers. Geri recently retired from the high-tech world, to concentrate on her musical activities, which also include teaching and gig management.


Lee Actor, Assistant Conductor and Composer-in-Residence; Music Committee Chair

Link to Lee's bio.

Annette Grot, Concert Coordinator; Marketing-Communications Committee Chair

Annette Grot joined the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 1994 after moving to the area to work at HP Labs. Having played the violin since elementary school, she enjoys the unique atmosphere of the orchestra's focus on classical music in a community setting. Annette is originally from Philadelphia, PA where she studied electrical engineering at the University of Delaware and the University of Pennsylvania. She then earned her PhD in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Music has always been an important part of her life, which she now shares with her husband, Geoff, and two school-age daughters, Emily and Allison. Annette joined the Philharmonic's Board of Directors to help with the operations and direction of the group.

Rebecca Ritger, Personnel Manager, Winds

Rebecca Ritger decided to play oboe after hearing a college wind quintet perform at her public elementary school in High Point, North Carolina.  Many years later, she attended Illinois Wesleyan University majoring in biology and minoring in music. She continued playing oboe in college and met her husband, Andy, studying music history together. After earning an M.S. in Biology from American University, they moved back to the Bay Area in 2004. 

Rebecca joined the Palo Alto Philharmonic in 2006.  She lives in San Jose with her saxophone player husband, two daughters, and two cats.


Natalie Haworth-Liu, Board Member

Natalie has been involved with the Palo Alto Philharmonic for over 12 years, holding both piccolo and principal flute positions, and appearing frequently as a soloist for chamber and Baroque music concerts. She is the Music Director at Monticello Academy in Santa Clara, CA, and her flute studio attracts some of the most talented and dedicated students in Silicon Valley.

Natalie received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Flute Performance from the University of Oregon's School of Music as a Ruth Close and Phi-Beta scholarship recipient, and has performed with numerous orchestras throughout Oregon and the Bay Area.

A passionate advocate for arts education, Natalie has worked extensively in Arts Administration and Educational Outreach with several Bay Area arts organizations, including, Ballet San Jose, Ballet San Jose School, sjDanceco, and the Ives String Quartet.

Natalie resides in San Jose with her husband, two sons, and two rescued Shih-Tzus.


Cyonee Mukhopadhyaya, Board Member

Cyonee Mukhopadhyaya’s bio and photo will appear here soon.

Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia, Board Member

Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia’s bio and photo will appear here soon.