Rachel Cementina assumes her new role on Monday, April 3

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The San Luis Obispo Symphony Board of Directors has named Rachel Cementina the new executive director of SLO Symphony. Cementina’s background in local nonprofit management and fundraising, combined with a deep passion for promoting community-based arts programs, will help to further advance the mission of the organization that celebrated its 60th anniversary last year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rachel as our new executive director,” said Jim Walker, SLO Symphony Board of Directors president. “She will bring experience, enthusiasm, great communication skills, and a fresh air to our organization. We feel very lucky to have found her and look forward to a successful and invigorating future with her at the helm.”

When Cementina assumes the role April 3, she will manage all day-to-day operations for the County’s preeminent regional orchestra, known for innovative performances, Youth Symphony/educational programs, and the annual POPS By The Sea program. Cementina will also lead fundraising programs, as well as marketing and community engagement initiatives. Cementina’s background has included six years as the community engagement director for the United Way of SLO County, and most recently she served as the director of membership, marketing, and philanthropy for the San Luis Obispo YMCA.


“I am honored to join such a passionate group of musicians, staff and volunteers at the SLO Symphony,” Cementina said. “I look forward to serving the community and promoting arts and music education on the Central Coast.”

Cementina will oversee the remainder of the 2022-23 season, which includes the fifth and final classics concert of the season, Tchaikovsky and Testimony. 

This concert will take place on Saturday, May 6, at the Performing Arts Center SLO. The symphony will be partnering with the Diversity Coalition of San Luis Obispo to bring the audience the West Coast premiere of William Banfield’s Testimony of Tone, Tune, and Time. With seven short movements, the narration is based upon the speeches of historical African American orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. It is scored for two narrators, solo saxophone, piano, harp, percussion, and strings. The group will also be performing Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Number 4. 

“I am delighted to welcome Rachel as the next executive director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra. She has a proven track record of commitment to and engagement with the SLO community and I am very excited to begin this new chapter together,” said Music Director and Conductor Andrew Sewell.

Founded in 1954, The San Luis Obispo Symphony ignites a passion for music in the Central Coast community, creating connection and joy. By investing in promising local youth with the drive and determination to study orchestral music, SLO Symphony is building the next generation of musicians and music patrons. Through accessible performances and outreach opportunities, SLO Symphony enriches the region with cultural vitality and improved quality of life.