Bios

Xiomara Di Maio

The Contra Costa Children’s Chorus is delighted to have Grammy Award winner, Xiomara Di Maio, as its new Associate Director. Ms. Di Maio’s professional activities have been centered in the Bay area since 1998. She is a well-respected, award winning music educator, choral conductor, piano instructor and vocal coach. Ms. Di Maio was formerly the Preparatory and Musicianship Director at the San Francisco Boys Chorus and also the Preparatory Director at the Pacific Boy Choir Academy.

Ms. Di Maio was born in Caracas, Venezuela to a musical family. At five years old she was accepted by the Juan Jose Landaeta Conservatory of Music where she studied piano, percussion and sang in the children’s chorus. She continued at the Conservatory through middle school and high school year. She was selected to teach musicianship classes to young children at the Conservatory when she was seventeen.

Ms. Di Maio came to the United States in 1980 on a full scholarship at Indiana University where she received her Bachelors in Music, majoring in Piano Performance and Percussion, and a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting. She has also studied with Vance George, the Director Emeritus at the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Ragnar Bohlin, the current San Francisco Symphony Chorus Director and Roy Bogas, Professor of Piano at Holy Names College and has been a guest pianist for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

Ms. Di Maio sang with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for eight years where she appeared on several Grammy winning albums, and is now a member of the Women Sing ensemble directed by Martin Benvenuto. She has done collaborative work with the UC Berkeley Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of Professor Marika Kuzma. She was a guest conductor with the La Jolla Symphony Chorus and has performed with the internationally known Venezuelan conductor Maria Guinand. She specializes in Latin American choral repertoire and has taught many workshops on that subject throughout the Western states.

Ms. Di Maio has a remarkable ability to stimulate musical accomplishment in children who she inspires with her humor, her musicianship and her positive attitude. Many of her private students have gone on to study at Julliard, Oberlin and at the Berklee School of Music and many have gone on to professional careers in music and theatre.

Ms. Di Maio is the Music Director of the Lamorinda School of Musical Arts in Lafayette, California where she teaches piano and voice, and has been the chorus vocal coach, and accompanist at the renowned Stanley Middle School music program since 2000.


Bob Athayde

Recognized for his outstanding teaching and musicianship, Bob Athayde has garnered a number of awards including the Gil Freitas Outstanding Music Educator Award, (1989), the Diablo Symphony Association’s Distinguished Music Educator Award (1995), Charles Schwab’s Teach Each Distinguished Teacher Award, the Prudential Realty Outstanding Teacher Award (1999), the AC5 Arts Recognition Award (2003), and the KDFC Outstanding Music Educator Award (2004). Bob was recently awarded the California Music Educator’s Don Schmeer, Outstanding Band Teacher of California Award.