Kimberly Blake-Kilgore, Conductor

Since 1991, the Camerata Strings under the direction of Kimberly Blake-Kilgore, has provided string musicians with the opportunity to participate in an outstanding and rewarding intermediate string orchestra program. The orchestra is composed of approximately 40 auditioned musicians from the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Conejo Valley and surrounding communities. In this group we offer the opportunity for string musicians to learn the skills necessary for successful orchestral playing. Orchestral techniques are taught with special emphasis on the following: developing more advanced musicianship skills, blending with others, following the conductor, bow technique, dynamics, learning to work with other musicians, weekly practice techniques, auditioning skills, and learning to polish orchestral music as a cohesive ensemble ready for performance. The repertoire for Camerata Strings includes arranged and original classical symphonic works from various style periods ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, as well as familiar themes from movie scores.

Kimberly Blake-Kilgore earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge, where she studied violin performance with Kathleen Lenski. She has built a reputation as a renowned private teacher for young violinists since 1980. As the founder of the CSUNYO Camerata Strings, Mrs. Kilgore has been conducting the ensemble since 1991. As a professional freelance violinist, she has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the Los Angeles area, including the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra. She was privileged to tour with conductor Kent Nagano throughout the Caribbean and the British Isles. In 1983, Kimberly was a member of the International Philharmonic, performing at the prestigious Edinburgh Music Festival in Scotland. She has toured throughout Europe, Australia, Mexico, Australia, and the Caribbean performing with her violin. Kimberly has enjoyed a diverse career in the LA studios which includes recording for TV, motion pictures, and various pop, jazz and classical recording artists. As violin soloist, she toured and recorded with R&B singer Teena Marie. She has performed and recorded with such greats as Jazz artist Ray Charles, Placido Domingo, Michael Bolton, Laurie Anderson, Rod Stewart, Everette Harp, and others.

Kimberly is highly motivated to provide opportunities for children to experience music. As a young violinist, she had the opportunity to perform under several great conductors including Kent Nagano, Yehudi Menuhin, Calvin Simmons and Denis de Coteau. These conductors influenced her life and made a huge impact on her approach to teaching music. She has been successful in helping create a strong strings program in the elementary schools in Thousand Oaks where she lives with her husband studio percussionist Brian.


 Camerata Rehearsal Schedule

Download the 2023-2024 rehearsal schedule here (.pdf)

Rehearsals begin at 9 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m.  Please be seated 10 minutes prior to rehearsal time and warm up and tune carefully with tuner. Please have instrument, music, instrument tuner, music stand and a pencil at every rehearsal.