Administrative Staff

Karim Baer
Executive Director

Karim Baer became the executive director of Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir in October of 2018. Previously, he served as the executive director of Alonzo King LINES Ballet and director of Public Programs & Performances at California Institute of Integral Studies. He recently completed a three year fellowship with the Devos Institute of Arts Management. He believes that we have a biological need for creative experiences and arts education is essential to creating healthy people and communities. He has passionately dedicated his career to supporting important arts institutions and is honored to join the Piedmont Choirs.

Alice Del Simone
Program Director

Alice joined the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir in 1999 when a friend encouraged her to attend an audition, and has not stopped singing since! She is overjoyed to be able to help other PEBCC singers have the same amazing experiences she did during her 12 years singing with the choir. Alice received a B.A. in Vocal Performance and a B.S. in Plant Science from the University of California, Davis. She is excited to serve as Golden Gate Festival Manager after working in the past as PEBCC Program Manager, Ecco and GT1b Teaching Assistant, and as the Training Department Theory Assistant. Alice currently sings with several local ensembles, and is an avid gardener.


Martin Hodge
Finance and Operations Manager

Martin is originally from Durban, South Africa, Martin grew up in Metro Detroit with British Parents. He studied Business Administration and Spanish at Oakland Community College and then at Wayne State University where he also got his Masters Degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics. During this time, he visited South America and also learned Portuguese. Martin moved to Oakland after a few visits with his long lost cousin who had emigrated from the United Kingdom as a child. While teaching Advanced English Grammar and the TOEFL Test at a language School in San Francisco, Martin began studying Accounting at Berkeley Extension. After graduating, Martin transitioned into the Accounting field and found his way to the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir in the fall on 2015.  

While he was teaching at the language school, he became interested in Mandarin Chinese, which he now studies daily. Martin does not come without a musical background. He played tenor saxophone and studied music theory for his own enjoyment. When Martin attends concerts, he really understands how much hard work goes into making a great performance. One of his favorite Chinese proverbs is directly linked to this appreciation:


“One minute on the stage is ten years’ effort off the stage”

Beth Hooper
Registrar/ Development Manager

Beth is delighted to become a part of the Piedmont Choirs team. She grew up acting, singing in church and school choirs and playing the flute in Amherst MA. She's lived in the Bay Area since 2001 and feels very lucky to call this area home. Beth holds a Masters  Degree in Philosophy & Religion from California Institute of Integral Studies. She can be seen Directing, Acting and House Manging for community theaters all around the East Bay.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

Susan Rahl

Tour Coordinator

Susan Emmett Rahl  founded Piedmont Choirs in 1982 as a boys choir when her son Emmett was a chorister and she felt there was a need for a children’s choir in the East Bay.  Emmett had been singing under Bob Geary at the San Francisco Boys Chorus; after both Emmett and Bob had resigned, Suzie enlisted Bob to conduct a local boys choir.  It grew from the original 22 boys to the large multi-faceted co-ed organization it is today.  Suzie led the organization first as Board President, then as Executive Director before her retirement in 1999.  She has continued her involvement in planning and leading the Ensemble touring program. 
Suzie graduated from Stanford University and then received a master’s degree at Tufts University.  After working as a teaching assistant at both the Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, she had her own management consulting business until her children arrived. Her three children, Emmett, Riva, and Marisa were all founding members of the Choirs. She resided in Piedmont for 35 years and now lives in Dallas, Texas and in Oakland with her husband Dick, a former USAF jet fighter pilot and a retired attorney.
Suzie has taken great joy in watching the choir grow in stature to become world renowned, but the best part for her, has been seeing the growth in the young people who have spent their formative years with the choir. Nothing brings her more pleasure than to see them blossom as young adults, many even coming back to the Choirs as camp staff, conductors, voice teachers, office assistants, and board members.

Heather Saulnier
Marketing/ TD Program Director

Heather is very excited to join the team at Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir as of January 2017. I come from a family rich in musical tradition from composers to teachers and performers. My past includes participating in honor choirs and bands in High School to being a part of a 60 person a cappella Choir in College. I have always held music close to my heart and believe in its many faceted benefits to our health and happiness.  My daughters love of singing brought me back to the beauty of choir. When searching for a place for her to grow musically, I chose (being a practical Mom) the closest program to our home. Much to my delight, I discovered the quality and dedication to the musical education of our youth that is Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir!