Clarinetist Ricki Nelson is an active freelance musician in his native Northern California.  He holds a Master’s Degree and a Professional Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music Degree from California State University, Sacramento.  Ricki has taught at the University of California, Berkeley’s Young Musician’s Program, Sacramento State University, and the New Haven Unified School District in Union City. He also maintains a private studio in the San Francisco Bay Area.  As a performer, Ricki has appeared with the Merced Symphony, Oregon House Symphony, Ensemble Parallele, Music in the Mountains, Benicia Ballet, and the hybrid hip hop and Classical group, Ensemble Miknawooj. 

A proud and passionate teacher, Ricki’s path led him to the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley - a program that provides advanced musical training and weekly tutoring services for motivated, college-bound students from minority, low-income households.  This program challenged him not only to teach instrumental skills, but also to model the role of a positive, multi-racial male figure, particularly for his younger students. Another important teaching endeavor is his work with the students and faculty of the flourishing music program at Alvarado Middle School in Union City.