A symphony orchestra is made up of many different kinds of instruments that are often grouped into “families.” And just like a human family, instruments come in all shapes and sizes and they, and those who play them, definitely have their own unique personalities. The main sections of the orchestra are: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Within these families, further distinctions are made for each instrument. Explore each section of the orchestra below:

Strings

Click tabs to read about members of the Strings section.
Everaldo Martinez, Concertmaster

Endowed in honor of Gov. Arthur A Link and Grace Link
Sponsored by David & Gail Schollars 

Originally from Honduras, Oscar Everaldo Martinez joined the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster and youth orchestra conductor in 2010. Formerly, he was first violinist of the Lubbock Symphony String Quartet and a coach and leader for the Lubbock Youth Orchestra. He has performed with many ensembles throughout the southern United States, including orchestras in Baton Rouge, Jackson (MS), Biloxi, Mobile, Roswell (NM), and Midland-Odessa, as well as performing with opera orchestras in New Orleans and Abilene. Currently, he is on the faculty of several colleges in the Bismarck-Mandan area and he was an instructor of violin and viola for six years at Texas Tech University. In 1997, he was selected as the best young musician in Honduras and was chosen to represent his country in all-Iberian orchestras gathered in Caracas, Venezuela under the auspices of the famed Simon Bolivar Orchestra. Besides being a gifted instrumentalist, Martinez in an enormously talented composer. He began composing at the age of fifteen while a student at the conservatory in Honduras and was selected by competition to participate in the composition program at the Brevard Summer Music Institute, in Brevard, NC in 2002. He has been published by Gebruder Stark Musikverlag & Sons of Leipzig. In May 2011, Dr. Martinez earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in violin performance from Texas Tech University.

Ross Baumgardner
Brittany Bearsheart
Tara Bohlen, Associate Concertmaster

Endowed in memory of Helga Gonzales
Tara Bohlen is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota. She currently serves as associate concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, maintains a violin studio and is a violin instructor at University of Mary. Tara began studying violin at the age of nine at the Suzuki School of Music. In 2001, she graduated cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in music education. At St. Olaf, she held positions as concertmaster of the Philharmonic and first violinist in the St. Olaf Orchestra. Previously, Tara has served as the string teacher in the Bismarck Public Schools, directed the Strolling Strings, and played viola in the North Dakota String Quartet and first violin in the Blue Lake Fine Arts Faculty Quartet in Michigan. Tara enjoys playing improvisational violin in the worship band at her church and recording music. Tara and her husband Josh have three daughters.

Brigid Dorman
Christi Kuhlka

Sponsored by BNC National Bank
Christi Kuhlka’s first season with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra was in 1998. She spent time away from the BMSO to earn her B.A. in Music from Minot State University and to travel and work in Africa and Brazil. Christi returned to the area in 2007 and has played full-time with the orchestra since then. She currently works as a private violin and piano instructor in Bismarck and Hazen. Christi lives in New Salem with her husband Travis, who is the associate veterinarian in New Salem. She enjoys working with livestock and being outdoors in addition to her participation with the Symphony.

Mary Lou Person

Endowed by Hon. Robert & Susan Wefald in memory of Norbert Mueller, who played the violin in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 50 years and was first cousin of Irma Benschop, Susan’s mother.
Mary Lou is a charter member of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and has played in the violin, viola, and cello sections. A graduate of Augustana College in Illinois, Mary Lou has a degree in music education, majoring in string instruments. She taught strings in the Bismarck schools; the Anchorage, Alaska school system; and Suzuki strings at Pacific University in Anchorage. Before retiring and moving back to Bismarck, Mary Lou started the string program in the Goddard, Kansas school district. It has become a very successful program, and after ten years, has about ninety students in the high school orchestra. Mary Lou was a tenured member of the Anchorage Symphony; the Mid Continent Symphony in Newton, Kansas; and the Friends University Symphony in Wichita. Mary Lou and her husband, Alan, have three children, and have retired to their farm northeast of Bismarck.

Emily Robinson

 

Lindsey Tafelmeyer

 

Rachel Thomason

 

Dana Van Heukelom

Sponsored by BNI Coal

 

Susan Wefald
Maja Kay Carpenter*
Sarah Frank
Jennifer Glatt
Bridget Coleman
Pat Jessen
Melissa Murphy

Sponsored by Al & Karen Wolf
Melissa has had the honor and privilege of playing the violin for roughly 24 years. She started with the Suzuki Method at age 4 and played in orchestra and Strolling Strings during her Bismarck Public School years. She continued to play improve, jazz, and rhythm violin in college and beyond. She has played with many live bands, local and worldwide, and has been featured on many recordings, and even an animation. Her fiddle has traveled the world, with her, and has been played on the beaches of Goa, in the slums of Hyderabad, and in every nook and cranny in Amsterdam. Melissa has returned to her roots, and is currently teaching violin with the Suzuki School of Music. More recently, her new love in life is playing roller derby with the BisMan Bombshellz as Fiddlin’ Fury #55.

Jeff Person
Nora Salveson

Sponsored by the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony League
Nora is a graduate of University of Mary where she majored in history and social behavior science. She has been playing violin for 24 years and this is her thirteenth year in the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. Nora is an active member of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony League Board. She teaches music privately in her home studio and is a teacher at Simile Middle School.

Carol Samuelson

Sponsored by BNI Coal

Carol obtained her first violin at the age of 40. She began studying with Barb Duda and has played in the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony since that time. She is a retired registered nurse. Carol and her husband, Dr. Albert Samuelson, live in Bismarck. Their families include 6 grown children, 12 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.

Lisa VanHeukelom

 

Rachael Brash

Rachael, a native of Bemidji, Minnesota, has been with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra since 2007. She attained her bachelor’s degree in communications from Concordia College and her master’s in education from Northern Arizona University. She is a past member of the Concordia College Orchestra and Bemidji Symphony Orchestra. Rachael is employed by the University of Mary as the Director of Graduate and Distance Admissions and lives in Bismarck with her husband, Martin, and two daughters, Anna and Elsa.

Lillian Clanahan
Michelle Harmstead
Mary Hoberg

Sponsored by Bismarck-Mandan Symphony League
Mary enjoys life in a musical family. She credits her mother and aunt with getting her started in music with viola and piano lessons and attending recitals and concerts. Her husband Allen is a vocalist. Mary is a regular participant at Dakota Chamber Music at Minot State University and follows opera in many venues.

Quinn Karges*
Melissa Knell
Michelle Hamilton
Traci Juhala

Sponsored by Al & Karen Wolf
Traci Juhala has been playing the cello for 33 years. She grew up with the string program in Bismarck Public Schools, studied privately with several cello teachers throughout those years, and first played with the BMSO in 1988. She nurtured her love of music after high school by earning a BA in Music and Norwegian from the University of North Dakota. Traci continued her education outside of the music realm with a MSc by Research in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Edinburgh and a MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She kept playing her cello all that time, however, and she was delighted to return to Bismarck and rejoin the music community in 1999. In addition to the BMSO, she plays with the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra in Bismarck. When Traci is not playing her cello, she works as a children’s librarian at Bismarck Public Library

Jeremy Overbeck
Tiffany Peterson

Sponsored by Edward Jones, Marlin Peterson Financial Advisor
Tiffany is a sophomore at Century High School and is a member of the CHS Chamber Orchestra. She served as principal cellist in the ND Middle Honors Orchestra for two years, was a member of the 2015 Middle School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, member of the ND High All State Orchestra, and studied at Masterworks Festival in Cedarville, OH. Her instructors have included Jeremy Overbeck, Dr. Erik Anderson, and Dr. Natalia Vacarciuc. Tiffany is also a member of the CHS Wind Ensemble as a trombonist. She is the daughter of Marlin and Leslie Peterson.

Karol Riedman
Sarah Rychner
Katherine Schafer

Sponsored by Carol Russell
Katie has been a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony since 2008 and has been playing cello for 18 years. She is a graduate of the University of Mary and is employed as a social worker with the State of North Dakota. Katie loves sharing the beauty of music through the symphony, and especially enjoys playing improv cello with local bands and on the worship team at Newsong Church. She is also a visual artist. Her passion is to impact the community and world in a positive way by sharing her artistic and musical gifts.

Ron Steininger
Vonne Tarnasky
Natalia Vacarciuc*

Natalia Vacarciuc, originally from Moldova (one of the republics of the former Soviet Union), received her undergraduate degree in her home town Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, at the Academy of Music “G. Musicescu.” Immediately upon completion of these studies, Ms. Vacarciuc became principal cellist at both the National Symphony Orchestra “TV-Radio Moldova” which toured frequently around Europe and the chamber orchestra of the National Theatre “M. Eminescu.” In 2001 she came to the United States to continue her education, pursuing the Master of Music degree at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA. Since then Ms. Vacarciuc has performed in numerous chamber music ensembles, orchestras, and summer festivals throughout the US, including the Baton Rouge Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and Lubbock Symphony. In 2002 she was a semi-finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Dr. Vacarciuc received her Doctoral degree in Cello performance from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX where she also taught cello for several years as a teaching assistant. She now lives and teaches in Bismarck where she is principal cellist with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, served on the faculty of the International Peace Garden Music Camp and performed as a soloist with BMSO and Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Vacarciuc is part of the Sonorus String Quartet, that has recorded a recital for Prairie Musicians on PBS TV Channel. She also has a private teaching studio where she teaches cello to students of all ages.

 

Ben Ehrmantraut

Endowed by Dr. D’Arcy Honeycutt and Dr. Tom Spagnolia
Ben is co-owner/operator of Ehrmantraut’s Academy of the Arts with his wife, Kris. They teach children through adults in the areas of music arts, martial arts and dance. He has been a member of the symphony since 1983. Ben is a graduate of Bismarck State College (Associate Degree in Music), Eden Ministries (Two Years Seminary), and a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and Performance from the University of Mary. Ben is also Bassist with the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra. As an artist in residence, Ben teaches Applied Strings at the University of Mary, as well as self-defense and TaeKwonDo at Bismarck State College.

Hank Hirchert
Darren King
Jennifer Michalenko

Endowed by David Davis Estate
Jennifer Michalenko is the orchestra instructor for the Jamestown Public School system as well as the Middle School Choir teacher. She graduated from Minot State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education in 1995. Jennifer is also a member of the Minot Symphony Orchestra and is adjunct faculty at the University of Jamestown. She was recognized as the NDSTA String Educator of the year in 2008. Jennifer is a native of Minot, North Dakota, where she grew up playing bluegrass and old-time country music with her family group, The Michalenkos.

Tom Weigel

Endowed by Harry & Katherine Pearce in memory of Beth and Clarion Larson
Sponsored by Starion Financial
Graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1969 with a BS degree in Mortuary Science, Tom is the owner of Weigel Funeral Home since 1971. He is a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, Mandan Rotary and National Funeral Directors Association. Tom started playing the acoustical bass in 1985 and joined the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra in 1989.

Woodwinds

Click tabs to read about members of the Woodwinds section.
Erica Belverstone
Lisa Bost-Sandberg*

Endowed by Harry & Katherine Pearce in memory of Beth and Clarion Larson

Dr. Lisa Bost-Sandberg is the Instructor of Flute at the University of North Dakota, teaches composition at the University of Mary, and performs as principal flute of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and flutist of the InterSpheres Trio. Active as a performer, composer, improviser, and educator, her guest appearances include universities, conferences, and festivals in the United States and Europe. She has recorded on the Albany, GIA, and North Texas Jazz labels. A dedicated advocate of the music of today, she has premiered numerous pieces and is currently serving as chair of the National Flute Association New Music Advisory Committee. Her compositions have been selected for performance at regional, national, and international events, including National Flute Association conventions, the American Trombone Workshop, and the World Saxophone Congress in Scotland. A Montana native, Bost-Sandberg is a graduate of the University of Iowa (Bachelor of Music), New York University (Master of Arts), and the University of North Texas (Doctor of Musical Arts). www.lisabost.com

Marnie Kraft

Marnie Kraft grew up in Underwood, ND and is the daughter of Steve and Barbara Gazdik of Underwood. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND and a Master of Music degree in flute performance from the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID. Her primary former teachers were Loran Eckroth and Richard Hahn. Marnie taught ear training and private flute studies at the University of Mary from 1993-2000. She is currently employed with J.W. Pepper in sales and marketing, and she has taught private flute lessons since 1986.

Marnie has performed as soloist with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, the University of Idaho Symphony Orchestra, the Washington-Idaho Symphony Orchestra, the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, and the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble. She currently performs as principal flutist with the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, as acting principal flutist and/or piccoloist with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, as flutist and piccoloist with the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble, and as a freelance musician. She lives in Bismarck with her husband Paul, daughter Alayna, and cat Stratus.

Elizabeth Haugen
Charity Ost
Jessica Vandal
John Bisbee
Trudy Fraase Wolf
Tonya Mertz*

Sponsored by EdSons Construction
Tonya Mertz is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota. She received bachelor’s degrees in oboe performance and music education from the University of Mary and a master’s degree in oboe performance from the University of Northern Iowa. While in Iowa, she played second oboe for both the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra and the Waverly Orchestra. Currently, she is the principal oboist of the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, and the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble. Mrs. Mertz has been the featured soloist with both the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra and Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. She maintains an oboe studio of about 15 students in grades 5 – 12 and is the adjunct oboe instructor at the University of Mary. Many of her students place competitively in state music festivals and youth orchestras. Mrs. Mertz resides in Bismarck with her husband and daughter.

Nancy Svanes Olson
Steve Glaesmann

Endowed by Tim & Monica Wonnenburg
Steve is a graduate of the University of Mary with a bachelor of Science degree in music. He is a piano tuner and technician and has played clarinet with the Symphony since 1981. He is also a member of West River Winds and the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble. Steve travels to the Symphony from Ashley, ND.

Rhonda Gowen*

Sponsored by Carol Russell

Rhonda Gowen has been principal clarinet of the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra twenty-nine years. She earned undergraduate degrees from Minot State University and an MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Her clarinet instructors have been Robert Quebbeman, John Anderson and Carmelo Galante. Rhonda has also played with the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, the Billings Symphony Orchestra and the Minot Symphony Orchestra. She has had solo appearances with the BMSO, the MVCO and the Minot City Band. As an artist for ND Council on the Arts Teacher Incentive Grants, she and fellow musicians have integrated live music programming with world history, language arts and drama for children. Rhonda is currently executive director of the MVCO, a church musician and choir director, a piano accompanist, and an adjunct piano instructor at the University of Mary. She and her husband Dennis have three children.

Christine Ballenger

Christine Ballenger teaches general music at Solheim Elementary in Bismarck, ND. She holds degrees in performance and education from the University of New Mexico and the University of Puget Sound, and a certification in Orff-Schulwerk from George Mason University. Christine has also studied the Kodaly Method and World Music Drumming. She is currently teaching as an adjunct professor of music at Bismarck State College and the University of Mary, in addition to running her own private studio. She has performed with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony on alto saxophone, clarinet, and bass clarinet.

Neil Tafelmeyer
John Darling

Dr. John Darling is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Bismarck State College where he is the Program Coordinator for the music program and is responsible for conducting the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble. He also teaches Instrumental Conducting, Music Theory, and music technology courses. He joined the faculty of BSC in the summer of 2003 after serving two years as the Assistant Director of Bands at Rutgers University. He has degrees from The University of the State of New York (A.A. and B.A.), Virginia Commonwealth University (M.M. in conducting), and The Ohio State University (D.M.A. in conducting). Dr. Darling stays active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the upper Midwest. He is an Associate Member of the Board of Directors for the International Music Camp where he teaches during the summer sessions, and serves as the State Chair for the North Dakota National Band Association. Dr. Darling retired after a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Army band program in which he served as a saxophone player, a music theory and ear training instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music, and as the director of Army bands in South Carolina, Korea, Virginia, and Hawaii.

Daniel Loudenback*
Chandler Hertz
Charlie Hertz
Sara Boyd*

Sara has been principal bassoonist of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony since 1989 and is principal in the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra and the Bismarck Mandan Wind Ensemble. She has appeared as a soloist with the MVCO and West River Winds. Sara is the bassoon instructor at the University of Mary and has a private studio in her home. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in performance from the University of Akron and her Masters of Music from Baylor University. She resides in Bismarck with her husband and twin sons.

Mike Hagburg
Erika Tuntland

Brass

Click tabs to read about members of the Brass section.
Lorraine Fader
Teri Fay
Jennifer Flores
Pat Hager

Endowed by The McQuade Distributing Co., Inc. (Sam and Maryvonne McQuade)
Pat Hager has been a member of the BMSO since 1984. She studied music at Bismarck State College and Moorhead State University and she is a social worker in the Bismarck area. In addition to French horn, she plays classical guitar and enjoys many outdoor activities including camping, hiking and hunting with her husband Marvin.

Krystal Jordan
Miles Miller
Leslie Peterson*

Leslie is the librarian and personnel manager for the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Minot State University, where she played principal French Horn with the Minot Symphony Orchestra. Leslie taught K-12 music, private French Horn and piano lessons, and has been active in church worship music. Leslie is a member of the Bismarck Mandan Wind Ensemble and the BMSO Brass Quintet. She and her husband, Marlin, have three children.

Jeff Vranna

Laura Zamzow Lynch

Dr. Laura Zamzow Lynch has been teaching at the University of Jamestown since 2013. She earned a doctorate in conducting and a masters in horn performance from the University of Northern Colorado. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Luther College.

In Jamestown, Dr. Lynch conducts the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and the Big Orange Pep Band. She also teaches a variety of music education courses. Prior to teaching in ND, she taught at Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, and at Washington High School in Vinton, Iowa.

In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as the collegiate advisor to the state NDMEA board. Dr. Lynch also serves as the North Dakota representative to the national SMTE organization. She has presented at two national conferences through the CBDNA organization. She recently presented on the F Horn at the NDMEA state music conference. Dr. Lynch is a studio horn teacher in Jamestown.

She and her husband John live in Jamestown with their dog, Sadie.

Sponsored by Tim and Faye Atkinson and North Dakota Guaranty and Title Company

Taylor Abler

Taylor is a 2013 trumpet performance graduate of the University of Mary. Throughout his high school and collegiate education, he received numerous awards for solo and ensemble work, and performed as principal/lead trumpet in the UMary concert and jazz band and the North Dakota Intercollegiate Band. Also during his time there, Taylor had the opportunity to play with many notable musicians, including Luis Bonilla, Jeff Coffin, The Temptations, and the Canadian Brass. A member of the BMSO since 2010, Taylor enjoys playing in local ensembles, teaching privately, and his job and the chef-manager of Fireflour Pizza. He is married to Danielle Abler, music teacher at Garrison High School.

Ryan Barry
Brandon Bondley

Brandon Bondley has served as Director of Bands at Jamestown High School since 2012, where leads the Concert Bands, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band and Pep Band.  Prior to his current position, he taught elementary music and beginning band for three years in Bismarck at Northridge Elementary School.  Bondley serves as the Secretary for NDNBA, is a member of NAfME and is currently the East Band Representative on the NDMEA Board.  He was awarded the NDNBA Allegro Band Award in 2015.  Bondley has adjudicated elementary, middle school and high school level festivals (solo, ensemble and large group) in North Dakota.  He plays trumpet in the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and the Bismarck-Mandan Wind Ensemble.

Tony Fladeland

Tony was born and raised in North Dakota. He holds teaching degrees in Mathematics and Music and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration. He taught for seven years in Bismarck as a middle school band director. Since 2010, he has served as the principal of St. Mary’s Grade School in downtown Bismarck. Tony lives in Bismarck with his wife, Alicia, and their son, Samuel. Among other things, he enjoys being with family, teaching, reading, biking and cooking. He has performed on trumpet for the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra since 1999, and plays an active role throughout the state as a music performer and educator.

Abelardo Flores

Abelardo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music from San Diego State University, where he studied composition with David Ward-Steinman and Merle Hogg. An active composer and arranger, his works are published by TRN Music, BAS Publishing Company, and Wehr’s Music House and have been programmed by groups such as the United States Air Force Band and the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C., the 1st Marine Division Band, the Charleston Symphony Wind Quintet, and various university and community ensembles throughout the United States. His orchestration of Lazare Saminsky’s “The Vow” has been recorded by pianist Barry Goldsmith and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on the Kleos Classics label. His concert band works have also been featured at the National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis. He served as Music Director of the San Diego Concert Band from 2001-2011. He has also performed with the the West River Winds (for which he is the associate conductor), the Missouri River Community Band, the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, and the Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus. He currently teaches Pre-K to 6th grade general music, choir, and band at Christ the King School.  He resides in Mandan with his wife, Jennifer (also a BMSO musician).

Dennis Gowen

Endowed by Eugene Kralicek in memory of Carol Kralicek, former cellist with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra

Dennis began his tenure as Conductor, Director of Band and Director of Brass Studies at the University of Mary in 1987. A native of Maine, he holds conducting, performance and teaching degrees from Western Michigan University and the University of Southern Maine. Guest conducting and solo performance engagements have kept Dennis active professionally throughout the Upper Midwest and North Central regions as well as in Canada and Maine. Dennis’s brass students have competed successfully in state and regional collegiate competitions on trombone, trumpet, and horn over the past two decades, and his conducting students have gone on to receive artistic acclaim in their post-graduate studies and careers. As a performer Dennis has worked with various ensembles and orchestra in North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan, as well as the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine. He has served as principal trumpet with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony and the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra and has also been a featured soloist with these and other orchestra and wind ensembles in the North Central region. Dennis and his wife, Rhonda (principal clarinet), have three children.

Theresa Bickler
Russell Ballenger*

Endowed by Evan Lips

Dr. Russell Ballenger is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, where he teaches low brass and directs the Jazz Ensemble. As an orchestral trombonist, Ballenger has performed with the Amarillo Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, and currently holds the position of Principal Trombone with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra.  He has performed with the Four Tops, played for the National Broadway tour of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical!,” and traveled with Carnival Cruise Lines. Ballenger has had multiple articles published by the International Trombone Association. As a clinician, he has presented at prestigious institutions including Boise State, West Texas A&M, and Indiana Universities. He holds degrees from Indiana University, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Alabama.

Dan Bickler
Craig Goettle
Julie Hathaway
Tom Mortenson
Donovan Olson
Douglas Smith*

Sponsored by Dr. Marlin Johnson
Douglas Smith has been a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra since 1978 and is a founding member of the Symphony Brass Quintet. He graduated with a composite degree in music education from Dickinson State University and has done graduate study in tuba performance at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. Doug served for three years with the First U.S. Army Band at Ft. Meade, Maryland. His teachers have included Dan Brown, former principal tubist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Fritz Kaenzig, professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Michigan and principal tubist with Chicago’s Grant Park Orchestra. Doug has taught vocal and instrumental music in the Catholic school system in Bismarck and has served as the tuba instructor at the University of Mary. He is currently employed as an Investigator with the North Dakota Securities Department.

Percussion

Click tabs to read about members of the Percussion section.
Lucas Bernier*
David Cicha
Tim Cross

Sponsored by Sheila Schafer in memory of Emily Hay Everett
Dr. Lucas Bernier is currently the Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. He works throughout the Midwest as a performer, educator, adjudicator, and clinician. As a versatile percussionist, Lucas has performed with numerous jazz, orchestral, chamber, and world music groups. He performs with the Dan Moore Percussion Group, Bismarck Jazz Collective, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, and the Bernier/Williams Duo. He holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Minnesota State University Moorhead. Dr. Bernier has recorded for the Innova record label and is and Educational and Performing Artist for Sabian Cymbals and Innovative Percussion.

Sami Breiland
John Heinrich*

John Heinrich has been with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra since 2006 as a percussionist and as Principal Timpanist since 2008. He graduated from the University of Mary in 2009 where he studied music education and percussion performance with Scott Prebys. John is regularly a featured percussion soloist with many of the regions ensembles including the BMSO Dixie Land Jazz Band. Aside from playing timpani and percussion with the area’s orchestras, John has directed and performed around the region and in South America with various groups including wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, combos, blues, and steel drum bands. He has composed and arranged several works for wind, jazz, percussion, and steel drum bands. He also maintains a private percussion studio in Bismarck. John is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the National Band Association.

He is endorsed by Ludwig and Musser percussion.

Julie Peterman Bryant
Matt Prindiville
Isaac Schwartz
Jacob Wanner

Piano and Harp

Click tabs to read about members of the Brass section.
David Poffenberger*

Endowed in honor of George “Woody” Gagnon
David Poffenberger graduated from the University of Mary with a Master of Education degree in College Teaching, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with minors in Music, Computer Education, and Secondary Education. David is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Bismarck State College, and along his wife Stacey teaches private piano and trumpet lessons in Bismarck. David is a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Thursday Music Club and serves on the South Central Federated Festival Committee as Gold Cup Chairman. David enjoys judging at National Federation of Music Club festival events in other areas of the state. A member of Music Teachers National Association, David is the Treasurer for the Bismarck-Mandan Music Teachers Association. David and Stacey have two children – Chloe and Chanson.

Gayla Sherman

Performing professionally for over three decades, Gayla is known for her harp playing throughout the South and Midwest. She has appeared with civic and community orchestras in Wisconsin, Texas, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and now North Dakota. She performs regularly as a recitalist and soloist for churches, civic organizations and corporate groups. Moving from Kansas City to Bismarck in 2004, Gayla continues to devote her musical talents to playing for weddings, special engagements, receptions and church occasions. She has performed with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony, the Missouri Valley Chamber Orchestra, and North Dakota’s All-State Band and Orchestra. Since 2015, Gayla has served as Harp Instructor for the Music Department at the University of Mary in Bismarck. She, too, maintains a private studio for harp students of all ages and experience. At the young age of 12, Gayla performed under the direction of Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler. In addition, she played with the acclaimed University of Texas Harp Ensemble from 1980 – 1982. She has studied with well-known harpists, Margaret Cooper (Madison, WI), Jean Altshuler (San Antonio, TX), and Gayle Barrington (Austin, TX). Gayla holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree in broadcast news from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Social Work degree (Baylor University) and a graduate Theology degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY). In addition to the harp, Gayla is a vocalist, flutist and pianist. Gayla and her husband, Gayle Klopp, serve as co-executive directors of Charles Hall Youth Services in Bismarck. They have two adult children, who are both accomplished musicians, and one grandson.

Louise Zuern

Louise is a Charter Member of the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Harpist for the Minot Symphony Orchestra. Louise began harp lessons at age 8 in her hometown Tacoma, WA, and her first symphony performance was with the Tacoma Symphony at age 14. She continued her studies with Alberto Salvi, (Chicago), Sylvia Meyer (Washington, D.C.) and Gladys Hubner, (Minneapolis).

She attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Il, majoring in harp and the University of North Dakota majoring in Occupational Therapy. She worked as a Registered Occupational Therapist in adult rehabilitation and pediatrics in Montana and North Dakota for 25 years. Throughout those years, she frequently played harp for luncheons, banquets, weddings, church services, memorials, ensembles, state functions and many other special occasions. In Grand Forks Louise performed Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro and with the Minot Symphony Orchestra Mozart’s Concerto for Harp and Flute.

In 2015 Louise was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the North Dakota Musicians Award Ceremony.

Management

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Leslie Peterson

Leslie is the librarian and personnel manager for the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Minot State University, where she played principal French Horn with the Minot Symphony Orchestra. Leslie taught K-12 music, private French Horn and piano lessons, and has been active in church worship music. Leslie is a member of the Bismarck Mandan Wind Ensemble and the BMSO Brass Quintet. She and her husband, Marlin, have three children.

Danielle Abler

Danielle is the assistant stage manager for the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Mary. She is currently the 5-12 Band & 7-12 Choir Director at Garrison Public Schools. She is a member of the Bismarck Mandan Wind Ensemble and is involved in music with church. Her husband Taylor, who plays trumpet in the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra have been married for a year and a half and enjoy traveling whenever they can.

Kyle Hasse

Bio posted soon

Hiring a Musician

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Hiring a Musicians for Your Event

If you have an event, wedding, or party that you would like to have live music, these musicians are available for hire. They contract independently, set their own schedules and prices. Please contact them for any musical entertainment needs you have.

Ensembles:

Sonorus String Quartet
Contact: Dr. Everaldo Martinez
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: everaldoscar@yahoo.com

String Duet, Trio, or Quartet
Contact: Lindsey Tafelmeyer
Email: lindseytafelmeyer@gmail.com

String Quartet
Contact: Nora Salveson
Phone: 701-471-1092
Email: miss_nora_1875@yahoo.com

Trio Apollo (Woodwind Trio)
Contact: Tonya Mertz
Phone: 701-471-7344
Email: oboend@yahoo.com

Bismarck Mandan Symphony Brass Quintet
Contact: Dennis Gowen
Phone: 701-471-5714
Email: dcgowen@gmail.com

Big Al’s Big Band
Contact: Dennis Huber
Phone: 701-220-9701
Email: dhuber@c-ram.net

Jazz Trio/Quartet
Contact: Dennis Gowen
Phone: 701-471-5714
Email: dcgowen@gmail.com

Lucas Bernier Jazztet (duo, trio, quartet, quintet)
Contact: Lucas Bernier
Email: ljbernier@umary.edu
(This jazz group ranges from 2-6 players varying in instrumentation. The ensemble plays original tunes and standards.)

Steel Pan Quintet
Contact: Lucas Bernier
Email: ljbernier@umary.edu
(This group plays a varied repertoire staying firmly rooted between Trinidadian calypso/soca and jazz along with some American pop.)

Soloists and Musicians:

Violin
Tara Bohlen
Phone: 701-471-7555
Email: tara_bohlen@hotmail.com
(also performs string duets and quartets)

Dr. Everaldo Martinez
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: everaldoscar@yahoo.com

Nora Salveson
Phone: 701-471-1092
Email: miss_nora_1875@yahoo.com
(also performs string duets or quartets)

Lindsey Tafelmeyer
Email: lindseytafelmeyer@gmail.com

Flute
Dr. Lisa Bost-Sandberg
Phone: 718-541-8746
Email: lisa@lisabost.com

Marnie Kraft
Phone: 701-221-2639
Email: marnie.kraft@yahoo.com

Oboe
John Bisbee
Phone: 701-770-6443
Email: john.bisbee159@gmail.com

Tonya Mertz
Phone: 701-471-7344
Email: oboend@yahoo.com

Percussion
Jacob Wanner
Email: jtw963@gmail.com
(percussion/drum set/vibes classical and jazz gigs)

John Heinrich
Email: jwheinrich1@gmail.com
(light background jazz)

Soloists and Musicians, cont’d:

Clarinet
Rhonda Gowen
Phone: 701-471-1656
Email: rcgowen@bis.midco.net

Trumpet
Dennis Gowen
Phone: 701-471-5714
Email: dcgowen@gmail.com

Abelardo Flores
Phone: 701-214-2757
Email: jabeyf@aol.com

Trombone
Russell Ballenger
Email: raballenger@umary.edu
Phone: 205-614-7117

Piano
Rhonda Gowen
Phone: 701-471-1656
Email: rcgowen@bis.midco.net

Harp
Gayla Sherman
Phone: 701-221-5894
Email: beautifulharp@hotmail.com

Piano Tuner/Technician
Steve Glaesmann
Phone: 701-535-1031 cell
701-288-3333 home

Hiring a Musician for Private Lessons

Many of our musicians are also private instructors. If you are interested in private instrumental lessons, you are welcome to contact them for more information.

Violin
Tara Bohlen
Phone: 701-471-7555
Email: tara_bohlen@hotmail.com

Quinn Karges
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: quinnkarges@gmail.com

Dr. Everaldo Martinez
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: everaldoscar@yahoo.com

Rosemary Person
Phone: 701-255-4264
Email: stitchez2@bis.midco.net

Nora Salveson
Phone: 701-471-1092
Email: miss_nora_1875@yahoo.com

Lindsey Tafelmeyer
Email: Lindsey.tafelmeyer@gmail.com

Viola
Quinn Karges
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: quinnkarges@gmail.com

Dr. Everaldo Martinez
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: everaldoscar@yahoo.com

Rosemary Person
Phone: 701-255-4264
Email: stitchez2@bis.midco.net

Lindsey Tafelmeyer
Email: Lindsey.tafelmeyer@gmail.com

Cello
Karol Riedman
Phone: 701-751-2635
Email: kkrcpa@gmail.com

Dr. Natalia Vacarciuc
Email: Natali1973@yahoo.com

Flute
Dr. Lisa Bost-Sandberg
Phone: 718-541-8746
Email: lisa@lisabost.com
(flute and piccolo)

Rhonda Gowen
Phone: 701-471-1656
Email: rcgowen@bis.midco.net

Marnie Kraft
Phone: 701-221-2639
Email: marnie.kraft@yahoo.com

Oboe
Tonya Mertz
Phone: 701-471-7344
Email: oboend@yahoo.com

Clarinet
Rhonda Gowen
Phone: 701-471-1656
Email: rcgowen@bis.midco.net

Bassoon
Sara Boyd
Phone: 701-425-6777
Email: bsnmomma@yahoo.com

Saxophone
Dr. Daniel Loudenback
Email: dhloudenback@umary.edu

Dr. Scott Sandberg
Phone: 701-355-8104
Email: sdsandberg@umary.edu

Trumpet
Dennis Gowen
Phone: 701-471-5714
Email: dcgowen@gmail.com

Abelardo Flores
Phone: 701-214-2757
Email: jabeyf@aol.com

French Horn
Dennis Gowen
Phone: 701-471-5714
Email: dcgowen@gmail.com

Miles Miller
Email: miles@miles-miller.com

Trombone
Russell Ballenger
Email: raballenger@umary.edu
Phone: 205-614-7117

Julie Hathaway
Phone: 701-258-2382
Email: jchath01@gmail.com

Percussion/Drumset
Dr. Lucas Bernier
Phone: 701-355-8167
Email: ljbernier@umary.edu

Jacob Wanner
Email: Jtw963@gmail.com

Harp
Gayla Sherman
Phone: 701-221-5894
Email: beautifulharp@hotmail.com
(also beginning piano)

Piano
Julie Hathaway
Phone: 701-258-2382
Email: jchath01@gmail.com

Piano and woodwinds- Zeeland, ND area
Trudy Fraase Wolf
Phone: 701-423-5549
Email: Trudy.Fraase@sendit.nodak.edu

Piano Tuner/Technician
Steve Glaesmann
Phone: 701-535-1031 cell
701-288-3333 home