Meet Our Members
Conductor and Artistic Director
Seong-Kyung Graham, a native of Korea, received her Bachelor of Music from Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul before moving to the United States in 1989. After earning her Master of Music at the University of North Texas, she pursued additional graduate studies in conducting at the University of Illinois and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
Ms. Graham has a wide range of conducting experience with orchestras, chamber ensembles, and choirs. The orchestras she has guest-conducted include Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and Lawrence Chamber Orchestra at Lawrence University, All Star Symphony Orchestra in Cincinnati, Concert Orchestra at the University of Cincinnati, Starling Showcase Orchestra in Cincinnati, and Illini Orchestra at the University of Illinois.
She was previously the music director of the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra, Bradley Chamber Orchestra at Bradley University, Ripon College Orchestra, and served as the assistant conductor of the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra at Lawrence University. She also recently served as the music director at the Union Congregational United Church of Christ. She has been the conductor and artistic director of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay since 2005.
A native of West Virginia, Dr. Taylor Giorgio is recognized as an imaginative performer and educator. She is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Strings and Music Education at St. Norbert College, where she also serves as the orchestra director. An avid orchestral musician, she is excited to perform as the concertmaster of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay and to share music with the community.
Taylor graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University with undergraduate degrees in music education and violin performance. While at WVU, she conducted the Morgantown Community Orchestra, won the Young Artist Concerto Competition, and premiered a solo concerto written by a student composer with the WVU Orchestra. Taylor completed her doctoral studies in violin performance at Florida State University, where she was a graduate teaching assistant for Corinne Stillwell for her master’s and doctoral degrees.
Before moving to Green Bay, she was the orchestra director at William J. Montford Middle School, violin coach and outreach coordinator for the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, maintained a large private studio, and played as a section violinist in multiple orchestras in northern Florida.
An active pedagogue, she presented a session at the 2020 American String Teachers Association National Conference, served as a violinist and teaching artist in Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s String Quartet-in-Residence from 2018-2020, and was an instructor for the DC Strings Workshop in 2021.
Taylor is a founding member of two chamber ensembles – Virago Ensemble, a string ensemble, and Invicta Trio, a new music trio comprised of violin, trombone, and piano. In 2020, she released two premiere recordings for Shelter Recordings through the American Composers Alliance. She has performed with artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Lawrence Brownlee, Renee Fleming, Jennifer Ko, Matthew Morrison, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, among others.
Taylor and her husband, trombonist Kenneth Johnson, live in Green Bay with their dog Suki.
Principal Second Violin
Jennifer Coopman is the Principal Second Violin of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay and Section Violin of the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra. She also performs as a contracted extra with numerous regional ensembles, including the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, the Weidner Philharmonic, the Dudley Birder Choir, and the South Shore Chorale.
Jennifer teaches private violin lessons through the Appleton Music Academy, and conducts sectional rehearsals twice a year for the St. Norbert Youth Orchestra program.
Blakeley Menghini is a graduate of the UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music, where she studied viola with Sally Chisholm. While earning her Doctor of Musical Arts, Blakeley was a member of the Hunt Quartet, a competitive graduate group which focused on both formal performances and educational concerts for children through the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Up Close and Musical program. During her studies she also held a private studio in Madison and served as adjunct professor of viola and violin at Beloit College.
Blakeley has performed in masterclasses with Alban Gerhardt, Nobuko Imai, Laurie Smukler, the St. Lawrence Quartet, and the Arianna Quartet. She has participated in the Arianna Chamber Music Festival, the Northern Lights Chamber Music Festival, the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, and Caroga Lake Chamber Music Festival. Blakeley also published a chapter in Humane Music Education for the Common Good in 2020. From 2018-2022 she served Brown and Door counties as a founding member and violist of the Griffon String Quartet.
She now lives an active freelance musician life throughout Wisconsin, as well as maintaining her private studio of dedicated students. In her free time she enjoys arts and crafts, organizing, running, and spending time with her husband and their grey cat.
Adam Korber started his musical journey as a child listening to Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles in the back of his mother’s car. Then he decided to pick up a cello in fourth grade orchestra class, and has loved it ever since. The attention to detail and love for orchestra that he absorbed from his first teachers Susan Berge and David Bednarek still guide him to this day.
He attended Lawrence University and graduated in 2018 with a degree in cello performance and music education. During his time at Lawrence, he studied with amazing cellists and teachers such as Janet Anthony and Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Richard Hirschl. Through their guidance, he learned the ropes of being a professional cellist.
Currently, he resides in Appleton, Wisconsin and sits as principal cellist with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. He also freelances for other orchestras in the area, and plays pit orchestra for musicals as well. When Adam is not playing or teaching cello he teaches beginning orchestra students at Lineville Intermediate School in Howard-Suamico. Beyond the classroom, Adam teaches with the New Horizons orchestra located in the Fox Valley area. You can also see him teaching music at Mile of Music over the summers with the Music Education Team.
When he is not doing something music related, you can often find him on a disc golf course, or running through the streets and trails preparing for a half marathon.
Principal String Bass
Dr. Lee Klemens has been playing upright bass with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay since 1997, almost at the beginning of the symphony’s initial organization. Mike Kelsey, Sr. passed the torch of bass section coordinator / principal to Lee in 2002 – and he has tried his best to keep the section out of “treble!”
He has served on the Board of Directors finance committee in the past, as well as CSGB Board President.
Although upright and electric bass are Lee’s primary instruments, he started on piano and violin, and later worked on guitar and hand percussion. Other musical interests include writing, arranging, and directing music, as well as audio recording and editing using a digital audio workstation.
Aside from music, Lee enjoys the company of a Siberian Husky, fishing small streams and the bay, and especially joining his wife spoiling grandkids!
Principal Flute, Piccolo
Lynn Liddle-Drewiske received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Flute Performance and Music Education from Western Michigan University and Master of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
She has been playing flute and piccolo in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay since 2005, and currently also plays in the Green Bay City Band, St. Norbert Community Band, Northwinds Quintet, and Sounds of Silver Flute Choir. In addition, she enjoys performing chamber music of all genres and playing in the pit for musicals.
Lynn volunteers on the board and serves on two committees for CSGB, teaches flute lessons, and is often working on another yard and garden project. She has two adult daughters. Lynn retired from teaching in 2020 and lives in De Pere with her two dogs.
Principal Oboe, English Horn
Shahnnon Hawkins joined the Civic Symphony of Green Bay as an oboist in 2020 and is an active board member. She is a composer and arranger for a variety of ensembles, and also produces music/sound effects for streaming platforms and podcasts. Shahnnon says about playing with the Civic Symphony, “I love the culture of our group. It is not just about playing for our own benefit, but for the enjoyment of the community.”
Shahnnon chose to play the oboe after falling in love with the sound during a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and has been a lifelong-learner of the instrument since the fourth grade. She was ecstatic to perform this work with the Civic Symphony in 2021 and bring the experience full-circle.
Shahnnon studied with Suzanne Geoffrey prior to and during her time at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, performing as principal oboist during ensemble tours to Carnegie Hall (2013), Chicago (2014), and several cities in Europe (2016). She thanks Kelly McCool Hawkins, her mother and first band teacher, for instilling a lifelong love of music from an early age.
When not making music, Shahnnon can be found at a local pet rescue, playing board/video games with her friends, or advocating for disability acceptance. She lives in Green Bay with her two cats, Gorgonzola and Muenster.
Timberly Kazmarek Marbes
Principal Clarinet & E-flat Clarinet
Timberly Kazmarek Marbes started playing clarinet when she was ten years old. She attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts and Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she studied music education and clarinet performance. She has been a member of the critically acclaimed Keystone Wind Ensemble since 1993.
Timberly joined the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in 2011. Her favorite piece is Aaron Copland’s Concerto for Clarinet, which she hopes to be able to perform live with orchestra someday. In addition to CSGB, Timberly performs locally with the Weidner Philharmonic, St. Norbert Community Band, Green Bay City Band, Vento Winds, Wisconsin Symphonic Winds, Sheboygan Symphony, and various small ensembles and musical theatre productions throughout northeast Wisconsin.
Timberly is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director for CSGB, leading the organization’s strategic efforts, grant writing, and marketing activities. She is also principal clarinet, music librarian, and woodwind coordinator. Timberly enjoys photography and traveling, and lives in Ashwaubenon with her husband and trumpeter Dan.
Rachel Richards enjoys playing bassoon with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. She began playing bass in elementary school and chose to play bassoon when she moved to a middle school that did not have an orchestra. She tried to play the tuba. True story: her parents made her practice outside and the cows kept mooing in response! She asked her band director if there were any bass clef reed instruments. No one else played the bassoon, so she was the only one! She decided to give it a try and fell in love with the sound. Her band director, Dave Bare, was instrumental in the early development of Rachel’s musical career. He reintroduced her to bass through musicals, polka bands, and jazz bands.
Rachel graduated from St. Norbert College with a degree in Music Education in 2004 and teaches elementary and middle school orchestra in the Appleton Area School District. She earned a Masters degree in Educational Technology in 2009.
In addition to her role as a music educator, she performs with several community groups on bassoon and bass, conducts the New Horizons Orchestra, and serves as Executive Director for the Fox Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra program. She loves to share the “view from her stand” and is grateful to have these opportunities to participate in and around the community.
Rachel says about playing in a volunteer orchestra, “Creating and sharing music together is an excellent way to connect with others. These shared experiences always leave a lasting impression and I’m thankful I get to be a part of it!”
Andrew Parks is a freelance horn player, teacher, and music engraver living in De Pere, Wisconsin. As a performer, he plays with several groups in eastern Wisconsin including the Oshkosh Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Sheboygan Symphony, Wisconsin Symphonic Winds, Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, and several chamber ensembles.
He has taught students of all ages. Before moving to De Pere, he was on the faculties of both UW-River Falls and UW-Eau Claire.
When not playing or teaching, he works as a music engraver and has set music for the Verdi, Mayr, and Meyerbeer Editions, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Edition, Johann Christian Bach Edition, several hymnals, and hundreds of smaller works.
Dan Marbes joined the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in 2003 and has been principal trumpet since 2011.
Dan grew up in the Green Bay area and is a graduate of Ashwaubenon High School. He studied trumpet with Dr. Robert Kase at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and received a Bachelor of Music in music education. Dan taught high school band in Mosinee from 1997-2002. While living in central Wisconsin, he performed with the Wausau Symphony and Band, the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, River Cities Jazz, and the New Justmann Band. Dan served as board president of the Wausau Symphony and Band and conducted the symphony’s final performance of the 2001-2002 season.
Dan completed work toward a master’s in music education from Northwestern University, where he studied trumpet with John Hagstrom of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, Dan left teaching to join the original touring cast of Blast II: Shockwave which performed at EPCOT in Orlando and toured the United States for seven months. After returning to Wisconsin, Dan joined the popular local variety band Boogie and the Yo-Yo’z, where he performed on trumpet and vocals from 2003-2009.
Following his time as a touring musician, Dan started a new career path in information technology. He is currently Director of Digital Workplace Solutions at American Family Insurance.
Since 2020, Dan has served as president of the board of directors for the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, where he led the orchestra’s return following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Dan completed his MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2021.
In addition to CSGB, Dan performs with many local groups including the Weidner Philharmonic, St. Norbert Community Band, Vento Winds, Green Bay Jazz Orchestra, and the Sheboygan Symphony.
Outside of work and volunteering, Dan achieved his private pilot’s license in 2022 and enjoys flying and running. He and his wife Timberly live in Ashwaubenon.
Bill Burroughs has been a member of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay since 2008 when he first joined on bass trombone. In the 2012-2013 season Bill moved up to the principal position.
Bill was born in Milwaukee and attended Germantown High School. He studied music at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where he graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Minor in Arts Management. His primary professors were Prof. Kevin Collins and Dr. Adam Gaines. After graduation Bill furthered his studies on bass trombone with bass trombonist John Thevenet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Between the Green Bay and Appleton areas, Bill has participated in many music ensembles including the Green Bay City Band, Neenah Community Band, and Vento Winds. He was also an instructor of trombone for the summer program Music for the Sake of Music.
Outside of performing, Bill is a Music Enthusiast at Heid Music in Green Bay. Bill is an avid tabletop board gamer, a Nerf blaster enthusiast, an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego), and poker player. He and his wife Lori live in Appleton with their energetic, yet cuddly dog Moose and their two parakeets, Kevin and Piper.
Steve Wilda plays tuba in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. Of all the low brass instruments he plays, including euphonium and trombone, the tuba has provided the most performance opportunities. Steve also plays with the Weidner Philharmonic, Green Bay City Band, Green Bay Packers Tailgaters Band, the Newtonburg Brass Band, St. Norbert Community Band, Vento Winds, and various brass ensembles throughout Northeast Wisconsin. He also sings with the Yuletide Carolers in December at The Union Hotel.
Steve says that Civic provides him with the opportunity to play with a group of local musicians who just love to play. It’s also one of the few places with a regular opportunity to play orchestral literature. For tuba, it usually means counting measures of rest rather than playing. However, he says, “When I do get to play, it can be pretty exciting.”
Mindy Popke has been a part of the Civic Symphony of Green Bay’s percussion section since 2009, and for most performances you can spot her at the timpani.
She also contributes to the orchestra’s marketing initiatives by providing graphic design services, and has previously served on the orchestra’s board of directors as well. For her day job, Mindy works for Capital Credit Union as their graphic designer.
At home Mindy enjoys spending time with her husband, stepson, and her two tiny chihuahuas Layla and Spanky.
Violin, Assistant Concertmaster
Charlotte Bogda received her Bachelor of Music at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, and Master of Music at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She has enjoyed a very active performing career in the Chicago area serving in leadership positions with many local orchestras. She served as Concertmaster of the West Suburban Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, and Festival Orchestras for fifteen years. In addition to classical orchestra music, Charlotte also has played strolling violin with such band leaders as Franz Benteler, Stanley Paul, and Anthony Kowalkowski.
Charlotte has enjoyed a full career teaching orchestra for more than 40 years. She had an extensive private studio, and is a certified Suzuki instructor. She had positions in several suburban Chicago public schools districts, as well as Orchestra Director at Immanuel Lutheran School, her last teaching position before moving with husband Dan and four cats to Door County in the fall of 2019.
Although “unofficially” retired from teaching, Charlotte still enjoys an active playing career. Upon auditioning for Civic Symphony of Green Bay, she was awarded the position of assistant concertmaster. Now in her second full season with the group, she thoroughly enjoys being part of CSGB! Charlotte also has played with the Weidner Philharmonic, and travels to Chicago for occasional gigs. Since moving to Door County, Charlotte has discovered the joy of fiddling, and is an active participant in the Door County Folk Alliance. Her only unfulfilled musical goal is to play backup to Paul McCartney!
Brooke LaMonica is a violinist, violist, and pianist who moved to Wisconsin from New Hampshire in July 2022, having recently retired from teaching 8th grade math (June 2022).
Her formative years were in Oak Park, IL. While in middle and high school, she attended Interlochen Music Camp and performed with the Chicago Civic Symphony. She studied violin in high school with Edgar Muenzer of the Chicago Symphony and Angelo Rico of Roosevelt University. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in 1985. While at Michigan, she kept up with music and played in the University Campus Symphony Orchestra as well as several musical pit orchestras. Brooke received her Master’s of Education from the University of New Hampshire in 2000.
Currently employed as an Engineer at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Brooke enjoys performing in orchestral settings, chamber ensembles, and musical theater. “Out East” in New England, Brooke performed with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Hampshire Philharmonic (Personnel Manager and Librarian), the Nashua Camber Orchestra and the Carlisle Chamber Orchestra. She also is a frequent pit player on violin and Keys 2.
In the seacoast area, she played frequently with the Seacoast Repertory Theater in Portsmouth, NH and several other local musical theater groups. Some of the musicals she played were Peter Pan, Next to Normal (violin and Keys 2), Ragtime, Into the Woods, Nunsense, The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of the Crowd, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, and Les Mis among many others.
Brooke also teaches private violin, viola, and piano lessons. She enjoys making music with like-minded amateur and professional musicians who take music seriously, but also know how to have fun!
April Baeb joined the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in 2018. She was born and raised in Green Bay and has played violin since she was in fifth grade. After high school, April pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) where she studied violin with Steve Bjella. In addition, she also has a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) and a Digital Marketing Certificate from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC).
April currently works on the marketing team at the Festival Foods Support Office and teaches private violin lessons. In her free time, April enjoys watching movies, listening to and analyzing film music, exploring new parks and trails, and hanging out with family and friends.
Sarah Krienke began violin lessons in second grade after being inspired by watching young children perform at a fundraiser event. She has been playing with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay since 2011. Sarah says that it has been not only an opportunity to stay up on her skills but a chance to perform with a large group of people who come from all walks of life with a common goal: to enjoy making music together, to share our love for music with the community that we live in, and maybe even encourage new beginners to take that first step in learning a classical instrument!
Cyndee Giebler lives and teaches in northeast Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and completed her master’s degree at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.
She has presented workshops for American Orff-Schulwerk Association chapters around the country as well as state, regional, and national conventions. In her spare time, Cyndee enjoys composing and arranging music for classroom use, children’s chorus, and elementary strings.
Amy Warmenhoven first joined the Civic Symphony of Green Bay in 2008. She has served on the programming committee since 2018.
Amy Warmenhoven has been playing bass since she was 12 years old, but she began her musical journey at age six when she started learning the piano. In addition to bass and piano, Amy plays the clarinet, guitar, ukulele, violin, viola, and cello.
Amy has a long history of participation in community music groups. She has played bass in such groups as the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble, Northwestern University’s Philharmonia, the University Orchestra at Loyola University, and the Santa Clara University Orchestra. She performed with the Concert Band at St. Norbert College and the Shawano Community Band on clarinet, she sang alto with the Santa Clara Chorale, and she served as Orchestra Manager for Chicago’s Lakeview Orchestra.
Amy currently teaches private music lessons in piano, orchestral strings, and fretted instruments. She enjoys jamming bluegrass, country, and rock with her friends, but her favorite duet partners will always be her mom, brother, sister, and nieces and nephews. She cherishes the unrelenting support for her musical interests that she’s always received from her greatest fan and best roadie, her dad.
Rose Van Himbergen
Flute & Piccolo
Rose Van Himbergen received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in flute performance and business from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has been playing flute and piccolo with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay for over 12 years and enjoys chamber music and performing with other ensembles whenever possible.
She is an avid volunteer and currently sits on the boards of the Association of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestras and the CSGB and also volunteers for other nonprofit groups. Rose works as a procurement manager at Kimberly Clark and enjoys the balance between business and pursuing her passion for music.
Rose lives in Green Bay with her husband and two children and is currently pursuing her MBA at UW-Oshkosh.
Theresa Pelkey joined the Civic Symphony of Green Bay board of directors in October 2021 and is thrilled to be playing French horn with the group since April 2022. She was subsequently elected as vice president of the board in June 2022.
Theresa grew up south of Green Bay and has been playing French horn for over 25 years. She performed with and was a graduate of Valders High School. After high school she continued playing in volunteer community bands and orchestras all over the country.
Theresa holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She spent much of her post graduate time living in California with her husband Benjamin, and her son Kieran was also born there. She works at Kite Hill as the Manufacturing and Project Engineering Director where they make plant based cheese and yogurt products. While living in CA, she played with the Newark Symphonic Winds, the San Jose Metropolitan Band, the Ohlone College Band in Fremont, and the Mariposa Symphony.
In 2020 Theresa and her family moved back to Wisconsin to be near family where they settled in De Pere. When she is not playing French horn, you can find her playing with her Newfoundland puppy Willow, enjoying the outdoors at her parents’ cabin or fishing on Lake Noquebay near Crivitz, boating on the Fox River, swimming at Brown’s Lake near Milwaukee or playing with her children, of which the newest addition, her daughter Adelyn, was welcomed to the family in February 2023.
Greg Sauve completed his BA in music from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1971 and his Master of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago in 1978. Upon returning from U.S. Army Reserve training, he was hired midyear of the 1972-73 school year in Ashwaubenon, where he spent the next 39 years teaching music, first at Parkview, then at Ashwaubenon High School (AHS). In 2001, Greg was awarded a Golden Apple, and was selected by School Band and Orchestra Magazine as “One of 50 Teachers who make a difference.”
Greg was a 21-year member of the Green Bay Packer Band, has been the Green Bay City Band Director since 1989, and is a Master Judge for the Wisconsin State Music Association. Greg and his wife Pat have two children, Brian and Ellen, who both attended AHS. He is currently retired and performs with the St. Norbert Community Band and the Civic Symphony of Green Bay.
John Kolar plays the double bass in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. He had a double bass in storage for many years that was in need of repair and adjustment. So, he took it to Larry’s String Workshop and then Larry suggested he attend a symphony rehearsal. They were apparently always in need of more basses. Fearing this all might be well over his head, he didn’t bring his bass to that first rehearsal. After hearing the orchestra and meeting members of the bass section, he knew there would be much to learn before he felt ready to join the group, but he became enchanted with the idea of being a part of the group. He brought his bass to the next week’s rehearsal and played well enough in tune to be an acceptable walk-on with plenty of room to grow.
John also plays guitar, baritone, and tuba. In the past, John was a member of The Dave Charles Quartet, The Directors Big Band, The Allouez Town Band, The De Pere City Band, The Diplomats, Wayne Shepardson’s Orchestra, The River City Six, Kevin Van Ess & Talk of The Town, and The Packer Tailgaiter Band. Having been involved as a member of the orchestra since 2010 including several years of service as the head librarian as well as a board member, it has been and continues to be such an important and rewarding part of John’s retired life. Playing in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay is a way to continue to contribute to this great community.
Bill Klumb plays horn in the Civic Symphony. He didn’t choose to play horn. During a junior high school open house, his mother told the band director that he played piano in grade school and possessed an unusual talent for transposing songs up and down the keyboard. Upon hearing this, the teacher suggested that he try playing French horn. He was open to the suggestion, however he had no idea what a French horn was. Apparently the teacher’s suggestion was a good one! Bill played all of the band and orchestra instruments as an instrumental music teacher.
He still plays some trumpet and keyboard. Bill plays in the Green Bay City Band, Allouez Village Band, and the praise band at First United Church of Christ in Green Bay. Playing in the Civic Symphony, Bill enjoys sharing his talents and passion for producing a quality musical product for others to enjoy with other musicians who desire to do the same.
Darlene Bentz plays violin in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. She became interested in violin when one day in 4th grade her grandfather arrived at her house with his violin he had found in the attic of his childhood home. Darlene couldn’t wait to begin orchestra in 5th grade. Her goal was to be better at violin than her orchestra teacher (he was a bass player).
She started playing piano at age 5, added violin, and then oboe. She continued to study all three instruments through high school, although she always knew violin was her favorite. Besides playing violin in Civic, she also maintains a private studio teaching Suzuki violin, teaches four days a week at Webster Elementary School of Integrated Arts, and plays with the Heritage String Quartet.
The best part about playing in Civic Symphony is the variety of people she rehearses with every week. Everybody has a story to tell, where they have been, how they got there, and why music is so important in their life.
Oboe, English horn
Deirdre Rasmussen plays oboe and English horn in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. When she was very small, she heard “Peter and the Wolf” and told her mom that the “duck” was her favorite. Later she chose oboe for band, without first starting on other instruments as most oboe players do. Band and orchestra were her “team sport” from then on.
Deirdre also plays piano, recorder, Irish tin whistle, and she can play simple tunes on the viola as well! She also sings. Deirdre also performs in the St. Norbert Community Band, Recorders by the Bay, Renard Consort (a recorder ensemble in Appleton), and occasionally at church and friends’ churches.
The Civic Symphony is very special because we definitely are all “among friends.” Deirdre says, “it’s brought color into my life, and I’m thrilled that we are able to share the joy of music with each other and the rest of the community, particularly children.”
Margi Diny plays violin in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. In 4th grade they had demonstrations of several instruments, and it appealed to her. Margi also plays piano and sings. Margi performs at church and for weddings as well as in local theater groups.
Margi is a freelance professional actor, and does commercials and other film work. About playing with the Civic Symphony, Margi says this: “First off, I LOVE being a part of, and being surrounded by, other instruments in live orchestral works. Secondly, it’s like being part of a family. And Seong is so expressive and appreciative to play under.”
When Civic Symphony first violin player Chris Williams started playing the violin at age 11, he didn’t care if it wasn’t considered a “cool” instrument. He says it has become “cooler” over the subsequent 40 years! He made the decision to keep music as an avocation rather than a vocation his senior year in high school.
Though the violin is Chris’s main instrument, he also has played the erhu (Chinese violin), mandolin, guitar, banjo, bass guitar, and keyboards, and he also sings. He has performed as a soloist with the Doctors in Recital for the past 4 years.
He misses playing with the symphony during the summer as he loves getting together every week during the season with a group of others who love making music together.
Paul Oleksy is a very busy musician. Not only does he play French horn with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, he also plays horn with the North Winds Quintet and plays percussion in the Green Bay City Band as well as in the Allouez Village Band which he helps direct. Besides percussion he also plays piano and other brass.
Paul doesn’t play his music to make money, but rather because it is something he loves doing. He says without a volunteer orchestra he would never have been given the chance to play music at this level with so many like-minded and talented musicians. For him, a volunteer orchestra means he can continue to play, be challenged, and grow as a musician. He says, “Hard to imagine my life without that.”
Susan Lawrence McCardell
Susan plays contrabassoon and bassoon with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, depending on what Maestro Graham needs for a given concert. She initially chose to play clarinet in the fourth grade, to be like her big sister. In sixth grade, she says “a few of us who clearly loved music were asked if we wanted to play bassoon. It was actually my competitive streak that made me strongly vie to be chosen (I had no idea what I was getting into!), but it ended up being the perfect choice for me. I love playing bassoon and am passionate about teaching bassoon at the Lawrence Academy of music in Appleton.”
Susan also plays contrabassoon with the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Lawrence University ViBE (Viking Bassoon Ensemble). Susan plays bassoon regularly with the Water Street Chamber Players, a wind quintet and piano ensemble formed in the fall of 2014, as well as with various orchestras in Northeastern Wisconsin as needed. She played bassoon in the Classical Music Festival orchestra in Eisenstadt, Austria, last summer and looks forward to playing again next year.
Susan says about playing with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, “it always brings to mind the joy of playing music together as a true team of musicians. Maestro Graham’s excellent direction, inspiring approach, creative choice of literature, and understanding manner, combined with the dedication and talent of the symphony’s members, result in expressive and energetic performances that I find to be extraordinary, and I believe that the audience does as well.”
Oboe & English Horn
Kimberly Hawkinson was born and raised in Green Bay and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Oboe Performance and Chamber Music Performance Certificate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Kimberly currently plays with the Milwaukee Philharmonic and holds principal oboe positions with the Kettle Moraine Symphony and Vento Winds. As a chamber musician, Kimberly is a founding member of the Wildwood Oboe Trio and has performed with Five’s
Company Wind Quintet.
She has held principal oboe positions with the Fox Valley Symphony and the Garden State Philharmonic (NJ) where she appeared as soloist performing Aaron Copland’s Quiet City.
McKenzie Healy has been playing in the violin section with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay since 2012. Her life as a musician began at age five when her Mom started teaching her piano. With her mom teaching private lessons, McKenzie grew up hearing music in the house all the time. She became intrigued by the violin and started taking Suzuki lessons at age ten. McKenzie has great memories of participation in Solo and Ensemble, recitals, girls’ choir, and the Green Bay Youth Orchestra! More recently, McKenzie became a certified Suzuki teacher and is now teaching violin at the Suzuki Music Academy of Green Bay (in the very same building she took lessons in for ten years!)
McKenzie has six younger siblings, who are either already musicians or just starting music lessons. With nine people in the house, we own over 25 instruments! Together, as The Healy Sisters, we have a blast combining violin, cello, guitar, piano, and vocals in performances for events including: The Farmers Market on Broadway, “Dine on the Deck,” and most recently, the Talent Jam hosted at the Meyer Theater.
Besides playing classical repertoire, McKenzie also arranges many of her own violin parts and enjoys playing Celtic and fiddle styles on her electric violin. In December of 2016, McKenzie received 1st place in NWTC’s student talent show with one of her fiddle compilations. She is studying Business Management at NWTC with an interest in combining that with music in the “Arts Management” program at UWGB.
McKenzie enjoys the sense of community, support, and joy she gets by being a part of the Civic Symphony. She says “It is truly special to have met such wonderful, hardworking, people who come from all different backgrounds, to share this beautiful unifying gift of music.”
In the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, Rebecca Proefrock plays viola, however, she plays violin as well. She chose the viola, as she states it “after throwing my violin across the room when I was 7. Rebecca said “I didn’t like the sound of the string notes, and rather than say, “dear parents, the overtone series is giving me a headache,” I threw the violin instead!! It worked – I was allowed to switch to the more mellow viola.”
Rebecca is also a professional soprano, and plays piano as well as violin and viola. She plays with various regional symphonies as well as for private parties and weddings. As far as her time in the Civic Symphony, Rebecca shares that she enjoys playing music and creating musical beauty with her friends.
Lauren Pritzl plays the piano in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. She started playing piano when she was 8 years old. At the time she was also taking voice lessons and said that her teacher was also an amazing piano player; she wanted to play just like her and that’s how it all started!
In the past, Lauren played bassoon throughout college at St. Norbert College. In high school she played the alto saxophone and clarinet in pep band and marching band. A few years ago Lauren started her own business called ‘Lauren’s Studio of Music.’ (You can find it on Facebook.) In her studio, she teaches private piano and voice lessons to students of all ages.
She’s a rehearsal pianist for a local theatre group, has performed for many solo and ensemble festivals in the area, plays piano for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Suamico, and during the school year she accompanies students’ voice recitals.
About her Civic Symphony experience, Lauren says “playing in a volunteer orchestra means that the members are really there for the music. Music brings people together, whether it’s the performers on stage who have built a relationship with each other throughout the rehearsal process, or the audience members who may feel like they are in another world while listening, a world that the performers created for them. We all go to the same place during the performance and to me, that’s what creating music is all about!”
Timothy Kiefer plays bass trombone in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. He has been more and more interested in the supporting role of bass instruments over the years and the bass trombone has always been his favorite of the section. Timothy also plays euphonium and tuba. To get more playing time, he is joining the Vento Winds in Appleton and is excited about this new playing opportunity.
When asked about playing with the Civic Symphony, Timothy shared this: “The fact that everyone is in the room simply because they love to play music is a pretty big win” and he adds that it gives him opportunities he wouldn’t otherwise have and that means a lot!”