Board of Directors
- Stephanie Kilen, President
- Michelle Dina, President-Elect
- Eric V. Sanders, Treasurer
- Mike Smith, Secretary
- Sandra Cabral
- Deb Erickson
- Michael Grinnell
- Mark Pasch
- Anne Thiemann
- Alexandra Wolanskyj
Keehun Nam, Artistic Director and Conductor of Concert Orchestra
Mr. Nam is committed to raising up the next generation of musicians and people whose love for each other and dedication for their craft is at the center of their music-making.
Prior to serving as the Artistic Director of SEMYO, he co-founded un/pitched and served as the conductor of the Ithaca College’s Sinfonietta and Contemporary Ensemble, Savoyards Ithaca, and guest-conducted at Cornell University. In addition, he founded and was the Artistic Director of the Vanderbilt Commodore Orchestra which has now become a beloved musical organization at Vanderbilt University. Read More…
Sarah Gifford, Conductor of Philharmonic Orchestra
Mrs. Sarah Gifford is a Rochester native and SEMYO’s Philharmonic Orchestra conductor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a K-12 Music Education minor from Luther College, and a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Oklahoma. During her undergraduate and graduate education, she had several opportunities to perform internationally in Austria, Brazil, Japan, and Italy. Mrs. Gifford previously served as a 5-12 band director in Breckenridge, MN, where she also taught piano lessons and figure skating lessons. Read More…
Lori Ringen-Poencet, Conductor of Chamber Strings
SEMYO welcomes Lori Ringen as its new Chamber Strings conductor. She is also starting her second year as the instructor of the SEMYO String Academy at Riverside Central Elementary School. Ms. Ringen has been the orchestra director for 12 years at Friedell Middle School and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Luther College and a Master of Education degree in Learning Design and Technology from Saint Mary’s University of MN. In 2016 Ms. Ringen received the SEMYO Bravura Award for Excellence in Music Education. Read More…
Robyn Watts, Conductor of Bravura Strings
Robyn Watts will join SEMYO this fall as conductor of the new Bravura Strings ensemble. Mrs. Watts has a passion for teaching beginner string students and derives great pleasure from starting out students with a strong solid foundation in technique while encouraging a love of music.
Mrs. Watts has taught private music lessons in Rochester for over 20 years and has recently taught orchestra at John Adams Middle School and Century High School.
Corey Henke, Executive Director and Program Director
The Board of Directors appointed Corey Henke Executive Director of SEMYO in July of 2017. Corey has also served SEMYO as Interim Executive Director and has been the Program Director since 2015, a role he continue. In addition to working for SEMYO, Corey teaches private lessons on the horn and is an Adjunct Professor of Music at Winona State University. An experienced orchestra player, he has played 2nd horn in the Rochester Symphony since 2005 and has also appeared with the Mankato, Winona, and La Crosse Symphonies. Read More…
Joel Denney, Music Librarian and Program Assistant
In 2017, Joel graduated from Luther College, where he performed in the Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra. As an alumnus of SEMYO, he is excited to have returned to SEMYO as the music librarian! When not searching for sheet music in the depths of Assisi Heights, he moonlights in a cancer genetics lab at Mayo Clinic.
Jean Keefe, Office Manager
Jean was hired in 2018 as part time Office Manager for SEMYO. She enjoys being involved with the behind the scene details at SEMYO.
She and her husband are lifetime residents of Rochester. As time allows, she relishes moments in her studio, reading, spending time with their children, seventeen grandchildren and faith community.