Board of Directors​

  • Michelle Dina – President
  • Mike Grinnell – Treasurer
  • Deb Erickson – Secretary
  • Bryan Anderson
  • Sandra Cabral
  • Amy Crockett
  • Deb Erickson
  • Anastasia Hopkins Folpe
  • Rafael Jimenez
  • Matt Kusek
  • Julia Lehman
  • Aaron Meseck
  • Jamie Risser
  • Becky Seavey
  • Heather Sklenicka
  • Alexandra Wolanskyj-Spinner

Artistic Staff

Keehun Nam, Artistic Director and Conductor of Concert Orchestra

After conducting across Europe and the United States, Keehun Nam has returned to Minnesota to grow and invest in musical communities in his home state.

Nam currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras (SEMYO) where he oversees its five orchestras and conducts its top ensemble. At SEMYO, he fosters a collaborative atmosphere that empowers students on personal and musical levels. Read More…

Sarah Gifford, Conductor of Philharmonic Orchestra

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. Sarah 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…

SEMYO welcomes Sarah Vinzant as conductor of Prelude Winds. Originally from Sioux Falls, SD, she attended the University of South Dakota and earned her degree in Music Education. From there she moved to Rochester and is currently in her sixth year of teaching band at Kasson-Mantorville Middle and High School. She is very active in the area as a private flute teacher, MN All-State Band Coach, and musician in local ensembles (Rochester Pops Orchestra, Choral Arts Ensemble and Rochester Community Band).

Michael Sloane, Conductor of Bravura Strings

SEMYO welcomes Michael Sloane as conductor of the Bravura Strings Orchestra. Mr. Sloane brings a wealth of teaching experience to SEMYO that includes 25 years of teaching orchestra in the public schools. He has been the middle and high school orchestra director at Faribault Public Schools since 2014 and previously taught orchestra at school districts in Cottage Grove, Bloomington, Owatonna, and Rochester.
Read More…

Administrative Staff

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…

Erin Haefner, Operations Coordinator

Erin Heafner joined SEMYO in 2022 in the new role of Operations Coordinator after completing a master’s degree in Opera Performance from Northern Arizona University. Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance from Luther College. In addition to serving as the Operation’s Coordinator for SEMYO, Erin also serves as the primary rehearsal and concert coordinator and music librarian for the Rochester Symphony and is a substitute teacher in the Rochester and Byron Public Schools. Read More…

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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.

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