conductors • staff • board



Artistic Director
Symphony Conductor

Dr. Kevin F.E. Sütterlin is an internationally sought-after conductor and pedagogue. He belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a percentage of their concert fees to organizations they care about. He supports “WIRES” (Australian Wildlife Rescue) and the “Memphis Music Initiative” through his performances.

Sütterlin is Director of Orchestral Activities and Opera at Concordia College, where he and his colleagues received two EMMY awards for 2016’s nationally broadcast Concordia Christmas Concert productions. Furthermore, The Concordia Orchestra won the prestigious American Prize competition in 2018-19 under his leadership. Sütterlin is Music Director of the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonietta Memphis, and Artistic Director of the Sinfonietta Academy for Historically Informed Performance Practice, and the Northern Valley Youth Orchestras. He also holds The Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Endowed Orchestra Chair as Director of Orchestral Activities and Conducting Studies of the Lutheran Summer Music Festival and Academy.

Considering himself a "citizen of the world," Sütterlin has been building musical bridges across four different continents, and has led his ensembles on many successful national and international tours. He is a strong advocate of performing music of historically underrepresented composers, as well as living composers.  He has performed and taught across the globe including Austria, China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United States. Institutions he has taught at include the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Sichuan Conservatory, The University of Hawaii, Lucerne Conservatory Switzerland, and The University of Memphis. This upcoming season Sütterlin is scheduled to guest conduct in China, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Texas, Alabama, Connecticut, Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota.



Philharmonic Conductor

Kara Hartten began her musical studies at the age of five in her hometown of Redding, Connecticut.  She earned both a Bachelor of Music Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in French from DePauw University, followed by a Master of Music in cello performance and instrumental conducting from the University of North Dakota. Ms. Hartten is presently an orchestra teacher in the Grand Forks Public Schools and performs with the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra as well as the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. She founded a string ensemble she currently directs, the UND Community Orchestra, and is a past conductor for NVYO’s Allegro Orchestra; she has additionally coached NVYO Crescendo chamber music and cello sectionals.
As a cellist, Kara has performed with the UND Student String Quartet and UND’s Red River Trio, a student ensemble that toured in May of 2014 in Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai, China. Kara has studied with Drs. Simona Barbu, Darilyn Manring, Yeon-Ji Yun, and Eric Edberg, as well as performed in master classes with renowned cellists such as Amit Peled, Matt Haimovitz, Nicholas Photinos, Emilio Colon and Laszlo Varga. In 2009, she performed with the DePauw Chamber Orchestra during a tour of Austria and Germany. She also performed the Lalo cello concerto with the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra in 2007 as the winner of its concerto competition. In 2011, she played Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat major with internationally known cellist Yo-Yo Ma.



Assistant Conductor, Symphony 2020-21

Dr. Cody Hunter is Assistant Professor of Music and Head of Fine Arts at Mayville State University, where he directs the performance ensembles. Prior to his appointment at MSU, Dr. Hunter was the band program director for East Hardy Schools in Baker, WV.

As a bassoonist, Dr. Hunter has performed with notable ensembles such as the Eroica Ensemble of Memphis, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, and the Arkansas Symphony. Most recently, Dr. Hunter has performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and Bemidji Symphony. Dr. Hunter received his D.M.A. from the University of Memphis, his M.M. from the University of MN-Twin Cities, and his B. Mus. Ed. from the University of WI-Stevens Point. 

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Executive Director

Naomi Welsh taught orchestra for ten years in the North Dakota public school systems and was cello instructor at the University of North Dakota for eleven years. She holds degrees in music and in psychology from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and a degree in music education, with emphasis in strings, from Minnesota State University- Moorhead. Mrs. Welsh is an avid chamber musician with over twenty years of private studio teaching experience. She has a thriving private studio of string students, and is active as a cellist in the community. Mrs. Welsh was the recipient of the North Dakota String Teachers Association 2012 Distinguished Service Award and the 2018 Thursday Music Club Golden Note Award.



Governance & Oversight

2020-21 NVYO Board

President: David Krogh: 2nd term complete 6/30/22
Vice President: Phil Amundson: 2nd term complete 6/30/21
Treasurer: Mark Romanick: 2nd term complete 6/30/21
Secretary: Wendy Bulman:  2nd term complete 6/30/21

Yong Hou: 2nd term complete 6/30/22
Tyler Manske: 1st term complete 6/30/21
Madhavi Marasinghe: 2nd term complete 6/30/22
Gloria Rodriguez: 1st term complete 6/30/23
Jennifer Tarlin: 1st term complete 6/30/21

Angela Urlacher: 1st term complete 6/30/22
Naomi Welsh, ex officio

Past President: Jackie Spiros

After two consecutive 3-year terms, board members must rotate off for a minimum of one year.

NVYO accepts applications for board membership on a rolling basis, and voting for next year’s board takes place in the spring. To run for the NVYO board,  complete and submit the NVYO Board nomination agreement form. Note that you must first be a voting member of NVYO by being a parent of active participants OR by marking the appropriate line on the form.

NVYO Board members accept the following responsibilities:
• Represent NVYO in the community through business and personal relationships
• Fulfill a 3-year term, with option to run for a second term
• Attend monthly meetings
• Make an annual personal financial contribution
• Participate in one or more fundraising opportunities
• Help formulate and take responsibility for policies and practices



2020-21 meetings via Zoom

until further notice

Grand Forks ND 58201

  • July 7

  • August 3

  • Aug 31

  • Oct 12

  • Nov 2 

  • NOVEMBER 2: Zoom annual meeting

  • Dec 7

  • Jan 4

  • Feb 1 

  • Mar 5

  • Apr 3

  • May 3

  • June 7


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©2019 by Northern Valley Youth Orchestras.