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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.

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Executive Director

Naomi Welsh is in her 12th season as executive director of NVYO. She previously 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. Ms. Welsh is an avid chamber musician with over twenty years of private studio teaching experience. She maintains a private studio of string students.  Ms. Welsh was the recipient of the North Dakota String Teachers Association 2012 Distinguished Service Award and the 2018 Thursday Music Club Gold Note Award.

Staff + Governance: Meet the Team

NVYO BOARD 2023-24



East Grand Forks Water & Light, technology manager.
NVYO Alumni Parent 

1st term complete 6/30/24

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Grand Forks Public Health, communications specialist

2nd term complete 6/30/24

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UND/University Shanghai coordinator / North Dakota Museum of Art

2nd term complete 6/30/24



University of North Dakota,

Teaching Associate Professor, Math 

NVYO parent

1st term complete 6/30/25



UPS Pilot 

Captain/Check Airman, Boeing 757/767 
NVYO Parent 

1st term complete 6/30/26

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A. Johnston Therapy, PLLC
mental health therapist  
2023-25 Bush Fellow  

1st term complete 6/30/26

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Development Homes
Employment & Community Service Coordinator
NVYO parent 

1st term complete 6/30/24



Grand Forks Public Schools

Teacher, French & English

Central HS

1st term complete 6/30/25

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University of North Dakota,
Professor of Mathematics
Associate Dean, Arts & Sciences 

NVYO Parent

1st term complete 6/30/25

Staff + Governance: Team Members


2023-24 meeting sites: 
1) Empire Arts Center, 415 Demers Ave Grand Forks ND 58201
2) East Grand Forks City Hall, 600 Demers Ave, EGF, MN 56721
unless otherwise noted. Subject to change. 

  • July 10 - EGF City Hall

  • August 7 - EGF City Hall

  • Aug 28 - EGF City Hall

  • Oct 2 - Empire Arts Center 

  • NOVEMBER 4th: annual meeting Takes place at  Grand Forks Central HS,  immediately following concert. 

  • Nov 6 - Empire Arts Center 

  • Dec 4 - Empire Arts Center 

  • Jan 8 - Empire Arts Center 

  • Feb 5  - Empire Arts Center 

  • Mar 4 - Empire Arts Center 

  • Apr 1 - Empire Arts Center 

  • May 6 - Empire Arts Center 

  • June 3 - Empire Arts Center 

Interested in serving on the board?
Nominations are open now until February 1st, 2024. Voting will take place in March. Occasional other vacancies occur, and any forms already collected would be considered for those open spots. 
Nomination form available here:
PDF/printable form here: 


Staff + Governance: Text


NVYO accepts applications for board membership on a rolling basis, and voting for next year’s board takes place in the early spring. To run for the NVYO board,  complete and submit the Google Form HERE or paper version NVYO Board nomination agreement form. Forms recNote 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

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

Staff + Governance: Who We Are
Staff + Governance: Quote
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