Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra

About

The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra vows to engage our community through extraordinary musical experiences.
our story

Inspirational music-making for over a century.

The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1918. Over the span of more than a century, extraordinary musical experiences have evolved into a legacy of old and new traditions. During each performance, the artistry and passion of the musicians engage the senses and create new memories for young and not-so-young concertgoers.  

Did you know? The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra is the longest continually active orchestra in the state of Wisconsin!

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Proud women with instrument

As a community-based professional orchestra, the majority of our musicians call the Lakeshore community home, but we also have musicians from all over Wisconsin. We perform multiple regular season concerts, a yearly holiday concert, and an annual childrens’ concerts for Sheboygan County fourth graders. The repertoire is varied and provides a unique musical experience for the audience and performers alike!

In the early 1980s, the Sheboygan Symphony partnered with the Sheboygan Area School District to form the Sheboygan Area Youth Symphony. The youth symphony has a rich history of talented musicians, dedicated conductors and tireless volunteers. Many current and former members have performed with the Sheboygan Symphony and other orchestras across the nation. For more information on our youth symphonies, please click here.

The Sheboygan Symphony Chorus was founded in 1994 by Janet L. Herrick and today is under the direction of Wilhelmina Nelmes Vogtle. The chorus is composed of 80 voices and performs several concerts each year with the Sheboygan Symphony.

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Mission

To engage our community through extraordinary musical experiences.

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Vision

A community inspired and enriched by the wonder of live classical music.

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Values

Inspiration: Our music and performances help the community to feel more human and alive.
Innovation: We ensure the wonder of classical music stays relevant to the needs of our audiences.
Inclusion: Music is a world language that invites participation of people from all background.

OUR PEOPLE.

Get to know the team behind the symphony

OUR STAFF

Biana Kovic, Executive Director

Kimberly Meller, Associate Director of Program Management

Heather Guadagnino, Orchestra Manager

John Cleere, Librarian

Stephanie Obrochta, Bookkeeper

Emmy Jones, Social Media Coordinator

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Celeste Pauli, President, 

Anne Smith, President-Elect

Laura Herzog, Treasurer

Tricia Marton, Secretary

David Hein 

John McClary 

Darren Opel  

Damon Wenig 

Evan Chancellor 

Michael Brooks  

Julie Sebranek  

Steven Schmitt 

Kristal Klemme  

Peter Mayer 

Troy Hoye

Director of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra

Ernesto Estigarribia

Director of Sheboygan Symphony Youth Orchestra

Molly Lieberman

Director of Sheboygan Symphony Chorus​

Wilhelmina Nelmes Vogtle

OUR STAFF

Biana Kovic, Executive Director

Kimberly Meller, Associate Director of Program Management

Heather Guadagnino, Orchestra Manager

John Cleere, Librarian

Stephanie Obrochta, Bookkeeper

Emmy Jones, Social Media Coordinator

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Celeste Pauli, President, 

Anne Smith, President-Elect

Laura Herzog, Treasurer

Tricia Marton, Secretary

David Hein 

John McClary 

Darren Opel  

Damon Wenig 

Evan Chancellor 

Michael Brooks  

Julie Sebranek  

Steven Schmitt 

Kristal Klemme  

Peter Mayer 

Troy Hoye

Director of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra

Ernesto Estigarribia

Director of Sheboygan Symphony Youth Orchestra

Molly Lieberman

Director of Sheboygan Symphony Chorus​

Wilhelmina Nelmes Vogtle

OUR STAFF

Biana Kovic, Executive Director

Kimberly Meller, Associate Director of Program Management

Heather Guadagnino, Orchestra Manager

John Cleere, Librarian

Stephanie Obrochta, Bookkeeper

Emmy Jones, Social Media Coordinator

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Celeste Pauli, President, 

Anne Smith, President-Elect

Laura Herzog, Treasurer

Tricia Marton, Secretary

David Hein 

John McClary 

Darren Opel  

Damon Wenig 

Evan Chancellor 

Michael Brooks  

Julie Sebranek  

Steven Schmitt 

Kristal Klemme  

Peter Mayer 

Troy Hoye

Director of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra

Ernesto Estigarribia

Director of Sheboygan Symphony Youth Orchestra

Molly Lieberman

Director of Sheboygan Symphony Chorus​

Wilhelmina Nelmes Vogtle

Executive Committee

Celeste is a marketing professional at Kohler Company. Originally from the East Coast, she and her husband Matt have made their home in Sheboygan Falls for the last 11 years. Celeste has a lifelong love of symphonic music. During her formative years, her family regularly attended the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw. Outside of music, she is an ardent traveler. She also enjoys spending time riding and training her horse, Haddy. Celeste currently serves as the Board’s President.
Board of Directors President

Celeste Pauli

Anne is the communications director at Lakeside Foods. She also plays oboe in the Plymouth Municipal Band and enjoys hiking with her husband and golden retriever.
Vice President and Chair, Marketing Committee

Anne Smith

John played cello with the SSO for nearly 30 years and is in his second stint on the Board. He is a finance professional, serves as Treasurer of the SSO and on the Budget, Development and Fundraising Committees. John and his wife Carol reside in Kohler.
Board of Directors Treasurer

John McClary

Committee Chairs & Representatives

David Hein teaches music at Alverno College where he directs the Alverno College choir and teaches courses in their Music Therapy Program. He is the principal organist and sanctuary choir accompanist at The United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, WI.
head of education committee

David Hein

Stephanie has been a member of Sheboygan Symphony Chorus for many years and has served as chorus representative for 2 years. After a brief break and singing with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, she is excited to be back with the SSC! Stephanie studied opera performance at UW-Eau Claire and is also the branch manager for BMO Harris Bank in Port Washington.
Sheboygan Symphony Chorus Representative

Stephanie Weeden

Stephanie has been a member of Sheboygan Symphony Chorus for many years and has served as chorus representative for 2 years. After a brief break and singing with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, she is excited to be back with the SSC! Stephanie studied opera performance at UW-Eau Claire and is also the branch manager for BMO Harris Bank in Port Washington.
Sheboygan Symphony Chorus Representative

Jill Hanes

Stephanie has been a member of Sheboygan Symphony Chorus for many years and has served as chorus representative for 2 years. After a brief break and singing with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, she is excited to be back with the SSC! Stephanie studied opera performance at UW-Eau Claire and is also the branch manager for BMO Harris Bank in Port Washington.
Sheboygan Symphony Chorus Representative

Kristin Hettinger

Board Members

Darren grew up in Sheboygan and attended SSO concerts with his family. He and his wife Elise, a pediatrician, have three sons who have all participated in the Sheboygan Symphony Youth Orchestra. He plays the trumpet and piano, enjoys tennis and reading, volunteers his time with many organizations in the Sheboygan community, and listens to all genres of music.
Chair, Governance Committee

Darren Opel

Damon Wenig is excited to join the mission of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra in enriching our community’s cultural environment through the arts. As a native to Sheboygan County, and SAYS alum, some of his first exposure to the arts were from Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra performances. His personal passion for the arts further blossomed during his undergraduate studies in vocal performance in Sydney, Australia.
Chair, Artistic Committee

Damon Wenig

Evan is the Director of Bands at Lakeland University and also serves as director of the annual Lakeland Music Camp. He plays French Horn with the North Point Brass Quintet and also performs regularly with the SSO, Plymouth Municipal Band and other local groups. Evan lives in Howards Grove with his wife, Hannah, and their three children.

Evan Chancellor

Michael has lived in Sheboygan for 12 years. He is employed by the Kohler company as a Senior Staff Quality Engineer.

Michael Brooks

experience the symphony.

your journey awaits.

Stay tuned! More events coming soon.

Ernesto's Bio

Paraguayan conductor Ernesto Estigarribia is highly regarded for his versatility and effervescent style on and off the podium. Hailed for his “expert direction” by Fanfare magazine, he was recently named Music Director of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is the Associate Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles and Director of Orchestras at Augustana College.

 Ernesto has conducted the La Crosse Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, St. Cloud Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Orquesta de Cámara del Centro del Conocimiento (Argentina), Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional-Paraguay and is the most frequent guest conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Congreso Nacional (Paraguay). In addition to symphonic performances, Ernesto has led numerous opera productions including Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Zimmermann’s Weisse Rose.

 In addition to debut seasons in Sheboygan and Mankato, other highlights of the 22/23 season include guest appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra and Jake Heggie’s opera Two Remain with the Quad City Symphony. 

Ernesto holds degrees from Pittsburg State University (BM) and the University of Minnesota (MM and DMA) where he studied conducting with Mark Russell Smith. In his free time, he enjoys cooking vegan recipes with his wife Sabrina.

Molly's Bio

Molly Lieberman is in her first year as Director of the Sheboygan Symphony Youth Orchestra’s Concert Orchestra. Molly was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where she studied viola with Carol Kutsch and played in the Peninsula Youth Orchestra under the baton of Mitchell Sardou Klein. She attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, graduating in May of 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance. She then attended the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, graduating in May of 2012 with Master of Music degrees in Instrumental Conducting and String Pedagogy. She has studied conducting with Professors Steven Eggleston, Margery Deutsch, and Sharon Hansen, String Pedagogy with Professors Darcy Drexler and Scott Cook, and viola with Professors Vadim Mazo and Lewis Rosove. While at UW-Milwaukee Molly held a Graduate Project Assistantship as Graduate Conductor and Orchestra Manager, working with both the Symphony and Community Orchestras.

Since completing graduate school Molly has held numerous teaching positions throughout the Milwaukee area. She is currently the orchestra director for Gateway Organization Milwaukee, a local non-profit which provides in-school music lessons to students who might otherwise not have access to such programs. She also maintains an active and competitive private violin and viola studio. She has previously worked for Pius XI Catholic High School and the Pius XI Performing Arts Academy, Milwaukee Montessori School, the Academy of Performing Arts, Brass Bell Music Store, and the Greater Milwaukee El Sistema Orchestra at Carroll University.

Molly has played viola in the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra since 2013 and has sat co-principal since 2017. She also plays viola in the Sheboygan Symphony String Quartet. Molly formerly sang with the Lakeshore Chorale.

Molly also plays viola in the Tontine Ensemble, a string quartet founded in 2014 with the mission to perform improvisational and contemporary chamber works and champion new music by composers in the community.

Wilhelmina's Bio

Toronto native Wilhelmina Nelmes Vogtle is a conductor, singer, and educator. An Honours graduate of both the Faculties of Music and Education of the University of Western Ontario, she holds degrees in choral and orchestral conducting, education…and marine biology. University Gold Medalist, she was also the recipient of the graduate Albert Whitlow Choral Award. Her major teachers include Deral Johnson (choral conducting), J. Paul Green (orchestral conducting), Joel Katz (voice), June Miller (violin), Ralph Aldrich (viola), and Malcom Tait (cello).

During her multi-year tenure as Conductor of the University of Western Ontario Choir, the choir distinguished themselves in competition, being praised for its “remarkable blend,” “beautiful phrasing,” and “electrifying performance.” Ms. Vogtle has the honour of having been the inaugural Apprentice Conductor of the world-renowned Toronto Children’s Chorus.

The recipient of awards from the Vladimir Reinhold Scholarship Fund, Wilhelmina pursued professional studies in voice at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She has appeared on numerous occasions with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Opera in Concert, and Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Equally at home on the concert stage, she has performed as soloist in oratorios, concerts, and recitals, in Canada, England, and Wales.

A passionate educator, Ms. Vogtle has been Music Head (choral and instrumental music) in both elementary and high schools. Active as an adjudicator and clinician for voice, choirs, and piano, she has adjudicated Kiwanis Music Festivals in Ontario and Newfoundland. A former Director of the Ontario Music Educators Association, Wilhelmina is a member of Choirs Ontario, Choral Canada, and the American Choral Directors Association.

A lifelong learner, Ms. Vogtle’s passion for the art of the conducted gesture has led her to pursue continued training with such luminaries as Charles Bruffy, Caron Daley, James Jordan, and James Whitbourn in juried Institutes at Westminster Choir College, Oxford University, and the first ever Canadian Women’s Conducting Institute.

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