Celebrating Our 71st Season of Free Public Performances

The Minneapolis Pops Orchestra consists of 45 professional musicians. Musicians are chosen by Music Director Jere Lantz and Personnel Manager Cynthia Stokes from among the finest freelance musicians and members of full-time performing groups in the area.

Pops musicians can also be heard playing with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and many other distinguished Twin Cities musical groups during the winter months.

Orchestra leadership is provided by Music Director Jere Lantz who has a distinguished national reputation as both an orchestral and choral conductor. Maestro Lantz serves as conductor and host for Minneapolis Pops Orchestra concerts and is well known for his ability to communicate the ‘story behind the music.’ 2021 marks Maestro Lantz’ 34th season with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra.

Meet Our Musicians

45 core musicians make up the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra. They are in all walks of life, play different instruments, and play in many different ensembles throughout Minnesota when they are not playing with the Pops.  

Note: Some members have links to more information on their Player Profiles in our Blog

FLUTE

Kay Sahlin

FLUTE
OBOE

Merilee Klemp

OBOE

Dana Maeda

CLARINET

Shelley Hanson

CLARINET

Karl Diekmann

BASSOON

Carole Smith

BASSOON

Laurie Merz

HORN

Caroline Lemen

HORN

Chuck Hodgson

HORN

Tom Gullickson

TRUMPET

Lynn Erickson

TRUMPET

Takako Senn

TRUMPET

Joe Hazlett

TROMBONE

Larry Zimmerman

TROMBONE
TROMBONE

Dave Stevens

TUBA

Warren Starr

TYMPANI
PERCUSSION

Erik Barsness

VIOLIN I
VIOLIN I

Julia Persitz

VIOLIN I

Conor O’Brien

VIOLIN I

Huldah Niles

VIOLIN I

Emily Saathoff

VIOLIN I

Zach Saathoff

VIOLIN I

Eric Olson

VIOLIN II
VIOLIN II

David Mickens

VIOLIN II
VIOLIN II

Lorie Hippen

VIOLIN II
VIOLA

Coca Bochonko

VIOLA

Matt Mindeman

VIOLA

Stella Anderson

VIOLIN II

Mark Anderson

CELLO

Joshua Koestenbaum

CELLO
CELLO

Tom Austin

CELLO

Anna Vasquez

BASS

John Michael Smith

BASS

Connie Martin

CONDUCTOR

Jere Lantz

Staff &
Management

Jere Lantz, Music Director

Eric OlsonExecutive Director and Grant Writer

Mark Anderson, Librarian

Mike PeifferOperations Manager

Conor O’Brien, Educational Outreach Coordinator

Board of Directors

Cynthia Stokes

President

Flutist, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (retired); Faculty, St. Olaf College (retired)

Vinothini Ambrose

Vice-President

Consultant, Marcus Buckingham Company

William Goldman

Treasurer

Accountant and Professional Cellist

Richard Gaynor

Secretary

Trombonist, Faculty, University of Wisconsin, River Falls

Tom Austin in a tuxedo holding a cello

Thomas Austin

Board Member

Cellist, Minnesota Opera Orchestra

Mark Bjork

Board Member

Violinist, Faculty, University of Minnesota

Louiza Kiritopoulos-Adams​

BOARD MEMBER​

Consultant, human capital development strategies

Milanda Landis

Board Member

Major Gifts Officer, Planned Parenthood North Central States

Jere Lantz

BOARD MEMBER​

Music Director, Minneapolis Pops Orchestra, Rochester Orchestra and Chorale, Minnetonka Choral Society

Lucia Magney

Board Member

Former Executive Director, Minneapolis Pops Orchestra

Robin Ou-Yang, MD

Board Member

Physician, OBGYN Specialists

James Preus

Board Member

Assistant Vice President Student Affairs, University of Minnesota (retired)

Emily Wildberger

BOARD MEMBER​

Project Manager, Target

Perry Wilson

Board Member

Attorney, Dorsey & Whitney (retired)