Meet the Symphony
Board of Directors
Meet Our Music Director
Music Director Thomas Heuser by Allison Ragsdale Photography
American conductor Thomas Heuser has been widely recognized for his stirring leadership and energetic presence both onstage and in the community. He has served as Music Director of the San Juan Symphony since 2016, and is entering his 12th season as Music Director of the Idaho Falls Symphony, a regional professional orchestra that serves southeast Idaho and western Wyoming. Thomas lives in scenic Durango with his wife, violinist Lauren Avery, and their eight-year-old son Theodore.
Dr. Heuser was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Orchestral Conducting in Germany while serving as a Conducting Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His Fulbright residency at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München included orchestral performances in Munich and Berlin and his European operatic debut with Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland. Moving from Munich to San Francisco, Thomas enjoyed three seasons as the Principal Guest Conductor of the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, working alongside members of the San Francisco Symphony.
Thomas has appeared as Guest Conductor and Cover Conductor with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, and Durango’s Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra. Among a variety of diverse engagements, Thomas has given subscription concert performances with the Lexington Philharmonic, Symphony New Hampshire, the Boise Baroque Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, as well as the Winston-Salem, Illinois, Wyoming, Bozeman, Missoula, Flagstaff, Vallejo, Grand Junction, and Portsmouth Symphony Orchestras, among others. Just before the pandemic shutdown of 2020, he was the conductor of the All-State Orchestras in New Mexico and Alabama.
The son of two molecular biologists at Washington University in St. Louis, Thomas began violin lessons at an early age and studied piano at the St. Louis Symphony Music School. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College as a piano performance major and earned his Masters in Instrumental Conducting (MM) from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In 2013 he completed his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting (DMA) from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. His primary conducting mentors include Paavo Järvi, Bruno Weil, Mark Gibson, Thomas Baldner, David Effron, Marin Alsop, David Robertson, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff.
For more information please visit www.thomasheuser.com.
Our Board of Directors
Nancy Stoffer, President
Durango Public Library
Dr. Sara Michaels, Vice President
Janice Sheftel, Treasurer
Dr. Wendy Grant, Secretary
Retired Computer Industry Executive
Orchestra Director Farmington High School/Tibbetts Middle School, NWNMMEA Vice-President
Retired Business Owner
Station Manager, KSJE-Radio
Real Estate Broker
Cynthia Rapp Sandhu
Adjunct Faculty, San Juan College
Retired College Professor, English Department, Eastern Illinois University
Retired NM State Legislator
Retired Community Arts Coordinator
Tennille Taylor (Musicians’ Representative)
John O’Neal (Musicians’ Representative)
Polly Morgenstern, President Emerita
Arthur Post, Music Director Laureate
Jan Roshong, Music Director Laurea
Youth Orchestra Director
Junior Orchestra Director
Please note that San Juan Symphony musicians are individually contracted each season. Substitutes often join the ensemble on a concert-by-concert basis. Seating order is reflected in some sections, or the listing is alphabetical in sections where seating rotates. Individual concert rosters are provided as an insert for each San Juan Symphony concert cycle. We greatly appreciate our players!
Rochelle Mann, principal
Rebecca Ray, principal
Della Kate Graham
Lori Lovato, principal
Katie Patton, principal
Denise Turner, principal
Erica Otero, principal
Donald Williams, principal
Joseph A. Nibley
John Patton Sr.
Kiel Lauer, principal
Don Allen, bass
Jeremy Morris, acting principal
John O’Neal, principal
Teun Fetz, principal
Lisa Campi Walters, principal
Linda Mack Bervin
Anne Eisfeller, principal
Lauren Avery, Concertmaster
Tennille Taylor, Principal Second
Demond (Kin To) Siu
Jeroen Van Tyn
Karl Winkler, principal
Katherine Jetter, principal
David Homer, acting principal