Meet the Directors
Our directors have conducted and performed locally and nationally, as well as in some of the most prominent international venues.
Emily Threinen is director of bands and associate professor at the University of Minnesota. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan, a master of music degree in conducting from Northwestern University, and a bachelor of music dual degree in clarinet performance and K-12 instrumental music education from the University of Minnesota.
Jerry Luckhardt, associate professor of music at the School of Music, conducts the Symphonic Band and Chamber Winds and teaches courses in conducting. Luckhardt has appeared as a guest conductor and clinician with ensembles throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.
Elizabeth (Betsy) McCann
Elizabeth (Betsy) Kerns McCann is the assistant director of bands/director of marching and athletic bands at the University of Minnesota. She holds a bachelor of music (flute performance and music education) from the University of Minnesota and a master of music (conducting) from Northwestern University.
Lance Sample is the assistant director of marching and athletic bands at the University of Minnesota. He holds a bachelor of music education from the West Virginia University, a master of music education from Florida State University, and doctor of musical arts degree (conducting) from The University of Texas at Austin.
Matthew Mehaffey is professor of choral music. He also serves as artistic director of the Oratorio Society of Minnesota. Recent engagements include work with Washington National Opera, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, VocalEssence, Minnesota Chorale, and Turner Network Television.
Kathy Saltzman Romey
Kathy Saltzman Romey is director of choral activities at the University of Minnesota and artistic director of the Minnesota Chorale. She is also chorus master for the Oregon Bach Festival and has prepared programs with the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Berkshire Choral Festival, and Carnegie Hall.
Mark Russell Smith
Mark Russell Smith is a music director and conductor for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and artistic director of orchestral studies. He is a graduate in cello performance from the Juilliard School and a graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Otto-Werner Mueller.
Dean Sorenson is the director of jazz studies, and he is a prolific and highly sought-after composer, arranger, trombonist, educator, and clinician. He received his bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Minnesota and his master’s degree in jazz arranging and composition from the Eastman School of Music.
Philip C. Hey
Philip C. Hey, drummer and affiliate faculty member, was born in New York City and grew up in Philadelphia. Several years of study at the University of Minnesota in American Studies and Afro-American Studies and private study with Edward Blackwell led Hey to a career in jazz.
David Walsh, associate professor of opera theatre and native of Toronto, has worked as a production stage manager with the Canadian Opera Company, Stratford Festival, and the Scottish Opera. He has also worked with the English Music Theatre, English National Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Nederlandse Opera, Brussels Opera, the Royal Opera House, Santa Fe Opera, and Vancouver Opera.