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Cello An American Experience | Northfield, MN USA


International Cello Institute Board of Directors


President, Jeffrey DuCharme, Business and Arts Advisor. Mr. DuCharme has served as a board member of International Cello Institute since its inception in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chapman University in California where his interest in the humanities instigated a career in banking. Mr. DuCharme’s keen interest in the arts has inspired his involvement in an array of arts organizations for which he has spearheaded successful fundraising campaigns. He is an amateur cellist, speciality painter, cook, and Master Gardener.

Vice President, Josée Morissette, Ph.D, Research Scientist. With over twenty-five years experience in computational neuroscience and cardiac rhythm disease management, Dr. Morissette holds undergraduate degrees in Physics and Physiology from McGill University in Canada and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech. Dr. Morisette worked as a Principal Scientist at Medtronic for nineteen years. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and two children. Her daughter has participated in International Cello Institute. In her free time, Dr. Morisette volunteers at her children’s high school and serves on two non-profit boards.

Secretary, Heidi Sheard, Writer and Editor. Ms. Sheard helps her clients, mostly business and leadership authors, bring their books and related materials to publication. She holds degrees from Bethel University and Southwest Oklahoma State University. Ms. Sheard plays trombone and piano when she has time but takes greater delight in the practice sounds of her children’s instruments: cello, trumpet, and French horn. Her daughter has participated in International Cello Institute. Ms. Sheard serves on her local school board, plays tennis, and decorates cakes.

Director, Peter O. Dahlen, Owner and President of Labor Arbitration Institute. Mr. Dahlen has served on several non-profit boards, including the Dale Warland Sings, Music in the Park (now part of the Schubert Club), and Northfield Youth Choirs. He has long supported the arts, after watching his children dance, sing, and play instruments.

Director, Dan Dressen, Associate Provost, St. Olaf College. Mr. Dressen joined the St. Olaf faculty in 1982. Before his current appointment, he served as the Associate Dean of Fine Arts and was the Chair of the St. Olaf Music Department for ten years. Mr. Dressen currently serves as Chair on the Commission on Accreditation for the National Schools of Music. As a tenor, he has sung leading roles in numerous Minnesota Opera productions and has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Chorale.

Director, Melissa Ousley, Music Host and Producer, Minnesota Public Radio and Classical 24, a nationally syndicated classical music service. Ms. Ousley’s career in radio began not long after after earning her bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. Although her background is in piano and music education, she often wishes she could play the cello. In her spare time, she likes to run, read, and spend time with friends and family. Ms. Ousley’s son was a former student at International Cello Institute.

Ex-Officio, Anna  Clift, Cellist and ICI Founder and Executive Director. Ms. Clift is a full-time Instructor of Music at St. Olaf College for the 2017-18 term. She is a teacher, performer, mentor, and entrepreneur, frequently collaborating with other musicians around the Twin Cities. Ms. Clift holds degrees from Indiana University, where she studied with Janos Starker, and SUNY at Stonybrook, where she studied with Bernard Greenhouse. 

Ex-Officio, Laura Sewell, Cellist and ICI Director of Junior Division. Ms. Sewell enjoys an active and varied career in the Twin Cities. She is a former member of two award-winning string quartets, the Artaria and the Lark. Ms. Sewell has degrees from The Juilliard School and Cleveland Institute of Music, and her major teachers have included Leonard Rose, Alan Harris, and Jacqueline dePre. She is currently a member of the Isles Ensemble based in Minneapolis.