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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.

Treasurer, 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.

Director, 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 playing and 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.

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.

Director, Michael Wilson, Writer, Hill and Lakes Press. Mr. Wilson grew up in southeastern Wisconsin sailing, writing, and playing the piano. After four years at Dartmouth he spent two years in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, then returned to the States. He moved to Minneapolis in 1974 as Head of Lower School at Breck. In the late 1980s he did doctoral work at the University of Minnesota and finished my career as a school psychologist with the Minneapolis Public Schools. Mr. Wilson has served in the past on the boards of Concentus Musicus and The Rose Ensemble. In the mid-1980s he served on the the board of the Lark Quartet. Since his retirement in 2008 he has served on his neighborhood association board and the Midtown Greenway Coalition board.

Director, Laurie Maiser, IT Executive turned stay-at-home mom. She is a dedicated orchestral cellist and active freelance musician.  She studied music extensively and played in the St Olaf Orchestra while earning an Economics degree at St. Olaf College. She has played in the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra for 22 years, 19 of them as principal cellist.  She also plays with Exultate and teaches strings part-time at Providence Academy in Plymouth, MN.   She lives in Medina with her husband, two daughters, and a big brown dog.

Director, Lynne Beck, Development Consultant and Grant Writer. Ms. Beck’s longtime love of arts and education led her to a career as a secondary English and French teacher and then to nonprofit development work. Today she works as development consultant for Park Square Theatre, the Schubert Club and other Minnesota nonprofit organizations. She frequently serves on grant review panels for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board.