About Us

/About Us
About Us 2020-04-15T14:31:58-05:00

Our orchestra performers are community members who love music.


The Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program (IOSP), as a nonprofit, provides opportunities to hear, learn and perform orchestral music for the youth and adults in Itasca County.

Tammy Mattonen
Executive Director

Keith Swanson
Symphony Conductor

Read Keith Swanson’s Bio

Lois Bendix


Sarah Kowitz
Conductor, violin, viola, cello, bass

Mrs. Kowitz has her undergraduate degree in Music Performance and English from Luther College in Iowa, and her Masters of Music in Violin Performance and String Pedagogy from the University of Texas, where she wrote her Masters Report on Twentieth Century Music for Beginning Violin Students. She is originally from Cloquet and recently moved back into the area.
Having taught strings for over 25 years, her experience includes orchestra conducting and chamber music coaching, teaching lessons to students of all ages from beginner to advanced players as both a private teacher and as music faculty at the Carolina Music Academy, the Palmetto Center for the Arts, and the University of Texas Strings Project. Additionally, she served as the Upper Strings Teacher, Head of the Strings Department and Orchestra Conductor for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony School of Music. Mrs. Kowitz’s primary instrument is violin, but her teaching experience includes viola, cello and bass. You may have recently seen her performing with the Itasca Symphony Orchestra, the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, or other groups in the region.

Elise Campbell
Cello and Bass

Elise Campbell received her Bachelor of Arts in Education, with a major in Music, from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in Kindergarten/Elementary Education from UMD, and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin Superior. Ms. Campbell is currently a second grade teacher at Van Dyke Elementary in Coleraine. In addition to her extensive elementary school teaching experience, Ms. Campbell has taught cello and piano through her own teaching studio, and as faculty at the Lowell Music Magnet School and the John Duss Conservatory. Ms. Campbell also taught classroom music, conducted choirs, delivered piano instruction and produced all-school music revues at the Holy Rosary and St. John’s Elementary Schools in Duluth. Ms. Campbell has also performed with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, the Itasca Symphony Orchestra and many other community groups.

Kristina Bock
Violin and Viola

Kristina Bock is a graduate from the University of Minnesota Duluth, having received her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Kristina grew up as a Suzuki violin student, and has completed Suzuki training for Books 1, 2 and 3 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Her primary teachers were Rudy Perrault and Pat D’Ercole. Kristina is a passionate violin and viola instructor, and has experience teaching group lessons, chamber groups and private lessons to students of all ages. She has performed with the UMD Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, Chequamegon Symphony Orchestra and Trampled by Turtles, and is currently performing for various community events and with the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra.   

2019-2020 Board of Directors

Katie Marshall

Jesse Davis
Vice President

Cathy Shields

Luke Francisco

Tom Nelson

Dr. Rebecca Kuntz

Christa Berg

Myrna Peterson

Cindy Aultman

Gary Bordner

Job Posting
Sarah Kowitz will be relocating to Iowa at the conclusion of the school year. We are now accepting applications for the Director of String Instruction. You can find the job description in the link below.

Director of String Instruction Job Posting