About Us

/About Us
About Us 2018-10-25T14:14:45+00:00

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.

Kristine Arntson


Kristine has been a valued member of the Itasca Symphony Orchestra for twenty years. Her previous violin experience includes performing with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2017 at the Minnesota Orchestra Fantasy Camp and several years with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. She has also played in many small ensembles and community groups.

As a high school musician, Kristine played violin with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra (BMSO). She won the orchestra’s young artist competition and soloed with the BMSO. She was also concertmaster of the North Dakota High School All-State Orchestra.

Her formal training in instruction includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, with a minor in Music, from the University of North Dakota.

2018-2019 Board of Directors

Katie Marshall

Anissa Grotjohn
Vice President

Cathy Shields

Cindy Aultman

Luke Francisco

Dr. Rebecca Kuntz

Brad Zumbaum

Christa Berg

Jesse Davis

Myrna Peterson

Jesse Davis

Gary Bordner