Board of Directors

The Board of the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis is comprised of both musicians and non-musicians, who volunteer their time and individual expertise to support the vision of the ensemble. Together, they help make the music possible.

If you have a passion for supporting music, consider joining our Board. We meet monthly throughout the year in work that is both purposeful and enriching.

Melissa Headshot #2_edited.jpg
Bruce Margolis, Board President is a long-time concertgoer of the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis. He has been attending concerts to support his wife’s involvement for over 30 years. Having accumulated experience and skills throughout his professional career that are beneficial to the Board of the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, he has been advancing the mission of the orchestra for the past 6 years. Bruce is currently in retirement after a 45-year career in the entertainment industry for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Selected professional associations include: The Guthrie Theatre, Design Stages Inc., Margolis and Associates Production Consultants, Director of Production and Special Events, for Northwest Airlines, Executive Director of the Barry Family Campus Corporation, as well as participation on several boards, committees, and task forces.
David Ancelet, Vice President is a freelance marketer and euphonium player in the Twin Cities. He graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Marketing, Communication Studies, and Music. As a euphonium player, he has studied with Robert Yeats, Dr. David Spies, Dr. Aren Van Houzen, and John Manning. He has played with 62 ensembles, including chamber groups, concert and brass bands, and orchestras.  
John Litch, Board Treasurer is principal percussionist of the orchestra. He’s a retired engineer from Honeywell. John is also a utility percussionist with the Saint Paul Civic Symphony Orchestra, principal cellist with the Northeast Orchestra in Fridley and occasionally steps in when another orchestra needs an extra percussionist. As a pit musician, John has performed in more than 150 theater productions over the past 35 years. He has served as treasurer for the orchestra since 2006.
Melissa Stanley, Secretary has served on the board of directors for the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra since 2018 and has recently taken on role of Secretary. She is a classically trained violinist and has played since age 11. Her background includes being an award-winning orchestra teacher, accomplished salesperson, trainer for leadership programs in professional development and a business manager.
Richard Lentz, a board member of the Civic for two years, is retired and working as a novelist.  Prior to April 2014, he was a Consultant in Psychiatry at Park Nicollet Clinic and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
He has served on the Governing Council of the Minnesota Psychiatric Society and the Board of Directors of MedCenters Health Plan. His wife is a violinist with the Civic and his son, Danny, has also played violin with the Civic. You’ll see his friendly face in the audience of Civic concerts, seated next to Danny and his other son, Andrew, also a musician.
Allison DiVerde, Board Member is the newest member of the board of directors having joined the team towards the end of 2020. She has played the violin since the age of 4. After graduating college with a business degree and a music minor, Allison looked no further than civic orchestra to continue her hobby violin playing. Allison has enjoyed seasons with the orchestra in 2016-2017 and 2019-now and looks forward to the day when we can play concerts again.  


The hard-working Civic staff continually work in the background on essential tasks necessary for the music to happen. Our manager, orchestra librarian and assistant conductor keep us organized, informed, and always prepared for both rehearsals and concerts.
Rachel Hest, Manager
Rachel is the principal flutist with the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis. She is also an administrator in the Music Department at University of Minnesota and maintains a studio of private flute students. She is also a baroque flutist, and in her past life she was the Executive Director of Lyra Baroque Orchestra. 
Steve Ecklund, Orchestra Librarian

Steve Ecklund joined the orchestra in the horn section in 1988 and has been Civic’s librarian since 1994. He performs with the Lake Wobegon Brass Band, the Metro Brass, and plays alphorn for various festivals in the area. Steve is retired from Honeywell after a career of 39 years in development and manufacturing of gyroscopes. He also enjoys reading, scuba diving, and playing with his two grandchildren.

John Ondich-Batson, Assistant Conductor
holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from St. Olaf College and a Master's in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Along with being an aspiring conductor, John is also a violist as well as viola/violin teacher around the Twin Cities.