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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.

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.
Allison DiVerde, Board Member joined the orchestra as a violinist for the 2016-2017 season, returned for the long haul in 2019, and joined the board of directors towards the end of 2020.  Allison has played the violin since the age of four. After graduating from college with a business degree and a music minor, Allison looked no further than the Civic Orchestra to continue her hobby of violin playing and is happy that we have been able to resume concerts in recent years.
Joanna Imm, Board Secretary, studied English and History at Macalester College and The Johns Hopkins University, and earned a master's degree in creative writing at the University of Arizona. She worked as a freelance writer and editor for a number of years and currently teaches Language Arts at Two Rivers High School. Joanna has played in the first violin section of the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis since 2006.
Mac Johnson, Board Vice-President joined the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis as a violist in 2021. Mac is a K-8 classroom music teacher at St. Paul City Charter School. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2021 with degrees in Instrumental Music Education and Viola Performance. Mac joined the board in 2022.
Mary Miklethun, Board President, has been with U.S. Bank for 23 years. She is a Senior Vice President leading Business Segment Strategy Coordination and Support. Her team is responsible for targeted customer segmentation, data analytics, and strategic initiatives supporting small business clients of the bank. For 16 years she managed global commercial card products before moving into Consumer and Business Banking in 2016. Mary has a bachelor’s degree in English and Music from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Iowa. She has played with the Civic Orchestra since 1994 and is a member of the viola section.
Julia Heinen, Board Member joined the orchestra as principal clarinet in 2023. She has performed many concertos and solo recitals internationally and has adjudicated competitions around the world. From 1995 through 2022, Ms. Heinen served as Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge. She has been a member of the International Clarinet Association since 1978, serving in a variety of leadership positions. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota. Ms. Heinen is strongly committed to the ideal that participation in the arts should be available to all and advocates for this goal, particularly with respect to underrepresented constituencies. Julia Heinen is a Buffet Crampon, D’Addario and Silverstein Performing Artist and performs exclusively on Buffet clarinets, D’Addario reeds, and Silverstein ligatures.

Marie Harvat, Board Member. Marie joined the orchestra board in 2023. She brings to the board the passion for applying both creativity and rigor to operations and governance that she gained through experiences with a variety of corporate and nonprofit employers.  A former bassoonist and previously a librarian for the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Orchestra, Marie currently works as an administrator of an entertainment and copyright law firm. She is a committed volunteer, supporting several community organizations in both leadership and boots-on-the-ground roles, and holds degrees in music and library and information science.

Beth Sorenson, Board Member. Beth has been a versatile member of the Civic Orchestra's string section for many years. She has performed in both the violin and viola sections.

Charles Watt, Board Member, studied music at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, completing a Ph.D. in composition in 1988. Since 1977, he has been variously active as a composer, trombonist, pianist, and church musician in the Twin Cities area and the Upper Midwest. A set of twins with large and uncritical appetites arrived along with his doctorate, so a couple of years later he began a career as a software engineer, most recently with Travelers Insurance Companies from which he is recently retired. Chuck has been a member of the Civic Orchestra’s trombone section since 2008. In 2016 the Civic Orchestra premiered Whitman's Trumpeter, his composition for trumpet and orchestra .


The hard-working Civic staff continually work in the background on essential tasks necessary for the music to happen. Our manager and orchestra librarian keep us organized, informed, and always prepared for both rehearsals and concerts.

Sara Preus, Assistant Conductor

Sara Preus, a member of the orchestra's violin section, also serves as the Civic Orchestra's assistant conductor. Sara recently rejoined the orchestra after several years teaching abroad, and we are delighted to welcome her back in a dual role of performer and conductor.

Rachel Hest, Manager
Rachel is the principal flutist with the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis. She is also an administrator in the Music Department at the 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. 
Anna Johansson, Orchestra Librarian

Anna Johansson became the Civic Orchestra's orchestra librarian in 2023. She holds B.M. and M.M. degrees in bassoon performance from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities where she studied with John Miller and Norbert Nielubowski. As a guest student at the Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway she studied with Per Hannevold.  She also attended Mannes College of Music in New York City  where she studied with Patricia Rogers, and the Aspen Music Festival and School where she was a contrabassoon fellowship student. She currently is a member of the bassoon section of the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis and has played with various other orchestras and wind ensembles in the Twin Cities. She lives in the metro with her family. 

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