Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra announces board of directors

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra recently announced its current board of directors.

Members are:

President Ellen Knutson of Janesville. Knutson has been involved with the BJSO for more than 50 years. She has played percussion in the orchestra since 1962, when she was a student at Beloit College. She has prepared the summer chorus for Fourth of July concerts and joined the board of directors in 2015. She was inducted into the United Arts Alliance Arts Hall of Fame in 2007.

Vice President Larry Arft of Beloit. Arft served as the Beloit city manager from 2003 to 2015. He received the Ken Hendricks Community Spirit Award from the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce as well as the Beloit Daily News Headliner Award. He and his wife, Karen, remain active with community organizations, including the Beloit Rotary Club.

Treasurer Melissa Dunn of Beloit. Dunn joined the board of directors in April. She is a Beloit Memorial High School graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Concordia University and an MBA from Northwestern Ohio University. She currently works as the senior global director of human resources for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Her civic involvements include serving on the Riverfest festival board in 2003-04 and serving on the steering committee for Employees Health Cooperative in 2005-06.

Secretary Carol Fosshage of Janesville. Fosshage taught elementary vocal music for many years and also worked as a music copyist and executive assistant to former BJSO conductor Crawford Gates. Fosshage plays piano at Cedar Crest, sings in her church choir, plays in the handbell choir and substitutes as an organist. She also is involved with the MacDowell Music Club, American Association of University Women and Sigma Alpha Iota, a national professional music fraternity.

Musicians’ representative Sally McFerren. McFerren has been involved with the orchestra for 50 years as a violinist, board member and volunteer. She also plays violin in several local chamber groups and owns Attic Quilts in downtown Beloit.

Yuri Rashkin of Beloit. Rashkin is a communications instructor at UW-Whitewater and a former Janesville City Council member. He has taught at Madison Media Institute, interned at JATV, created and hosted “Discover Janesville,” and was the music director at Luther Memorial Church. He also is involved with United Arts Alliance, Janesville Community Radio, JATV Advisory Committee and other service clubs.

The BJSO staff consists of Rob Tomaro, the music director since 1999, and Edie Baran, the interim executive director.

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