BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Meet Our Team
Chris Hebert has a long history as a musician of the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra for 24 years. She has served on the LPCO board as the secretary in 2016 and as the board president since 2018.
Chris also teaches at the St. Mary of Mt. Carmel School in Long Prairie for 24 years. She served the parish as a catechist and musician with the Joy choir.
Chris lives in Long Prairie with her husband, Lauren, and two children.
Vice President, Grant Writer
Dan Shaffer is a cellist with the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra. He also serves as the Vice President of the LPCO board and is the head grant writer.
His main occupation is as a high school science teacher and the cross country and track coach at Melrose Area High School.
Dan hails from Lancaster, PA – a place where the Amish is commercialized and many Germans settled with others in the middle of the 18th century. Whatever features Lancaster may have in common with Long Prairie, it does lack in beautiful lakes and snow.
LUAN THOMAS-BRUNKHORST & JÜRGEN BRUNKHORST
Publicity and Volunteer Coordinator, Grant Reviewer, Facebook Administrator;
Treasurer and Website Administrator
Luan has been on the LPCO board for over a decade. Although not an active musician, she is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts. In her role as the director of the Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce, she is already well-versed in promoting and coordinating local area events, updating Facebook pages and writing grants. So working with the orchestra as the grant reviewer, publicity and volunteer coordinator, and Facebook administrator is a perfect fit for Luan.
Jürgen has always been a musician. Since his favorite instrument - the accordion - is usually not featured in a chamber orchestra, he supports the LPCO with his technical skills and love for numbers. During the day he is a land surveyor. At night he keeps track of the LPCO finances and provides administrative support to Lydia, our website designer and digital media specialist.
In 2008, Pat reached the magical age of 60 after 30 years of teaching in a job she absolutely loved. Being 60 was "magical" now that she can pursue totally new ways to stimulate her brain.
First, she opened the clarinet case that she had closed 34 years ago and started rehearsing with a community orchestra.
Then several years later she took up the oboe and her brain stimulation began in earnest. It was a tough learning curve for an older retiree but playing with the wonderful musicians of the LPCO under the very capable direction of our conductor, Mark Graf, is often the highlight of Pat's day.
Carol retired to the Long Prairie area after a 30-year career in banking management. After retiring she became active in the community performing with the Prairie Players, 4 choirs, a fellowship coordinator at St. Joseph's in Grey Eagle, Vice President of the Grey Eagle library board, Treasurer of Long Lake Improvement Association, and Swanville Legion Auxiliary.
Carol has been on the LPCO board for 5 years. Her favorite job with the orchestra is planning and decorating for the events and meeting all of our patrons.
Given her love of music, Carol finds her time with the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra very gratifying.
At-Large Board Member
If you’re really looking to catch an inspiring musical experience, Gary Taylor knows how to do just that. As a flugelhorn, trumpet, and cornet player of the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra, you definitely won’t be let down.
Married to Cheryl
Father to three
Grandfather to four
Pastor to many
At-Large Board Member
Passionate about performance and community involvement, Jim Downes is committed to the growth and general well-being of the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra.
We don’t know what we would do without Jim Downes.
Editor, Grant Writer, Website Designer, Digital Media Manager
Lydia joined the Long Prairie Chamber Orchestra board on January 2020 and plays a supportive role as an editor, grant writer, website designer, and social media manager.
She is from the remote Pacific islands of Palau in the Micronesia island region.
Ms. Smith-Lenardson's lifelong passion for art, music, and the performing arts inspired her to learn at an early age. As a student she performed with the John F. Kennedy High School Marching Band, the Governor of Guam Youth Band, the University of Guam (UOG) Symphony, and one-on-one mentoring with a master illustrator and associate professor at UOG while studying ballet, jazz, and tap at a local dance studio.
Lydia graduated from high school with honors, scholarships, an art award, and listed in the Who's Who Among American High School Students.
She went on to study at the University of Hawaii/Manoa (UH) with national and internationally renowned choreographers, prestigious dance company guest artists, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater and Dance.
Nowadays Lydia attends weekly online classes with the Hawaiian Cultural School of the Arts, Halau Ho'omau I Ka Wai Ola O Hawaii, in northern Virginia, halau.org.