ABOUT THE BEAVER DAM AREA ORCHESTRA

Our History

The Beaver Dam Area Orchestra is a nonprofit, community-oriented orchestra that has been providing quality music for over 60 years. In 1988, the Beaver Dam Recreation Orchestra was incorporated as the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra, which was founded in 1954 by Mr. Glenn Wood.

Our Mission

The mission of Beaver Dam Area Orchestra is to bring quality music to Beaver Dam and the surrounding area, as well as provide a platform to musicians who are passionate about performing. While promoting the arts in the Beaver Dam community, we strive to provide engaging and educational experiences for our audiences. As a community, we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support and donations that we receive for the music we produce.

Two musicians reading music playing the violin in an orchestra.

Musician Roster

Musical Director, Ms. Erin Ebersole

The outstanding talent we have in our ensemble is truly something to marvel at. From 25 different communities, there are over 90 talented musicians who make up our roster!

Lakeisha Heeringa

Judy Heffron

Gayla Ninmann

Georgia Heinemeier

Laurie Eisenga

Margaret Babicz

Rachel Faust

Crystal Ellcey

Zoe Lord

Kevin Luebke

Aubryn DeJager

Bailey Strahota

Barbara Heil

Bridget Kelley

Catherine Juhl

Hannah Braaksma

Rebecca Buxton

Kyle Henrickson

Nancy Osterhaus

Michaela Rupnow

Michelle Denruiter

Robert Toomey

Ryan Tietz

Matt Werbelow

Dawn Gaylord

Emily Gutknecht

Kristen Kasparek

Lisa Weisensel

Audrey Oien

Megan Becker

Abbey Kasuboski

Isabella Rupnow

Susan Lanier

Julie Larsen

Daelen Johnson

Ann Junkin

Jeff Mroz

Kristie Ely

Carrie Tietz

Carrie Tietz, principal

Sarah Chambers

Cathi Wilson

Sandy Polcyn

Alexis Conkey

Kristen Anderson-Hereth

Rachel Tolkinen

Jennifer Tunks

Ann Lemmenes

 

David Hoffmaster

Jason Bernhagen

John McDonald

Colin Galitz

Tom Irwin

Mary Irwin

Laurie Loomans

Alicia Rake

Ridley Mullenbach

Todd Halverson

Steve Schultz

Jeff Kasparek

Ed Budde

Jennifer Bowser

Ryan Brueske

Kevin Buxton

Bill Gergen

Natalyn Nelson

A full orchestra performing.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee:

Meet the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra’s Board of Directors. The board oversees policy, fund raising, and community relations.

President: Marge Jorgensen

Vice-President: Kevin Luebke

Treasurer: Mary Vogl-Rauscher

Secretary: Darby Hintz

The Board of Directors for the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra
From left to right: Kevin Luebke (Vice President), Marty Jindra, Alicia Rake, Lori Bartruff, Marge Jorgensen (President), Greg Gassen, Marilyn Thomas, Darby Hintz (Secretary).
Not pictured: Mary Vogl-Rauscher (Treasurer)

Musician Roster

Musical Director, Ms. Erin Ebersole

The outstanding talent we have in our ensemble is truly something to marvel at. From 25 different communities, there are over 90 talented musicians who make up our roster!

Lakeisha Heeringa

Judy Heffron

Gayla Ninmann

Georgia Heinemeier

Laurie Eisenga

Margaret Babicz

Rachel Faust

Crystal Ellcey

Zoe Lord

Kevin Luebke, principal

Aubryn DeJager

Bailey Strahota

Barbara Heil

Bridget Kelley

Catherine Juhl

Hannah Braaksma

Rebecca Buxton

Kyle Henrickson

Nancy Osterhaus

Michaela Rupnow

Michelle Denruiter

Robert Toomey

Ryan Tietz

Matt Werbelow

Nikki Durni

Dawn Gaylord

Emily Gutknecht

Kristen Kasparek

Lisa Weisensel

Isabella Rupnow

Susan Lanier

Julie Larsen

Daelen Johnson

Jeff Mroz

Kristie Ely

Carrie Tietz

Carrie Tietz, principal

Sarah Chambers

Cathi Wilson

Sandy Polcyn

Alexis Conkey

Kristen Anderson-Hereth

Rachel Tolkinen

Jennifer Tunks

Ann Lemmenes

 

David Hoffmaster

Jason Bernhagen

John McDonald

Tom Irwin

Mary Irwin

Laurie Loomans

Alicia Rake

Ridley Mullenbach

Todd Halverson

Steve Schultz

Jeff Kasparek

Ed Budde

Jennifer Bowser

Ryan Brueske

Kevin Buxton

Bill Gergen

Natalyn Nelson

Board of Directors

Executive Committee:

Meet the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra’s Board of Directors. The board oversees policy, fund raising, and community relations.

President: Marge Jorgensen
Email: [email protected] 

Vice-President: Kevin Luebke
Email: [email protected]

Treasurer: Mary Vogl-Rauscher
Email: [email protected] 

Secretary: Darby Hintz
Email: [email protected]

Members At-Large:

Lori Bartruff

Greg Gassen

Marty Jindra

Alicia Rake

Marilyn Thomas

Devon Cournoyer: Coordinator

Cities Represented:

Beaver Dam

Columbus

Fall River

Fond du Lac

Fox Lake

Friesland

Hartford

Horicon

Hustiford

Juneau

Madison

Marshall

Randolph

Sun Prairie

Watertown

Waupun

West Bend

Windsor

Glenn Wood, Beaver Dam Area Orchestra Founder

1915 – 2007     Originally written in December of 2005 to honor Glenn’s 90th Birthday 

“Mr. Wood was born and raised in the small southwestern Wisconsin town of South Wayne in 1915. With just 50 students in the entire South Wayne School, Mr. Wood graduated with the Class of 1934. There were only 10 members in the whole senior class. (That certainly is one way to graduate in the top 10 of your class!) At his mother’s insistence, Mr. Wood attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. As long as he was going to school, his father insisted that he learn to play the violin.  As a UW freshman, Wood auditioned for and made both the University of Wisconsin Orchestra as a violinist and the second UW concert band as a cornet player.

 

Graduating from UW Madison in 1939, Glenn married his childhood sweetheart Marion. This year marked 66 years of marriage for the Woods. After World War II and service in the army, Glenn worked as the band and orchestra director in Belleville, Wisconsin. In 1953, he was offered a job teaching music in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It was a position that he would hold until his retirement in 1975. During his career in Beaver Dam, Mr. Wood developed a reputation for disciplined and talented ensembles. When the University of Wisconsin Orchestra director Marvin Rabin contacted Glenn about the creation of the new Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, eight Beaver Dam High School string players became a part of the very first WYSO Orchestra.

During his first year in the Beaver Dam district, Mr. Wood was asked by the city to create a community orchestra that could meet during the winter months opposite the summer community band. The Beaver Dam Recreation Orchestra (now the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra) was created in the fall of 1954 and Mr. Wood remained its music director for 37 years.

Former students look upon their time with Mr. Wood with fondness and gratitude and even though he has been out of the teaching profession for 30 years, they still call him up or visit him in his home on a regular basis.  Many of them still meet with Glenn on Tuesday nights for a weekly “jam” session. Glenn always remembers their names and can vividly recall stories of their time in his bands and orchestras. Glenn is a humble man and is constantly amazed when these former students, now in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, express to him their gratitude for the years they had him as a teacher. It is a fitting and wonderful tribute to a man who has touched so many lives during a public career that spanned more than 35 years.”

– Richard Zeman

Richard Zeman, BDAO Musical Director 1991-2021

When Richard Zeman stepped onto the podium as music director of the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra, saying he had big shoes to fill would be an understatement. His predecessor was Mr. Glenn Wood, the founder of the BDAO, and described by a member as “the heart and soul of the orchestra since its beginning.” Many would say Rich carved his own path into the hearts of BDAO musicians and audience members alike during his time on the podium.

Mr. Zeman’s entire 34 teaching career was in Beaver Dam, beginning in 1983. He taught orchestra, band, marching band, and jazz band – teaching beginning, middle school and high school students during that time. He was involved in the high school musicals, Key Club, and the popular Big Band dances. 

Active as a music educator in the state, Rich is an adjudicator for WSMA Solo/Ensemble and Concert Band/Orchestra festivals. In 2010-11, he served as a section coach for the Wisconsin Honors Jazz Ensemble. Rich was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu fraternity of band directors in 2010, which honors outstanding band directors at the state level.

 

Rich’s presence in the community was as impactful as in the school. He was a member of AM Kiwanis for 23 years, including time as President and Treasurer. At Grace Presbyterian, he was in the choir, and served as an elder and property manager. 

He and his wife, Cheryl, were active in the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre for decades, serving on the Board of Directors as President and Member-at-Large. His musical talents were shared with the local music groups Loco Vocals, the Beaver Dam Community Band, S4 Saxophone Quartet, and the Little Big Band. As the first director of the Seippel Center for Music and the Arts, his work was critical to creating a common space for private music lessons in Beaver Dam as well as launching the Summer Concert Series on the lawn of the Seippel Center. 

-Erin Ebersole