Culture Builds Community

Board of Directors

2019 Board of Directors

Board Bios

Jo Capoccioni

Born and Raised in Reinbeck, Iowa, Jo graduated from UNI in 1973 with a BA and later an MA (1986) in music education. She taught public school music for 34 years, most of that time at Peet Junior High School in Cedar Falls. Jo retired in 2008. Jo also directed Cedar Harmony for 25 years and is in her fifth year with the Mixed Chorus at Allen College. She has been the organist for more than 15 years at Trinity Episcopal Parish in Waterloo and was the music coordinator and choir director for 10 years. Jo is the chairperson for the Young Artist Concerto Competition through the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony. Jo’s main instrument is the piano having played since the age of 3. Other hobbies include knitting and attending concerts with a particular affinity to chamber music concerts. Jo has been a board member of Cedar Valley Chamber Music since its inception. 

E.J. Gallagher

Edward J. (E.J.) Gallagher III is a retired attorney and lives in Waterloo. He has been on the CVCM board for several years and is currently serving as its Secretary. He has been active in many community activities and presently is also on the boards of the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Grout Museum, Winnebago Council Boy Scouts of America, Cedar Valley United Nations and Black Hawk Bremer League of Women Voters. His interest is music reflects past instrumental and choral music instruction from grade school and college and participation in musical and choral productions from grade school through law school. His music appreciation was fostered by his parents and his daughter is now a composer and musician in Chicago.

Cathy Howland

Cathy is an ESL (English to speakers of other languages) teacher in Cedar Falls. She has taught English to students of all age levels from kindergarten through adult, also having worked in Spain, Mexico, and Kansas prior to returning to Iowa, where she grew up. She came to the area from St. Louis when her dad took a job with John Deere. After completing her MA at UNI, she went abroad. After 4.5 years working in Mexico, she returned, taking a job at Hawkeye Tech. In addition to her current job, she has also taught as an adjunct at UNI and Upper Iowa University. Cathy’s daughter is a violinist so music has always been a part of their lives. They were particularly drawn to chamber music because of the voices and interplay among instruments. Board member, Jo Capoccioni invited Cathy to serve on the CVCM board in 2011 and she’s been involved ever since. She’s been active on other boards – UNI Suzuki Association, The World’s Window, and the UNI Department of Education’s Iowa Culture and Language Conference.  She loves writing and the process of grant writing has been an enjoyable challenge for her upon joining the CVCM board. In addition, Cathy loves to read and do word puzzles, but don’t call her – she hates talking on the phone. ☺

Austin Jacobs

Austin Jacobs first joined the board as the student representative when he was an undergraduate at the University of Northern Iowa. Graduating in 2017 with a degree in instrumental music education, he now teaches elementary orchestra for the Iowa City Community School District. When he is not teaching, he enjoys playing violin and getting outside to camp, hike, and play disc golf among other outdoor activities.

While at UNI, Austin thought of Cedar Falls as his second home and quickly garnered great respect for the fine arts culture that the Cedar Valley cultivates. He is especially impassioned and enthralled by the high quality music that the CVCM provides through the house concert series and subsequently the fabulous summer festival. A regular attendee at CVCM events, Austin is glad to have many connections with both board members and regular performers with the festival. Since joining the board, he has stepped into the role of marketing head and is part of the educational committee. 

Martha Kroese
Now a retired music educator, Martha taught for a total of 37 years, first in Janesville and then in Waterloo.  She finished her career at Lou Henry Elementary.  She is a graduate of William Penn in Oskaloosa, and has her MA in Music Education from UNI.

Martha has lived in the Cedar Valley for over 40 years, and loves the opportunities the area provides for live music of all sorts.  She has been involved with the Iowa Music Educators Association, the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education, Friends of the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Art Center, the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Friends of Sartori Hospital, and the AARP Tax Aide program. In addition, she serves on the Foster Care Review Board, and is completing training to serve as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). Martha believes that all children should be offered the opportunity to experience live performances, and this belief guides her volunteer efforts. She sees how enriching music is to all lives and doesn’t want poverty or social status to be barriers to experiencing music, either as a listener or as a maker of music. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, reading, crochet and quilting.

Bill Nolte

A tax supervisor at BerganKDV, Ltd., Bill works primarily on business tax and business valuation but also some other areas such as individual tax, succession planning, litigation support, and entrepreneurship guidance. This year is his fourth year as Treasurer for CVCM. Bill graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Accounting. He’s currently a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has earned the designation of being Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV). 

Bill and his wife, Alyssa are originally from Pella and came here to attend UNI. They loved the area so much that they decided to stay and raise their family. Their young son keeps them very busy. Bill has always had an interest in and appreciation for music and the arts, and he dabbled in the trombone in middle school. His greatest interest lies in the recognizable impact organizations like Cedar Valley Chamber Music have on the community in building unity, inspiring youth, and bringing everyone a little bit closer together.

Janet Sanders

Janet has lived in Cedar Falls most of the time since marrying her husband 37 years ago (spending 5 of those years in the Quad Cities). They raised their family here and were thankful for the good schools in the area.  She studied Med Tech in college. After having children, she worked as a stay-at-home mom.  She took organ lessons and started playing at her church, St Luke’s Episcopal. For a while, she had three part-time jobs: Secretary at the Cedar Valley Unitarian Universalists, Baker for Cup of Joe, and well as the organist job. She’s since dropped the baking as she added more hours at CVUU.  A few years ago, her husband retired from John Deere as a software developer, so she enjoys continuing in these part-time roles. Janet joined the CVCM board two years ago, lending a hand in a variety of ways.

Tom Schilke

Tom has lived and worked in Waterloo since 1984. He is a retired orchestra teacher (since 2007) from the Waterloo School District where he taught at Hoover Middle School and Orange Elementary. Tom also directed the Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra for 23 years and played violin in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra for 32 years. He has been president of Prairie Rapids Audubon Society for six years. When CVCM’s artistic director was in fourth grade, Tom was his instructor, starting him on the string bass and taught him for five years. Skip ahead to 2015, when Hunter asked Tom to be on the board because of his ties in area music education. As a board member he is always learning things that assists him with his work with other groups. He finds it interesting to hear how people from other professional backgrounds and other interests view things. Beyond his music interests, Tom is heavily involved with Audubon, bird watching, nature photography, and is an avid bow hunter.

Michael Walter

Michael is a virologist/microbiologist who is a tenured faculty member in the UNI Biology Department. Originally from Santa Barbara, he lived in a variety of other places before coming here 21 years ago for research and teaching at UNI. A double-bass player, Michael was under the instruction of the CVCM artistic director, Hunter for some time. When CVCM formed, Michael was eager to help out from the start.  Much of his work has been with house concerts as well as any concerts held at UNI.  During the summer festival, he provides ‘van service’ for musicians, chairs, and instruments for many of the gigs. Board work runs in the family as his spouse, Laura is a former CVCM board member. Currently, Michael plays jazz-bass with friends in quartet.  He and his wife also sing in the Metropolitan Chorale. When not involved in music, they enjoy other hobbies including as birders and naturalists. A lesser known fact about Michael is that he once drove a VW bug to Pakistan from Bavaria which he says was a very long drive!