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Thomas Bandar

Executive Director

Thomas maintains parallel careers as an arts administrator, violist, and music educator. Through his successive leadership roles at the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Curtis Institute of Music—where he served as Associate Dean—he has shepherded an entire generation of gifted young musicians through their music education and transition to life as professional musicians. In 2017 he was appointed Executive Director of Lutheran Music Program.

In recent seasons he has been a faculty member at the Crested Butte Music Festival and performed in recital across the East Coast, including appearances with Curtis on Tour, Curtis’s signature touring initiative. A regular performer with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Thomas has also been a member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony, and Cleveland Opera Orchestra.

Thomas has served on the faculty of Texas Lutheran University and been a clinician and guest artist at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Texas-Austin, Gonzaga University, and Eastern Washington University.  A dedicated chamber musician, he has taught at the Austin Chamber Music Center and California Summer Music, and founded and directed chamber music programs for Youth Music Monterey and the Holy Names Music Center.

Thomas holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Denver, with additional studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

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Lisa Hartwig

Development Manager

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lisa is very familiar with Lutheran education having attended a church-affiliated school from kindergarten through college. A graduate of St. Olaf with a major in English and a minor in Spanish, she went on to work in public relations, membership, special events and development for 16 years at Walker Art Center and various colleges on the Twin Cities campuses of the University of Minnesota. She began working at Lutheran Music Program in December 2014 after a “break” to be a stay-at-home parent with twins Ethan and Claire. She is married to Jon Alberg and they live in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley town of Hudson, Wisconsin.


Dietrich Jessen

Admissions & Partnerships Manager

Originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Dietrich has been immersed in Lutheran music since a young child. He grew up as an active participant in the music scenes in Southwest Louisiana, which eventually led him to discover our summer music academy for high schoolers. After attending LSM for three years (2009, 2010, & 2011), Dietrich decided to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where he studied Business and Finance. While at Luther, he was a member of the Nordic Choir, Vice-President of the Student Activities Council, and served as Student Representative to the Board of Regents. 

He has come full circle and now oversees our Admissions process and Partnership Programs with our many Church and Collegiate partners across the country. In addition to his work at LSM, he serves as Organist for Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Brighton, MN. In his spare time you can find him attending various musical events in the Twin Cities and traveling. He resides in South Minneapolis. 


Kristina Rodel

Enrollment & Program Manager

Kristina Rodel is a 2015 graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, as well as a minor in Mass Communications. In her college years, she spent time working for The MasterWorks Festival, the Lyra Baroque Orchestra and the First Year Experience program at the U of M. 

Kristina is an active singer in the Twin Cities, having sung in groups such as VocalEssence, The Singers, the Minnesota Chorale, Hymnos, MPLS (imPulse), Twin Cities Fringe Opera, the Twin Cities Early Music Festival, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. She resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Eric Sorum. 

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Cathie Schauer

Director of Finance & Operations

Cathie takes the lead in building and maintaining relationships with our host institutions and works out many of the important financial and operational details associated with running the organization successfully. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Cathie has served in both the public and nonprofit sectors in all facets of finance and operations.