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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 guided 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 Officer

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lisa attended Lutheran schools from kindergarten through college. A graduate of St. Olaf College, she has worked her entire career in non-profit advancement and marketing positions including at Walker Art Center and the University of Minnesota. She is married to Jon Alberg and the mother of twins Ethan and Claire. She lives in the lovely St. Croix River town of Hudson, Wisconsin, and began working at Lutheran Summer Music in December 2014.


Kristina Rodel Sorum

Admissions and Program Director

Kristina Rodel Sorum 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 has been with Lutheran Music Program since May 2016.

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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Fernanda Van Atta

Artistic Operations Coordinator

Fernanda Van Atta is a recent graduate of Concordia University Irvine, where she received her B.A. in Viola Performance and Music Education. Since 2016, she has held various summer positions with LSM. As a college student, she organized Concordia’s annual handbell invitational series and did front-of-house work for their music and theater events. 

Fernanda resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works as an administrator for the community chorus WomenSing and plays viola with the Livermore-Amador Symphony. She looks forward to continuing her work with LSM!


Peter Wessler

Academy Director

Peter Wessler has served Lutheran Music Program as LSM Academy Director since 2003. He and his wife, Carol, have two sons, both of whom are LSM alumni. A retired string educator, he spent 33 years teaching middle and high school orchestra in the Peoria (IL) Public Schools and 15 years an adjunct faculty member at Bradley University, teaching string instrument methods and techniques.  He currently performs as a violinist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, conducts the adult choir at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pekin, IL, and drives a motor coach for the Peoria Charter Coach Company. Peter holds degrees in music education from Bradley University and Illinois State University.


David Bremer

Operations and Events Manager

David Bremer is a 2019 graduate of Valparaiso University and holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While at Valparaiso University he was actively involved throughout campus as the president of the Kappa Sigma chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the student manager of the Valparaiso University Chorale, and the lead house manager for all musical and theatrical events. He recently began his career as a music educator in Detroit, Michigan where he teaches 3rd-5th grade music at Bellview and Pleasantview Elementary schools. As an active singer David performed as a professional tenor with the choirs of Christ Church, Grosse Pointe during their 2019-2020 season. 

David has served Lutheran Summer Music as the Operations and Events Manager since 2018. Having worked with student musicians of all ages, he is excited to return to LSM once more.