Sarah Kowitz

Conductor, violin, viola, cello, bass

Mrs. Kowitz has her undergraduate degree in Music Performance from Luther College in Iowa, and her Music Masters in Violin Performance and String Pedagogy, from the University of Texas, where she wrote her Master’s Report on Twentieth Century Music for Beginning Violin Students. She is originally from Cloquet and recently moved back into the area.

Her experience includes orchestra conducting and chamber music coaching, teaching lessons to students of all ages from beginner to advanced players as both a private teacher and as music faculty at the Carolina Music Academy, the Palmetto Center for the Arts, and the University of Texas Strings Project. Additionally, she served as the Head of the Strings Department and Orchestra Conductor for the Sun Valley Symphony School of Music. Mrs. Kowitz’s primary instrument is violin, but her teaching experience includes viola, cello and bass. You may have recently seen her performing with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra in Duluth or the Mesabi Orchestra.


Dr. Ben Smith

Cello and Bass

Dr. Smith received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Rochester New York; his Master of Music/Music Literature and Cello from Eastman School of Music; and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Pedagogy from the Eastman School of Music. He currently teachers private lessons for students of all ages in his own studio in Duluth, and is driving over to Grand Rapids one day a week. His previous work experience includes serving as an Instructor for the Music Department in Hibbing Community College, faculty at Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas, and the general business manager for the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Smith's performance experience is vast and locally includes the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and the Mesabi Orchestra.

John Ondich-Batson

Viola and Violin

John Ondich-Batson has his Bachelors of Arts, Music from St. Olaf College in Northfield, and recently graduated from UMD with his Master’s in Conducting. John is an active violist/violinist in the Duluth, MN music community. He has performed in the MN Ballet’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, assisted in UMD’s Chamber Orchestra, and collaborated with local, nonprofit organizations such as the Arrowhead Chorale and Bluebird Foundation performing on violin and viola. He also has taught at the North Shore Summer Music Experience string program held on UMD campus, instructing students of various skill levels in rehearsals, sectional coaching, as well as chamber music coaching.

Elise Campbell

Cello and Bass

Elise Campbell received her Bachelor of Arts in Education, with a major in Music, from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in Kindergarten/Elementary Education from UMD, and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin Superior. Ms. Campbell is currently a second grade teacher at Van Dyke Elementary in Coleraine. In addition to her extensive elementary school teaching experience, Ms. Campbell has taught cello and piano through her own teaching studio, and as faculty at the Lowell Music Magnet School and the John Duss Conservatory. Ms. Campbell also taught classroom music, conducted choirs, delivered piano instruction and produced all-school music revues at the Holy Rosary and St. John’s Elementary Schools in Duluth. Ms. Campbell has also performed with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, the Itasca Symphony Orchestra and many other community groups.