Meet our Principals

Concertmaster/Violin I
Ryan Poquette

Ryan Poquette studied violin and music at UWEC and is currently serving as concertmaster for both the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra and the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra. He plays with the Chippewa Valley String Quartet and Duo col Legno. Ryan is a founder and president of the Clear Water Chamber Players, a non-profit chamber music performance organization. He has played extensively with groups throughout the Midwest and directs music for several area churches.

Violin II
Molly Malone 
My name is Molly Malone and I am the High School orchestra teacher at Chippewa Falls High School. In addition to teaching three concert orchestras and our dancing string group called Wire Choir, I am a member of the Festival Committee for WSMA in Madison, and am the past orchestra chair for the State. My passion is slalom waterskiing, and I also enjoy sailing, running, downhill and cross country skiing.

Susan Halderman
Susan Halderman teaches cello in her studio, The Cello Connection, as well as conducting an adult intermediate level Thursday night orchestra known as The String Connection. She is the cellist in the Chippewa Valley String Quartet and the Clear Water Chamber Players, and also a member of a violin & cello duo, Duo Col legno. She also plays in the ECCO and has a bachelor and master's degree in cello performance.  

Tim Lane
Tim Lane, has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin since 1989. Prior to that he played with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Veracruz, Mexico, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, taught at Eastern Illinois University, the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Department, and at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Mr. Lane earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music and his Master’s and Doctoral Degrees from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kelli Lester
Kelli Lester is a bassoonist from Amery, WI. She grew up in Duluth, MN, studying bassoon under Bradley Bombardier of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, studying under Dr. Kristine Fletcher. Kelli has been a member of the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra for several years. She has also performed with the LaCrosse Symphony and Red Cedar Symphony. She has recorded albums with the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, and more recently, an album with Shane Leonard’s band, Kalispell, entitled Printer’s Son. Kelli lives with her husband and two children in Amery, WI.

Stuart Wallace

An accomplished young trumpet player, Stuart Wallace, has earned a reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with an impulsive commitment to the music. Stuart started playing the trumpet at 10 and hasn’t had time to look back. He received his Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, studying under the renowned trumpet pedagogue, Robert Baca.

While at Eau Claire, Stuart had the privilege of leading the University Symphony Orchestra for 4 years, the Wind Ensemble for 3 years and played lead and section trumpet in Grammy nominated and Downbeat Award winning Jazz Ensemble 1. He has been fortunate to share the stage with great musicians such as; Kenni Holmen, Terrell Stafford, Bobby Sanabria, Connie Evingson, Brian Grivna, Eric Marienthal, Nicholas Payton and countless others.

As a performer, he has won concerto competitions all over the midwest and has been a two time National Trumpet Competition semi-finalist. He works as a classical and commercial player in the Twin Cities and also does session work remotely in his home studio.

Stuart is an active, unique educator. He conducts masterclasses around the midwest and maintains a private studio of trumpet and piano students. He loves watching students grow toward their potential, whether it be in long-term lessons or in a 20 minute master class.

In his spare time, he likes to work on restoring his 1900 Queen Anne and going on adventures with his wife, son and dog. He also enjoys woodworking, audio engineering, and anything outdoors (hiking, camping, singletrack mountain biking, and all the paddlesports.)

Caleb Domeyer

Caleb Domeyer is from River Falls, Wisconsin and currently studies both music and economics at UW-Eau Claire and plans to graduate in December of 2016. In addition to his areas of study, Caleb enjoys fishing, long walks on the beach, and board games.

Brittany Zold
Music is my life's passion. This will be my 14th Season with the Chippewa Valley Symphony and I can't think of a better group of musicians to make beautiful music with. I also have the privilege of serving my country through my passion of music. This October will be my 11th year anniversary with the United States Army. In my free-time I enjoy photography, the outdoors and spending time with my family.

Meet our Musicians

Violin I
Sara Vojtasek 

Sara (Sindler) Vojtasek began her violing lessons at the age of 4 with Sis. Pat D'Ercole at Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, WI.  However, she had been practicing on her sister's violin since age 2, and had learned Suzuki Violin Book 1 already on her own.  Once acquiring her own violin, she practiced for 4 hours a day.  At the age of 9, she and her family moved to Georgia, where she continued her lessons with Mrs. Valerie Gardner.  Sara was Concert Master of the GA Junior and Senior All State Orchestras in 1990-1992, and performed in quartets and community orchestras during her early teenage years.

At the age of 16, her family moved back to WI, and Sara began taking lessons from Nobuyoshi Yasuda.  She also joined the CVSO at that time.  Sara won the CVSO Young Artist Competition in 1995 at the age of 18, performing the first movement of Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1.

Sara is now married with 4 children and lives in Owen, WI.  Besides performing with the CVSO, she and her husband work with children's ministry at their church and around the state, as well as some mission work in various countries overseas.

Violin II
Lara Garner
My name is Lara and I am originally from Maryville, TN.  I moved to Eau Claire in 2015 and fell in love with Midwestern sensibility, WI landscapes, and my very own dairy farmer and his family.  We will be getting married in February of 2018.

I have played violin since the age of 11 in various orchestras, quartets, and ensembles.  I took a 7-year hiatus from music and returned to playing in 2017 in the String Connection in Eau Claire.  Susan Halderman encouraged me to try out for the CVSO and I did!  I enjoy playing harmonies in the second violin section.  

In my non-musician time, I enjoy working at Cedarbrook Church and at Thrivent Financial in Menomonie, WI.  I love my family and my dogs, and look forward to life on the farm in the future!

Jim Perkins

With over 650 performances in community bands, symphony orchestras, and small ensembles in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, Jim Perkins has also been active as a freelance solo trumpeter.  Currently Jim plays with the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra, and with Wisconsin's oldest community band, the Ludington Guard Band of Menomonie.  With the Mississippi River Brass Band, he completed a well-received 2013 concert tour in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.  He has performed with the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band (Red Wing, Minnesota), the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony.  Jim also served as Principal Trumped with the Central Iowa Symphony Orchestra (Ames, IA) and played Solo First Cornet with the renowned Karl L. King Band of Ford Dodge, Iowa.  Among many other interests, Jim is also learning to play the Theremin and gave a recent public performance.