Board of Directors +

President: Royce Engstrom

Royce Engstrom recently retired from a 41-year career in higher education, serving as a chemistry professor for about half of that time and as an administrator for the other half. He served as President of the University of Montana for six years and was a member of several national-level organizations and boards. He has always been interested in music, playing the guitar and mandolin for fun, and now a little piano. His wife, Mary, is also a life-long educator. They have two children and two grandchildren. Royce feels extremely fortunate to be on the SOR Board.

Vice President: Joyce Hocker

Joyce moved to Missoula in 1976 to teach Communication Studies at UM after teaching at the University of Colorado. She is a fifth-generation Texas native, and now a first-generation Montanan. As a psychologist in semi-retirement, Joyce writes and teaches at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and at Red Willow Learning Center, where she serves on the advisory board. She began attending SOR in their second year, becoming a devoted audience member. She enjoys being in the giving back phase of life.

Treasurer: Jim Jourdonnais

Jim Jourdonnais is a native Montanan. He is the retired owner of a small business and holds an MBA in Finance and an MS in Taxation.  Jim lives with his wife Barbara in Missoula. 

Secretary: Donna Mendelson

Donna Mendelson worked in photographic collections in the Arizona State Museum and taught first and second grade before going back to school to study English and American literature. She is especially interested in literature and the environment—literary representations of our human relationships with the natural world—and taught at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the University of Montana. She listens to both classical and traditional music and served on the board of directors of the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music and Fiddle and Bow in Winston-Salem, NC.

Board Member: Isaac Kantor

Isaac was born and raised in the Missoula area, attended the University of Montana, and currently is an attorney, running his own small firm. He lives in the woods just outside of Missoula with his wife Rachel and their three children. The family began attending SOR concerts when the children took up violin and cello. In his spare time, Isaac enjoys Montana’s outdoors, especially running and kayaking.

Board Member: Nancy McCulloch

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Nancy is a California native who chose Missoula as her home in 1967. Her sons and families now reside in Chicago and Salt Lake. With a B.A. in Literature from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, and an M.E. from UM, she worked for 29 years as a Resource Teacher in Missoula County Public Schools. She was exposed to classical music in her birth home and began studying piano at age four. In retirement, she is enjoying playing the piano again and hiking in beautiful Montana. Her life is enriched by the high-quality performances SOR offers to the Missoula community.

Board Member: Audrey Peterson

Audrey Peterson has lived in Missoula for 69 of her 74 years, with time out to be born in Helena, to work briefly at the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis, MN, and to complete graduate studies at Pennsylvania State University. Most of her waking hours have been spent at the foot of Mount Sentinel on the UM campus, first as a high school violin student and then as an undergraduate college student, followed by 37 years in the ranks of UM faculty. Adding to that good fortune, almost 50 years ago she married Lorin Peterson, a home-town boy, and her children Ross and Amy also live in Missoula with their families.

Board Member: Tom Cook

Tom Cook is a Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Montana where he was Director of Bands and Professor of Trumpet for fifteen years and Chair of the Department of Music for the following ten. After retirement, he served as interim Chair of the Department of Art and then assistant to the Dean in the School of Fine Arts. He and his wife, Janie, live in Missoula, where he is a part-time program host of Morning Classics on Montana Public Radio. Their two children reside in Missoula, along with their granddaughter. Tom is proud to have been selected for membership on the SOR Board.

Board Orchestra Representative: Adem Collins

Adam Collins has taught cello at the University of Montana and played with the String Orchestra of the Rockies since 2018. He is also principal cellist of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and the president of the Montana Association of Symphony Orchestras. Since joining the faculty of UM, Adam has performed and led masterclasses across the United States, South Korea, and Canada. His university students have won statewide and regional competitions and been accepted to prestigious summer programs such as Roundtop and Aspen. When Adam isn’t teaching or performing, you’re likely to find him baking sourdough or hiking and running on trails around Missoula.

Non-Voting Board Members

Artistic Director: Maria Larionoff

SOR Artistic Director  Maria Larionoff is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the former Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony. She is currently on the faculty of the Seattle Conservatory and a member of the Vancouver BC-based Vetta Quartet. In her free time she enjoys playing tennis and spending time with golden retrievers.

Orchestra Leader: Margaret Baldridge

Margaret Nichols Baldridge, violinist and Orchestra Leader of SOR, maintains an active life teaching at the University of Montana and playing wherever she’s asked to play. For the past 21 years, she has played with the Sapphire Trio and has performed and taught internationally with most notable tours to Palestine, the Persian Gulf, Colombia, South America, Italy, Austria, and Germany.  The Trio is planning a tour to Australia and New Zealand in the next couple of years.  Margaret is also an avid reader and soccer mom who loves to cook and make people happy with her food.

Coordinator: Dari Quirk

Dari Quirk, originally from Massachusetts, settled in Missoula with her family in 2013. A great supporter of the arts, Dari was particularly excited to join the SOR family because of her violinist daughter, McKenna.  Dari received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Bowdoin College (1988) and her MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Colorado – Boulder (1993).  When not coordinating for the SOR, Dari can be found being amazed by her son, Colton’s card tricks, attending 4-H and FFA events with her daughter, McKenna, spending time with her dogs, Diesel and Puck, or enjoying a float on the river with her husband, Jim.

Creative Support People

Website & Photography: Michael Wilder

Michael Wilder is a photographer, master color printer, artist, cyclist, and hay and horse farmer among other things. He has been photographing SOR concerts and creating the SOR website since 2005—because he appreciates the fine music and unique place of this orchestra. 

Audio Recording: Richard Kuschel

Richard Kuschel owns and operates The Recording Center in Missoula. He has been making audio recordings of all the SOR concerts since 1994.