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About Kettle Moraine Symphony

Message from the Music Director

Richard Hynson, Kettle Moraine Symphony Music Director

Dear Music Lovers and Friends,

My name is Richard Hynson, and I am honored that your board and orchestra members have chosen me to serve as the Kettle Moraine Symphony’s fourth music director. I say “your board” because indeed this is your orchestra. This orchestra represents more than just an entertainment option on any given Sunday. This orchestra stands for great music making by your neighbors and friends. It is also a real indicator of West Bend’s commitment to creating a community and a quality of life that are exceptional.

We have selected compelling music: each piece has been chosen because it is both accessible and expressive. It is music that will move you. It also serves to underscore and to celebrate that which brings us together. Our second concert celebrating veterans and our third featuring a local student concerto-competition winner are two great examples of performance experiences that do more than simply offer great music. They mark important aspects of, and achievements within, the West Bend community.

Each time that we play for you we create a live performance—a human experience of shared beauty, emotions, and wordless understandings. Every time we gather together to share the music, performers and audience members connect with one another in fleeting but powerful ways. You won’t want to miss a single moment!

Finally, just as the leaders and stakeholders of West Bend are working hard to enhance and evolve the community, we, too, are committed to grow and to improve the ways in which KMS makes a difference to you. In the coming months we’ll share great music with you, and we’ll also share a new and transformative vision for the orchestra. As the song goes: “…You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”

Rick Hynson

Kettle Moraine Symphony logo

The Kettle Moraine Symphony was founded in 1968 as the Moraine Symphony Orchestra by the late Albert (Bud) Asch and a group of classical music enthusiasts, and was sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Washington County in West Bend, Wis. The Kettle Moraine Symphony is a regional orchestra whose approximately 65 playing members and its Board of Directors come from 20 different communities in the Kettle Moraine area.

The orchestra's mission is to provide outstanding orchestral performances that engage the community and inspire and educate audiences of all ages.

Moraine Symphony Orchestra, d⁄b⁄a Kettle Moraine Symphony, is a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit organization that relies on community support, grants, donations, and sponsorships.



There is a currently an opening for viola. Please see auditions if you are interested in auditioning for an open seat or for the sub list.

KMS welcomes audition inquiries at any time, as our needs may change throughout the season.

Get to Know Your Symphony

Symphony members tell their stories...

Karla Siegler, Concertmaster, Kettle Moraine Symphony
Karla Siegler

Karla Siegler has served as the concertmaster of the Kettle Moraine Symphony since 1990. She has a private violin studio in her home, and currently teaches 20-25 students.

She has studied violin with Alcestis Perry, Elizabeth Matesky, and Pierre Menard at NIU, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Music Education.

Before moving to Wisconsin in 1986, she was principal 2nd violin for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra Rockford Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster for the Rockford Lutheran Choral Union in Illinois.

On a full time basis, Karla is currently an ECE teacher for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. Karla and her husband Michael currently own and operate a local preschool⁄daycare center, and enjoy spending their free time with their 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Mike Phillips, KMS PresidentMessage from the President

We know you'll agree that attending a live symphony orchestra performance is quite a unique and exciting experience: listening to some of the best music ever composed, performed by musicians who are professionally educated and experienced, and who truly love what they do.

What's also amazing is that this high caliber performance experience is available in a community the size of West Bend, Wisconsin, close to where you live and at an affordable cost.

We greatly appreciate your presence and support. Please continue that support for the arts which enrich the life of our community. And please invite your friends, family members and associates to join you at future concerts. Help spread the word...and the music!

- Mike Phillips, President


Seeking Talented Board Members Like You!

The Kettle Moraine Symphony invites you to consider becoming a board or committee volunteer for a great community orchestra serving West Bend and Washington County.

Our roots are at the University of Wisconsin Washington County where we began in 1968, growing into a 60-member semi-professional orchestra with musicians from throughout the greater Milwaukee area.

We typically perform four concerts a year and host a fundraiser. Our board meets every other month in West Bend. Committee members meet as needed.

While not all our board and committee members are musicians, they share an appreciation of music and believe that the arts add to the quality of life in the community.

If you are interested in joining us or learning more, please let us know by contacting 262-334-3469 or email info @ (no spaces).


Board of Directors

  • Mike Phillips, President
  • Therese Sizer, Vice President
  • Peter Gibeau, Secretary
  • Diana Jonen, Treasurer
  • Jill Badzinski
  • Amy Campbell
  • Lisa Perner Kitzke
  • John Lamm
  • Patricia McIntyre, Educational Outreach Coordinator
  • Joyce Malloy
  • Hannah Muehlbauer
  • Connie Schulist, Music Librarian
  • Michael Siegler
  • Richard Hynson, Conductor and Music Director

Many thanks to outgoing Board members, vice president Paul Melius and president Mary Beth Winkowski for many years of dedicated service.

Paul Thorgaard, Past Music Director

Paul Thorgaard, former principal Conductor of Kettle Moraine Symphony

Paul N. Thorgaard served as conductor and music director of the Kettle Moraine Symphony between 2006 and 2016. From 1974 to 2006 he was Director of Orchestras at Wauwatosa East High School and Longfellow Middle School. In May 1995, Mr. Thorgaard was awarded a Kohl Fellowship for excellence in teaching by the Senator Herbert Kohl Educational Foundation. In April, 2003, he was awarded the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee’s Award for Excellence in Instrumental Music. He is a member of Music Educators National Conference and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and serves as a Master Adjudicator for Wisconsin School Music Association Festivals.

As an undergraduate Paul studied clarinet with Russell Dagon and Jack Snavely. As a graduate student he studied violin with Dr. Gerald Fischbach, and Dr. Abram Loft. He holds Master of Music in Conducting, Master of Science in Educational Administration, and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Mr. Thorgaard also serves as Music Director at Galilee Lutheran Church in Pewaukee.

Albert "Bud" Asch, Founder

Albert Asch, music director and President of the Board, Kettle Moraine SymphonyFounder and former music director, Albert "Bud" Asch, had his roots in northern Kentucky, but was Washington County's dean of music since the 1960's when he was hired to head the music department at UWWC.

As one of the founders of the symphony, Bud served as music director and principal conductor for most of its history, retiring and passing the baton to Paul Thorgaard between 2008 and 2010. He also pursued many other avocations, including professional quality photography, tennis, woodworking and motorcycle touring.

Bud passed away on April 14, 2012 but his enthusiasm for life, people, and his hobbies, and his dedication to music left an indelible impression on everyone who knew him.

See Remembering Bud.