Merete grew up in a musical family in Norway, where her father, a dentist, was concert master of the local community orchestra, and also made violins as a hobby. When her daughter Sarah joined the California Youth Symphony, Merete was excited to join the board as 1st VP in charge of fundraising and finance, and became completed hooked. She also was the tour director for their two-week tour of Australia in 1992. When her husband David’s consulting activities required them to move to Fort Collins in 1993, her first question was, “But do they have a symphony orchestra?” And happily, through work with the Symphony Guild and prior experience, she ended up as Executive Director of the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra but resigned in 1995 due to an expected move back to California. David and Merete have run a business consulting company since 1985.
During that time, Lisa Eakins and Merete approached the leadership of FCSO to see if they would sponsor a youth orchestra. Lisa had already established the Larimer Youth Festival Orchestra. Although that didn’t work out, the efforts went on to establish a full season youth orchestra, which was eventually named Youth Orchestra of the Rockies (YOR).
In 2000 Merete was hired as the ED of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and stayed in the position until her and David’s consulting business required her to step back in 2003.
Merete worked on the YOR steering committee, then serving as ED, board member, president and treasurer. She has trained other arts non-profit boards and has experience in general organizational efforts to make a youth orchestra operate at its best, but also budgeting, grant writing, and fundraising.
There are many aspects of such an organization becoming a success, and by volunteering she is excited to hopefully help the Northern Colorado Youth Orchestra become that success.
Haide Lefebvre grew up in southern California and started group piano lessons at the age of 7. In seventh grade she was fortunate enough to receive lessons from a new teacher who was passionate about music which rubbed off onto her students. In high school her best friend was a violinist in a string quartet, and she was introduced to the cello which had the most beautiful mellow sound. By junior year Haide found herself taking cello lessons also and has never put down the instrument since.
In college she toured with the orchestra through Europe in 1977 and was able to perform at the famous Vienna Musikverein Hall, Mozarteum university and the Esterhazy palace in Austria, among other famous locations. She completed the university’s Piano Pedagogy courses and then switched her main instrument to the cello after being introduced to the world of chamber music. She began her private teaching studio in the 1980’s and has maintained it to the present day.
Graduated in 1982 with a degree in music from California State University, Fullerton.
Since then, she has been an active chamber music player and founded the Brandenburg
Strings and performed at various events around southern California. She has attended the Summer Chamber Music workshops over the years at Humbolt, Calif; Ashland, OR; and SoCal in Claremont, Calif. She received Suzuki teacher training from the internationally known Pedagogue, Rick Mooney as well as private lessons from him.
Haide also was President of District 9 of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (state branch of the MTNA) in the mid 1990’s. In 2008 the family (husband and
triplet 6-year-old children) moved to Fort Collins looking for a better place to raise their children. She severed on the Board for the youth orchestra of the Rockies from 2009-2011. In addition, she established a flourishing private studio and severed as president of the Fort Collins Music Teachers (MTNA) from 2014-2016. She currently serving as president of the Fort Collins Federation Music Club (which is a part of the National Association of Music Clubs), a position she has held since 2018.
Since the demise of YOR, Haide has been on the lookout for youth orchestras around
the area. Three other colleagues joined her in January of 2020 to look into the possibility of
starting a youth orchestra here in Northern Colorado. That planning went on hold as the
pandemic hit. Needless to say, she was overjoyed to receive a letter from Daniel Smith in the fall of 2020 concerning audition material for the newly formed youth orchestra. After sharing that information with her colleagues the foursome soon found themselves as the advisory board for the new youth orchestra.
Ruth Fleming, B.M., M.M., has attended Area, State and National teachers’ Conventions, and the first Collaborative Conference of MTNA with the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music. She currently teaches voice and piano and has performed with her duet partner, Esther Parsons, at local care facilities for several years. She sometimes gets involved in more complicated things like helping out
Though born in South Dakota, Ruth moved to Fort Collins from England where
she first began teaching piano and voice. While there, she used the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exam with her piano and voice students and developed an appreciation for the system. As a child, she studied piano, organ (4 manuals, full rank of pedals), cello (was in All-State Orchestra), and baritone horn (marching band). At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working toward her Bachelor’s Degree, she studied voice and sang in L’Italiana in Algeri and Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke. She has studied opera and performed in Canada at the Banff School of Fine Arts. She has also given song recitals and First Performances
(world premières) such as L.A. Hughes’ Requiem and John Wells’ Three Songs of War. While at Indiana University School of Music working on her Master’s degree she met her husband and they moved to England. While there, she performed in Showboat, Yeoman of the Guard, Pirates of Penzance, Magic Flute, L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi), and Magic Flute.
In Fort Collins she has been a member of Opera Fort Collins, Secretary for the Youth Orchestra of the Rockies for two years, is currently a member of the Music Teachers’ National Association and National Federation of Music Clubs. She was the Secretary for the Loveland Friends of Chamber Music and is a charter member of Zonta International Club of Colorado North Forty, a women’s service
An active performer, multi-medium artist, digital marketing specialist, and local and international arts leader, Miranda Deblauwe is currently based in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned her Bachelor of Music in French Horn Performance from Colorado State University with a minor in Arts Management in 2020. Ms. Deblauwe formerly served as Director of Marketing for the Colorado Pollination Company based in Fort Collins, CO. She currently serves as digital marketer and resident graphic designer for Backyard Soda Co. and ID Biosystems LLC, as well as a freelance artist. She has combined her love for music and art with her passion for effective and empathetic marketing to build her career.
Ms. Deblauwe has worked for over five years as a portrait photographer, specializing in senior photos and engagement photos. She also specializes in brand photography, having worked with local businesses such as Life’s a Buch Kombucha, the CO Pollination Company, and NOCOBOX to showcase their products. Her passion for design arose from her time studying composition and marketing. She recently completed an internship working in design and marketing with the Colorado State University Center for the Arts under the direction of Mike Solo. Although her path in the design world is young, she has already been enlisted to create designs for countless events and companies throughout Northern Colorado and beyond including the Northern Colorado Youth Orchestra, Life’s a Buch Kombucha, Canine Candy Biscuits, Backyard Soda Co., and more.
You can find her on Instagram @MirandaKateCreative or contact her at MirandaKateCreative@gmail.com.