Meet the LCSO Staff
Tim King: Executive Director
Tim returns to the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra as Executive Director after having served the LCSO in the same role from January-October, 2015. He brings over 30 years of arts administration experience with him from Louisville, Ky. Tim spent 13 of those years with The Louisville Orchestra and 5 years as their Executive Director. Tim has lived in Rolling Prairie since 2013 and has been an active volunteer for the Orchestra. He has chaired the A La Carte Series Fundraiser for the past five years which has raised approximately $100,000 for the LCSO. In addition, Tim has performed on over 160 occasions with orchestras from New York to California; most recently with our own La Porte County Symphony Orchestra.
Charles Steck: Interim Music Director
Charles Steck has enjoyed a long and storied career as a musician and educator in our community. He holds both the degrees Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music from Valparaiso University, and has done advanced study at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and VanderCook College of Music.
Mr. Steck has been Instructor of Trumpet at Valparaiso University since 1990, teaching studio trumpet and trumpet choir. In 2016 he became Instructor of Trumpet at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he teaches trumpet and brass ensemble. He also teaches students at Lakeshore High school, Portage High School, and the Culver Academy, as well as in La Porte.
Mr. Steck performs regularly as a trumpeter with the St. Joseph (Michigan) Municipal Band, where he has been featured trumpet and vocal soloist on numerous occasions. Since 2003, he has served as Principal Trumpet of the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra, as well. He is also a long-time trumpet and vocalist with the Tom Milo Big Band. In addition, he performs with the North American Brass Company, a brass quintet which performs throughout the Michiana region.
In 2013, after a lengthy career as principal trumpet, Mr. Steck became the conductor and music director of the historic La Porte City Band, the oldest continuous municipal band in the State of Indiana.
His work with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra features him serving as the Principal Trumpet, a position he has held since 1980. He first joined the LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra when he was in high school, during the orchestra’s very first season, and in 2006 he was named the orchestra's Most Outstanding Musician.
DANA CHARTIER: Music Librarian
Dana is beginning her 11 th season as the Music Librarian for the LCSO. She has a lifelong love of music and is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful orchestra as the Utility Horn. Dana also plays Horn with the Windiana Concert Band from Valparaiso University and both the La Porte City Band and the Michigan City Municipal Band. Additionally, she enjoys being a member of MTT, a traveling theatre group. And singing in the choir at Bethany Lutheran Church. Dana reside in La Porte with her husband, Jack. She has two daughters, Taylor and Madison.
Tamara Stojanovic Albahari: Concert Master
Tamara Stojanovic Albahari has been with LCSO since 2007. She is a regular member of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and of the Fleur de Lys baroque chamber ensemble. Violin teaching appointments, in addition to her dynamic private studio in Granger, include the University of Notre Dame, the Suzuki Music School of Michiana, and artist in residence at Clay High School in South Bend. In the recent past, she served as Fischoff Chamber Music Mentoring Program coach. Tamara holds a Master of Music in Violin Performance from San Francisco State University, and is a graduate of the State Conservatory of Music ‘Luigi Cherubini,’ Florence, Italy. She also graduated Magna cum Laude in Letters and Philosophy, University of Florence.
MORGAN SLEEPER: PERSONNEL MANAGER
Morgan joined the staff of LCSO as personnel manager in 2016. She has been a member of the LCSO cello section since 2007 and promoted to associate principal in 2010. Morgan graduated from Indiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Business, Concentration: Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Music Business, Concentration: Merchandising and two minors in marketing and business administration. She enjoys spending her free time playing cello and taking care of the family farm. She resides in Niles, Michigan, with her husband, Steve and two children Zoe & Zac.
SCOTT KURTZWEIL: OPERATIONS MANAGER
WESTIN STUFFLEBEAN: OFFICE COORDINATOR
Currently a senior math major at Valparaiso University, Westin Stufflebean arranges music and conducts for the university handbell choir, the Resurrection Ringers. He has played viola for many years and, though not in an orchestra today, maintains his passion playing in one of the university worship bands. Additionally, he sings with the Kantorei chapel choir at Valpo. Westin enjoys the opportunity his position with the LCSO provides to combine his skillset with his love and passion for music
MATTHEW NELSON: LIGHTING DESIGNER
Matt is in his third season as Musical Director of The Singing Co. of LaPorte. It is his goal to create a growing program that instills appreciation for all styles of music and a respect for the performing arts.
Prior to organizing The Singing Co. of LaPorte, Matt served as Chorus Master of the LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra’s
Children’s Chorus for nine seasons. He also served as Director of Music Ministries and Education at St. John's Lutheran Church and School in LaPorte.
He served as choir director for First Christian Church of LaPorte and Agape Christian Church. He has also served at Agape
Christian Church as a Worship Leader and Church Deacon. Matthew also shared his appreciation for educating children by
aiding Bethany Lutheran Church as Education Director and redesigned their Sunday School program to be geared towards a
kids’ style worship.
Matthew’s study and love of music was fostered by his parents at a young age by enrolling him in private study of both piano and vocal
performance. He carried that on through his education by studying Music Education and Piano Performance at Ball State University in
Muncie, Indiana. He pursued further studies at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Indiana through their Church Music and Liturgy
Currently, Matthew is the lighting designer for the LCSO’s concerts held at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium. Matt resides in LaPorte with
his wife and three children.
CLAIRE MCKAY BOWEN: WEBSITE MANAGER
Claire McKay Bowen has been maintaining the LCSO and Hoosier Star websites since 2017. Claire enjoys attending symphonies having played the violin for 20 years. Her day job is currently the Lead Data Scientist at the Urban Institute. Prior to that, she obtained her MS and PhD in Statistics at the University of Notre Dame and a double major in mathematics and physics at Idaho State University.