Grande Ronde Symphony logo

The mission of the Grande Ronde Symphony Association is to support and promote the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra and provide opportunities for music education and performance within our region.

Meet the passionate minds behind the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra. Our Board of Directors works tirelessly to ensure the orchestra’s success and bring the joy of music to our community. Comprised of dedicated individuals who share a love for the arts, our board members bring their expertise and vision to guide the symphony towards new heights. With their collective wisdom and unwavering commitment, the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra continues to thrive and enchant audiences with their breathtaking performances. Join us and witness the harmonious collaboration between our talented musicians and visionary leaders.

Alice Trindle

Board President, Musician, Patron
Tourism Consultant/GRSO member Alice Trindle is a life-long east Oregonian. Her family has been ranchers in Baker valley for several generations, instilling a deep regard for the arts and heritage. She has been involved with developing the region's and state's tourism industry during her 35+ year career. Alice has played in the Grande Ronde Symphony for over 25 years and has been a member of the Board of Directors beginning in 2015.

Kathy Thimmes

Board Vice President, Musician
Kathy has performed with the Grande Ronde Symphony for 51 years. Since 2017, She has enjoyed teaching students in Fiddle Club kids.

Chele Later

Board Secretary, Patron
Community activist

Heather Null

Board Treasurer, Patron
Community Volunteer/Office Manager Heather was born and raised in La Grande. With her husband, Glenn, she manages an attorney practice, volunteers extensively in the community, and has two children away at college.

Eric Brown

Board Member, Musician, Patron
Retired Financial Advisor, Community Organizer, GRSO Member Eric grew up in La Grande and has returned after 30 years as a Financial Advisor in Portland and San Diego. He continues decades of volunteering to help communities thrive.

Priscilla “Cilla” Coe

Board Vice President, Musician
Board Member, Musician, Patron Retired Wildlife Biologist

Janice Cowan

Board Member, Musician
Retired Extension Agent/GRSO Member

Lisa Davis

Board Assistant Treasurer, Patron
Semi-retired CPA, member of Soroptimist International of LaGrande, CASA of Union County, member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church.

Earl Davis

Board Member, Musician, Patron
Retired Military/GRSO Member For the last eight years, Earl has been the Principal Bassist for the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra. He is a freelance musician and songwriter performing in Eastern Oregon and Washington. Earl works as a part-time music instructor for the Fiddle Club with the La Grande School District.

Edie Engelmann

Board Member, Musician Civil Engineer
Edie was raised in Eastern Washington and has lived in La Grande since June of 2021. They work as a civil engineer by day and play trumpet in both the Eastern Oregon Community Band and Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra. In their free time, Edie loves to play video games, get outside on foot and bike, and spend time with their wonderful girlfriend.

Gracie King

Board Member, Musician Legal Assistant, Historic Preservationist
Gracie King has played the clarinet for almost fifteen years, three of which have been with the Grand Ronde Symphony Orchestra. Gracie studied Music and Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, where she played in the University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra, UMW Concert Band, UMW Quintet, and a small ensemble featuring student compositions. She now lives in her hometown of Baker City with her husband and their two cats.

Lisa Lauch

Board Member Graphic Designer/Patron
Lisa Lauch runs a small business as an illustrator and designer working with book and magazine publishers, pattern designers and several local and national non-profit organizations. When not encaustic painting or textile art designing, Lisa loves dogs, hiking, skiing, rafting, and backpacking in this beautiful country.

Nathan Lowe

Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Eastern Oregon University. Nate and his family spend time in the mountains skiing, mountain biking and hiking, inspired by the big, remote places around La Grande. They are inspired by local and regional artisans and musicians like the ones who perform and support the symphony. Nate is proud to be a collaborator with and supporter of the Grande Ronde Symphony.

Zachary Banks

Ex-Officio, GRSO Music Director
Although he hails from the Midwest, Zach Banks is putting down his musical roots in the Pacific Northwest. For the last six years, Banks studied cello performance at Portland State University where he recently earned his Master’s Degree. In Portland, this cellist recorded and performed with numerous local artists, and also performed with ensembles such as the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra and ARCO PDX. He largely plays classically, you may see this cellist performing different styles of music at one of many music festivals in the region such as Project Pabst, the Bridgetown Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit, and the Steamboat String-band Jamboree. Outside of performing, Zach carries a passion for education. He has been a music theory instructor for the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Portland Youth Philharmonic. He coaches chamber music at summer camps hosted by the Community Music Center in Portland, and the Symphony Strings program in Pendleton, Oregon. In addition, he was recently appointed the new Strings instructor for the Oregon East Symphony, where he is acting principal cellist. This new position will allow him to provide and develop educational programming to Eastern Oregon.

We believe that the arts, and particularly music, can transform a place.

The Grande Ronde Symphony Association, Board of Directors

is made up of a dedicated group of volunteers who are responsible for fundraising that ultimately administrates and oversees the operation of the following programs:

  • Keeping the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra under the music direction of a professional conductor
  • Collaborations that provide programs for youth, such as Fiddle Club, Grande Ronde Junior Symphony, the Concerto + Aria Competition, Scholarships and Lesson Reimbursement
  • Opportunities for regional musicians to perform and a diverse audience to hear the music of the Chamber Series


For nearly 70 years northeastern Oregon has benefitted from artistic performance and educational enrichment provided by the Grande Ronde Symphony Association and its major programs including the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, the Grande Ronde Student Symphony, and the Chamber Concert series.

The Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra is believed to be the oldest continuously operating community symphony orchestra west of the Mississippi.  The orchestra began at Eastern Oregon College in 1946 with faculty and student musicians.  The first meeting of the newly formed Grande Ronde Symphony association was held at Eastern Oregon College on December 5, 1951, followed quickly by the adoption of a constitution, bylaws and election of officers and board members.  The organization has been ongoing ever since.

The orchestra presents an annual series of three concerts in Eastern Oregon University’s McKenzie Theater in Loso Hall and one concert in Baker City.  The orchestra also performs at other events such as the annual Holiday Music Festival.  Many of the musicians in the orchestra form smaller ensembles to perform chamber concerts in area homes, as well.

Annual Membership Report 2023/2024

The Grande Ronde Symphony Association held our  Annual meeting on Tuesday, June 12, 2023. Meeting minutes are available by contacting us at:

Grande Ronde Symphony Association Bylaws

Introducing the Grande Ronde Symphony Association Bylaws, the cornerstone of our organization. These bylaws embody our commitment to supporting and promoting the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, as well as providing opportunities for music education and performance within our region.

2023/2024 Strategic Planning

The mission of the Grande Ronde Symphony Association is to support and promote the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra and provide opportunities for music education and performance within our region.