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Our Board

At our Annual Members Meeting on November 3, 2018, the following were elected to vacant seats:  

Josh Thompson – Second Term through 2021

Jose Garcia – Second Term through 2021

Jeff Krebs – First Term ends December 2021 


Current Board members are:

                                                            Board President – Katrina Keough

                                                                         2nd term through 2019


Katrina says, 

I am a second generation board member following in my parents, Susan and Gene’s footsteps. I’ve never missed a festival in 32 years and am now bringing my own children each year! The people of Hiawatha Music Co-op are my family.
My passion as a board member is to keep the spirit of true traditional music alive.
I’m an area coordinator for Membership, serve on the membership and events committees, and also chair the NMU Student Chapter.            

                                                                          Vice President – Josh Thompson

                                                                           first term through 2018

Josh says,

I grew up in Alabama, lived out West for many years and moved to Marquette with my family in 2012.  We went to our first Hiawatha Music Festival that year and have not missed one since.  In 2015, I joined the Board of Directors and am now the Area Coordinator for the Festival workshops.  

As a kid, I never learned to play a musical instrument, convinced my fingers were too fat to play.  After college, I briefly thought of finally learning to play, but decided I was too old to start.  I was 21 years old at the time. 

Ten years later, determined to play music, I asked  my wife to buy me a banjo.  She did and we both suffered as I taught myself to play.  I love old time mountain music in all its forms and I have fond memories of hearing that lonesome call many times at Hiawatha.  

I am a mathematics professor at Northern Michigan University.  My wife is also a professor there and we have two sweet little girls.  We love getting outside in the UP to camp, bike, ski and surf.


                                                                                Treasurer – Jose Garcia

                                                                                 first term through 2018

Jose says,

Hi everyone! My name’s Jose and I’ve been on the Hiawatha board since the beginning of 2016, so I’m a newbie! I’ve known about the Co-op for many years, but didn’t really involved and begin attending events until 2013. I’ve have served as a volunteer and most recently, I’ve also been a Green Team Monitor during Festival. I love what the co-op stands for and having a musical background, I appreciate how focused we as an organization are in bringing music and educating the community, especially our youth. My 5 year old will be attending his 4th festival this summer – he talks about Hiawatha Music Festival as if it’s a holiday… right between the 4th of July and Mom’s birthday on the calendar!  This year we added a beautiful daughter to our family!  Welcome Elisa



                                                                   Jeff Krebs Secretary

                                                                           First term through 2021


Jeff says,


I grew up around Escanaba, MI and my family has a strong connection and my family has a strong connection to roots music:  There are French-Canadian fiddlers and Swiss community band leaders in my ancestry.  I was taught ukulele and guitar (and Hank Williams songs) by my grandfather who was an accomplished singer and songwriter.  Many of my family members play music and I get together with them each November at camp to play old fiddle tunes and standards from the past.I started concentrating on writing and performing music for children in 2010 (when the oldest of my two boys was born) and was hired to perform in the Children’s Area at the Festival that year.  I have loved bringing kid-friendly acoustic music (and teaching ukulele) to the younger generation each year since.  I became a Member a few years ago and had the inkling last year to become more involved and run for the Board.  One of my favorite aspects of Hiawatha is the fact that it is very proactive at reaching younger folks and keeping the fire burning.  I’m the new Secretary.  You want minutes?  I can do that.



                                                                                        Susan Bertram

                                                                                           first term through 2019

Susan says, 

As part of the founding group out of Deerton, MI, the Hiawatha Music Co-op has been a legacy passed on to my children and grandchildren. The greatest joy I have is seeing the future of true traditional music live on in the families who attend and volunteer each year.

I have served on the board for multiple terms and in many capacities. I am active on the concert and events committee as well as the strategic planning committee. During the Festival, I coordinate the Tokens and enjoy the year round music the Hiawatha Music Co-op works diligently to provide.



                                                                                 Michael Reed

                                                                                                   second term through 2020

Michael says, 

“My family and I moved to Marquette in 1995 and discovered the Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival in 1996. That was the first year we attended. We began working and volunteering within a short period of time afterward and soon allowed HMC to use our house to house performers during the festival. With continued involvement and encouragement from friends and family, I was nominated for and was elected to the Board of Directors. We continue to allow HMC to use our house and I also serve on the fundraising and music selection committees. I believe in preserving heritage while at the same time acknowledging the growth and evolution that comes from acceptance of our background and experiences. Music is an important part of my life and I greatly enjoy being in a position to help promote quality music programs in our area. Hiawatha Power!”


                                                                                  Pearl Taylor

                                                                                                    first term through 2019

Pearl says,



                                                                               David Sprouse

                                                                                                first term through 2019

David says, 

The first time I heard about the Hiawatha Music Co-op was when I came to NMU in 1995. I starting living in Marquette year-round in 1997, which was also my first Hiawatha festival. That year I got to hear music new to my ears and have been captivated ever since. My family and I enjoy getting outside, especially in the summer time, and exploring all that Michigan has to offer. This includes the many music festivals in the L.P. and in the UP. I look forward to growing and creating with the Hiawatha Music Co-op.


                                                                         John Gillette

                                                                                        first term through 2020

 John says,

I’ve been drawn to the vibration of strings for as far back as I can remember. I used to open up the top of our family’s heirloom piano and strum the strings inside. My dad gave me a ’58 Gibson guitar that I started picking in earnest when I was fourteen waiting for the school bus and figuring out Heard It Through the Grapevine.

Over twenty five years later I’m still drawn to roots acoustic sounds and have performed and helped put together musical groups, concerts and festivals across several states. My wife and musical partner, Sarah, and I have always invited people into our home for “Whiskey Fridays” and founded the Poultney and Yooper Bluegrass Societies to keep the traditional music alive in our community. 

I am now pleased to keep ears hearing new takes on traditional tune and traditionally-inspired songs. The Hiawatha Music Co-op is the perfect organization for channeling my love of traditional music here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


                                                                       Lee Ossenheimer

                                                                       first term through 2020

Lee says,

My family and I first attended the Hiawatha Music Festival in 2010.  Regrettably, we had heard rummers of an amazing, family friendly music festival occupying Tourist Park in Marquette for over a decade before we committed to the experience.  At the conclusion of the 2010 Festival, our young family unanimously declared their intent to participate on an annual basis.  Over the next few years we observed the inner workings of the organization from a distance, concluding that we would serve in some capacity in the future.  Ironically, I would soon be elected to the Board for my first three year term.  I have had the great fortune to serve as a Festival Set-Up Monitor ever since the evening of that nomination.  Currently, each family member volunteers a portion of their time to help at the Festival where needed.  Our sixteen year old son has developed many special relationships with other volunteers.  He has gained skills and technical knowledge through their generous mentorship.   Jesse currently volunteers on the electrical crew for the duration of the Festival.  It is my pleasure to be re-elected to the Hiawatha Music Festival Board for another term.  It is through this intimate relationship with other volunteers that the “Spirit” of the Hiawatha Music Festival continues to grow and unite Humans with song and dance.


STAY IN TOUCH! call us at 906-226-8575 or  email us at


The Executive positions were seated at the first 2019 Board Meeting on January 2, 2019

Your 2018 Board Members are:

  • President – Katrina Keough
  • Vice President – Josh Thompson
  • Treasurer – Jose Garcia
  • Secretary – Jeff Krebs
  • Susan Bertram
  • David Sprouse
  • Michael Reed
  • Pearl Taylor
  • Lee Ossenheimer
  • John Gillette



Here is our Board Job Description

Board Job Desc. pdf


The Hiawatha Board is an active group!  Some of the recent endeavors have been to develop and implement a long term strategic plan for the Co-op, re-ignite efforts to engage with other community groups to bring traditional  music to the area, offer traditional music events year round, and engage volunteers in Committee work.  

 Please remember that you must have been a Music Co-op member for at least six months to serve on the board. An original $5 life membership can meet this requirement.

If you would like to put your name in nomination for one of the 4 board positions open for election at the Annual Members Meeting, please come prepared to speak for about a minute to introduce yourself and share some of the information below during the meeting.

  • Approx. length of membership and/or involvement with Hiawatha
  • Areas of interest
  • Areas of expertise


Our Board has 10 members. Board terms are three years.

A board member can serve two consecutive terms.  At the conclusion of a second term, a Board member must pause for a period of one year before running for the Board again.  

The board meets once a month. For the past several years, those meetings have been the first Wednesday evening of each month, although that could change based on members’ schedules.  

Board members should not miss more than three consecutive meetings without providing a reason such as work, illness, etc. Board Members are encouraged to find an area of interest to work on for the Festival and for Committee Work.


STAY IN TOUCH! call us at 906-226-8575 or stop by our new office at 1015 N. Third Street in the Village Shopping Center or  email us at