Dr. Christopher Stanichar

NISO Principal Conductor & Music Director

“It was as though he were telling a story with his hands.” — Pravda Cevera (Russia)

“One of the best musical conductors to appear in Latin America”— Diario Xalapa (Mexico)

“The ever-smiling and extremely animated (Stanichar) guided the Everett Symphony through a superb performance filled with wit and charm… It was the kind of charismatic interaction with the audience and orchestra that showed the brilliance of Stanichar’s directorial methods.”

—Mukilteo Beacon (Seattle)

Dr. Christopher Stanichar celebrates his ninth season as Principal Conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra. He is pleased to be working in our community, where he can share the love of symphonic music with our musicians and audiences. He has been praised for “his obvious energy, great joy directing, and outright enthusiasm.” (Peter Wagner, Northwest Iowa Review). Christopher is a professor of music at Northern State University and conductor of the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony. He is also Music Director of the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra. Stanichar has conducted professional orchestras in Europe, Russia, Mexico, and the United States, including St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Sochi Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Orquesta Sinfónico Juvenil del Estado de Veracruz (Mexico), and many orchestras throughout the United States. He has accompanied many world-renown artists, including Mark O’Connor, the grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers, the rock band Kansas and the native American group Brulé, to name a few. Stanichar earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he was a student of Gerhard Samuel. In 1996 Stanichar was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study conducting in Slovakia, where he appeared as a guest conductor of many top orchestras in that country. He is also the former Conducting Assistant for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, where he was mentored by maestros Jesús López-Cobos and Erich Kunzel. Christopher is an active composer and his works have been commissioned and performed all over the world. His composition, Tales of Hans Christian Anderson, is the first concerto for nyckelharpa, a Swedish folk instrument, which premiered with the Hastings Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska, and the work was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2014. The most important thing to Christopher is his family and that his children are active in music. For more information about Christopher, visit


Dr. Angela Holt

NISO Assistant Conductor and NISYO Director & Conductor

Dr. Angela Holt began her music studies in East Texas as a pianist.  She was awarded her BME degree from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Illinois with an emphasis in music education and piano.  Her MM and DMA degrees in conducting were received from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio.  Dr. Holt served as Associate Director of Bands in the Texas public school system and founded the jazz ensemble “The Dissonance.”  She later was appointed as Director of Bands at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and as Music Director of the University of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  In recent years as Associate Director of Bands at the University of Cinicinnati-College Conservatory of Music, she taught music-related courses and served as Conductor and Music Director of the CCM Wind Ensemble and Commencement Bands. Her most recent research is of chamber wind literature, focusing on music of the twentieth century.  She is interested in reviving music of the past and commissioning quality music for the future.  Her passion is to encourage outreach through music and the arts on and beyond the stage.  Dr. Holt was recognized in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” and continues to be an advocate for music education in schools.  Currently Dr. Holt serves as the Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at Northwestern College in Iowa.

Dr. Onsby Rose

NISO Executive Director, NISO General Manager, and NISYO Associate Conductor

Dr. Onsby C. Rose is currently the Director of Instrumental Studies and an Associate Professor of Music at Dordt University in Sioux Center Iowa in addition to Executive Director and General Manager of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra. At Dordt, he conducts the premiere instrumental ensemble, the Dordt University Wind Symphony, in addition to conducting the Dordt Campus-Community Band, and overseeing the string orchestra and jazz ensemble. He also helps guide the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra in both administrative and musical aspects. Prior to accepting these appointments, Onsby completed his in D.M.A. in conducting at The Ohio State University where he studied with Dr. Russel C. Mikkelson. In 1993 he attended the University of South Carolina as a music education major and in 1997 he was accepted as a trombonist for the U.S. Marine Corps fleet bands. During his 11-year Marine Corps career he served as a trombonist and conductor with bands in Albany, GA and New Orleans, LA as well as on staff at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA. He also served for two years as a baritone bugler with “The Commandant’s Own” U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C. He completed his Bachelor of Music at East Tennessee State University in 2005 and in 2007 Onsby was honorably discharged from the USMC. Onsby was then freelance trombonist and railroad freight conductor in the eastern U.S., before returning to music in 2012 as Director of Bands at Hampton HS and MS in Carter County, TN. From 2014-16 Onsby was a graduate assistant with the bands of Appalachian State University, graduating in 2016 with a master’s degree in Wind Conducting. Onsby is also and emerging composer having written musical compositions have been performed by many of the premiere military bands in Washington D.C., the Wheaton Municipal Band, numerous college and high school bands in the United States, as well as internationally in Australia, Japan, Guam, and Germany. In addition he is currently writing a newly commissioned work for the Newark-Granville Symphony in Newark, Ohio as well as a consortium commissioned new work for wind band. Dr. Rose has performed on trombone with bands throughout the nation, as well as numerous regional orchestras. Onsby and his wife Jessica live in Sioux Center, Iowa with four of their five boys, Timothy, Caleb, Elijah and Colin. Dr. Rose is a member of numerous professional organizations to include the College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. However, he holds closest to his heart the title of United States Marine.


NISO Administrative Coordinator

This position is currently vacant.  If you wish to apply for this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at Dordt University.