Christopher picChristopher Stanichar

Principal Conductor

Dr. Christopher Stanichar celebrates his sixth 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 also Music Director of the Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra, and serves as the Conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Youth 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 his children are active in music. For more information about Christopher, visit

Bradley Miedema

Music Director

Dr. Bradley Miedema is the Music Director for the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music at Dordt College. In his role at the college, he conducts the Chamber Orchestra, the Concert Band, and the Campus-Community Band, and he teaches courses in instrumental music education and conducting. Prior to receiving his appointment at Dordt, Miedema spent 15 years teaching in Christian middle and high schools in Iowa and Washington, developing excellent programs at all levels. He has led Dordt’s instrumental ensembles on numerous tours throughout the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, and he frequently serves as an adjudicator and conductor of bands and orchestras at contests and festivals. An active church musician, Miedema plays organ and piano at First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center. Miedema holds a BA in Music Education from Dordt College, an MM in Music Education from Western Washington University, and a DMA in Conducting with a Cognate in Music Education from North Dakota State University.

Karen De Mol

General Manager

Dr. Karen De Mol, NISO General Manager, has a long history with the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra.  One of the founding members of the orchestra, she held the position of principal clarinetist for 26 years.

In other aspects of her professional life, De Mol taught in the Music Department for 28 years, chairing the department for most of those years.  Now retired, she continues to serve as Adjunct Professor Emerita.  Her administrative experience also includes serving as Chair of the Dordt Faculty Assembly for two terms, Humanities Division Coordinator, and Chair of the Worship Committee of her church.  She holds degrees in music from Calvin College, The University of Michigan, and Northwestern University.

Mary picMary Hulstein

Administrative Assistant

Mary Hulstein has been the NISO Administrative Assistant since 2011. Before coming to NISO, Hulstein was an Instrumental Music Instructor for 19 years; 13 of those years as a teacher for MOC-Floyd Valley Community Schools. Ensembles under her direction received many awards and honors.

Today, Mary spends much of her time helping her husband, Brent, with the family business and raising their four children; Hannah, Heather, Amanda, and Gerrit. In her spare time, she loves to garden, scrapbook, and travel.


NISO Personnel – Spring 2018