Preucil Board & Guild

Director’s Message By Sonja Zeithamel

Seeing the end of a school year arrive is often bittersweet. Part of us desires to relish those good moments for a little bit longer, yet another part is eager to get started fresh on new music, new projects and new events. 2016- 17 was no exception and has been an extremely memorable year for the school and its students. As you turn the pages of this edition of Fanfare, you will read about our year and some of our exciting program highlights. You will also get a glimpse at what is being planned for the upcoming year.

What you may not read about is all that has been accomplished behind the scenes by our Boards. Let me briefly share some of this with you: In 2016, as part of implementing the new Strategic Plan, two areas were identified as immediate priorities –  technology and fundraising. Work is currently in progress to upgrade the school’ s technology to include faster and less expensive internet service as well as an enhanced user- friendly website. Both things are vital to improving our customer and educational experience. In addition, a Board sub- committee has been created to review and recommend changes to the School’ s Marketing/Fundraising infrastructure. The possibilities are exciting and we look forward to the fall when these will be in place.

Another area that we are dedicated to is increasing the school’ s accessibility to the community. This summer, with the help of UICCU as the presenting sponsor, the school is introducing “ Music Together® in the Parks with Preucil.”  Taught by our Music Together faculty, this program will be held in Wetherby Park, Morrison Park and Mercer Park over five weeks. The school is excited about offering families the opportunity to learn how to make music together and experience the fun and joy it brings. We hope it is the first of many such events and thank UICCU for their support of this valuable community program.

On a different note, in late June, the Preucil School String Orchestra (PSSO) traveled to the Baltic States for an unforgettable musical and cultural experience. Our PSSO students learned four very important lessons while on tour: 1) consistent, careful practice pays off; 2) we are more alike than we are different; 3) there is power in music that effects everyone; and 4) music truly is the universal language that unites us all. After our joint concert with a Suzuki program in Kaunas, Lithuania, a parent came up and spoke to me at great length. She told me that up until this evening she had feared the United States and felt it would not be a good place to raise her children. Her opinion changed dramatically after watching our students interact with the Lithuanian students and after hearing our students play with such beauty and sensitivity. She continued by saying, “ If young people can play with such heart and soul, there are good things happening in the United States”.  This concert ended with a standing ovation and the entire experience left a lasting impression on our students.

The experiences and life lessons our students are exposed to go beyond the studio or the rehearsal room. It is because we have music in common that we can come together and accomplish great things. At Preucil School, “ it takes a village.”  From faculty and staff, to parent volunteers, to friends in the community and finally to our outstanding Preucil Guild and Board of Trustees, we are so fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated community of people working on behalf of the school and its students. Dr. Suzuki would say of our work, “ Where love runs deep, much can be accomplished.”

reprinted from the Fanfare 2017

Board of Trustees and Guild Responsibilities

The Preucil School of Music is a non-profit organization governed by the Board of Trustees (BOT). Its objective is to set policy and direction for Preucil School and to support the Preucil Administration in accomplishing the organization’s mission. The Preucil Guild, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees, focuses on fundraising, marketing and special events. Members of both boards commit to serving a three-year term, which may be extended for a second three-year term. The school appreciates the service by each of its Board and Guild members. The school could not operate or continue offering a quality musical experience for its students without the support of both groups. Today’s economy presents special challenges to non-profit organizations, and these individuals with their vision, expertise and desire to make a difference have been an inspiration to the school’s leadership.

How May I Serve?

If anyone would be interested in serving on the Preucil School of Music Board or Guild in this very special volunteer capacity, please let Sonja Zeithamel know at 319-337-4156 x103 or

Board of Trustees

Phyllis Chang – President
Jason Aird
Jim Conard – Treasurer
Tim Evans
Ross George
Lisa Guttenberg
Katie Kahler
Geri Kohlhaas
Doris Preucil –Secretary
William Preucil
Saif Sami
Madeline Windauer
Joseph Yockey
Sonja Zeithamel

Committee-Only Members

Brad Langguth –Finance
Jim Hussey – Finance


Kiki Aanestad
Linda Cretzmeyer
Lisa Guttenberg
Ming Lodh
Catherine McGarvey
Doris Preucil
William Preucil
Jon Ranard
Julia Rajan
Patricia Roberts
Cherie Viner-Lynch
Sze Sze Yockey
Sonja Zeithamel