In 1978, a group of ten musicians holding principal positions with such prestigious ensembles as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, New York City Ballet and Opera Orchestras, and New York’s Speculum Musicae joined artistic forces in northern New Hampshire to present four chamber music concerts over two summer weekends.

Now, after over 45 years, the North Country Chamber Players, through their unwavering commitment to the area and, having successfully built an audience for classical music in northern New Hampshire, now present their Summer Performance Season and additional year-round chamber music concerts.

For almost five decades, the Chamber Players have designed and presented concerts, multi-media presentations, lectures and seminars of the highest artistic and intellectual standards including collaborations with internationally renowned figures like jazz great Branford Marsalis, tango master Pablo Ziegler, conductor, author and educator, Leon Botstein, and architect and visionary Paolo Soleri.

In addition, they have frequently partnered with regional artists, celebrities and organizations like Ballet New England, Ben & Jerry, the Starbird Puppet Theater, the Weathervane Theater, the Papermill Playhouse, Bread and Puppet Theater, the Frost Place, Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), the Jefferson Chorus, the Summerfare Chorus and many others.

As ambassadors for the arts, representing New Hampshire, the Chamber Players performed in a national tribute to the great Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos at New York City’s Merkin Concert Hall, presented a nine-concert series, “An American Chamber Music Retrospective,” under the auspices of the MacDowell Colony’s Centennial Anniversary celebration, and have been the subject of feature articles in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Ski Magazine.

Serving as a national model for resident ensembles, the Chamber Players have presented countless education and outreach programs in New Hampshire public and private schools (from a one-room schoolhouse in Stark to the campus’ of Dartmouth and Keene State Colleges), at town halls, meeting houses, opera houses, radio stations, movie theaters, libraries, factory floors, supermarkets, community centers, senior facilities, hospitals, rehab centers, churches, synagogues, ski lodges, grand resorts and summer camps, among others.

In recognition of their groundbreaking Rural Arts Program, which, in partnership with the NH State Council on the Arts, provided interactive in-school programs for more than 80,000 New Hampshire students, the Chamber Players were invited by Carnegie Hall to participate in their Link-Up educational program in New York City.

Their work with New Hampshire school children also led to an invitation to present a showcase performance about the Rural Arts Initiative on the floor of the New Hampshire State Legislature where they received a standing ovation from more than 300 state lawmakers who voted, the next day, to continue funding the program.

Board of Directors


  • Mike Girouard, President
  • Katharine Terrie, Vice President
  • Michael Claflin, Treasurer
  • Shep Holcombe, Secretary
  • Jane Higgins
  • Betsy Holcombe
  • Robert Lanchester
  • Marcia Roosevelt



Managing Director

Mary Louise Formisano has extensive background and expertise in event planning, fundraising, community and relationship building, marketing, sales and public relations. She was the Director of Sponsorship and Community Outreach for the East Greenwich News, an on-line digital news platform based in Rhode Island, where she successfully built critical advertising and corporate donor programs. She previously served as the Director of Corporate Relations for the American Heart Association, Southern New England. Born and raised in New York City, where she attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, East 91st Street, Mary Louise graduated from Babson College with a BS in Communications and Marketing.


Artistic Director

A founding violinist member of the North Country Chamber Players, Ronnie served as its Artistic Director from 1984 until 2002. As a longtime member of the Grammy® Award winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, he served several terms as an Artistic Director and also served as the Managing Director from 2002 to 2008, during which time he led a major organizational turn-around and received the first Orpheus Leadership Award. As a violinist, he has toured throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia with Orpheus and other groups. Mr. Bauch has appeared as a soloist with Orpheus, the American Symphony, the Long Island Philharmonic, the American Composer’s Orchestra, and the Westchester Philharmonic, and has performed on hundreds of national and international radio and TV broadcasts and recordings with Orpheus and other ensembles. As the primary architect of the Orpheus Institute, a virtual conservatory-without-walls curriculum for training 21st century musicians, he designed groundbreaking experiential programs for the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University, the Paris Conservatory and Interlochen Arts Academy. As the creator of the Orpheus Process® demonstration, Mr. Bauch has been a featured speaker at Stanford, Columbia and Hitotsubashi (Tokyo) Universities, the Universities of Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, California at Berkeley, NYU, and Baruch College. In May 2000, Slate Magazine featured Ronnie in a weeklong series chronicling the life of a touring orchestra musician.


Program Director

For several decades, Donald Palma has been recognized as one of America’s pre-eminent double bassists, conductors and educators. A native New Yorker, Don attended the Juilliard School and, at the age of nineteen, joined Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony. As a member of the newly formed new music ensemble, Speculum Musicae, he went on to win the Naumburg Competition and secure management with Young Concert Artists. A founding member of both the North Country Chamber Players and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Don has toured the globe and recorded over fifty compact discs for Deutsche Grammophon, including the Grammy Award winning Stravinsky CD, Shadow Dances. Don has also been a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and played Principal Bass in the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Trevor Pinnock. As a performer devoted to contemporary music he has played and conducted dozens of premieres and recordings of important works. Elliott Carter’s Figment III, Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronism No.11, Charles Wuorinen’s Spin-Off and Robert Ceely’s Harlequin are among the many works composed for him. He has conducted three critically acclaimed CDs of American music with the Odense Symphony in Denmark and recently he conducted Ives Symphony No.2 and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Xalapa Symphony in Mexico. Mr. Palma currently serves as the Music Director of the Symphony by the Sea, on the north shore of Boston, and serves on the faculties of the Yale School of Music and the New England Conservatory, where he directs the NEC Chamber Orchestra.


General Director

Violist Ah Ling Neu’s performing career has spanned several continents, including the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia. An avid chamber musician, she is currently a member of the Cassatt String Quartet, was a member of the Ridge String Quartet for three seasons, and a resident performer at the Marlboro Music Festival for four summers. In addition to touring with Musicians from Marlboro on several occasions, Ah ling was also a member of the New York Philomusica for 20 years. A member of the North Country Chamber Players, since 2009, and the Brooklyn Library Chamber Players, she has participated in music festivals around the globe, including the Bridgehampton Festival, the White Mountain Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival and International Musician’s Seminar in Cornwall, England. Born in Japan of Chinese parents, Neu started viola in the San Francisco public school system at the age of 13. She continued her studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Gennady Kleyman, and with Nobuko Imai at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. While she was finishing her studies at SFCM she served as an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony for three seasons. Neu performs frequently with several orchestras in the NYC area and is currently on the faculty of Williams College, and Columbia University.