Board Of Trustees

The Mid-Columbia Symphony is a 503(c)3  nonprofit managed by an all volunteer, uncompensated Board of Trustees. The Board is responsible for setting the vision, mission, and strategy, and for funding and managing the nonprofit, including hiring and managing our staff.

Bill Kuhn


Bill Kuhn retired from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he worked 38 years on a variety of technical projects, program leadership positions, and management. He taught for 30 years as an adjunct professor at WSU/Tri-Cities. Bill holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington.

Bill joined the Symphony Board in 2019, started the current Symphony Newsletter in 2020, has served as Interim Director of Communications since spring of 2020, was the acting Concert Manger for a year. After serving  as Vice President of the Board he accepted his current position of President. He came without a background in music or specific expertise in non-profit or arts organizations, but he’s been learning and looks forward to increasing the presence of the Symphony in our community, and to returning membership and sponsorship to recent past levels. He encourages like-minded patrons to join the Board and work with us toward our mission: to serve the Mid-Columbia region with live performance of professional quality orchestral music, and educational outreach. 

Phil Townsend is a mechanical engineer, with a master’s degree in engineering management. Formerly a submarine naval officer, he moved to the Tri-Cities in 1993 and fell in love with the area. After working 30 years at Hanford for various companies, he’s now working for TerraPower on the Natrium Reactor project, currently being designed, with intent to construct in Kemerrer, WY. He’s a graduate of Leadership Tri-Cities class VII, and supports the community in many ways, including as a classroom volunteer for Junior Achievement, occasional constructor with Habitat for Humanity, and currently serving on the City of Richland Planning Commission

While not a musician himself, Phil’s enjoyment of classical music led to joining the symphony board a little over six years ago, but he didn’t imagine the he’d be presiding over the board during a time when the symphony couldn’t perform live music. Phil has served as President and now Vice President. Now that we’re performing again, he is looking forward to the day when the Tri-Cities has a performing arts center that the symphony and other arts groups can call home. 

Phil Townsend

Vice President

Boyce Burdick


Boyce Burdick serves as the treasurer of the Mid-Columbia Symphony Society Board of Trustees. He is a theoretical physicist/nuclear engineer who retired from AREVA in 2010. Since arriving in the Tri-Cities in 1978, he has enjoyed singing with the Columbia Chorale, Oratorio Chorus, Yakima Valley Opera Company, and is currently a member of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Symphonic Chorus and the Shalom United Church of Christ choir.

Before coming to Richland, Boyce was a Senior Theoretical Physicist at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut.  He has previously served as the president of Mid-Columbia Symphony, as well as that of the Vernon Connecticut Youth Hockey Association, and the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies. Boyce holds an MS and doctoral degree from Yale University and a BA in physics from Carleton College.

Zack Shaff’s bio is coming soon!

Zack Shaff


Christine McKinnon

Board Member

Christine McKinnon’s bio is coming soon!

Bill McKay has been a guest artist with the Mid-Columbia Symphony on several occasions, dating back to having won the Young Artist Competition, resulting in two “first movement” concerto performances with the orchestra.  Since moving back to the Tri-Cities after his time in Texas, he has performed the Beethoven Concerto #5, the Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens with Libby Watrous, the Gershwin Concerto in F, as well as the Rhapsody in Blue and Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 453 with the Mid-Columbia Symphony. Bill remains an active musician in other circles as well, such as the Inland Northwest Musicians, and Columbia Basin’s Concert and Jazz Bands.

For the hours in which he isn’t playing, Bill organizes exhibitions as the Dean of Arts, Humanities and Communication at Columbia Basin College, promotes the Arts as commissioner for the Washington State Arts Commission, or otherwise finds his time amongst various local Arts boards.

Bill McKay

Board Member


Sheila Gephart

Board Member

Sheila Gephart holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Whitworth College and a master’s degree in music from Washington State University. She taught K-8 general music at Christ the King and St. Joseph’s Catholic Schools for 15 years. She currently teaches Class Piano at Columbia Basin College.
Sheila maintains a private piano studio and currently serves as secretary for the Tri-Cities Music Teacher Association. Her greatest passion is accompanying. She has played for several shows with CBC Summer Showcase, Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre and Richland Players and accompanies choir and orchestra students at several area high schools.

Scott Ashby

Board Member

Scott Ashby grew up on a farm in Quincy, Washington and has always valued his familial relationships. Growing up, he enjoyed spending time with his family, growing his relationships and loved competition. After graduating from Central Washington University and then Cornell Law School, for 17 years he worked in a firm with more than 1,500 attorneys in offices around the world. But he was dissatisfied because he wasn’t really helping people. He left and eventually opened his own firm. Today he is a partner at Pacific Northwest Family Law.

Kate Koller

Board Member

Kate Koller lives in Portland, OR, after growing up in the Tri-Cities. She brings to our Board her experience both performing and producing live music. Music has filled all of her life; after graduating from principal cellist in the Mid-Columbia Youth Orchestra, she studied Music Education and Cello Performance at Western Washington University, and now she and her husband produce live music and work on the backstage side of several music venues across Portland, such as the Crystal Ballroom, the Wonder Ballroom, and the Aladdin Theater.

photo coming

Joseph Linde

Board Member

Joseph Linde is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and is a senior at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. He was raised in the Tri-Cities and grew up participating in many local music programs and events in the area. His began as a pianist for many local church events and eventually the organist at his parents’ church. He was the concertmaster/first chair violinist for a multitude of large and small ensembles. While in public school, he placed many times as either a winner or alternate across several categories, including violin, piano, small, and large ensemble categories. Outside of the violin and piano, he was involved in other ensembles at school including Jazz Band as an alto saxophonist and trombonist, Jazz Choir as a baritone, and Marching Band as a percussionist. He was concertmaster of the Mid-Columbia Youth Symphony. In 2016, he was an overall winner in the Mid- Columbia Symphony Young Artist competition. In 2018, he was awarded the first prize for the local Richardson Music Scholarship competition. From 2016 to 2019, he was a seated member of the first violin section of the Mid-Columbia Symphony.