Board and Staff
Barre Opera House Board
- Bill Koch - Chair
- Joe Preddy - Vice Chair
- David Sanguinetti - Treasurer
- John Brugger - Trustee
- Phil Cecchini - Trustee
- Karen Lauzon - Trustee
- Patty Meriam - Trustee
- Bob Pope - Trustee
Barre Opera House Staff
- Dan Casey, Director
- Cindy Campos, Box Office Manager
- Michelle La Barge-Burke, Project Manager
Patricia L. Meriam
The Barre Opera House is what sold me on moving to Barre. We were looking at towns in the area and when I saw the Barre Opera House, I knew this was the kind of place where I could raise a family in the presence of the arts. Barre’s diverse ethnic heritage and its granite artistry further convinced me! I joined the board in 2002, hoping to lend my training as an historic preservationist to the non-profit management of this historic site. Most of the renovation on our Nationally Registered Historic Building was done in 1992, then in 2020-2022, during the pandemic, we completed a capital campaign and our second renovation including the replication of our historic painted curtain and an upgrade of all our technologies! We are committed to our community who in turn graciously supports us with sponsorship, banners, memberships, and program ads. It is thrilling to work with a terrific diverse board and devoted staff. I also serve on the board of the Vermont Granite Museum. The rest of the time I am in my studio working as a visual artist, working primarily in oil paint. AgelessP@gmail.com
I just love the Opera House. I have been associated with the Board of Trustees for many years, I have performed onstage in musicals and operas, I have sponsored shows, and I have mopped the floors. Central Vermont has a unique opportunity in the next several years to continue building on the Opera House's strengths-- expert management, financial stability, and programming excellence. I am humbled to be a part of this exciting enterprise, and I look forward to preserving our gem of a venue and serving our performing arts community.
Karen lives in Barre with her husband and has two children. They are supporting members of the Barre Opera House and attend many of the events, community forums, performances and theater productions. Karen was thrilled when her children performed musical recitals at the Barre Opera House - knowing the history as well as the many famous people and performers that have been on stage.
Karen began her interest in the performing arts at the age of six. She took jazz and tap dance lessons in Barre, danced in recitals and at nursing homes. Her enthusiasm for tap dance was evident on stage when she performed in a group, in a duet, and in solo. She was placed in the teen and assistant teachers’ group at the age of eight. Her dance teacher had invited a colleague, who was a Choreographer for Broadway musicals in New York City to see Karen tap dance, to teach her new routines and difficult tap steps. Karen was always eager to learn a new routine and could do the difficult steps. The Choreographer expressed the potential of Karen’s talent as too good for a small city and that she wanted Karen in New York City to perform in her Broadway shows. The three offers were respectfully declined by Karen’s parents. One year later, after four years of dance lessons Karen’s dance teacher said she could not challenge Karen any further, which then ended. Karen resumed jazz and tap dance as an adult from 2004-2007, soon after her daughter began jazz and tap lessons. Karen was delighted how talented her daughter was and to be dancing again.
The Barre Opera House Board of Directors asked Karen to join the Board in 2007. A few years prior, she was assisting the Special Events Committee with their annual Gala and Valentine’s Dinner. Once Karen became a member of the Board she appreciated and admired the Barre Opera House even more. She is on the Special Events and Facility Committees. She enjoys working with this lively group. It’s a wonderful venue that Karen recognizes attributes to the audiences and performers experience which brings more appreciation and inspiration for the performing arts.
Barre Opera House Board of Trustees Member Since 2006.
Joe is a Vermonter by marriage having married a Green Mountain girl after meeting her on the West Coast. Joe and Luann moved back to Vermont in 2002 to raise their family. They currently reside in Barre Town with their two school aged children. Joe is passionate about building and maintaining a performing arts center in Central Vermont that his children and others can enjoy. Joe works for a local trust company as a financial planner. He uses his financial experience by serving on Stewardship and Investment Committees of the Barre Opera House Board of Trustees.
I have been a board member of the Barre Opera House since 1992. I first came to the Opera House by attending shows with my children. I attended other events and became interested in contributing to this beautiful building. I have participated in the lobby addition campaign and the recent capital campaign to update the Barre Opera House. For me, the Barre Opera House is a community treasure that represents the diversity of central Vermont. I am always excited to see performances, whether as part of the Celebration Series, the Vermont Philharmonic, or community events. The commitment and good will in our community for the Opera House is exceptional and I am proud of the work by the Board and the Staff to bring this historic building alive.