Wittenberg alumni who graduated with degrees in music are involved in many different areas of music, as well as related fields. A degree in music does not only lead to a music career, so among the more than 350 bios below you will find Wittenberg music alumni involved in many other areas too.
Alumni, let us know what you are doing! And send a photo too if you can. Know any budding music students? Are your children involved with music? Encourage them to audition for a Witt music scholarship!
Rebecca Ajer (BA in Music and BA in Religion ’09) is in the master of divinity program at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. While at Wittenberg, Becca wrote: “My grandparents and two of my aunts went to Wittenberg, as well as my great-grandfather. My great-great grandfather was even once the groundskeeper!” email
Karen Bailey (BA in Music and BA in English ’03) is pursuing a graduate-level certificate in non-profit management at Portland State University. In addition, she is writing a thesis to complete a masters in literature for children from Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia. Karen is a self-employed violinist and violist and became interested in the non-profit sector through violin teaching jobs in both Pennsylvania and Portland. Karen is a volunteer leader for the Three B’s Women’s Bible Study Group at St. Andrew Lutheran Church (Beaverton, Oregon) where she also volunteers in the church office, leads the Children’s Chime Choir, and contributes her violin skills in worship leadership through solos, duets, and as a member of the congregation’s sanctuary band. email
Micah Berner (BA in Music ’00) leads the Micah Berner Band, which has performed at many venues in Ohio, including the Springfield Arts Festival, New Carlisle Heritage of Flight Festival, Cecil & Lime Cafe, and Grace Fellowship Church (New Carlisle), where Micah serves as Music Minister. email
Sarah Bragdon Bucher (BA in Music and BA in Management ’03) earned a master’s degree in music at Wright State University in 2011. Her expressive, lyric soprano voice has led to the roles of Lisa in Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Geraldine in Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, and Lucy Lockit in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. She has also sung title roles in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Strauss’s Arabella. Sarah was the winner of Wright State’s concerto-aria competition and was a finalist in the university’s honors recital competition. She has been a featured soloist in the Wright State University Arts Gala and with Musica!, a professional choral ensemble in Dayton. Sarah participated in the OperaWorks Advanced Artist summer program in Los Angeles and is an active member of the Dayton Music Club and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She recently created and directed Vocal Improvisation Night at Wright State. Sarah sings with the Dayton Opera Chorus and was recently heard as a principal with Opera Project Columbus. She is the founder and owner of Bella Musica, a lesson studio and music retail store in Miamisburg, Ohio. The studio employs more than a dozen teachers and offers lessons on a variety of instruments in private and group settings. It is the only studio in the Miami Valley area to offer the “Music for Young Children” program, a keyboard-based, multi-sensory approach to learning music for kids ages 2 to 12. email
Jessie Calhoun (BME ’04), a preschool teacher in Albany, NY, is working on his first CD for preschool age children. Jessie is lead singer in Ameros, a band that combines rock, reggae, hip-hop, and funk. Jesse writes that the band “combines thought-provoking lyrics, incendiary guitar, party vibes, and solid harmonies into a musical revolution.” Their debut album, Backs Against the Wall, was picked as one of the best of 2011 by The Daily Gazette in Schenectady. I Am Entertainment Magazine gave it 4 out of 4 stars for songwriting, and a 3.5 out of 4 overall rating. email
Seth Colaner (BM ’05) earned a master’s degree in music composition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he studied with Mark Engebretson and Tom Dempster. Seth’s composition Psalm 22 for soprano and organ was performed at the 2006 conference Composers in Community: A Festival of New Music (co-sponsored by the Iowa Composers Forum and the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers), held at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. Seth is now a tech journalist for HotHardware where he covers technology news and writes reviews of computer systems, computer components, mobile devices, and other new and interesting tech miscellany. He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife (professor in the Communication Department at the University of Missouri–Columbia) and their two young daughters. Seth writes, “I perform around Columbia as a sort of one-man band, playing original tunes on the guitar (alternately archtop, classical [mostly jazzy sort of stuff], and slide) and accompanying myself with harmonica, foot percussion, and a loop pedal.” email
Jaime Cole (BME ’02) is Director of Smart Start Academy Child Care and Learning in Springfield, Ohio.
Allison Daniels (BME ’08) was in charge of the orchestra program at Willard City (Ohio) Schools (grades 4-12) for three years, and is now applying to enter graduate school. email
April Davis Estep (BME ’01) teaches general music at Northwestern High School and is 5th-grade choral director at Northwestern Middle School, both in Springfield, Ohio. In addition, she sings in the choir and serves on the worship band and vocal worship team at Springfield’s First Christian Church. email
Sarah Dennett Huber (BA in Music ’09) graduated from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio in 2011 with a master of arts in church music. She currently lives in the Boston area, where her husband, Mark Huber (BA in History from Witt, ’04), is starting a church called Sanctuary. Sarah is the Creative Director at Sanctuary as well as the music director at Harbor United Methodist Church in Scituate, Massachusetts. She teaches violin, piano, guitar, and voice privately at her home and will soon start working with singer-songwriters at a local high school. Sarah plays whenever and wherever she can—from coffeehouses to large youth gatherings. She and Mark have led worship, taught workshops, and worked with worship bands in churches throughout New England. Since it’s tough to make a living as a church musician in New England, Sarah took a retail job with Apple in 2011. She left there a year later to start designing websites for churches and non-profits. email
Annette Dennis (BA in Music ’07) was Activities Coordinator at Oakwood Village, in Springfield, Ohio for several years. She is now the Manager of Assisted Living at Oakwood (“a Lutheran church-sponsored organization whose mission is to serve older or infirm persons through loving, caring Christian communities”). As a pianist and singer of the jazz band Down Beats, Annette has performed throughout the Springfield area: at the Springfield Art Museum, in Arts in the Park, at CultureFest, in Columbus at the Ohio bicentennial celebration, and at many other venues. email
Jessica Dennis (BME ’05) teaches vocal music at Fassett Middle School, which is part of the Oregon, Ohio, school district. email
Luke Dennis (BA in Music and BA in Theatre ’00) was Executive Director of The Muse Machine in Dayton, Ohio for three years and is now Development Director at radio station WYSO in Yellow Springs. In recent years Luke has taught music and theatre at the middle school and undergraduate levels, served as vocal coach to a troupe of improvisational actors, and worked as Reference Specialist for the Harvard University Theatre Collection and Education Manager for Boston Lyric Opera. He completed the coursework for a Ph.D. in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory at Tufts University, where he focused on nineteenth-century opera and musical theatre performance traditions. While at Tufts, he received the university’s Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education Award, for which he gives credit to his models and mentors at Wittenberg. (Photo by Andy Snow.) email
Margaret Dill (BA in Music ’08) is music director and organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vandalia, Ohio, and she directs the handbell choir at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. email
Bethany Dourson (BA in Music ’03) is pursuing a master’s degree in communications at Northern Kentucky University (in Highland Heights), works at PNC Bank, teaches private voice and piano lessons, and plays keyboard and sings on the worship team at University Christian Church (near the University of Cincinnati). In addition, she is taking jazz piano lessons, to help improve her composition skills. email
Amanda Evans (BME ’05) earned a master’s degree in library and information science at Kent State University in May 2008. She is the Senior Library Associate at the Kent State University Music Library, where she is responsible for daily operations, as well as hiring and training the staff of student employees. Amanda lives in Tallmadge, Ohio and is a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. email
Kristen Gleeson Williams (BME ’01) teaches elementary music at Graham South Elementary School, in St. Paris, Ohio. She teaches all students in grades 3 through 5 and directs a 4th- and 5th-grade choir that meets after school. In addition, Kristen is director of the Champaign County Youth Choir and she leads the choir and directs the praise team and praise band at Urbana Church of the Nazarene.
Jennifer Gordon-Olson (BM ’07) earned a master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While at Wittenberg, Jennifer performed in My Fair Lady and Mozart’s Magic Flute. She studied opera in Milan, Italy, for a semester, and opera and art song for a summer in Quebec. She is now working on a D.M.A. at the University of Minnesota.
Brad Hall (BM ’05) is director of music and organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition, he works with Trinity’s elementary school (pre-K through 8th grade), assisting with the music program and teaching a music appreciation course. Previously, Brad was organist at Calvary Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) in Portland, Oregon, and director of music at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio. Following a national competition, Brad won the 2004 Ruth and Paul Manz Organ Scholarship while a student at Wittenberg. email
Chris Henke (BME ’00) is Director of Choirs for Springfield Local Schools in Holland, Ohio (just outside of Toledo). He recently finished a masters in education at Walden University, specializing in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Chris is organist and accompanist for Olivet Lutheran Church in Sylvania, Ohio. Augsburg Fortress recently published his composition “When The Storms of Life Are Raging” for SATB choir with soprano solo, a work he dedicated to Wittenberg music professor Donald Busarow and the Wittenberg Choir. Chris is married to fellow Witt alum Kathryn E. Stoneback (BA in Music ’98), who is a full-time stay-at-home mother to their three children. Katie also runs a successful eBay business from home. email
Megan Hentges (BME ’10) is Outreach and Education Project Coordinator at Citizens for a Healthy Bay (Tacoma, Washington), an environmental organization whose mission is to represent and engage citizens in the cleanup, restoration, and protection of Commencement Bay and the surrounding waters and natural habitat. While at Wittenberg, Megan was involved in environmental efforts on and off campus. She worked with students, faculty and staff to create a Sustainability Taskforce and helped get a campus-wide recycling program started which led to her receiving a Charles J. Ping Student Award from the Ohio Campus Compact. Megan was also involved in anti-coal efforts in Ohio and Appalachia. After Witt, Megan spent a year with the Border Servant Corps in New Mexico. She decided that while the desert was nice, it was time to live by water! email
Anna Jones (BME ’07) lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where she directs Yampa Valley Singers (a community choir), works as a veterinary technician, and works at Young Tracks preschool. email
Rhea Jones-Price (BA in Music and BA in English ’10) is working on a law degree (J.D.) at the University of Illinois College of Law. She has held summer positions at the Montgomery County (Ohio) Prosecutor’s Office and at Cook County (Illinois) Chancery Court. email
Sean Kelley (BME ’01) is a doctoral candidate and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Oklahoma, where he studies instrumental conducting with Dr. William Wakefield and assists with rehearsal and administrative duties for the School of Music’s three concert bands, the basketball athletic band, and the 300-member “Pride of Oklahoma” Marching Band. After graduating from Wittenberg, Sean was director of bands for the Hillsboro and West Clermont School Districts in Ohio, where his ensembles consistently received superior ratings at Mid-States Band Association and Ohio Music Education Association marching and concert band adjudicated events. Next, he earned a master of music education degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2011. While in Cincinnati, he was assistant director of the Cincinnati Junior Youth Wind Ensemble and taught brass methods courses at CCM. Sean earned a master’s degree in wind conducting at Wright State in 2013, where he served as director of the Concert Band and assistant director of the Wind Symphony and Chamber Players. An active composer, arranger, drill writer, and clinician, Sean works with educational music organizations throughout Ohio. email
Sharon Koster Safley (BME ’04) earned a master’s degree in music at Wright State University and has taught in the Springfield (Ohio) City Schools since 2004. She teaches general music for grades K thru 6 at Lincoln and Perrin Woods elementary schools and directs the 5th and 6th grade choirs. In addition, Sharon teaches private piano lessons at Wittenberg’s Center for Musical Development and is in charge of music for grades 1-5 at Concord United Methodist Church in Englewood. In 2012, the Education Committee of the Springfield Symphony selected Ms. Safley as the second winner of the SSO Music Educator of the Year Award. Robyn Zimmann, SSO Director of Operations & Education wrote: “Sharon Safley truly embodies the spirit of this award. She infuses the joy of music into everything she does and everywhere she goes. For Sharon, music education is not what she does for a living. It is a calling to a higher purpose.” email
Carly Kuhn (BM ’06) teaches at Vance Music Studios in Lakewood, Ohio. While a student at Wittenberg, Carly took a semester abroad to study music history, performance, and culture in Vienna, Austria. Carly performs with a variety of vocal groups in the Lakewood area. email
Kathryn Kulma (BM ’09) lives in Columbus, Ohio where she teaches private piano and voice lessons full-time. After graduating from Wittenberg, Kay continued her studies at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. email
Jaime Langston Quatman (BME ’07) is teaching choir and general music at Wilson Middle School in Newark, Ohio, and she directs the handbell choir at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Delaware, Ohio. email
Kali Lawrence (BME ’12) is the AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for the Springfield (Ohio) Promise Neighborhood, an organization that focuses on the long-term alleviation of poverty by working to improve children’s academic and social success. In this position, Kali participates in the planning, coordination, and implementation for Promise strategies, considers how Promise shares successes and failures as a community-driven enterprise through social media and publications, and serves as a resource for other VISTA members. In her free time, she plays as a community member in the Wittenberg Symphonic Band and is a member of People for Safe Water, a citizen’s action group advocating for the complete removal of toxic waste at the Tremont City Barrel Fill. email
Roxanne MacLaughlin Eller (BME ’06) earned a master’s degree in music education at Ohio State. She is choir director at Nelsonville-York Junior High and High School, in Nelsonville, Ohio.
Amanda Marenchin Wolgast (BA in Music ’10), a violinist, is working in the music industry, at Shar Music (the country’s top provider of string instruments and string supplies), in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She and her husband, Steven Wolgast (BM ’09 and BS in Physics ’08), sing with the Zion Lutheran Church choir in Ann Arbor. email
Greta May Eber (BME ’01) taught K-4 general music at Brantwood Elementary in Riverside, Ohio for three years and writes, “I am now a stay-at-home mother for my three children, with one more on the way! I enjoy performing in church and teach the music during children’s church activities. I also teach voice lessons and a toddler music and movement class in my home.” email
Emily McClay (BA in Music ’07) is Patron Services Manager at The Wagnalls Memorial Library in Lithopolis, Ohio. Emily writes, “The Wagnalls Memorial’s original library, auditorium, and banquet hall were dedicated in 1925 by Mabel Wagnalls Jones, an author and concert pianist, in honor of her parents, Adam and Anna Willis Wagnalls. Adam Wagnalls and his co-founder of the publishing company Funk & Wagnalls, Isaac Funk, were both Wittenberg graduates.” email
Gregory McCoach (BM ’08) is a composer and sound designer in Los Angeles, California, where he composes music for feature-length films, trailers, and video games, integrates audio into video games (using FMOD and XACT), and arranges music for orchestra, chorus, and many other ensembles. In the past few years, he has composed music for the MTV pilot “April’s Fool” (Lucky Monkey Pictures) and for the full-length feature film Boyz of Summer (DiFonzo Productions). email
Halle McGuire (BM ’07) is working towards a masters degree in musicology at Ohio State, while working as a graduate associate at the Wexner Center for the Arts. Halle was awarded a full-tuition scholarship for her graduate studies and is focusing on Russian music. In addition, she holds a position as soprano section leader in the Saint Joseph Cathedral Choir in Columbus.
Katie McNeal (BA in Music and BS in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology ’12) is attending Yale Divinity School. email
Andrea Migliozzi (BA in Music and BA in Psychology ’09) is an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Springfield, Ohio, a position which includes event planning and grant writing for Think Tank and data tracking for Clark County Circles. email
Chad Morrison (BM ’01) is Business Director at Theatre Projects Consultants (New York City), an organization that creates performance spaces around the world. Theatre Projects Consultants includes theatre architects, planners, designers, engineers, and managers. Before joining Theatre Projects, Chad worked as a freelance writer in Boston and he spent several seasons singing with Opera Boston, the Boston Lyric Opera, and the Columbus Opera (Ohio). Chad earned a master’s degree in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. email
Erin Mowrey Mies (BA in Music and BA in Economics ’04) received a master’s degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations at the Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations (University of Illinois, Urbana) in December of 2005. She accepted a position with General Mills upon graduation and has been Assistant Human Resources Manager with the company in their Wellston, Ohio facility since January of 2006. “Although music is not at the forefront of my career, toting my harp to occasional weddings and other events helps keep me energized and motivated!” email
Monica Neal (BA in Music ’06) is pursuing a master of divinity degree at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky, where she also directs Seminary Ringers (a handbell choir) and is a member of the Seminary Choir. Monica is student pastor at Meadowview Presbyterian Church (also in Louisville). email
Justin Peters (BM ’02) is choral director and chair of the Performing Arts Department (beginning Sept. 2013) at Moses Brown School, a college-prep Quaker day school in Providence, Rhode Island. Before that, Justin taught at Lincoln School (a Quaker school for girls in Providence) for several years, where he conducted the upper and middle school choruses and faculty chorus and taught music theory, digital-video editing, and general music. An active arranger, songwriter, and composer, Justin’s musical Shower premiered at Lincoln in 2005. Justin is a former member of the Providence Singers, one of New England’s premier symphony choruses. With that group, he performed Dave Brubeck’s Gates of Justice (with the composer and his quartet) at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2004. The Singers’ second appearance with Brubeck, at Lincoln Center in New York City, included the world premiere of Brubeck’s The Commandments. Other world premieres by the Singers include Trevor Weston’s Ma’at Musings and O Daedelus, Fly Away Home, Julian Wachner’s Jubilate Deo, and Chistopher Trapani’s O now the drenched land wakes. Justin appears in the chorus on the Providence Singers’ and Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s recently released recording of Lukas Foss’s The Prairie. From 2002 to 2003, Justin was also active with the Boston Pops Festival Chorus, appearing at their July 4th festivities on the Esplanade in Boston, as well as at holiday concerts at Symphony Hall (Boston) and throughout Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. email
Marisa Perez (BA in Music ’11) was an Americorps Vista volunteer at Clark County Community Habitat for Humanity immediately after graduation. She is now in graduate school for art therapy/counseling at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Marisa is thinking of pursuing a career as a school counselor or art educator. email
Georgia Petroudi (BM ’01) earned a master’s degree in piano performance and a Ph.D. in historical musicology at the University of Sheffield, in the United Kingdom. Her doctoral thesis was entitled Revised Works of the 20th Century. Georgia explains: “The aim of my thesis in historical musicology was to analyze and compare selected works of the twentieth-century repertoire which underwent revision and reworking, and to explore the reasons behind these revisions.” In 2007, Dr. Petroudi was appointed lecturer at the Department of Arts, European University Cyprus. She served as the co-coordinator of the music program and now is an assistant professor of musicology and is chairperson of the Department of Arts. Her research interests include Western composers of the first half of the twentieth century and Greek and Greek-Cypriot composers. More specifically, she focuses on revised compositions and issues that relate to the revising process, such as creativity, politics, and methodologies. Georgia has presented her work in international conferences and has published papers in professional journals. In her free time, Georgia plays piano and the oboe in several choral and symphonic ensembles. email
Erika Popp (BME ’06) is a music teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Euclid, Ohio. She teaches music in grades K-5 and also assists with the high school choir program. email
Roberta Rowland-Raybold (BM ’04) graduated from Wittenberg with honors. Her honors thesis was funded by the McGregor Fund (Detroit), thus enabling her to do research and give recitals on historic instruments in Great Britain. After Wittenberg, she continued her education with graduate studies at Houghton College (New York) and Eastman School of Music. After serving for several years as a church musician at Christ Church in Cooperstown (New York), Roberta relocated to Conway, South Carolina where she is organist at First Baptist Church. She was dean of both the State College (Pennsylvania) and Binghamton and Oneonta (New York) chapters of the American Guild of Organists and held the position of A.G.O. District Convener in Western New York. Roberta holds Colleague Certification with the A.G.O., is a member of the Organ Historical Society and the society’s Library and Archival Division, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the Palatine Society of New York, and Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. She teaches organ privately and is also a leader of workshops on organ history, restoration of organs, and the importance of careers in sacred music. Roberta has been a featured speaker in local A.G.O. chapters and the American Institute of Organbuilders. In addition, Roberta is an instructor and choral director each year at the Hartwick Seminary Summer Institute of Theology for Lutheran Leaders (Hartwick College) where she has led such seminars as "The Spiritual Lives of Great Composers" and "Bach and the Other Lutheran Composer." She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Wittenberg University in 2011. Roberta is a published composer with Hope Publishing and Augsburg Fortress Press, which recently released her All Praise for Music, Hymn Settings for Piano, based on Evangelical Lutheran Worship. email
Elisabeth Schueler Jetter (BM ’10) worked at West Chester Academy of Music and Dance from 2011 to 2012, where she taught private voice and piano for children and classes (steel drums, Music Pups, and Music for Young Children). Currently, Lis is focused on performance, having recently appeared in the Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre’s production of Bye Bye Birdie. She is now involved with the choir at Faith Bible Church in Cincinnati, the Lebanon Symphony Chorus, and May Festival Chorus. email
Christopher Scheuermann (BA in Music ’01) is Production Coordinator at Viterbo University’s School of Fine Arts in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Before coming to Viterbo, he worked as a stage manager and recording engineer. Scheuermann is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. He received training in recording technology at The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Sarah Schick (BA in Music ’06) received a masters in arts administration at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana, where her course work included arts marketing and audience development, fund development, public relations for non-profits, economics of the art and cultural sector, and performing arts center management. Sarah is Marketing Assistant at Seven Venues, in Norfolk, Virginia. Seven Venues is the Entertainment Bureau for the city of Norfolk, under the Department of Cultural Facilities, Arts & Entertainment. The seven venues are Scope Arena, Prism Theatre in Scope Arena, Chrysler Hall, Attucks Theatre, Wells Theatre, Harrison Opera House, and Harbor Park. email
Brien Sewell (BM ’09 and BME ’10) teaches high school music at Horizon Science Academy Toledo, a private high school in Toledo, Ohio. He has been performing with the Toledo Repertoire Theatre recently, in their performances of The Drowsy Chaperone, A Christmas Carol, and Young Frankenstein. email
Shantel Sechrist (BA in Music ’07) is Events Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one of only 12 autonomous pre-collegiate music schools in the country accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. email
Jarred Sorauf (BA in Music ’12) is pursuing a graduate degree in organ and piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Brittany Steinbrecher (BA in Music ’09), has combined her interests in music and management (her minor at Wittenberg) by moving to St. Louis, Missouri to accept a position as store manager of Music and Arts, which is the largest retail music chain of band and orchestra instruments in the U.S. In addition, she teaches string bass lessons. email
Jacqueline A. Stevens (BA in Music ’03) teaches choral music at Staten Island Academy in Staten Island, New York. She received a master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University and has done training in the Kodály method, completing Level II certification. email
Caity Valley (BA in Music ’13) moved to Cincinnati after graduation to work at CityLink Center as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. During her year in Cincinnati she performed with the Young Professionals’ Choral Collective as an alto. Caity recently accepted a job in Washington, D.C. at American Rivers, a national non-profit conservation organization, as a grants associate. email
Rebecca Weaver Hamm (BM ’00) is Director of Music and Arts at the YMCA of Hornell, New York, where she also teaches voice lessons and voice classes. In addition, she is adjunct instructor of voice at Alfred University, where she has taught since 2003. Rebecca is completing doctoral studies in the voice and literature program at the Eastman School of Music and she received the William McIver Memorial Scholarship for excellence in voice teaching. Rebecca earned a masters in voice pedagogy at Ohio State. Her operatic roles include Olga in The Merry Widow, Mrs. Grose in The Turn of the Screw, La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica, Announcer in Gallantry, the Second Knitter in A Game of Chance, and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. A frequent recitalist, Rebecca made her international debut in 2005 in Varna, Bulgaria and most recently performed in the Miller Theater at Alfred University, Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester, and Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. She has sung the masses of Mozart, Faure, and Rutter, the Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ, and Vivaldi’s Gloria. She can be heard on several examples recorded with pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout for Steven Laitz’s 2009 textbook Graduate Review of Tonal Theory: A Recasting of Common-Practice Harmony, Form, and Counterpoint, published by Oxford University Press. Rebecca has presented workshops on the technical aspects of singing and soloistic singing for chorus to the Orpheus Chorale, conducted the Almond Union of Churches Chancel Choir for four years, led Alfred’s Bicentennial Choir, and taught voice for actors at Alfred University’s Summer Theatre Institute. She has adjudicated voice for Allegany and Steuben County’s NYSSMA festivals and for the Allegany County Music Teachers Association scholarship competition. Rebecca conducted the Steuben County Senior High All-County Chorus in 2006 and the Orleans County Junior High All-County Chorus in 2009. email
Michael Weller (BME ’04) teaches music at Springfield’s Ridgewood School, the oldest independent elementary day school in Ohio. email
Heepke Wendroth (BA in Music and BS in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology ’13) is in medical school at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She sings in the medical student chorus and collaborates with her siblings in small ensemble work. email
D. Ben Williams (BME ’10) is working on a masters in music education at the University of Louisville. For four years, Ben has been the choir director and humanities teacher at Louisville Central High School. He re-started the choir program, which had been in and out of existence for decades. Each year, Louisville Central has been increasingly represented in all-county, all-state, and honors ensembles. Under Williams’s direction, the choir has improved their ratings at the Kentucky Music Educators Association’s large ensemble assessment in three consecutive appearances. In addition to his full-time job, Ben directs the high school choir at Christ Church United Methodist, where he also plays in the handbell choir. Ben plays oboe both in a woodwind quintet and in the Indiana University Southeast Orchestra. email
Bradley Wilson (BA in Music and BA in Management ’08) is Director of Music at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in New Carlisle, Ohio. In addition, he works full-time in Quality Management at the Dayton VA Medical Center. email
Steven Wolgast (BM ’09 and BS in Physics ’08) is working on a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Michigan. He is married to Amanda Marenchin Wolgast (BA in Music ’10).
Allison Zentarski (BA in Music and BS in Biology ’12) is keeping both music and science alive in her life! After graduating from Wittenberg, she moved down to Cincinnati, Ohio and has since worked for Procter and Gamble and Kao Brands, USA. Allison currently works as a bartender at Applebee’s and is a full-time student at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, where she is taking nursing pre-requisite classes. Allison is in the process of applying to accelerated nursing programs with the ultimate goal of becoming a nurse practitioner as a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). She hopes to start a program this fall or next. Musically, Allison is a member of the Cincinnati Civic Orchestra as a flute/piccolo player. Shortly after graduation, she also auditioned for Queen City Bronze, Cincinnati’s premier handbell ensemble, and has been playing with them ever since. email
Eugenia (Ginny) Andino-Caban (BA in Music ’97) teaches general music and directs the chorus, recorder, and guitar clubs at Kings Chapel Elementary in Perry, Georgia, where she has taught since August 2007. Before switching to a career as an educator, she was the youngest person to serve as Activities Director at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music (where she worked from 2001-2005). “My experiences at Wittenberg,” Ginny writes, “certainly prepared me for this achievement. I wanted to share this with you all, because your success as teachers became my success as a professional.” A trained singer, she adds that, “Even though I’m not performing as much as I would like, my work ‘backstage,’ making it all happen, is exciting and rewarding. We have over 100 performances a year, a Music Education Forum, Percussion Festival, Clarinet Festival, Opera, as well as guest artist recitals, student and faculty recitals, master classes, and special events.” Ginny began working for the Conservatory three years ago as Activities Coordinator, and she thanks her voice teacher, Prof. Gwen Scheffel, “for being an example and mentor.” Ginny’s son, Jorge Luis, is a student at her school and participates in all the musical ensembles. email
Marcy Baruch (BM ’91), a singer-songwriter in Denver, Colorado, has received rave reviews for her CDs and live performances: “A crystalline voice, gifted with passionate phraseology, and an adaptability to play venues both grand and intimate, Marcy Baruch is a must see (or rather hear) musician in the pop folk category” (Riff Music Magazine). “This Denver area performer’s second full-length CD has a buoyancy upon which her strong, melodious voice floats, reminding some of us of Dar Williams and Shawn Colvin” (Music Connection Magazine). Album of the Month: “Marcy Baruch strides confidently through her kick-up-the-dirt songs with steel-toed vocals and a carefree, reckless zest for life” (Allen Foster, Songwriter’s Monthly). “Baruch takes her music-making seriously, and has carefully crafted an inviting record and a tight band that reflect her talent for songwriting, lyrical phrasing, and melody” (Judy B., GoGo Magazine). Regarding Marcy’s CD Clearly: “This is the best new album I’ve listened to in a long while” (Tim Noyce, GoGirlsMusic.com). “Clearly is one of the best independent CD’s I’ve heard this year“ (Alex Teitz, Editor-In-Chief, FEMMUSIC.com). email
Daniel Boomhower (BA in Music ’98) is Head of the Reader Services Section in the Music Division at the Library of Congress. Previously he held positions in the music libraries at Kent State University and Princeton University. Daniel studied library science and musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Case Western Reserve University. email
Kevin Cubick (BME ’97), a vice president at Chase Home Lending (a subsidiary of JPMorganChase) performs with the Columbus Symphony Chorus and the Columbus Bach Ensemble. email
Dan Fogarty (BME ’90) teaches at Englewood Elementary in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. For more than twenty years, he has taught general music, chorus, and show choir, from pre-school through 12th grade. He co-chaired the Nash All-County Chorus and served as board president for the Nash Arts Council. In addition to music, Dan has a master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina), where he was a Principal Fellow. Dan performed the role of the villain Buck in the new musical Letters from Laura, written by local playwright Jim Lee. He provided additional lyrics for and was cast in a production of Christmas Carol in the roles of Narrator, Mr. Fezziwig, and Roderick. Most recently, he performed in the musical Peter Pan as the pirate Starkey and had lead roles as Phil Davis in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Lakeland Theater Company and as Captain Reginald Strong in Anything Goes at the Imperial Center. (Photo from Letters from Laura, with Maitland Johnson, who played the role of Maggie.) email
Dianne Frank Williams (BM and BA in English ’96) was a double major at Wittenberg, earning a bachelor of music in flute performance and bachelor of arts in English, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a master’s degree in flute performance at the University of Akron, and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society. Dianne recorded her first CD, Simplicity, in 2001. Minneapolis-based music critic Bill Binkelman, reviewing the CD on his web journal Wind and Wire, said Simplicity is “a solid and enjoyably unpretentious collection of well-known melodies. What elevates this album of ‘standards,’ played on silver flute (by Williams) and various other instruments, is both the creative arrangements and the overall feeling of sincerity and warmth on the part of the artist. She’s one ‘helluva’ good flutist.” Flute Talk wrote this in November 2001: “The arrangements are interesting and Williams’s flute performance is excellent. Her lovely tone-quality suits this recording.”
Dianne released her second album, Tinsel, in 2002 “featuring well-known and lesser-known traditional holiday melodies from around the world.” The album generated 40 concert bookings in days. Dianne’s third CD, Lovesong, a collection of romantic melodies chosen from classical, folk, and popular sources, prompted the journal International Musician to state that Dianne was becoming “America’s Favorite Flutist.” It praised her arrangements as “completely original.” Dianne maintains a studio of private flute students in Canton, and she has taught several courses at the college level, including music theory, at Mount Union College. She is an active participant in after-school informational programs through the Canton Symphony Educational Outreach program and is an associate flutist with several professional orchestras, including Columbus, Akron, Canton, Ashland, Mansfield, Wheeling, and Tuscarawas. email
Barbara Garrett (BM ’97) plays violin with the Springfield (Ohio) Symphony, where she also serves as orchestra librarian. And she performs with the Seraphim String Quartet. email
Michael Godina (BA in Music ’98) is Vice President and General Manager of the Chicago Theatre and he works for TheatreDreams, a Tony-award winning, multifaceted company based in Chicago that specializes in venue management and Broadway producing, as well as concert, Broadway, and dance promotion. TheatreDreams also operates the Kodak Theatre (Home of the Academy Awards) in Los Angeles and works with many of the largest promoters in the world, such as Clear Channel, Anchutz Entertainment Group, House of Blues, and JAM Productions. Prior to this position, Michael was employed by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts in Ohio.
Aimee Kluiber (BA in Music ’92) is a costume designer who resides in Lakewood, Ohio, and she sings at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. Aimee earned a masters in voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music and completed studies in fashion and millinery design at The Virginia Marti College of Art and Design. Her theatrical associations include Cleveland State University, Lyric Opera Cleveland, The Cleveland Play House, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Cain Park, Case Western Reserve University, Cesear’s Forum, Red Hen Productions, Dobama Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Beck Center for the Arts, Willoughby Fine Arts Association, and the Cleveland Jewish Community Center. Of her work in for the stage, The Lakewood Observer wrote: “Costume designs were simply exquisite, and costume designer Aimee Kluiber paid attention to the finest detail.” email
Scott Kumer (BM ’92) is director of music at Chicago Sinai Congregation. He joined the senior staff of this synagogue with over a thousand members in 1999. Scott did graduate work in music at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. He has extensive experience as an organist and pianist, accompanist, arranger, and choir director, and has co-produced (with organist Thomas Weisflog) a critically acclaimed CD of organ transcriptions of major symphonic works (Symphonic Organ: Transcriptions of Orchestral Masterworks, London-based Meridian label). Regarding this recording, the Chicago Tribune wrote, “They have gone about their job with the utmost taste and musicality… The sound is superb… In sum, a CD that should delight organists and lay listeners alike.” email
Peter Kvetko (BA in Music ’95) teaches courses in ethnomusicology and music theory at Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts. He earned a masters and Ph.D. in music at the University of Texas in Austin. At Salem State, Peter directs the World Music Ensemble and teaches private lessons on sitar and tabla. He joined the Salem music department in 2007 after teaching at Tufts, Brandeis, Northeastern, and the University of Texas in Austin. email
Elizabeth Mumford Cowan (BM ’90) earned a masters at Southern Methodist University and Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory, with additional study at Westminster Choir College and the Chautauqua Institute. She has taught at Florida International University and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Elizabeth has sung with opera companies across the U.S., including the Santa Fe Opera and Dallas Opera, and has been the featured singer in master classes for such well-known teachers as Robert Merrill, Margaret Harshaw, Martina Arroyo, Shirlee Emmons, and Rosalind Elias. Cowan was the 1994 Metropolitan Opera District winner in Dallas, was named the North Texas Singer of the Year, and was the featured recitalist for the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) convention at North Texas State University. A winner of the Wagner Society solo competition in Dallas, a Dallas Opera Guild career grant winner, and a concerto competition winner at SMU, she was also a finalist in the San Antonio Vocal competition and the D’Angelo vocal competition. Cowan has been an adjudicator for many major vocal competitions, and her own students have sung around the world and have won major national and international singing competitions. She has worked with such notable conductors and stage directors as John Copley, John Crosby, Marc Astafan, Dejan Miladinovic, and John Moriarity, and has performed with singers such as Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Kevin Langan, Timothy Noble, and Erie Mills. Elizabeth is on the voice faculty at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. email
Cindy Olson Larson (BA in Music ’91) received a M.Div. degree and a master’s degree in church music at Trinity Lutheran Seminary (Columbus, Ohio). She is Minister of Music at Grace Lutheran Church, in Hastings, Michigan, where she plays organ and piano for services and directs the choirs. Since 2005, Cindy has been Director of the Hastings Kids’ Choir (an after-school ensemble for 3rd to 5th graders, with 55-70 singers) at the Community Music School of Hastings, where she has recently begun teaching piano and flute. email
Joshua Pifer (BA in Music and BS in Biology ’97) is lecturer in piano at Auburn University, where he teaches class piano, applied piano, and music skills. He earned a master’s degree at Miami University and in 2009 earned a DMA degree at the University of Southern California, graduating with honors. Joshua has had an exciting solo and collaborative career that has taken him to four continents. He regularly appears as guest lecturer and clinician at other universities and at national and state music teachers conferences, and has adjudicated at more than 25 festivals and competitions. During summers, he is a member of the artist-faculty at the Orfeo Music Festival, in the Italian Alps. Joshua is a founding member of the Oto Trio and has commissioned and premiered works by many composers, including Andre Cormier, Justin Aftab, Gary Shields, Douglas Townsend, and Andrea Clearfield. In addition, he is an advocate for the piano music of Alexander Tcherepnin. Aside from his music and teaching activities, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife and their son, playing tennis, golfing, swimming, cooking, and making music together. email
Jean Pretz (BA in Music and BA in Psychology ’97) is and assistant professor of psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, where her research focuses on intuition, creativity, and expertise. She teaches classes in cognitive psychology. Dr. Pretz received a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2004. While in graduate school, she served as church musician at Resurrection Lutheran Church in New Haven, Connecticut, and sang with the Yale Camerata. Currently she substitutes as a church musician and sings with the Bloomington-based choir Cantus Novus. email
Kevin Rizzo (BME ’98) teaches general music at Central Elementary School in the Chestnut Ridge School District, located in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. He is also a brass instructor for the Greater Johnstown School of Music. Kevin lives in Johnstown, Pennsylvania with his wife, Heidi Jones Rizzo (BA in Music ’98), and their two boys, Alex and Nicholas. email
Ashley Schomburg Hill (BME ’98) received a master’s degree in music education with Kodály emphasis from Capital University in 2004, along with Level III Kodály Certification. She is currently teaching general and vocal music at Reid Primary and Middle School in the Clark-Shawnee Local School District, Springfield, Ohio. She and her husband, Jason, live in Springfield, where Ashley also coaches volleyball, and sings in several choirs.
Laura Schott Piecknick (BME ’97) is director of the K-12 gifted program for the Charleroi (Pennsylvania) Area School District. Her work with the Charleroi Area Historical Society, on the subject of women in history, was featured in an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In addition, Laura has worked to rejuvenate the Charleroi Area Academic League.
Pamela Schuetze-Pizarro (BM ’91) is and associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a developmental psychologist specializing in the development of at-risk infants and children. Pamela obtained both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Virginia Tech. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. email
Gregory Slawson (BM and BA in Psychology ’92) earned a masters in piano performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Greg has performed piano regularly since eighth grade, as a freelance pianist and with various ensembles, including Kassaba (a quartet playing a blend of jazz, classical and world music), a group that Greg founded with Candice Lee in 2002. The group’s CD Dark Eye was played on more than 125 radio stations throughout North America and Europe. Kelly Ferjutz of CoolCleveland.com called the CD “infectious, imaginative, improvisatory, jazzy—you name it. Just when you think you might wander off and do something else, the music reaches out and grabs you, forcing you to pay attention.” The group’s concert venues include Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York City, New England, Toronto, and Belfort, France (at the Festival International de Musique Universitaire). As a composer, Greg has written commissions for Arnold Steinhardt (of the Guarneri Quartet), Anita Pontremoli, Lawrence Angell, the Dayton Jazz Orchestra, and saxophonist Harold Ashenfelter. He was a prizewinner in ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer competition and the IBLA Grand Prize/European International Composers Competition. Most recently, Greg released a solo album called Waterflow, an album inspired by nature. email
Renee Sprang (BA in Music ’95) is teaching in the Loudonville-Perrysville (Ohio) school district.
Elisabeth Stewart Robertson (BM ’96) earned a master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Illinois and she trained for five seasons at Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen, Michigan, with an emphasis in vocal performance and opera. Elisabeth has been a full-time vocal instructor at the Cincinnati Music Academy since 1998, guiding several of her students to contest and competition wins at Ohio Music Education Association and Overture Award events. Elisabeth has performed with Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble and was employed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for four years, in the Group Sales Department. She is a member of the Victory Choir at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. A career advancement for her husband Matt will soon take Elisabeth, Matt, and their daughter Ellen to Ft. Collins, Colorado. They are all eagerly anticipating the Western “great outdoors”! email
Neil Stewart (BM ’90) teaches music at the Academy of World Languages in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Academy “prepares students for a globally linked society through excellence in world languages, cultural studies, and high academic standards.” email
Robert F. Stockton III (BM ’90) received a master of music education degree at Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio), was a music teacher at Holy Angels School and Lehman Catholic High School, and is now on the faculty at Wright State, as adjunct instructor (he teaches a class on African-American music) and director of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Chorale. email
Kimberly Twesme (BM ’91) lives in California and has performed in a variety of theatrical productions in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas including My Fair Lady, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and the world premiere of Requiem by John-Kevin Hilbert. Kimberly has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus since 2003, performing such works as Mahler’s Second Symphony, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Verdi’s Requiem. In 2004-05 she appeared in the Opera San Jose productions of Tosca and The Flying Dutchman. email
Heather Vulgamore Rager (BME ’90) is a dance and drama teacher at Linganore High School, in Frederick, Maryland.
Michele Wentz Vargo (BME ’92) teaches K-8 music at St. Joseph School and Immaculate Heart of Mary School, both in Austintown, Ohio, where she has taught for over 15 years. Her responsibilities include general music classes, the school choir and the bell choir. She also teaches piano and voice lessons from her home studio. Michele is a frequent soloist and worship music leader at Zion Lutheran Church in Youngstown, Ohio. In 2005, she recorded a CD of favorite songs entitled With A Song in My Heart. She is an adjudicator for the National Federation of Music Teachers annual festival. Her favorite “collaborators” are her two young children, Erik and Alexa. email
At right: Wittenberg music alums (’70s to the ’80s), in attendance at the ALCM (Association of Lutheran Church Musicians) Biennial Conference at Valparaiso University in Indiana, July 2013:
From left to right: Karol Kimmell (’80), Kathy Reier (BM ’82), John Morris (BA in Religion and BA in English ’83), Paul Otte (MSM ’75), Robert Hobby (BM ’85), Barbara Kaufmann Larson (BM ’78, MSM ’80), Nancy Keller Delaney (BM ’78, MSM ’80), Scott Weidler (MSM ’85), Royce Stroup Hubert (BM ’74, MSM ’75), Susan Knop Gobien (BME ’68), Debra Sasse Jones (BM ’77, MSM ’79), Joanna Pretz-Anderson (BM ’77), Jim Johnson (BM ’73, MSM ’74), Jane Miley Elliott (BME ’71), Jeff Pannebaker (MSM ’74), Susan Palo Cherwien (BM ’75), and Brian Larson (BME ’78).
Tom Anderson (BA in Music ’87) studied piano at Wittenberg. He received an MBA with a concentration in finance from Boston University in 1998 and has held a number of IT positions in several large corporations, including State Street Bank, ADP, GTE, and Investors Bank and Trust. Tom is Assistant Vice President in Systems for Brown Brothers Harriman. email
Nancy Atkins Joy (BME ’81) received a bachelor of music education degree at Wittenberg, then completed a master’s degree in horn performance at New Mexico State University, where she is now horn professor. Nancy is principal hornist of the Las Cruces Symphony at NMSU, and Second Horn of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and El Paso Opera Company. In 1998 and 1999, Nancy was a featured clinician at the New Mexico Music Educators Association All-State Music Festival, where she gave two clinics on horn pedagogy. Nancy is the owner of the “Horn of Joy” music studio, teaching private horn from beginning through high school level and is a frequent clinician and solo performer in the Southwest. She has given solo performances with the Coronado High School Symphonic Band, Clovis High School Band, Mayfield High School Symphonic Winds, Mesilla Valley Concert Band, and NMSU University Singers. Nancy performed two solos at the Western United States Horn Symposium in Las Vegas, and she was a featured guest artist at the International Horn Symposium (IHS) in June, 2005. Ms. Joy was elected from the IHS membership as a member of the Advisory Council and also serves as the International Horn Symposium Coordinator for the IHS. She is on the board of directors for the Interactive Video Audition Service International and presents clinics and demonstrations internationally for this company. Ms. Joy is a Conn-Selmer Educational Artist. email
In her first year at New Mexico State University, Nancy created a new Horn Choir which has been very active in premiering new works. The NMSU Horn Choir was invited to perform at the International Horn Society Workshop in Athens, Georgia in 1999. Nancy commissioned all new works for the Choir to perform in three different concerts at the Symposium. From this performance, the horn choir was invited to be a premiere performing ensemble at the 2000 IHS Convention in Beijing, China. Most recently, the Choir performed at AIR Horns in Arizona and the International Horn Symposium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in June 2005. email
Pamela Baltimore Marceau (BME ’84) is choral director in the Hillsborough County School District in Florida. email
Kathy Bickerton (BA in Music ’80 and BA in French ’80) is director of children’s ministries at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, New Jersey. email
Clifford Bowerman (BME ’82) directs the band at Orville Wright Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio. email
Mark Carlisle (BS in Music Education ’80), a tenor, teaches studio voice and directs the Chamber Singers at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. He received a master of music degree at the University of Michigan and a doctor of musical arts degree at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carlisle has sung extensively as tenor soloist in recital, oratorio, and major choral works with such ensembles as the Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Austin Choral Union, Austin Pro Arte, and the Terre Haute Choral Society. He has conducted numerous performances with Indiana State’s Madrigal Singers and Sycamore Singers, and served as music director for Opera Workshop performances of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Copland’s The Tender Land, and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Carlisle is active throughout Indiana as a vocal and choral adjudicator at both the high school and collegiate levels, and has served as guest conductor-clinician for such events as the Wabash Valley Christmas Choral Festival, the Turkey Run Choral Festival, and the Wabash County Honors Choir Concert. He serves as vice president of the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. email
Asa Carns (BM ’85) is director of music at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Altoona and accompanist for the State College Choral Society. Asa was the first student to double major in both sacred organ performance and piano performance at Wittenberg. He attended the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule in West Germany for two years where he studied organ and piano. Carns has performed on many historic and celebrated pipe organs throughout the world, in Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, West Germany, and Ireland, as accompanist for the Chamber Chorale and the Regent Chorale (touring choirs of Juniata College, Pennsylvania).
Gregory A. Carpenter (BM ’84) is Executive Director of Opera Colorado. He received a master of music degree from Michigan State University in 1986 and did post-graduate studies in opera performance at the University of Maryland and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria. Greg joined the staff of Opera Colorado as Director of Development in 2004 and became Executive Director in September of 2007. He is responsible for overseeing all administrative operations of the company, guiding a staff of fourteen full-time employees. Greg previously served as Opera Colorado’s Director of Development, managing the company’s fundraising efforts. His accomplishments include exceeding fundraising goals for two consecutive years by more than $100,000, doubling the number of individual donors, and securing corporate and foundation sponsorships. He is currently leading the five-year strategic plan process for the company.
Prior to joining Opera Colorado, Greg worked for three years as the Manager of Development with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. His previous work experience also includes two years as the Arts and Events Manager with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. As a professional opera singer from 1986 to 1998, he had singing, leading, and supporting roles at Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of North Virginia, Cleveland Opera, and Lyric Opera Cleveland. Carpenter is currently chairman of the fundraising committee for the National Performing Arts Convention, member of Curious Theatre Company’s special events committee, and a member of OPERA America. email
Kirstine Christiansen (BM ’81) is Managing Director of the Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts in Columbia, Maryland, which, as reported in a National Endowment for the Arts Spotlight, “provides educational and entertaining theatrical experiences for students in the Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC region.” The organization includes more than a hundred teachers, directors, writers, actors, musicians, technicians, and consultants.
Philip Cordell (BM ’81) teaches part time at Capital University’s Conservatory Preparatory Division (piano, theory, composition, organ and harpsichord). He serves as pianist and organist for St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church and performs at various other locations in central Ohio. Philip performs regularly at Capital University, both on faculty recitals and for student degree recitals. He is a Music Teachers National Association Permanent Professional Certified Teacher of Music. As a member of the Ohio Music Teachers Association Philip participates in Pianorama ensembles, adjudicates for Scale Olympics, prepares students for district festivals, and is the faculty advisor for the student collegiate chapter of the Central Northeast Region. Philip earned two master’s degrees at Ohio University, one in performance and pedagogy and one in composition. He is an active composer, writing for solo piano and chamber ensembles.. email
Stephen and Linda (Keck) Cordle (BME ’80) are active at Crossroads Methodist Church, a new congregation in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Steve serves as pastor, plays keyboard, and oversees the music program. Linda sings as soloist and in the choir and plays keyboard. She also teaches privately part-time. Each of the Cordle’s three sons play at least one music instrument.
Patrice Crowell Ross (BME ’80) studied music education and flute at Wittenberg. She earned a master of music in choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Ph.D. in Comparative Arts at Ohio University. Dr. Ross is professor of humanities and music coordinator at Columbus State Community College (Ohio), where she oversaw the formation of a gospel vocal ensemble. She also directs a small church choir. email
Sharon Crowl Kope (BM ’80) is music director and organist at Mt. Hope United Methodist Church in Aston, Pennsylvania. She served as director of music at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Norwood, Pennsylvania from 1981 to 2000. Sharon accompanies shows for Rose Valley Chorus and Orchestra and is the director and accompanist for the Sunshine Singers. email
Jeffrey Davidson (BME ’80) has been chairperson of the music department at Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda, Maryland) for nearly 20 years. Under his direction, the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Treble Chorale have consistently earned superior ratings at district, state, and national festivals. In 1999, the Concert Choir was the only group (from 27 high schools) to earn a perfect score at Musicfest in Orlando, Florida. Davidson has adjudicated high school choral festivals in many regional school systems and he has lectured on choral techniques at Catholic University. In 1996, the Maryland Music Educators Association named him Secondary School Choral Educator of the Year. The Walt Whitman High School Chamber Singers has attained many honors over the years, including first place awards at competitions in Quebec (1992), Atlanta (1994), Boston (1996), Orlando (1998), and Chicago (2000). In 1995 the group performed at the Music Educators National Conference Eastern Division Convention in Rochester, New York, and in 1997 they appeared at the Maryland Music Educators Conference in Baltimore. In December 1999, they performed with the Washington Chorus in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Philip Everingham (BM ’89) has collaborated with singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States in a variety of art song, opera, and chamber music repertoire. Most recently, he was on the staff of Opera in the Ozarks summer season (Eureka Springs, Arkansas) as coach/accompanist for productions of Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel, Postcard from Morocco, and Die Fledermaus. Philip is working on a doctorate at the University of Minnesota. He is director of music at Valley Community Presbyterian in Minneapolis and accompanist for One Voice Mixed Chorus, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Kathryn Fellows Beckman (BA in Music ’87) is executive director of the Mesa Symphony Orchestra in Arizona and plays trombone in the orchestra and with the Broadway Palm Theatre.
Rhonda Ficca (BME ’81) is a music teacher and choral director for New Brighton Elementary School in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, with nearly 30 years of experience. Miss Ficca initiated the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District V Elementary SongFest in the 1990s. She is a member of the New Brighton Education Association (P.R. Chair), Delta Kappa Gamma Society International for Women Educators (Vice President, Communications and Practical and Fine Arts Chair), Beaver Valley Community Concert Association (Board of Directors), Beaver County Arts Education Consortium (Governing Board Member and Steering Committee), New Brighton PTA (Executive Board), Teacher Excellence Center New Brighton District Coordinator, Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association, Pennsylvania Music Education Association, and Music Educators National Conference. For well over a decade, Rhonda has been co-chairperson of the Caring Team for Children for the New Brighton Area School District, raising money for uninsured children ages 18 and under. She also serves on the Health and Wellness Council as a member and Secretary. Miss Ficca has been a presenter for in-services for the New Brighton Area School District and the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit. She is the Music Director and is a frequent soloist at Beaver Falls Christian Assembly and Past President of the Dorcas Women’s Ministries for 15 years (currently Vice President, Musical Director, Children’s Church Teacher, and sound system manager). Miss Ficca was the Choral Director for three years with the United Hosannah Ministries as well as the Musical Director for nine years for the New Brighton Ministerial Annual Thanksgiving Service. Her fifth grade students continue to perform every year at the Townsend Park in New Brighton for the Annual Memorial Day Service to honor veterans. Miss Ficca has received many awards: the Lee Canter Award for Assertive Discipline (1995), New Brighton Area School District PTA Founders’ Day Award (1995), Teacher Excellence Award from the Teacher Excellence Foundation for Southwestern Pennsylvania (2000), awards for Teacher of Distinction (2001 and 2002), Random Acts of Kindness Award from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (2001), Album of Distinction for Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Women Educators (2001 and 2002), a Beaver County Peace Links Award (2001 for her efforts teaching peacemaking skills to children), and a Beaver County Sheriff’s Department Award for outstanding devotion to NBASD elementary students for drug prevention (2003). In 2002, she was an Athena Award nominee. In 2006-2007, Miss Ficca was a nominee from the New Brighton Area School District for the Pennsylvania Southwestern Teacher Excellence Center. Ficca was named to the ’03, ’05, ’07 Who’s Who of American Women and the ’08 Who’s Who in American Education. email
Sylvia Fogal Streufert (BM ’81) has served as organist at churches in New Jersey, Illinois, and Minnesota. She currently lives in Lake City, Iowa where she teaches piano, substitutes for area organists, is on the Friends of the Library board, and is a volunteer with hospice and Shady Oaks Care Center. Sylvia traveled to Germany in April 2012 with Kathy Reier (BM ’82) and visited friends from Berliner Kirchenmusikschule, where they had studied during their years at Wittenberg. They also visited Beth Holloway Oer (BM ’81) and her husband, who live in Northeim. In August 2012, Sylvia and her husband, Jim, drove to Chicago for a mini-Wittenberg reunion with Collette Beuther (MSM ’81), Beth Holloway Oer (BM ’81), and Katherine Reier (BM ’82) at the home of Karen Fish Schurder (’80). email
Joyce Gallo Brandt (BME ’83) teaches music at Scioto Darby Elementary School, part of the Hilliard City (Ohio) School District.
Philip Auman Godlewski (BM ’80) was appointed to the post of organist and director of parish music at Trinity St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (New Rochelle, New York) in 2007. (The Huguenot Parish of New Rochelle was founded in 1688!) He is also the Program Associate & Office Manager of the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification’s national office at the Interchurch Center in New York City. Philip has previously served as a church musician in Episcopal and Lutheran parishes on Long Island and was employed at the National Headquarters of the American Guild of Organists in various capacities from 1985 to 1994. In September 2008, he served as one of the organists for the memorial service for his voice teacher at Wittenberg, the late Margret Kommel (associate professor emerita) at Springfield’s First Lutheran Church (the same church where he had served as organist from 1979 to 1984 and where Margret had sung in the parish choir for many years). email
Carl E. Guenther (BME ’80) has recorded an album of piano music (a blend of traditional hymns and contemporary praise and worship songs) to raise money for the American Cancer Society in memory of his wife who died recently. Carl performs regularly with a praise band.
Pamela Hancock Kinsey (BME ’84) is the K-12 music director for the Easton (Maine) School Department, where she teaches general music, band, chorus, and jazz. In fact, she is the entire music department…the only music teacher for the school district, a position she has occupied for more than 25 years. Pamela performs with the Northern Maine Chamber Orchestra and the University of Maine at Presque Isle / Community Band. She has been chair of the Northern Maine Music Educators Association on two separate occasions and is a flute adjudicator for Maine’s all-state auditions. After many years serving as secretary for the Maine Music Educators Association, she is now President-Elect and will serve her term as president during the 2014-2015 school year. Pamela has been a guest performer with the Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada) Symphony Orchestra and she participates on a regular basis with the Maine Director’s Chorus, Band, and Orchestra, as well as the Acadia Wind Ensemble. In past years, she has been a member of McLaughlin’s Big Band and a guest conductor for several district festivals in Maine. Pamela is active at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where she is choir director, a substitute organist, and a member of the New St. Paul’s Quartet. email
Robb Haskins (BM ’88) studied voice with Kenneth Scheffel and Margaret Kommel at Wittenberg. He received a master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. An accomplished chorister, producer, and director, Robb especially enjoys working with children. Among his many activities, he has served as Director of Vocal Music at Tuskawilla Montessori Academy in Oviedo, Florida, vocal director for the production of Funny Girl by the Cincinnati Music Theater, and Director of Music at Wilmington United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Ohio. He has performed roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, South Pacific, Secret Garden, and Le Nozze di Figaro. email
Marc Heeg (BM ’84) is an active pianist, conductor, and teacher. After Wittenberg, Heeg earned a masters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a D.M.A. at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and he completed additional studies at Cornell, Harvard, and Tübingen University (Germany). Dr. Heeg has performed as a soloist in the U.S., Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Egypt, and Japan. He has accompanied singers associated with many of the world’s great opera companies—the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Wiener and Berliner Volksoper, Chicago Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Bayreuther Festspiel, San Francisco Opera, Houston Opera, Covent Garden Opera, Cairo National Opera, and Vienna State Opera. As a chamber musician, he has played with instrumentalists from the Pro Arte, Cavani, and Manhattan string quartets, as well as instrumentalists from some of the major orchestras of the U.S. (Chicago Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony), Germany (Munich Symphony), Austria (Vienna Philharmonic), and Japan (Kyoto Philharmonic and Osaka Philharmonic). Dr. Heeg was resident artist and choral director at Doshisha University in Japan and taught piano in Kyoto. He worked in Egypt under the auspices of the American Embassy and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture as resident-artist at the Cairo National Opera House, and he performed at American University in Cairo.
Dr. Heeg taught and performed with the faculty of the Internationales Jugend-Festspieltreffen in Bayreuth, subsequently relocating to this home of Richard Wagner’s international opera house. Heeg coached, collaborated, and performed throughout Germany. Dr. Heeg has received many prizes, scholarships, grants, and awards for both his performing and academic talents. His research has addressed a gamut of interests, including Viennese history from Metternich and the Biedermeier Era through the Fin-de-Siècle; the American avant-garde (Cage, Cowell); Schubert and Liszt; and performance practice from the late 1770s to the 1890s. In the tradition of Taoist philosopher-musicians, Dr. Heeg received certification in both Japan and America in traditional Chinese medicine, Taoist studies, and Zen Shiatsu, with additional studies in shamanistic healing techniques. He has taught Chinese medicine and lead seminars in mental and spiritual healing practices. Through artistic residencies and various appointments, Dr. Heeg has made his home in places as diverse as Kyoto, Cairo, Bayreuth, Tucson, Denver, and now in Cyprus, where Dr. Heeg is and assistant professor of piano at Eastern Mediterranean University in northern Cyprus.
Holly Helderman Leach (BME ’88) teaches elementary general music and directs the junior high chorus at Guardian Angels School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Holly and her husband Alan live in Norwood, Ohio, with their daughter Caitlin and twin boys Normandy and Tanner. In 1998 she completed a master of education degree at Xavier University with an emphasis in Montessori Education. Holly attends the national conference of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association whenever possible. email
Tammi Henninger Angle (BM ’80) earned a master’s degree in music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982, followed by a law degree (J.D.) at the University of Dayton in 1994, magna cum lauda. Tammi practices law in Springfield, Ohio. email
Jean Hildebrand Moran (BA in Music ’80) completed a master’s degree in music education at Bowling Green State University, where she worked extensively in piano pedagogy and music theory. She previously taught in the preparatory department at Heidelberg College. Jean has been a clinician at Capital University and Kent State University Suzuki Institutes since 1990, and is employed as a music specialist with the Sandusky City Schools. She is the mother of two Suzuki daughters.
Janet E. Hill-Guetle (BME ’82) earned a diploma in sacred music and piano at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. After earning a music degree at Wittenberg she earned a masters in vocal performance at Northwestern University, where she performed as soloist with the University Chorus. She is pursuing post-graduate studies (in music education) at Ohio State. Janet has performed throughout Ohio—as soloist in oratorios (Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Schubert’s Mass in C, Bach’s Magnificat, and Fauré’s Requiem), as soloist with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra Chorus, in music theater roles at the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield (including Elsa in The Sounds of Music), and in various other church and recital appearances.
Janet teaches choir at Malabar Middle School and accompanies the high school choir. She has been coaching and accompanying student singers and instrumentalists for events adjudicated by the Ohio Music Educators Association for over 25 years. Janet is a member of O.M.E.A. and the American Guild of Organists. She studied organ with John Gilbert (Ashland University) and David Boe (Oberlin Conservatory). She serves as organist and handbell choir director at First United Methodist Church in Massillon, Ohio. Janet has two daughters, Elisabeth and Olivia, both of whom are cellists and music majors at Wittenberg. email
Robert A. Hobby (BM ’85) is Director of Music at Trinity English Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, a congregation of nearly 3500 members. His responsibilities include playing for worship services, overseeing the graded choral program, and managing concerts. During his tenure, he has established a choral series at Trinity (with 16 composers commissioned so far), hosted a regional convention of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, produced four recordings, and expanded the church’s opportunities for music ministry. Hobby received a master’s degree in organ performance from the University of Notre Dame in 1987. His organ teachers have included Donald Busarow and Craig Cramer, and he has studied composition under Donald Busarow, Richard Hillert, and Andrew Carter.
Mr. Hobby has published over 100 compositions, with Augsburg Fortress, Choristers Guild, Concordia, G.I.A., MorningStar, Northwestern, Pavane, and Warner Brothers. His music has been heard on nationally syndicated radio programs such as “The Lutheran Hour,” “Pipe Dreams,” and “Sing for Joy.” Hobby has played at several of the national conventions of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, for national and regional conventions of the Association of the Lutheran Church Musicians, and for conferences of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He has been a featured artist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, performing Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Haydn’s Organ Concerto No. 2 in C. He has presented clinics on service playing and creative hymn singing throughout the U.S. and is currently Chair of Young Lutherans Sing, a national summer choral program for children. He also serves as a member of the Program Committee for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Robert and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents of three daughters: Hannah, Lydia, and Elizabeth. Mr. Hobby received an honorary doctorate from Wittenberg in 2014. email
Nancy Hudson Snell (BM ’80) is music director at Garfield Memorial Church. She earned a masters in vocal performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Nancy is married to James Snell (BME ’79).
Loretta Jones Henderson (BME ’89) is a music teacher with Kettering (Ohio) City Schools and serves as director for the Kettering Children’s Choir. She lives in Huber Heights, Ohio. email
Barbara Kaufmann Larson (BM ’78, MSM ’80): see Brian R. Larson (BME ’78).
Ruthmarie Kelley (BM ’87) is a cataloger for Costabile Associates, in Bethesda, Maryland. Ruthmarie writes, “Though much of the company’s work is medically oriented, I periodically get to enjoy cataloging music in Braille for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.” Previously, she was a reference librarian at the Himmelfarb Library at George Washington University (Washington, D.C.). Ruthmarie holds a master’s degree in music. She received an M.L.S. (masters in library science) at the University of Maryland at College Park. email
Kevin Kinsey (BME ’84) was the instrumental music teacher for grades 5-12 in Fort Fairfield, Maine from 1987 to 1999 and the fifth-grade band director in Presque Isle, Maine from 1999 until 2012, as well as director of the University of Maine at Presque Isle / Community Band from 1999 to 2012, increasing membership from 8 to 65. Over the years, Kevin has played with the Bangor (Maine) Symphony, Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada) Symphony, Maine Director’s Band, Acadia Wind Ensemble, Northern Maine Chamber Orchestra (where he is now the director), and McLaughlin’s Big Band (as a founding member). In addition, he has been guest conductor for several Maine district festivals. Kevin was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church in June of 2012, retired from teaching music in August 2012, was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in Jan. of 2013, and is now full-time priest for the Aroostook Episcopal Cluster of five churches (in Caribou, Fort Fairfield, Limestone, Mars Hill, and Presque Isle, Maine). In addition, Kevin is a member of the New St. Paul’s Quartet. email
Nancy Kirlin Gibbons (BME ’80) grew up in New Jersey but has lived in South Carolina since 1988, where she is director of music at Pilgrim Lutheran Church Music Director in Lexington. She is former artistic director of the Dutch Fork Choral Society, a community chorus. email
Michael Lawrence (BME and BA in Political Science ’89), is Lieutenant Commander with the U.S. Navy. He served as senior judge advocate aboard the Navy’s aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk before becoming Executive Officer of the Region Legal Service Office, Naval District Washington, which is in command of Navy judge advocates (attorney officers), military enlisted paralegals, and civilians who handle criminal prosecutions and provide legal advice on all matters to local area commands in the D.C. area. email
Judith Limbacher Horne (BA in Music ’85) teaches and coordinates the pre-school music program at St. John’s Church, in West Chester, Ohio.
D. Scott Loose (BME ’80) received a masters in music from West Chester University in 1989. He is currently a director of instrumental music in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. From 1981 to 2001 he directed the Lampeter-Strasburg High School Band, which won numerous awards (including the 1998 and 1999 state championships in the Cavalcade of Bands) and served as honors band for such events as the opening ceremonies of the Penn State Farm Show and Governor Tom Ridge’s inaugural parade. He is currently director of the Martin Meylin Middle School Band. Scott performs with the Lancaster Brass Quintet, the Lancaster British Brass Band, and (as principal trumpeter) at the Fulton Opera House. His trumpet teachers have included Walter Geer, Bart Woomert, Richard Chenoweth, Charles Pagnard, Dick Shearer, and Kenneth Laudermilch. Many of Scott’s students have become successful music educators. Scott is a past president of the Lancaster-Lebanon Music Educators Association and is an active judge with the Cavalcade of Bands, where he has also served as Vice President. He arranges music for many local ensembles. Scott resides in the town of Willow Street, Pennsylvania, with his wife Deb and five dogs. He recently became a grandfather.
Lisa Ludwig Wichman (BME ’84) is a music teacher and choral director with the Kinnelon (New Jersey) School District. She is also organist and children’s choir director with King of Kings Lutheran Church in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. email
Suzanne Mackey Feltner (BME ’82) teaches music in the Wooster (Ohio) City Schools and is director of arts and music at Trinity United Church of Christ in Wooster. email
Doreen Mattson (BME ’81) teaches vocal and general music at the School of Fine Arts in Willoughby, Ohio. Doreen did graduate work at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati and has Level I Orff-Schulwerk Certification. She studied at Lakeland Community College and with Irving Bushman at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Doreen has also taught in Lake County, Ohio schools.
Kelly McGinn Williams (BM ’81) lives in Northville, Michigan, and serves as director of worship and music at Redford Aldersgate Methodist Church. In addition, she teaches piano and organ, writes children’s musicals, and attends Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit. email
Melanie Moon Wilt (BME ’88) taught middle school vocal music for several years in Reynoldsburg, Ohio after graduating from Wittenberg and sang in the Columbus Symphony Chorus and Columbus Light Opera. Next, she served as music director at a Presbyterian church, had an active voice and piano studio, and especially loved directing high school musicals and summer community theater, all while working at her family’s printing company in Greenfield, Ohio. In 1996, Melanie married Chad Wilt, a band director, and, Melanie reports, “we made beautiful music together, not to mention three beautiful kids—Parker, Lydia, and Pearson.” The family moved to Lewis Center, Ohio in 1999, where Melanie is a stay-at-home mother, occasional vocal soloist in the area, very active choir participant, and a praise team singer at Grace Brethren Church in Powell, Ohio.
Gayle Morton Holtman (BME ’86) is President and CEO of VSA Indiana, Indiana’s State Organization on Arts and Disability. In 2008, Gayle was named the Special Needs Art Educator of the Year by the Art Education Association of Indiana (the state’s professional organization for visual art teachers). Award recipients, nominated by their peers, demonstrate outstanding service in education. The award recognized Ms. Holtman for helping educate students with disabilities by providing training for future visual art teachers. Holtman was nominated for the Award by Bradford Venable, an assistant professor of art education at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. The two worked together for over six years to provide information about disabilities, adaptations, and differentiated instruction and hands-on training for students with disabilities for Venable’s ISU students who are preparing to become visual art teachers. In addition to practical skills and knowledge, the ISU students learned that students with disabilities are first and foremost students. VSA Indiana (VSAI) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to making the arts accessible to people with disabilities. VSAI is the Indiana affiliate of VSA arts, an international nonprofit founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith (ambassador to Ireland, 1993-1998). Based in Indianapolis, VSAI has been serving people of all abilities around the state for over 20 years. email
Songwriter, musician, and educator Debra Alexander Nesbitt (BA in Music ’80) is a veteran of the Nashville, New York, Austin, Boston, and Toronto music scenes, and is the creative director of Word Maven Music / Song Maven Studio. She works with wordsmiths and musicians to craft memorable songs. Debra has fostered the progress of many songwriters and musicians as an instructor of songwriting at Trebas Institute and of music theory at Metalworks Institute, as song assessor and panelist for The Songwriters Association of Canada, as regional coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International, as mentor for the School Association of Student Songwriters, and as a workshop clinician for The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Debra’s songs have won multiple awards in international songwriting contests and have been recorded on seven CDs by indie artists with national radio airplay. As a singer-songwriter, Debra has been featured in prestigious songwriting events and venues, including NXNE, Tin Pan North, Winterfolk, Club Passim, The Bluebird, The Cactus Café, and the Free Times Café.
Debra provides this update: “On the folk-roots songwriting front, my long-time co-writer David Leask released his new recording Underneath in late 2013 and I’m honored that six of my songs, including the title track, are on it. Dave and I also recently had our gospel song ‘Everybody Sing’ in the finals of the International Songwriting Competition. I’m writing regularly with four co-writers and I’ve signed three single-song contracts with a Nashville-based publisher in the last year. On the classical-musical theatre-jazz standard genre songwriting front, ‘Cold Enough For Christmas,’ written with composer James Grant, was given a premiere performance by Sarasota, Florida’s professional choral group Gloria Musicae this past December, with a chamber orchestra comprised of members of the Sarasota Orchestra and Maria Wirries as soloist. I’ve been dividing my time between Siesta Key, Florida and Oxtongue Lake, Ontario in order to work with James Grant, and our first grade-3 band piece, under our nom de plume ‘Alison Stuart’ has been published by Potenza Music. We’ve had wonderful performances already by three bands, including a band at the University of West Georgia, and we've had great fun Skyping in to band rehearsals.” email
Elizabeth Holloway Oer (BM ’81) teaches piano in Kreiensen, Germany.
Kim Petot (BME ’81), a pianist and singer, specializes in early childhood music. She teaches at the All Newton Music School in West Newton, Mass., and is director of their Summer Creative Arts Program. Kim arranges and sings for the music group Silk Tones and she sings with her church choir. Kim and her husband Ross (’80) live in Natick, Mass.
Ross Petot (BM ’80) earned a master’s degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He focuses on jazz and stride piano and performs as a regular member of The Blue Horizon Jazz Band, John Clark’s Wolverine Jazz Band, and The Back Bay Ramblers. Ross has performed in numerous jazz festivals throughout the country both as a band member and as a featured soloist. He teaches at the All Newton Music School in Newton Massachusetts and performs frequently throughout the New England area. The Bar Harbor Times wrote that Ross’s “energy and lightning-fast hands on the keyboard left the audience breathless when he was set loose in a solo turn.” Ross has made several recordings, including Red Hot Band and Cuttin’ Up (with the Back Bay Ramblers) and Stride Piano (a solo CD).
James Rio (BM ’86) is Company Manager at the Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria, Arizona, and director of its touring troupe Bits & Pieces. His stage credits include The Phantom of the Opera (André, Lefèvre) in Hamburg, Germany, and regional performances of She Loves Me (Georg), Man of La Mancha (Cervantes), Into the Woods (Baker), Guys and Dolls (Benny Southstreet, Arvide Abernathy), Jubilee (Eric Dare), The Student Prince (Karl Franz), and The Merry Widow (Camille). James has performed at Sonic Boom (Knitting Factory, New York City), the East-West International Music Festival (Altenburg, Germany), the Belarussian Autumn Music Festival (Minsk), and the Moscow Autumn and St. Petersburg Sound Ways Festivals in Russia. Solo NYC venues include Lincoln Center, The Rainbow Room, and Merkin Concert Hall. After Wittenberg, James pursued further education at the Indiana University School of Music and he was an apprentice at Sarasota Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. James was the tenor soloist in the Jose Limon Dance Company performance of Kodály’s Missa Brevis and he was a participant in the premiere of Jon Magnussen’s Psalm at the Cultural Olympiad of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. email/p>
Judith Rownd Schlabach (BME ’81) came to First Presbyterian Church (Wooster, Ohio) to direct the children’s choirs part-time, and then developed children’s ministries programs for infants through sixth graders as a full-time employee. For more than ten years, Judy has served as director of the Cantare Chorus (the entry-level ensemble for second and third graders) of the Wayne Center for the Arts Children’s Chorus program.
W. David Runk (BME ’81) is married to Beth Bowsher Runk (BA ’82) and they are the parents of three boys. After teaching music at the elementary and high school levels, David joined CSS Publishing Company (founded by his father, Wes Runk, BA ’56 and M.Div., Hamma ’59), which publishes printed and on-line resources for pastors of mainline Protestant denominations, specializing in preaching, worship and other areas of parish ministry. David became president of the company in May, 2008. David directs the adult choir at English Lutheran Church in Bluffton, Ohio, a post he has held since 1986. In addition, he serves as a member of the board of directors for Oesterlen Services for Youth in Springfield, Ohio. email
Grace Seamon Kopitske (BM ’83) is organist at Christ United Methodist Church in Maplewood, Minnesota. email
Elizabeth Schultz Ayers (BM ’80) earned a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy at Ohio University and later taught piano privately for about five years. She then went to law school (Capital University in Columbus, Ohio) and received a J.D. in 1994. Elizabeth has actively practiced in Columbus, Ohio as a litigator and estate-planning attorney. She became interested in planned giving during law school and has worked in this capacity at both the Columbus Foundation and Ohio State University. She began serving as Associate Director of Planned Giving at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in March 2008 and is now Director of Gift Planning at the university. Elizabeth lives in Durham, North Carolina. email
Richard Scranton (BM ’82) plays principal trumpet with the Westerville Symphony and solo cornet with the Scioto Valley Brass and Percussion Company. He has appeared as soloist with the Springfield Symphony and the Upper Arlington Community Orchestra. Richard performs frequently throughout Ohio. His trumpet teachers have included Eugene Blee, Charles Pagnard, Richard Chenoweth, Basil Drew, and Paul Baver. Richard earned a master’s degree in music at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Barbara Secrist Tobin (BME ’81) is band director at Coulwood Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. email
Ruth Seltzer Gorman (BM ’83) and her husband John have conducted two childrens’ choirs for over 20 years, at First Presbyterian Church in London, Ohio. They have two children, Tucker and Chelsea. Ruth is outreach coordinator at the London Public Library and performs regularly at care facilities. email
Steven Keister Shaner (MSM ’84) is Director of Music and Arts Ministries at Mount Olivet United Methodist Church in Arlington, Virginia. He has served as ecumenical church musician at churches of several different denominations. He has been minister of music and organist at St. Joseph Parish (Jasper, Indiana) and Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ (Bethesda, Maryland). Steven has conducted touring adult, children’s, and youth choirs (as well as handbell choirs), and he has performed organ recitals at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, the Washington National Cathedral, and other venues throughout North America and Europe. He is a graduate of Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Virginia with a double major in music education and organ performance. Dr. Shaner has studied church music, composition, improvisation, and organ with Donald Busarow, Steven Cooksey, Trudy Faber, Jerald Hamilton, David N. Johnson, Marilyn Keiser, and Oswald Ragatz. He is a frequent organ recitalist, church music clinician, choral conductor, and artistic director for hymn festivals. Steven earned a doctor of sacred music degree at the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana. email
Robin Strickler (BME ’83) studied piano at Wittenberg with William Walters, who also encouraged her interest in East Asian Studies and social justice. After four years teaching music at Magsig Middle School in Centreville, Ohio, Robin returned to school and got a master’s degree in English Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While she worked her way through school, she developed a second career for herself—in administration and training for after-school programs. Robin worked on developing new programs for 800 elementary school children in Madison’s After School Program, now called the Wisconsin Youth Company. A move to Colorado led her to similar programs with the YMCA and, eventually, a stint as personnel manager at Boulder’s YMCA. In 1996, she took a job in English as a Second Language at Kansai Gaidai University (Wittenberg’s sister school in Japan), where she taught English for eight years and learned Japanese.
In 2001, on a return trip to the USA, Robin met John Rutsindintwarane, a Rwandan Lutheran pastor who was studying Conflict Transformation. When they decided to marry in 2003, her life made a major geographical shift—to east Africa. In 2005, Robin founded the Rwanda School Project, a non-governmental organization focused on quality secondary education in Rwanda. She now lives in Rwanda and will be the Head of School for a secondary school in the city of Rwamagana which will use Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound as its pedagogical framework and will focus on environmental sustainability. Robin is studying Kinyarwanda (the chief spoken language in Rwanda), enjoys chatting with Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteers in Japanese, and loves bird watching. Robin invites any Wittenberg music alums who’d like to develop a secondary school choir in east Africa’s mountainous “Land of Eternal Spring” to contact her! email
Catherine Truesdale (BME ’82) earned a master’s degree at Barry University (Miami Shores, Florida). She is a music teacher at Canterbury School (Fort Myers, Florida), Children’s Chorus Conductor with the Southwest Florida Symphony, and alto section leader with the Symphony Chorus. email
Soprano Laurie Vargo Hays (BME ’83) has performed with the Carmel Bach Festival, Monterey County Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Master Chorale, and Oahu Choral Society (Honolulu). Her most recent operatic roles include Annina in La Traviata, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Edith in Pirates of Penzance, and Ida/Sally in Die Fledermaus. Her recent performances in musical theater include Pippin (Fastrada), Carousel (Nettie), The Music Man (Mrs. Paroo), Camelot (Nimue), The Secret Garden (Rose), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitl), and Sweeney Todd (Quintet). Ms. Hays’ performances in oratorio include the Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, St. Matthew, and St. John Passions, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, and Fauré’s Requiem. Hays directs the 100-voice Annapolis Youth Chorus (a division of the Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra), which recently sang at Carnegie Hall under the direction of John Rutter. Hays is the Upper School music and choral director at The Severn School in Severna Park and is a soloist at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis. She lives in Severn, Maryland, with her husband, Kevin, and their three daughters, Meghan, Brenna and Kelly. email
Linda Venable-Boehk (BM ’80) received the D.M.A. in voice at the University of Michigan in 1992. She has a private voice studio of about 50 students. She writes: “My education at Wittenberg was a very valuable experience for me. In fact, much of what I learned at Wittenberg (diction, literature, performing skills, etc.) carried me through the rest of my education.”
Phyllis J. Warner (MSM ’80) completed 21 years of teaching organ, piano, and keyboard pedagogy as an adjunct faculty member at Cedarville University (Cedarville, Ohio) in 2006. She now teaches music appreciation at Edison State College in Piqua, Ohio. email
Scott Weidler (MSM ’85) serves the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as Associate Director for Worship and Music. He is a board member and the Curriculum Writer for the Leadership Program for Musicians. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree at Concordia College (Seward, Nebraska) and master’s degree at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana). email
John Whittlesey (BA in Music ’85), baritone, performs regularly in opera, concert, and recital in the greater Boston area. He has appeared with the Boston Lyric Opera, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cape Cod Opera, New England Light Opera, Longwood Opera, Masterworks Chorale, Choral Arts Society, and the Concert Singers of Lynn. He has most recently performed Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, and Verdi’s Requiem. His recent operatic performances have included the world premieres of Thomas Oboe Lee’s The Inman Diaries and Charles Shadle’s The Last Goodbye, both for Intermezzo: The New England Chamber Opera Series; Silvio in I Pagliacci for Cape Cod Opera, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Menotti’s The Telephone and The Medium, and the premieres of Brian Hulse’s The Letter and The Game, Charles Shadle’s A Question of Love, and David Paul Gibson’s Verlaine and Rimbaud. John is the Founder and Artistic Director of Intermezzo: The New England Chamber Opera Series. (According to the Boston Globe: “Intermezzo is an invaluable champion of new opera.”) He holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wittenberg University and a masters in health administration from Xavier University. email
Don Widmer (BA in Music and BA in English ’88) is Library Director at Vandercook College of Music in Chicago. He earned a masters in music history at Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Don serves on the Education Committee of the Music Library Association and is Past Chair of the Technology, Archives, Preservation and Sound Committee of the Music Library Association Midwest Chapter. He is actively involved in the Chicago Area Archivists and the Chicago Area Solo Librarians. He was a 2004-2005 participant in Synergy: The Illinois Library Leadership Initiative. email
Joy Wigal French (BA in Music ’89) is pastor at United Methodist Church in Zanesville, Ohio. email
John Wigal (BM ’85) is organist and director of music at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. email
Robyn Zimmann (BME ’81) began serving as the Executive Director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in June, 2013. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Operations & Education for eight years, during which time the educational offerings of the SSO were expanded to include a Children’s Chorus and Youth Chamber Music program, in addition to the already existing three youth orchestras. After her appointment as Executive Director, Robyn retired from a 35-year career as a professional musician, during which time she served as Assistant Principal Horn of the SSO and 4th horn of the Lima Symphony Orchestra. As a freelance performer in the Miami Valley, she performed in countless events at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, Dayton Playhouse, Wright State University, Wilmington College, Clark State Performing Arts Center, Victoria Theatre, and the Schuster Center, as well as numerous area churches and schools. Robyn also had a 17-year career as a guitarist with four different rock bands, including several recording projects and performances at numerous venues in five different states. Prior to taking on administrative roles with the Springfield Symphony, Robyn’s career path also included stints in the retail music business, as marketing director for a chain of six photo/video stores and, most recently, 10 years as a systems analyst in the IT department of the Dayton Daily News. email
Before attending Wittenberg, Jonathan Abernethy-Deppe (MSM ’78) received a bachelor of music degree in church music at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington, and a master of divinity degree at Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He was assistant pastor and minister of music at Zion American Lutheran Church, Waterloo, Iowa. Since then, he has served as associate pastor and minister of music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa, where he directed three choirs (middle school, high school, and adult) and assisted with a handbell choir and playing organ; pastor at Lutheran Church of the Atonement Lutheran Church in Clinton, Iowa; and minister of music at Christ the King Lutheran Church in downtown Chicago. While serving as minister of music at Berwyn United Lutheran Church (Berwyn, Illinois), he was on the staff of the Division for Global Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Later, Jonathan was minister of music at Immanuel Lutheran Church (Alameda, California) and Resurrection Lutheran Church (Dublin, California). In the first years of living in California, he was also a member of the staff of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA. Later he became Administrator for Gift Planning and Stewardship in the Episcopal Diocese of California and then Executive Assistant in the Episcopal Diocese of California (both positions in San Francisco). In 2008, he was received as a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of California, San Francisco, and was assisting priest at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Danville, California. Jonathan is now assisting priest and parish administrator at the Episcopal Church of St. Paul in the Desert, in Palm Springs, California. email
Ray Adams (BM ’77) earned an M.A., M.F.A., and D.M.A. from the University of Iowa. He served as Director of Music and Organist at the Community Church of Vero Beach for 19 years, from 1983 to 2002. Currently, he is Assistant Director for Artistic Development at the Indian River Charter High School, Schumann School for the Visual and Performing Arts, a school devoted to dance, drama, music, and the visual arts. Adams is the founding director of both the Vero Beach (Florida) Choral Society and the Academy for the Performing Arts. The Choral Society has made four musical tours of Europe and has performed with Dave Brubeck and Sir David Willocks. The Academy is an accredited school for students of all ages who are interested in music. Dr. Adams helped develop the Indian River Symphonic Association, which brings renowned artists and orchestras from around the world. In 1992, Dr. Adams was selected as the second Southern Bell/Classic 89 FM Patron of the Arts to receive the Virtuoso Award. In 1997 he was awarded the Professional Leadership Award by the Cultural Council of Indian River County. Adams lives in Vero Beach with his wife Phyllis (BA in Music ’78). email
Julie-Ellen Anderson (BME ’73) teaches music at West Bath School in Bath, Maine. She received a master’s degree in education at the University of New England (Biddeford, Maine) in 2002. email
Kathy Anderson Rausch (BME ’70) provides support services for faculty members at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She earned a masters from the Seminary in 2004. email
Marjo Anderson (BME ’76) is pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Bridgeport, CT, a congregation with a lively music program. Prior to going to Salem in 2011, she spent 18 years as co-pastor of Tabor Lutheran Church in Branford, Connecticut, where she co-founded the Tabor Community Arts Center in 1997. In 2002, she was persuaded to start a praise band at the church, for which she recruited (among others) her husband Mark Dollhopf for vocals/guitar, their older son Hans for percussion, and their younger son Conner as her backup pianist. “It actually ended up being great fun,” she writes, “and when we moved our contemporary service to the main time slot, attendance grew by 12%.” Pastor Marjo Anderson’s vocal outlet has been the Yale Alumni Chorus (founded by her husband in 1998), which has performed throughout the world, including China, Russia, Argentina, and Great Britain. email
Anne R. Archer (BME ’78) received a master of music education degree at West Chester University (Pennsylvania) and teaches music to elementary students at two private schools.
Paul Bauer (BME ’78) is regional sales manager for Music & Arts Centers in Itasca, Illinois. email
Janet Beck Kaltenbach (BA in Music ’78) is executive director of the Charlottesville Symphony Society in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since graduating from the Wittenberg School of Music, she has enjoyed a rich and rewarding career in arts administration as the general manager of the Springfield (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra; technical director of the Springfield (Ohio) Summer Arts Festival; general manager of the Saginaw (Mich.) Symphony Association and School of Music; Director of Development and later Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the New Brunswick (N.J.) Cultural Center; and general manager of the world-renowned American Boychoir and vice president of advancement at the American Boychoir School. Janet is an education and visitors program and special events volunteer at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and a grant application evaluator for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She serves on the board of directors of the Westminster Presbyterian Church Organ Concert Series and is a member of the steering committee of Create Charlottesville: A Cultural Plan for Charlottesville/Albemarle. She also chairs the steering committee’s Marketing and Cultural Tourism Task Force. email
Laurel Benson Brown (MSM ’77) is director of music at St. Pauls Lutheran Church in Fall Church, Virginia.
Nadine Boyd Sutcliffe (BM ’72) teaches music at Stonybrook Elementary School in Kinnelon, New Jersey.
Charles Brown (BM ’77) teaches music in the Lima, Ohio, school system.
Susan Brown Guse (MSM ’79) is director of music ministries at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie, New York. email
Ronald Brugger (MSM ’79) is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Sisseton, South Dakota.
David Buchenroth (BM ’75) is pastor of Galilee Lutheran Church in Russells Point, Ohio.
Judith Burbank (BM ’73) is assistant professor (voice and vocal pedagogy) at Lenoir-Rhyne College in North Carolina. She is active as a concert singer in Charlotte, Asheville, and Winston-Salem. In the fall of 2004, she returned to Wittenberg to sing a recital featuring music by Debussy and Strauss, German operetta, and William Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs. Burbank holds a master’s degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a DMA from Rutgers State University. She lived in Germany for an extended period of time, performing and teaching, as well as singing in several German opera houses, including Heidelberg (Theater der Stadt), Erfurt, and the Salzburg Landestheater. She has performed a variety of soprano roles, including Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck, Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz, Marguerite in Berlioz’s Faust, Malinka Janacek’s Die Ausflüge des Herrn Bourcek, Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Venus in Wagner’s Tannhaüser.
In the U.S., Burbank has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera, Augusta Opera, Intermountain Opera of Bozeman, Montana, New England Opera, New England Operetta, New Jersey State Opera, National Opera of North Carolina, and the touring National Opera Company of the New York City Opera. Burbank recently sang Poulenc’s Gloria with the Hickory Choral Society and Handel’s Messiah with the Green Bay Symphony. Judith has performed recitals in France, England, and Germany. In the spring of 1999 she gave a lecture-recital at Rutgers on Alban Berg’s opera Wozzeck, focusing on the vocal techniques used by the female lead Marie (a role that she sang in Heidelberg and Erfurt, Germany). Judith especially enjoys the serious works of noted film composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold; she gave a recital featuring his seldom sung Abschiedslieder (Farewell songs) in Minneapolis. She also gave private classes while in Minneapolis at Augsburg College, specializing in German diction for singers. email
Gary L. Callahan (BM ’72) is a music professor (and chairperson of the music department) at Livingstone College, in Salisbury, North Carolina. He earned a master’s degree in music at the University of Michigan-Flint and a doctorate in music at Ohio State. Gary was recently elected arts and sciences chair for the National Network for Education Renewal Tripartite Council. email
Linda Calvert Eriksen (BM ’72) studied piano with William Walters, organ and harpsichord with Trudy Faber, and voice with Michael Chang while at Wittenberg, where she was a member of the national music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. She earned a masters in piano performance at Boston University in 1974 and continued her education by taking numerous courses at Westminster Choir College in conducting and church music. Linda has worked as a church musician, professional accompanist, and instructor in piano and organ. She has held positions in both Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches and has recently accepted the position of Director of Music Ministries at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. For several years, Linda served as accompanist for Ridge Light Opera, a semi-professional theater company in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, performing The Mikado and “September Song,” an evening of light opera. She has played for the Stony Hill Players performances of The Mikado,The Magic Flute, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Suor Angelica. Linda is staff accompanist for the Millburn High School (New Jersey) honors recitals and concerts. Over the past few years, she has been assistant director and accompanist for the Summit Chorale and has played for the South Mountain Chorale, the Choral Arts Society, Calvary Chorale, New Jersey Youth Chorus, and numerous professional and amateur soloists and instrumentalists, and both school and community productions in New Jersey. She serves on the executive board and is the certification exam coordinator for the Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter of the AGO, is an active member of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, American Choral Directors Association, and Choristers Guild, and sings with the Harmonium Choral Society under the direction of Dr. Anne Matlack. Linda is a resident of New Providence, New Jersey, where she lives with her husband Ray and their three grown children: Christian (a police officer in the city of Summit), Diana (a graduate of Gettysburg working in Human Resources for Ajilon in New York City), and Scott (place kicker on the Lycoming College football team).
Ruth Cecil Donahue (BME ’75) writes (March 18, 2010): “I remember my days at Wittenberg School of Music with fondness. Playing cello with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra was a lot of fun. After graduating, I taught for a year in the little town of Piqua, OH (about an hour north of Springfield), dealing with a high school, two middle schools, and four elementary schools! I had 23 private students, too. My then-fiancé, Jim, told me that he really wanted to go to Cincinnati Conservatory to work on his master’s degree (bass performance), so I followed him there—the best decision I ever made! We played together in the Cincinnati Ballet and Opera orchestras and had a blast delving deeper in the art of music (and socializing with like-minded friends). Jim and I taught in Cincinnati for two years after that till he got a full-time job with the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra. After eight years, in 1988, we moved to Vienna, VA where he worked on a DMA at the University of Maryland and I took a teaching job. He performs with the Fairfax and Alexandria Symphonies, and I teach full-time at Spring Hill Elementary in McLean. I have 354 string players! We gave a concert last night and it’s like having a whole city of (small) people in front of me—and I know everybody’s name! We have a daughter who just turned 19, and life is good. Hope yours is, too.” email
Valerie Chakeres Baker (BA in Music ’78) is Vice President of Chakeres Theatres in Springfield, Ohio, and director of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Choir in Columbus.
Christine Claggett Lowe (BM ’76) teaches at Meadowlawn Intermediate School in Sandusky, Ohio. email
Jan Clark Douglass (BME ’75) is pastor at Clarkson Presbyterian Church in Rogers, Ohio.
Michele Clingman Lazarus (BME ’76) conducts the orchestra at McCormick Junior High in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and she is orchestra vice president for the Wyoming Music Educators Association.
Cheryl Colantonio Storey (MSM ’77) studied organ and church music at Wittenberg with Frederick Jackisch, conducting with John Williams, and composition with Jan Bender. After graduating from the MSM program, Cheryl accepted a position which took her to Minnesota, where she served two ELCA congregations until 1995, at which time (as an Associate in Ministry in the ELCA) she began serving as director of music ministries at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bellevue, Washington. Since then, Ms. Storey has taken choirs on concert tour to Germany, Scandinavia, and the U.K., and has planned music and liturgy for worship, conducting choirs, orchestras, handbell choirs, and numerous ensembles. In her present position as Director of Music Ministries at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church (since 2001), Cheryl enjoys the ministry of pastoral care, along with composing and arranging music for her congregation. In addition, she administrates a concert series at Mercer Island Presbyterian that draws many attendees from the greater Seattle area. Cheryl resides in Kirkland, Washington, with husband Ben and her two sons, Christopher and Matthew. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her border collies. email
Catherine Cox (BM ’72) majored in voice at Wittenberg. Since then, she has had a distinguished career on the stage and in television. Acclaimed for her Broadway performances, she has appeared in a variety of musicals, including Oh! Coward, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1987. In 1983, she created the role of Pam Sakarian in Baby, for which she received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. She received a Drama Desk nomination for the role of Viola in George Abbott’s Music Is, and she appeared as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of Oklahoma! in 1980 and in Footloose on Broadway. Catherine succeeded Glenn Close in the role of Chairy Barnum in the long-running Broadway hit Barnum and appeared with the national touring company of City of Angels, where she played the roles of Oolie and Donna. Her television credits include The Guiding Light and The Cosby Show. Miss Cox appeared in the A. R. Gurney’s play Love Letters in Chakeres Theatre at Wittenberg with Wittenberg alum James Rebhorn, who graduated in 1970 with a double major in political science and theatre.
Melissa Cox Douglas (BME ’76) is program coordinator for the Community Music Scholars Program, an initiative of the Music Preparatory Division of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. The program provides a comprehensive program of jazz and classical music instruction for school-aged Philadelphia children who have limited financial means. Melissa holds a graduate degree in vocal performance. She came to Temple in 1997 after a decade at the New England Conservatory (Boston), where she was an academic advisor and Associate Dean for Students.
Nancy Cripe Davis (BM ’70) is Coordinator for Wittenberg’s Center for Musical Development. She received a master’s degree at the University of Dayton email
India Dennis D’Avignon (BME ’74) earned a masters in Piano Pedagogy and Choral Conducting at Ohio State. She teaches class piano at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, having previously served as professor and keyboard department chair at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. India has performed throughout the United States and abroad, accompanying on the piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, and harp, including performances at the Festival International de Musique (Nancy, France), Festival International de Sarrebourg (France), Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), and International Mozart Symposium (St. Gilgen, Austria). D’Avignon has presented research papers at the Music Teachers National Conference and at conferences internationally. The Glass Music Ensemble, with India as director, appears on the CD Christ Hall (Hommage à Marc Chagall). D’Avignon co-produced Titanic Records’ CD of Alexander Reinagle’s The Philadelphia Sonatas.
Ellen Derra Hopkins (BA in Music ’70) teaches music in the Indianapolis Public School District.
Mary Dillard Daniels (BME ’71), a.k.a. Jazzmary, is one of the busiest jazz musicians in central Ohio. Mary’s blend of piano, vocals, and electronics offers a full palette of jazz ranging from the classics to present-day divas. Her self-produced debut CD, Circle, contains a selection of her writing and arrangements. Mary has also recorded the CD JzzPop. She cites as some of her influences Mary Lou Williams (for piano skills), Quincy Jones (for arranging and producing), and Nina Simone (for her spirit). email
Linda Dobbins Sears (BME ’75) teaches music at St. Francis of Assisi School in Gates Mills, Ohio. email
Sandra Doyle Feichter-Murphy (BME ’74) teaches music at Harrison Hill Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Susan Draper Cormier (BM ’76) is Children’s Services Consultant for the Connecticut State Library. email
Cheryl Duerr (BM ’74) has been Music Director at The Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington, Massachusetts, since 1999. She earned a master’s degree in music at Boston University and is an Associate of The American Guild of Organists. Cheryl is a member of the Guild’s Executive Board and serves as a member of the Program Committee and the Young Organists’ Initiative. She serves as Region I (New England) Coordinator for Education for The American Guild of Organists. email
Diane DuVal (BME ’73) has taught elementary general music and middle school vocal music for more than 25 years, including 20 years with the Kettering (Ohio) City Schools. She received a master’s degree in education with music concentration from the University of Dayton. Diane’s research on cooperative learning in the elementary music classroom was recently published in Triad (the official publication of the Ohio Music Education Association). email
Kenneth Elkin (MSM ’73) has been pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Williamsport, Pennsylvania) since 1996. Pastor Elkin served three parishes prior to his arrival at St. Mark’s: He interned at Memorial Church (Harrisburg) and stayed to become Associate Pastor and Parish Musician (1975-1982) and he led two congregations to form Christ United Church in Catawissa, Pennsylvania, where he served as pastor (1982-1996). Rev. Elkin received a B.A. in Music at Thiel College (Greenville, Pennsylvania) in 1971 and a master of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 1977. His interest in the music of the church was fostered first by his grandmother Aleda Nichol, and then by teachers such as Mary Zeitler, Dr. Charles Anders, Ms. Margaret Kommel, and Dr. Frederick Jackisch. Pastor Elkin’s spouse of many years is fellow Witt music alum Donna Zierdt Elkin (MSM ’72). They have three children: Katy, a musician in Barcelona, Spain; Sean, network administrator for Citizens and Northern Bank in Wellsboro; and David, in graduate studies in horn performance at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
Clarice Engleman Snyder (BM ’70) is minister of music at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Bethesda, Maryland. email
Ford Ewaldsen (MSM ’70) began work at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in High Point, N.C. as director of music and Christian education soon after graduating from Wittenberg. In 1977 he became organist/choir director at Calvary United Methodist Church in High Point, a position he held until 1984. In 1978 he began to work for High Point’s Kmart as manager of the men’s and hosiery departments; and he worked there for 28 years. In 2002-2003 he was organist/choir director at Grace Lutheran Church in Thomasville, N.C, and in 2003 Emmanuel Lutheran (High Point) invited him to return as organist. He has been at Emmanuel Lutheran ever since. Ford has performed in Piedmont Artist concerts and in American Guild of Organists (AGO) concerts. He is a member of the AGO and of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He has been married to Geraldine Fleisch (MSM ’70) since 1972 and they still live in High Point, N.C. Ford and Geraldine have two children, Chris and Marianne, and six grandchildren. email
Jane Flanagan Rittenhouse (BME ’71) teaches music at Dorr Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. email
David Foerster (MSM ’75) works at Liturgical Publications in Cleveland, Ohio. email
Cynthia Fok Lawing (BM ’71), a native of Hong Kong, holds a degree in Dalcroze Eurythmics. As a pianist, she has performed concertos with the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Chamber Orchestra of Macao. She has been very active as a solo recitalist and clinician. Many of her recitals have focused on the compositions of a single composer, including Franz Liszt, Alexander Scriabin, Maurice Ravel, and Samuel Barber. Cynthia is a charter member of the Chamber Music Society of Charlotte and a founding member of the Rhodora Trio. In addition to her activities as a performer and a clinician, Cynthia Lawing is an active composer and church musician. She has composed over a hundred works for voices and for instruments and has served as organist and choir director for many congregations. email
Stephen Folkemer (BA in Music ’74 and MSM ’76) studied at the Spandauer Kirchenmusikshule in Berlin, Germany for a year (1974-1975) and earned a masters in divinity (1980) and doctorate in ministry (1988) at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), where he is now Director of Music and an associate professor of church music. The Reverend Dr. Folkemer serves as principal organist for the Seminary’s 36-rank Andover tracker instrument and has directed (since 1986) the 30-voice Schola Cantorum of Gettysburg, which specializes in Lutheran liturgical music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Folkemer studied composition with Jan Bender at Wittenberg University and with Heinz Werner Zimmerman in Berlin. His project for the D.Min. degree was Of the Land and Seasons, a folk-song paraphrase setting of Holy Communion which is now used by congregations throughout the country. Folkemer has published original compositions with Chantry Music Press, Augsburg Fortress, Concordia Publishing House, G.I.A. Publications, and MorningStar Music Publishers. Some of Dr. Folkemer’s arrangements of hymns can be heard on the live CD recording Hymns of History and Hope, a 2001 hymn festival performed by the Schola Cantorum and Seminary choirs in honor of the 175th anniversary of the Seminary. From 1982 to 1985, Folkemer served as co-pastor (with his wife the Rev. Beth Bergeron Folkemer) at the Bendersville Lutheran Parish. He has served as part-time music director, choir directory, and/or organist at numerous congregations, as well as at Gettysburg College. Dr. Folkemer has been director of music at the Gettysburg Seminary since the fall of 1979 and is currently church organist at St. Mark Lutheran Church, in Hanover, Pennsylvania. He and his wife are the parents of three children, Joel, Margaret, and Nathan. email
Glendon Robert Frank (BM ’74) has been appointed US Army Ceremonial Organist at Old Post Chapel and Memorial Chapel, Fort Myer, Arlington, VA. His duties include playing for funerals for all branches of the military for Arlington National Cemetery. After thirty years in California, most recently assisting at Stanford University, he has relocated to Arlington, VA. While at Wittenberg, Glen studied at the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule. His teachers have included Frederick Jackisch, Trudy Faber, Jan Bender, and Karl Hochreither. He pursued graduate studies at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) with organist Robert Anderson and harpsichordist Larry Palmer. email
Michael Gerberich (BM ’79) directs the symphonic band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble at Shawnee High School in Springfield, Ohio.
Sandra Gibson (BM, BME ’77) grew up in northwestern Ohio, with deeper roots in the West Indies. After attending Wittenberg, she received a masters in historical musicology from Northwestern University and completed doctoral work at UCLA. Gibson began her work in arts presenting and cultural programming at the American Film Institute, where she held several senior-level programming and operational positions, managed a seven-acre, four-building campus with a $10.9 million budget, and ran the Independent Filmmaker and Distribution Program, an NEA re-granting program.
In 1990, Gibson was appointed Executive Director of the Public Corporation for the Arts (Long Beach Arts Council, California). She served as a consultant to the City of Long Beach for cultural affairs and the arts and helped the city create its first community cultural plan in 1993. While working in Long Beach, Gibson took an interest in state arts advocacy and was appointed to the advisory boards of the California Arts Council and the National Association of Local Arts Agencies. Next, she joined the newly formed Americans for the Arts, as its Executive Vice President and CEO. Her responsibilities included strategic planning; program and resource development; human, technological, and financial systems; and external relations.
In 2000 Gibson was appointed President and CEO of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, which joined with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in 2001 to sponsor the first nationwide survey of the performing arts. To promote global arts exchange, Arts Presenters joined with Cultural Contact (US-Mexico Fund for Culture) to form the Gateway to the Americas Initiative, which works to create new opportunities for integrating Latin America into the promotion and expansion of the performing arts in the international arena. Art Presenters also works closely with the National Music Partnership (a collaboration with seven of Arts Presenters’ sister organizations that strives to connect music to all people by building stronger musical institutions and presenters, by creating an infrastructure of guidance and support for its constituency) and the Performing Arts Research Coalition (a collaborative project of five national arts service organizations to improve and coordinate the way performing arts organizations gather information; funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts). Gibson and husband, Steve Bittle, live in Maryland with their two sons, Geoffrey and Austin. email
Carolyn Gross Gracy (BM ’75) teaches music in grades K-6 for the Springfield (Ohio) City School District. She received a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Dayton in 1994. In addition, Carolyn is organist/pianist at First United Methodist Church in New Carlisle, Ohio. She and her husband Dail Gracy have four married daughters and five grandchildren. email
Elsa Hahn (BME ’73) recently retired after teaching music for over 20 years at Franklin School, an elementary school in Westfield, New Jersey. email
Daniel Hannemann (MSM ’76) is director of music and organist at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winchester, Virginia. (This historic church, which dates back to 1756, included a 27-rank Schantz organ in the 1994 renovation of its 1855 sanctuary.) Daniel plays for three weekly services, directs two adult choirs, a children’s choir, a youth choir, a handbell choir, and a senior choir. In addition, he provides musical instruction for 80 preschoolers, presents musical programs, and manages concerts hosted for the community. Daniel is on the local board of the American Guild of Organists and is regularly invited to participate in activities at nearby Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Virginia). Daniel is an Associate in Ministry with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and he participates in activities of the Virginia Synod of ELCA. Daniel previously served as director of music at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Lincolnton, North Carolina) for over 27 years. email
Lisa Hanson (BME ’77) earned a masters at Cleveland State University and D.M.A. at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has adjudicated for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), served as clinician in Cleveland-area festivals, was president of OMEA District 4 (2005-2007), and served on the OMEA Board of Trustees as editor of TRIAD (2009-2011). At Lakewood High School (Lakewood, Ohio), her Symphonic Mixed Choir has consistently received the highest ratings possible (I) in the most difficult entry class (AA) at the State OMEA Large Group Adjudicated Event. They have been invited to a variety of festivals and have performed nationally, most recently in Chicago and in old town Williamsburg, Virginia, at Bruton Parish. The Lakewood High School Chamber Choir and Vive L’Four (a men’s quartet), both under Hanson’s direction, performed in the rotunda of the Ohio State Capitol Building at the swearing-in ceremony for Governor Ted Strickland in January 2007. Lakewood High School’s Symphonic Mixed Choir was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall (May, 2007). Lisa was given the 2012 Outstanding Music Educator Award by OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association). She retired from her public school career in 2012 and now directs a choir at Case Western Reserve University and teaches a class for the masters in music education degree at Kent State University. email
Bruce M. Harrover (BM ’75) received a master’s degree in piano performance at Rice University in 1989. He has studied at the American Conservatory of Music in Fontainebleau, France, and has studied privately with Nadia Boulanger and Gaby Casadesus. Bruce teaches privately in Houston, Texas, at the Downtown Piano Studio. email
Kathleen Hartley Anderson (BME ’78) lives in Loranger, Louisiana and teaches voice and piano through the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts. email
Laurie Hartzel Haller (BM ’76) was co-pastor of First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, Gary Haller, from 1993 to 2006. In 2006, Rev. Haller was appointed to be district superintendent of the Grand Rapids District of the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. email
Keith Herrmann (BM ’73) is the composer of the Broadway musical Romance/Romance, for which he received a Tony nomination and won an Outer Critics Circle Award. The show, which received a total of five Tony nominations (including Best Musical Score and Best Show) has been produced at London’s West End (at the Gielgud Theatre), and in Australia and Japan. Keith has served as composer, vocal arranger, and musical supervisor of Onward Victoria, which ran both on and Off-Broadway, and for the cult favorite Prom Queens Unchained!. He was the first pianist of Broadway’s Cats and performed on its Grammy Award winning cast album as both pianist and synthesist, later becoming its conductor as well. Other credits include work as conductor for Whoopee!, conductor and keyboardist for The Magic Show, and musical supervisor of Censored Scenes from King Kong. Keith scored the ABC-TV After School Special Taking a Stand, which resulted in an Emmy Award for its creators, and Romance/Romance for A&E (the Arts and Entertainment Network), for which he received a Telly Award. He is represented on the Tri-Star animated holiday video Buster and Chauncey’s Silent Night.
At Wittenberg, he tried out his early composing efforts with the Jazz Ensemble and with Catharsis (a rock band made up of fellow music students). As a performer, Keith has played for such notables as Joel Grey, Betty Buckley, Nell Carter, Andrea McArdle, and many others, including Wittenberg stars Catherine Cox and Jane Seaman, at Wittenberg’s Rathskeller and in New York City. Keith is stilll chasing his dream of writing a colossal Broadway hit, which could generate millions for years to come! Herrmann’s new musical Suspect enjoyed a sold-out run at the New York International Fringe Festival and his Lucky Lindy, a new musical about the aviator hero Charles Lindbergh, has just been optioned by the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia for inclusion in its 2008 season. email
Edie Hockspeier (MSM ’78) is organist and choir director at Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Jacksonville, Georgia. email
Carol Holck (BM ’77) is director of worship and music ministry at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. email
Joan Holder McConnell (BM ’78) is an instructor of piano and organ, as well as staff accompanist, at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. She is organist and music coordinator at Tiffin’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Joan is married to Doug McConnell (BA in Music ’76).
Bonnie Hurnyak Brenner (BM ’70) is an elementary music teacher in the Simsbury Public School District in Connecticut. email
Jill Janda Kanner (BME ’71) recently retired as music teacher and department chair for Beachwood (Ohio) City Schools. email
Laura Johe Grodrian (BM ’77) teaches piano at Spring Valley Academy in Centerville, Ohio. email
Brian Johnson (BM ’70 and MSM ’71) has been an organist at Broad Street United Methodist Church (Columbus, Ohio) since 1992. He earned a specialist diploma in Orff-Schulwerk at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria, and completed Kodály certification at Capital University. In addition he earned a graduate degree in school administration at the University of Dayton. Brian is a past-chairman of Area V of The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR). His original composition A Simple Celebration has been rung as part of the national young ringers festival. He has been actively involved in handbells for over thirty years and was a member of the twenty-fifth anniversary AGEHR choir. In addition to serving Broad Street United Methodist Church as organist and handbell director, Brian teaches elementary music in the Columbus Public schools. email
James H. Johnson (BM ’73, MSM ’74) recently concluded 35 years of full-time parish ministry to accept two new jobs: Executive director of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and adjunct instructor for liturgical ministries at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina.
Marsha Johnson Weiss (BM ’75) earned master’s degrees in music at both the New England Conservatory and Lesley University. She teaches in the Chelsea Community Schools and is a music therapist at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.
Nancy Keller Delaney (BM ’78, MSM ’80) is organist and director of music at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Roanoke, Virginia. email
Karen Kester Areheart (BM ’79) is faculty/staff accompanist at Columbia College and accompanist for Sandlapper Singers, both in Columbia, South Carolina. And she is cantor (leader of song) at Lutheran Church of the Nativity in Arden, North Carolina. Karen holds a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Columbia College
Karen Kline Ginsburg (BM ’75) sings in the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which frequently performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops. email
Mary Beth Krupinski McFall (BM ’76) is accompanist for the Choral Art Society of New Jersey and both pianist and music director for Westfield Community Players (New Jersey).
Patti Lamkin Duthie (BA in Music ’74) teaches piano in Portland, Oregon. email
Brian R. Larson (BME ’78) and Barbara Kaufmann Larson (BM ’78, MSM ’80) live in Port Orange, Florida. Brian serves as cantor at Trinity Lutheran Church (New Smyrna Beach, Florida) and recently served as region 2 president of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. Barbara is director of music at Emmaus Lutheran Church, in Orange City, Florida. email
Jimrae Kelsee Lenser (MSM ’78) is organist and Director of Music at St. Mary’s-In-Tuxedo Episcopal Church, in Tuxedo Park, New York. email
David Liles (MSM ’74) received a bachelor’s degree in church music and voice at Trevecca Nazarene University before attending Wittenberg and a D.M.A. in voice performance from Ohio State after Wittenberg. Dr. Liles has taught in public schools (in Ludlow, Kentucky) and at the Stamps-Baxter School of Gospel Music during their summer programs. Since 1969, he has served as minister of music in Ohio and Kentucky. He is currently Director of Chancel Choir and Resounding Bells at First United Methodist Church in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. Liles is on the faculty of Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, where (as of 2006) he has taught for 30 years. He writes: “My years at Wittenberg were life changing, especially the time I spend with Orcenith Smith and being in Wittenberg Choir, under John Williams.” email
Peggy Lockman Sanders (BME ’73) is minister of music at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Laura, Ohio.
Tamara Makdad Albrecht (BM ’77, BME ’78) is a Lecturer in music history and organ at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, as well as Director/Instructor for the university’s Children’s Music Development Center. She is also Organist/Choirmaster at Atlanta’s St. Bede’s Episcopal Church. Ms. Albrecht received a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University. She is certified in Level I Orff, Level III Early Childhood Music and Movement Association, and in Musikgarten. For over thirty years she has been active as a workshop leader for children’s church and classroom music, a studio organ and piano instructor, and a classroom teacher. In the summer of 2005 Morningstar Music Publishers released her children’s choir resource book, entitledSinging Through the Church Year. This 150-page volume includes many original compositions for the liturgical year and ideas for developing children’s choirs and youth choirs. Albrecht composed the music for the four-act play/cantata The Grief and the Promise, which recently won first prize at Unfinished Works (an international World AIDS Day competition in Los Angeles). The libretto/story was written by André Nahmias, emeritus professor of pediatrics and public health at Emory. The work received three performances in Atlanta in 2006. Tamara writes about her work with Nahmias: “The combination of music and text hits the core of what we’re dealing with; to me, there’s no better way than music to convey emotion. I meshed different historical styles of music: There’s organum, which is a kind of medieval chant, and there’s African drumming. There are handbells, which are a more Western kind of instrument, and a xylophone, which is modeled after African instruments.” email
Doug McConnell (BA in Music ’76) is a professor of theory/composition and chair of the department of music at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. He has also taught at Mississippi State University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Dayton. His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S. and internationally, including Canada, England, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, the Czech Republic, and Russia. In the United States, Doug’s commissioned works have been premiered by the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, Indianapolis Symphony and Chorus, and Dayton Bach Society, as well as a number of college faculty artists and ensembles. Dr. McConnell has written for a variety of performing mediums, but he especially enjoys writing for voices; his work in this area includes a variety of works for chorus. He has also composed several song cycles, including Langston’s Lot, a song cycle for tenor voice, alto saxophone, and piano based on the poetry of Langston Hughes. McConnell has composed for the theater as well: incidental music for several plays and two operatic works, including his most extended composition, Lily, a ninety-minute opera based on a short story by Walter Wangerin.
Doug has been the recipient of several teaching honors, including a Faculty Achievement Award for Undergraduate Teaching from the Mississippi State Alumni Association and a Grisham Faculty Achievement Award. He won the Composition Prize awarded by the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters in recognition of his chamber composition Songs of the Beloved. Most recently, he was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Roger Wagner Choral Composition Competition for his choral piece, Look to this Day!, which was recently published by Gentry Press. The Ohio Music Teachers Association chose Doug as their Ohio Composer of the Year for 2006. For this honor, Doug was commissioned to compose a new work; he composed a piano trio which then received its premiere at OMTA’s 2006 state convention in Columbus. Doug has enjoyed artist residencies at several institutions in the past, including the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Millay Colony for the Arts. He is most grateful to be professionally employed as a musician and teacher some thirty years after his graduation from Wittenberg. His biggest regret: “there is never enough quality time to compose, especially since I went into administration!” His primary joys: “premieres of new compositions (when I can squeeze them in) and my wonderful family.” His wife, Joan Holder McConnell (BM ’78) works with Doug on the music faculty at Heidelberg, teaching organ, music theory and aural training. Joan and Doug have two teenage daughters, Rachel and Susan. email
Mary McPherson Morgan (BME ’78) teaches music at Wells Cathedral School in Wells, Somerset, United Kingdom (southwest of England).
Jane Miley Elliott (BME ’71) is Director of Music Ministries for Youth and Young Adults at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. In addition to Wittenberg, she received degrees at Virginia Intermont College, Berliner Kirchenmusikschule, and Lutheran Theological Seminary Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. email
Bette Melhorn (BM ’75) is owner of Capistrano Valley Yamaha Music School in San Juan Capistrano, California. email
Suzanne Meyers Sawa (BM ’72, BA in History ’72) is assistant music librarian at the University of Toronoto in Ontario, Canada. She coordinates reference and interlibrary loan services, and provides bibliographic instruction in library use. Her principal area of research is women in Arabic music, from medieval to modern times. She is currently preparing a translation of medieval accounts of the lives of four Arab women musicians of the late 7th and early 8th centuries, as well as articles for the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Her publications include “The Role of Women in Musical Life: The Medieval Arabo-Islamic Courts” in Canadian Women’s Studies (Les cahier de la femme) and “The Odyssey of Dahlia Obadia: Morocco, Israel, Canada” in The Canadian Folk Music Journal, reprinted in Canadian Music: Issues of Hegemony and Identity. As a percussionist and vocalist with the Traditional Arabic Ensembles since 1979, she has given numerous concerts and workshops, and made appearances at folk festivals all over North America. Suzanne earned master’s degrees in both musicology and library science from the University of Toronto. She has studied classical Arabic at the University of Toronto and Arabic percussion in Egypt. email
Mary Miller Johnston (BM ’79) was appointed to the Superior Court of Delaware in 2003. She received a master’s degree in music at Northwestern University and J.D. (cum laude) at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Judge Johnston is past chair of the Delaware State Bar Association’s Women and the Law Section, a recipient of the Bar Association’s Women’s Leadership Award, and was a member of the Pro Se Litigation Assistance Committee. She is a member of the Delaware Supreme Court’s Permanent Advisory Committee on the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct and the Court’s Professionalism Committee. Judge Johnston serves as a member of the Washington and Lee School of Law Council. She is past president of the Board of Children & Families First. email
Gary Mills (BM ’77) is Executive Assistant to the Bishop and Chief of Staff at the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He oversees daily office operations, directs Latino and African-American ministry, serves as chair of the conference of deans, and oversees outreach activities. email
Lorenz (Larry) Minth (BME ’72), a bass-baritone, is an active opera singer in Germany. His repertoire includes major roles in operas by Beethoven, Berlioz, Bizet, Britten, Glass, Hindemith, Puccini, Rossini, Roussel, Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, and Wagner. He has performed throughout western Europe (France, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain), but especially in Germany: in Bern (Stadttheater), Braunschweig, Bremen, Dortmund (Theater Dortmund), Freiburg (Städtische Bühnen), Hannover (Niedersächsische Staatsoper), and Ludwigshafen. As an opera soloist, he has recorded three CDs: Richard Strauss’s Capriccio (Orfeo D’or, 1999; with the Vienna Philharmonic), Gerhard Rosenfeld’s Kniefall in Warschau (Thorofon, 2000), and works by Kurt Weill and Hindemith (Capriccio, 1995). Lorenz studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music after attending Wittenberg.
Melissa Sharp Moon (BA in Music ’79) is a music therapist at the Broome Developmental Center in Binghamton, New York. Melissa writes “I have been a music therapist now for 30 years. In those 30 years, I have learned about the power of music and the benefits it can provide to all people, not just those with disabilities.” email
Ann Moreland Badertscher (BME ’77) is director of music at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Garden Grove, California.
Marcia Morton (MSM ’77) is Registrar at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.
Rebecca Mudd Lewis (BM ’76) is an MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in piano. She holds a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and has taught a variety of music courses at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is a board member of the Pittsburgh Piano Teacher Association and, as the former Pennsylvania Music Teacher Association Chair for Arts Awareness and Advocacy, she lectures and writes on the benefits of music study. Rebecca frequently adjudicates piano festivals and competitions, has published in Keyboard Companion and American Music Teacher, and reviews educational music software for Alfred Publishing. Rebecca became a board-certified music therapist in August 2013 after earning a BM in music therapy at Slippery Rock University (Pa.). She is owner of Whole Life Music Therapy, a music therapy contract business in Pittsburgh. In addition, Rebecca continues to operate an independent piano studio and to serve as church music director for Mt. Nebo United Presbyterian Church, in Sewickley, Pa. email
Ann Myers Snyder (BME ’79) teaches music in the Kettering City School District, Ohio. email
Yasuko Nakayama (MSM ’70) lives in Japan where she does intensive volunteer work in church music for the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, at both the district and national level. She worked to revise the Lutheran Hymn Book in Japan in 2000 and made a Karaoke CD-ROM of all 502 hymns that includes all of the hymn texts in Japanese. She is a member of the Japan Hymn Society and a member of the working committee to represent the Lutherans, an interdenominational society that includes the Japanese Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, Cumberland, United Church of Christ, and others. She is the lead committee member of the “Lyra Precaria” of Japan, dealing with music and thanatology (matters dealing with dying, death, and grief). Yasuko has been involved in a program, new in 2006, to train students in a manner holding to the Christian faith to serve people who are suffering from a terminal disease in Japan’s non-Christian society. In addition, Yasuko has (for more than ten years) made monthly musical (singing) visits to a Lutheran senior citizen’s home. Yasuko sings a great variety of music, from classic to pops, sacred to secular. For nearly 20 years, she has served as an interpreter to many conductors, singers, and artists from overseas to perform Handel’s Messiah, in order to raise funds to help the Japan Volunteer Center assist citizens of developing countries. Yasuko Nakayama serves as an organist and choir director of the Japan Evangelical Musashino Lutheran Church, Tokyo. She is married, with three children and three grandchildren. A piano student of Yasuko, Kaoru Hoshino, recently graduated from Wittenberg. email
Anne Nispel (BM ’79) Anne Nispel is visiting assistant professor of voice at Michigan State University. She has performed more than thirty opera roles, including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Despina in Così fan tutte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore. In a review of her New York recital debut, The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Nispel has…a clear, attractive timbre, ample power and a good command of languages.… She also has a fine sense of style. In her opening group of Purcell songs and Handel arias, she sang with the crisp articulation and careful shading modern performances of Baroque music require. [Her singing] had a charged, dramatic quality, and the soprano brought a silky sensuousness to…Poulenc’s ‘Courte Paille’.” Anne has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Alabama Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, New England Symphonic Ensemble, Pennsylvania Festival Orchestra, and Virginia Symphony. She has performed more than thirty leading roles with opera companies throughout the U.S., including the Kentucky Opera, Virginia Opera, Mississippi Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Portland Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Cleveland Opera, Opera Company of Mid-Michigan, Chattanooga Opera, Dayton Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Toledo Opera. Anne made her Canadian debut with a series of concerts at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec. In conjunction with baritone Harlan Jennings, Anne has released a CD of American Art Songs entitled Crosslights of American Song. email
Ruth Nussbaum-Borden (BM ’72) has been teaching pianists of all ages for over 40 years—at Wittenberg University, at the New England Conservatory, and currently in her North Asheville, North Carolina studio. She annually chairs the North Carolina Music Teachers Association District I Piano Contest/Festival for Music Teachers National Association members. She enjoys both solo and collaborative coaching and performing. Ruth’s teachers have included Janet Lehman, Sara Estrada Fletcher, Robert Howat, William Walters, Robert Wynne, and Gabriel Chodos. email
Susan Nussbaum Lisle (BM ’76) is the music associate for the First United Methodist Church in Gastonia, NC, where she is accompanist for the chancel choir, contemporary choir, and youth choir. She also leads one elementary choir and one youth handbell choir. Susan is the music director for the local community theater and drama director at Gastonia’s First Church. email
Mary Kay Olson Lake (BM ’72), soprano, is Director of Opera Workshop and and assistant professor of voice at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. She did graduate work at Northwestern University and earned a master’s degree at Ohio State. Her voice teachers and coaches have included Richard Alderson, Paul Hickfang, Helen Swank, Barbara Corbin, and Walter Foster. Her operatic training was with Michael Chang, John Gay, and Boris Goldovsky. Mary Kay is an active recitalist and soloist, and she performs opera and musical theater roles in regional and university opera theaters. She has sung with the Cecilian Singers, the Tuesday Musical Club Women’s Chorus, and the Huntsville Bach Choir. Lake has performed as guest soloist with the SHSU Chorale (at the 2006 Texas Music Educators Association Convention), the SHSU Wind Quintet (at the 2005 International Flute Convention), the Houston Masterworks Chorus, and the Brazos Symphony Orchestra. Prior to teaching at Sam Houston State, Mary Kay taught at Ohio State and North Harris College. In addition to her teaching duties, she has served as music director and pianist/organist for several churches in the Woodlands, Texas area. email
Robert C. Oster (BME ’74) retired from public school teaching in June 2009. In his 35 years as a choral-music educator, he was director of choral music for grades 7-12 for Lakewood Public Schools in Lake Odessa, Michigan (1974 to 2000) and served as one of three directors of secondary choral music for Jenison Public Schools in Jenison, Michigan (2000 to 2009). From 1999 to 2007, Bob served as a member of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association’s executive board of directors (where he was in charge of state events) and he is currently active as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician throughout Michigan. Other highlights of Bob’s career: He was elected to conduct state honors choirs in 1987 (SATB, high school) and 1996 (SATB, junior high and middle school); in 1992, he was the recipient of MSVMA’s Carolyn Leep Scholarship; in 2000 and 2005, he was invited to be an adjudicator for UNIFEST, a music festival held at the University of Saskatchewan; in 1998, he was a finalist for Michigan Teacher of the Year; and the Michigan School Vocal Music Association honored him as their Teacher of the Year in 2004. In January of 2010 Bob was awarded MSVMA’s Emeritus Member status. Bob is now artistic director and conductor of the Lakewood Area Choral Society, an adult choir that he founded in 1986 that now has over 100 members. Robert Oster received a master’s degree at Western Michigan University in 1981 (with choral emphasis) and a D.M.A. in choral conducting at Michigan State University in 1995. He and his wife Joanie live in Hastings, Michigan. email
Paul Otte (MSM ’75) is Minister of Music at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minnesota, having previously served parishes in Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri. Paul has written for The Choral Journal, Cross Accents, and Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish. His music has been published by Belwin-Mills, Augsburg-Fortress, and Concordia Publishing House. Paul has been active in the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians since its inception, directs the Crow River Singers, and serves on the board of the Crow River Area Youth Orchestra. He writes, “Wittenberg was very formative for my career in church music. Friendships and colleagues from those days continue to be major influences in my life and that of my family.” email
Karen Page Sobol (BME ’74) taught music with the Toledo (Ohio) Public Schools for four years, including two years as Director of Choral Music at Start High School and two years teaching elementary music. Karen had a voice studio in her home for many years and sang solos for weddings and choral productions in the Toledo area until 1986. She was also director of the youth choir at Trinity Episcopal Church in Toledo during the 1980s. Karen stopped teaching music in the public schools in 1978 and pursued her second major, special education, receiving a master of education degree from the University of Toledo in 1980. She writes “I was drawn to this field due to having a brother who was physically and mentally disabled.” She worked for the Maumee (Ohio) City Schools for the next 26 years as an intervention specialist and department head for special education. Karen retired from public education in 2003 and was hired by the University of Toledo to be an adjunct professor, to teach courses dealing with special education law and all specific disabilities, as well as to supervise student teachers. She worked in this capacity for nearly nine years, when she retired again (in August 2012) and moved to Savannah, Georgia to be close to her family. She expects to teach at the college level again in Savannah. email
Susan Palo Cherwien (BM ’75) is a freelance writer and musician. She earned a master’s degree (in liberal studies) at Mundelein College in Chicago. Her many publications include Come, Beloved of the Maker(SATB, organ, flute, opt. congregation) and To God Will I Sing: A Collection of Vocal Solos for the Church Year (Medium High), both published by Augsburg Fortress; Beloved, God’s Chosen and The Journey Was Chosen by Kjos Music.
Jeffrey Pannebaker (MSM ’74) is Director of Music and Linda Haines Pannebaker (BM ’72, MSM ’74) is Director of Children’s Choirs, both at Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. Jeffrey received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Penn State and a masters and Ph.D. (in historical musicology) from the University of Pittsburgh. His teachers have included June Miller, Frederick Jackisch, Trudy Faber, Jan Bender, and William Haller. Dr. Pannebaker served as Director of Music and Christian Education at First Lutheran Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania from 1974 until 1988. He is an Associate in Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, he served two terms as National Secretary-Treasurer and Chair of the 2005 Biennial Conference. He has presented workshops, organ recitals, and hymn festivals throughout the eastern United States. His doctoral dissertation, “Early Lutheran Music in America: The Hymnody of the General Synod,” examines the hymn repertory of the English-language Lutheran Churches that composed the General Synod in nineteenth-century America. In addition to her Wittenberg degrees, Linda Haines Pannebaker studied church music at the Kirchenmusikschule in Berlin, Germany. Her teachers have included Frederick Jackisch, Trudy Faber, Jan Bender, and Karl Hochreither. She served as Director of Music at First English Lutheran Church (Lockport, New York) from 1974 until 1976 and as Junior Choir Director at First Lutheran Church (Johnstown, Pennsylvania) from 1977 until 1988. She is an Associate in Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In addition to directing the children’s choirs, she is a pre-school teacher and music resource person for the Saint Luke Christian Day School. Linda has led children’s choir workshops in several synods. The Pannebakers are parents of two children, Emily and Aaron.
Linda Parman (BME ’71) plays and teaches guitar in the Spokane, Washington, area.
Diane Parrott Archer (BME ’78) is minister of education and youth at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Durham, North Carolina.
Sanya Phillips Oldland (MSM ’70) is reference librarian at Elizabethville Library, part of the Dauphin County Library System, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Cynthia Pinnick Banaszak (BME ’76) is music director at J.I. Case High School in Racine, Wisconsin. email
Lourin Plant (BME ’76) is an assistant professor at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, where he teaches conducting, choral literature, and studio voice. He has served as coordinator of the vocal division and conductor of the Rowan University Concert Choir and Chamber Choir. Ensembles under his direction have performed at regional music conferences, at the New Jersey State Legislature (four appearances), and at Carnegie Hall (three appearances). Plant earned a masters and D.M.A. in choral conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He has served as Assistant Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir and has taught at Sinclair Community College (Ohio) and Humboldt State University (California). Dr. Plant is a member of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Marian Anderson Guild, American Choral Directors Association, and New Jersey Music Educators Association.
Dr. Plant performs regularly both as countertenor and baritone. He has performed with the Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Voces Novae et Antiquae (Philadelphia), and Piffaro (a Renaissance band); in the touring ensembles of Michael Crawford, Barbra Streisand, and Russell Watson; and at the Cincinnati May Festival and Amherst Early Music Festival. He has performed in ensembles with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and with the Philadelphia Singers Chorale (at the Philadelphia Academy of Music). Dr. Plant’s presentations on African-American spirituals have been featured in state, regional, and international conferences, and his articles have appeared in the Journal of Singing(National Association of Teachers of Singing) and in the magazine Classical Singer. His conducting, Renaissance harp playing, and solo and choral singing are featured on the CD Magdalene and the Other Mary: Songs of Holy Women (Church Publishing, 2005). During a concert tour of Ukraine, Plant performed African-American spirituals at conservatories in Kharkiv, Poltava, and Sumy. email
Martin Porter (BME ’74) is the founding and current director of the Toledo (Ohio) School for the Arts. He earned a master’s degree in trumpet performance at Bowling Green State University. Before opening the Toledo School for the Arts in 1999, he was director of public events for the BGSU College of Musical Arts and, later, executive director of the Lima Area Arts Council. An active performer with the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Jazz orchestras, he has appeared with many noted artists as a freelance musician. He also has served on the boards of several area arts organizations, including the Toledo Jazz Society and Toledo Ballet Association.
Susan Potter Phillips (BME ’77) began her preparation for working in the field of music therapy began when she was still in college: She worked at Lutheran Memorial Camp (Fulton, Ohio), which included special-needs children in a regular camping program and later she encountered students in special education while doing student teaching. After two years teaching elementary music in Millersburg, Ohio, Sue went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas. (She followed Sally Smith Hough, BM ’78, who went there immediately after she graduated from Wittenberg, also to study music therapy. Melissa Sharp Moon, BME ’79, also attended SMU.) Sue completed a master of music therapy degree at SMU in 1985. (She took off a few years to get married and begin a family before writing her thesis.) Sue has worked as a music therapist in public schools, private practice, and private and public hospitals in the mental health field. She is currently working full time at San Antonio State Hospital, providing music therapy in group and individual sessions to adolescents and adults in both short-term and long-term care. Sue has also been involved in a multi-site research study for several years, with adolescents and young adults who have cancer and are undergoing stem cell transplants. “Both music and non-music interventions are used in a treatment protocol. It’s a study that is based at Indiana University; Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio is one of six study locations across the country. This latter work is something that kind of fell into my lap several years ago: I was in the right place at the right time to become involved with it and it’s been a really neat experience, to be part of a research study that’s funded by both the National Institute of Health and the Children’s Oncology Group.” Sue directs a five-octave handbell ensemble at Windcrest United Methodist Church, in San Antonio, Texas, where her husband is senior pastor. email
Jane Powell Moheyer (BME ’70) teaches music at McBroom Jr. High School and St. Marys Memorial High School, both in St. Marys, Ohio.
Joanna Pretz-Anderson (BM ’77) is Director of Music (Associate in Ministry in the ELCA) at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Brecksville, Ohio, where she oversaw the 2011 installation of a 1973 Schlicker pipe organ with 21 ranks. She earned a master’s degree in church music from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 2000. Joanna is an active member of Northeastern Ohio Synod ELCA, Choristers Guild, and the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. She lives in Strongsville, Ohio with her husband, Pastor David P. Anderson (M.Div., Hamma, ’77) who serves as pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Medina, Ohio. Their two daughters live in the Cleveland area. email
Robin Rausch (BM ’78) is a Music Specialist at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. A piano major at Wittenberg, she went on to earn graduate degrees in music history (Bowling Green State University, Ohio) and library science (University of Maryland, College Park). She is a contributing author to A Place for the Arts: the MacDowell Colony 1907-2007 (2007); American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States (2001); and Music History from Primary Sources: A Guide to the Moldenhauer Archives(2000). From 2001 to 2002 she was a fellow in the Library of Congress Leadership Development Program. She served as Assistant Music Librarian of the Edinburgh City Library in Scotland during a one-year job exchange from 1996-1997. While living in Edinburgh she sang with both the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. Robin has sung with the Choral Arts Society of Washington since 1991. email
Sherrill Renick Carr (BA in Music ’71) is organist and program director at Trinity-Sarasota United Methodist Church in Sarasota, Florida.
Timothy Reynolds (BME ’79) is Artistic Director of the Hilton Head Choral Society in South Carolina. email
Steve Rich (BM ’77) received a master’s degree in music education in 1984 at the University of South Carolina. He is an active clarinetist and saxophonist, and he performs in many styles, including classical, pop, Dixieland, modern jazz, and big band. Steve has performed across much of the Midwest and Canada with the Buddy Young Orchestra and he has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, the Port Royal Sound Dixieland Jazz Band, Cheryl at Cheryl’s Le Cabaret, Terry Grant (“All That Jazz”), Fred Nimmer’s Swingtime Orchestra, the John Fox Orchestra, the John Bell Orchestra, and many other groups.
Sue Robinson Schneider (BME ’77) recently retired after 32 years teaching music in public schools. Sue started her career in Springfield (Ohio) Local following graduation from Wittenberg. After 2 years she moved back to her hometown of Rochester, New York where she received a masters in education from Nazareth College and taught for 30 years in Greece Central School District. Sue has taught all levels, K-12, both vocal and instrumental. Her final years of teaching were at the secondary level, where she conducted the symphonic and concert bands, jazz ensemble, and pit orchestra for musicals, and taught music theory. In 2012 Sue was the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Educator Award Winner in instrumental music. In the past Sue has directed her church choir and served as pianist/director for the worship team. Following retirement, she and her husband Steve relocated to Ephrata, Pa. to be near their children and grandchildren. email
Debra Sasse Jones (BM ’77, MSM ’79) is responsible for all worship and musical programs at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Cincinnati. She has Orff level I and II certification from Bowling Green State University. email
Robert Schultz (BME ’76) is superintendent of Tipton Community Schools in Tipton, Indiana
Rae Ann Sitler Anderson (BM ’79) directs the children’s choir at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Lynn Sloan Steger (BME ’77) teaches music at Frontier Central School in Hamburg, New York.
Sally Smith Hough (BM ’78) is president of Kindermusik in Columbus, Ohio. email
Karen Snyder Brown (BM ’71) is director of music ministries at First Lutheran Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. She pursued further training in music in Berlin, Germany, and received a MSM degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. email
Sue Stancu (BM ’72) is music librarian at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. email
Michael Sutcliffe (BME ’72) is principal at Peter Cooper Elementary School in Ringwood, New Jersey. email
Dianne Tingen Silliman (BA in Music ’74) teaches piano in her home, in Upper Arlington, Ohio. email
Dale and Twila Rider (MSM ’73) were, to their knowledge, Wittenberg’s only husband-wife master of sacred music graduates during the program’s existence. Dale initially pursued study at Wittenberg for coaching in composition with Prof. Jan Bender. Dale and Twila Rider were assigned housing as backdoor neighbors of Jan and Charlotte Bender and enjoyed teasing “The Professor” after getting him to admit to what they saw him do several mornings in the fall: Jan picked up and counted 1,000 beautiful fall leaves (all before breakfast) and then completed his morning routine of composing a minimum of 10 measures of music before taking a jaunt to the School of Music for lessons or classes. Dale served Dr. Frederick Jackisch as Graduate Teaching Assistant and was Chapel Organist from 1971 to 1973. Both Dale and Twila studied with Prof. John Williams (choral conducting) and with Dr. William Walters and Elmer Blackmer (graduate research and numerous courses on church music). And they greatly enjoyed studying voice with the ever-popular Aurora Smith (who, because of her education at Union Theological Seminary, brought her students into the teacher-student lineage of Dr. Clarence Dickinson, whom she served as graduate teaching assistant in New York City).
The Riders share many fond memories of very special Witt faculty, students, and events. Dale cherishes the memory of being asked to work with and accompany vocal music chair Dr. Orcenith Smith in two off-campus concerts and being mentored in music publishing by Rev. Dr. Frederick and Georgia Otto at Chantry Music Press. This association led to the Riders’ apprenticeship at Henniger Music Engraving Studio in Wiesbaden, West Germany (during the summer of 1974) and the establishment of Rider Music Graphics and White Harvest Music Publications. Subsequent engraving work included projects for Augsburg-Fortress, Chantry, Concordia, Broude Brothers, White Harvest, and Herald House (publishing division of the RLDS/Community of Christ denomination for which they engraved the 1981 volume Hymns of the Saints). Both Dale and Twila have combined work for schools and universities with church music posts (as organists and choir directors with combined positions in ELCA, Episcopal, American Baptist, Disciple of Christ and RLDS churches). For many years, the Riders were members of the Board of Directors of the Independence Concert Series which hosted Prof. Trudy Faber in a wonderfully performed concert of harpsichord and organ music at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, Missouri. Dale and Twila have served as volunteer staff organists for more than twenty years at RLDS/Community of Christ world headquarters, presenting half-hour demo organ recitals and playing for worship services at The Temple and The Auditorium (The auditorium’s 5,800-seat Conference Chamber is home to the 114-rank Æolian-Skinner pipe organ installed in 1959, which was the voice for 37 consecutive years of the radio broadcast “The Auditorium Organ.”) The Riders have two daughters, both of whom love and make music: Anna Elizabeth (very active in musical theater and ballet) and Tiffany Noel (a publication design specialist). email Dale, email Twila
Constance Rhyne-Bray (BM ’74) earned a masters in music at Florida State University. She is Instructor of Music and Director of Opera Theatre at Queens University of Charlotte (North Carolina). email
Caroline Sargent (BM ’72), a soprano, continued her vocal and dramatic studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She has been a singing member and soloist of Schola Cantorum on Hudson, a highly acclaimed choral ensemble in the New York metropolitan area. In addition, she served as a member of Schola Cantorum’s board of directors for many years, leading its development efforts and serving most recently as its Vice Chair. This 35-member ensemble toured Austria and the Czech Republic in August 2008, performing the European premiere of American composer Randall Svane’s Mass at Salzburg Cathedral in Austria. Now in its 14th season, the group performs regularly at the Actors’ Chapel in mid-town Manhattan and at venues throughout New Jersey. Schola performed Video Games Live! with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in December 2008 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Carol Sargent also sings in the Schola Sings Solo annual series. An active church musician, Carol sings with the choir of First Presbyterian Church (Ramsey, New Jersey) and, for many years, has sung as a section leader, soloist, and substitute for Episcopal and Catholic churches in New Jersey and New York. A student of Dr. Deborah Simpkin King, Carol won first place in the Upper Adult Division of the 2002 New Jersey Festival of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is Director of Advancement at Far Brook School (Short Hills, New Jersey) and has worked as a fundraising consultant with Ruotolo Associates, a major U.S. firm devoted to fundraising and public relations for nonprofit organizations. email
Jane Scharding Smedley (MSM ’76) has been Organist-Choirmaster since 1980 at St. Peter Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic church in Memphis, Tennessee. The church has a 1923 Casavant pipe organ with four manuals and 34 ranks, as well as a four-rank portative chapel organ. A former dean of the Memphis chapter of AGO (American Guild of Organists), Jane now serves as the chapter’s Placement Coordinator and chair of the Scholarship Committee. She holds the CAGO (Colleague) and ChM (Choir Master) certificates from AGO. In 1992, Jane was named Member of the Year by the Director of Music Ministries Division of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, the organization for musicians serving in the Catholic Church. Jane is married to Dr. Bruce Smedley, a musicologist and choral conductor. Both serve on the Board of Directors of the Sewanee Church Music Conference. email
John F. Schuder (BM ’70) received a master of sacred music degree at Union Theological Seminary in 1972 and a D.M.A. at the Juilliard School in 1978. He has served as Minister of Music of the Scarsdale Congregational Church since 1972 and he also serves as Director of Music of The Interchurch Center in New York City, where he administers a Wednesday Noonday Concert Series, directs the Interchurch Center Chorus, and plays for major services. In addition, he is organist at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, also in New York City. From 1982 to 1997, Schuder was on the organ faculty of the Manhattan School of Music. email
Jane Seaman (BA in Music ’72) received a professional diploma in voice and opera at the Juilliard School. She teaches voice in the Theatre Arts Department at Marymount Manhattan College. In fall 2006, she taught in the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Dance at Queens College, teaching their Musical Theatre Workshop and she has taught at LaGuardia High School as director of Opera Workshop. Jane has taught for the Collaborative Arts Project 21 in Manhattan, at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, for the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s “Creating Original Opera” program, and she continues to teach private vocal technique at Jane Seaman’s International Voice Studio. Michael Feingold (in The Village Voice) wrote, “The best performance [in Street Scene] is by Jane Seaman, as the frustrated heroine: Here is a performer whose singing is never an excuse to stop acting for a moment, and whose acting is never a cover for musical inferiority.” Jane is a member of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association, Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and United Federation of Teachers. email
Karie Schroer Templeton (BME ’76) earned a masters in music at Ithaca College and has done additional graduate study at the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester). She is instructor for middle school choral and musical theater programs at Pittsford Middle School, choral instructor for Music Horizons, and teaches at the Eastman Community Music School. Karie has been active with the Eastman Children’s Chorus, Eastman Youth Chamber Singers, and Eastman Children’s Choir Camp. email
Mary Sherburne (BM ’70) has studied in Germany with Wilhelm Ehmann and took the exam for church music and performed her organ graduate recital at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. From 1976 until 1980 she was cantor in the Bayenthal district of Cologne. Since 1980 she has held this position at the Erlöserkirche in Lüdenscheid. Since 1981 she has been district cantor for the Lüdenscheid church district and since 2000 she has been district cantor for the Lüdenscheid-Plettenberg district. In addition, Mary is employed as a choir music consultant for the regional churches of Westphalia, the Rhineland, and Hannover, as well as the Internationaler Arbeitskreis für Musik. As a conductor, she has performed with the Hilliard Ensemble, the German Bach Soloists, Hans-Peter Blochwitz, Andreas Schmidt, and Klaus Mertens, among others.
Kathleen Siegfried Yenter (BM ’73) teaches voice at her own music studio in La Mesa, California.
Linda Siegfried McClarren (MSM ’71) received a BME from Mt. Union, Alliance, Ohio. She retired after 35 years as an elementary music teacher at West Branch School in Beloit, Ohio. She is organist and director of music at Kountz Memorial Lutheran Church in Louisville, Ohio. email
James (Jamie) Snell (BME ’79) holds master’s degrees in both music and in music education and has done post-graduate work in arts management and arts education. Jamie joined the faculty of Orange City Schools in Pepper Pike, Ohio in 1984 and has served as department chair since 1987. As director of choirs, he leads seven choirs at Brady Middle School and Orange High School. Under his direction, choral groups from Orange have been invited to perform at numerous locations and events throughout Ohio. In addition to many local performances, Orange choirs have performed in Chicago (Daley Center and DePaul University) New York City (Lincoln Center), Virginia (Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens), Florida (Walt Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and Universal Studios), and in the Bahamas (Princess Hotels). Jamie is also the director of the Chancel Choir at Garfield Memorial United Methodist Church. As introits, anthems, and solos, Jamie’s original compositions and choral arrangements are staples at the services of Garfield. A performing musician for more than thirty-five years, Jamie Snell has sung with many choral groups across the United States and Europe, most notably Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Robert Shaw in the Carnegie Hall Masters Series, and Robert Page and Robert Porco with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. He was selected as one of the 100 singers from across the country to sing in a choir created to perform at Carnegie Hall to kick off the Hall’s centennial celebration. Jamie is listed in Who’s Who of America and Who’s Who of American Teachers. Locally, Jamie has won recognition from area news agencies and service organizations. He is married to Nancy Hudson Snell (BM ’80). email
Philip Spencer (BM ’75) is a professor in the fine arts department of Joliet Junior College (Illinois), where he is conductor of the JJC Chorale and director of choral and vocal music. He teaches world music, beginning voice class, applied voice, and applied jazz piano. Prior to JJC, Spencer was chair of the music department at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa, and a full-time church musician in several Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois congregations. Spencer earned a master’s degree in music at Yale University, has completed an academic year of music study in Berlin, Germany, and has done doctoral work in choral conducting and pedagogy at the University of Iowa. He has composed works for many of his choirs and his music has been published by Augsburg Fortress and Choristers Guild. As an active conductor, organist, and educator, Spencer has regularly appeared as guest artist and workshop leader. He is active in the American Choral Directors Association and serves on the Illinois ACDA Board of Directors as South Suburban District Chair. email
Peter Steinmetz (BA in Music ’76) has been choir director at Stratford High School in Houston, Texas, since the mid 1990’s. Members of the choir recently performed on the World War II battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, presenting a patriotic program. Steinmetz earned a Texas Teaching Certificate at the University of Houston and a master’s degree (applied voice) at Michigan State University.
Ruth Heidmann Stoltzfus (BM ’71) is Program Coordinator at the School of Music of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned a masters in music at the University of Iowa and did post-graduate work at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik (in Detmold, Germany) and at Yale University. email
Royce Stroup Hubert (BM ’74, MSM ’75) studied organ with Elmer Blackmer and Frederick Jackish, composition with Jan Bender, and harpsichord with Trudy Faber while at Wittenberg. She also attended the Kirchenmusicschule in Spandau, Berlin her junior year, studying organ with Karl Hochreiter and composition and liturgical organ playing with Heinz Werner and Renate Zimmermann. Later studies include composition with Richard Hillert at Concordia, River Forest, Illinois where she won the Richard Hillert composition award in 1992. Her “Two Rainstick Pieces” is published by Choristers Guild. Royce served St. Timothy Lutheran in Naperville, Illinois as director of music from 1995 to 2001. Since moving to central Illinois with her pastor husband Timothy, she has served as choir director and organist at several parishes in the area, as well as for festival worship services in the Central/Southern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has been on synodical worship committees. Royce maintains a piano studio and serves as organist at St. John Lutheran Church in Springfield, Illinois. email
Janet L. Sturman (BM ’78) is an associate professor in the School of Music and Dance at the University of Arizona and sits on the Board of Directors of the Society for Ethnomusicology. She earned a master’s degree at Hunter College in 1980 and a Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1987. At the University of Arizona, Janet coordinates the honors program for the School of Music, serves as culture track advisor for the International Studies degree, and teaches courses in ethnomusicology, musicology, and general studies. She is the author of Zarzuela: Spanish Operetta, American Stage, published by the University of Illinois Press in 2000. Her other publications and research focus on Latin America and the traditions of the southwest U.S., addressing the relationship between musical performance and ethnic identity, as well as the impact of technology and transnational economies. As a recent consultant and visiting professor at the University of Costa Rica, School of Musical Arts, she has begun studying the role of music performance and scholarship in economic development in Central America. email
Jordan Tang (MSM ’71) earned a master’s degree in composition at Cleveland Institute of Music in 1973, and a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Utah in 1979. He taught for several years on the faculty of Missouri State University (Springfield, Missouri), teaching theory and composition and conducting. Next, he was conductor of the Charlotte Pops Orchestra and Music Director Youth Symphony of the Carolinas. Jordan is now Music Director of the Jackson Symphony (Tennessee) and the Music Director Paducah Symphony (Kentucky). He has also made conducting appearances with the Nashville and Memphis Symphonies and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, including recording his own Symphony No. 3.
Hannah (Taylor) Jedeed Krening (BM ’76) teaches piano in Larkspur, Colorado.
Robert C. Thomas (BM ’76) has been living in Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany since 2008, where he has been teaching English as a foreign language for Bertelsmann Media and for Miele Cie, while making contacts in the extensive German musical theater scene as a choreographer. Before moving to Europe, Bob lived in Boston, where he was very active as a dancer, musician, story teller, and jokester. His hundreds of performances drew crowds and adulation: “An appealing storyteller whose dancing recalls Steve Martin” (Orlando Sentinel). “A marvelous dancer and mime, he is also a brilliant storyteller” (Vue Magazine, Canada). “Bob E. Thomas finds a warmly entertaining off-the-wall energy somewhere between Mr. Rogers and Robin Williams” (Edmonton Journal, Canada). “He takes his audience to a place that is so honest and true only someone with a heart of stone couldn’t be moved” (See Magazine, Canada). With an original show of American dance and comedy, Bob was a featured performer in pops concerts with the Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and New Mexico Symphony. He performed with the Boston Pops (a July 4th concert attended by 325,000 people and broadcast live on national television) and danced with the Artie Shaw Orchestra on their Asian Tour. In recent years Bob worked in musical theater, doing the choreography for Anything Goes (Boston College) and On Your Toes (Dean College, Franklin, Massachusetts). As a choreographer and dancer, he collaborated on Clara’s Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker (original music based on Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite), touring annually throughout New England and New York City from 2001 to 2006. As a teacher, Bob taught advanced tap and vernacular American dance at Dean College and, prior to that, at Roger Williams University (Bristol, Rhode Island). He was a featured teacher and performer at the Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Percussive Dance Festival and the accompanying Sound of Movement concerts for a decade and presented lectures and masterclasses at the American College Dance Festival, Kennedy Center Theater Festival, Boston University, University of New Hampshire, and Harvard University. Bob earned an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction at Goucher College in 2006. His final project focused on a particular summer in the 1970s when, at age 18, he played tuba in (and traveled with) the Hoxie Brothers Circus. He is currently doing a re-write of the book before sending it to two interested literary agencies. email
Michele Tomaski Pfrogner (BME ’79) teaches at Wayne High School, part of the Huber Heights (Ohio) City Schools. email
Thomas Pfrogner (BME ’79) is choral director at Brookville Intermediate School in Brookville, Ohio. email
Sue Vandlik Fox (BA in Music ’75) is director of music at Messiah Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. email
Lynne Walters (BME ’75) teaches vocal music at Howland Springs Primary School in Warren, Ohio.
Karen S. Weaver (BM ’79) has been active in the Cleveland music community for more than 25 years as a singer, choral conductor, and private voice instructor. She holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from Cleveland State University. In addition to being the founding director of the vocal ensemble Good Company, Karen is the artistic director of Windsong, Cleveland’s feminist chorus, and has served as director of the Cleveland Messiah Chorus and has performed as soloist with the Bach and Handel and Choral Arts Societies of Cleveland. She has sung with numerous church, synagogue, and community choruses, including the Fairmount Temple Choir, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, the Old Stone Singers, and the Robert Page Festival Chorus. Karen has held posts as director of music at several area churches. She is the director of the Chancel Choir at Lakewood Presbyterian Church and she maintains a private voice studio in her home.
Wayne L. Wold (MSM ’79) is an associate professor at Hood College (Frederick, Maryland), where he has been teaching music theory, composition, organ, and harpsichord since 1990. He is active as a church musician, composer, author, performer, and clinician. Wayne serves as Director of Chapel Music at Camp David, the presidential retreat, and has over 200 compositions published by fourteen different companies in the U.S. and Australia. These compositions include 20 volumes of works for organ, 30 choir anthems, a children’s musical, a recorder suite, and several hymn tunes. Wold is also a published poet, and many of his hymn and anthem texts are in print and widely used. He performs on organ and harpsichord as a soloist and in ensembles, and he leads several hymn festivals each year. He has performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center and with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and in several churches in Germany, Austria, and France. He has served as a clinician for the Choristers Guild, the American Guild of Organists, the Hymn Society, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, and numerous publishing companies. He has been president of Region One of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (for four years), has been on the editorial committee of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and is past dean of the Central Maryland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Wayne holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College (Moorhead Minn.), an M.S.M. degree from Wittenberg, and a D.M.A. from Shenandoah University (Winchester, Va.). He is the author of two books, Tune My Heart to Sing: Devotions for Choirs Based on the Revised Common Lectionary and Preaching to the Choir: The Care and Nurture of the Church Choir, both published by Augsburg Fortress.
Georgia Woolrich Dalton (BME ’70) teaches music at Lincoln School, part of the South Haven (Michigan) school district. email
Pamela Yarnell (MSM ’78) teaches piano as an adjunct instructor at the College of Wooster. Before receiving her MSM degree at Wittenberg, Pamela received a bachelor’s degree in music at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Pamela has served as full-time and part-time organist and choir director at many churches in Michigan and Ohio, and she performs regularly as solo recitalist, chamber musician, and accompanist to collegiate choirs and opera companies. email
Stephen Yenger (BM ’75) is chair of the piano department and coordinator of faculty and guest recitals at the Community Music Center of Boston. He joined the faculty in 1996. Stephen received a master’s degree in piano performance at Boston University, where he studied with Leonard Shure. Stephen is a frequent performer throughout the New England area and is particularly known for his many collaborative ventures with some of the area’s best chamber musicians. He has served as a faculty member for summer music festivals (including a prestigious music camp in Haiti) and is the founder of Chamber Music at Corrymore House, a summer music festival on the island of Achill in Ireland. Stephen collaborated with Intermezzo (The New England Chamber Opera Series) for a production of Menotti’s The Telephone and he served as music director for Intermezzo’s productions of Menotti’s The Medium, Dominick Argento’s The Boor, Seymour Barab’s A Game of Chance, and Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, and Lee Hoiby’s The Scarf. email
Mary-Jo Yunaska Bedsworth (BME ’73) teaches at Lake Shore Elementary School in Pasadena, Maryland, and is music director at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park, Maryland.
Donna Zierdt Elkin (MSM ’72) is a music teacher at Salladasburg Elementary School and Jersey Shore Elementary, both in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, and she is Synod Cantor of the Upper Susquehanna Synod. Donna earned her bachelor’s degree at Susquehanna University (Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania). She is married to fellow Witt music alum Kenneth Elkin (MSM ’73).
Judith Adams Rauch (BME ’68) teaches music in the Lakewood, Ohio school district.
Shelley Anderson (BS in Music ’66) teaches elementary music in the South Bend Community Schools in Indiana. email
Emily Ballentine Gates (BS in Music Education’60) retired from full-time music teaching in the Novato Unified School District, California, where she taught music for 30 years, at San Marin High School (and still teaches jazz choir and musical theatre as a volunteer). Emily has been honored as Teacher of the Year for Marin County and was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame. She has served in several capacities for the California All-State Honor Choirs and still hosts jazz festivals for California Music Educators. Four years ago she became a founder and producer of Marin Summer Theatre, a summer program for students ages 13–23 that produces three full shows in six weeks each summer. She also leads a women’s vocal group called Mondays@6. Emily writes, “This plus my four children, their spouses and 14 grandchildren keep me busy.” email
Douglas J. Bower (BM in Sacred Music ’69) studied organ with Fredrick Jackisch at Wittenberg and participated in the junior year abroad program at the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule in West Berlin, Germany, where he studied organ with Karl Hochreither. Doug received a master’s degree in organ performance in 1980 from Kent State University, where he studied organ with John Ferguson and Larry Smith. He has recorded an album of Christmas music with the Jackson High School Choral Department in Massillon, Ohio for Delta Records (Chicago). Doug is Director of Music at Zion Lutheran Church in Canton, Ohio, where, in addition to playing the pipe organ, he directs vocal and handbell choirs. He performs as a member of Harmony Ringers of Ohio—Stark County’s auditioned handbell choir. Doug recently retired from his full-time job as Manager and Technical Director for the Jackson Center for the Performing Arts in Massillon, Ohio, where he was responsible for lighting, sound, rigging, and set construction for the stage, as well as training the student stage crew. He has been involved in over thirty musical theatre productions. Doug started a bicycle touring club in 1998 called Folks On Spokes and enjoys long-distance cycling averaging 3,500 miles each summer. email
Kenneth Brenneman (BS in Music ’64) teaches music at Hilliard High School in Hilliard, Ohio. email
Kenneth Davis (BS in Music ’67) operates Davis Piano Service in Springfield, Ohio, as both tuner and technician. email
Patricia J. Deihl (BS in Music Education ’61), a retired music teacher, directs a community choir that sings in churches and nursing homes, as well as a festival choir that has toured the United States and Europe. email
Donna Dixon Ervin (BM ’69) is organist and minister of music at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Annapolis, Maryland. email
Jere Flint (BM ’65), a cellist, has been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for more than three decades. He is a frequent conductor of the Symphony, leading the orchestra’s popular Family Concerts and its Symphony Street concerts for youngsters, and regularly conducting on the outdoor Classic Chastain pops series. As Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he holds the Zeist Foundation Chair, Flint directs weekly ASYO rehearsals and three major concerts per year, as well as other special concerts throughout the season. At Wittenberg, Jere was assistant director of the Wittenberg Choir. While still a student, he arranged and conducted two Christmas recordings by the choir for Columbia Records. Jere received a masters degree in music in 1967 at the University of Washington in Seattle, while also serving as manager of the University Festival Opera Company and music director for the School of Drama. Mr. Flint has also conducted at the Brevard Music Center, the Sewanee Summer Music Center, and the Southeastern Music Center in Columbus, Georgia. His recordings include a performance by the Atlanta Symphony on the Telarc label.
Margaret Frease Steele (BME ’62) has taught vocal music for many years, first for two years in Springfield and then (after raising two sons), in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, starting in 1978 (while also directing choirs in Cleveland and Detroit). She has sung with semi-professional choirs in Wisconsin and Michigan. Margaret writes, “Perhaps one of my most memorable opportunities was to sing with Robert Shaw in Cleveland as part of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. I sang with the group the two years that Shaw lived in Cleveland and conducted every rehearsal; he personally auditioned all members every year. Each week he gave us notes and comments which pertained to the music we were preparing. The week after one particularly poor rehearsal, his comments were in the shape of a dagger. Those are cherished keepsakes.” Margaret retired in June, 2006, after working in Grosse Pointe for 28 years. Her years included service as elementary music teacher, high school choral director, music department chair, and music supervisor, culminating in the position of fine arts coordinator for the district. Margaret writes (Sept. 2012): “My husband and I just returned from a trip to Europe during which we visited three of the locations where I was in 1961 with the Wittenberg Choir: Regensburg, Wurzburg, and Rothenberg Germany. It was really fun to revisit these spots and looking for the location(s) where the choir performed.” email
John F. Geib (BM ’68) is music director at Epiphany Episcopal Church in south Florida. email
Sarai Grimes-Rader (BM, MSM ’68) is retired after serving as a professional church musician in Springfield (Ohio) churches over forty-two years. She also served as staff accompanist and instructor in the Music Department at Wittenberg. She and her husband, Don, reside in Rogers City, Michigan, where they enjoy sailing their racing yacht, White Cat and cruising the Great Lakes.
Thomas Guthrie (MSM ’69) was chosen as one of 37 organists to play at the 50th anniversary of the Organ Historical Society, in southeastern Massachusetts. Thomas received a bachelor’s degree at Asbury College. He is organist and director of music ministries at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Linda Harman Howard (BM ’69) is orchestra director at James Whitcomb Riley High School in South Bend, Indiana. email
Robert J. Haskins, Jr. (BM ’61) is professor of music at Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio. email
Judith Heiman Behrend (BM ’68) teaches vocal music at Eggert Elementary School in Orchard Park, New York.
David Herman (BM ’66) is Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music and university organist at the University of Delaware, where he served as department chair from 1987 to 2001. After Wittenberg, he earned degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Kansas. He furthered his interest in British music through study in England with the late Lady Jeans. In 2006 he was awarded an Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware arts council to support his study of Jan Bender (his teacher) and Hugo Distler (Jan’s teacher). Herman is the author of The Life and Work of Jan Bender (Chantry Music Press, 1979) and has written numerous articles for professional journals. His compositions and editions have appeared in the catalogues of five American publishers. David has served on the faculties of five American Guild of Organists’ Pipe Organ Encounters (in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington) and he recently made a presentation at the AGO Region III Convention in Washington, entitled “Recruiting and Teaching the New Organist.” He was invited to present “The Organ Works of Samuel Wesley” at the 2004 AGO National Convention in Los Angeles. Herman has been active as a church musician for 40 years. He is also a recitalist, performing regularly in the United States and abroad. He has played twice in Berlin, as well as in Dublin and in eleven cathedrals throughout England and Wales, including recitals in all four of London’s historical foundations: St. Paul’s, Westminster and Southwark Cathedrals, and Westminster Abbey, as well as at the Temple Church., St. Michael’s Cornhill, and the Oxford Town Hall. His recording of organ works by Samuel Wesley at Coventry Cathedral was released in 2003 on the Redcliffe (U.K.) label. David recently received a fellowship from the state arts council to make a recording of music by Bender and Distler. He and Lauri Snyder Herman (BME ’66) have two daughters and are expecting their first grandchild in early 2007. David’s email, Lauri’s email
Donald Hinkle (MSM ’68) founded the Berks Classical Children’s Chorus in 1992 and served as Music Director until the spring of 2000. He was then named Artistic Director, and served in this capacity until his retirement in 2005. Donald holds a bachelor of music degree in organ from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He did post-graduate work at Union Theological Seminary School of Music (New York) and Westminster Choir College (New Jersey). In 1996, Hinkle retired as Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church (Reading, Pa.), after nearly 30 years in that position. He currently maintains a voice coaching studio in his home, specializing in boys’ changing voices. In addition, he is organist at Reformation Lutheran Church and is vocal director for the Governor Mifflin High School musicals. email
Larry Houff (BM in Church Music ’66) was an organ student of Elmer Blackmer and Fred Jackisch at Wittenberg. He retired in September of 2006 after a year as interim Village Pastor at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state. Houff received a M.Div. from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in Ontario and a D.Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He served as Assistant/Associate Pastor and Director of Music and Youth Work at First Lutheran, Springfield, Ohio (1972-1979) and Augsburg Lutheran Church, Toledo (1979-1981) before becoming Associate Pastor to the University at Wittenberg, where he served from 1981 to 1997. While at Wittenberg, Houff directed the Schola Cantorum and developed the annual German Language Christmas Service, the Ascension Jazz Service, the Medieval Candlelight Candlemas Service, and other special services and events related to the chapel. After leaving Wittenberg, he served as Pastor of Martin Luther Lutheran Church (Canton, Ohio) from 1997-2005, where he had a weekly radio program interviewing religious leaders, authors, politicians, and social agency heads from around the country. Pastor Houff was a member of the Hymn Music Committee of the Inter Lutheran Commission on Worship, which produced the Lutheran Book of Worship in 1978. email
The Rev. S. Cyril Hurnyak (BM ’66) is kantor at First Trinity Lutheran Church in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a master of divinity degree at Wittenberg’s Hamma School of Theology and has been an ordained clergyman of the ELCA for over 40 years. In 1975 he earned a masters of church music at Concordia University of Chicago, concentrating in choral conducting. In 1983 he was a recipient of a Trexler Grant to study church music at the Royal School of Church Music in Croydon, England. He has taught theology and church music as adjunct faculty at Niagara University and Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York, and has pastored congregations in Chicago; Lancaster, New York (as Director of Music and Associate Pastor); Niagara Falls, New York; and Penn Hills, Pennsylvania. Pastor Hurnyak retired from Zion Lutheran, Penn Hills, in 2010. Now in retirement, Cyril has undertaken a more active pursuit providing “Relaxing Music for Fine Dining”—performing at numerous country clubs in western Pennsylvania and composing jazz arrangements. email
Evelyn Iversen (BM ’64) is principal harpist with the Kalamazoo Symphony.
Karl W. Kinard Jr. (MSM, ’65) is an adjunct instructor in music at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. He received his bachelor’s degree at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina. Kinard, a tenor, is Music Director Emeritus at St. John’s Lutheran Church, having retired in 1997. A native of South Carolina, he was founding director of the Concert Choir of Salisbury, and he has served churches and colleges in Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, and North Carolina. At Catawba College, Kinard directs the Handbell Ensemble, which is composed of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The group performs for concerts sponsored by the music department as well as services of worship in the college’s Omwake Dearborn Chapel.
Susan Knop Gobien (BME ’68) is organist and director of music at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia.
Barbara Irvine (BM ’68) has had more than 35 years of experience as a music director, pianist, vocal coach, accompanist, arranger, music transcriber, and music transposer. She has been involved in more than 125 musical theatre productions in the United States and Europe and has taught courses in audition techniques and musicianship for actors. After graduating from Wittenberg, she did graduate work in music at the University of Texas at Austin. During 15 years in New York City, Barbara worked directly with most many Broadway composers, including Charles Strouse (Annie), Cy Coleman (The Will Rogers Follies), David Shire (Baby), Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks), Galt MacDermot (HAIR), Robert Waldman (The Robber Bridegroom), Mary Rodgers (Once Upon A Mattress), and John Kander (Chicago). In addition, she has worked with such stars as Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Patrick Cassidy, Dave Willetts, and Julie Wilson, and has done music preparation work for Yoko Ono, Warner Brothers Publications, Sony recordings, and many others. In 1998 Barbara founded The Other Side of Broadway, a project devoted to the performance of classical music written by theatre composers. Ms. Irvine wrote the introduction and extended commentary for Alfred Music’s 2007 Singer’s Library of Musical Theatre, vol. 1. (Photo: Richard A. Bowe II.) email
Robert J. Johnson (BM ’62) has served several parishes, as pastor and as organist and choir director. He is currently retired, and serving as an interim pastor. And, surprise!, Robert is Fire Chief of Troy Township Fire Department, Wood County, Ohio. email
Eloise Jones Pulsifer (BS in Education ’62, BM ’67) teaches piano independently and is now in her third decade of teaching. Eloise serves students from Xenia, Beavercreek, and other Greene County communities in her home studio. Some of her former students are now in school music teaching positions and church music leadership, while others are working as independent music teachers. Eloise is married to Thomas R. Pulsifer (MSM ’67).
Theresa Keilitz Perry (BM ’65) is president of Hailun Distribution (Lilburn, Georgia), devoted to piano craftsmanship, technology, and performance. email
Susan Knop Gobien (BME ’68) is director of music at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia. email
Lois Lerud Jensen (BA in Music ’69) is the owner of Jensen’s Yamaha Music School in San Antonio, Texas.
Robert M. Lezenby Jr. (BM ’63) is retired from the Peebles-Herzog Organ Company in Columbus, Ohio. He is currently principal organist at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ohio. email
Elizabeth Longo McKinnon (BM ’65) is personnel manager of MusicaNova Orchestra, in Scottsdale, Arizona. She maintains a studio of cello students and is a free-lance cellist in the Phoenix metropolitan area. email
Carl Mathis (MSM ’68) has lived in eastern Canada since graduating from Wittenberg. He taught voice and choral music at Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia), and in 1972 moved to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where he taught voice, choral music, theory, and composition at the University of Prince Edward Island. He retired, as associate professor, in 1997. He has been Precentor of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter (Anglican) since 1972 and has written several pieces for use in their liturgy. In 2001, he formed the Indian River Festival Chorus for the Indian River Festival, held in a lovely historic church in rural Prince Edward Island. Over the years, several performances of the chorus have been broadcast across Canada on the CBC. Mathis conducted Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and The Gondoliers in Charlottetown for ACT (a community theatre) and he has composed and conducted incidental music for their performances of The Mousetrap (2003), and The School for Scandal (2006). In 2010, Mathis and his singers left the Indian River Festival and formed a new chorus, “Coro Dolce,” which has performed in several venues across Prince Edward Island, continuing as a mostly summertime chorus. email
Charles Oldland (BM ’69) is chaplain at Susquehanna Lutheran Village in Millersburg, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Kirchenmusikschule at the Johannestift in what was then West Berlin, Germany. While in Germany, he was a member of the Spandauer Kantorei and the Bach Chor, which sang a Bach cantata every two weeks in downtown Berlin at the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnisskirche. Charles received a M.Div. from Hamma School of Theology at Wittenberg in 1974.
Douglas Perry (BM ’65) is a professional opera/concert singer currently living in New York City. He began his professional singing career as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera, a company with whom he appeared as soloist for twelve seasons. He made his New York City Opera debut in 1971 and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1992. Douglas has performed with the Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro Alla Scalla (Milan), Teatro Real (Madrid), as well as with every major opera company and most regional companies in the United States. He has over 120 diverse roles in his repertoire ranging from Peter Quint in Benjamin Britten’s Turn of The Screw, to Goro in Madama Butterfly. He created the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the word premiere of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha with the Netherlands Opera, and went on to perform it at the Brooklyn Academy, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, and is on the premiere CBS Masterworks recording of the work. He also performed the role of the Analyst in the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place, which was televised throughout Europe and recorded on Deutsche Grammophon. Other recordings include him as featured soloist with the Gregg Smith Singers, the New York Choral Society, Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of Us All, and Philip Glass’s best selling Songs from Liquid Days. Also active in the concert repertoire, he is especially known for his interpretation of the Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s Passions. He has performed with many symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times calls Perry a “masterful tenor.” email
Barbara Pfeifer Hoffman (BM ’69) is director of music at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, California.
Gary Pinter (BM ’65) is organist and choir director at Fairlawn Lutheran Church in Fairlawn, Ohio, near Akron. He came to the church as organist in 1967. He has been serving as both organist and choir director since 2002. Gary earned degrees from the University of Washington (1970) and the University of Akron (2000). email
Janette Printz Snyder (BS in Music Education ’64) recently retired from teaching music at the North Canton City Schools (Ohio). email
Thomas R. Pulsifer (MSM ’67) taught music in the Xenia, Ohio schools for 12 years, and then, for 22 years, worked in marketing, advertising, public relations and association administration. Tom now owns Arts Approach, LLC, a music and entertainment agency serving southwest Ohio that books talent for events hosted by individual and corporate clients. Arts Approach is also a franchised agency of the American Federation of Musicians. Since 1974 Tom has served Faith Lutheran Church of Dayton, presently as organist and director of music. In 1987 he had a major role in planning and overseeing the complete rebuilding and enlarging of the former M.P. Moller pipe organ in Faith’s chancel. Tom is married to Eloise Jones Pulsifer (BS in Education ’62, BM ’67).
Carol Purdy (BME ’66) is retired from the North Merrick, N.Y. school district (where she served as District Orchestra Director and string teacher for 35 years) and from the North Shore Suzuki School (where she taught very young cellists for 17 years). Purdy also spent five years in the Long Beach, N.Y. school district teaching strings and classroom music. She continues to perform as a cellist with the New York Sound Painting Orchestra and the Island Chamber Symphony. Carol teaches private cello students and presents workshops for musicians and music teachers on free-style improvisation. Her hobbies include cross-country skiing, folkdancing, kayaking, hiking, and singing in a German-language chorus. She has many fond memories of her four years at Wittenberg. email
Katherine Reier (BM ’62) is organist and choirmaster at St. Dunstan Episcopal Church in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. email
Judy Ripper Flint (BS in Music ’64) teaches preschool and elementary music at The Walker School in Marietta, Georgia. email
Jack Scandrett (BM ’65) is and associate professor of music at Indiana University, where he has taught since 1980. Jack received a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with John Barrows. Jack played horn in the Indianapolis Symphony and New Jersey Symphony before returning to his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he then continued his studies with Forrest Standley. For the past 30 years he has been a leading freelance performer in the Pittsburgh area, playing everything from pop to grand opera and performing with artists ranging from Rod Stewart and Tom Jones to Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. He has been principal hornist for the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras as well as the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera Orchestra, and the Johnstown, McKeesport, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestras. For 25 years, Jack was a member of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and frequently performed as a soloist for that group, both in Pittsburgh and New York. Jack plays third horn in the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra and recently received a doctorate in education and technology at the University of Pittsburgh. email
Thomas E. Short Jr (BS in Music Education ’66) was the first African-American tubist in the Naval Academy Band, a group in which he performed from 1966 to 1970. Thomas completed a masters in music education at the University of Maryland in 1984. Over the years, he has performed free-lance on the tuba, performed acoustic bass and electric bass in many Bradway shows (including Annie, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and Cabaret), performed in the Washington National Symphony and Baltimore Symphony, performed on the Today Show with Lionel Hampton, and toured with the late Pearl Bailey and her husband Louis Bellson on tour. Thomas retired after teaching for 30 years in the D.C. public school system. He has taught for more than a decade in Prince George County public schools. Mr. Short serves as department chair and as director of band, orchestra, and handbell choir at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland. Thomas writes of his “debt to the foundational learning acquired at Wittenberg University.” email
Randall S. Simon (BSM ’68) earned a master’s degree in choral conducting at Eastern Michigan University and then had a short career in sacred music in the New York – New Jersey area before going into real estate. Since 1998 he has owned and operated The Wilton Plaza (a retail/office center) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As of 2012, he and his partner, Norris Miller, have been together over 39 years. Randall writes, “We are also approaching the 30-cruise level, including going around South America and The Antarctic in 2010, with visits to the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, and Ankor Wat, as well as extensive tours of Thailand and Europe.” email
Stanley Sneeringer, Jr. (BM ’68) is senior pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. email
Jeannine Smith Stephan (BME ’68) teaches music at Fawcett Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington.
Yoke Lan Tan Machen (BM ’62) teaches piano and organ in Doncaster East, Australia, near Melbourne. She earned a masters in music at Monash University.
Terry Marc Theis (BM ’67) retired from teaching music in Omaha, Nebraska after 34 years of service. Currently, Terry is director of music for Saint Luke United Methodist Church and director of the Tangier Shrine Men’s Chorus. email
Linda Waltonen Sneeringer (BM ’68) is principal at Harrison Hill Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. email
Miriam Weber Brown (BME ’68) studied piano at Wittenberg with Robert Wynne and later studied harp with Jean Harriman at Ohio State. She earned a masters in counseling at the University of Dayton in 1986. Incorporating Kodály, Orff, and Dalcroze techniques, she has taught elementary music in the public schools of London City (three years), Gahanna (25 years), and most recently Columbus (five years). An article in the February 1994 issue of Airfare (WOSU’s monthly magazine) features Miriam, with a description of her exemplary teaching project, whose mission is to foster music appreciation in children and their families: Third and fourth graders were assigned to “Make Time for Music” during dinner one evening by playing a recording of classical music and then to report the reactions of family members. As a professional harpist, Miriam regularly performs for weddings, fundraisers, corporate events, and private parties in the greater Columbus area. Her long-term engagements have included Franklin Park Conservatory Candlelight Tours, Sunday Brunches at the Hyatt Regency (five years), and FiftyFive at Crosswoods (eight years). She also performs in a flute-harp duo. As a member of the Ohio Music Teachers Association Central East District, Miriam is the “Out & About” chairperson for 2014-16, a program which offers public-service performance opportunities for a student who has performance-ready music and is recommended by a teacher. Miriam teaches piano at Central College Christian Academy in Westerville, Ohio and her students often enter National Guild of Piano Teachers auditions as well as Ohio Music Teachers Association’s Scale Olympics. Miriam was married for 20 years to Bill Brown (Realtor for RE/Max Affiliates), who passed away in 2011. Miriam writes: “I am proud to be a graduate of Wittenberg University and I appreciate its impact and uniqueness more and more as each year goes by.” email
Kitty Woods O’Donnell (BA in Music ’68) is choral director at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Johanna Yount Baldwin (BM ’68) teaches piano at the James C. Harper School of Performing Arts in Lenoir, North Carolina. She earned a master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Wisconson. Before the Harper School, Johanna taught at Beloit College (Wisconsin) and at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee. email
Grace Adolphsen Brame (BM ’51) served for 15 years as minister of music and later director of music at two churches. At Trinity Lutheran, in Madison, Wisconsin, she founded four choirs and was youth director and counselor for three age groups: junior high, high school, and young adult. Grace began her concert and opera career singing Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Madison (Wisconsin) Symphony. She sang comprimario roles with Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, Renata Tebaldi, Gabriel Banquier, and others and later she sang major roles in Carmen, Aida, Il Trovatore, I Am the Way (Jerome Hines), and Amahl and the Night Visitors. Jerome Hines chose Grace to represent his four musical friends as the mezzo-soprano in his presentation Jerome Hines and Friends. In later years, Grace began a career as retreat leader, something that has filled much of the past 40 years and has taken her across the United States, Tanzania, and the Caribbean. Grace has written books and journal articles, has contributed chapters and poems to books, and she discovered, edited, and introduced four of Evelyn Underhill’s five missing retreats, which she found in archives in King‘s College, London, housed under lock and key with Britain‘s military archives. Dr. Brame earned a Ph.D. in religion at Temple University. She has taught theology, spirituality and mysticism, and comparative religion in Philadelphia, at Villanova University and at La Salle University. email
Harold (Hap) Ashenfelter (BM ’51), a charter member of the International Double Reed Society, is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Dayton Jazz Orchestra.
John Chowning (BM, ’59) has had an illustrious career in sound technology. Described by the New York Times (Dec. 3, 2006) as “a pioneer in computer music,” he is widely credited with bringing music into the modern computer age. Dr. Chowning is Osgood Hooker Professor of Fine Arts emeritus at the School of Humanities and Sciences of Stanford University. After earning a bachelor of music degree at Wittenberg, he studied composition for three years in Paris with Nadia Boulanger before completing a master’s degree and D.M.A. at Stanford, where he studied with Leland Smith. In 1964, with the help of Max Mathews of Bell Laboratories and David Poole of Stanford, he set up a computer music program using the computer system at Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the first implementation of an online computer music system. In 1967, he discovered the frequency modulation (FM) algorithm in which both the carrier frequency and the modulating frequency are within the audio band. This breakthrough in the synthesis of timbres allowed a very simple, yet elegant, way of creating and controlling time-varying spectra. Over the next six years he worked toward turning this discovery into a system of musical importance. In 1973, he and Stanford University began a relationship with Yamaha in Japan which led to the most successful synthesizer series in the history of electronic musical instruments.
For over thirty years Dr. Chowning taught computer-sound synthesis and composition at Stanford University’s Department of Music and he was founder and director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), one of the leading centers for computer music and related research in the world. He has received numerous grants and awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the diplôme d’officier en l’ordre des arts et lettres of the French Ministre de la culture, and from Wittenberg he received the Canticum Novum Award and the honorary degree doctor of music. He is universally hailed as one of the fathers of digital music. According to The Oxford Companion to Music (2002), Chowning’s compositions “are among the most beautiful and sophisticated achievements in computer music.” Most recently, Dr. Chowning has been a generous benefactor to Wittenberg’s Music Department, helping to endow a state-of-the-art Music Technology Laboratory, which is named in his honor. email
Kay Feldkircher Henkel (BM ’43) writes of her days studying music at Wittenberg: “My experience and time spent at this marvelous school has always been one of the highlights of my life.” Kay has served as public school music teacher, soloist in outstanding choirs (in New York City, Canada, and England), and as church choir director and organist. She and her husband moved to Stayton, Oregon in 1978, where they worked to establish and build a community choir. This choir, now called “Festival Chorale Oregon,” has over 100 members and has performed in Carnegie Hall five times. Now in her 90’s, Kay entertains other residents on piano, at the assisted living center where she lives in Stayton, Oregon. She retired as organist at her church in 2011 (at the age of 91) and is now working on the memoirs of her rich and interesting life. email
Allan Fetherolf (BS in Music Education ’58) retired from Tecumseh High School in New Carlisle (Ohio) in 1988. He has fond memories of the old houses that formed the Wittenberg School of Music in the early ’50s. Currently he is living in Scottsdale, Arizona, and acting as Musical Director for the Stagebrush Theatre. email
Barbara Goodall Agne (BME ’53) studied with John B. Hamm while at Wittenberg, and she performed in the choir (under then-director John Williams). Barbara has taught in public schools for half a century, first full time and more recently as a substitute teacher (near Versailles, Ohio), and she has been active as a church choir director. Barbara enjoyed attending the 2001 Wittenberg Choral Reunion Concert—in her words, a “memorable, awesome, and exciting event.”
Shirley Hoover Kmet (BS in Music Education ’53) is soprano soloist in the Faith Lutheran Celebration Choir and a charter member of the Grace Notes Handbell Choir, with whom she toured Europe in 1990, playing handbells and singing a solo at each performance. As a member of the St. Cecilia Choral Society for over 15 years, she gave ten recitals and held the offices of secretary, vice president, concert manager, and president. She works with vocal coach Betty Dornan.
Shirley began piano lessons at age 7 and added private voice instruction at age 16. At Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio, she was soloist in the a capella choir and during her senior year sang the lead in the musical Knickerbacher Holiday. After graduation, she and fellow thespians Jack Horner and Marian Mercer formed a musical theatre production in an old barn in Suffield, Ohio, and she sang the lead in the musical Oklahoma. Next, Shirley became a music major at Wittenberg, and was soloist in the choir. After graduation, she returned to Akron, auditioned at the Goodyear Operetta Society, and sang lead in the operetta Chimes of Normandy. Next, she sang a lead part in the Goodyear Musical Theatre production of High Button Shoes. Shirley taught elementary music in Akron, Ohio public schools for 32 years, retiring in 1993, and she sang first soprano in the Akron Symphony Chorus for 43 years, retiring in 2011. Shirley was a member of the Tuesday Musical Association for ten years and held the office of vice president / program chairman.
Robert L. McMillan (BS in Music Education ’57) retired as professor of music education at the University of Dayton (Ohio) and has moved to Marco Island, Florida.
Ruth Mullin (BM ’55) received a master of library science degree at George Peabody College for Teachers (now a part of Vanderbilt University) in 1964. Her first library position was as reference librarian at the Columbus (Ohio) Public Library. In 1966, Ruth relocated to the Newark Public Library and retired in 2003. She has sung alto in church choirs since her high school years and is now a member of the Second Presbyterian Church in Newark and piano accompanist for church services at several assisted-living homes in the area. Ruth is a member of Vintage Voices of Granville, a group of about 70 singers, all over the age of 50. She belongs to the Newark Music and Study Club and is an active member of the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs, where she serves as Adult Composer Contest Chairman and Corresponding Secretary. email
Mary Jo O’Morrow Disler (BM ’58, church music and organ) earned two masters of music degrees from the University of Michigan School of Music, one in music literature and organ (1965) and one in music theory (1991). She has served a variety of denominations as organist and music director. Classical guitar became a prominent second instrument for Mary Jo about 45 years ago and she is a charter member of the Guitar Foundation of America. Guitar classes that she initiated for beginners at the University of Michigan, Dearborn and the former Mercy College of Detroit, became the foundation for her book Guitar QuickStart: A Guide to Playing and Understanding Music Reading and Chord Techniques (published in 1994, by Lyra House Music Publications). Mary Jo concluded classroom teaching after 10 years as adjunct instructor at Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Michigan. She has published sheet music for classic guitar solo, duo, and trio, and a volume of hymn tune arrangements: Hymn Harmonies for Organ: Alternative Verses for Congregational Singing. Recent releases include Beethoven’s Adagio WoO43b (originally for mandolino and cembalo) arranged for classic guitar and organ. At the invitation of a prominent carillonneur in the Detroit area, she is currently arranging guitar and lute music for carillon. email
Richard Osborne (BS in Music Education ’51) has been teaching in the music department at Butler University for over 40 years, where he has also served as Associate Dean and coordinator of graduate studies in music. Dr. Osborne received a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Ohio State. He is married to Barbara Barth Osborne (BM ’51). email
Margaret Rankin Rittenhouse (BM ’49) is retired and lives in Singer Island, Florida. At Wittenberg, she majored in piano and organ. Margaret and her husband Robert J. Rittenhouse (BM, ’50) both earned master’s degrees at Northwestern University, hers in piano performance and his in theory/composition. Next, they devoted the years 1951-1986 to college and university teaching at various institutions. Robert took time out to obtain a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Iowa. Dr. Robert Rittenhouse served as head of music at the Sanford Schools. She taught piano, piano pedagogy and piano literature at Central University of Iowa. In addition, she served as organist at the large Third Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. Moving to the east coast, she taught piano at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton before joining the graduate music faculty at Trenton State College where she taught piano and harpsichord. Margaret was a member of the violin section of the Trenton State orchestra. Margaret and Robert retired in 1986 and moved to Florida. Dr. Robert Rittenhouse died in November of 1997. Margaret’s retirement has included serving on the National Philanthropies Board of Sigma Alpha Iota, the professional music fraternity for women (she was initiated at Wittenberg). She has continued her association with Alpha Xi Delta (a Wittenberg sorority) by serving as president of the Palm Beach Alumnae Association for several years and representing them at national conventions twice. Margaret has frequently performed in the Palm Beach area, has accompanied a highly talented soprano in concert appearances, and is currently preparing to present another musicale. email
Maralyn Alice Spenny Flinner (BS in Music ’54) played piano and organ and learned how to play many instruments in order to be both a choral director and instrumental director in K-12. She taught choral music in two elementary schools and a junior high school in Illinois for two years, where her husband-to-be, Jack Flinner, was working on a master’s degree in physics (at the University of Illinois). He was a Wittenberger too, and a dorm leaguer, and a tenor singer in the winning Dorm League group for the Men’s Campus Sing Competition in 1953. Maralyn writes: “I was the sing leader for our sorority (Alpha Delta Pi) in 1953-54, and I won the Women’s Sing Competition during spring 1954. I was a freshman when choir director John Thomas Williams took us (about 30 singers) to New York and many places in between. I sang alto then and was a member of the Wittenberg Choir for all four years. My husband, Jack, decided to go to the Chicago Theological Seminary at Maywood after finishing his master’s degree in physics. And there I had to teach a third-grade classroom to keep the money coming in. Dr. Art Lutz at Wittenberg needed another physics teacher and convinced Jack to come to Hamma Seminary at Wittenberg and teach physics at the same time. After that year, physics won Jack’s heart and he decided to stay at Wittenberg until 1969. By then, we had three children. We both sang in choirs at Second Lutheran Church, south of downtown Springfield, and later at Grace Lutheran Church. I also had a Cherub Choir there that was satisfying. Our children were active in music—piano competitions, choirs, and later cello, violin, and a little viola. I began to teach piano to young people, and when we moved to North Mankato, Minnesota, I also taught a few adults. Jack taught physics at the large Mankato State University. I had a children’s choir for several years at Grace Lutheran Church in Mankato and sometimes helped out directing the senior choir. More recently, after Jack retired, we attended and sang in the adult choir every Sunday, at First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, 10 miles north of us near Gustavus Adolphus College. Sad to say, Jack died on April 1, 2012, of complications from MS, and I am determined to keep singing soprano now, as I have for a number of years.”
Helene VonSteuben Erhart (BS in Music ’58) teaches piano in Castle Rock, Colorado. email
Mary Lu Wagenheim Bowen (BME ’52) has served as Executive Director of the New York State Council of Churches since 1998. She worked for the Council before that as Director of Public Policy and regional organizer in the Southern Tier. Her ecumenical work began in 1979 with the Broome County Council of Churches, where she initiated a ministry in Broome County nursing homes. Prior to her ecumenical work, she taught at schools in Ohio, Texas, West Virginia, and New York. Mary Lu spent a sabbatical in 1996 on the staff of a congressional election campaign. Born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia, she earned a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Binghamton after attending Wittenberg. She has been active with the Upstate New York Synod (ELCA) Church in Society Committee, Lutheran Statewide Advocacy, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church Mission in Appalachia Council. She loves to travel, especially hiking in the Alps or visiting her children in St. Thomas (Virgin Islands). email
Spring 1988: Music Skills Students Lounging in the Student Lounge
Elizabeth Mumford Cowan (BM ’90), Kimberly Twesme (BM ’91), Marcy Baruch (’91), Karen Schaeffer Weinrich (BA in Education ’91, with a music minor), Pamela Schuetze Pizarro (BM ’91), Cynthia Olson (BA in Music ’90), Michael Lawrence (BME ’90), James Townsend (BME ’90), and Heather Bell.