USM School of Music Alumni Celebration Concert
at Merrill Auditorium - SAVE THE DATE!
RSVP here to say if you're coming or not!
April 15-17, 2016
Join fellow USM School of Music alumni as we take the stage at Merrill Auditorium to perform together under the batons of Peter Martin and Robert Russell. This concert will feature an alumni concert band, orchestra and chorus in an uplifting celebration of over 35 years of excellence at USM.
Fri. Apr. 15 at 8 p.m. - Faculty Recital (Robert Lehmann, violin; Thomas Parchman, clarinet, and Anastasia Antonacos '97, piano
Sat. Apr. 16
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Rehearsals (attendance mandatory)
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Alumni Reception, USM Gorham
Sun. Apr. 17
1:00 p.m. - 4 p.m. Dress Rehearsal (attendance mandatory)
1-2 p.m. Choir and Orchestra; 2:30-4 p.m. Concert Band
5:00 p.m. Concert, Merrill Auditorium
Watch for more details. Look for your invitation.
Graduates of the USM School of Music:
Our alumni are in positions of music leadership throughout the country. They are teaching in public schools and universities. We have nearly 100% placement of our music education graduates. They are active performers, professionals and successful in many fields. Many have attended graduate school at major universities and conservatories, including the following:
- American Band College
- Arizona State University
- Brigham Young University
- Butler University
- California Institute of Technology
- DePaul University
- Eastman School of Music
- Florida State University
- Hartt School, University of Hartford
- Harvard Medical School
- Indiana University
- Lesley University
- Mannes College
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Michigan State University College of Music
- New England Conservatory of Music
- New York University
- Northwestern University
- Ohio University School of Music
- Peabody Conservatory
- University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music
- University of Maine
- Unversity of Michigan
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- University of Minnesota
- University of New Hampshire
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of North Texas
- University of Colorado
- University of Southern California
- University of Southern Maine
- University of Texas at Austin
- Western Washington University
- Yale University
USM Alumni Professions:
- free-lance classical musicians performing with orchestras throughout the USA
- free-lance jazz musicians actively performing in the jazz centers of the country
- professional pianists and accompanists
- vocal soloists and choir members
- singing with leading opera companies
- singing at the Met!
- church choral directors, music directors, singers, instrumentalists and organists
- performing locally
- performing statewide
- performing internationally
- teaching and directing music in colleges and universities
- teaching and directing music in public schools
- teaching in home and private studios
- scholars in the field of music education
- winning major teaching and performing awards
- composers and arrangers
- recording artists
- conducting community ensembles
- performing in the nation's finest military bands
- in positions of music sales, merchandizing, and management
- public relations professionals
- information technology professionals
- music therapists giving hope to people with cancer
- making beautiful music in other fields that go way beyond music
USM Alumni are proud of their undergraduate education at USM!
Here are just a few of our fabulous alumni. This is a partial list with new additions all the time. Graduates listed on this page have given their permission to be listed here. Grads, please keep in touch. Your successes are an inspiration to us all, especially our current students. Please send your news and information as your permission to publish to Lori Arsenault, email@example.com, and Alan Kaschub firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the Web form. Thanks! -Lori '99
Meet Some of Our Alumni:
'62 John Di Millo graduated a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Taught music for the Town of Gorham, and is currently continuing his voice studies in the School of Music.
'65 James Bennett was promoted to full professor and director of music at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., where he conducts the Regimental Band, Regimental Men's Chorus, and Grenadiers Jazz Ensemble. In 2000 he toured with groups to Northern Wales, England, and Germany and also toured the People's Republic of China in May and June of 2000, performing recitals and giving master classes on trombone at four Chinese Conservatories.
'66 Gary Wilbur of Berwick is singing in a barbershop quartet, Great Bay Sound.
'69/'83 Libbie Perry Bowder of Gorham is is semi-retired. Since 2003 she has been playing bass clarinet in the Casco Bay Concert Band directed by Peter Martin. She's also taking classes and playing in ensembles in the USM School of Music. (updated 4/9/2013)
'71 Gilbert Twitchell: By the age of nine, Gib Twitchell had become a familiar face on stage and on television in his native Maine. At the University of Maine, he majored in Music, was a Presidential Scholar, and was listed in Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges. He earned his Master of Performing Arts at Oklahoma City University, where he performed sixteen major roles, was a regional finalist in the Merola and Metropolitan Opera Auditions, a NATS winner, and as a 4.0 student, was elected into Pi Kappa Lambda. Upon graduation, he joined the National Opera Company, performing four major roles including Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Later, he moved to New York, where his Musical Comedy career took him to many regional and Off Broadway theatres including the Paper Mill Playhouse, the Maine State Music Theatre, Wichita (KS) Summer Musicals, and most of the important summer theatres in the East. He also sang chorally with the New York Philharmonic and the Opera Francaise of New York. He joined the Horace Mann Voice Faculty in 1998.
'72 Tom Davis released a CD, called "Jesus on Smallman Street," with his band, Wind.
'72 Bonnie (Chapman) Hersey is living in Hartland, Maine with her husband Steve and daughter Angela. Bonnie teaches general music, voice, piano and strings in Hartland Christian School, and directs the choir at First Baptist Church. She enjoys adjudicating State Festivals and guest conducting. She also has a part time medical billing business for a chiropractor in Skowhegan.
'75 Michael Abbott is a business consultant with Perot Systems where he was recognized for his contributions to saving Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He has a 46 acre subdivision in NH where he builds homes. This year he had a three-part article on internet strategy published in Music Trades magazine and still performs occasionally in Portland. Mr. Abbot's prior work was as Vice President of Verne Q. Powell Flutes, where he created the Zonda line of clarinet and saxophone reeds, recognized as the world's finest.
'76 Silvia (Sam) Moore -Young, Past president and current State Executive Director of the Maine Music Educators Association. Sam is in her 16th year teaching in what is now RSU4, PreK-2 General Music at Sabattus Primary and 3-5 General Music and Band at Carrie Ricker School in Litchfield. She has a total of 26 years teaching. (updated 2013)
'77 C. Scott Smith is Associate Professor of Horn and Theory at the School of Music at Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio. He also performs in the Ohio Valley Symphony, and he is an active (and founding) member of OhioBrass and OhioWinds which are in-residence faculty ensembles at OU. Mr. Smith is active in regional orchestras and as soloist/chamber musician throughout the country. Before living in Ohio, Mr. Smith was Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, Associate Director of Bands is Southern Columbia School District (PA), Director of Bands and Orchestra at Lewisburg High School (PA) and Director of Bands at Brunswick High School (ME) as well as principal horn in several symphony orchestras and a few civic jazz orchestras. He returns to Maine every year to play in the Maine State Ballet Orchestra and to teach horn at New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine. (updated 2013)
'77 Rick Charette writes, records and performs music for children. He has recorded nine albums of original music and songs and two videos. His music appears on Peter Pan and Walt Disney Records. He has published his second book titled "I Love Mud". Rick appears on the Learning Channel on national cable television. www.rickcharette.com Updated November 2003
'78 Joshua Bach is teaching general music and chorus and drama in Acton.
'79 Tim Hall received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Maine. Tim was named as a 2003 recipient of the Barrie E. Blunt Outstanding Graduate Student Memorial Award, and was inducted into the honor societies of Pi Alpha Alpha and Phi Kappa Phi. Tim asks readers not to compare too carefully his graduate scholarship record with that of his undergraduate career at UMPG/USM. He does, however, attribute much of his scholastic success, both undergraduate and graduate, to his mentor Sid Halligan. He continues to work as a regional administrator for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, overseeing state park operations from Thomaston to Fort Kent. He plans to retire from state service in October of 2008 in order to complete studies at Bangor Theological Seminary, where he is an M. Div. candidate. Tim still performs as part of the Brass Menagerie (brass quintet) and with several church-related ensembles. Tim lives in Orono with his wife Irene. Two sons are now college students. August 2015 Update: as a retired Ashland, Maine music educator, the Ashland District School dedicated their auditorium in his name, the Larry Hall Performing Arts Center. Congratulations to the LEADER OF THE BAND!
'80 Dwight Tibbets - Trumpeter Dwight Tibbetts recieved a Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Southern Maine. He has his Masters in Music from the American Band College in Ashland, Oregon. He was a recipient of the Willie Maiden Award for excellence in composition and arranging. Dwight has taught instrumental music in grades five through twelve for thirty-two years in Augusta, Maine. He has performed throughout Maine, most recently with the Manchester Brass Quintet. Dwight has studied with Chuck Winfield (formerly of Blood, Sweat and Tears), John Foss, and Dr.Tim Weir (lead player from the University of Miami). He has been coached by members of the Canadian Brass, Fred Shautter (principal trumpeter of the Oregon Symphony), and Allen Vizzutti. Also an accomplished pianist, Dwight arranges most of the music performed by the Downeast Brass. "Brass Music Online" recently published four of Dwight's brass quintet arrangmeents, with more coming soon. These arrangements can be purchased online. Visit www.downeastbrass.com. (updated July 10, 2013)
'82 Stephen Johnson was recently hired as assistant professor of music history at Fairmont (West Virginia) State College. He has also presented several papers including one on Dvorak's "The Wild Dove" at the American Musicological Society St. Lawrence Chapter. He will be presenting his papers on New York City's "Brill Building Sound" and "the History and Science of the Apollo Moon Missions" at SUNY-Potsdam's March "American Identities Festival" in 2001.
'83 Susan J. Ketch is assistant principal at Scarborough High School where she has directed performances, produced art shows and assisted with two European tours. She was a singer with the vocal jazz group, Swinging Hot from 1987 to 1998. She also gives private lessons in voice and piano. She recently completed a master's degree in educational administration from USM.
'84 Rebecca Wing is teaching voice and piano in her new private studio in Saco where she and her husband, Terry Fralich, recently opened the Mindfulness Center of Southern Maine which offers classes in meditation and stress management. She also manages a busy performance and composition schedule and serves on the board of the Maine Composers' Forum.
'84 Rae Simmonds has just released a new CD produced by Roy Clark, called "Fascinatin' Gershwin". Rae began her professional music career at the age of 12 when she appeared on WCOP Radio in Boston on Billy Earl's Kiddy Parade. She became a renowned composer, performer and teacher as well as a children's playwright who has produced plays in both the U.S. A. and abroad. She was founder and director of The Children's Studio of Drama in Portsmouth, New Hampshire from 1964 to 1971 and resident playwright at the Children's Theater of Maine from 1979 to 1982. Her trio which features bassist John Hunter and drummer Ken Clark have performed together for nearly a decade. She is a member of the International League of Women Composers and the Maine Music Teachers Association. In 1994, Rae Simmonds received her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) from Walden University. A resident of West Baldwin, Maine, she continues to compose and perform both jazz and classical piano.
'84 Greg Boardman is teaching strings for the Lewiston public schools, performing with Timbrel, a fusion quintet, and is the Director of the Maine Fiddle Camp. He is also Minister of Music at Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
'85 Craig Macrae is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After USM he studied jazz at Indiana University and ethnomusicology at University of Illinois, while active in local/regional venues as guitarist and bassist. He teaches jazz harmony, world music, and directs a Contemporary Middle Eastern ensemble at Berklee; and runs a community music school with his wife Valerie Ritter (USM, 85) in Bolton, Ma. (added April 2009)
'86 Carl Dimow - Since graduating, nearly thirty years ago, Carl has continued to explore creativity in music, both as a performer and composer. He has composed music for theater and film, and his Klezmer Suite for Flute/Bass Flute and Guitar won first place for chamber music in the 2014 Newly Published Music Competition of the National Flute Association. That piece has had a number of international performances and has been recorded by a duo from Canada in addition to Carl's recording of it with the Kolosko-Dimow Duo. Carl also continues to perform with the Casco Bay Tummlers klezmer band, and a number of other ensembles exploring jazz, Brazilian music and Middle Eastern music. Carl is a devoted teacher on flute and guitar. He has been teaching guitar at Colby College for over thirty years. www.carldimow.com (updated June 2014)
'87 Danielle Allie Danielle is currently an International music teacher working in Germany. Over the last few years, she has taught in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Egypt, Florida, Arizona and Maine. While in Maine, she performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Maine State Ballet Orchestra and the Maine Music Society. She is currently taking clarinet lessons at the Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium in Frankfurt, Germany. Updated 3/23/2014.
'87 John Rimkunas Completed his Master of Music in Conducting, Choral Emphasis at the University of Maine in 2006 and three levels of Koday Certification at the Hartt School in 1999. He currently teaches General Music and Chorus at Skillin Elementary School in South Portland. In addition he directs the Gorham Community Chorus. He directed the Lyric Choir of the Boy Singers of Maine from 1999-2009, and is also the former director of Spirit Risers Children's Choir at First Parish Congregational Church, UCC Gorham, and currently sings in the senior choir. He has enjoyed directing Elementary and Middle School Honors Choirs in MMEA districts I, II and III, and serves each year as a judge for the Maine All State Chorus. Summers he tours Southern Maine and New Hampshire churches singing with and directing his family ensemble, Sibling Revelry. Updated 9/11/2010.
'88 Gina Stevens is working on a doctorate in bassoon performance at Arizona State University. She is Principal Bassoon in the Mesa Symphony and second bassoon in the Symphony of the West Valley in Sun City, Arizona. Since her doctoral research concerns Latin American bassoon music, she traveled to Brazil and Argentina this past summer to do research.
'88 Christopher Peterson is Professor of Music at California State University, Fullerton where he directs the CSUF Concert Choir, the Titan Men’s Chorus, and teaches classes in choral music education. In spring 2011 he was named the 2010-2011 Cal State Fullerton ASI Outstanding Educator of the Year. From 2001–2007 he was Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Peterson taught music in the public schools of Maine for nine years, including elementary, middle, and high school music instruction. He is a published author of professional articles, a contributing author for educational textbooks, and an editor, composer, and choral arranger for Hal Leonard Music Publishers. He is currently the California Music Educator's Association (CMEA) Southern Section President, as well as the Southern Regional Representative for the California Chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA). He is also the Western Division representative for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Council for Choral Education. Peterson maintains an active schedule as a choral clinician, guest conductor, and judge for festivals and choral performance events across the United States and internationally. In that capacity he has been invited to thirty US states, five Canadian Provinces, and nine countries including England, Sweden, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, and Holland. Presently, Chris sings bass with the Masters of Harmony, eight-time International Chorus Champions of the Barbershop Harmony Society. He earned the Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, the Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Maine. He earned the Doctor of Philosophy in Choral Music Education and Conducting from Florida State University where he studied with Rodney Eichenberger, Andre Thomas, and Clifford Madsen. (updated October 2014)
'89 Kaye Foster Collins is currently teaching instrumental music at Lehi High School in Lehi, Utah where she is busy rebuilding a decimated program. Enrollment in instrumental music has more than quadrupled over the past four years and the ensembles are now consistently receiving excellent and superior ratings. The Jazz Band competed at the state level during the 2001-2002 school year. Kaye is the Musical Director of the Lehi Silver Band, a community band that has been in existence for over 120 years and she serves in several music position for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Lehi area. She received her MM in Music Education from Brigham Young University in 1995 and plans to begin a doctorate in 2003. Kaye lives in Lehi with her husband Edward and their three sons: Colby, Parker, and Reed.
'90 Janelle Doak Gray Mosey has been teaching elementary music in Gorham since graduation from USM. She is currently at Great Falls Elementary School teaching K-5. She is active in local theater, currently at The Footlights in Falmouth. And, she has become Power Seller on eBay in order to put her two kids through college!
(updated June 2015)
'90 Melissa Buzza occasionally teaches private flute students from her home in Auburn. She is now the head teacher in a special needs preschool, Sandcastle Preschool, in Lewiston. She works with 3 year old children with typically developing skills as well as with those diagnosed with delays. She says, "It is truly my passion! Of course, I incorporate lots and lots of music into every day. (Betty Atterbury would be very proud!)"
'90 Paul Erwin (1966-2014) graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Southern Maine at Gorham. He was a talented composer, arranger and musician. He played the alto sax, piano, organ and oboe. He had been conductor for the Orwell Community Band and the Rutland City Band prior to becoming conductor for the Seacoast Wind Ensemble for many years. He had been the organist and director at St. Christopher's By-The-Sea Church, in York, Maine.
'90 Michele (Pressley) Kaschub - Michele Kaschub is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Teacher Education at the USM School of Music. She teaches courses in music philosophy, research and curriculum, and choral/vocal and composition methods. With Janice Smith, Kaschub has coauthored Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) and co-edited Composing Our Future: Preparing Music Educators to Teach Composition (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Promising Practices in 21st Century Music Teacher Education (OUP, 2014). She is currently creating a K-12 composition series titled Experiencing Music Composition. The first volume, for Grades 3-5, will be released in 2016.
'91 Patrick Moore is currently the vocal music director for Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire. He directs Chorus and Chamber singers, and teaches music electives, including Guitar, Electronic Music, Voice Class, and History of American Popular Music. He also is the vocal director for the school's annual musical productions. He plays tuba in the Greater Hampton Community Band, and sings baritone for a worship team at Bethany Church in Greenland. Most recently, Patrick's Chamber Singers received a rank of Superior at a music festival in Williamsburg, Virginia. Patrick lives in Exeter, NH with his wife Deborah. Updated January 2009.
'92 Kristine Gillam Briand is teaching 6-8 grade choral and instrumental music at Windham (N.H.) Middle School. She has spent the last 5 years building the music program (elective) by almost doubling music enrollment. The program has won many gold and silver awards in several festivals in New Hampshire, and has just moved into their new state of the art music room.
'92 Kay Hamlin teaches privately in the Portland area and is the flute instructor/flute ensemble director at Bates College in Lewiston. Kay and her husband live in North Yarmouth.
Martin Lescault ’92, tenor, holds a degree in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine, and has done graduate work in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
Mr. Lescault has been featured as a soloist with such groups as the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Orlando Symphony, the Choral Art Society, the Down East Singers, and the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra. Martin has also appeared as a guest soloist with many collegiate ensembles including the Colby College Collegium and the Bowdoin College Chorus. He has performed with ensembles throughout the New England area such as Portland Opera Repertory Theater, the Portland Early Music Consort, the Schola of St. Mary’s Cathedral, and Referendum, a 5 voice a capella ensemble.
In addition to performances in the classical arena, Mr. Lescault has also received praise for his many prominent roles in regional musical theater productions; including Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, Bobby in Company, Snoopy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Mary Sunshine in Chicago. Updated 3/2012
'93 Erica Perry Monko and her husband Levi live outside of Boston. Erica works as an Equities Trader for an investment management firm where she has been for nine years. The Monko's started their family in 2002, and welcomed their second child in October of 2005. Erica sings with a local church choir and for some weddings. Updated March 2006
'94 Kate Huntington is taking violin lessons for the first time since graduating from USM. She says, "it makes teaching lessons and orchestral playing more successful and fun." She is president and bulletin editor for the Maine Chapter of ASTA with NSOA (American String Teachers Association with the National School Orchestra Association) and enjoys the contact with string teachers throughout the state.
'94 Brian Gagne is teaching K-6 general, choral, and instrumental music at Turner Primary and Leeds Central schools. He is also involved in musical theater in the Lewiston /Auburn area.
'94 Madelyn Greenwood recently re-married, is now Madelyn Vertenten. Living in Austin, Texas with husband Joe, and their two children. After getting her MBA at the Krannert graduate School of Management at Purdue University, she moved to Austin Texas to work for Dell Computers in July of 2000. She enjoys her work there as a human resources manager supporting our Services business. "Although I continued to play in orchestras in Atlanta, Georgia and Lafayette, Indiana since leaving Maine, the most musical activity I see now is practicing piano with my 6-year-old. Since having another child in November, Madelyn is now working 3 days a week with the aspiration of getting out her violin, getting into the garden, the kitchen...
"Hope all is well in Gorham Maine! Nice to read about past classmates on the website, Hellos to Deborah & Mark, and Kate! Hi to Mary Snell!" updated 4/4/04
'94 Michael Davis is a K-6 music teacher at Sherwood Heights Elementary School in Auburn. He teaches general music K-6, beginner grade 5 instrumental and after school chorus. He was recently recognized by the National Association for Music Educators in an article in the Teaching Music Journal, "A Standing Ovation to Music Educators," that featured outstanding music teachers around the country. He is "Music in Our Schools Month" chairman for the MMEA executive board. Michael is in his 9th year of teaching, the 7th year for the Auburn School System. He received his Masters Degree from UMaine in the Spring of 2002. Updated Dec 2002
'94 Mark Ranger is currently teaching general music and chorus to grades 1-6 in Skowhegan. He continues to play and adjudicate throughout Maine and maintains his private studio, Carr Hill Music.
'95 Deborah Nomani, and '94 Mark Dodge, moved to New York City in 1997 but have had many adventures since. Mark has been pursuing a full-time career as a drummer, performing in various ensembles, including the jazz quintet, Between Green, with fellow alumnus Mike McGinnis, '95. Between Green's first album produced by RKM music is now being distributed in France by Harmonia Mundi Records, and in Japan by Bomba Records. (McGinnis is a co-partner with Ravi Coltrane in RKM.) From 1999-2001 Deborah taught a special piano program in the New York City public school system. Called "Music and the Brain," it is a unique three-year piano program for grades K-3. In the spring of 2001, she was invited by the creator of the program to install and teach it at the Bilingual Montessori School of Paris, France. She spent the year setting up at an exclusive private school, working collaboratively with the French and Irish teachers. She helped promote the bilingual focus of the school through her music classes. Mark performed at several jazz clubs in Paris, including the Sunside Club with Maxx Jazz recording artist Rene Marie, and he also recorded two albums in Paris with American and French jazz musicians. This past July they returned to New York City, and in August Deborah accepted a general music position at an elementary school in Eastchester, NY. Most recently, Mark won the regional division of the Guitar Center National DRUM OFF competition, and in December he went to Los Angeles to compete against six other drummers in the national finals. Updated Mar 2003
'95 Christina Laberge serves as the Music Director for St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio, and teaches band scoring, orchestration, choral arranging and basic conducting at Bowling Green State University. She is also a licensed massage therapist and Reiki master, and is the owner/operator of Wellspring Integrated Bodyworks; a business specializing in working with performing artists who work in pain/discomfort, as well as addressing and treating performance anxiety issues. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.
Updated November 2011.
'95 Michael McGinnis - After earning his Bachelor of Music Performance on Saxophone at USM Michael attended the Eastman School of Music and graduated in 1997 with a Master's in Jazz Performance. While there he won a Downbeat Magazine Award with the group "Hee Hee She" and an original composition called "Transitions" was included in the 1997 Eastman Jazz CD entitled "Take The Next Step" (This also included 2 pieces by USM alum Alan Neveu). From January of 1998 to May of 1998 he toured the U.S. with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra playing the lead tenor saxophone chair. When he got back to NYC he began working part-time in the Royalties Dept. for EMI Recorded Music, Inc. where he worked until March of 2002.In the Fall of 1998 Michael started with group Between Green with USM alum Mark Dodge and in 1999 they recorded their debut CD titled "Tangents" (featuring Michael's compositions) for RKM Music, a NYC-based recorded label in which he's a partner with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. (Michael is the 'M' in RKM).In March of 1999 Michael began playing with an eclectic chamber group called "the Four Bags" and since then they've released one CD with another to be released in 2004. They toured Japan in the Summer of 2002. In 2003 they performed at the Annual Friends of Alec Wilder Concert in St. Peter's Church and as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn Festival in Prospect Park. They also put on our their own concert in May of 2003 which was sold out. In December they performed at a well known NYC hall called Symphony Space where they presented the Music of Alec Wilder with guest singer Jackie Cain. They have been featured on WNYC (NYC's NPR Station) 3 times. Michael is a member of a trio called "OK|OK", the DDYGG Ensemble, and the Matt Glassmeyer Marching Band. He has been a side man for the following groups: Andy Biskin Sextet, Loser's Lounge, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Teo Macero Big Band, The Bootleg Remedy. Michael has also done a lot of freelance recording for various CD's and radio & TV commercials. He is currently teaching in the CPSM division of Queens College, at the Music School of Westchester in Mamaroneck, NY and at the Brooklyn Conservatory. In 2005 he reported that he would be playing in the horn section of the house band on a weekly one-hour gameshow called "My Kind of Town." Updated August 2005
'95 Andrew Pelletier Andrew Pelletier is the Principal horn for the Michigan Opera Theater (at the historic Detroit Opera House) and the Ann Arbor Symphony, as well as regularly performing with the Windsor (CA), Detroit and Toledo Symphonies. He has also appeared as guest Principal horn for several orchestras, most notably the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall under the direction of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. His solo and chamber music performances have taken him to 22 states, England, Canada and Mexico. As a member of Southwest Chamber Music, he won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording (Small Ensemble) and his first solo CD "Celebration: the Music of Randall Faust", recorded on MSR Classics label, was released in 2006. He is the Associate Professor of Horn at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Updated September 2011
95 Lonnie (Lawrence) Wescott graduated as a "non-traditional" student. He has been teaching music for 16 years, the last 9 years at Traip Academy in Kittery teaching Band, Chorus, Jazz Band, Piano, Guitar, Music Theory, as well as accompanying two middle school choruses and teaching 5th Grade General Music. Traip is the public high school for Kittery and Kittery Point. His wife Leisa is completing her RN degree. Lonnie plays most weekends with the Motown Band "SoulMate." (http://www.thesoulmateband.com), singing and playing keyboards and saxophone from the North Shore of Massachusetts to the mid-coast of Maine. He also substitutes as organist in a few area churches. In recent years Lonnie has guest conducted the MMEA District I 6th Grade Honors Band, and the MMEA District IV Middle School Honors Band. He has adjudicated Jazz All-State Auditions, and has served as MMEA District V Chair as well as MMEA State Editor for the Bulletin and Handbook. Friends can find Lonnie on Facebook. Updated October 2010.
96 Anissa Bacon After graduation from USM, Anissa received her Master of Arts degree from Bangor Theological Seminary with a concentration in Sacred Music. The culminating study of this degree was a study of how to incorporate multi-cultural and ecumenical music in small, rural churches. Also, she is currently serving (for the past five years) the First Congregational Church of Scarborough as the Director of Music where she directs an adult choir, children's choir and handbell choir. Anissa has just finished her sixth year as the Music Director of the Healing Arts Chorus based out of Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. For the past five years she has co-chaired a yearly fundraising concert for the Protestant Hospital Ministry. Last year Anissa added the hammer dulcimer to her repertoire of instruments.
In January 2004 Anissa started a Master of Divinity degree at Boston University. She will be pursuing ordination with the United Church of Christ. Her research includes the creation of art as an act of theology, with specific emphasis on the reflection of this in the music of the Shaker communities. Updated Jan 2004
'96 Gwendolynn L. Baker is teaching in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is the choral director at Portsmouth High School and Middle School where she teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade chorus, Chamber Singers (the middle school select choir) high school Concert Choir, Treble Choir, and Madrigal Singers (the high school select choir) There are over 300 students involved in the choral program. She also helps out with the 5th grade band program by teaching beginning saxophone, clarinet and flute.
Updated Feb 2003
'96 Benjamin Day “founded the original USM Department of Music web site as a student and after graduation entered the software industry. He is currently a consultant and trainer specializing in software development best practices using Microsoft’s development tools with an emphasis on Silverlight, Team Foundation Server, Windows Azure, and Scrum. He is a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP, a certified Scrum trainer via Scrum.org, and a speaker at conferences such as TechEd and VSLive. When not developing software, Ben likes to hang out with his wife and cats, play jazz piano, and geek out on all things food. He can be contacted via http://www.benday.com.
Updated June 2011.
96 Sam Woodhead is solo and principal trombonist of the US Army Band "Pershing's Own," Washington, D.C., chairman of the Eastern Trombone Workshop, and newly elected to the International Trombone Association's board of advisors. After graduating from USM, he went on to earn his masters at Yale University and his doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park. A lover of music all his life, he says, "I have always been amazed at how it has taken me all over the world and how many wonderful people I've met and great times I've had. Through music I met my wife and just about all of my friends."
Updated July 2011
97 Susanna Adams is teaching preschool and kindergarten music in a private preschool. She also teaches Kindermusik and private Suzuki violin at Portland Conservatory with 21 students, ages 3 1/2 to adult. In addition, she plays viola in, and is president of the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra. She sings with the acapella group Maine Blend and with the chancel choir at Woodfords Congregational Church.
Updated Jan 2003
97 Thomas Ambrose is actively performing and teaching throughout New England and has performed in many Portland based ensembles. He has worked with Murali Coryell (son of jazz great Larry Coryell), Dave Mattacks (previously the drummer for Paul McCartney), and with Berklee's Tomo Fujita and Blue Funk. Tom has a studio of bass and guitar students at Starbird Music in Portland. Updated Jul 2003
'97 Anastasia Antonacos was in Europe from September to December, playing in the International Piano Certificate Program in France and Belgium. In the summer of 2004 she spent a month in Greece and played concerts in Sparta and on the island of Lesbos. Annie earned her D.M. in Piano Performance from Indiana University in May of 2004. During the academic year 2003-2004, she taught for Laura Kargul while she was on leave, and made numerous trips to Indiana to finish her degree. During that time, she also won the Kanellos Award, given by the Greek Women's University Club of Chicago, as well as 3rd Place in the Capdepera International Piano competition in Mallorca. Annie is now teaching applied piano, chamber music, and other classes at USM, as well as maintaining a private studio.
'97 Kim Bradeen operates a private piano studio. She currently has 42 private students. In addition to their lessons, Kim's students meet quarterly for informal performance parties. They prepare pieces to share and follow the performances with music games and "munchies." The studio has two formal recitals per year, and maintains a 7 week summer session with approximately 20-25 students. Kim also accompanies "specials" at her church, an plays regularly for the church services. She has recently been participating in the activities of a local recording studio, "Baked Beans," and plans to include field trips to the studio in her student's studies. Kim's two children are both active in musical organizations.
'97 Jill Breton Palmer is the music director at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Brewer where she teaches piano privately, and lives with her husband, Jay, and their their two children. Updated August 2006
'97 Frank Patch recently attended a one week Choir Director's Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., sponsored by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
'97 Rich Pitre is director of music at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brunswick where he supervises a staff of four musicians and a variety of ensembles including three choirs, two praised bands, and the usual complement of cantors. St. Charles Church was nominated one of America's "100 best Catholic parishes" a few years ago and Rich says, "the place is hopping!" Besides his in-house responsibilities, Rich also directs music for "cluster" events of six midcoast Catholic parishes ranging from Harpswell to Camden. He also still leads the New Camerata Singers, an auditioned ensemble that he founded when he was at USM, and teaches solfege and Dalcroze Eurythmics in the Portland Area. In his spare time, Rich is writing a doctoral dissertation on musical intelligibility. He and his wife, Rosemary, have five children with the oldest out on her own and the four younger ones in school or being home schooled.
Updated February 2008.
'98 Kate Smith is working towards certification in music therapy and is teaching privately.
'99 Lori Arsenault is currently the Performing Arts Operations and Concert Manager for the USM School of Music and Department of Theatre, and coordinates the USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps. She has been the webmaster since 1994. Graduating in 1999 as a classical guitar performance major, she now studies oboe with Neil Boyer, and still plays double bass. Lori is a music director at Sacred Heart / St. Dominic Catholic Parish in Portland (4 p.m. Saturdays), St. Anthony's in Westbrook (9 a.m. Sundays) St. Anne's Catholic Church in Gorham (10:30 a.m. Sundays), St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Portland, and freelances in communications and Web site management for several musicians and organizations, including orchestral conductor Lawrence Golan, jazzman Scott Reeves, and several others. In the community, Lori is a member of the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Planning Committee, and the secretary of the Board of Directors for the Regional Transportation Program (RTP), which provides county-wide transportation to residents of Cumberland County, and visitors to the region.
'99 Gary Beckman received his Master's Degree from the University of New Hampshire in the Spring of 2001, and is attending the University of Texas @ Austin's Ph.D. program in Musicology. Here's the latest from Gary:
April 3, 2007: Just a quick update for my friends at USM from the warm reaches of The University of Texas at Austin. Very warm, actually...it's 85 today and humid. The air conditioners have been on for weeks already. I'm putting the final touches on my dissertation - yahoo! Last year, I received a sizable grant from the Kauffman Foundation to study Arts Entrepreneurship programs in America's colleges and universities. I'm pleased to say that it was the first systematic study of the topic. The results will appear shortly in the Journal of Arts Management, Law & Society in summer 2007. I've published quite a bit on the topic now and launched the "Arts Entrepreneurship Educator's Network" http://www.ae2n.net as a partial outcome of the grant last September.
I continue to teach "Entrepreneurship in the Arts" through UT's College of Fine Arts and have a great group of students this semester! I've also been busy with conferences: I was invited by a CMS member to serve as a panelist for the "Infusing Professional Music Instruction with Systematic Training in Entrepreneurship" session for the national meeting in San Antonio a few months ago and traveled to Chicago to present another paper on the topic for the national ARNOVA meeting last November. A week later, I went to Nashville with our Dean to participate at Vanderbilt's Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy's "Creative Campus" conference as panel secretary. I developed a panel on Arts Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine's Arts Entrepreneurship conference March 31, 2007 (read a paper there also) and am developing another panel for the Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship in July. I'm in negotiations now for 3 books on Arts Entrepreneurship - yes 3! - can you believe it? I was also interviewed for a BusinessWeek article on Music Entrepreneurship programs, which was also carried by the Wall Street Journal.
'99 Matthew Polletto received his Master of Education degree September 2003 from Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass in "Curriculum and Instruction: Creative Arts in Learning." He is in his fifth year teaching general and vocal music, K-8 at the William H. Lincoln School in Brookline, Massachusetts.
'99 Linda (Charlé) Vaillancourt is currently teaching 5-8 band and 6-12 orchestra at North Yarmouth Academy, 9-12 orchestra at Lewiston High School, and PK-6 classroom and instrumental music at l’École Française du Maine (the French School of Maine) in Freeport. She is active in the MMEA and MSTPA, and has served as the manager for Maine’s All-State Orchestra for several years. She completed her Master of Music in Viola Performance at the University of Maine in 2006, and still remains a busy performer, playing in the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Maine Chamber Ensemble, and serving as a ringer for several groups. She lives in Lewiston with her husband, Scott, and their three children. (Updated 04/2011)
'00 Jennifer DeDominici, American Lyric Mezzo-Soprano, enjoys an impressive, versatile career spanning musical theater, opera, film, and concert work, with rave reviews across the board.
In musical theater: "And carrying the show with ease is Jennifer DeDominici as Mary Poppins. Ms. DeDominici gives the best female performance of the year on this or any other stage in Colorado. She sings like an angel, and I believed every moment she was on stage." For her portrayal of the title character in Bizet's Carmen with Opera Theatre of the Rockies (OTR), "DeDominici was indeed as beautiful, fiery, and sexy a Carmen as the preshow buzz promised — or at least that’s the impression I got before my opera glasses fogged up. DeDominici has a sultry lower register and a smooth, silky tone that can turn angry and shrill when the drama requires it. She’s also a convincing actress, whether seductive or raging." For her performance of Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Été, "As good as the philharmonic's violin and piano soloists have been so far this season, DeDominici proved that a superior vocal artist can work a kind of magic that can surpass them all. Taking full advantage of the intimacy of the space, she offered an incredible range of dynamics while powerfully communicating the heartfelt poetry of Théophile Gautier. Her reading of "The Specter of the Rose" was a musical moment I will always treasure."
In keeping with her versatile career, upcoming in 2015, Jennifer will perform Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Opera Fort Collins, Sondheim on Sondheim with Cherry Creek Theatre, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, and the New Year's Eve concert with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. Previously this year, she reprised the role of 3rd Secretary in Nixon in China, this time with the San Diego Opera. She performed "Broadway Classics" with the Fresno Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Carl Topilow. She completed a record run as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. At the Fine Arts Center Jennifer also reprised her Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls. She was the guest artist for Songs in Summer for the Opera Fort Collins Guild and guest artist for the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs Garden Party during which she revisited her acclaimed performance of Les Nuits d'Été. And, she was the mezzo soloist in Stravinsky's Les Noces with the Colorado College Summer Music Festival.
In 2014, Jennifer was Mary Poppins, Sarah Brown, Hattie in Follies, and sang a critically-acclaimed performance ofLes Nuits d'Été with Chamber Orchestra of the Springs. Jennifer's Nellie Forbush in Piedmont Opera's South Pacificgave "...the audience a Nellie that feels palatable...her singing and performance on Nellie's reprise of Some Enchanted Evening...is heartbreaking and emotionally raw. Rather than pummel the audience with brass and technical bravado, DeDominici wins them over with her honesty and sweetness. As a physical comedienne her Nellie shines in the Thanksgiving Show sequences and her performance of Honey Bun is suitably bawdy, but shines with a true innocence and grace." Earlier in the year, she was the soloist for "An Elegant Evening" on behalf of the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) in Breckenridge, CO and performed in South Pacific at the Lone Tree Arts Center. She performed the title character in Carmen in a concert version of the opera with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. She was a guest artist for "Baroque in the Garden" with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and Grand Pianola Music by John Adams with the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. She sang concerts to sold-out audiences with the NRO and Music in the Mountains. In August she premiered the role of Angharad in a semi-staged concert version of How Green Was My Valley, a co-production of Central City Opera, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and the Colorado Springs Conservatory
In 2013, Jennifer's Maria in The Sound of Music, "...lifted the entire production from the ordinary... her portrayal of this aspiring nun turned governess for the Von Trapp family was her best yet. She was totally infectious and lit up the stage at every moment. Her singing was always beautiful as she effortlessly transitioned from her chest voice (mostly associated with popular music) to her head voice (where opera singers usually reside)." Jennifer was awarded the 2013 Marlowe Awards' "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical" and was nominated for a Henry Award, a True West Award, and a BroadwayWorld.com Award for Man of La Mancha, in which she was, "...a tour de force as the feisty Aldonza and her voice was so powerful and gorgeous, especially in What Does He Want of Me," and "...luminescent as Aldonza, a woman embittered by a life of hardships." She was the nymph Nimue in Camelot at the Arvada Center, a guest soloist on the NRO Hollywood Classics concert, presented a pre-Academy Awards Night at the Oscars on behalf of the NRO, and sang a Mother's Day performance of Schumann's poignant Frauenliebe und Leben. Ms. DeDominici spent the holidays in the Arvada Center's production of A Christmas Carol and leading "A MidWinter Song" with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs at the Glen Eyrie Castle before channeling her inner diva to ring in the New Year with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2012, Jennifer sang the role of Siebel in Faust with Indianapolis Opera, Petra in A Little Night Music with OTR, Madame Euterpova in Help, Help, the Globolinks with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, duet concerts with Daniel Fosha at the Silverthorne Pavilion, again with the Cleveland Pops, and yet again with the NRO. She also performed the role of Zita in Gianni Schicchi as a guest artist at CU Boulder. She was the alto soloist in the Bach Magnificat and Handel's Messiah, and reprised the role of the Narrator in Bending Towards the Light, a production which she helped make its Colorado debut in 2011.
Also in 2011, Jennifer performed Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with OTR and resurrected her steamy Carmen for Opera Fort Collins. For the Arvada Center's 2010 production of Nine, in Westword, "The most delightful performance is that of Jennifer DeDominici as Claudia. She's beautiful and wistful, but there's also a semi-submerged wicked-urchin quality that reminds me of Gilda Radner. DeDominici gives the most sincere performance of the evening, and she sings like an angel." In 2009, Jennifer was Rachel in the first staged production of the musical Warsaw at the Trenton Patriots Theater. She was also the opera diva ghost, Angelina, in The Second Tosca at the Arvada Center; the mezzo soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Choral Art Society in Portland, ME; and Mrs. Jones in Street Scene with Opera Theatre of the Rockies. In 2008, Jennifer performed in the critically-acclaimed production of Nixon in China with Opera Colorado (now available on the Naxos label), in Opera Colorado's star-studded Madama Butterfly, as Sharon Falconer in an excerpt of Elmer Gantry for the Opera America National Convention, and in the highly successful run of the Arvada Center’s production of Les Miserables. In 2007, she triumphed as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel and as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.
Jennifer was selected from among some 1,000 singers to participate in the prestigious Santa Fe Opera's Apprentice Artist Program for the summers of 2002 and 2003, covering the roles of Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Filipyevna inEugene Onegin, and singing the role of Feklusha in Katya Kabanova. She has performed with Opera Colorado as Clotilde in Bellini’s Norma, Hänsel (student matinee), Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (student matinee), and Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte; and with Central City Opera and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra as Pitti Sing in The Mikado.
Jennifer is a first-place winner of the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Auditions, a NATS Singer of the Year, and a four-time Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
'00 Nicole Rabata:Nicole Rabata, flutist holds an Artists’ Diploma and Masters Degree with Distinction in Performance from Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. She currently serves on the faculty at Colby College, where she maintains an active flute studio and is principal flute in the Colby Symphony Orchestra. She also has a private studio in Portland, Maine. Nicole released her debut solo CD in August 2010, “Armorica,” featuring traditional Irish, Breton, Scandinavian and French Canadian repertoire in addition to her own compositions on the wooden flute (available at www.nicolerabata.com).
Recent highlights include appearances at the International Flute Festival of Lund, Sweden and the Magic Flute Festival in Stockholm, where she also presented classes. Nicole has performed at the Portland Chamber Music Festival and has performed and has presented lectures at the National Flute Conventions in both San Diego and New York City. She has adjudicated and coached chamber music at the Bay Chamber Concerts' Next Generation program, and recently spent two months teaching and performing in India with the Colby College JanPlan program, coaching chamber music at the Gandhi Ashram school in the Himalayan foothills.
Nicole is a founding member of the Bayside Trio and Harlequine Ensemble, former Ensemble-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, and the Colby College Faculty Wind Trio. Nicole has spent many years teaching and performing traditional music in Ireland, where she resided for four years near the West Coast. She has appeared on BBC Glasgow and French National Television and performed with the award-winning Irish group Devana at prestigious festivals such as the Hebridean Celtic Festival in Scotland, the World of Music and Dance Festival in England, the Festival Interceltique du L’Orient in Brittany, France, and the Hammersmith Irish Center in London. (updated 05/2011)
'00 Danielle Vachon is teaching K-5 general music at Marion T. Morse Elementary School in Lisbon. She is now considering graduate studies.
'00 Rebecca Wallace is teaching general music and beginning band at Lisbon Elementary School. She is also teaching instrumental music in grades 6-8.
'01 Joseph LaCombe is currently teaching at the elementary school level in Colorado Springs, where he teaches grades K – 5 instrumental and choral. Joe currently gives voice lessons at the prestigious Lucci Music Studios (www.luccimusic.com ), where their custom amplifiers for guitar are becoming world renowned. When not involved with Lucci Music, LaCombe is helping his students perform at area coffee houses around Colorado Springs. Currently involved with the Contemporary Christian Alternative Rock Band Fear of Paranoia, LaCombe is working to accomplish the goal of breaking into the professional industry through Colorado’s music scene as he sings lead vocals and plays bass guitar for the band "Fear of Paranoia." LaCombe is also in pursuit of his Educational Leadership degree through the University of New England in order to become an administrator in 2015-16.
Updated April 2014
'01 Eric continues to support Music Educators throughout the both Maine and New
Hampshire as an Educational Representative with Music & Arts (formerly
Eastern Music Supply Co. and American Music), now in his 14th year. He helps
to provide Music Teachers in his coverage areas (and many former USM graduate
teachers!) with what they need to succeed in their classroom,
band/orchestral/general music room, or studio.
Updated October 2015
Elisabeth Marshall ’02, soprano earned a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Southern Maine and is currently in candidacy toward a Doctorate of Music in Voice Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied voice with internationally renowned soprano Carol Vaness. Also a Fulbright grant recipient, Ms. Marshall studied voice and opera at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy”, in Leipzig, Germany, where she sang the role of “Elisetta” in Il matrimonio segreto by Cimarosa. Other opera roles include “Rosalinde” in Die Fledermaus, and “Rosabella” in The Most Happy Fella (opposite Metropolitan Opera baritone Timothy Noble), with the Indiana University Opera Theater, “Susanna” in The Marriage of Figaro, and “Lauretta” in Bizet’s Dr. Miracle. Ms. Marshall has been a featured guest soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, and the Indianapolis Symphony in Beethoven’s Chorale Fantasia, under the direction of CBE Raymond Leppard. Ms. Marshall has also sung with the Internationale Festivalensemble and JSB Ensemble in Stuttgart, under the direction of Helmuth Rilling. Other notable concert engagements include the Windsor (Ontario) Symphony, Carmel (California) Bach Festival, Columbus Symphony, and Bangor (Maine) Symphony, in such concert works as Pergolesi’s Stabat mater, Fauré’s Requiem, Monteverdi’s Vespers (1610), J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Other concert works include Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten and Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Coronation Mass, Vesperae solennes de confessore, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. A passionate learner and collaborator, she has participated in workshops, master classes and coachings with such prominent music professionals as Håkan Hagagård, Roger Vignoles, Bruno Weil, Ned Rorem, and Charles Riecker. Ms. Marshall has since been seen most recently with the Wexford Festival Opera (Ireland), and as a guest soloist with the Hailsham (England) Choral Society. Ms. Marshall now lives in the London area with her husband. Updated 3/2012
Jason Plourde '02 Baritone. A native of Caribou, Maine, baritone Jason Plourde ’02 is a proud alumnus of the University of Southern Maine School of Music, where he studied with Bruce Fithian. As an undergraduate he performed the role of Count Almaviva in the school’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. In addition he was also a frequent performer with the Portland Opera Repertory Theater (now PORTOpera) where he was a three-time participant of the company’s young artist program and sang the roles of The Usher (Rigoletto), Mr. Bluff (The Impresario), Le Podestadt (Dr. Miracle), Gasparo (Rita) and Ben (The Telephone).
After leaving USM, Mr. Plourde attended Indiana University where he performed his graduate studies under tutelage of soprano, Patricia Wise and then world-renowned baritone, Timothy Noble. While at IU he performed several roles including Don Magnifico (La Cenerentola), Le Marquis de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites) and Figaro (The Barber of Seville).
Additionally, Mr. Plourde was a regular with Indianapolis Opera where he sang roles including Baron Zeta (The Merry Widow), Dancaïro (Carmen) and covered the role of Falstaff in Verdi’s Falstaff.
Other roles have included Dr. Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Papageno (The Magic Flute), Sir Joseph Porter (HMS Pianfore) and Don Giovanni with such companies as The Bronx Opera, Opera New Jersey and the Caramoor International Music Festival. Mr. Plourde has been a two-time studio artist with Sarasota Opera, created the role of Burton in The Hotel Casablanca with the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and sang the role of Horace Tabor in the 50th Anniversary Performance of The Ballad of Baby Doe with Central City Opera. In addition he has sung with the New York City Opera and has been a participant in the Martina Arroyo Foundation’s Prelude to Performance program where he sang the role of Gianni Schicchi and will, this summer, return to once again take on the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff.
Elisa Haveles '05 most recently performed as a singer/pianist in “The Manchester (CT) Voice” with former contestants Noah Lis, Biff Gore, and Ddendyl Hoyt from NBC’s “The Voice.” In 2014 she was named “Teacher of the Year” at Keeney Street Elementary School in Manchester, CT where she teaches general music and chorus. In addition, she teaches private voice and piano lessons at Summit Studios Performing Arts Center, also in Manchester, CT. From 2009-2011 Ms. Haveles piloted the 5th Grade Solo Singing and Self-Evaluation Assessment Task from the Connecticut Common Arts Assessment Initiative under the supervision of Scott C. Shuler, Past President of NAfME and Arts Education Specialist for the Connecticut Department of Education. Ms Haveles completed both her Master of Music in Music Education and Kodály Level III Certification at The Hartt School, University of Hartford. As a graduate student, Ms. Haveles was the 2009 recipient of the Jenö Ádám Scholarship awarded by the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) and the 2007 recipient of the Barbara Potter Educational Fund Scholarship awarded by the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA). (Updated June 2015)
Ashley Emerson '06 Fast rising soprano Ashley Emerson has been described as a "vocal and dramatic delight." She is quickly establishing herself as a versatile artist with a wide range of repertoire from bel canto to contemporary. In the summer of 2012, Ms. Emerson triumphed for Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the title role of Unsuk Chin's Alice in Wonderland. She was praised for "singing impeccably" (Financial Times) and was declared to be "perfectly cast in the title role." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Ms. Emerson returns to The Met in the 2012/13 season where she will be heard in productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Le Comte Ory. Further performances include her return to Atlanta Opera as Elvira in L'italiana in Algeri and her company and role debut in Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face with Opera Company of Philadelphia. A graduate of The Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Ms. Emerson has sung in productions of Le nozze di Figaro (company debut), Il trittico, Die Zauberflöte, and Hänsel und Gretel. She has been heard around the world in The Met's Live! in HD series in new productions of Macbeth, La rondine, and The Enchanted Island. In the summer of 2009, she was featured in The Met's Summer Recital Series, and in the summer of 2011 she sang the lead role of Marie in PORTopera's production of The Daughter of the Regiment. Read more about Ashley at http://www.cami.com/?webid=2020/ Updated 9/15/2012.
Sara Sturdivant '03 '06 will be making her Carnegie Hall debut this year, singing the alto solos in Handel's Messiah with the Oratorio Society of New York on December 14th. After leaving USM, she attended Mannes College, and graduated in 2008.
Kate Beever '07 graduated in May of 2010 with her Masters in Music Psychotherapy from New York University. She will be working at the Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing at Central Maine Medical Center, providing outpatient music therapy groups and inpatient individual music therapy sessions for people with cancer. Kate is also available as a music therapist for individual sessions, presentations, or in-services.
Patrick Nyren '07 attended the University of North Texas for a master's degree in euphonium performance, and graduated this past August, 2010. He is currently beginning his DMA studies in euphonium performance, and has also earned the Euphonium Studio Teaching Fellowship, which makes him responsible for teaching applied lessons to the freshman euphonium students, as well as any secondary students. He also coaches chamber music and conducts a tuba/euphonium ensemble. He's hoping to make it back to USM sometime and catch a concert or two, its just difficult while studying half way across the country. Updated 9/20/2010.
Stephanie Gilbert '09 is an American lyric soprano currently based in Manhattan. She was recently awarded her masters degree from the Yale School of Music where she studied with Doris Yarick-Cross and coaches Douglas Dickson, Timothy Shaindlin, Marc Verzatt, and Kyle Swann. In December 2011, she was the Soprano Soloist in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's performance of Vaughn Williams Hodie. Stephanie performed the role of Bertha in Opera Theater of Connecticut’s Barber of Seville in August 2011. With Yale Opera, she sang the role of Miriam in Hoiby's The Scarf. In that performance, she was praised for a sound that “kept getting stronger and more arresting as she sang.” Stephanie also took on the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Yale Opera where “she was able to make Elvira into a likeable character.” She performed the roles of Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, the Cook in Le Rossignol, and the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Yale Opera as well. At the University of Southern Maine, Stephanie sang the title role in Suor Angelica and performed in the USM Honors Recital in '07, '08, and '09. She was the 1st place winner of the Maine NATS Competition in 2007 and 2008 and the recipient of the Lillian Nordica Memorial Scholarship in 2008. No stranger to new music, she has performed works by composers Nancy Gunn, Bruce Fithian, and Paul Thomas and premiered works by Josh Newton and Nicholas Boland. (updated May 2013)
John Coons '10 John Coons of Corinna has sung opera, jazz, musical theatre, even the national anthem at Fenway Park. “I can’t even remember the number of concerts I’ve been able to do,” said John, who earned a master’s in music performance. He does, however, remember vividly a weekend when the USM School of Music hosted a high school chorale day. He performed in an opera workshop, led a tenor sectional, and gave a master class. “I realized that can actually can do this as a career. USM has allowed me to be the person that I should be.”
Erin Dubois (Pulley) '12 Erin received her Bachelor's degree in flute performance from USM in 2012 and her Master's degree in flute performance in 2014 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying under Christopher Krueger. Since then, she has become an advocate for new music, commissioning works from composers all over North America. Recent premieres include a piece for flute and live electronics written by Jazer Giles called Parautika and a concert cycle featuring 3 world premieres is scheduled for April 2016. Erin has served as substitute piccolo player for the New Hampshire Symphony, as a member of the Precious Metals Flute Ensemble, and was recently added as a player in the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Alongside performing, Erin maintains a private studio and is the piccolo finisher at Burkart Flutes and Piccolos. She thanks her private teacher while she was at USM, Jean Rosenblum, as well as many members of the staff and the New Music Ensemble run by Dr. Sonenberg for teaching her the basics of music and influencing her love for new music.
Josh Newton '10 '13 is composer, performer, teacher and lecturer from Farmingdale, ME. He earned his Master's Degree in Composition from the University of Southern Maine in 2013, studying with Daniel Sonenberg. Performances of his work have been given by the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Ethel String Quartet and the Da Capo Chamber Players. He has been featured at the Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival, New Music at Frontiers, and the Aspen Composers Conference. With a diverse academic background, he has presented papers on Beethoven, Debussy, Monty Python, Tolkien, and Henryk Górecki. He has a reputation for writing quickly, and his works have a deeply emotional character. His vocal works include settings of texts by Paul Celan, Liu Xiaobao, Anna Akhmatova, Hilda Doolittle, French fairytales, and religious texts. He lives with his wife and son, a gaggle of cats and a puppy near a beautiful stream and a lousy driveway and writes frequently about composition and music at http://www.newtonmusic.com/blog.
Virginia Hudak '14 graduated from USM in May 2014 and a month later was offered a full time music teaching position Colorado Springs. She is now living in Colorado and begins teaching almost immediately, K-5 at Centennial Elementary School working with approximately 550 students. She says, "My classroom has all the fixings a new teacher could ask for and more! I feel very confident going into this position thanks to my education here at USM!" (updated 7/6/2014)
This is a partial list with new additions all the time. Graduates listed on this page have given their permission to be listed here. Grads, please keep in touch. Your successes are an inspiration to us all, especially our current students. Please send your news and information as your permission to publish to email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our new Web form. Thanks! -Lori Arsenault '99