Keep in touch, Alumni!
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
- University 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
- teaching math and science!
- 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, merchandising, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Alan Kaschub email@example.com, or complete the Web form. Thanks! -Lori '99
Meet Some of Our Alumni:
John Di Millo '62 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.
Jerry Walker '64 Jerry Walker is a retired band and theater director. He retired in 1999. He was the director of bands at Oxford Hills High School in South Paris and Stearns High School in Millinocket. While in Millinocket he was also a theater director and directed the Jazz Ensembles. He also managed to Coach Track and Ski Team at both OH and Stearns. Since his retirement, he has acted and directed plays and musicals at local Community theaters. He has also acted in a number of independent films. Jerry is one of the founders of the Daytime Players. He is also a playwright and has written two screenplays. Two of his plays “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” and “We Ain’t Dead Yet,” have been recently been published by Leicester Bay Theatricals.
James Bennett '65 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 masterclasses on trombone at four Chinese Conservatories.
Gary Wilbur '66 of Berwick is singing in a barbershop quartet, Great Bay Sound.
Libbie Perry Bowder '69/'83 (1947-2020) Libbie semi-retired 2005. After teaching Music History Courses at USM for 15 years, and then taking courses and performing with USM ensembles (Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Clarinet Choir) as a "Golden Grad", shevolunteered with the School of Music in various projects, including cataloging gifts of books and music, Summer Music Academy, and serving on the conductor search committee that hired Trae Blanco. Since 2003 Libbie had been a member of the Casco Bay Wind Symphony (Casco Bay Concert Band), playing Bass Clarinet under the direction of Peter Martin and Trae Blanco. Obituary: https://www.pressherald.com/2020/06/21/obituarylibby-perry-bowder/
Gilbert Twitchell '71 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.
Tom Davis '72 released a CD, called "Jesus on Smallman Street," with his band, Wind.
Bonnie (Chapman) Hersey '72 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.
Michael Abbott '75 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.
Joseph D. Henry '76 is a Professor of Music at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois, where he has served since 1991 as the Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Choral Music Education. Dr. Henry has degrees in Music Education and/or Choral Conducting from the University of Southern Maine (‘76), the University of Maine (’85), and the University of Missouri, Conservatory of Music in Kansas City (’91).
A native of Randolph, Maine, Dr. Henry is a 1972 graduate of Gardiner Area High School and former music teacher within both the Windham and Gorham High School districts where he began his teaching career. During this time he also served as the President of Maine Music Educators Association from 1982-1984.
In addition to responsibilities to Eureka College, Dr. Henry continues to serve as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale, a position he began in 1994, left for three years in 2011 to serve as the Associate Provost of Eureka College, and then resumed in 2014. In April of 2006, Dr. Henry received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and was inducted into the Symphony Orchestra’s Hall of Fame. In May 2008, Dr. Henry was the recipient of Eureka College’s prestigious Helen Cleaver Award for Excellence in Teaching. Under his direction, his choirs have sung for NAfME, ACDA and the National-General Assembly of Christian Churches (DOC). Dr. Henry remains active as a guest conductor and choral clinician throughout the United States. In addition, his choral ensembles have toured and presented concert performances in Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and Italy.
Joe currently lives in Eureka, Illinois with his wife Kimberly. Daughters Kaelen and Kelsey are college graduates and leading independent lives leaving Kim and Joe ready to explore an exciting new life as empty nesters! (2/2017)
Silvia (Sam) Moore -Young '76, Sam is retired after 32 years of teaching as of June 2018, one year earlier than planned but it was time. Sam was inducted into the Maine Music Educators Hall of Fame at the May '18 Conference President's reception. She now serves as the Retired Chair of MMEA having also served as Membership Chair, Auditions Chair, President, and Executive Director. (updated 8/15/2018)
C. Scott Smith '77 is an 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 a 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)
Rick Charette '77 With a background in education and music, and a passion and talent for writing for children from a child's perspective, Rick has been writing and performing for children for 35 years. Published in 1983, his first collection of songs, "Bubblegum" was followed in 1985 by "Alligator in the Elevator." The success of these early collections launched a full-time career of writing and performing for young audiences. In May of 2020, Rick was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Joseph's College for outstanding service to and compassion for children, especially those in need. www.rickcharette.com Updated December 2020
Joshua Bach '78 is teaching general music and chorus and drama in Acton.
Tim Hall '79 serves as pastor of the Trinitarian Congregational Parish of Castine, Maine. Tim taught music for a short time following graduation from USM, followed by a career with the Maine State Park System. He entered Christian ministry following his retirement from state service in 2008. Tim has earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the University of Maine and a Master of Divinity degree from Bangor Theological Seminary. He has remained active in music, playing trumpet in bands, pit orchestras, and brass ensembles throughout Maine. Tim has also traveled internationally in music ministry, serving mission teams from local churches and organizations. (updated Feb 2017)
Dwight Tibbets '80 - Trumpeter Dwight Tibbetts received 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 arrangements, with more coming soon. These arrangements can be purchased online. Visit www.downeastbrass.com. (updated July 10, 2013)
Stephen Johnson '82 was recently hired as an 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.
Susan J. Ketch '83 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.
Greg Boardman '84 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.
Jayne Sawtelle '84 After teaching elementary classroom music in Brunswick and Portland, Maine for 26 years, Jayne Sawtelle transferred to Portland High School in 2015. There, she teaches band, chorus, musical theater, music appreciation, guitar, piano, jazz, and percussion/steel pan. The program at PHS is building every year, and the students enjoy frequent interaction with the downtown arts community. (updated Aug 2017)
Rae Simmonds '84 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.
Rebecca Wing '84 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.
Craig Macrae'85 is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After USM he studied jazz at Indiana University and ethnomusicology at the 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)
Carl Dimow '86 - 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)
Danielle Allie '87 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.
Marta Paro Lane-Greenlaw '87 Marta Paro has received her Masters in teaching English as a second
language. Having taught flute since 1992, Marta teaches American accent pronunciation classes to students all over the world via SKYPE using music and speech therapy techniques. In 2013 Marta started a non-profit company called Speak Clearly. This company raises money and provides classes to empower immigrants to be understood and better their lives. Marta still performs Jazz and classical flute. Her latest effort is a Jazz flute and Guitar duo with George Maxwell named "George and Martha ". She lives in Old Orchard Beach with her husband and two children. Marta was a pastors wife for 18 years, performing in various congregations. (updated 2/16/2016)
John Rimkunas '87 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.
Gina Stevens'88 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.
Christopher Peterson '88 is a 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 an 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)
Kaye Foster Collins '89 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.
Janelle Doak Gray Mosey '90 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)
Melissa Buzza '90 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!)"
Sherri (Pelletier) Calhoun '90 spent the first 25 years of her career teaching instrumental and vocal music at all levels. She now teaches students math and science and still finds it amazing when people ask her how she likes being a "real" teacher. There is nothing as challenging as reaching all students with music. She enjoys performing at local venues on a regular basis and is pleased to report that she and her sixth-grade daughter Ellie anchor the bass clarinet section in UMPI Band. (updated 8/15/2018)
Michele (Pressley) Kaschub '90 - Michele Kaschub is a 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. (updated 1/28/2016)
Patrick Moore '91 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.
Kristine Gillam Briand '92 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.
Kay Hamlin '92 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
Tom Michaud '92 spent time studying and performing in Colorado and Chicago before returning to Maine in 1999. Since then, Tom has had the opportunity to perform with many free-lance ensembles as well as the Portland Symphony and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and is a regular member of the Portland Jazz Orchestra, PORT Opera, and the Norumbega Ensemble. Updated 3/2016
Erica Perry Monko '93 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
Kate Huntington '94 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.
Brian Gagne '94 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.
Madelyn Greenwood '94 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...
"I 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
Michael Davis '94 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 Master's Degree from UMaine in the Spring of 2002. Updated Dec 2002
Christina Laberg '95 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.
Michael McGinnis '95 - 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 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 sideman 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 game show called "My Kind of Town." Updated August 2005
Andrew Pelletier '95 Andrew Pelletier is a Grammy Award-winning soloist and chamber musician and respected teacher/mentor. Principal horn of the Michigan Opera Theatre (Detroit Opera House), he has appeared as guest principal horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Opera, the Windsor (CA) Symphony, and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, Ohio. He is the First prize winner of the 1997 and 2001 American Horn Competition and is active internationally as a solo artist. He has appeared at 9 International Horn Society Annual Symposia and has presented solo performances in 30 U.S. States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, and Mexico. As a member of Southwest Chamber Music, he won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording (small ensemble category). Active in the world of New Music, he has commissioned and premiered over 25 works for the horn as a solo voice. He is an elected member of the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society and is a life member of the IHS and the British Horn Society. He is very proud to serve as the Professor of Horn at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA, whose faculty he joined in 2004. (updated Aug 2017)
Lonnie (Lawrence) Wescot '95 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.
Bernice (Bunny) Stanley '95 graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1995 from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science in music education and in 2009 with a Master of Arts in music education. She completed her Orff Level I Certification from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2000 and her Kindermusic I and II Certification in 1999. Mrs. Stanley started teaching in the Augusta School system in 2011. Her teaching experience includes thirteen years at the Bristol Consolidated School, three years at the Jefferson Village School, and two years at the Somerville Elementary School, Warren Primary School and the Prescott Elementary School. She has directed the Penobscot Bay Ringers and has participated in the Teacher Exchange Program to International Estonia where she was instrumental in beginning a handbell program. After thirteen years she has recently retired as Music Director and Organist at the Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, Maine. Her musical experience includes work with the Augusta Symphony Chamber Singers and Adult Chorus, Circle the State Festivals, the Parish Ringers of Brunswick, Maine under the direction of Ray Cornils, host and manager of the Atterbury Festival, manager of the Sixth Grade Honors Festival for MMEA District III, conference teacher and conductor for the Maine Spring Ring, State Chair and Education Liaison for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, the AOS 93 Concerts, presenter at the Maine Music Educators Association Conferences, and writing for the PSO Children's Program. Mrs. Stanley has attended classes to enhance early literacy skills through the use of music, to create and assess music thru the Orff-Schulwerk process, handbell composition at the Concordia University in Wisconsin with John Benhke, choral magic with John Jacobson, teaching guitar with Nancy Marsters and Singing with Assessment in Mind with Cici Hunt. In her "free" time, Mrs. Stanley enjoys sewing, quilting, and knitting.
Anissa Bacon '96 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
Gwendolynn L. Baker '96 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
Benjamin Day '96 “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.
Sam Woodhead '96 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
Susanna Adams '97 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
Thomas Ambros '97 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
Anastasia Antonacos '97 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.
Kim Bradeen '97 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.
Jill Breton Palmer '97 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
Frank Patch '97 recently attended a one week Choir Director's Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., sponsored by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
Rich Pitre '97 is the 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 praise 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 homeschooled.
Updated February 2008.
Kate Smith '98 is working towards certification in music therapy and is teaching privately.
Lori Arsenault '99 retired from 17 years of full time work at USM, and is still planning to work with the USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps for a bit longer. USM music webmaster since 1994, taking over for alum Ben Day '96, she will continue to maintain this alumni page. Graduating in 1999 as a classical guitar performance major, she has been studying oboe with Neil Boyer for several years, still plays guitar, and as many other instruments as possible (no brass-yet). Lori is a music director at several Catholic churches in the area, the website mentor for a local robotics team, manages the public service announcements for the Gorham Times, and is bassist/vocalist for the Saco River Jazz Ensemble, a non-profit big band dedicated to bringing classic big band music to local nursing homes, veteran's homes, and other places where communities gather. Sadly, the band is on hiatus during the pandemic.
loriarsenault.com, facebook.com/lori.arsenault.777/ Updated December 2020.
Gary Beckman '99 graduated with a Ph.D. in Musicology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007 and the Music Entrepreneurship Program at the University of South Carolina. While there, he developed the nation's first Music Entrepreneurship minor and published "Disciplining the Arts: Teaching Entrepreneurship in Context" (2011). Later in 2011, he accepted a position at North Carolina State University as Director of Entrepreneurial Studies in Arts. Housed in the Music Department, he developed a thriving Arts Entrepreneurship Program (with much help) that boasts the only program in the country with students who are filing successful patents. At NC State, he co-founded this new field of study's first academic journal and has since founded and serves as executive editor for two more on-line peer-reviewed journals: the "Journal of Arts Entrepreneurship Research" and the "Journal of Arts Entrepreneurship Education" - jaer.ncsu.edu and jaee.ncsu.edu. In between his published articles, book chapters and conference papers, Gary has also co-founded The Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education and looks forward to their THIRD(!) annual conference at Millikin University in 2016. He says, "Best to all back home!" Working hard to help all of our students make the most of their music and arts degrees. 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 on 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?" Gary was also interviewed for a BusinessWeek article on Music Entrepreneurship programs, which was also carried by the Wall Street Journal.
Matthew Polletto '99 received his Master of Education degree in 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.
Linda (Charlé) Vaillancourt '99 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)
Jennifer DeDominici '00, 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, in 2015 Jennifer performed 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. 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. On February 25, 2016, she presents her "Finding the Perfect Woman" concert with the Piedmont Opera, presenting a woman's vulnerability through many beloved "perfect women" in musical theatre, opera, and art song. www.jenniferdedominici.com (updated 2/20/2016)
Nicole Rabata '00, 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)
Danielle Vachon '00 is teaching K-5 general music at Marion T. Morse Elementary School in Lisbon. She is now considering graduate studies.
Rebecca Wallace '00 is teaching general music and beginning band at Lisbon Elementary School. She is also teaching instrumental music in grades 6-8.
Joseph LaCombe '01 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)
Eric Stokes '01 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 18, 2015)
Elisabeth Marshall ’02, soprano earned a Master of Music in Voice Performance at the University of Southern Maine and 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 the 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.
Jeffrey Coggins '05 has been regularly playing organ, piano and synthesizer for churches, schools and theaters in southern Maine since graduating from USM. He currently serves as the music director for the Booth Theater in Ogunquit (since June 2008) and St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford/Springvale (since April 2014). Prior to St. Thérèse Parish, he also served as an interim organist/choir conductor for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland while serving as an organist/pianist for Holy Spirit Parish in Wells/Kennebunk/Ogunquit. He has also performed in many shows and concerts for community theaters and schools, and looks forward to doing many more. (updated 1/4/2015)
Elisa Haveles 05' is a music educator who resides in Connecticut. Ms. Haveles taught music in the Coventry Public Schools where she conducted the premiere of her composition “Flying to the Light” for treble voices, piano and saxophone/clarinet. Previously she taught music in the Manchester Public Schools where she was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ at Keeney Street Elementary School. While teaching in Manchester, she performed as a singer/pianist in “The Manchester Voice” with former contestants from NBC’s “The Voice.” Ms. Haveles also taught private voice and piano lessons at Summit Studios Performing Arts Center in Manchester for many years. She is a frequent presenter for local and state organizations and is an active member of the Connecticut Music Educators Association. Ms. Haveles completed postgraduate studies in Educational Leadership at Sacred Heart University; graduated magna cum laude with a Master of Music in Music Education and Kodály Level III Certification from The Hartt School, University of Hartford; and graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Maine School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. For more information visit www.elisahaveles.com. (updated 12/10/2020)
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, it's just difficult while studying halfway 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)
Bernice (Bunny) Stanley '95 '09 graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1995 from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science in music education and in 2009 with a Master of Arts in music education. She completed her Orff Level I Certification from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2000 and her Kindermusic I and II Certification in 1999. Mrs. Stanley started teaching in the Augusta School system in 2011. Her teaching experience includes thirteen years at the Bristol Consolidated School, three years at the Jefferson Village School, and two years at the Somerville Elementary School, Warren Primary School and the Prescott Elementary School. She has directed the Penobscot Bay Ringers and has participated in the Teacher Exchange Program to International Estonia where she was instrumental in beginning a handbell program. After thirteen years she has recently retired as Music Director and Organist at the Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, Maine. Her musical experience includes work with the Augusta Symphony Chamber Singers and Adult Chorus, Circle the State Festivals, the Parish Ringers of Brunswick, Maine under the direction of Ray Cornils, host and manager of the Atterbury Festival, manager of the Sixth Grade Honors Festival for MMEA District III, conference teacher and conductor for the Maine Spring Ring, State Chair and Education Liaison for the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, the AOS 93 Concerts, presenter at the Maine Music Educators Association Conferences, and writing for the PSO Children's Program. Mrs. Stanley has attended classes to enhance early literacy skills through the use of music, to create and assess music thru the Orff-Schulwerk process, handbell composition at the Concordia University in Wisconsin with John Benhke, choral magic with John Jacobson, teaching guitar with Nancy Marsters and Singing with Assessment in Mind with Cici Hunt. In her "free" time, Mrs. Stanley enjoys sewing, quilting, and knitting. (updated 2/16/2016)
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 fairy tales, 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.
Michael Beling '13 Pianist, organist and Bates College faculty member Michael Beling performs regularly with some of the preeminent jazz musicians in Northern New England. He has performed at venues including Portland's Merrill Auditorium, the State Theatre, and Port City Music Hall, and played jazz clubs in Europe. As a bandleader and composer, his ensembles include Bedlam & Eunoia and MBG. Michael maintains a busy teaching studio online and in-person in Portland and Fryeburg.
Nate Gowen '14 After graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from USM in Fall 2014, Nate was recommended to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for graduate school. On being awarded a teaching assistantship at the Department of Music & Dance at UMass, he enrolled in and completed the Master of Music in Jazz Composition/Arranging in 2017. Immediately after graduation, he was hired by the department as the interim director of admissions and recruitment for the department. Later that fall, he was hired for the position full-time (now called the director of recruitment, admissions, and career planning) and has held it since fall of 2017. In the meantime, Nate still attends weekly jam sessions, finds work with various local big bands/combos, and is occasionally called to play with graduate students at the school. He also continues to practice his writing and is looking forward to submitting his work for performance consideration by the UMass jazz ensembles. (updated 7/24/2019)
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)
Celeste Mittelhauser '19 is back in Downeast Maine. Without skipping a beat after graduation, she sang the roll of Josephine in the Winter Harbor Music Festival's production of H.M.S. Pinafore along with USM music major, Rebecca Goff. In the winter of 2019 she will sing the role of Casilda in a production of The Gondoliers with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Maine. (updated 11/19)
David Myers, Jr. '19 earned his Master's Degree in vocal pedagogy from the School of Music at USM where he studied voice with esteemed soprano Ellen Chickering. He performs as a tenor soloist throughout New England, receiving praise for his “beautifully polished tone” and “attractive tenor sound” by Portland Press Herald critic Allan Kozinn. Hailed as the "Messiah Man" by Dagney Earnest of the Village Soup, David tours coastal Maine each December, participating as the tenor soloist in various productions of Handel's Messiah, and he enjoys singing as a member of three professional vocal ensembles in Maine, including St. Mary Schola in Falmouth, Dirigo Ensemble in Portland, and Amethyst Chamber Ensemble in Brunswick. In addition to performing, David is the director of adult and youth choirs at North Yarmouth Congregational Church in North Yarmouth, Maine, where he also teaches voice students (as well as in his South Portland studio), placing special emphasis on healthy singing technique in all genres. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as well as an associate member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). In August of 2019, David became the Executive Director of the Portland String Quartet Society, formerly known as the LARK Society for Chamber Music, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote chamber music and music education in the state of Maine, largely by supporting the activities and musical leadership of the Portland String Quartet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, or complete our new Web form. Thanks! -Lori Arsenault '99