1991 Alumni News

as of 9-3-12

If you would like your information or e-mail address removed, added or changed, please e-mail us.

Back to main alumni page / Submit your information


Lee Buckalew, 10-08: "SOA was one of the truly life changing times of my life. It helped me grow as a musician and to really begin on a track of live and recorded sound production that I continue to this day.

In June of 2005 I started my own company, Pro Sound Advice. I provide professional sound system design, consultation and training services. I also provide free lance recording engineering services for The Pan Galactic Company, the company which has the recording contract for St. Louis Symphony and others. We were very fortunate this year (2008) to be able to assist with the recording of the U.S. premier, in St. Louis, of John Adams "Dr. Atomic Symphony" and then follow that up this fall with the John Adams "Guide to Strange Places". These will be released together next year (2009) on the Nonesuch record label.

I continue to teach as an adjunct faculty member at Webster University in St. Louis. I teach in the School of Electronic Media and in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

I was married in July of 1993 (one week after getting back from SOA) to my beautiful wife Mary. We have four children, LeighAnna (11), Marissa (9), Jesse (7) and Larkyn (almost 2). We live about 35 miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

I'd love to hear from folks from any of the years I was fortunate enough to tour with SOA"

Previous: I designed the very first Martin Audio Miniature Line Array sound system in the United States.   I have also continued to dabble in lighting design.  A team of three other gentlemen and myself produced an event for the world premiere of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baileys "WIZARD OF OZ ON ICE".  It was called "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and as a part of this event we lit the Gateway Arch in St. Louis as a rainbow.  It was the first time that it had succesfully been lit.  We won the highest award that the international Illuminating Engineering Society gives for outdoor architectural illumination.  The Paul Waterbury Award.  This was the only time that it has been awarded for a temporary installation. It was awarded to us "with distinction".  This was a very special honor as this award is not given every year but only when work sufficiently worthy of merit is presented and then it is not always given "with distinction". I designed the sound systems and staging layouts for each year of the St. Louis Blues Heritage Festival, a jazz and blues festival second only to the New Orleans festival in size in the U.S." lee.buckalew@prosoundadvice.us


Jonathan Burks, 8/12: "Hello everyone. All is fine here. Finished my education at Averett College in Danville, VA with a B.S. in Business Management. Married my college sweetheart and have one child a 4 year old boy. Working as Parts Manager at Brockman Chevrolet Subaru in Amherst, VA." nitrojon@comcast.net


Michelle (Carl) Schneider, 7-07: " Since last time I wrote in, Scott and I added to our family! Our daughter, Emma Corinne, was born on Father's Day 2006. Since her birth, I have been on leave from my first grade teaching position. How fun it has been staying at home with my little lady and her 2 older brothers, who are growing up way too fast - Ethan is 8, Evan is 6." eneexpress@comcast.net


Jason Dibler: "I recently (August 1, 2001) completed a Master of Music degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I already had a degree in History from DePauw University in Indiana. I also did undergrad music work at SWOSU, but did not completely finish the degree. I am now the new assistant choir director at Judson High School in San Antonio, Texas. Judson is one of the largest high schools in Texas, with about 4500 students. The choir program is very good, and I'm enjoying things quite a bit. jrdibler@sbcglobal.net


Lorie Dowler Marnell, 2/05: "Hello to all. I hope at least 1 person remembers me! I am a mother of 2, Lauren Ann 6 and Mason John 2 and one coming in August. I read over the mesages from our group from 1991 and try to put a face with the names. Most of them I still can! You all sound so successful. The only singing I do is to my children, but my son tells me "NO sing Mommy, No sing" So, I am 2nd guessing the little talent I thought I had. Take care!" positiveid@comcast.net


Christopher Fens: "My wife (Amy) and I are doing great! We have been married for five wonderful years and now have 2 children. Meghan Elizabeth is 4 and Hannah Carine is 3 mos. I will student teach in Fall 2000 and Amy graduates and gets her license at the end of this semester. She will be making lenses and contacts for Chesterfield Optometry. I am currently the conductor of the Chesterfield Community Band (http://chesterfieldband.homestead.com). I have been working 40+ hours a week and taking an average of 22 credit hours a semester. When completed, I will have done a five year program in three years. CFMaestro@aol.com


Jamie Jinks Lee: "Hi to all!! I'm a Jinks again, though engaged with no date set! Recently moved from Indianapolis to Suwanee (Atlanta) GA, to be closer to my folks in south GA. Their health is not great. Still tending my menagerie of 2 small dogs, 2 kitties, and 2 birds, but no kids! (Can I list Zookeeper as my job title??) Trying to get healthy so I can attend esthetician school for skin care. Hope to work with a Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist when I'm done. When I get the REST of my life in order (this moving thing REALLY stinks) I hope to get back involved in music, and do more volunteering with the Humane Society. I have a great house on a lake and recently acquired a boat for the HUGE Lake Lanier that is close by, so all my friends can come visit and we can play!! Would LOVE to hear from former SOA friends!! Hi to Allen Vanes, Derrick Mittelstaedt, "Suzy Q", FINALLY Brian West, Terri and any others who have contacted me. I stink at correspondence, but I think of ALL my old SOA buddies often!! I love you guys!! " JLJHarmony@aol.com


Brent Kern, 6/05: "My wife and I are living in Dallas, TX. We just recently had our second child on April 18, 2005, Ethan Joel. Our first child is, Lily, was born July 12, 2003. They bring us more joy than I could ever imagine. It is great to see the updates from everyone. I still think about my time with SOA. They are truly memories that I will never forget. Also, I currently released a solo CD that is being distributed by Christian Educational Ministries. It is entitled "No More Tears." Check it out if you get a chance.

All our love from here in Texas."


Derek Kreifels, 9/07: "As of September 2007 I'm living in Kansas City which is a city I've fallen in love with! I performed this summer as Ewart Dunlop (a member of the quartet) in the Johnson County Theater in the Park's production of the Music Man. (It is the largest outdoor, community theater stage in America!) One of my best friends was Harold Hill in the show so we had a lot of fun.

Graduated with my MBA in 2003 and worked in the mortgage business until this past year when the real estate market tanked.

I love all of my SOA friends that I've stayed in touch with and am so proud to know you all!" derek.kreifels@gmail.com


Mark Mendicino: Has a new position as an Investment Executive with Parker/Hunter Inv. Firm. Had a baby boy, Joshua Adam, 6/99. That makes 2 kids, including Amanda, his first. mendicinom@parkerhunter.com


Terry Meikle: "I was so happy to see that their was a web site for SOA. I am sure it has been around though I am not much of a net surfer. My life since SOA is pretty crazy. I studied Radiation Physics as a here in ND. I then Interned at Mayo Clinic in MN. I lived in the Minneapolis area for seven years or so and came back to ND in 2001. I am not married ( big surprise). I have not done a lot as far as music goes. I did travel the south west with my college choir and was a member of the Twin Cities Mens chorus years later. I do the occasional terrible Karaoke thing. However, I miss it and plan to try and get the confidence up to do more.

Well, I did not remember a lot of names on the Alumni list. I did remember Derrick and am very happy for him. I think Brent rings a bell and also David O. was he not the guy from LA who sounded so-- well like a guy From LA? I wish you all the best of luck... Please feel free to contact me anytime.." Terry2692@webtv.net

Cassie Miller Salomone:
"I'm still living in Carlisle and get to see Terri every once in a while when she's back in the office. I got married in 1997 and am currently on child rearing leave from my fifth grade teaching position. Our daughter, Sophia Catherine, was born in September 2002. I'd love to hear from other 1991 alumni!" fvsalomone@aol.com


Derrick Mittelstaedt,7/11: "o, it's been a while and now it's time for an update. I moved back to New Orleans in August of 2009. Recently I was named the Voice of Pride in New Orleans, gaining some pretty interesting benefits. On Sunday, June 26, I opened for Tiffany on the main stage on Bourbon Street, and I get to open for Deborah Cox on September 3. Got a contract for recording and am currently working on a single to submit. I am coming to SOA this year for a 20 year reunion, and I can't wait to see people! Love to all of my 91 peeps! miss you guys! Previous:
Hey guys! It's been 15 years, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about my SOA family. Things are going very well for me again. Hurricane Katrina brought some major blows my way, but I am picking up the pieces and moving on. I moved back up to the great midwest, living in Crown Point, IN. There are plans of moving to New York in the fall of 07 to give Broadway a shot.

I am in myspace under DJinNOLA, so please look me up and say hi. I am searching for so many of you all, but no luck. I hope we can reconnect and maybe set up a reunion in Carlisle. How about the 20 year in 2011? That would be a BLAST! Hope to catch up with you all soon! LOVE TO YOU ALL!

Previous: I moved back to New Orleans a couple of years ago, but still active in theater. I am doing Beauty and the Beast right now, playing the Beast! Talk about type-casting! HA HA HA. I performed at Six Flags Jazzland all summer in a 4-part all male acapella group, doing hits from the 50's and 60's. But, back in Illinois and still doing theater up here! Received a 2001-2002 choice award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the role of Lenny Ganz in Neil Simon's RUMORS!; starred as the lead in "FIORELLO!" at Woodstock Opera House in Woodstock, IL; have also been a music director of Paradise People 2001 at Woodstock Opera House. DJinCHGO@gmail.com


David O'Leary: drdaveoleary@hotmail.com


Juliet Potter, 8/05; "Life is flying by! I have been with the Charles F. Kettering Foundation as an Economist and Research Associate for 6 years now. I now hold a BS in Economics, an MS in Applied Economics, and am almost at the dissertation stage of my PhD now. I will tackle the issue of community exhaustion of intellectual property right within the European Union in the parallel trade of pharmacueticals. I know, I know, enough to put everyone to sleep! My husband Jeff is doing great. He is a very busy exec for NCR. My son Jack just turned 4 and we await a baby in April! Life is busy but great. Write if you get a chance. :)"

Previous: Was married 3/12/2000; Living in Fairborn, OH. Julie recently had her first baby, Jack! japotter@ameritech.net


Shane Rau: He's continuing working on his MD/PhD at University of KY College of Medicine. He passed the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam, Part I and is currently doing research with a model of stroke and brain injury. swrau@yahoo.com


Martin Terrones: "Having earned my BA in Religion, double minoring in Spanish Literature (with an emphasis in 16th & 20th century Spanish/Latin American poetry and drama)and Music History (with an emphasis in 19th century Romantic Operas, specialization in Ludwig van Beethoven and Classic Jazz) at UCLA, I secured employment there while working on other projects for various Hollywood Studios and TV Networks. After a 2 1/2 year break, I applied and was recently accepted to continue my studies at the world-renowned UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in their MFA Film Directing/Production program where I hope to follow in the footsteps of the many film directors, actors, cinematographers, editors, and composers I have had the privilege of befriending over the years.

While a student at UCLA, I worked on many campaigns for State Senators, Assemblymen, and other US Congressional delegates while being actively involved with organizations like Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, ACLU, International Documentary Association, National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and others. I've been editor-in-chief of a Chicano newspaper, a writer for several newspapers in Mexico, and a contributor for several online news websites. I was a member of the UCLA Wind Ensemble, the Marching Band, and the UCLA Orchestra and have performed with several orchestras in Europe and Latin America. Since my years in high school, I have won over 200 different music competitions and medals of distinction in the California, other parts of the US, Latin America, and Europe in over 30 different instruments.

Most importantly, I owe a great part of this to SOA as it was SOA that helped me break out of my shell and empowered me to live lifecelebrate lifeaffirm life. Thanks SOA."


Allen Vanes, 9/07: "Hi, Sorry I have not updated my information in awhile. well lets see. I am no longer working in the hospitality or travel field. I have worked for Walgreens Drug stores since ours opened in 2005. I am Currently the Head Photo Specialist its fun being a department head. I still live at home and am not married. I choose to stay at home because my fathers health over the past years has not been good. In July of 2006 my Mother Suffered a Stroke. it was not a serious one but enough to make her leave work and is not on Social Security. and then about a month later on Sept 15th. we lost my Father suddenly here at home. this has been the hardest part for me. Mom and I are not trying to start over, we have our house up for sale and are looking at other ones trying to get a fresh start.

I am currently still in school working on a Bacholers of Liberal Arts with concentrations in Business, Music Performance and Computers. I still talk to some of my old friends from SOA but would love to talk to more. Take care to you all." avanes@embarqmail.com awv1972@yahoo.com Aug 08


Ben Viguerie, 8/04: "I am currently living in San Francisco, CA, writing , producing, collecting, listening to, and dancing to MUSIC. I'm still playing all my instruments, but dj-ing has come to the forefront. I frequently burst into song, and occassionally, parts of "Raise-A-Ruckus" come out (class of '91 you know what I'm talkin' 'bout!). Thanks to all who made that summer one of the best ever. All the best," benviguerie@sbcglobal.net


Heath West, 4/04: Hey people from 1991 SOA! We had such a small group that year, but a great one! There are so many cool memories that I constantly play back from our trip! What an awesome time! I sang in the choir as a tenor in 1991. I now live in Warrenton, Virginia and am a 4th Grade teacher in Manassas, Virginia. I hold a B.S.in Music Education (Vocal)from Kentucky Christian College and am currently working on an elementary endorsement. I was married in July 2002 to a wonderful girl from NY whom I met at college in KY. I am looking for several people from 1991 SOA group and I am hoping someone can tell me where they are and how to contact them... Ben Viguerie and Billy Robins in particular. email me with any info. heath_w_west@hotmail.com


Rebecca West Reeves, 2-09: "Hi everyone! I have to admit that sadly, I don't really remember the trip very well. Things have been weird since then. I attempted a music education degree at Ithaca College in 1993, but only completed 4 semesters before life threw a curve ball. Since then I have been back in Maine and trying to make the most of things. I finally got my ASIS at an online school and am currently working on my BS at the same school. The only memories I seem to have of the best thing that ever happened to me are on that video tape which I watch often just to remind myself that anything is possible. Ok, I also watch it to laugh at those lovely hairstyles that we were all donning in the 90s - you caught me!" rlreeves@gwi.net


Tim Williams, 8/06: NEW: Named to the 10th edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers (2005-6) Previous: I hold my M.Ed. in Literacy Curriculum and Instruction and worked with the National Writing Project / Southern Nevada Cohort this past summer, and now am able to train other teachers throughout the district...(by the way, we're always looking for teachers, so if you're thinking of a change, check out ccsd.net) After 10 years of working almost exclusively with the four to eight year old crowd, I've made the jump and now teach 5th grade literacy, still at Gilbert in Las Vegas. ltwbtim@aol.com

Alisha Young Sutton:
Just finished 4 years of teaching K-12 Music; will start teaching 9-12 Vocal Music in Falls City in fall of '00. She also had a baby boy, Dylan, in August.


To the top of the page

Back to main alumni page

last modified 9-3-12, tlb