1996 Alumni News

modified 5-9-11

Please consider helping FDNY Fire Engine company #6 by purchasing the "Patriotic Tribute CD" by various SOA tours.

We still have 2 sets of cassette tapes from the '96 tour. We do not have any more CD's. The set of 2 tapes is $12.


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

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Rebecca (Bercik) Jones, 3/06: "I attended DePauw University in Greencastle, IN for Trumpet Performance until 1999, then married husband Kevin and moved to beautiful eastern Tennessee in 2001. I've been working as a landscape and macro photographer since 2003 and am currently serving as an apprentice to a prominent wedding/lifestyle photographer.  Music is still an important part of my life and I play with various groups and jazz combos frequently. :) trumpetvamp@hotmail.com


Aaron Blake, 4/07: I've been working in print media advertising for eight years now and am loving it. Me, my wife and our two children moved from Kansas to Arkansas recently. For fear of scratching my SOA CD's and never being able to listen to them again, I ripped them on to my computer and burned another pair... just in case! New email: paper_boy21@yahoo.com


Jason Brocious, 5/09:
"Hello all! Working as an accounting manager in good ol' PA. Still singing and don't expect to stop. If anyone wants to say hi, just send an email. Miss you all." jasonbrocious@hotmail.com

Kate Burnham:
She'll be a senior at Harvard Univ this fall. She's sung all 3 years with Radcliffe Choral Society and will tour with them in South America for 3 weeks June 2000.


Jennifer Contenta, 7/06: "I now work at the Gulf Coast Water Authority in Texas City and sing occassionally at the community college and in 2005 we were able to back to Italy, where we sang at the Vatican! It was pretty awesome and reminded me so much of our 1996 SOA Tour. Any way, I miss you guys! I've been watching the old tour footage (and transfering it to DVD) and we had such an amazing time! Feel free to contact me!! New Email: ytzfreakayj@yahoo.com


Antonio "Tony" Cordova, 4/07 "GSM for Gamestop in Tooele Utah." amlcordova@comcast.net


Leigh Anne Thomas Crandall: "I traveled with SOA in 1996 and it has been a lasting memory that has never faded. I recently graduated with a BA in Musical Theatre and married both in the month of May. I will be pursuing a MFA in costume design in the fall of 2003. leighcrandall25@msn.com


Marcie DeGol: "I graduated from Lehigh University, worked for two years and decided I needed a career change. I am currently attending law school in Delaware and absolutely loving it. I still continue voice lessons and sing in the church choir as a side activity." MDegol@aol.com


Jill Delano,8-06 "I just got accepted to an accelerated nursing program here in NYC at Pace University so I'm going back to school in September to make a huge career change! Aside from my daily reunion with my roommate Eric Launder, I recently got to visit with Jason Pyron and Norm Ofstead at Disney World this past Spring. It was great to catch up and see how well they are both doing! My email is still the same, BuckeyeJillie@hotmail.com. Hope you're all doing well and if anyone visits NYC let me know! Previous: I graduated from The Ohio State Universit-BA in Communications and Minor in Spanish. " Jillian.Delano@kaplan.com


Rachel Dvorak: "Senior at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, majoring in journalism and PR. Will be touring New York with the concert band in April (including a concert at Carnegie Hall!) and will be spending most of May touring southeast Australia and Fiji with Knightliters Jazz Band."


Heather Galbraith: She's a fashion design and merchandising major at Drexel Univ, PA with a concentration in Fine Arts. She'll be graduating fall 2002 and entering art school afterwards. She's currently ranked at the top of her college class and will be studying in London this summer. hag22@drexel.edu or mui30@hotmail.com


Amber Gluscic, 8-04: amg240@email.psu.edu


Rob Gower, 11/04: "Attended Murray State University after high school graduation, continued another year with the crossmen drum and bugle corps, and toured with several regional rock bands performing in numerous music festivals. Signed on to a reunion tour with the soul band "Our Brothers Keeper" and recorded with Icehouse records. Transferred to the University of Kentucky and continued studying music performance. Signed with and toured with a band from colorado and am now touring with the band Stout from memphis, tn, playing keyboards, guitar, and trumpet. I have never forgotten the friends that I made during the sound of america and am looking forward to hearing from all of you!" rob_gow22@hotmail.com


Toby Scott Guinn, 7/06: NEW: Last season performed with New York City Opera, Sarasota Opera as Schaunard in LA BOHEME, concerts in Texas, Brazil and South Carolina and was the only American finalist in the auditions for the Atilier Lyrique at Opera National de Paris. Next season returning to NYCO as Samuel in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and singing the Baron in LA TRAVIATA. Will also be the special guest artist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Southeast Regional Finals in Atlanta singing "Per me giunto" from Verdi's DON CARLO.

Previous: Singing at the New York City Opera in Manhattan. Currently living in NYC. See his website below. "I've finished at the University of Tennessee after performing six new roles in two years with the Knoxville Opera Company and UT Opera. I am currently an Artist in Residence with Opera Memphis and will be singing in the professional premiere of Michael Ching's new opera CORPS OF DISCOVERY. From there I go back to Lyric Opera Cleveland to sing Gideon March in LITTLE WOMEN which will be directed by the composer; I will also will sing Guglielmo in COSI FAN TUTTE. I come back to Memphis in October to sing in TOSCA (role not yet decided). I now also have New York management with Engdahl Artists International." NEW: "I have been competing in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions since 1999. In the ensuing years I have won a couple of Encouragement Awards and finally Third Place last year in the Southeast Region. This past Sunday in Atlanta's Spivey Hall I finally achieved a goal I have been chasing for six years. I won the Southeast Regionals and will now compete in the National Semi-finals on the stage of the Met in New York. WEBSITE: http://www.scottguinn.com sguinn78@gmail.com


Jason Herre, 7/07: " I am currently working at a BMW dealership in Seattle. I got married to the love of my life Catherine last year(06). My greatest achievment so far is that I started a wind energy company with my best friend John. We have just completed our first phase of our development for a project in SE Wyoming. You can see our web page at www.westwindenergy.com. It'll be nice to here from some of you that I haven't seen in the last
11 years...j_d_herre@hotmail.com


Elizabeth Hiett: Graduated HS in '98 and now is attending Gordon College in Barnesville, GA and is majoring in Nursing and minoring in Music. She's also taken a semester in voice and the college chorus. angel7music@yahoo.com or slayer1431@collegeclub.com


Alyssa Hoffman Walters, 4/07, "I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2001. In college I performed with the Scarlet & Cream Singers -- the university's show choir. After I graduated, I went on to be the group's producer and booking agent. My husband, Matt, and I were married in October of 2001, and less than a year later we were blessed with our first child -- Samantha! And 22 months later, a son came along -- Hudson. And 17 months after that -- another son named Hunter. Yes, that's 3 kids in 39 months!

I'm now so lucky to stay home with my kids while my husband works as a National Bank Examiner. I look back on that summer of SOA with the ABSOLUTE FONDEST of MEMORIES! I miss you all and can't believe the amazing things you've all gone on to do! I'd LOVE to hear from you! mattandalyssa@hotmail.com


Trent Hollinger, 8/04: "I received my BS (Music Ed), and BA (Saxophone, Composition) from Lebanon Valley College where I graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors in composition. I received my MM in Saxophone Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. This coming may I will be receiving my second and third masters in Composition and Wind Conducting from Peabody as well.

I have been an active summer music camp director/teacher as well as an active composer, performer, conductor, and educator throughout PA and MD. "

NEW: As some of you may remember, I recently recieved my second and third Masters of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music. I now have a Masters in Saxophone, Composition, and Wind Conducting. In May I was offered and accepted a job as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Cornerstone University - A Christian University located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Recently, I have been given my class load for the fall semester and I will be teaching Music Theory I (written not aural), Basic Instrumental Conducting, The Music of Wagner and Beyond (20th Century Theory), some Saxophone Students, and the Wind Ensemble. Here is my new contact info if you would like to get in touch. Trent_A_Hollinger@cornerstone.edu


Ben Jaffa, 3/04; Currently living in San Francisco after College in Oregon, and stints in Buenos Aires and Alaska.  Entering Law School in the Fall. Singing in the shower. bjaffa77@hotmail.com

Matt Johnson: "Since last September, I have been studying in southern Germany, and will remain here until the end of July." peoria@hotmail.com


Shani Kious: She's a music teacher at Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Graduate Student of Music Education at Old Dominion University. music-singer@juno.com


Amy Larmon: "I graduated in May of 2003 with My Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University at Albany, in New York. I currently live in far-upstate New York and am employed as a therapist for adults with mental illness. Keep in Touch!" Aimbeau79@yahoo.com


Eric Launder, 5/08: " I work as a fashion stylist in New York...Solving one fashion crisis at a time. Please visit my website to see my latest projects. www.ericlaunder.com
previous: After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology as a Visual Display and Exhibit Design Major, I now work as a Fashion Stylist for Magazine Editorials and Advertising. I am still living in New York and have recently left my beloved home on the Lower East Side to for a Home with Jill Delano in The South Street Seaport area. As a weird twist of fate, Jill and I met on the 'Gold Bus'. After years of lost contact, we've reconnected only to find ourselves together again... only this time on 'Gold Street'." Aquarian218@yahoo.com


Jill Lichtenwalner, 4-04: Will be graduating from Oberlin College in May with a Bachelors in percussion performance and music history and will be returning to Germany for the 2004-2005 school year to study at the University of Bonn through a Fulbright Fellowship.  lichtenjill@hotmail.com


David Little, 4/04: Finished my MM in Music Composition at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Currently living in Boston as a freelance composer.  Beginning my PhD in music composition at Princeton University in the fall of 2004.  ...thus, heading back to Jersey. Got Bachelor's from Susquehanna University, PA. david_t_little@yahoo.com


Nick Long, 12-08 "I've still stuck with the arts. I've moved from TX to Los Angeles, and now I dance. Music has definitely helped as a background for what I do now. Just finished dancing for Rihanna at the MTV VMAs and on CBS for Fashion Rocks. I remember having a blast and laughing that whole trip. So much fun! " NRLdance@aol.com

Sam Lutz: "I just graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in government and will be attending NYU Law next fall. " samlutz29@yahoo.com


JoLee Marshall Yeddo, 9-03: I'm going into my 2nd year of teaching 4th and 5th grade band in Plattsburg, NY. I just got married 7/5/03, and things are goingreally well!. jjyeddo@westelcom.com


Jackie Mathis. 9/03: " Graduated Maryville College in Maryville, TN in 2000 with a BA in Computer Science/ Math. Traveled to eastern Europe in Oct. 2002 to Latvia to sing with a men's group called Faithful Men as a mission trip. Just got married in June 2003. Living in West Knoxville (GO BIG ORANGE). It's good to see that you guys still check this site and keep updating your info. Keep it up." mathislj@chartertn.net


J.F. Miller: Married Nov 11, 2000. Has son, Cole. jfmiller@soundofamerica.org


Scott Michener, 5-11: "Living in NYC and working for Columbia University in the Cognitive Neuroscience Department. I'm going to nursing school at Columbia next year for Nurse Anesthesia. I still sing, play piano, and record every day. PREVIOUS: I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in '96 in pre-med and acting, with minors in piano and voice." scottmichener@gmail.com


Corinne Morini, 12/04: "After receiving my MM in Vocal Pedagogy from the New England Conservatory I was offered a position at Youngstown State University. I currently work with our choral director from SOA Dr. Steve Ausmann! I am taking auditions, lessons, and singing as much as possible. Anyone out there in need of a soprano? :)" corinnemorini@yahoo.com


Sarah Morris: Changed her major to Evangelism with a Church music minor. Involved in Univ Chorale and Women's Chorus. She's a junior at Oral Roberts Univ and works at OR TV (Camera operator). Met Maurice Skaular (violinist). smorris02@hotmail.com


Norm Ofstead, 8-08 "Wow, it's already been 12 years since our tour. That is SO CRAZY to me. Time has flown by SO FAST and a lot has happened since then. Let's see, where should I start...... well, after the tour my family moved to Portland, Oregon where I attended school at the University of Oregon, GO DUCKS!!! After a few years I decided Oregon and the Pacific Northwest just wasn't for me anymore.

So, in the summer of 2002 I made the biggest move of my life and attempted to achieve one of my life long dreams. I packed up everything I could into my small car and moved across the country to Orlando, FL where I auditioned and was offered a job in Walt Disney World Entertainment. I was SO STOKED, it was truly a dream come true. I was lucky enough to be trained as a dancer in most of the parades across property. But along with the parades I was also a performer for a couple major shows as well. In the spring of 2005 I was a member of the opening cast of "Cinderellabration." A new show that was performed on the Magic Kingdom Castle stage. I danced at Cindi-bration whenever I was needed, but for my last 3 years at WDW I could be found dancing up a storm as an African animal in the AMAZING "Festival of the Lion King" show at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. Lion King was the most incredible show I have EVER been involved with. If you ever find yourself on vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, make sure you see this show. I miss it so much!!!!

Then during the winter/spring of '06 I had the UNBELIEVABLE opportunity to take a break from WDW. I was brought down to live in the Bahamas for 6 WEEKS (WOO HOO) while I worked on my very first film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End!!!" AAAHHH, I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! I didn't have a huge role or anything, but this was my first movie ever and I was in the Bahamas, so I wasn't gonna complain, haha. I had the chance to play both a Black Pearl pirate and an EITC British soldier. I had a great time working on the film. I got to work with all the stars, who are all incredible people. But Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy (Davey Jones) were the 2 nicest people on the set. So keep an eye out for me in the film. I made it into the movie about 6-7 times. But honestly if you blink..... you'll miss me, haha.

After the film I went back to Disney World for one more year before deciding it was finally time to move on. My time at WDW was some of the BEST years ever. I made so many amazing friends there. It had been 5 years ('02-'07) since I first started working at WDW, and even though I still loved working for Disney I new it was finally time to move on.

In February of '07 I auditioned for a National Touring stage show. And just a few days after the audition I received a call offering me a contract on an International Tour for a new Disney show, WOO HOO. So, since 3/07 I have been overseas on tour, dancing and acting (for Disney again, haha) and I'm having the time of my life!!! I've now been lucky enough to combine 3 of my passions..... performing, traveling, and of course Disney (I'm such a HUGE dork). In the past year I have been fortunate enough to visit Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India, Egypt (PYRAMIDS BABY), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates). I can't believe I'm getting this opportunity. I feel so amazingly fortunate, and I'm trying not to take a single day for granted.

I'm now just about to wrap up my summer break from tour. We head back overseas on Sept 1st, and will be spending 10 months all over Europe. This will be my first time back in Europe since our SOA tour, and I am SO EXCITED to get back over there. It's should be another incredible year on tour with the mouse. :~D

So yeah, that's been my life since SOA. I guess I can say that I am enjoying life, and absolutely loving my career. I still can't believe it has already been 12 YEARS since the tour.... CRAZY!!! I hope your all doing well. Take care, and please feel free to right me. I'ed love to hear from old friends. Or you can always find me on myspace as well. My url is www.myspace.com/wdwmover

Take care everyone & please keep in touch, wbboy29@yahoo.com


Christina Pavlica: Graduating from Miami Univ of Ohio 8/00 with a BA in Psychology and one in Religion. Pursuing a MA in Counseling Psychology after that time. ChristinaPavlica@hotmail.com


Walter (Chris) Plonka, 2-09, "I attended Point Park College for Musical Theatre/Secondary Education. I moved to San Diego, CA in 2000, and have enjoyed almost every minute of it. After SOA I continued to perform in theme parks, professional, and regional theatre productions. But for the past two years I have been working for the San Diego Civic Light Opera, and am now teh Managing Director. I can't believe it's been so many years since the tour, and really wish I could go back and do it all over again. There is so much that I remember, but I think at this age, I would probably remember and appreciate it even more. I'd wouldn't mind hearing from anybody from the tour - hopefully talk to you soon!" BelieveLDT@hotmail.com


Jason Pyron, 11-06: "Jason Pyron here from 1996! Can you believe it has been 10 years! It is crazy! After coming off the road with "Living Word" in 2004, I came back home to GA and work in property management. I am still leading worship for a church here in Atlanta and loving it! I also got to catch up with Jill Delano while I was down in Orlando visiting Norm. It was awesome to see her after so long! I would love to hear from all of you so please shoot me and email and say hi! I am currently traveling with a professional singing group called the "Living Word Singers." We are traveling around the US singing at various churches and schools. In between tours, I still live in Atlanta. Let me hear from you guys!! Previously: Grad'd from Berry College and got my degree in Vocal Performance. Worked at a church on the Southside of Atlanta leading worship for youth and singles." jpyron@mac.com


Jackie Ragan: A lot has been going on in my life, too much to mention here so if you want to get in touch just e mail me and I will get back to you! I miss you guys and think about y'all all the time ;o) southern_chic98@yahoo.com


Kelly Randall: Finished a year abroad in Germany; attended Vanderbilt University and now living in Nashville. kaetzchen5@hotmail.com


Joanna Rochester: She's a junior at Univ of MS with a major in Mathematics and Music minor. She's in the marching band and wind ensemble. jcroches@olemiss.edu


Allen & Cindy Roth: Allen has been working at "Allenberry Playhouse", in Boiling Springs, PA, playing string bass and bass guitar in productions of "Swingtime Canteen" and "A closer walk with Patsy Cline". roth30s@aol.com


Nichole D. Scott Adams, 5-03: "Lived in Portland, Oregon as a nanny for 4 years and was a member of the Portland Symphonic Choir during that time. Received my Associates in Sports Medicine at BYU-Idaho last year and am now in Moscow, Idaho attending U of I with my husband, looking for more musical opportunities." viktoree21@hotmail.com


Rebecca Sach, 11-06: "I graduated from Ithaca College in 2002 with a BM in Vocal Music Education and from Florida State University in 2004 with an MA in Arts Administration. I currently live in Alexandria, VA and work in development/finance at Washington National Opera. I would love to hear from old SOA friends!" Singin516@aol.com


Ben Shanbaum: "Just about ready to graduate from the University of Illinois with a music ed bachelor's degree. Spent two years as the principal euphonium for the U of I Wind Symphony, and looking for those professional gigs to start opening up! Hey, if you remember me at all and want to catch up on some of the good ol' days, drop me a line!" uieuph@yahoo.com


Christina Shepherd Boyd, 3-08 "A lot has happened since I last wrote, the most dramatic change being that I got married last June ('07). I met Michael on eHarmony, and we got married in my parents' backyard 4 months later. My family was sad to see me leave LA, but Michael & I are happily settled in Northport, AL (where he's from). I taught elementary school for 6 years, but am now (happily) a housewife. It's actually pretty amazing to me that last August I was praying for God to allow me to marry and be a housewife, and in His sovereign grace, He did so in less than a year! I am incredibly thankful to Him for loving me so. " pennyrosyal@yahoo.com


Brooke Shoemaker: Attending Auburn Univ, AL involved in marching French Horn during football season and pep band for basketball. Majoring in Pre-Med. Felix24601@aol.com


Rebecca Smith: She's finishing her 3rd year at Shenandoah Univ as a music Ed and Music Performance major. She also is a substitute teacher and an assistant music director. darkangel76@hotmail.com


Telitha Sparks, 4/08: "I am currently teaching band as the assistant band director at Pell City High School in Pell City Alabama.I am responsible for the middle school students as well. I received my undergraduate degree in 2003 from the University of Alabama and my masters degree in 2005 from Troy University. I still play euphonium in local community bands and play bass guitar around the area.I have an email I would love to hear from anyone so send me an email!" sparkspchs@yahoo.com


Katrina Taylor: Living in Utah. southpawluck@aol.com


Dan Wions, 10-27-05: "French Horn (and Piano), Faculty at the Westminster Conservatory of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. Faculty at Summertrios summer chamber music festival. Performed under Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur, and Lorin Maazel, among others. Toured Europe and Japan with various ensembles. Tour dates with Frank Sinatra Jr., Patti Lupone, Anne Murray, Leann Rhimes, Clay Aiken, The Three Irish Tenors, among others. Guest soloist with the National Concert Party (Chamber Orchestra of America) at the Kennedy Center. A performing member of orchestras in CT, GA, IN, KY, NJ, NY, PA, and Washington DC. Special honors include performing at Carnegie Hall with Ronan Tynan, playing a benefit concert on piano for the Guggenheim Foundation, and being selected to play for the Dalai Lama in Bloomington, IN. Teachers include Michelle Baker, Myron Bloom, Scott Brubaker, Tony Cecere, Peter Gordon, Michael Hatfield, Rick Seraphinoff, and Chris Wilhjelm. BM in Horn Performance, with

outside studies in piano and composition, from Indiana University. I presently reside in Hillsborough, NJ, freelancing and teaching mainly in the NJ, NY, PA, and DC areas. I have an upcoming solo performance of Strauss horn concerto No. 1 with the Massapequa Philharmonic. Go here for more information: www.massphil.org."


Sarah Wong: "I graduated from University of Southern California with B.A. in International Relations and minor in Vocal Performance and Communications." dreamusc88@hotmail.com


Alison Wood: Senior at Gettysburg College. Doing lots of work with inner city kids. In the musical Guys and Dolls at Gettysburg, PA. awood_26@hotmail.com


Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry, 2/03: "(percussion section) I graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in the fall of 2001 with a degree in Instrumental Music Education and Vocal/ General Education K-12 with an emphasis in percussion. As a student at MTSU I marched with the World Champion independent Winter Drumline Music City Mystique, and the World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps The Cadets of Bergen County.In 1999 I was awarded first place at the Percussive Arts Society International College Marimba Competition.

I am currently a music specialist at Siegel Middle School in Murfreesboro, TN. My teaching responsiblitiles include 6,7,8th grade general music, choir, and drama. I have just written and received a music grant that will enable me to add class guitar and world drumming to my music program. This summer I will be attending Level I Orff-Schulwerk training. I was married in December of 2001 and my husband David, also a percussionist, works in the music business in Nashville, Tn. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to perform and travel with SOA. It made a huge impact on my life! I hope that I am able to use my experiences to help impact my students. Thank you so much!" abyatuzis@comcast.net


Rebecca Young Van Wagenen,6/07: "I have been performing with the Utah Opera Company since 2001. I just completed a run of the "Grapes of Wrath" co-world premier of Rick Ian Gordan's most recent Opera with the minniesota opera company. I also preform with various musical theater's in the off season; last summer performing as the Narrator in "Joesph..." With Draper Historic Theatre. Proud mother of 2 Kennedy who is almost 8 and Ethan who is 4. " bexyvan@yahoo.com


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last updated 5-9-11, tlb