updated 9-20-12

We would like to introduce you to some former Sound of America student musicians who have excelled in their field.

After the tour, most SOA alumni attend college, some enlist in the military, and others find other interesting paths in life. We are happy to learn that a number of former students are now teachers, many of which are music educators. On this page, we bring to the spotlight a few individuals who have received special awards or have attained a special level of accomplishment and serve as inspiration to others training in music and other fields. Congratulations and keep up the good work!


LINDSAY ROBERTS, Alto from Pennsylvania, 2003, See Lindsay NOW SHOWING: in the 2011 Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City as one of three understudies for the principal role of "Tracy". She has previously performed on the National Tour of "Ragtime" as "Sarah", as well as "Nala/Kibbi" in Disney's Festival of the Lion King. She also performed in Kurt Weill's operetta, Lost in the Stars in NYC. Lindsay recently opened the show for "Broadway Dreams Foundation NY Benefit Concert", singing "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess. She has performed numerous times for that event, and also in productions in prestigious concert halls such as the Kimmel Center and Fulton Opera House in Philadelphia.


LINDSAY PEARCE, Soprano from California, 2006: Lindsay was one of the 12 young actors in "THE GLEE PROJECT". aired on Oxygen (now you can see it online). After an exhaustive nationwide talent search, the series uncovers a unique group of artists with both professional and amateur backgrounds, proving every underdog has a fighting chance at stardom.

As one of the top three finalists, Lindsay will have two featured appearances on TV's "GLEE"! Here is a video of her first performance on "GLEE" singing from Anything Goes and Annie Get Your Gun .

In Decemer 2001, Lindsay starred as "Snow White" in El Portal Theatre's (in Hollywood) production of the musical A Snow White Christmas, which will run from November 30, 2011 through December 18, 2011. Neil Patrick Harris and Marina Sirtis co-star as the Magic Mirror and the Wicked Queen respectively.

More info on Lindsay:


MICHAEL SAWZIN, Alto Sax from Ohio, 2004: : Michael recently performed with the Eastman Saxophone Project at NASA Conference at West Point, NY.  (Attached is a link to videos of that performance.  Michael is the tallest in the group.)


TRENT HOLLINGER, Saxophone from Pennsylvania, '96

Trent is currently Director of Bands at Culver-Stockton College, Canton, MO. He was previously Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Cornerstone University - A Christian University located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At this university he oversaw 40% growth in the music department and received the University’s Outstanding Service Award.  He is active as a guest conductor and clinician. Additionally, Mr. Hollinger serves as the Music Director for the Quincy Concert Band in Quincy, Illinois. Trent is an active composer as well. He received his BS (Music Ed), and BA (Saxophone, Composition) from Lebanon Valley College, PA where he graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors in composition. He Recieved his second and third Masters of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Music for Classical Saxophone Performance, Composition, and Wind Conducting–from the Peabody Conservatory. He has earned a Masters in Saxophone, Composition, and Wind Conducting.


VICTOR BARRANCO, Trombone, Alaska, '00

VIctor is currently playing with the US Army Blues jazz ensemble based in the Washington DC area, which is a division of the "Pershing's Own US Army Band". He attended University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for his undergraduate work. He obtained his masters of Music in trombone performance at the University of North Texas. He has performed with a National Tour of "Fiddler on the Roof" and has performed with Gladys Knight, among others. He has also been a part of Brass Connection, a small brass ensemble which peroforms and arranges music for brass ensembles.


DOUG O'CONNOR, Tenor Sax from Maryland, '99

Doug's quartet, the Red Line Saxophone Quartet, in which he played soprano sax, won the distinguished Fischoff Music Award. Doug has won several honors including the Astral Artists' 2003 National Auditions; 2nd Prize winner of the 2nd International Jean-Marie Londeix Saxophone Competition in Bangkok; 2nd Prize winner in the 2008 North American Saxophone Alliance Classical Solo Competition; as well as 1st Prize National Winner of the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Competition in Toronto. American Symphony Orchestra League magazine noted him as the 2007 Emerging Artist. In 2008, Doug won the Eastman School of Music Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Doug, a graduate of University of Maryland in Saxophone Performance, where he was music director and conductor of its Philharmonia Ensemble chamber orchestra. He received his master's degree and music performer's certificate (with a citation from the Arts Leadership Program) from Eastman School of Music, NY. He has won a number of awards in college, including the 2004 National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloists Competition, the Univ. of Maryland Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra's Mary Graham Lasley competition.


SCOTT STEEN, Trumpet from California, '83

Scott has been chosen as lead trumpet for Cirque de Soleil's new production, Banana Shpeel in Chicago winter 2009/2010 - it is now playing in New York City. He has played with Royal Crown Revue swing band from Los Angeles for the past 10 years. He has also appeared in the film, "The Mask", and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", performed with Brian Setzer, Kiss, and headlined at the Hollywood Bowl.

Scott toured with Bette Midler on her 2005 "Kiss my Brass Tour" in the US and Australia, as the solo trumpeter. He's featured on many CDs, and has a CD of his own called, "Makin' Time". He has also been heard on The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and Ellen DeGeneres. As an adovcate of music in education, he has appeared on CNN, ABC World News Tonight, and NPR's All Things Considered.


DAVID LITTLE, Percussionist from New Jersey, '97, '99, 2000

David is actively performing and composing. His compositions have recently been performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra; and an opera he composed recently premiered up at Bard Conservatory. David has twice won the BMI Student Composer Award Winner (2002 for "hope in the proles" and 2004 for "Piano Trio"). David's composition "Screamer!" was chosen by Maestro David Zinman as the winner of the 2004 Jacob Druckman Award for Orchestral Composition from the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a Schumann Fellow during the summer of 2003. He is a 2003 recipient of the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and served as the 2001 ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Fellow in Composition at the Tanglewood Music Center. David was also awarded the 2004 Harvey Gaul Composition Prize from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. David received his Bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance from Susquehanna University (PA) and his Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


MARK INDORF, Tenor from Ohio, '99

Mark, who has been studying organ at the Sorbonne, has presented recital concerts in churches in France, such as the American Church, Église Notre-Dame-des-Champs, and the famous Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres. Mark has studied several years of organ performance in Paris at the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt and Conservatoire de Rayonnement Régional (CRR) de Paris. He received his bachelor of music from Capital University, OH.


NORM OFSTEAD, Baritone from Oregon, '96

Norm has spent the last year and more touring with Disney's "Mickey's Magic Show International Tour", which has presented shows in dozens of countries around the world! He has also performed in for a Princess Disney Show in Spain.

Norm was cast as a Black Pearl pirate and an EITC British Soldier in "Pirates of the Caribbean III, At World's End", which was filmed in the Bahamas a few years ago.  

Before all that, Norm had been working as a profesional performer and dancer throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, Florida for several years.  He could be seen dancing in Disney parades ("Share A Dream Come True" parade at the Magic Kingdom and "Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade" at Disney's Animal Kingdom)  he also performed in "Frontierland Hoedown show" at the Magic Kingdom on property, most frequently in "The Festival of the Lion King" show, at Disney's Animal Kingdom park.


DAVID GARDNER, Baritone from Washington, '80

David is currently Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Choirs, Voice, and Conducting at Southwestern College, Kansas. David directs the A Cappella Choir and Southwestern College Singers, and teaches Conducting, Vocal Diction, and Private Voice. He has received numerous awards, including a second-place finish in the 2001 American Choral Directors Association National Student Conducting Awards Competition, and the 2005 Fassnacht Outstanding Faculty Award.  He is frequently requested to serve as guest conductor and baritone soloist.  Dr. Gardner's Carnegie Hall conducting debut was in 2005, when he led the MidAmerica Festival Chorus and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. Previously, he served as conductor of the Tucson Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, a group which grew four-fold under his direction. Dave received his D.M.A., from the University of Arizona.


John ONTIVEROS and Gracie ACOSTA, trumpets from Texas '02

John and Gracie won their GRAMMIES as part of Los Hot Horns Mariachi band in 2008!


CARL HESS, Trumpet from Virginia, '98

Carl has just been given a position on the music faculty staff at Duquesne University (along with Sean Jones, SOA '98 & 2000), in Pittsburgh, PA. He is serving as assistant director of the Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Orchestra, and Contemporary Ensemble. He is also responsible for teaching undergraduate conducting. Carl attended Alderson-Broaddus College. He was named winner in the 2004 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Eastern Division Performance Competitions in the Yamaha Young Artist Brass category. "SOA shaped many aspects of my life. I highly recommend this tour to everyone. It has the possibility of being the highlight of your life!"


KYLE MARTIN, Baritone from California, '93

Kyle owns his own vocal studio in California and was chosen as one of the very few selected to perform the part of vocal/piano roll of "The Piano Man" in Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp's National Tour of the "Movin' Out". There's only been 9 Piano Men in the entire run of the show and he'll number 10. starts in Atlantic City, NJ starting June 13th and is there for 10 weeks. He is also the official singing voice for Bibleman on the 2007 Live Tour and I just appeared on the INSP network on their C.A.T.S. television show.

BRIAN RALSTON, Trumpet from California, '92, '93

Brian is now a music composer for films, based in Los Angeles.  After completing graduate school in the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at the USC in L.A., he orchestrated and arranged the music for a staged musical called SNEAUX! that ran in L.A. for 7 months in 2003 and received 2 out of 6 nominations for L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards including Best Musical.   He has also written underscore for the 20th Century Fox TV show, ANGEL (Season 4). 

He composed the music and produced the 35mm comedy short film called THE RECE!PT. (It won Best Comedy at the 2005 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival (the largest short film festival in the world), Best Short Audience award at the Breckenridge Festival of Film 2005, and a Gold Medal for Excellence at the Park City Film Music Festival 2006 - this last award was given specifically for his musical score.   Brian also won an Aurora Award for his score to THE RECE!PT.  His most recent film music is for 9/TENTHS, starring Gabrielle Anwar, Henry Ian Cusick (Lost, 24) and is directed by Bob Degus, who produced "Pleasantville."  9/Tenths premiered at the Sedona Film Festival in February.  
He is currently scoring the feature film GRADUATION which stars Adam Arkin, Shannon Lucio (The O.C.) and Chris Marquette (Joan of Arcadia).  It is produced by Jane Sindell (Seabiscuit) and Bob Degus.  It should be out in theatres within the year.  You can hear Brian's work at his website.


SEAN JONES, Trumpet & Flugelhorn from Ohio, '98, '00

Sean Jones is still playing with Wynton Marsalis's Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and is currently the lead trumpet player. Sean has also recently finished a new CD, "The Search Within". This new jazz album follows his previous, "Gemini" and "Eternal Journey", which was played frequently on jazz radio stations, and XM Radio. (See a review). Sean's website.

Sean has toured with LCJO to many locations around the world.

Sean made a special visit to SOA while on campus at Elizabethtown 2005. Sean spoke with students, told them about why SOA was important to him, explained life as a professional musician, and also played a little for the new students.

Sean received a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from Youngstown State Univ, Dana School of Music, OH. He was awarded the Downbeat Magazine "Jazz on Campus 2000 Award" and the Downbeat "2001 Notable Performance Award". He has traveled the US and Europe with the International Jazz Quintet, "Sophisticated Ladies" musical production, and musical artists, the Temptations and The Four Tops. He has also done performances with Joe Lavano, Frank Foster, Wess Anderson, Jimmy Owens, Conrad Herwig, Charles Schlutter, Bob Brookmeyer, Barbara Morrison, Cecil McBee, Stanley Cowell, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Heritage Orchestra.

He received the prestigious Ralph Bunche Fellowship at Rutgers Univ, NJ and also plays in New York City in jazz clubs such as the Village Vanguard and the Apollo.


JONATHAN BISESI, Percussion from New York, '95

Jon was recently awarded the coveted position of Staff Sergeant in the percussion section of the one and only, prestigious "President's Own" U.S. MARINE BAND. He earned his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory. He received his master's from Boston University. He has been a teaching associate at Boston University and a fellow of Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, MA.

STANLEY ROBERTS, Tenor from Georgia, '80

Dr. Stan Roberts is currently Director of Choral Activities & coordinator of Sacred Music Studies at Mercer University, GA. Stan directs the Mercer Singers, the University Choir and the Chamber Singers, while teaching courses in conducting and sacred music. He founded "Jubilate," mass choir experience for youth choirs, and formerly directed The Georgia Renaissance Singers. He also serves as Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia. He stays active as a conductor, clinician and soloist. Stan directed the 2006 Georgia All-State Intermediate Mixed Honors Chorus. He is a graduate of Mercer University, GA in 1984 and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1989 & 1995.

JOSH BENNETT, Tenor from Montana, '93

Josh has been part of the cast of the National Touring company of "Oklahoma" in 2005 and is currently touring with the National Tour of "The Producers". Josh was also in the film version of "The Producers". Josh has danced with a huge dance project in New York City called, Agora, as well as a New Jersey company called "Freespace Dance."


AARON HUNIU, Bass vocalist from California, '97

Aaron is Managing Director of J*Company Youth Theatre, at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, a professional youth theatre company. After graduating from University of California, Irvine with a BA in Drama, he spent two years as a Cruise Director for Royal Carribbean Cruise Lines - (Sovereign of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas). He has worked as a background actor on E.R., The Practice, American Dreams, Malcom in the Middle, Alias, and Will & Grace. In 2003 he appeared in feature films "The Italian Job", "Daddy Day Care", and "Freaky Friday".... He has also worked with lead spotlight for Goo Goo Dolls & Tonic, Garbage & Lit and Gallagher and as an asst. cameraman/grip for "8-Ball" short film."


TOBY SCOTT GUINN, Baritone from Texas, '96

Toby performed last season with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, 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 he will be returning to New York City Opera 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".

He was an Artist in Residence with Opera Memphis and sang in the professional premiere of Michael Ching's new opera CORPS OF DISCOVERY. He also sang Gideon March in LITTLE WOMEN with the Lyric Opera Cleveland, as well as Guglielmo in COSI FAN TUTTE, and in TOSCA. His Knoxville Opera Company debut was as Mercutio in Gounod's "ROMEO ET JULIETTE".

CAILIN MANSON, baritone from Pennsylvania, '98

Cailin is Professor and Chair of Vocal Studies of the Hazleton Conservatory for the Performing Arts, where he is also the Associate Conductor of the Hazleton Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Conductor of the Hazleton Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. He is the Music Director Laureate and Principal Guest Conductor of the Chamber Symphony of Atlantic City, an Artist-In-Residence for Opera North-Philadelphia and a soloist/core singer for the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia. Cailin recently was the guest conductor for PMEA District 11 Chorus.

Cailin received degrees from Americus University and Temple University, PA; and a Magisterdiplom in Conducting and Opera from Universitat Salzburg Mozarteum. He is a fellow with the North American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Lecturer in Fine Arts, New York College of Advanced Studies; and is featured vocalist with different performing groups, such as the Philadelphia Youth Symphony and at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Univ of Maryland.See his own web-page.


MARGUERITE TUSSEY, Pennsylvania SOA chaperone '82

Marguerite has been awarded the Medal of Honor by the French Government, on June 6th, 2004, during the D-Day Remembrance Ceremonies. She is one of only 100 former American WWII soldiers receiving this honor, including only 10 women. We are proud she was an SOA member (chaperone) and we thank her for her work in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. We were happy to honor her and a fellow female soldier from the central PA area during our Bon Voyage concerts summer 2004.


CAREN LEVINE, Flute from New York, '90

Caren is currently Assistant Conductor and Principle Accompanist of the Metropolitan Opera Company of New York City. She received her Doctorate of Musical Studies in piano at Julliard. She serves as a vocal coach and assistant conductor for the Berkshire Opera Company. She has participated in the Fellowship program of the Tanglewood Music Center as a vocal coach, and performed with Barbara Bonney. Awards she has received include the Peabody Conservatory Prize in Chamber Music in '96 the Tilden Prize National Flute Competition Accompaning Award in '96. She also was awarded 1st prize at the renowned Artist's International Competition in New York City, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world.

Caren has performed several times at Carnegie Hall. She was previously a professor at Chico State University, CA. Her own compositions can be heard on her CD, "Flowers from a Secret Admirer."


HANK FELDMAN: Tuba from New Mexico, '83, '93

Hank is currently President of the F.A.M.E. Foundation (Fostering Arts-Mind Education Foundation) and Director of Evolved Learning, Inc., Hank incorporates holistic applications into his playing and into his clinics. He is active in performance, composition, arranging and teaching. Click here to see where he will be doing clinics and performances.

Hank directs and performs with a tuba and euphonium jazz ensemble, the "ITEC Jazz All-Stars," which performed at the '98 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Minneapolis. This ensemble is comprised of some of the most acclaimed low brass artists in the world. Click here to see CDs he has made, and CD's with other musicians, one of which was nominated for a grammy.

Hank has served as Associate Director of Band and Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Arizona ('92-'97) and as the Assistant Band Director and Conductor of University Bandsat Univ of Wisconsin, Madison (1990 to 1992). He has also been a guest faculty member at the Wisconsin Summer Music Clinic, the Brevard Center for Music and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. His tuba-euphonium ensembles performed by invitation at the 1996 International BrassFest in Long Beach, CA and the '97 International Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Riva del Garda, Italy.

He is also involved with the Symphonia Tuba-Euphonium Workshop at Interlochen Center for the Arts, MI for high school, amateur and college performers.

He was a featured jazz soloist at the '98 Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Conference held in Washington DC. Hank was also featured as both a classical and jazz soloist at the '99 Conference in Sydney, Australia.


DARREN MULDER, Trumpet from California, '82

Darren is currently a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and he regularly performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philharmonic Brass, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Santa Monica Symphony. has performed at the famous Spoleto Festival in Italy. Formerly the principal trumpet with the National Orchestra of Mexico City, he has been a lecturer at University of California, Irvine. He is currently the trumpet professor and Wind Ensemble Director at the Colburn School of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Darren received his BA in music from California State University, Long Beach and his Masters Degree from University of Southern California.  


STAN WILKERSON, Trombone from Georgia, '84, '90

Stan was lead trombone player in Wynton Marsalis's Orchestra during the filming of "Marsalis on Music" for PBS a number of years ago. Iin addition to playing with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he has also played with King Oliver Tribute Band, the Stan Wilkerson Quartet and the Lyric Brass Quintet. He has taught jazz and trombone at Peabody Conservatory of Music, Mt. Royal Symphonic Orchestra and its Band Program, and Crossroads Academy, GA. He has produced a CD of original compositions, "Latter Rain." He can be heard with the Lyric Brass Quintet out of Baltimore.

He's performed with "Ragtime" & "Chicago" at the National Theatre, Washington DC; "Showboat" with the National Touring Company, and the Broadway casts of "Peter Pan" and "Dream Girls." Other engagements include performing at the Mansion of the U.S. Vice-President of the United States, as well as having performed with Ray Charles, Benny Carter, Doc Cheetham, Lionel Hampton, James Moody, Johnny Mathis, Joe Williams, Lou Rawls, Bobby Short, Natalie Cole, and many others.

Stan graduated and received his Master of Music Performance degree from Peabody Conservatory of Music, MD after attending Florida State University for his Bachelor in Music Performance. He has been playing with the Baltimore Symphony since 1997 and was the principal trombonist for the Baltimore Pops in 1997. He's performed with the Knoxville Symphony '94-96 and the Charleston and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras. He received a Peabody Conservatory Followship, and qualified as a MTNA Wurlizter National Soloist Finalist.


STEVEN PALINOSKY, Trumpet from Pennsylvania, '83

Steve played trumpet with the Quantico Marine Band, as well as Administrative Chief. He served in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and was Asst. Enlisted Bandleader. At the rank of Staff Sergeant, he served in the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band in Okinawa, Japan, and later Musician Technical Asst. for the 4th marine Corps District in Harrisburg, PA. There he managed auditions for enlistment for the 6 Marine Corps Recruiting Stations in a 10 State area. Since that time, he has served as Bandleader, High Brass Leader and Public Affairs Chief and now is Small Ensemble Leader of III Marine Expeditionary Force Band. He has received many medals of commendation. Steve graduated from Ithaca College, NY with a bachelor's in music. He attended and graduated from the Armed Forces School of Music, VA and was the honor graduate of his class.


DAVID ARRIVEE, Clarinet from California, '86

David is currently Symphony Director and Assistant Professor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has participated as a pianist in the Schumann Duos Program at The Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Study, England, and as a conducting fellow at Tanglewood. He served as the Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, IL. He taught Music Theory at Northwestern University, Chicago and was active as a chamber musician. He often serves as a guest conductor of orchestras, such as the California Central Coast Section Honor Orchestra.

David received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and his M.M. degree in orchestral conducting from Boston University. He received his doctorate in orchestral conducting at Northwestern University, and wrote a dissertation on the use of other arts in educational concerts. He had served as the assistant conductor for the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and the March Chapel Choir of Boston University, and conducted the Auros Ensemble for New Music. In Leipzig, Germany, he served as a pianist and conductor for the Schola Cantorum.


STEVEN STUTS, Bass vocalist from New York, '05 was selected to sing at the Jazz & Voice Showcase Performance sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Florida winter 2005. The NFAA auditioned over 6500 students from all 50 states & Canada. A perfect 10 was necessary to be invited to sing at the NFAA Arts week in Miami and Steve was 1 of only 3 students who scored a perfect 10 in the popular voice category. He has appeared on "ONE LIFE TO LIVE" several times in 2006.


ASHLEIGH BELL, Alto Sax from Virginia, '05

Ashleigh performed as one of the outstanding young musicians in the country on NPR's "From the Top" nationally-aired weekly radio show. This show features the nation's most exceptional pre-college age classical musicians on it's one-hour weekly program. Click here to see the page on her and hear her performance of Maurice's "Des Alyscamps L'Ame Souspire" from Tableaux de Provence.


BRANDON YARNS, Clarinet from South Carolina, 2002

Brandon was chosen to be one of the outstanding young musicians in the country by NPR's "From the Top" nationally-aired radio show. This show features the nation's most exceptional pre-college age classical musicians on it's one-hour weekly program. Brandon was interviewed and performed St.-Saen's Sonata for Clarinet & Piano IV. Mr. Barr, SOA's Director of Bands, happened to just hear Brandon on a local NPR station a week after the 2002 concert tour concluded!


DAN WIONS, French Horn from New Jersey, '96

Dan is currently on the faculty at the Westminster Conservatory of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ. He is also on the faculty at Summertrios summer chamber music festival. He has performed under Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur, and Lorin Maazel, among others. He has toured Europe and Japan with various ensembles, including tour dates with Frank Sinatra Jr., Patti Lupone, Anne Murray, Leann Rhimes, Clay Aiken, The Three Irish Tenors, and was guest soloist with the National Concert Party (Chamber Orchestra of America) at the Kennedy Center. He is a performing member of orchestras in several states 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. We has an upcoming solo performance of Strauss horn concerto No. 1 with the Massapequa Philharmonic. Go here for more information: Dan received a BM in Horn Performance, with outside studies in piano and composition, from Indiana University.


VELDA JONES, Soprano from Pennsylvania, '98

Velda played a lead role, the Christmas Angel, in "Christmas Dreams" 2005 in the Grand Palace Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Velda graduated from American University where she sang several solos with the AU Chorus and Chamber Singers. She also won the American University Concerto Competition, in which she performed an excerpt from Verdi's "La Traviata". She trained in Sydney, Australia at the Conservatroium of Music. She has since been involved with shows in local playhouses, such as Allenberry in Pennsylvania.


JESSICA KLOOR, Soprano from California, '01

Jessica won top honors and was declared the winner of the Year 2000 California Outstanding Teenager Competition (in association with the "Miss California pageant), thanks to her outstanding vocal talent.


ANNA POPOV: Soprano from Louisiana, '01

Anna was chosen as a Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) finalist by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). She is as one of only 10 vocalists chosen from over 6000 high school seniors to receive this recognition. She also previously was winner of the "Young Artist Award" at McNeese State University, LA. She was also given the "Young Artist Award" by the Lake Charles Symphony in 2001.


DOUG KERR, Trumpet from New Jersey, '83

After graduating from Princeton University, he received both his MD and PhD degrees from Jefferson Medical College, PA. He completed an internship in internal medicine and a neurology residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, MD. He is currently a Neurologist, Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Co-director of the John Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center. He was interviewed summer 2001 by Katie Couric on NBC's TODAY SHOW about stem cells and their application to human neurologic disease.

Doug has won and received many scholarly awards at Jefferson Medical College and Princeton University, NJ as well as awards from the National Institutes of Health, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Besides being on the staff Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Professor of Neurology, he is Asst. Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene.


AARON PATTERSON, Alto Sax from Pennsylvania, 1998, 2002

Aaron's "A Few Good Reeds" quartet placed third in the senior wind division of the 2002 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He has recently been the guest soloist with the Butler County Symphony Orchestra and was declared winner of the 23rd Young Artist Competition, sponsored by the Butler Co. Symphony Association. Aaron completed his music education degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA. He has performed in a master class at the annual U.S. Army-sponsored Saxophone Symposium and performed Paul Bonneau's "Caprice en forme de Valse" on the SOA 2002 concert tour.


ROB KING, Alto Sax from Pennsylvania,'83

Rob studied music at Berkeley College of Music in Boston, and received his Master's of Music at Manhattan School of Music. Rob then was hired as a musician for Carnival Cruise Lines. He served as an orchestra leader on several cruise ships and eventually was placed in charge of all musical acts on one of Carnival Cruise Lines' ships. Several years ago, Rob was promoted to a position where he is currently based in Miami recruiting and auditioning musicians for the entire fleet of ships of Carnival Cruise Lines' musical entertainment department.


KENT NICHOLSON, '84, Bass from Pennsylvania

Kent is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Kent also served as Producing Director for the Bay Area Playwrights festival in '96-'98. He has taught at Sonoma State University,CA, University of California, Davis, San Francisco State University, Foothill Conservatory, CA, and as an Artist-in-Residence at School of the Arts High School. He received his BFA in Acting from Ithaca College NY and an MFA in Directing from University of California, Davis.


ANDREW ZAWACKI , Tenor from Pennsylvania, '89

Attended the College of William & Mary, VA and became a Rhodes Scholar. An English major, he received a Wilson Scholarship to do research on Malcolm X in the summer of 1992 and went on to work closely with Wallace Terry, the Charles Center's Journalist-in-Residence in the Spring of 1993. Supported by his Monroe Scholarship, Andrew spent the summer of 1993 in London writing a novella. In his senior year, Andrew was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, where he received his M.Phil. in 20th Century English Language and Literature in June 1996. He also received his Master of Literature in Creative Writing from the University of St. Andrews in 1997. After earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from St. Andrews, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship grant to study poetry in Australia and is on the Committee of Social Thought at University of Chicago.

He is considered an Award-winning Poet and PhD student at the University of Chicago. He was the winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Comp;etition for his first book, "By Reasons of Breakings".

He has two books offered on, "Afterwards" & "By Reason of Breakings: Poems".


JIMMY TILLER, Percussion from South Carolina, '90

Jim is the principal percussionist of the Rochester Philharmonic and one of the lead percussionists for the RPO's Marimba Band. He is currently on the faculty of the School of Performing Arts at State University of New York, Geneseo. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of South Carolina and his Master of Music from Eastman School of Music, NY. He


MINDY SCHEIERMAN, Flute from New Jersey, '82

Mindy earned her BM and MM degrees in Music Education and Flute Performance at Ithaca College and studied conducting with Rodney Winther. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree and is a Yamaha Corporation of America Regional Artist /Clinician. She has conducted many honor bands and is an Adjunct Professor of Music at William Paterson University. She has also comissioned, premiered and conducted pieces for band by Bruce Yurko, Dana Wilson, Andrew Boysen, Jr. and Augusta Read Thomas. She recieved recognition for her teaching from Chamber Music America in 2000. Mindy teaches instrumental music at Millburn HS, NJ, and has served as co-chair for the North Jersey Band division of the New Jersey Music Educators' Association. For many years she was the contributing editor for bands in the NJMEA state publication, "TEMPO", and remains very active in the National Band Association and NJMEA.


DERRICK MITTELSTAEDT, Tenor from Louisiana, '91

Derrick has remained active in theatre in Chicago, IL. He performed lead role in the show, "FIORELLO!" at Woodstock Opera House in Woodstock, IL. He also was the music director of Paradise People's "A Night on the Town" 2001 at Woodstock Opera House with the Northern Illinois Community Theater. He just finished a run of Neil Simon's "RUMORS", playing Lenny Ganz and also has performed in "GODSPELL" in Illinois.


DAVID MEANS, Bass from Texas, '81

Dr. David Means is a former faculty member of Carroll High School in Corpus Christie, Texas, Hill College, Hillsboro, TX, and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. During his three years as a high school choral director in Texas, his choirs received superior ratings and numerous awards. As Director of Choral Activities at Christopher Newport University, VA, David conducts the CNU Singers, Chamber Choir, and the University Chorale. He teaches choral literature, conducting, applied voice, and serves as faculty advisor for the Music Educators National Conference. He earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree in piano and voice from Howard Payne University, a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Baylor University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral music from the University of Southern California.


RICH LEVINE, Clarinet from New York, '91

Rich received his PhD from Cornell University. He is currently an assistant professor of Statistics at University of California, Davis and the co-principal clarinet of the UCD Symphony.



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updated 10-23-12