• Vicki Hayes Wepler

    Vicki Hayes Wepler

    What type of work and activities are you engaged in?

    I currently teach general and choral music at a small independent school in CT. Teaching a wide spectrum of age levels is a lot of work, but I enjoy it! I also teach private Suzuki violin lessons, and some early childhood music classes as well. In my spare time, I am a freelance violinist for weddings, pit orchestras, and other events. I also play violin and sing in an indie-folk band called “Goodnight Blue Moon”.

    How did your studies at Colby help prepare you for your career and other post-graduate activities?

    I studied music at Colby and was able to take a wide variety of courses with some really amazing professors, while maintaining a rigorous practice/performance schedule on violin and voice. Taking music history, theory, and other electives helped me gain a broad musical perspective that I draw from constantly as a musician and educator. The classes were all small enough so the students felt connected to one another, and I got to form solid student-teacher relationships with my professors, which has undoubtedly influenced my own learning and teaching styles. I also participated in several of the Colby musical ensembles (symphony, chorale, collegium musicum, Colbyettes a cappella, BMR, Sondheim’s “Company”) and performed a plethora of musical genres, which could not have happened if I was at a larger conservatory. After graduating from Colby in 2004, I went on to earn my master’s degree in “Arts in Education” from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2009. Being able to follow my musical passions and ultimately turn them into a career can be linked to the powerful combination of studying music at Colby and studying education at Harvard, and I feel very lucky to have met, learned from, and worked with so many talented people along the way.

    Whenever anyone asks me about college and majoring in music I always encourage them to visit the schools and meet the professors. I chose Colby over a music conservatory because I wasn’t sure if violin was ultimately the only thing I wanted to study, and I am SO GLAD I made that decision. I had the privilege to study with some truly remarkable professors (Hallstrom, Saunders, Machlin, Linfield, Nuss, Lantz and the other PSQ members, Carlson, Patches) who strongly influenced my undergraduate journey as a student and musician. Being able to try different musical offerings led me down a rich musical path, and from conducting Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Colby Symphony (thanks to an independent study in conducting with Jonathan Hallstrom), to having Professor Stephen Nuss officiate my wedding to another Colby grad in the Colby chapel in 2009, Colby offered me the chance to transform my musical passions into real experiences and build lasting relationships with people, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

  • Whitney Simmonds Alum

    Whitney Simmonds

    What type of work and activities are you engaged in?

    I am the Choral Director at Nipmuc Regional High School, serving the town of Mendon and Upton, MA. I direct the school’s choral ensembles, teach music theory, and work with extra-curricular ensembles. Additionally, I am a conductor with the Boston Children’s Chorus, where I conduct two choral ensembles and work as a team to implement an organizational-wide music education and youth social curriculum.

    How did your studies at Colby help prepare you for your career and other post-graduate activities?

    I have been working in the music field since I graduated from Colby in 2007. My studies prepared me to be a well-rounded musician and teacher, and I was able to find employment as a theory/choral teacher very shortly after graduating. My theory and composition studies at Colby enabled me to find success as a choral arranger and composer, and I now write frequently for all of the groups that I work with. I also felt very well prepared when I returned to school for my M.M. in 2010. My academic studies at Colby, most notably my honors thesis, prepared me to analyze and write at a graduate level. I also think I received a much more well-rounded undergraduate music degree than many students in my graduate program. Many of them had only studied music in their immediate performance discipline, and had limited experience doing independent research. Though they came from conservatories and/or larger music schools, I felt better prepared than many of them. 

 

Jessica Vose Coulibaly (’00) joined the Peace Corps and worked as a Health Education volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire for two years before civil unrest forced a military evacuation in October 2002. She currently lives in Washington, DC, working in Public Affairs with a Department of Defense Academic institution dealing with Africa. With frequent travels across the continent, she’s developed her Africanist tendendencies and is planning to begin a Masters in International Development in 2005. She and her husband plan on relocating to francophone Africa in the near future to pursue conflict resolution and development work.

Elizabeth Hubbard Fine (’01) is working full-time at the Biomedical Library at the University of Minnesota. She is also in the process of earning her MLIS and has been ringing with a handbell choir; the group will tour England and Scotland next year. She is married to Jared Fine (’98).

Amy Ackerman Groover (’01) has worked with the Central City (Colorado) Opera Company, beginning as Assistant House Manager, and eventually becoming Festival Manager. She was the house manager for “La Boheme”, the regional premiere of Mark Adamo’s “Little Women” and the American premiere of Britten’s “Gloriana.” She was also involved of the company’s intern and apprentice program, which involved offering contracts to 35 singers from an original filed of some 700 applicants. She is now teaching 4th and 5th grade music in England, where her husband, an Air Force officer, is stationed.

Kamini Bhargava (’01) recently graduated from the University of Denver, CO with a Masters in Violin Performance and a Masters in Music Education with a focus in Violin Suzuki Pedagogy. She currently teaches group lessons at Centennial Academy of Fine Arts in Littleton, CO and also at Denver Talent Education in Denver, CO. In addition, she has 35 private students and serves as the concertmistress of the Centennial Philharmonic Orchestra in Denver, and also plays at a lot of weddings and private parties. She was recently engaged to Nick LaRusso (’00).

Sarah Goodrich (’01) is a research assistant in cancer prevention at Dartmough College Medical center and reports that there are great musical opportunities in her area.

Janice Greenwald (’01) has recently taken a job at the market research firm Opinion Dynamics Corporation as a project analyst. This new day-job does not involve much music, but my coworkers do appreciate her musical interests. In fact, three of them came to the Boston Philharmonic’s performance of Mahler’s 2nd at Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall. She continues to sing with the Chorus pro Musica and also spent two seasons singing with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for the Holiday Pops concerts.

Faith Barker (’02) is currently a music theory teacher and chamber music coach at the Albert Schweitzer Academy for the Arts in Manchester, Maine.

Dave Hauser (’02) is a graduate student at Columbia University where he is studying Arts Management and Technology. He also holds an “unbelievable” internship as a talent scout for Columbia Records (Sony), and reports that he now has a great apartment near Central Park!

Eric Laurits (’02) performed in an off-Broadway show called “Marathon.” He is now back at Colby, serving as an AmeriCorps*VISTA staffer and running Colby Cares About Kids. This summer he will be working at an all-boys leadership camp in Wolfeboro, NH – Camp Belknap (his 11th summer!) Come fall, he will enter a three-year MFA program in acting at the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, CO.

Clinton Johnson (’02) is a Teaching Assistant at Los Angeles Unified School District’s Bell High School. He recently performed a concert of spirituals at Colby for Black History Month, and is currently applying to graduate schools, including the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Greg Robinson (’02) is a graduate student in music history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Terry Packard (’02) is the Assistant Artistic Director at the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She has also recently started singing with a rock band, “Somedays are Lovely.”

Vicki Hayes (’03) is an instrument and bow sales associate at Johnson String Instrument in Boston. She is currently living in Watertown, MA.

Kate Hughes (’03) has joined the staff of the the Music Sales Group in New York, and is living in Tudor City.

Michael Richardson (’03) is studying computer animation at the Full Sail School in Orlando, Florida. He reports being very happy with the way things are going (with the exception of more student loans). He is also getting married sometime in the summer of 2005.

Jon Meek (’04) is teaching music at the Music Arts Center in Bozeman, Montana, and plays with a bluegrass band, the Bridger Creek Boys. The band was recently featured on an hour-long PBS special called 11th and Grant, which showcases musical acts from around Montana. He now has about 25 private students in his studio where he teaches guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, and piano, in addition to tutoring theory. He is also completing a degree at MSU in Music Technology, and reports that he’s “learning about recording and using computer programs and MIDI to how do all sorts of crazy stuff.”

Sarah Wright (’04) is studying ethnomusicology in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright scholarship. Her research includes learning and recording songs of Tamil tea plantation workers in the hill country of Sri Lanka. She was also awarded a Fulbright Critical Language Enhancement Award to study Tamil language in Sri Lanka for three months prior to her Fulbright grant.

Elizabeth Riley (’05) accepted a Graduate Teaching Fellowship at Springfield College in Springfield,
Massachusetts after graduating from Colby.  There she taught physical education classes, was an assistant on the women’s soccer team and took classes towards her Master’s in Sport Management.  As a two sport athlete at Colby, this was not a stretch for her, but she did miss her music roots.  After completing her degree in Springfield in 2007, Liz accepted a full-time position with the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.  Liz is Director of Group Sales for the Sea Dogs, and spends her time coordinating events, selling sponsorship packages and assisting with on-field promotional contests.  Liz also is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Maine in their new Sport Management program that is housed within the School of Business.  Although very busy with her full time schedule, Liz continues her musical education through piano lessons with Annie Antonacos.

Robert Scott (’90) is the educational administrator for the Prince William County (VA) school systems. He would welcome Colby interns interested in the rigors of urban education.

Mary Madigan works in the promotion department at Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. in New York. She loves her job and would welcome Colby students as interns in the publising industry.

Vanessa Lloyd Beauchaine (’93) received a Masters Degree in Elementary Education, and is now a third and fourth grade teacher. She spends most of her nights and weekends rehearsing, performing, and singing in three groups in the Providence area, including a new early music group, Passio.

Claude B. Richter (’93) has a studio of over 30 private students in Norwich, Vermont. He is also a sought after free lance musician in Vermont and director of the Upper Valley Mozart Project, a group that is in the process of presenting all of Mozart’s works. For a view of theiir concerts, visit www.uvmozartproject.org

Emily Graham (’96) is a librarian and technology coordinator at North Haven Community School in North Haven, Maine.

Sam Hainer (’96) is Associate Director for Web Strategy at the Harvard Business School.

Casey McCullough (’96) is a board certified minimally invasive urologic surgeon and has joined a private practice group in Norwich, CT. He and his wife Andrea, a pediatrician, have recently built a new home in Stonington, CT. He is currently doing some advanced laparoscopic training in Paris, France at L’Institut Mutualiste Montsouris and still plays the saxophone and flute whenever possible!

Niki (Shinneman) Yarnot (’96) lives in Snohomish Washington with her husband Vince and their two sons Eric (age 4) and Gabe (18 months). Niki is a stay at home mom during the week, and continues to work weekends as a hospice social worker. Last year Niki passed her licensure exam (whew!) and is now a licensed social worker in the state of Washington. She also continues to teach piano to several students.

Scott Lilley (’97) is in his fifth year teaching and coaching at New Canaan Country School, a small, independent day school in Connecticut. In addition to teaching science, he sings in the Faculty Chorus, and has been working as an advisor/coach to an 8th-grade rock band. Since leaving Colby, he’s picked up a few fretted instruments, branching out from the piano and guitar to mandolin and banjo. He is playing and singing in a small band, playing out occasionally, and looking forward to doing some recording later this spring. He be glad to talk to Colby students about private school teaching or apprenticeships.

Greg Moody (’97) attended Syracuse University to earn a master’s degree in communications after leaving Colby. He drifted to Sweet Briar College to work in the College Relations Department for almost four years. He now lives in Greensboro, N.C., working for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the University Relations Office as a Writer/Editor for the publications and media divisions. He still plays in a guitar trio (really bad covers of really bad songs), and also sings and plays acoustic guitar in a band that defies classification (but likes to play loud and fast).

Brian Moynihan (’97) worked as a recording engineer (and held down a second job as well) in Boston for six years. He has recently moved to Seattle, where he hopes to continue recording music in the studio. He is also branching out into post-production audio for TV and film; playing the guitar; and was playing drums in a local rock band in Boston prior to moving. He is still getting settled in Seattle and would love to hear from other music alum in the Seattle area.

Ted Weil (’97) is currently living in Pawtucket, RI with his wife and soon-to-be six year old daughter. He is currently employed with a music software company, Bitheadz, Inc., where he serves as the Director of Marketing, Director of Third Party Development and Distribution, QA Manager,Tech Support Manager, Sound Designer, Product Specialist and and The Guy Who Remembers to Wash The Coffee Pot. He also continues to be very active musically; in addition to occasionally playing bass and trombone, he has been delving into the world of synthesis and is working on learning to play a MIDI’d-up guitar.

Jon Bolton (’98) is still playing classical guitar when he gets the chance. He is attending law school at Columbia University and plans on getting married in May 2003.

Harris Eisenstadt (’98) is a professional drummer in Los Angeles. His bio, information on tour dates, and sound files are available at www.harriseisenstadt.com

Hope Rowan (’98) is completing a master’s degree in Human ecology with a focus on conservation and land use planning. She graduates in Spring 2003. After an internship, she is hoping to return to Maine to work at a land trust, ideally on Mount Desert Island.

Jen Stevens (’98) is working in the publicity department of Sony Classical and living in Queens. She is still singing with the Emmy-nomianted Dessoff Choirs (www.dessoff.org) and plans to start her own singing project soon.

Alex Sobel (’98) is currently a otolaryngology/orofacial plastic surgery resident in Columbus, OH and would be delighted to talk to aspiring physicians from Bixler!

Emily Taxson (’98) still has her job at Ernst and Young, but Last July moved to Northern Virginia. She’s enjoying many aspects of life in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and hasfound a new musical outlet, singing with a swing band called Big Ray & the Kool Kats. The band has played some wonderful gala’s, charity balls, weddings, and in April will be playing the Kennedy Center. She’s happy to talk to Colby students about auditioning tips (for choral groups, and/or big bands), working in a corporate atmosphere, and whatever else!

Julie Williams Helentjaris (’98) is cerrently a preschool teacher at the Penobscot Bay YMCA in Rockport, ME. She was able to introduce her husband, Dak, to the Megs at the recent homecoming weekend concert at the Waterville Opera House.

Emily Anna Bridges (’99) is a Graduate student and Teaching Fellow for music composition at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tennille Clemens (’99) is a mathematics teacher at Mt. Desert Island High School. She formerly taught at Mountain Valley High School in Western Maine, before returning home to teach at her old high school in 2001. She has several private music students, and has continued to work on learning the Great Highland Bagpipes.

Joshua DeScherer (’99) taught ear training at Bennington College for two years, and has sinced enrolled in the Ph.D. program in music composition at SUNY Buffalo, where he studies with Cort Lippe. While in Buffalo, he became involved in the Open Music Ensemble, a group that specializes in the performance of graphic scores, and he was elected to the board of directors of the Open Music Foundation, which runs the OME and sponsors concerts in Western New York. More information about these groups, as well as some recordings, can be found on the web at the Open Music Foundation site. If any Colby students are considering music graduate studies at UB, he would be happy to share his experiences.

Emily Dowd (’99) is a French teacher at Clarke Central H. S. in Clarke County, GA.

Kurt Kelley (’99) is a student at the University of Vermont College of Medicine (along with Sarah Goodrich ’01!).

Andy King (’99) spent time in San Francisco managing an after-school learning center for kids. Subsequently, he I earned a degree in the culinary arts from the New England Culinary Institute. He reports that he is currently, in this order: husband to a wonderful woman named Jackie, owner of a yellow labrador named Griffon, baker for the Standard Baking Company, and food writer for the Portland Phoenix.

Erin C. Whelan (’99) works in marketing for The Verve Music Group. She was promoted to Associate Manager in 2002 and is now in charge of all marketing initiatives surrounding catalog releases (including Ella Fitzgerald reissues, John Coltrane, et al.) She also reports that she is in the initial stages of forming a band.

Elizabeth Horwitz (’80) is a jewelry maker at the Shellie Brooks Studio. She also plays the flute in a group called Willow Flute Ensemble (www.willowfluteensemble.org) that gives several concerts a year in the Boston area and plays at weddings and other functions. The group has also played at the National Flute Convention several times and has made a CD. She is also the assistant in the Newton All City Orchestra, an orchestra for elementary and middle school children, where one of her duties is to lead sectionals.

Linda Hurwitz (’82) received her Masters in violin performance from the New England Conservatory. She is a violinist with the Virginia Symphony and the Virginia Opera and also appears frequently with the Richmond Symphony. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the Grand Teton Music Festival and has played for numerous Broadway tours including The Producers, Chicago, West Side Story, Peter Pan, and Beauty and the Beast. Prior to moving to Virginia, Linda performed with the Portland (Maine) Symphony for six seasons. She has extensive experience as a private violin instructor and classroom music teacher and currently holds a strings teaching position with the Suffolk (VA) Public Schools.

Denise Glennon (’82) received her MBA in 1986, and worked in banking for six years before becoming a teacher at a Catholic School in the Bronx. She reports that teaching was very rigorous, demanding, and paid little, but was one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. She is now the mother of four children.

Richard M. Kliman (’84) is a member of the biology faculty at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA.

Arthur Poulos (’86) is President and senior consultant at the Old Colony Logic, and currently lives in Rockport, ME.

Kristine Davidson Young (’87) is currently the music teacher at North Haven Community School, North Haven, Maine. In addition to her duties as a chorus, band, and general music teacher, she is also musical director for “Islands,” a show featuring performers from Vinalhaven that was a recent smash hit in New York.

Juli Kara Swanson (’88) is the Director of Resident Services at the Hermitage in Northern Virginia. She lives in Falls Church.

Greg Boardman (’73) is a strings specialist at Lewiston Public Schools in Lewiston, Maine.

David Bailey (’74) was greatly influenced by the music professors at Colby. He is self-employed as an instrument repairman, band director, composer/arranger, and a full-time teacher of multiple instruments. He has his own website: www.davidbaileymusicstudio.com.

Dr. S. Ann Earon (’74) is the president of Telemanagement Resources International Inc. in New Jersey.

Peter Schultz (’74) has pursued a career in music, and is currently the music department chair at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

James V. Signorile (’74) is a software developer and consultant for WinWin Solutions, Inc. in New Jersey. He also composes a wide variety of works, many of which have been published by Zimbel Press and Musica21. To check out his compositions, go to: www.jamessignorile.com.

Spence Wright (’74) migrated into high tech, writing software applications instead of sonatas, but has kept up singing. He sang with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus for twelve years and three more with the Sydney (Australia) Philharmonia Choirs with many conductors and orchestras in many different venues, the most unusual being a performance of the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth from the General Assembly of the UN building simultaneously with four other choruses around the world, all conducted by Seiji Ozawa during the opening ceremonies of the Nagano Olympics.

David Pinansky (’75) received his J.D. from New England School of Law in Boston in 1978. A composer for more than a quarter of a century, in addition to instrumental works, he has composed more than a dozen pieces for the synagogue. In 1982 he was the Grand Prize winner of the Second Biennial Jewish Composers Contest. He was a commissioned composer for the 1986 national convention of the American Conference of Cantors and Temple Guild Musicians. In 1988, the Texas Bach Choir premiered a new setting of L’Cha Dodi for choir, solo and organ. In 1994, David’s music was featured at a special service for Jewish Music Month at the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, and in 1996, David was guest artist at the Greater Baltimore Cantors Association where nine of his works were presented. Most recently, in 2001, David was one of three composers in residence for the Reston Chorale’s Seasonal Celebration concert in Reston, Virginia. Currently, he is an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission concentrating in labor and employee relations.

Joy Sawyer-Mulligan (’76) is an English teacher and assistant to the head at the Thacher School in Ojai, California.

Peter M. Labombarde (’76) continued his music education following graduation from Colby, earning an MA in Musicology from Cornell University and an MM in Choral Conducting from Florida State University. He decided to pursue a career outside of music, because for him, “music was a wonderful avocation but an uncertain vocation.” He is currently the vice president of Citizens Investment Management in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Arthur Levering (’76) has received many awards for his compositions including the Rome Prize, the Heckscher Foundation Composition Prize, a Barlow Foundation Commission, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. Recent commissions include Boston Musica Viva, the New Juilliard Ensemble, Musica d’Oggi, and the Rascher Saxophone Quartet. His music has been performed at New York’s Merkin Hall, Weill Hall, and Alice Tully Hall, at the Aspen Music Festival, on the League of Composers/ISCM series, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Double Exposure series, as well as at concerts and festivals in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. A compact disk of his work is available from New World (School of Velocity, CRI CD 812), funded in part by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University (“the best debut album by an American composer I’ve heard this year” – Robert Carl, Fanfare, July/August, 1999). Please visit Arthur at www.arthurlevering.com

John Mulcahy (’76) received an MFA from the University of Wisonsin-Madison after leaving Colby. He has been working in the professional theater as a music directory/conductor for over 20 years. His achievements include directing the music for the Brodway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, as well as being the associate conductor of My Fair Lady, Busker Alley, and Applause.

Wendy Wright Swallow (’76) is Associate Professor of Journalism at the American University School of Communications. She is still taking piano lessons.

Charles P. Jarden (’78) is executive director at the American Opera Projects, Inc. He runs an opera company, which presents world premier operas in New York City with other co-producers. You can visit their website at: www.aopinc.org

Jeff Potter (’78) is a drummer with the Broadway rock-opera “Rent,” a show he has been with since its inception. He has also worked on Broadway and at the Radio City Music Hall, as well as performing on national tours, recording sessions, TV, and most recently on a film soundtrack “Camp,” which premiered at the Sundance Festival in 2003.

Hillary Jones Egan (’79) continues to play the flute. In 1995 she joined as a charter board of directors to help found the Portland Conservatory of Music. Currently with over 300 students and 35+ active faculty, the Conservatory is the largest community school of music in the state of Maine. For the third time, Hillary will tour with the Colby Chorale, this time to Italy, as the RN chaperone, singing whatever Paul Machlin assigns, usually the tenor part. She and her husband have raised three musical children who are completely distracted by cross-country running and Nordic skiiing.

Sarah Pendleton (’61) has been teaching piano in Bangor, Maine for over 40 years. She reports that she once had ninety students per week, but has recently cut back to a mere fifty.

Art Beveridge (’65) attended Catholic University where he studied trumpet and conducting from Lloyd Geisler of the National Symphony. He then taught music in the public schools for about 10 years, including elementary, junior High and later at Northern VA Community College. He is still playing music full time and has his own Digital Recording Studio in Springfield VA.

Nick Jansen (’67) spent most of his career at New England Financial in Boston as their Underwriting Officer. After taking early retirement, he is building wooden boats as a second career. He also reports that he passed the ‘cello off to daughter Hilary (’02).

Benjamin G. Mague (’69) is the director of shop activities at the Andover Organ Company in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

John Philbrook (’55) pursued a career as a pilot, first with the United States Air Force, and later, with American Airlines. Based on his 47 years experience, he says that arts graduates are better prepared to become pilots, because there are better able ” to adapt and adjust to varying situations!”

Marian Woodsome Springer (’58) ended up teaching elementary music in public schools for many years and loving every minute of it. She is now retired and doing more relaxed and “fun” things at Cape Cod where she lives. She has just finished two performances of the “Cape Cod Opera” production, “Pagliacci/Cavalleria Rusticana” as a chorus member, and reports that, “we worked hard, but it was a ton of fun!”

(to update information e-mail djward@colby.edu)

(to read about Music Department alumni in the news, click here)