Notes from Alumni
Here's information and messages taken directly from Alumni Response forms that have been submitted to us, listed in the order of receipt. Also visit our Alumni at Work page - a simple rundown of what we've heard about who is working where.
James Green ('11)
I am starting my doctorate in tuba performance at The Ohio State University, studying under Jim Akins of the Columbus Symphony. I teach about six lessons per week to tuba and euphonium majors, help conduct the 20 member tuba-euphonium ensemble, and am also playing for several professional orchestras in Ohio. My experience in the Miami University Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra effectively prepared me for the ensemble demands here at OSU and with professional groups, the academics have effectively prepared me for doctoral studies here, and the experiences I received as a graduate assistant at Miami University have been very beneficial to what I am doing now. (November 2011)
Christine Taylor ('08)
I am currently the director of choirs grades 6-12 at the St. Marys City School District in St. Marys, OH. My duties include 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs, two mixed high school ensembles, one women's high school ensemble, and a show choir. I am also singing in the Lima Symphony Chorus and am still active with Team Cincinnati from 2007's "Clash of the Choirs." (November 2011)
Luke R. Davis ('10)
Luke writes to let us know that he has just finished his master's degree in Ehnomusicology from Bowling Green State University and has been giving conference papers at several national and international conferences. (October 2011)
I completed my M.A. in Music Theory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and am beginning the Ph.D. program in Music Theory at Harvard University. (July 2011)
T.J. Ricer ('02)
(Performing as a freelance artist and principal tuba with the Springfield (NY) Symphony, and teaching at the Eastman Community Music School, Hochstein School of Music and Dance): This year I 1) became the first person in 19 years and only the 9th ever to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Tuba Performance from the Eastman School of Music, 2) won the audition and served my first season as principal tubist of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, 3) subbed with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and the New Sousa Band, 4) released my first country album as vocalist and bass player - "CASH Back: A Tribute to the Man in Black" (available on iTunes and CD Baby), 5) became an official "Yamaha Performing Artist," 6) was the head judge for the Quartet Competition at the 2010 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Tucson, AZ, and 7) played with the Emerald Brass Quintet in Lichtenberg and Hof, Germany as part of "Brass im Frankenwald" hosted by Rekkenze Brass. Best of all (taddaaa), Sara Parulski and I married on July 24th this year! (August 2010)
Andrew Goldie ('09)
(Director of Instrumental Music at Fort Hayes High School - the arts magnet school for the Columbus City Schools): I studied, played, and taught in Shanghai, China ths past year to wait out the recession. I'm now back in the states teaching high school band and strings while also concentrating on freelance playing and building my composition portfolio. (April 2010)
Kenneth L. Taylor ('63, '74)
(Currently a professional trumpet player in the Phoeniz area): I am currently playing in a quartet at Papadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Phoenix, Friday andSaturday, 5:00/9:00 PM. Come out, eat, and say "hello." (June 2010)
Linda (Rudy) Sebenius ('80)
(Working with Music Shine Media; now has a degree in Film Scoring from Pacific Northwest Film School): I am programming and performing live shows for Children newborn to 5 and their families with the Seattle Symphony Tiny Tots Series (since 2000), Vancouver Symphony Tiny Tots Series (since 2004) and other international symphony organizations. Over 350 shows so far.
I am mostly responsible for creating "Classical Miniatures" as we call them, which takes the great Composers and their most famous works and we miniaturize them for a trio or quartet and shorten the length to be about 2 minutes long, and we always have some kind of engagement with the listening that puts the rhythm in the child's body, the melody in their imagination, or we teach them about the music all around them. (June 2010)
Kristina Wood ('07)
(Currently working on her PhD in Ethnomusicology at the University of Michigan): After graduating from MU, Kristina lived in India, helping A.R. Rahman start his KM Music Conservatory. "While there I got to sing for film soundtracks including Slumdog Millionaire's "Jai Ho!". She finished here master's at the University of Chicago, and taught choir in the Mason City School District, and a few courses at MU-Oxford. (June 2010)
Matthew Evins ('07)
(Working as an instructional designer at San Jacinto College in Houston): After graduating from Miami, I served as the Director of the Oxford Community Band for two years and taught private saxophone lessons in the Southwestern Ohio area. I also participated actively as a saxophone soloist and vocal ensemble member in the Oxford United Methodist Church. I recently moved to Texas and am looking to get re-acquainted with the music life. I constantly think about the great memories and miss the days of CPA-high. (April 2010)
Mike Misko ('09)
(Teaching at Southside High School in San Antonio, TX). Those graduating soon - come look in Texas for work. Great state, lots of opportunity. (February 2010)
Jeremy DeWinter ('08)
(Teaching at Permian Higb School in Odessa, Texas): For any music ed majors looking for jobs I encourage you all to look in Texas. There are always jobs open down here that never seem to get filled. Put your information up on the TMEA website. This is a great state in which to teach music. (January 2010)
Kim (Nisius) Coxe ('98)
While pursuing my day job at Hyland Software, I am still teaching and performing regularly for various theaters, churches, and orchestras throught the Cleveland area. But the big news is that I just got married! May 30, 2009, to David W. Cox. Also a musician! Dave and I met doing a community theater show in Beachwood, Ohio. The show was Children Of Eden and he was on keyboards and I was, as usual, hired to play woodwinds. It took five years of friendship and a bumpy road for both of our individual lives to actually hook up and realize what a great couple we would make. Now living in Lakewood, OH in a 101 year old house we both work for Hyland Software and perform as often as we get hired! We love that we are performing and that our day job works out to let us have the freedom to love our music and perform!
We talk about some day being able to come down to Miami and visit. We just haven't had the time. Now that we are married we will surely find more time for road tips. Can't wait to come down. I hear the studio teachers are in Presser Hall! What a change that must be! I can't picture Presser as anything but that beautiful old stone building that was in much need of an update, and some heat in the winter. Oh the memories! (October 2009)
Shelbi Wagner ('97, '99)
Hello, Miami people. I have been very lucky to perform with some great symphonies and teach at wonderful Universities. I have taught at University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo Community College, Pikes Peak Community College and performed in Savannah, Toledo, Pueblo, Beaufort Symphonies, among others, and am now in Dayton, where I am Professor of Cello at University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College. and play with the Springfield Symphony and occasionally with the Dayton Philharmonic. .I wanted to thank all of my teachers at MU for supporting and encouraging me to work hard and keep "plugging away" with the cello. (September 2009)
Lisa (Beringer) Salazar ('91)
While my principal employment is Senior Events Coordinator at Lewis University (Romeoville, Illinois), I play keyboard and sing with our church worship team and direct the KidsPraise team at church. I also enjoy playing piano in my free time and occasionally commandeer a marimba practice room (one of the perks of working at a university!).
I've enjoyed reconnecting with many old Miami friends on Facebook and am looking forward to returning to Oxford for Homecoming. Can't believe it's been almost 20 years since graduation! I most miss making music with Wind Ensemble and Choraliers. (September 2009)
Alyssa (Stewart) Owens ('04)
Hello to all! It's great to see how many people have music-related jobs.
I currently reside in Hayes, Virginia (Gloucester County). I own and operate Kaleidoscope Fine and Performing Arts Center of Gloucester, Inc., where we offer music, art, and theatre classes and private lessons, as well as music transcription services and band instrument repair. A regular sub with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, I also record with the Millennium Orchestra and freelance in the area. I teach oboe and chamber music at the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk and oboe at Music and Arts in Yorktown. In addition, I am the church pianist for Harmony Grove Baptist Church in Middlesex/Topping and teach private piano lessons in Chesapeake.
I attended Graduate School at CCM (Cincinnati) for my MM in oboe. Then, I taught music and directed two choirs at St. Matthew's School in Virginia Beach for two years before opening my own business. All of my jobs are music. I eat, sleep and breathe it.
Look me up on Facebook or MySpace if you want to catch up. (September 2009)
Mary Dicken ('06)
Now residing in southwestern Indiana, I serve as the Executive Director of Tales & Scales (www.talesandscales.org), a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to bringing the live performing arts (in a form we call "musictelling") to young people throughout Indiana and across the nation. I also serve as Director of Music at Epworth United Methodist Church (Newburgh, IN) and Principal Harpist of the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra (Owensboro, KY). Additionally, I teach private harp lessons and regularly perform throughout the region as a soloist and with area orchestras. (September 2009)
Al Kohn ('85)
I am currently working with Cunard Cruise Ship Lines on both the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria as the drummer in the Rotating "Royal Court Theater Orchestra." 2011 will see the brand new Queen Elizabeth launched, which will also be part of the rotation of the band on that ship as well.
I spent the last six years (before moving over to Cunard) working with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines performing in the Legend of the Seas Theater Orchestra, and subbed as Music Director for two months while the permanent music director was on sick leave. I also toured Marvin Hamlisch's "A Chorus Line" in Germany and Switzerland on percussion in 2002.
Before going to sea, I served for eight years as principle percussionist with the Kingsborough Community Concert Band in Brooklyn, New York, and played drums and percussion in the pit for Miami University alumnus Daniel Elliot Levy's "The Far Dance" in Manhattan.
For anyone wishing to view my video clips, go to my Facebook page and click on the "video" box. The videos show all the sorts of things a show drummer has to do. (August 2009)
Steven Reineke ('93)
Steve will begin his tenure as Music Director of the New York Pops in October 2009. As such, he will conduct the orchestra’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall as well as tours, recordings, and nationwide telecasts. A protégé of Erich Kunzel, Reineke is currently Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops over the past 13 years, Reineke’s arrangements have been performed worldwide and have been described as “melodious and joyous.” He will return to Miami during homecoming weekend 2009 when Miami’s combined choirs will perform a fanfare he wrote for the Gala Bicentennial concert in Millett Hall. Reineke graduated from Miami with two Bachelors’ of Music with honors in trumpet performance and music composition. (July 2009)
Robb Rast ('91)
Although I don't get to play or sing as much as I would like now, I am still a musician at heart. My experience at Miami was phenomenal--I learned a lot, met some great people and enjoyed performing in a wide variety of ensembles and venues. Now I am privileged to pass on my knowledge and love for music to both of my kids, who are far better musicians than I ever was. Miami set the stage for me to be successful in many different (and unexpected!) endeavors over the years, and for that I am grateful. I wish all the best to my former classmates and professors. Send me an email at Rastr@aol.com and let me know how you are doing. (March 2009)
Virginia (Hunt) Adams ('40)
Sixty-nine years ago and I have not been in touch with friends from Miami. Living here and going to college at U of M. , has been a big change. I like the college town of Ann Arbor, Mi, very much and enjoy much of the lavish musical events, and speakers at U or M and Eastern Michigan University, plus Cleary college. But I still remember how I rode from Presser Hall to the campus to take piano lessons and to live in West hall. I sang with the Womens, choir and the Vespers choir and enjoyed my four years at Miami very much. I gained much needed confidence and ability to be a good music teacher. (March 2009)
Rob Riley ('75)
I retired from Federal employment in 2004. Now I serve as a church organist/choir director and as pipe organ technician for both church and theater type instruments. I am a church secretary as well, so all told, I'm sure it adds up to full time. Wish I had some time to play my clarinet, but I am such a poor organist that I have to invest all my practice time in that, even for the little country church where I work. I also play a 10 rank theatre organ which I installed in our home.
Andrea Minnelli (MM '75) is now known as Marian Minnelli Riley. She has been my wife for nearly 33 years and has worked as a medical secretary and transcriptionist. Unfortunately, health problems have prevented her from playing oboe and English horn for several years, but she still plays recorder. She is also a faithful and indispensable member of our choir.
We are very happy with our lives, and we look back with fondness for the time we spent at Miami. However, we certainly would not be good examples of people who'd pursued successful careers directly related to their musical training! (March 2009)
Wendi Dicken-Bradshaw ('83)
The Dicken-Bradshaw family (my husband, David, kids: Matthew, Molly, Mark, Mary, and granddaughter Arianna)has been working hard and playing music together for a long while now...and I keep busy with them as well as with my own work developing music curriculum, teaching and performing. I can only hope everyone has as much fun at work as I do!
I would love to hear from everyone! (March 2009)
Virginia Hunt ('40)
As a music education graduate of 1040, I have fond memories of lessons on the piano and voice with the fine teachers at Miami. I also what to say that I am still teaching five students myself and enjoying it so much. I sang in my Italian studies so that I passed the tests and am now studying Italian again. It is grdat to hear about the fine state university where I learned to stand up and be heard about living a positive life. (March 2009)
Anna (Bachman) Colby ('76)
I am currently Director of Music at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Wyoming, MI. In my "spare" time, I study & play carillon at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. I also do some work with Master Arts Theatre (Grand Rapids, MI), and was recently part of the cast of "Smoke on the Mountain" which was the first place winner at the state level of the American Association of Community Theatre competition. (March 2009)