1980s Motifs

Beth (Denton) Lesser (IAC 80, IAA 80-84) lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Robert and two children, Mary May and Gabriel.

Donald (Donnie) La Marca, Jr. (IAC 80, IAA 80-81) is an artist, composer and producer. He has performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Rembrandts, and Alexander O'Neal. Recent tours include dates with Giorgia (Italy), Bobby Caldwell, Donny Osmond, and Jonny Lang. He is a member of The Truth (members of Prince NPG, The Time, The Family, and Mint Condition).

Rachel (Gottlieb) Kalmowitz (IAC 80, IAA 85-89, IAC St 89, IAA St 93-94) married Carey Kalmowitz in May 2008 at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where Rachel currently serves as cantorial soloist and music director.  In June 2008, she debuted with Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, singing John Harbison's Mirabai Songs.

Leann Sandel-Pantaleo (AS 80, IAC 81-82) is a mezzo-soprano and performed during the 2008-09 season with the Houston Grand Opera as Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict followed by Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She performed as Flora in La Traviata with the San Francisco Opera. She will also sings the title role in Carmen with Hawaii Opera Theater and will return to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise Siegrune in Die Walküre. Her upcoming engagements include her first performances of Bluebeard’s Castle with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Jennifer Shelton (IAC 80-82, 84) joined the a cappella vocal ensemble Sixth Wave as alto vocalist, composer and arranger for their latest CD, Happy Madness. Jennifer has also been featured as a vocalist on television shows and movies including Wall-E, Speed Racer, Live Free or Die Hard, Spiderman 3, Happy Feet, King Kong and Chicken Little.  She teaches privately and on the faculty at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Camps in Louisville, Ky. and at the University of North Texas Summer Vocal Jazz Workshop.

Mary (Garcia) Grant (IAC 81) is a member of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.
Pablo Alfaro (IAC 81)
performed for almost twenty years in Mexico and became an award-winning master violin maker and restorer. He now works in his own shop, Alfaro Violins, LLC in Atlanta, Ga., restoring fine old instruments and building new violins, violas and cellos. He enjoys swimming, yoga and cooking for family and friends.

Albert Howard (IAC 81-83) ran for president of the United States in 2008. He, along with his wife and 8 children live in Michigan and Stockholm, Sweden.

John A. Wickey (AS 81) is the chief technology officer for the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Calif.

Sebastian Döerfler (IAC 82, IAA 82-85) is the principal cellist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Bergen, Norway.

Cecily Ward (IAC 82-85, IAA 85-88) performs with the Cypress String Quartet, the quartet in residence at San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif.

Teri (Morrison) Johnson (IAA 82-84) and her husband Michael moved to Waco, Texas. Teri is the full-time voice teacher at Temple College and continues to perform in both stage and concert venues.

Arindam Krishna Das (Ed Levy) (IAC 83, IAA 83-84) lives in Santa Cruz, Calif. and has three children ages 10 to 16.  He is director of music, vocal coach, conductor and multi-instrumentalist for his two theatre companies: Musical Youth Theater and The Pacific Players of Santa Cruz. He also works for several Santa Cruz county theatre groups and school productions and has appeared as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and El Gallo in "The Fantastiks." Arindam can also be found on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz chanting the Maha Mantra with the Devotees and working at the Hare Krishna organic vegetarian restaurant, The Jumping Monkey.

Jessica (Wakefield) Hao (IAC 83) is a member of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.

Arkadiusz Tesarczyk (IAC 83) was awarded a McKnight Foundation Fellowship for the 2008-09 year.

Paul Malmont's (IAA 83-84) novel "Jack London in Paradise" was published in January 2009 by Simon & Shuster.

Capt. Michelle A. Rakers (IAC 84) is the assistant director of the United States Marine Band. She is the first female assistant director and first female commissioned officer in the history of "The President’s Own."

Terri Weissman (IAC 84) is assistant professor of modern and contemporary art at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her book on Berenice Abbott, titled "The Realisms of Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photography and Communicative
Action" (UC Press) is expected in 2009, and her exhibition catalog "American Modern: Abbott, Evans and Bourke-White" (UC Press) is expected in 2010.

Kathryn Bennison (IAC 84-90) married Brett E. Alessi in August 2008 in Leland, Mich. The couple live in Boston, Mass. Kate is a senior vice president at Revolution Health, an online health information provider.

Kristin (Lacey) Velicer (IAC 84-86) is a member of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.

John Lant (IAC St 84-85) is the artistic director, producer, writer, and lighting and set designer at the Write Act Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.  John is also the production manager at Carnegie Hall in New York, N.Y.

R. Todd Mueller (IAA 84-86) and his wife operate PSYOP TV, which creates animated commercials. Their commercial "Happiness Factory" won a Silver Lion award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and a Grand Pix Gold Prize at the 2006 Epica Awards and was nominated for a 2007 Emmy. Todd also directed an animated coca-cola commercial that aired during the third quarter of the 2009 Super Bowl.

Andrew Johnston (IPS 84-90, IAA 90-94) is working in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a field coordinator with the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian non-government organization.

Tom Sharpe (AS 85-87, IAA 87-88) joined Mannheim Steamroller on drum set for their 2008 holiday tour.  He performs with Dennis DeYoung, and leads his own group, Sharpe World Music.

Jessica Nance (AS 85, 87, IAC 86) is a member of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.

Meredith (Jorgensen) Gregory (IAC 85-95, IAA 95-97, IAC St 96-99) married Eric Gregory in October 2008 near Interlochen, Mich.  Nancy Yusko (IAC 91-94, IAA 94-97, IAC St 99), Bethany Jorgensen (IAC 81-92, IAA 93-94, IAC St 93-95) and Drew Jorgensen (IAC 90-00, IAA 99-01, IAC St 98, 01-05) were in the wedding party, along with her parents Dick Jorgensen (IAC 62, IAC St 64-67, 69-present, IAC Fac 70, 80) and Linda Jorgensen (IAC St 71-82, 86-present, IAC Fac 77-82). The couple lives in Detroit, Mich., where Eric works for General Motors as a digital sculptor and Meredith is the manager of Kids Town at the Detroit Science Center.

Johanna Nelson (IAC 85-92, IAA 92-95, IAC 94-95, 97) is studying at City University of New York’s Hunter College for her Masters in Fine Arts.

S. Andrea Moore (IAC 85-86, IAA 85-88) is the executive director of Camerata Pacifica, a chamber music ensemble based in Santa Barbara that performs in Southern Calif. Timothy Eckert (IAC 87), Andrea Gullickson (ICCA 98), Anna Polonsky (IAC 91, 93-95, IAA 94-96) and Toyin Spellman-Diaz (IAC 89) also perform with the group.

Cedric Berry (IAC 85, 87, IAA 88-90, IAC St 90) is the program coordinator with the USC school of cinema and a resident artist with the Los Angeles Opera.

Jon W. Backstrom (IAC Fac 85-86) is a database administrator and UNIX engineer for Wells Fargo in Des Moines, Iowa. He has been accepted into the Ph.D. program for human computer interaction at Iowa State University.

Perry Ojeda (IAA 85-86) is the writer and producer of a 16-episode web series titled H.A.! (Homosexuals Anonymous), which follows one mans journey into self-annihilation, as well as light-hearted send-up of religion, sexual identity, romance and 12 step programs.

Justin O'Jack (IAA 85-88) completed his graduate work in East Asian religious studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, where he researched pilgrimage traditions of China, Japan and Tibet.  He is now chief representative for the Council on International Educational Exchange in China and is resident director of the CIEE study center at East China Normal University. He also serves as vice president of the Royal Asiatic Society in Shanghai, where he lives with his wife.

Ida Faye Webster (IAC 86, 88, IAA 88-91, IAC St 90-91) earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan and works with the inner-city youth in New York City. She is the assistant director in the Global Business Partnership at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Ida has a three and a half year-old son, Lucius.

Mary Byrne (IAC St 86-89) is the deputy sports editor for The Associated Press in New York, N.Y.

Victoria Mushkatkol (IAA Fac 86-98) spent her second summer as artistic director of the Vladimir Nielsen Piano Festival, which she founded in 2007. The festival, which runs for four weeks and is open to gifted pianists ages 13 to 23, takes place in the town of Sag Harbor on Long Island.

Katherine Factor (IAC 87-91, IAA 91-93, IAA Fac 09) was the spring 2009 writer in residence at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Timothy Eckert (IAC 87) performs as a member of the Los Angeles Opera and as a chamber musician, Tim performs with the Camerata Pacifica, the Idywilld Chamber Music Festival, and Santa Monica's Jacaranda series.  He is on the faculty at Azusa Pacific University and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.  Tim's compositions have appeared on ABC, CBS, Fox, E! and the History Channel.

Neal Miner (IAA 87-89) performs with the Jane Monheit Quartet and his own quartet, the Neal Miner Quartet. He has also been backing jazz vocalist Annie Ross since 2005 at engagements at The Metropolitan Room in Manhattan Neal's most recent CD is The evening song.

Keri Adams (IAA 87-90) and Matthew Crow Stitzlein welcome their first child, daughter Millicent Noel Stitzlein in August 2008 in Nashville, Tenn. Keri is a vice president at Planned Parenthood in Tennessee and Matthew is a self-employed remodeling contractor.

Mohammed Naseehu Ali (IAA 88-91, IAA St 92-94) is a writer and musician living in Brooklyn, N.Y.  His essay "How I Became a Michigander" appears in the book "State By State, A Panoramic Portrait of America" edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey.

Thomas Richert (IAA Fac 88-89) was named the 2008 Teacher of the Year by the Ludington Walmart Supercenter. Thomas teaches communication arts, theatre and English, coaches forensics and is the drama director at Mason County Central High School in Scottville, Mich.

Harry Kruglik (IAC 89-94, IAC St 97-99, 01) is the speechwriter for the Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C. Harry came to OPM after serving as Director of Correspondence on the Obama for America campaign and Deputy Director of Presidential Correspondence at the White House.