In March 2019, “TREASURES: The Musical Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” an original adaptation by Dolly Stevens (C ’77) and Tom Sweitzer (C ’94, C ’11), was performed at the Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville, Virginia.
Steve Jennings (C ’81, C ’85, C ’04) is running for the Back Creek District seat on the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. Jennings is the director of choral activities at Sherando High School in Stephens City, Virginia.
On March 29, Donald Cotton (C ’90) directed the Young Men’s Ensemble from the Children’s Chorus of Washington in a special concert, which honored his most influential teachers as a child, at the First United Presbyterian Church in Silver Creek, New York.
On March 20, five members of the local therapeutic arts organization, A Place to Be (owned by Thomas Sweitzer C ’94, C ’11) went to John W. Tolbert Jr. Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, to communicate the basic idea “it’s OK to feel” through the performance of their song, “You gotta feel.” The writers of the song are two Shenandoah music therapy alumni, Skylar Freeman (C ’17) and Michael Camarillo (C ’16). The two devote their time to healing people with disabilities, medical problems and mental health struggles. They help clients – and now students – face and overcome life’s challenges using music therapy and expressive arts therapy. (Pictured to the left.)
Kathryn Martin (C ’84) has been appointed as the interim president and CEO of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. As a transition expert and veteran arts leader, Martin has led nine arts and culture organizations through transition. Most recently, she served as interim executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, interim president and CEO of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, Michigan, and executive director of the Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio, Texas.
In April 2019, Kathy Purcell (C ’89) was featured in Reading Eagle’s news article, “Music Heals All Ages” for her role as a music therapist.
Tara Ford Helsley (B ’00) is running for Winchester Circuit Court Clerk in Winchester, Virginia. Helsley is an administrative assistant for the City of Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Carrie Weimer Deaver (AS ’01) was nominated as a finalist for the 2019 Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year Award. Deaver is a physical education teacher at Pasadena Elementary School in Pasadena, Maryland. (Pictured to the right.)
The panel of the interdisciplinary, history-focused Virginia Forum, held March 14 through March 16, at Longwood University, featured a sizable Shenandoah contingent, which included Director of the McCormack Civil War Institute and Adjunct Assistant Professor of History Jonathan Noyalas (AS ’01). The panel discussion and demonstration explored new opportunities for employing virtual reality to present and dramatize historical subjects and moments. The discussion included dramatizations of student-led, lunch-counter sit-ins of the Civil Rights era, the trial of John Brown in 1859, and debates in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 about the election of the president, which led to the creation of the Electoral College. (Pictured second to the end.)
Betsy Bright Morgan (C ’03), performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony as a substitute trumpet at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 15 and 17, 2019.
Matt Yonkey (C ’03) has been named interim principal of J.G. Brumfield Elementary School in Warrenton, Virginia, for the 2019-20 school year.
In March 2019, Shenandoah Conservatory hosted the annual spring conference of the Virginia chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing. At this year’s conference, Chair of the Vocal/Choral Division and Associate Professor of Voice Byron Jones (C ’04), was elected president. And, Sarah Wofford (C ’17) won her respective category and performed in the honors recital.
In April 2019, fellow alumni and Shenandoah Sweethearts Trevor Ling (HP ’05, B ’06 ) and Amanda Fogel Ling (HP ’05), published their book, “Heal, Optimize, Thrive: An Integrative System To Recover Energy, Gain Strength, and Age With Vitality Even After Injury.”
Diane Poff Billas (C ’08) is the divisional director of foundation relations at The Salvation Army Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Associate Professor of Music Bob Larson (C ’08) helped organize the John Kirby Day Celebration held on April 13 in Winchester, Virginia.
On March 31, the Brooklyn Youth Men’s Chorus performed during the Arts Chorale of Winchester’s spring concert, held in Armstrong Auditorium on the Shenandoah University campus. The director of the Brooklyn Youth Men’s Chorus is alumnus Kristopher Burke (C ’09). There were also many Shenandoah graduates and current students singing in the Arts Chorale, including the Shenandoah Chorus, directed by Professor of Music Karen Keating (C ’02).
Brian Hester (B ’09), a commercial lender at BB&T Bank, is the first person to run for the open position for the Frederick County School Board’s at-large position.
Corinne Shumaker Knight (HP ’10) and her husband, Derek, welcomed their son Declan Harrison into the world on Aug. 28, 2018. (Pictured to the right.)
Lauren Morris (AS ’11) is the first female assistant general manager for Ripken Baseball. Morris manages The Ripken Experience in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Brian Craft (C ’12) is the new creative content manager of Realize Bradenton in Bradenton, Florida. Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization that promotes redevelopment and economic growth in downtown Bradenton by transforming places, engaging people and realizing possibilities.
Joey Donofrio (B ’12) is the principal owner of Donofrio & Associates, the largest property inspection company in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia area. Donofrio also owns Donofrio Academy, which is a training and mentoring platform for home inspectors and entrepreneurs. He has recently launched a podcast, the Joey Donofrio Show, that focuses on business, life, entrepreneurship and personal growth.
Marilla Burnham Riggs (C ’14) and her husband, Joshua, welcomed their son Jackson Thomas into the world on March 6, 2019. (Pictured to the left.)
Brittani Dodson (N ’15) and Bryan Vickers (AS ’13) were married on Sept. 23, 2018, in front of family and friends, including Shenandoah University alumni Kelsey Smith Faith (N ’15), Catherine Adams Burke (AS ’12, N ’15, B ’18) and Nathaniel Mullins (AS ‘13, EL ’14). The couple welcomed their daughter Bella Marie into the world on Jan. 24, 2019. Baby Bella weighed five pounds, 13 ounces. (Pictured to the right.)
Miranda Beard (C ’16) and Ansel Borhauer (AS ’17) were married on March 17, 2019, at Sarah’s Glen on Shenandoah University’s main campus. Shenandoah University alumni Alex Beard (C ’18), Sydney Vonada (AS ’16) and Matthew Horton (AS ’17) were in attendance. (Pictured to the left.)
On March 23, Natalie Ahearn (C ’17) and the funk/fusion band, “Of Tomorrow” performed at the Bright Box Theater on the Old Town Walking Mall in Winchester.
In March 2019, Jake Payne (B ’17) played in his first game with the Birmingham Iron, a member of the Alliance of American Football.
On March 14, Sarah Saul (C ’17), performed Lowell Liebermann’s “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, op. 39” in a masterclass with legendary flutist Sir James Galway at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C. The work was originally commissioned by and dedicated to Galway. (Pictured to the right.)
Sarah Wofford (C ’17) participated in the first Inner Mongolia International Classical Music Festival from Jan. 18, through Jan. 20. The event was coordinated by Jian Song (C ’16), and took place in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia, China. Competitors were from China and Italy, and Wofford was the only American and singer competing. Wofford—accompanied by her fiancé and pianist Richard Jeric (C ’18)—won first place. (Pictured to the left.)
In March 2019, Hayden Bauserman (AS ’18) participated in pro days at the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia for a chance to play professional football.
On March 21, Ryan Book (C ’18) was the guest artist for a guitar recital hosted by Marshall University’s School of Music at the Jomie Jazz Center in Huntington, West Virginia.
Shania Deagrella (N ’18) has accepted a registered nurse position at WVU Medicine’s Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Kaylee LeCavalier (HP ’18) has accepted a position with Peak Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, a practice specializing in orthopedic, spine and sports medicine in Quincy, Massachusetts.
David B. Stewart (C ’62) of Williamsburg, Virginia, passed away on Oct. 13, 2017. Stewart was an accomplished pianist and vocalist, and taught music in Fairfax County, Virginia, for more than 30 years. He also taught voice privately. Stewart also loved the outdoors and could frequently be found wandering among the trees of his large Christmas tree farm in the rolling hills of Great Falls, lovingly and individually caring for thousands of trees.
Gretchen Brush Bates (P ’01) of Charlotte Court House, Virginia, passed away on March 19, 2019. Bates mentored students and encouraged them in their personal faith and growth. She loved playing and watching tennis, traveling, playing the piano, flower gardening and hiking. She is survived by her sister, Molly Brush Griffith; her twin, Heidi Brush Covey; and a brother, Joe E. Brush, Jr.
Kellie M. Tallentire (B ’05) of Hamilton, Virginia, passed away on Feb. 16, 2018. Tallentire is survived by her father, Leslie C. McMellon; brother, Brian McMellon; husband, Jeffrey D. Tallentire; two children, Elizabeth S. Tallentire and Brittany N. Tallentire; and six grandchildren.