Alumni, please update us here with your latest news!
Dr. Jeremy Wohletz
Class of 2007
Dr. Jeremy Wohletz is currently serving as Department of Arts and Letters Chair and Associate Professor of Music at Dickinson State University, in Dickinson, North Dakota. After graduating from SIUC in 2007, he received a DMA in Clarinet performance and has enjoyed a diverse career of teaching and performing. He has performed both nationally and internationally, including a series of concerts with SIUC clarinet professor Dr. Eric Mandat throughout Portugal. Wohletz is also currently continuing his research in Balinese gamelan and hopes to transcribe more works for clarinet and clarinet ensembles.
Dr. Christopher Allen
BA 1998 / MM 2002
Dr. Christopher Allen formed the Madison Classical Guitar Society, a 501c3 Non-Profit, and currently serves as the President. After graduating from SIUC in 1998 with a Bachelor’s of Arts and with a Master’s of Music in 2002, he went on to graduate from UW-Madison with a DMA in performance in 2012. Currently, he also serves as a Guitar Instructor at Madison College in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Allen has competed at international guitar festivals, and recently was the headline performer at the Puerto Rico Guitar Project Festival in February 2020. In addition, he has performed with violinist/violist Shannon Farley in Duo Canzonetta, and lute duets with Douglas Towne.
MM O/MT '08
Emily Fons is making waves in Seattle's production of "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs," a 2017 opera about the life of the iconic Apple co-creator. In a Seattle Times review (excerpt below), Fons was given sole credit for transforming the character of Laurene Powell Jobs (previously criticized as underdeveloped by the composer & lyricist) into a powerful, multi-faceted stage presence:
"Mezzo-soprano Fons, especially, brought range (both vocal and emotional) to a character who isn’t much more than an archetype in the libretto. As some reviewers opined of the opera’s world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in 2017, the story here turns on a disappointing cliché: that of a good woman who helps a socially challenged genius become a better person. There’s no denying this — though there’s talk of Laurene’s MBA and professional ambitions, she first appears onstage to tell Steve he’s working too hard and needs to take a break. That Laurene is more fully fleshed out than her initial appearance suggests is thanks entirely to Fons’ performance; it’s reason alone to buy a ticket."
—Megan Burbank, Seattle Times
BFA Musical Theater 2017
Zoe Jensen, BFA Musical Theater 2017: Appearing in new musical "We Are The Tigers" (off-Broadway, New York):
"With a new school year comes a new beginning for the Tigers, the worst-ranked high school cheerleading team in teh state. Riley, the new captain, rallies the girls for a fresh start at the annual team sleepover, however, the night takes a bloody turn. A squad that can't stick a landing now has to solve a murder if they want any hope of making it to regionals — or the morning.
Featuring an infectious pop rock score and razor-sharp wit, this brand-new musical proves the highs and lows of being a teen girl in high school are more extreme than they seem."
American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
Michael Wheatley: Is currently living, teaching, conducting in the Washington, DC area.
2012-2014 – served as Chief Conductor of Cincinnati Chamber Opera
July 2013 – led the Rochester Philharmonic (NY) in Concert
July 2014 – led the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra (GA) in concert
October 2014 – in partnership with Drake University, led the Zabrze Philharmonic (Poland) in concert, including the Eastern European premier of Ned Rorem's "Cello Concerto
Donald H. Sanborn III
Class of 1995
Eric Fotre Leach
Class of 2010
Eric Fotre Leach says: "I just wanted to take a moment to write and fill you in on some news. About 2 months ago I accepted the Music Director position for the tour of ELF the Musical. I also act as Conductor and Keyboard 1 during performances. This is my first tour, largest production and biggest orchestra to date and I am just so blessed to have been trusted in this position. And am just so thankful to be a working musician on the road!
I write for 2 reasons...
One, to say that my time at SIUC really did help to prepare me well for my entrance into this business, so thank you guys. The opportunities I was given in regards to choirs, orchestras, concerts, musicals, independent studies, accompanying, composing, voice lessons, acting, theatre classes, independent projects as well as all the different performances I was a part of were all such an incredible start. And you all were just so damn encouraging. I loved it!
And two, in case any of you just happen to go to the Fox Theatre in St. Louis in Mid December, make sure you stop by the orchestra pit and say hello!"
MM OMT 2010
BM Voice Performance 2007
Boja Kragulj & Jon Goodman
Sharon Marlow Ziegler
1967 & 1969
Eric Fotre Leach
Michael Boyle "After graduation from SIU, I accepted a position as full-time professor of Music at Oklahoma City Community College, where I serve as program director for the Department of Music. My duties as program director include overseeing all concert series, recitals, and Master classes. I direct 2 student jazz ensembles and conduct the school’s musicals and operas. I oversee the school’s two newly constructed recording studios and their student workers.
As a performer, I am active in the fields of opera, ballet, and music theatre, symphonic, solo, and chamber music. I play nearly every weekend as a double bassist in a variety of settings, usually jazz or free-lance. I have performed three faculty recitals that have featured my own compositions as well as the works of Bach, Rachmaninoff, Proto, Turetzky, Charles MIngus, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk and others.
I have just released a concert-length HD DVD of my most recent recital. I perform frequently with the Elad Katz Trio, a jazz standards trio, and Simcha Raba, a klezmer ensemble that features traditional Hassidic and Jewish music as well as Israeli Pop music. Simcha Raba has recently performed in Dallas, Wichita, and Tulsa and performs frequently in the Oklahoma City area.
I am deeply indebted to the music faculty at SIU who were essential to my success in both my performance and education careers."
MM in OMT 1997
MM O/MT 1986
BA in Music Theater 1998.
MM O/MT '08
MM O/MT '96
2002 and 2004
Debbie (Schwab) Rice
MM O/MT ‘79
Debbie (Schwab) Rice, writes that she is currently serving as the Executive Director for the International Handbell Committee. Upcoming conducting assignments include: -June 09 International Handbell Festival Tour in the UK
-July 09 Handbell festival in Singapore
-July 09 National Clinician for directors in Arizona
-August 09 National Handbell event for ringers in Japan
Additionally, there are several US events on the calendar for 2010, including a return to Japan.
Johnny Lee Lane
Nadine Haynes Shanti
Sean Osborn, Clarinet Performance, sends the following news:
Last summer, I released my latest CD: Sean Osborn Plays Mozart, which American Record Guide called "...a supreme pleasure," and the Buffalo news called "...absolutely delightful." I also performed in the Seattle Chamber Music Society's Summer Festival, and the CoralWind Music Festival's inaugural year. In October, I presented my eighth annual Clarinettissimo concert, which included a world premier clarinet choir piece that I had written for the occasion. I continue to perform with the Seattle Symphony and Opera, and teach clarinet and chamber music at the University of Washington, as well as perform chamber music and recitals regionally and around the world.
BM, Percussion, 2007
BME 1966, MM 1969
Melody (Hesketh) Moore
BM Voice 2007
Nik Wenzel. Nik is on a full ride scholarship at Northwestern University pursuing an MM in Vocal Performance. He was one of four students selected to sing for Renee Flemming.
BA Music Theater 2005
Sean Osborn, MM, clarinet, 1999. This past year, I've traveled to North Carolina, Japan, Croatia, and Alaska for concerto and chamber music performances. My new CD of Rose Etudes is getting great reviews, such as Gramopone Magazine:
"Splendid flexibility and expressive range..." "Osborn brings mellifluous beauty and agile ease to Rose's creations." I'm also currently editing my new CD of Mozart chamber music, which will be out in early 2008.
BA and MM 2003
Erica C. Thomas
Nathan D. Arnett:
MM O/MT 2001
Lauren W. Arnett
MM O/MT 2001
MM O/MT 2002