Alumni of Note

The School of Music always loves to hear from our graduates. Success stories, new projects and career or performance highlights are all welcome and celebrated. Please take a moment to check out what your former classmates and fellow alumni have been up to recently!

‘48 Rosie Irene (Maiden) Bolstad, BA is continuing work on her upcoming album, “Rosie Irene’s Best Yet.” She has also spent time on two other recording projects including an album titled “Sunday Songs” and a holiday album. She and her husband Bernie live in the Pacific Northwest.

'50 Theodore Herbst, BA, and wife Margaret recently moved from Algona to Germantown, WI to be closer to their two daughters and their families.  

’53 Ray L. Holtz, BA, MA ’60, retired as Band Director in Greene and now currently resides in Ashland, OR, with his wife Judith. Ray remains musically active by playing in the Rogue Valley Symphonic Band, Southern Oregon Concert Band, and an 80-piece municipal band. He plans to pursue more musical interactions with the local jazz musicians in Ashland.

'56 John Nielsen, BA and his wife, Susan (Paulus) Nielsen BA '58 are busy being the grandparents to eleven grandchildren. They live in Minneapolis, MN.

‘74 Gerald Gabel, BM has recently made five visits to Ukraine, initially to interview composers for an article recently published in “ex tempore”, entitled “Fourteen Living Composers in Ukraine”.  In fall 2008 he organized and directed a Festival of Ukrainian Chamber Music with 4 Ukrainian guest composers. Since spring 2009, he has traveled to Kiev as guest composer for the festivals “Musical Premieres of the Season” (twice) and “Kiev Music Fest”.  Five of his compositions have been performed on the festivals including two chamber works, the premiere of the eighth movement of his choral work “Koren Av Hammerskjold”, and two orchestral works (“The Touch of Moonlight Passing” and “Golgotha”).  "Golgotha", commissioned by the Musical Premieres of the Season festival and premiered by the Ukrainian National Radio Orchestra (UNRO), will be released on the CD series of UNRO '11.

'75 Michele (Roberts) Stephens, BM is a self employed video writer and producer. She also directs the First Baptist Church Choir in Pulaski, TN. Last year she directed Disney's 101 Dalmatians at the South Tennessee Repertory Theater, STAAR.

'77 Larry Michehl, BA, retired from the Charles City Community Schools where he most recently directed the 7-12 choirs. He taught 33 years in the St. Ansgar and Charles City schools. He continues to live in Charles City.

‘84 Mark R. Moore, BA (music minor), recently recorded a live jazz CD titled “Mark Moore with Friends Aboard featuring Susie Miget”. Moore performed on the CD along with UNI faculty artist Bob Dunn, guitar, as well as John Kizilarmut, drums. Mark continues to perform and record throughout Iowa. He currently resides in Burlington.

‘87 Lisa Pfiffner Eaton, BM, recently moved to Oregon, IL, and is pursuing her MA in Educational Administration at Northern Illinois University. She was on the workshop clinician team presenting "Contest Tips for Success" at the Illinois State Music Educators Association conference in Peoria, IL in January 2011.

’87 John Hagen, BM, continued to perform with widely successful group The Texas Tenors. In 2010-2011, the group performed over 250 concerts around the world. Information on the group’s CD sales and live performances can be found at

’87 Craig Mason Miller, BA, has been on staff as Worship Pastor and Director of Music at Gold Creek Community Church in Seattle, Washington for 10 years. He and his wife Margaret “Peggy” (Keenan) Miller, BA ’87, reside in Everett, WA.

‘88 Mark Walters, BA, sang 5 roles in the world premiere of "Rappahannock County" 4-12-2011, and debuted with The Richard Tucker Music Foundation and with Opera Tampa in Mar '11. In July 2011 he will be heard in the US premier of "Rockland" by Finnish composer Jukka Linkola. In the last 3 yrs, he has excelled in the Verdi repertoire in the US, & debuted internationally as Don Giovanni in Japan, & in La Traviata in Norway.

’89 Anne (Jackson) Jaeckel, MM, currently serves as Band and Choir Director at Wayne Community Schools. Anne resides in Corydon with her husband Eric Jaeckel, MA ‘87.

’96 Karen (Norby) Fannin, BM, serves as Music Director of the Little Rock Wind Symphony. She recently conducted honor bands in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Washington and Wisconsin. She and her husband D. Micah Fannin, BA ’95, reside in Conway, AR.

'00 Nicolette (Hagen) Inman, BA, recently lead the patron development effort for the Syracuse, NY Symphony Orchestra.  In October 2010 she moved to Memphis, TN to become Vice President of Patron Engagement for the Memphis Symphony.

‘00 Amanda Schroder, BA (music minor), currently serves as the Events and Individual Gifts Manager at MacPhail Center for Music. She resides in Minneapolis, MN.

’01 Kathleen (Cameron) Melago, MM, is currently on the music faculty at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania. She also teaches in the distance-learning program at Community College of Allegheny County. In 2009, Kathy earned her DMA in flute performance from Ohio State University.

'01 Clare (Storkamp) Thornley, BA, was awarded PhD in Historical Musicology from New York University in December 2010, and teaches music appreciation at National American University (Brooklyn Center, MN).  She, spouse Paul, and two year old son Vincent reside in Burnsville, MN.

'02 Austin Kness, BA, received the Douglas Burke Memorial Award ($1,000) at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Iowa District held in January 2011 in Ames. Kness, a baritone, resides in San Francisco, CA.

‘04 Boe Hodnefield, BM, MM '06, Sioux City, is Director of Choral Activities at Sioux City West High School, including the top Vocal Jazz Choir, which for years has earned recognitions for outstanding ensemble and soloists nationally, regionally and statewide, including back-to-back appearances at the Best of Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships.

‘06 Christian Anderson, BM, has performed with the Wisconsin Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony, and taught at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in summer 2010. In fall 2010, Christian was offered a position as principal trumpet of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. He currently lives in Chicago, IL, where he often enjoys performing as sub with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
‘06 Anthony Williams, MM, was named Director of Jazz Studies/Low Brass at University of Mary, Bismarck ND, in July 2010. He recently performed on recordings by UNI alums Dave Lisik '98 ("Coming Through Slaughter") and Ryan Middagh '08 ("To Somewhere and Back Again"), and performs "Grosso" on Jorge Sosa's album "Plastic Time". Spouse Leslie Ann Green, BM '07, a former music teacher in the Memphis, TN public schools, plans to substitute teach in Bismarck public schools in 2010-2011.

‘06 Craig Woelber, BA, is bass guitar player for the band "Salient" in the Nashville area. Salient and DBD Advertising won a Silver Addy Award in February 2011 in the "Elements of Advertising: Music with Lyrics" category for "I Won't Let It Go". The band performed a 45-minute acoustic set to kick off the Nashville Addy Awards Ceremony.

'08 Tyler Kalina, BM, has been selected as a graduate assistant in the percussion studio at the University of Southern Mississippi beginning fall 2010.

‘08 Joel Waggoner, BA, earned his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing in 2010 from Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.  He returned to UNI in spring 2011 to teach Musical Theatre History and serve as Music Director for the Theatre Dept. spring musical "Urinetown:  The Musical".

‘09 Renée Rapier, BM, winner of the Martha-Ellen Tye Career Development Award ($1,000) at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Iowa District held January 8 in Ames, was one of three singers to advance to the Upper Midwest Regional competition in St. Paul, MN on February 3, where she placed first ($5,800). She traveled to NYC for the semi-finals on March 1, from which 10 singers advanced to the Grand Finals Concert.

‘11 Will Edgar, BM, was recently hired as Vocal and Elementary General Music Teacher at Berg Middle and Elementary School in Newton.

Leslie Ann Green BM '07 married Anthony Williams MM '06.

Tyler Kalina BM '08 married Elly Morris June 20, 2010.

Thank you to all who have e-mailed or written to Alumni News. Please contact us at and keep us posted on your activities. We look forward to hearing from you!