Summer at St. Mary's


Professor Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting the Chesapeake Orchestra at the River Concert Series.

Study abroad in Italy

Choir and Orchestra in Alba

You can participate in the Alba Music Festival, two weeks of intensive music making in the north of Italy.


Alumni updates

Updated:  July 2011

Joshua Barnett (2008, Music and English, music concentrations in composition, guitar, and music history)

Josh is enrolled in a Masters of Musicology program and is a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park.   His thesis will be on Ananias Davisson, one of the first composers and tunebook compilers of the early American shape-note tradition.  After finishing this Masters, he plans to pursue graduate study in composition.  He writes:  "Ever since studying composition at St. Mary’s, and having ensembles at the college, including the viola students, the brass quartet, and the chamber singers perform my work, my desire to work in composition has only grown.  And the teaching experience I’ve gained has lit a desire to work with students and continue in the tradition of music academia."

Florence Bastien (2009, Music, piano concentration)

Florence is finishing her first year of graduate study at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, where she is studying towards a Masters of Science in Special Education.  She writes:  "It's been an exciting and exhausting ride so far. Music is still a big part of my life, though.  I don't do much performing anymore, but I have a piano in my room, and I play it every day.  After I graduate, my boyfriend Noah and I plan to move, probably up north in the New England area, where I expect to be teaching special education in the public schools.  I work for an organization called CHANGE, Inc. where I work with people who have disabilities."

Paul Christian (2007, Music, percussion concentration)

Paul is currently teaching elementary music (Band, Strings, and General music K-5) at Lexington Park Elementary School as well as performing a gig every now and then as a drummer or hand percussionist or orchestral percussionist with various groups in the area. He books the entertainment and provides sound reinforcement at the new Port Of Leonardtown Winery, and lives in Lusby. After earning his B.A. he successfully completed the MAT program at SMCM (Music K-12 certification) and now serves on the MAT advisory committee.

Justen Finch (2001, Music, trumpet concentration)

Justen writes:  "As a trumpet player in the Southern California area, I have made use of all the entertainment avenues locally. I have appeared on camera in national commercials playing trumpet and have played in numerous independent film soundtracks. Also, I have acted in minor rolls of several short films that are currently in consideration for film festivals. In addition to my 9 piece rock band (Marcus Very Ordinary) that has played venues for radio stations such as KCRW (local NPR), last year I was invited to play with Paul Anka at the retirement for California Chief Justice Ron George with the LA Lawyers Philharmonic. I freelance frequently in the LA and Orange County areas, playing everything from Swing and Big Band to standard orchestra repertoire."

Jessica Fizwater (2005, Music and MD Teaching Certification, violin concentration)

Jessica currently teaches elementary general music and directs the chorus and dance club at Oakdale Elementary in Ijamsville, MD. In May of 2010 she graduated with a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Hood College. By the end of summer 2011 Jessica will have completed all three Orff levels (through Peabody Conservatory and George Mason University) and be an Orff-Schulwerk Certified teacher. She is an active member of the Frederick Symphony Orchestra where she plays violin and serves on the Board of Directors. Jessica is also a member of Equinox Dance Company, an adult modern dance company based in Frederick. She writes, “I want my students to see that I am active in our community as a performer. My goal for all of my students is that music will be with them for life, in whatever fashion. Showing them that music is still a huge part of my life outside of school and that I am still a learner myself makes our work in the classroom more real for them.” Jessica has recently become active in the Maryland State Education Association and Frederick County Teachers Association (FCTA) as a MD delegate to the National Education Association’s annual Representative Assembly and as a newly-elected member of the FCTA Board of Directors. Jessica resides in Frederick, MD with her boyfriend Gerald Bigelow (2006).

Julie Herndon (2008, Music, piano and musicology concentration)

Julie began a Master's of Music in Piano Performance at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, but then decided to move to the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico to develop a new musical instrument, E.D.N.A.H (Elliptical Diasporic Nomad's Accessory Home - a dome-shaped instrument you play from the inside out), and to record a debut album of original songs (entitled "Humans Have Emotions").  She is the choral accompanist at Santa Fe Community College and the pianist for Zia United Methodist Church.  She is also the Music Associate in charge of teen music St. John's United Methodist Church and is an active dog walker for her mini-business, "Dakini & Me Pet Care."  She writes:  "This summer I will be backpacking through Europe; next year I plan on applying to Master's programs to pursue feminist musicology."

Virginia Insley (2008, Music, musicology and piano concentration, ILC-German)

In May 2010, Ginny graduated from Yale University with an M.A. in International Affairs and concentration in German and French language; her thesis focused on the evolution of Alban Berg's Wozzeck from the Woyzeck-trial dramatization of Georg  Büchner.  She then worked for Yale as a coding specialist on "The Changing Patterns of Warfare Project," a quantitative study of international conflict.  In Autumn 2010, Ginny moved to Canada and completed a research project for the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick, a Canadian educational non-profit.  She returned to the U.S. in January, and worked as a teacher in Fredericksburg, VA.  At present, she works for an engineering and consulting firm in the area of business management and development, writing contract proposals and bids for major projects, as well as some business networking.  She continues to develop her love of music through piano, choir and frequent concert attendance.

Chris Kallmyer (2007, Music)

Chris is a performer, composer, and sound artist living in Los Angeles, CA who works in sound installation, composition, trumpet, and electronic music. Since finishing his MFA in Music from the California Inst. of the Arts, he has presented work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Walker Art Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Hammer Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, REDCAT, Machine Project, the Goldwell Open Air Museum, and other spaces in America and Europe. Chris works as the Curator of Sound Programming for the Machine Project in the Echo Park neighborhood of LA, and collaborates with a local new music group wild Up as a composer and multi-instrumentalist.  He teaches trumpet to students around Los Angeles, and often guest lectures at local universities on graphic notation and experimental music.  He lives in Eagle Rock with his long-time girlfriend, Katie Tate (2007) where they have a small vegetable garden, often think fondly of SMCM, and dream of owning a dog.  Keep track of Chris's activities at:

Lauryn Kalbermatten-Goldberg (2010, Music, voice concentration)

After working in education at a non-profit in Washington, DC at the first all-girls public school in DC’s Ward 8 community, Lauryn is now at the Kennedy Center, working with their Board of Trustees and in an events capacity within the Office of Development. 

Saara Kamal (2010, ILC-French, Music minor, trombone concentration):

Saara is living in Monterey, CA, in a MA program focusing on TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).  She is also a PCMI (Peace Corps Masters International) candidate. She expects to know her placement in a couple months.  She writes:  "One of the things that I'm most excited about right now is volunteer teaching in Seaside, CA. About 10 other MATESOL students and I team teach in groups a few times a week to residents of the community. The majority of them come from Mexico, which gives me both the opportunity to practice my Spanish and teach! Our students are so wonderful and enthusiastic. It makes doing the program easier to see real-life applications!"

Tenley Martin (2003, Political Science and Anthropology, Music minor, percussion concentration)

After working for five years as a project management consultant, Tenley returned to academia to pursue a career in music. In 2010, she received a Postgraduate Diploma in Music from University of Leeds (UK), focusing on ethnomusicology and performance. At present, she is pursuing a Masters in ethnomusicology with a minor in percussion performance, for which she is completing two dissertations, one on UK clubbing culture and the other on the UK flamenco craze, with the intention of presenting both at conferences in Fall 2011.  She writes:  "During my time in the UK, I have studied percussion with Chris Bradley (Opera North), Jason Huxtable (Birmingham Conservetoire), and Dame Evelyn Glennie. In addition to university orchestras, I perform professionally with a Cuban salsa band, a Latin American folk music ensemble, a flamenco troupe, as well as freelance work with several theatre groups. I have recently been accepted to begin a PhD in ethnomusicology at Leeds in Fall 2011."

Robyn Martinez (2009, Music, voice concentration)

Robyn is earning her Master's in Voice Performance at Mannes College of Music under the tutelage of Ruth Falcon, Beth Roberts, and Josh Greene. She writes:  "I am loving life as a musician in New York City!  The City has afforded me many performance opportunities, and I have had the privilege of debuting several new works. I am continuing to work toward my goals of becoming the next leading Mezzo."

Jennifer Miller (2001, Music, voice concentration)

Jennifer graduated from Westminster Choir College in 2006 with a Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy (Performance concentration). Since moving to the Los Angeles area in 2007, she has performed in roles with various local opera and music theatre companies, including Opera Santa Barbara, Long Beach Opera, and Musical Theatre International. She also has appeared as a soloist with several choral and orchestral organizations in the area including the Los Angeles Choral Artists and Verdi Chorus. Currently, she is starring as Woman #1 in Jason Robert Brown's "Songs for a New World" and preparing the soprano solos for "Carmina Burana" with the Glendale Concert Singers and Orchestra. During the day, she is a Traffic Associate (broadcast scheduler) for 89.3 KPCC, the leading NPR affiliate in Los Angeles.

Chuck Orifici (1998, Music, trumpet and education concentration)

Chuck currently teaches Band, Orchestra, and Advanced Placement Music Theory at Clarksburg High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. He helped found the school in 2006, and under his direction the instrumental music program has grown considerably. He previously founded the instrumental music program at Northwest High School, also in Montgomery County, when that school opened in 1998.  The ensembles Chuck directs consistently score well at festivals and competitions throughout the region. His students have been selected for Maryland All-State Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble, Montgomery County Honors Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, the John S. Martin Honors String Quartet Program, and the National Symphony Orchestra Young Associates program, among others. His students have gone on to study music at such prestigious institutions as Peabody Conservatory, Hartt School, The New School, University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of Miami, University of North Texas, Rice University, and St. Mary's College of Maryland.

While on an international tour while at St. Mary's, Chuck realized the power of music as an international force for cultural exchange and goodwill, and he has made that a focus of his teaching. His students have twice performed in major festivals in Shanghai, China, and he has hosted performances in the US by the famed Golden Sail Orchestra from Beijing. He has also helped establish a cultural and educational exchange program between Clarksburg High School the Jing'an Education District in Shanghai.

Chuck was named a Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction in 2004, and received the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award in 2011.

Jacqueline L. Orr (1992, Music, concentrations in piano, violin, and education)

Jackie received a Masters in Music Education in 2000 from Shenandoah University.  She currently teaches music in the St. Mary's County Public Schools in Maryland and is working on a PhD in Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Development.

Matt Sargent (2006, Music and English, concentrations in composition, guitar, and creative writing)

Matt is currently pursuing doctoral studies as a Presidential Fellow at SUNY Buffalo.  He also holds Masters in Music Composition from the Hartt School of Music.  Since leaving St. Mary’s, he has maintained an active and varied music career as a composer, performer, and music educator.  As a composer, his compositions and sound installations are frequently heard in art spaces and universities across the United States and Europe (details can be found at  Highlights in 2010-2011 have included residencies at the Goldwell Open Air Museum (in the foothills of Death Valley), the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and University of Nevada Las Vegas, as well as a sound installation commission from the Yale University Haskins auditory labs, and concerts of his music at the Machine Project (Los Angeles, CA), the Wulf (Los Angeles, CA), and the Neighborhood Music School (New Haven, CT).  In 2007, he founded the Hartford Sound Alliance, a contemporary music ensemble, which recently completed a Spring 2011 residency at the Studio@Billings Forge (Hartford, CT), where he curated the Hartford New Music Festival.  As an educator, he has been a professor of music and recording arts at Capital Community College and the Hartford Conservatory, as well as a youth music director at the Hebrew High School of New England and Middlesex Academy for the Performing Arts.

Tyler Sinclair (2008, Music, piano concentration)

In the autumn after graduation, Tyler joined the Peace Corps and went to Nicaragua, where he lived in the tiny community of El Tololar, León and worked with environmental initiatives and organic agriculture.  He writes:  "In the two years I was there, we planted around six thousand trees, built a preschool, and established a microloan program to provide low-interest credit to families in the area.  I also built a small, palm-roofed house on the land of a wonderful family, with whom I keep in close contact and will hopefully return to see this summer."  Since coming home in November of 2010, he been living in Annapolis, learning to build and restore wooden flutes as an apprentice to Rodger Young.  He writes: "I've made a bunch of tools unique to the trade, and so far completed four keyless Irish flutes and restored two flutes, a Civil War one-key marching flute and my own William Whiteley 6-key flute from about 1840.  It's an odd thing to do, but I genuinely love it."

Ross Wixon (2010, Music, concentrations in trumpet and composition)

Ross Wixon completed the Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Western Michigan University, where kept busy as a graduate assistant for both the trumpet studio and athletic bands and performed with the Graduate Brass Quintet. While in Michigan, he continues to compose and was a guest presenter and featured composer at Georgia State University's "Heavy Metal" brass music concert series. "Since returning to the Washington, D.C. area, I've performed at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, recorded a sampler of ceremonial music for trumpet and organ, and taken on a private teaching studio. Recently, I picked up the Renaissance Cornetto and I enjoy learning both the instrument and the performance practices that it entails!" Ross continues to freelance in the region while working towards his goal of serving in a United States military band. To hear samples of Ross's trumpet playing and composition, check out his website:

Jeremy C. Young (2006, History and Music, composition concentration):

Jeremy is finishing a Ph.D. in history at Indiana University. His dissertation focuses on charismatic movements in U.S. history, particularly during the American Progressive Era (the early 20th century). In his spare time, he enjoys writing the occasional classical composition and singing in a church choir.