Alumni Profiles

Ben LupoBenjamin D. Lupo ‘09

With his Vocal Music Education degree, Ben became the Director of Vocal Music for the Montpelier Exempted Village School District. He oversaw six choirs and under his direction, the school’s award-winning show choir, Locomotion, traveled to Chicago, Washington DC, Gatlinburg, and New York City to compete in festivals and invitationals, winning several first place awards. In 2013, the Concert Choir earned a Superior rating at districts and advanced to the state level for the first time in more than forty years. Ben recently accepted a new position as the Director of Vocal Music for the Bryan City Schools.

“My Heidelberg experience uniquely prepared me for success by providing an atmosphere that allowed me to develop leadership skills through a myriad of campus activities and musical ensembles. The Music Education program gets you into the field observing, teaching, and reflecting quickly and these early hands-on classroom experiences afforded me a leg-up in my field. I was better prepared for what to expect in the classroom.”

“When I visited Heidelberg, I immediately felt home. That sense of community and extended family (I met my future spouse, Marissa, at the Berg), qualified and dedicated professors and staff, a rigorous music education curriculum, excellent ensemble opportunities, small class sizes, and early classroom experiences set me up for success in the years that have followed.”

Kimberly States

Kimberly States ‘09

Kimberly graduated from Heidelberg with a bachelor’s degree in music performance in 2009 and graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2011 with a Master's degree.

Kimberly is an opera singer based in Boston and has been a soloist with Boston Masterworks Chorale, Boston Metro Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, Cambridge Opera, Longwood Opera, Nempac Opera, Paul Madore Chorale, Torrington Symphony as well as other ensembles. She has been selected as a semi-finalist in the American Prize for 2013 and placed third in the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition for 2013. She will be portraying the role of Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Midwest Institute of Opera this summer and will also be participating in concerts around the New England area.

“Heidelberg helped prepare me for a career in music by the individual attention that I received from highly accredited professors and staff. I bring the lessons that I learned at Heidelberg into every professional rehearsal and performance.”

Rosemary Walzer

Rosemary Walzer ‘06

“When I entered Heidelberg as a Music Education major, I expected to become a middle school band director. The classes were small and the professors were personable and excellent teachers. In larger music programs, it takes a few years for the department to know who you are. At Heidelberg, the department knew me as a freshman. I also had the opportunity to play and sing in many instrumental and vocal ensembles, which made me a versatile musician. At a larger school or conservatory, I may not have had the opportunity to play in brass band or take a semester of organ lessons. With the individual attention and incredible performance opportunities, Heidelberg increased my depth as a musician and a teacher.”

Five days after graduation, Rosemary was hired as the Instrumental and Choral Director at a private high school. Three years later, with the encouragement of a few Heidelberg professors, she applied and was accepted to graduate school for instrumental conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Two months after graduating with her Masters of Music, she was hired as part of the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. In addition to her work in the classroom, she free-lances on saxophone in the Milwaukee area and participates in local ensembles.

“My experiences at Heidelberg led me on a wonderful path, one I never dreamed I could or would travel. Heidelberg gave me the tools and opportunities to be able to pursue goals that seemed out of my reach and also gave me the support structure as an alumna I needed to continue professionally in my career.”

Ryan WasonRyan Wason ‘03

After graduating, Ryan worked in the Tiffin Catholic Schools and Aurora City School District. He taught K-8 general music and choir, and Advanced Placement Music Theory at the high school level. Ensembles under his direction received Superior and Excellent ratings at OMEA Large Group Festivals and over 90% of students who took the AP Music Theory test passed with a 3 or better. For two years he performed as a member of the award winning Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland, OH. 

In the fall of 2010, he accepted the opportunity to serve as the Director of Chorus and Musical Theatre at Lambert High School in Georgia. Since that time the choruses have grown and consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations. In winter 2012, he conducted the Forsyth County Middle School Mixed Honor Chorus and will organize the GMEA District 9 Honor Chorus event for the fall of 2013.

Ryan sponsors the Acting Troupe of Lambert Drama Club, which won the Regional GHSA One Act Play Competition and received personal recognitions in the Shuler Hensley Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards program, including a nomination for Best Orchestra and honorable mention for Music Direction.

“Attending Heidelberg allowed me the chance to participate in multiple ensembles, including the Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Singing Collegians. Performing and touring with these groups gave me a tremendous opportunity to grow as a musician. I learned how to maximize my individual ability as a performer and musician while studying high level choral techniques in these diverse ensembles. Additionally, having the opportunity to perform in multiple productions at Gundlach gave me the chance to become well-rounded as a performer. It is the experience of being at a small liberal arts school and getting the chance to have more individual instruction that allowed me the chance to be successful as a music educator.”

Sarah LyonSarah Lyon '00

After graduating with a vocal performance major, Sarah continued her study of voice at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Kent State University, earning her MFA in acting.

Sarah currently wears many hats in her career. She is the Chair for the Department of the Performing Arts at University School in Cleveland Ohio. There, she teaches drama and movement classes, private vocal instruction, and directs the fall play and spring musical every year. While keeping her full time job, she also continues to work and perform as a singer, actor and workshop instructor. She has performed in such venues as the Porthouse Theatre, Ohio Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Playhouse and the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC. She has also been a soloist and member of many prestigious auditioned choirs throughout Ohio.

“Heidelberg taught me to be a self-advocate and to work hard to achieve my goals. My instructors were rigorous, but nurturing, showing me that they were truly invested in me as an artist and a person. The music department demanded a strong work ethic and time management skills, both of which I still use daily. I would not be the performer, teacher, and life-long learner I am today without Heidelberg and its many wonderful professors. At Heidelberg, I was able to take my learning as far as I could imagine. Heidelberg taught me to be an independent, abstract thinking adult. These skills are invaluable to me today, and everyday. “

Sarah PopovicSarah Krejci Popovic '98

Sarah was hired as an elementary music teacher and assistant high school choir director in Napoleon, OH. She spent half of the day teaching K-5 General Music and the other half assisting with several large vocal groups of high school students. The high school choral program was very successful under the direction of another Heidelberg alum, Mrs. Teresa Nietz Morgan. Sarah continued to grow as a music educator building on the solid base that Heidelberg provided in music theory, vocal & piano lessons, education courses and student teaching experiences.

After three years, Sarah took time off from teaching to completed a master’s degree in Music Education. With her new degree, she accepted a position in the Bedford City Schools. She currently teaches 4th-6th General Music, 5th & 6th Grade beginning Bands and 5th & 6th Grade Choirs.

“Even after being in this district for 10 years, there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't learn something new about teaching. I think back to graduation from Heidelberg and how ready I felt to face the music education world. I knew there was still much to learn, and that I would always be growing as a teacher, but I felt prepared and confident thanks to the staff at Heidelberg and especially to those in the Music Department. The personal attention and supportive professional relationships with professors drew me to Heidelberg and continue to influence my life, long after graduation. Heidelberg will always be my Sweet Alma Home!”

Angela Howell, Heidelberg alumAngela Howell '89

Angela wears many hats on a regular basis— actress, vocalist, composer, writer, recording artist, conductor, teacher, director, and producer.

She has performed on Broadway and with many regional shows including some of her favorites Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, The Taming of the Shrew, The Full Monty, The Black Dahlia, Sweeney Todd and Much Ado About Nothing.

She has also sung all over the United States and Europe with various music groups, worked as a musical director for several acting series, and currently heads multiple production companies including Paulini and Howell Productions, Better For It Productions, and Howell Productions.

“As a student at Heidelberg, you are not a number. Unlike many other universities, you are never treated like your tuition determines your worth. Heidelberg hires a wonderfully caring, intelligent, nurturing staff and the professors I encountered there were always willing to promote, support, and believe in me. The variety of classes they offered and the depth of those courses were the building blocks that supported me through a tough career path. I am truly grateful for all their efforts and will always support and recommend Heidelberg.”