top_tabs University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences

Paul S. James (B.S., M.A. 1966; 1968) As of October, 2003, Paul is semi-retired and in his 27th year of church work and still teaching privately. He’s also working on a novel, a mystery set in Mississippi. He’d love to hear from students of the 60’s and wishes to have a reunion. You may contact him via email at

Erik Janners (DMA Wind Conducting 2001) accepted the position of Director of Music at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI in fall of 2007. He conducts the symphonic band, jazz ensemble and pep bands, as well as overseeing the entire music program.

Paul Jarvis (BS ’83, MM ’90) served as a band director in various schools in Alabama in Georgia. In 1990 he left music to pursue a career in aviation. He lives now in Birmingham with wife Kathy and daughter Emory, and he works as a pilot for a major corporation.

Heather (Johnson) Brock (B.S. Music Education 1999) married Jason Brock in July of 1999. They now reside in New Market, AL in the northeast corner of Madison Co. Jason is a design engineer with Adtran of Huntsville, and Heather is a full time mom. They have a 4 year old son, Caleb and a 14 mo. old daughter, Rebecca.

Jean-Ann (Johnson) Heupel (BM ’94, MM ’96 Clarinet Performance 1994 and 1996) is two-thirds of the way through a Master of Divinity of Degree. She currently lives in Greenville, AL and serves as pastor of Friendship United Methodist Church. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Shannon Heupel, and they have a four year-old daughter, Cassie, and a 10 month-old son, Michael.

Jean Johnson (M.M., 1988; D.M.A., 1997 ) is on the full-time music faculty of Enterprise-Ozark Community College in Enterprise, Alabama, where she also serves as Distance Learning Coordinator. Dr. Johnson is also a church musician and performs chamber ensemble and solo organ concerts in the Southeast.

Keith Johnson (BS Management ’96) married Mary Elizabeth Weinkauf of Brockport, NY in 1998. He returned home to Denver, CO in 2001 and now lives there with Mary Elizabeth and two beautiful children. Alexa was born in 2002 and Miles in 2004.

Marjorie Johnston (BMus and MMus 1987 and 1990) is a Music librarian and member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. She is also a church musician

Johnna Jones (BS ’00) currently is Assistant Band/Chorus Director at Oak Mountain Middle School in Birmingham.

Holly Jones (BS ’89) is currently working as a programmer and web developer in Phoenix, AZ. Write her at

Johnna (Jones) Stafford (BS 2000) is currently in her fourth year at Oak Mountain Middle School in Shelby County, Alabama. She married Jeremy Stafford on June 14, 2003.

Amanda (Keener) Umphrey (BS Music Education 2003) was the choral director at Pinson Valley High School for two years before getting her M. S. Ed. in Library Science from Jacksonville State University in 2007. She is currently a library media specialist at Springville High School. She continues to actively participate in music at church and accompanies the SHS choir on piano. Amanda was married to Shane Umphrey in 2004 and they have one son, Caleb, born on April 29, 2008.

Michael Keeton (BS ’99) is band director at Brookwood Middle School (AL) and assistant band director and director of percussion at Brookwood High School. He is married to Brandy Reece who graduateD from UA in May 2003 with a degree in secondary language arts.

Jonathan Kerr (B.A. Music Administration 1999) was named Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Grammy-award winning Choral Arts Society of Washington. He recently married Kerri Apblett in October 2003 and resides in Alexandria, Virginia. You may contact him via email at

Alise (Key) Ferranti (BM ’98) lives in Jacksonville, FL, and works as the office manager at a veterinary referral center. Her husband, Joe, is a project engineer for an environmental consulting firm. They have a daughter, Lauren, who was born in December 2003.

Julia Keywood (BM ’74) worked for 2 seasons with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before moving to Germany in 1976. After working in several orchestras she has been in Oldenburg Germany since August 1979 working with the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater. Early in her career she was very busy teaching and performing chamber music in addition to her work in opera, operetta, ballet and concerts at the theater. For 10 years she founded, managed and arranged for her ensemble “Just Violas” (5 violas, bass/percussionist).

Myra (King) Rhoden (B.S ’94, M.A. ’99) is now the band director at Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama. She is married to Errol Rhoden, Jr., and has one son, Errol Rhoden III.

Melony (Kirkley) Colburn (BM ’89) is Director/Teacher of Kindermusik of Tuscaloosa and works part-time as a Pampered Chef consultant. She and husband Rob have a young son, Jackson.

Robert Knupp (BM-Susquehanna 1992, MM-East Carolina U 1994, DMA-U of Alabama 2001) has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and granted tenure at Mississippi College for the start of the 2007 Academic year. Dr. Knupp has been at MC for seven years, with his main teaching responsibilities organ and music theory. During the last year, Knupp recorded and released his first CD entitled “Shelter from the Storm, Pipe organs that survived Katrina.” All proceeds from the sale of the CD are donated to churches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that are rebuilding or purchasing organs for their worship spaces. His solo performances have been at such venues as St. Thomas Church in New York City, St. Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta, St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, and the Washington National Cathedral. Future engagements will take him to Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles, and London U.K. During the summer of 2015, he spent five weeks playing organ recitals across Germany, in locations such as Leipzig, Forchheim, Freiburg, and Bad Salzungen. Robert has a studio of eight organ students at Mississippi College in Clinton.

Michael and Susan Labbe (BA 1999) are married and currently living in Japan. Michael is a Naval Officer supporting Naval Aviation. Susan is a financial professional in Japan.

David Lackey (B.S. Music Education 1999) worked in business management in Atlanta, Georgia after graduating. He then taught music in Mobile, Alabama, where he served as Band Director at the Dunbar Magnet School of the Creative and Performing Arts. David currently lives in Jacksonville, Alabama, where he will graduate with his Masters in Educational Administration in the Spring of 2006. He plans to move to Manhattan in the summer of 2006 to teach music in the New York City Public School System. Click here to contact David.

Arietha Lockhart (BS and MA in Music Education 1982 and 1986) resides in Decatur Georgia and is an elementary music specialist. She is a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus and has been recognized for solo vocal achievements; She also won a debut recital in Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall. Arietha was accompanied by Sheryl H. Cohen on “There Biblical Songs” by Curtis Bryant for Soprano and Flute. She is an active performer and recitalist and a member of Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity. Webpages: Southern Artistry and Classical Singer.

Tom Lowe (BA ’67) is presently practicing law in Jackson, Mississippi. He plays in the Mississippi Symphony and and is baritone soloist at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral Choir. He would love to hear from UA contemporaries at

After finishing school at UA, John T. Lowe, Jr. (MM Organ and Choral Conducting 1996) completed a full-time internship at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN from 1996-1998. He then went on to complete the Doctor of Organ and Church Music Degree at Indiana University, Bloomington in May 2005. In May 2003 he was appointed Director of Music and Organist at Ocala, Florida’s First United Methodist Church, where he plays the Wicks organ in worship and concerts, and administrates a comprehensive music program for the 2,000-member congregation. In addition to recital engagements, he directs the Central Florida Master Choir and is Dean of the Ocala Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Lee Majors (BS ’91) serves at Maytown Baptist Church (Birmingham) as Minister of Music, Education and Administration. He and Yolanda (Loni) Majors have 2 daughters, Amanda and Brittany.

Amy Marable (BM 2000) went back to school to get a degree in nusing. She is now a trauma/emergency nurse with DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

Heather (Martin) Armstrong (BA 99) married Auburn alum Ashley Wayne Armstrong on April 28, 2001. She currently lives in Huntsville, where she works as a paralegal and plays bassoon in various local churches and events, including the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra on occasion.

Laura (Martin) Noah (BM 2002) currently lives in Montevallo, AL and is the principal timpanist for the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, principal percussionist for the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra and section percussionist with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham teaching percussion.

Valerie Martin (MM ’88, DMA ’94) is Associate Professor and Head of the Music Department at Susquehanna University, a private, liberal arts college of 1,800 students in central Pennsylvania. She continues to serve as the Director of Bands at SU, a position she has held since 1994. In 1998 she married Kevin Henry, a professional trombonist and band director.

Juan Martinez (BS in Commerce and Business Administration 2004) currently lives with his wife and daughter and works professionally as a computer programmer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He continues to seek out opportunities for participation in performance arts with various local venues.

Patricia (Massey) Smathers (BM ’88) earned her master’s in Special Ed in 1998 from the State University of West Georgia; in May 2001, she will complete an Ed.S. in Interrelated Special Education from the same school.

Update: Sherry Watkins Matthews (BA ’97) has remarried and now is pursuing a master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Mississippi University for Women (although she may finish it at UA).

Alan Mattingly (B.M. ’89) is horn professor at Western Carolina University; see his WCU web page. In summer 2000, Alan married hornist Jacqueline Ekstrand, who is on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Erin (Maziek) Babb (B.M., 2000, Music Therapy; M.A., 2002, Special Education) received her Ed.S. in Special Education Administration from the University of West Georgia in December 2006. Erin works for Marietta City Schools in Marietta, GA, where she holds a lead special education teacher position.

Stacey McCarthy (BM ’95) has moved from music therapy into administration, and she is director of a day treatment program for mentally ill adults. At home she has “a house/yard full” of animals to keep her company.

Josef McClellan (M.M. Vocal Performance 2004) has performed roles with Opera Birmingham and was an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera where he covered the role of Brighella in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos. McClellan has appeared in opera, concert, and oratorio in the United States, England, and Germany. He is currently a Hohenberg-Scheidt Young Artist at the University of Memphis where he is pursuing the D.M.A. in Vocal Performance.

Dr. Robert A. McCormick (BS ’77) is dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI, and also is the Director of the Concordia Choir.

Ben McCoy (BM ’78) has had a varied career that includes work in radio and television and editing a magazine. Now he manages software development projects for Exodus Communications; send him email at He and wife Tala Partlow have three children.

Ben McCoy (BM 1978) has had a varied career that includes work in radio and television, editing a magazine and managing software development projects. Now he runs a nationwide sports equipment delivery and assembly business, and is working on getting his chops back up for Dan Drill’s retirement gala and a night with the Tuscaloosa Horns. He and wife Tala Partlow have three children.

After 20 years as band director at various high schools, James McKenzie (BS ’80, MA ’86) is now a systems analyst for the Southern Company in Birmingham and a technical consultant for db Technology Internet Services in Tuscaloosa. He and wife Rebecca have two children, James III (who studies trombone with Professor Dan Drill) and Andrew.

Ginny (McLean) Hughes (Bachelor of Science in Education 1987) has have been teaching in the Jefferson County School System for 17 years. She taught choir, music appreciation and guitar at Hewitt-Trussville Junior High School for 13 years and is currently the choral director at Gardendale High School. She also sings in the adult choir and coordinates childrens’ choirs at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church. She is married to Billy Hughes (also a teacher) and they have a daughter, Lauren. They live in Fultondale, Alabama.

Jeff McLelland (DMA ’92) recently returned to Alabama. After 17 years of college teaching, he is now Director of Music and Fine Arts at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.


Jamin McPhetrige (B.M. 2004 and B.S. 2005) earned his M.M. in Euphonium Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2007. After completing his first year of teaching at Northridge High School in Tuscaloosa, Jamin has accepted a band and orchestra director position at Palm Harbor University High School in Palm Harbor, Florida. He currently resides in Oldsmar, Florida with his dog, Buddy.

Heather Mechler (B.A., Music; 2004) graduated from the University of Alabama with her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in May 2010. She is currently living in Tuscaloosa and teaching classes in the College of Education.

Louise Merrill (BS – Music Education 1964) enjoyed teaching English at LBW State Junior College in Andalusia, Alabama, before moving to Birmingham in 1982. Presently, she is the executive director of FOCUS On Recovery, a recovery residence that provides resources for women in early recovery from substance abuse. You can email Louise by clicking here.

Kerrie Mills-Cochran (B.S. Music Ed 1991) served 7 years as a band director in Alabama. She earned a masters degree in school counseling and has served for 6 years as a guidance counselor in the Cobb County school System in Georgia. Kerrie decided not to return to work for the 2007-2008 school year. She gave birth to twins in July 2007 and decided to be a stay-at-home mom for the moment. Kerrie lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Rob, and her two children, Will and Madison.

Jason Mingledorff (Bachelor of Music 1994) has been busy working as a saxophone player in New Orleans since moving there in 1995. He has performed and recorded with Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., Clint Black, and many great local bands, including Galactic, Papa Grows Funk, and The John Mahoney Big Band. He is currently an adjunct professor teaching saxophone and leading various jazz ensembles at Loyola University.

Brad Mitchell (BS Music Education 1994) is living in Columbia, TN where he is the band director at Cox Middle School. He received his MA degree from MTSU in 1997. He is currently co-conductor of the Maury County Community Band in Columbia.

Mandy (Moore) Broadhurst (B.S.E. Music Ed. 2002) is married to Nathan Broadhurst (former MDB mellophone). They have a son, William, born October 6, 2003. They now reside in Albertville, AL and Mandy is the now band director at New Hope High School in Madison County.

Barry Morrison (BS in Music Education 1978) worked as a band director in AL and TX from 1979-1986. He performed with the Fort Worth Concert Band as principal euphonium from 1982-1985. He became solo euphonium with the US Military Academy Band at West Point, NY in 1987 and has served as conductor of the Rhinebeck Legion Band since 1989. He is a former conductor of the Southern Dutchess Pops Orchestra. He also serves as the solo euphonium for the Imperial Brass Band of Westfield, NJ and the Hudson Valley Symphonic Wind Ensemble of Tarrytown, NY. He has also performed with the Grammercy Brass Band of New York City.

Khristina Motley (B.S. Music Education 1992) received an M.A. in Education Curriculum and Instruction with a music concentration from VA Tech University in 1995. She is teaching in the Tuscaloosa County School System and is the mother of two boys and a girl that love to sing.

Curtis Murdock (BM ’74, BS ’75, MA ’77) has been Minister of Music at Beech Haven Baptist Church in Athens, GA, since 1988. He is also active as conductor, consultant, and adjudicator. In his past life, as a double bassist, he taught at Columbus College (GA) and Mercer University, and he played principal bass with the Columbus Symphony.

Janie (Newbold) Walker (BS ’97) is band director at Ransom Middle School in Cantonment, FL. She married Chris Walker, a CPA, in June 2000, and they reside in Pensacola, FL.

Mike Nichols (BM Musicology 1969; MM Viola Pedagogy 1972) currently has a full-time viola/violin studio in Duluth, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. He performs mostly chamber music and as a fiddler. He has composed many compositions for students and student orchestras and is currently working on editions of 18th & 19th century music for viola as well as a resource book for studio teachers. He is married to Ruth Davis (BM Piano ’70) and have they have two children. He would love to hear from UA friends via email at

Sean Noah (Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music Education 1999) recently received his MM in Music Education from Boston University. He has taught at Hazel Green High School (AL), Western High School (Baltimore, MD), and is currently the Director of Bands at Bibb County High School (AL). Sean is also Assistant Marching Percussion Instructor for the UAB Marching Blazers. He is married to Laura Martin Noah (BM ’02, MM ’04 Peabody Conservatory) and she is the Principal Timpanist for the Mobile Symphony and an adjunct faculty member for UAB. Sean can be reached by emailing him here.

Michelle (Noel) Moebes (BM ’92) was graduated from Emory University with a master’s degree in physical therapy in 1999. She and husband Ben have a son, James, born in 2001.

Kyle C. Norris (B.S.Music Education/B.A.Theatre 2002) is currently the Associate Conductor of Monty Python’s Spamalot at the Wynn Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. With his wife, Sarah Norris, he has written four children’s musicals which have been produced around the country earning him rave reviews from the New York Times. His fifth children’s show, Treasure Island, opened at the Forestburgh Playhouse in the summer of 2008.

Jay Oden (BM ’94) is organist/music associate at First United Methodist Church in Gastonia, NC. He is also organist for one Mass a week at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. He and wife Milette have three children. Jay earned his master’s degree in church music from Shenandoah University in 2000.

Douglas O’Grady (DMA – Composition 2004) is currently Assistant Professor of Music in Theory and Composition at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Robbie Bowie Ooten (BM Music Therapy 1989) is married with two children: Morgan, 13 and Maggie, 10. She works at Trinity Chapel Academy as a music teacher/orchestra director and also teaches private violin lessons. She has a string quartet, “Melodies & Memories,” that plays in and around Atlanta, Ga.

Sarah Ovington (BS ’93) teaches at Shades Mountain Christian School and teaches private voice lessons at Southeastern Bible College.

K.C. Pan (Ed.D. ’01) is lecturer in music education the University of Malaya. K.C. welcomes everyone from the UA family to visit Malaysia.

Ellen (Peters) Light (BS in Music Education 1973) taught high school music for three years. She then left teaching to work in a family business and has spent the last 30 years doing volunteer theatrical and musical work. She is the long-time president of an award-winning community theatre troupe in her hometown of Bluefield, WV. Ellen is now the head of the Alliance for the Arts which operates a National Historic Register building dedicated to the promotion and presentation of fine arts.

LaKeisha Phillips (BS in Vocal Music Education 2003) lives in Birmingham and teaches elementary music at Grantswood and Irondale Community Schools. She also teaches at Birmingham Children’s Choir. She was married on June 11, 2005.

Shatisa Pierce (BM in Vocal Performance May 2000) was recently married (July 2004) and is currently enrolled at UA working on her teaching certificate in English Language Arts. She will finish work on her certificate in May.

David Pineda (BM ’92) is Artistic and Music Director of the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra, Inc.

Shane Porter (B.A. – Composition/Arranging 99) went on to finish the M.S. in Music Ed. from Troy St. in 2002. He took a D.O.B. gig at a high school in Georgia and then worked at Alabama State Univ. for 2 years as the Trumpet Prof. He recently accepted the job as A.D.O.B. at the Univ. of Tenn. (Chattanooga). He has been fortunate enough to have many marching charts published by Warner Brothers. Additionally, he has been touring quite a bit with The Temptations, O’Jays, the Four Tops & Gerald Levert. Shane may be emailed by clicking here.

After receiving her MLIS from UA and having her first child, Darlene (Pounders) Townsend (B.A., Music Administration 1991) began working as a librarian. She is currently a librarian at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama (since 2001). She and her husband, Will, live in Florence with their two sons, Brady and Cooper.

Holly Powe (Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance 1997) went back home after graduation and started teaching. She got a Masters of Education in Music from Alabama A&M and took a job at Calhoun Community College, Decatur, AL as the choir director and music department coordinator. She is an adjunct faculty member in the voice area at Alabama A&M University and also has a private voice and piano studio in the Huntsville area. She accepted a fellowship to complete her DMA at the University.

Jonathan Powell (BS ’96) is the band/choral director at West End High School in Walnut Grove, AL, as well as associate pastor/minister of worship at New Friendship Baptist Church in Arab, AL. He is married to Jeniffer Thrasher Powell, who teaches at West End Elementary School.