School of Music

Alumni News, 1970-1979


Ronald & Glenda Myers Davis (Ronald: BM, ’68 and MM ’70 in organ performance; Glenda: BM, ’67 and MM ’69 in piano performance): Ronald and Glenda have lived in Owosso, Michigan for the past 35 years. They taught at John Wesley College in Owosso until 1979. Ronald taught public school music in Corunna, Michigan until his retirement in 2004. They have maintained a private music studio as well as being involved in the local music scene as performers. The Davises also plan and implement the music at their local church. They have three grown children (two sons and a daughter) and one grandson. They enjoy caring for their grandson who promises to be be a very fine musician in his own right. The music training at UA was top of the line and has proven their musical worth for the past 38 years.


Fred Grady (BS in music education ’71): Fred was in the Million Dollar Band from 1966-1968. He was a music education major until he volunteered for the USMC where he served from 1968-1971. His last eighteen months he played trombone, percussion and piano with the United States Marine Corps Band. Currently, he’s an epidemiologist and State Director of the Division of Epidemiology for the Alabama Department of Public Health. Also, he serves as the local for two churches in Russell County for the United Methodist Church. Yes, they are near that other school. His middle son, David Allen Grady, is a graduate of UA in music education and now a Methodist Minister in the Atlanta area. Fred’s youngest daughter is a sophomore at UA majoring in journalism and writes for the CW.

Stephen Stickler (MA in music education, ’71): Stephen is now in his 33rd year of band directing at both the high school and middle school levels.


Sarah Harris Crouch (BM in theory/composition, ’72): Sarah received a Master of Music at University of Texas at Arlington. She is on Fine Arts faculty at Dallas Baptist University and the theory curriculum writer. Sarah is the author of two books and of numerous articles in professional journals. Additionally, she is a church pianist.

Jimmy Greene (BM ’72): Jimmy received a MM in voice from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and undertook doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He has performed in opera and in concert throughout the USA and abroad and has sung in some of the most important halls in the world. Currently he is director of the performing arts department at St. John’s Preparatory School, St. John’s University, Queens, NY.

Mike Nichols (BM musicology ’69; MM viola pedagogy ’72): Mike 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


Leroy Allen (BS ’73): Leroy teaches instrumental music (jazz ensemble and concert band) at A.H. Parker HS in Birmingham and has been on the staff at the Sixth Ave. Baptist Church for 22 years. He is active as a studio musician and performs with a jazz trio called Omni Music.

Doug Henry (MA ’73): Dough has taught band in Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina for 37 years and has no immediate plans to retire. He’s played professionally all of this time, touring with various bands in most of the lower 48, and gigs at least 3 nights a week. He’s recorded with Eileen Farrell, Loonis McGlohon, The Four Tops and Jim Stack. Doug is still married to Lucy and they have 2 daughters; the youngest is a voice major at Winthrop U. in South Carolina. They now have a granddaughter, too!

Ellen Peters Light (BS in music education ’73): Ellen 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.

Cecelia Campbell Trabert (BM ’73): Cecelia is the high school band director as well as the middle school band director at Piper High School in Kansas City, KS. She is also principal flutist for the St. Joseph Missouri Symphony and an instructor of flute at Mid-American Nazarene University. Her son Jake just landed 3rd chair french horn in the Kansas All-State Orchestra his first year auditioning! He also distinguished himself at the 2005 Christmas Baseball Camp held at The University of Alabama.


Les Fillmer (BM ’74): Les was an English horn soloist and personnel manager with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra until taking a full-time teaching position at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in 1981; he was appointed music chair there in 1996. He also serves as music director for Alabama Ballet and the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra. Les asks, “When is the HOLT LOCK AND DAM MUSIC FESTIVAL Revival scheduled to occur?”

Julia Keywood (BM ’74): Julia 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).

Ron Sellers (BS ’69, MA ’74): Ron is currently in his 30th year of teaching band (no plans for retirement yet): 13 years at Winfield High School, 2 years at Walker High School, and 15 years at Caledonia High School in Mississippi.

Glenn Spurlin (BS ’71, MA ’74): Glenn retired from the Alabama Public school system in 1997 and has been teaching for the past six years in Georgia. Glenn was a section leader in the Million Dollar Band. Three of his children have marched in the MDB, and four members of the immediate family hold UA degrees.

Scott Weldon (BS ’74, MA ’76): After serving as a band director for five years, Scott studied accounting. He is currently a controller at the University of South Alabama.


Kathy Williams Beers (BS ’75): Kathy is a pianist at the International Concourse in Hartsfield/Jackson Airport, Atlanta, Georgia (weekends from 3:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.) She and her husband, Gregory, have two boys, ages 12 and 17. She also teaches piano and is an active member of the Gwinnett Music Teachers’ Association. One of her past students belongs to the Shorter College Chorale and they will be singing for the Pope at the Vatican next spring.


Joe Bacchus (BS ’71, MA ’76): Joe is VP of sales for OPTX International, makers of ScreenWatch Producer software. He is also a percussion instructor at Chico High School and a realtor at Prudential California Realty. He is the drummer for several local groups and has played with Mills Brothers, Ink Spots, Peter Marshall, Larry White, and Bob Green.

LaDonna Smith (BM, MM ’76): LaDonna is a violinist, violist, pianist, composer has been on the international music scene, specializing in the art of free improvisation for over 30 years. This last August was the 30 year anniversary of the improvisor, a music journal dedicated to free improvisation, now on the web at The monthlong improvisor festival was held in 6 different cities around the country, including Seattle, NYC, Jackson MS, Chattanooga, Athens, Atlanta, and Birmingham. LaDonna is a frequent presenter of concerts and workshops in the field of free improvisation, around the country. Previously adjunct faculty at UAB, she she maintains a private teaching practice, in violin and piano, as well as is the Director of Birmingham Suzuki Violinists. For more info:


Cheryl Crider Clark & Gene Clarke (BS ’77; MA ’76): Cheryl and Gene live in Grove Hill, AL, where Cheryle has been as band director at Wilson Hall Middle School for 26 years. Gene retired from high school band directing after 25 years and now teaches music appreciation for the local junior college and computer applications for Catholic Social Services. Both of their daughters attend The University of Alabama.

Dr. Robert A. McCormick (BS ’77): Robert 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.

Curtis Murdock (BM ’74, BS ’75, MA ’77): Curtis 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.

Richard Snyder (MMEd ’71 and EdD ’77): Richard joined what is now Enterprise-Ozark Community College as Division Chair for Fine Arts, after a high school teaching career of almost 10 years at Bay High in Panama City, FL (with two European concert tours). One of his esteemed colleagues is Dr. Jean Ann Johnson, also a UA graduate. In the last 26 years he has taught undergraduate music theory and appreciation as well as directed concert choir, community chorus, theater, musical theater, and dinner-theater. He now directs one of the most widely acclaimed show choirs in the region and will retire in a couple of years. Life is good.


Ben McCoy (BM ’78): Ben 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.

Barry Morrison (BS in music education ’78): Barry 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.

Bob Sheehan (BS ’78): Bob is in his 28th year of teaching. He served in Luverne for 9 years and is the current director at Hale County High School in Moundville. He resides in Tuscaloosa with his wife Kim (Pate BS ’79) and son Robert.


J. Howard Baxter (BS ’77, MA ’79): Howard is supervisor of music for the Abington (PA) School District, assistant conductor of the Old York Road Symphony, and tympanist for the Abington Symphony Orchestra.

Wayne Cameron (BS ’68, MA ’70, EdD ’79): Wayne has been a band director for 25 years at the following schools: Anniston High School, Anniston, AL; Shaw High School, Mobile, AL; asst. director, Purdue University, Lafayette, In; Samford University, He is currently the airport manager at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. He plays clarinet in the Tuscaloosa Winds, 5th Alabama Regimental Band, and Calvary Baptist Orchestra.

Timothy Durbin (BM ’79): Timothy is director of string studies, director of the university orchestra, and a violin professor at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, California. He does about 30 clinics and workshops each year, many of them being Suzuki workshops and institutes. He is working on a doctorate in conducting at Claremont Graduate University. You may contact him via email at

Timothy E. Guenther (MM ’79): Timothy has been the director of music at First English Lutheran Church of Mansfield since 1989 and an adjunct instructor of organ and the university organist at Ashland University since 1996. Tim reports that the church is currently renovating its organ.