Where are you, HCC Alums? Contact me and let us know what you've been up to!

Our Leader

Winston Stephens, Jr. (HCC 1977-1982) chairs the Fine Arts department and is Chorus Director at East Forsyth High School in the Triad area of North Carolina.  He and Shery have four children and - take a breath - two GRANDSONS!  Win reports, "I weigh more... have less hair, but I still get to make music every day... I'm grateful."

UPDATE(Sept. '10) - Winston and Shery's home was blasted by a tornado in March of 2010 that left their home temporarily condemned, and left the Stephens in temporary housing for several months.  Fortunately no one was hurt - they were at a Durufle concert - and they are back home again.  You can also read all about their ordeal in the guestbook, and you can see a picture of the damage in Win's Attic

Our Choir

Andrea Birbilis (HCC 1978-1982) reports: "For the past several years, I have been a music teacher at the Oneida Nation Middle School, just outside of Green Bay Wisconsin. In my "spare" time, I teach voice and piano privately and serve as an adjudicator for the Wisconsin School Music Association. During the summer I teach a drum and bugle corps. I have lived in Wisconsin since 1990, and am still searching for pizza that can rival that of the "V"!

Barbara Bradley (HCC 1978-1980) lives in the Capital District of Upstate New York with her husband of 16 years, Tom McGuire, and their son, Brad. (Yes - Brad McGuire, not Brad Bradley, although Mom did keep her maiden name!) She reports: "I'm the deputy communications director for the New York State School Boards Association, where I've been worked for 23 years in various capacities. Along the way I picked up a master's in political communications from SUNY Albany -- something handy to have here in the state capital!"

Debbie Breese (HCC 1978-1983) lives in Scottsville, NY, near Rochester.  Her husband, Paul Garelick, was once a Hendricks Chapel Bell Choir substitute ringer!  They have two daughters: Tegan, living in Florida, college grad, married; Kiri, living at home, going to community college.  Deb sings now with Schola Cantorum of Syracuse, which specializes in early Renaissance music. 

Stefan A.D. Bucek (HCC 1978-1980) knows the way to San Jose - He's called it home since 1986!  Stefan is Production Manager of the Comcast cable system there, and he also does camera work for events at the HP Pavilion.  Stefan and wife, Kay, have been married 27 years, and have two children, Andrew and Lisa - a recent grad and current student at Biola University, respectively.  A former self-professed "devout athiest", Stefan says, "Hendricks Chapel Choir is very special to me, because I got saved through that ministry. You people loved me into the kingdom of God!"  

Melissa Burnette Sieling (HCC 1981-1983) lives in Syracuse. The black hole she fell into in the back of the bus with Bill Sieling on the '82 Spring Tour blossomed into nearly a quarter-century of marriage.  Melissa loves Bill AND music. She'll teach anything that moves, from marching bands to church choirs to piano lessons to chamber music!  As such, Melissa is President of the Central New York Association of Music Teachers. She and Bill have three sons (two of whom are old enough to legally drink - they started YOUNG), and all three progenies are musical prodigies! 

Nanette Cumley (HCC 1980) was the choir's accompanist in the Spring of 1980. After graduating with her sister, Sheryl, Nanette went on to graduate school.  She reports:  "Since 1989 have been a professor of English at Stevenson University in Maryland. My husband, John Tamer (also SU '80) and I have a son and a daughter, who are both in college. I play piano for a local select choir called The Alleluias. We perform sacred music at venues throughout the region. The semester I spent with the Hendricks Chapel Choir is my best memory from my time at Syracuse!"

Sheryl Cumley (HCC 1977-1980) lives in Rush, a suburb of Rochester, NY.  She reports: "After graduation, I married my long term sweetheart, Gary Diana. We have 2 children, Gary Jr. a mathematician for Citicorp in Stamford,
and Jennifer, who will start her BS in music ed this fall. I spent 17 years in nursing in a variety of settings. In 2001,  I completed an MS in library science, and am the middle school Library Media Specialist in Rush-Henrietta."  Sheryl also says, rather cryptically, "When we moved here, I was reminded of Mike Zannoli's old van, and a certain break down." 

Jim Elkington (HCC 1979-1982) lives in Atlanta, where he's Director of Patient Financial Services of four hospitals.  Before Atlanta, Jim's career as a healthcare administrator took him to Tampa, Jacksonville and Montgomery, AL, and before THAT, he traveled the eastern seaboard as a steward on a private yacht!   Jim has been with his partner, Andy, for 18 years.  He says "HCC gave me a personal oasis at SU – memories of HCC are the most special and enduring of my 4 years there!" 

Darren Finnie (HCC 1979-1983) has a West Side story - that's where he lives in Manhattan, when he's not weekending on the Jersey shore.  Darren has spent the past 11 years as an executive with Time Warner, executing special marketing programs for brands such as Warner Bros., Time Inc. and HBO. While he's no longer singing, Darren did help create a concert series on TNT a few years ago called "The Masters Series", which paid tribute to artists ranging from John Lennon to Bob Marley!  Darren and wife, Joanne, have a daughter, 5 1/2 year old Lexi!

Lonnie Finnie (HCC 1976-1981) You will soon be able to call Darren's big sister "Dr. Lonnie"!  She is in the dissertation phase of earning her PhD in Forensic Nursing, and she should have it sometime next year.  Lonnie has spent the past 24 years as a Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Manager in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, including the last 10 years at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital.  Lonnie now lives in Beacon, NY, and according to Darren, "still has an exquisite voice!"

Keith Gatling (HCC 1975-1980) is still living in Syracuse, and has been the computer teacher at the Manlius Pebble Hill School in DeWitt since 1992.  He and wife Cheryl (whom he met through Hendricks Chapel) have two daughters: Devra and Sofie.  In addition to having the opportunity to direct the choir at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Liverpool from 1990-95, he's also a frequent contributor to The Lutheran magazine.  Check out his webpage here, and his blog, too! 

Jonathan Greene (HCC 1980-1982) has spent the last decade living in Southern California, where he writes episodes for and is co-Executive Producer of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit".  Because of his cool job title, Newhouse has invited Jon back to lecture on occasion, as well! Jon spent 15 years working in TV News before getting his break in Hollywood.  Jon and wife, Robin (Cohen, also a 1983 S.U. alum) have a daughter, Mara, and a son, Josh. 

Mary Helgans Petruncola (HCC 1982-1985) is an elementary school music teacher in the Newburgh School district in New York. She is married to fellow HCC alum Don Petruncola(see below). Mary and Don have two daughters, Emily  and Jane, and they are board members and volunteers at a free-range no-kill cat sanctuary.  

Allan Hill (HCC 1981-1982) has spent the past 20 years working for Macy's as a Visual Merchandising Manager. He reports:  "I live and work in beautiful Brooklyn, across from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.  I get to hear people practicing instruments and voice every night - and lots of them sing flat or sharp!  What a treat!"  Allan had his own swing band for about 10 years, but has not done much with music lately.  He says that may change, though.  "I am thinking about doing something musical again this fall - maybe a church job.  I miss singing hymns and adding dirty lyrics!"   

Jennyann Holloman (HCC 1978-1981) would have returned your call, but she's been away... She says, "After college I joined the Air Force. I stayed in for 22 years and lived all over the world including Iceland, Turkey, Korea (twice), Italy and Germany (twice), Virginia, Delaware and Florida. Oh and a few trips to the Middle East. After I retired from the Air Force I decided I hadn't had enough of the Military so I went to work for the Army where I have been in Germany, an all expenses paid trip to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kansas, Texas and my current location of Huntsville Alabama. I still sing in my church choir wherever I go and am usually on the Cantor list." 

Peter House (HCC 1983-1986) reports:  "I live in Rochester, NY with my partner, Michael Hannen. I am a Unitarian Universalist minister on a part-time basis. For my FULL time job, I am a Special Education Teacher at Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES. I teach 7th grade in a special program for kids with severe emotional problems. I have been singing with the Rochester Gay Men's Chorus since 1990. I have many great memories of my days in HCC and fondly remember the 3 tours I was included in!"

Patricia Kelly (HCC 1982-1985) reports: "I have four kids in the 10-16 range and am waiting for ink to dry on divorce papers. I stayed in the Syracuse area until about 3 years ago when I moved to Chicago to work for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. I am currently going to Northwestern part-time to earn my Masters in Learning and Organizational Change. I keep a blog that has kind of mix of personal and brainiac stuff. Oh and I still have not grown up, anyway that is what my kids tell me".  

Sterling Kozlowski (HCC 1977-1981) lives just outside of Buffalo, where he is an executive with KeyBank.  Like Keith Gatling, Sterling also spent many years (15, in fact) directing choirs after college.  Sterling is married to wife Marylee (who Sterling says sings like an angel!) and his son, Christopher, is a recent college graduate! 

Melina Lillios (HCC 1981-1985) wins the award for best life! (These are John's words, not hers) Melina is a communications professor in Honolulu at Hawaii Pacific University. She also teaches voice and piano, and is a musical theater director.  Melina has lived in Hawaii for 25 years, and now also spends 4 months a year in Southeast Asia.  You can read all about her adventures on her blog!   

Eric Lindstrom (HCC 1978-1980) says "Thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane!"  Eric lives in the DC area, where he spent many years working for the National Geographic Society, before taking a job as an editor with the Department of Homeland Security!  Eric wrote a great essay about his experiences in choir for the 75th anniversary of Hendricks Chapel, and you can read it here (scroll to the bottom of the page). 

Kelly Linton (HCC 1980-1983) is now Dr. Kelly Leite, a pediatrician living in Hershey, PA.  Kelly also runs the residency program at Penn State Children's Hospital and swears it is NOTHING like Grey's Anatomy!  She says she continued to sing in various groups after college, but between keeping other peoples' kids healthy and having FOUR more of her own with her husband, Louis, singing has taken a leave of absence! 

John Matthews (HCC 1979-1982) is living in suburban Maryland, where he grew up.  John recently celebrated his 30th anniversary at WMAL Radio in Washington DC, where he has worked as a reporter, news director and website editor. He also freelances as a writer at ABC News. John and his wife, Robin, have been married for 20 years, and have two sons, Brad and Spencer.  

Donna Maurer (HCC 1979-1980) completed a Ph.D. in sociology in the 1990s, and now teaches online for the University of Maryland University College and edits books and articles for social scientists. She lives in Providence, RI, and her website will be back up soon: http://www.academic-editor.com.

Diana Moro (HCC 1979-1982) lives in Philadelphia. After 20 years as a litigator in PA and NJ, she gave it all up to buy a yarn and fibers store, Ewe and I , in Narberth, Pa. She is married to David Peterson and has two beautiful daughters, Michaela and Stella.  When the traveling choir at her children's elementary school did the same version of "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" at a recent concert, she cried so hard she was rendered speechless. Diana reports:  "I could not explain to my husband or anyone around me why one simple song could reduce me to tears."

Mary Near (HCC 1980-1983) lives in Beverly, Massachusetts, with her husband, Bill Beckman, and their son. Mary reports: "We chose our wedding organist based on her ability to play the Widor Toccata! After working in travel industry marketing for 18 years, I got “September 11thed”, and now I’m the marketing director for the compounding pharmacy which my husband and I opened 4 years ago. Check us out at custommedicine.com! On the music front, we play and sing music together as a family at a monthly open mic and I direct the children’s choir at our church."

Sara Nichols (HCC 1980-1984) is a television producer/director living in Maplewood, NJ.   She reports:  "When I first moved to NYC, I sang professionally and had a small record deal. I then began producing and directing doing music videos, working at Nickelodeon and MTV. I married 'SU' - my former dorm director boss, Neal Eisenstein - and we have two kids, Nicholas and Alexandra. I'm happy to say I get to do what I love ALMOST every day and I'm currently in development on a television series about the music business. Music is always part of what I do." You can contact Sara at her website, emotionalpictures.com!

Don Petruncola (HCC 1981-1985) is an architect living in Marlboro, NY, and living proof that HCC romances can be a success!  He married fellow HCC alum Mary Helgans (see above) in 1986, and had "The Lord Bless You And Keep You" performed at their wedding by a quartet of Chapel Choir members!

Lisa Reape  (HCC 1981-1984) lives near Watertown, NY, where she has worked for the past 17 years as editor of the newspaper serving Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division. She sang with a regional choral group and performed in several community theater productions, until she and her husband, Bill Albrecht, started a production of their own -- their son, John. 

Donna Schannel (HCC 1978-1981) has been in retail since she graduated, working for Macy's, Bloomingdale's and May Dept. Stores.  She's now the Territory Merchandising manager at Kohl's, based in Jersey City. She lives back in her hometown of Princeton, NJ after living in DC and LA. She went back to SU to recruit for the 1st time in 27 years and yes - the pizza at the "V" still tastes the same.  Remember our "Happy Birthday" serenade?! The 4 years at SU were some of the best years of her life due to the HCC.

Barb(ara) Seith (HCC 1976-1980) Barb became Barbara the minute she left Syracuse in June 1980. She's spent the last 30 years making money solving problems - but feeding her soul singing in choirs (church and otherwise), doing cabaret shows in New York City and painting watercolors. If you'd like to see her work, it's on her website barbaraseith.com. She recently relocated from Fort Lee, NJ, where she lived for 20 years to Norwalk, CT, which is much closer to her job in investments at Genworth Financial, as well as her galleries in Rowayton and Darien, CT.

Bill Sieling (HCC 1981-1983) is back living in Syracuse with his much better half, Melissa (see above).  Bill runs his  own consulting engineering and construction management company out of the upstairs of their house while Melissa teaches music downstairs!  Bill has stayed active in music as well, singing quite successfully in local bands.  Melissa reports:  "After our first meeting, we decided we hated each other. But by Valentine’s day in 1982, we sealed our love with a kiss at the Varsity after choir practice."  How very HCC of them!   

Jeffrey Slon (HCC 1978-1981) has spent most of his life since Syracuse in California, where he earned his MBA in information science at Claremont Graduate University in L.A., before moving to San Francisco, where he lived for several years, before giving San Diego a try.  Jeffrey stayed heavily involved in opera, choral music and musical theater for many years as well.  As for his time in OUR choir, Jeffrey credits the HCC with keeping him at Syracuse long enough to get his bachelor's degree! 

Greg Smith (HCC 1982-1984) has kept choral music in his heart!  By day, Greg is an administrator in the Music Department at Princeton University, and in his spare time is director of an all-volunteer choir at Grace Episcopal Church in Pemberton, NJ.  Greg says "Some of my best times at SU were spent in the sanctuary of Hendricks Chapel and in the old choir lounge. I have very fond memories of step singing, pizza at the Varsity, and choir tours." 

Renee Tourville (HCC 1981-198?) married Norm Werthmann in 2000, and now calls San Diego home. 

Kathy Wachter (HCC 1979-1986) took her mother's maiden name years ago, and now goes by the name Katherine Engel.  She received her Master's in voice performance, and spent years living, in her words, the "starving artist" life - light opera, theatre and cabaret, from Alaska to Florida!  She's been living in Minneapolis the past 10 years, where she is an ordained interfaith minister, doing music, composing, writing, officiating ceremonies, singing and acting.  She also has a meditation practice!  Check out Katherine at her website, www.spiritmuse.org!

Frank Whalen (HCC 1981-1984) lives in Westborough, Massachusetts, where he runs an engineering consulting services business: Eagle Lake Systems, Inc. He has two sons, Thomas & David, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who keep him quite busy. Frank also has an album of pictures from the 1984 HCC Gulf Coast tour, and you can see them here!

Margaret Woynicz (HCC 1982-1986) lives in Burbank, California, and has been married since 1990 to Joe Bogenschutz. Margaret is yet another of those HCC alums who had choir members sing at her wedding!  She reports: "I have two boys, and I work part time from home in advertising/media planning. I sang with Sweet Adelines quartet for 4 years, got chronic laryngitis (California fresh air & allergies) and I'm just starting to get back into singing
with my church choir." 

In Memoriam

Steven Williams (HCC 1980-1981) was the choir's accompanist and assistant director in 1980 - 81.  Steve led sectionals in the chapel basement, taking the women while Winston worked with the men and vice versa.  He was also an accomplished organist, and you can hear his work in the choir's recording of Benjamin Britten's Rejoice In The Lamb.  Steve was born and raised in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, where he learned to play organ at church.  In fact, the Hendricks Chapel Choir opened its 1981 Florida tour with a performance at Steve's church.  After finishing at Syracuse, Steve earned his Master's degree in sacred music from Boston University, and later spent 12 years as music director at Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle. Steve died of AIDS on February 24, 2006 at the age of 46.  My recollection of Steve is that he was a real taskmaster, but he had a great biting sense of humor... And this excellent obit of Steve from the Seattle Times seems to support that memory.