Five musically talented former residents are returning home to perform a special Thunder Bay Arts Council concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Alpena High School Auditorium.
All five musicians hail from the Alpena area and have pursued extensive careers in the music field. TBAC is calling their concert "An Alpena Homecoming A Showcase of Local Youth." Taking the stage will be Brad Beyer, Mary Bouchard, Ryan Fountain, Chris Moors and Kaitlin Stark.
Beyer is an alumni of Alpena Public Schools who began his musical training in the sixth grade on trumpet. He was a fully active member of the band program all through middle school and high school performing in concert jazz, pep, marching and several honors bands as well as competing at District and State Solo & Ensemble Festivals.
After graduating in 2004, Beyer left for Cornerstone University to study instrumental music education. It was during this time that one of his professors urged him to begin studying a woodwind instrument to compliment his teaching.
Beyer completed his studies at Cornerstone and is now in his second year of teaching band and elementary music at Freedom Christian Schools in Hudsonville. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in instrumental conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University.
Beyer remains an active performer on both trumpet and saxophone and a frequent guest conductor with the Cornerstone University Symphonic Winds. He has also been seen in performances with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, most recently when the symphony performed the monumental work of Carl Orff, "Carmina Burana."
He hopes that the audience will enjoy the wide variety of styles and cultures presented in his repertoire for Saturday's performance. From 1920's "Tin Pan Alley" vaudeville rags to intricately-woven and lushly harmonized French melodies to the incessant, driving rhythms and passionate flare of Latin American tango, his aim is to take the audience around the world through some of the highlights of the classical saxophone literature.
Bouchard is excited to perform on stage in Alpena for the first time in six years. She graduated last spring with a BFA in musical theater from Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts.
While there she had the opportunity to be taught and directed by many theater professionals including Broadway veterans. Some of her college credits include "Urinetown," "Starting Here, Starting Now," "Jaque Breif is Alive and Well and Living in Paris," and many other showcases and performances.
Before moving to Chicago, some of Bouchard's favorite roles were Eve in "Children of Eden" and Mayzie in "Seussiucal." She now lives in Marquette, awaiting her next step in life. She is thankful to have had the fortune to spend four years studying something she loves.
Fountain is a 2008 graduate of Alpena High School. He has performed in various honors ensembles including the All-State Band, All State Orchestra and MSU Honors Band. His experience expands to two summers studying at Interlochen Art Camp in the All-State Orchestra under the direction of Gary Lewis.
Fountain has been a part of countless ensembles in the Alpena area. He has subbed for the Bifocal Brass, Alpena Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Alpena City Band for many years. In the fall he will be starting his fourth year as a music education major at Michigan State University.
At MSU Fountain has performed in numerous ensembles which include Concert Band, Symphony Band, Wind Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and in The Planeteers Brass Quintet, a scholarship brass quintet. He has also performed as principal hornist with the Alma Symphony Orchestra.
Fountain currently teaches private French Horn lessons to area students and teaches at several marching band camps throughout the summer.
He most recently has performed with the MSU Wind Symphony under the direction of world renowned band conductor Dr. Kevin Sedatole and the MSU Symphony Orchestra. His immediate plans after he finishes the five-year music education program is to attend graduate school and earn his horn performance degree.
Moors is a performer, teacher and composer living in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. He received brass instruction from Dr. Paul Willweth, Richard Illman, Dr. Mike Ewald, Ray Sasaki and Dr. Thomas Wirtel.
Moors has over 20 years experience teaching students of all age levels throughout Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. He has a BME from Central Michigan University, a MM from Michigan State University and served as graduate assistant the University of Illinois while working on a DMA.
In the central Illinois area he has performed with Danville Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, Illinois Symphony, Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana and the Prairie Ensemble.
CDs he appears on include "Passages" in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois, "Sousa, El Capitan" by Sinfonia da Camera on the Zephyr label, and "Blue Shades," the music of Frank Ticheli by Michigan State University Wind Symphony.
Moors currently manages the Music Shoppe and Pro-Sound Center in Champaign, composes music in a variety of genres and is leader of the Cosmic Jazz Quintet.
Stark became very involved in dance, theatre and music while growing up in Alpena. After graduating from AHS in 2005, she attended Western Michigan University and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in choral music education.
While at Western Stark sang with the WMU Chorale which gave her the chance to record with the professional choir, Serophic Fire, and tour in the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.
At WMU Stark also studied classical music and opera, and taught for many community arts organizations. After graduating from WMU she taught elementary music in Parchment and conducted children's choirs for the North American Choral Company in Grand Rapids.
As she wanted to continue to study performance, she took a chance and auditioned at Oklahoma City University where she received a scholarship and is currently working on her Master's in Music Theatre Performance. Her favorite theater and opera roles include Monica in Menotti's "The Medium," Papagena in Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Frenchy in Grease, Winnie Tate in "Annie Get Your Gun" and Mimue in "Camelot."
Stark's future plans include teaching at a performing arts school while continuing to perform herself.
Adult tickets for "An Alpena Homecoming A Showcase of Local Youth." are $12 each. Students are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at Neiman's Family Market, LeFave Pharmacy, Alpena Alcona Credit Union, TBAC office and at the door that evening. For more information call the TBAC office at 356-6678.