2009 Spring Newsletter

Alumni Update

Keep in touch with your fellow alums and the department by visiting our alumni e-mail directory!

Mike Anderson

(1992 MATE, 1985-1992, Marching Band, Percussion Section Leader 1991, Symphonic Band, Japan Tour 1988, Dixieland Band) Twenty years later, and back in Japan. I’m on business in Japan installing electron microscopes, and I realized it was 20 years ago that the Cal Poly Symphonic Band toured Japan. That was an amazing time. I saw our tour picture on Rob Bertini’s Web site. These days, I am still playing the drums with my church worship band. Same church attended by fellow 1988 Japan Tour Alumni Dwight Hunnicutt. I’m also starting a local San Francisco Bay Area 60s-70s-band called the “Bsides.” Wish us luck!

Russ Cummings

(1999 Music, 1990-1999 Piano Ensemble) When I’m doing my regular job teaching aeronautical engineering at the Air Force Academy, I am teaching music appreciation this semester. The music professor here is on sabbatical and asked me to fill in for her, much to my delight!!!

Gregory Denney

(1995 Music, 1990-1995 University Singers, Men’s Chorus, PolyPhonics) My wife, Kelly, and I welcomed our second son Peter Thomas last March. His older brother Andrew loves to sing and “play” guitar and piano. (He’s only 4, but don’t tell him that... he’s a rock star in his mind!) Some other music activities: Director of Vocal Activities, Young Artists Conservatory of Music in Vacaville, CA. I’m teaching voice, guitar, piano, and directing a youth choir and a boys choir. Music Ministry with Community Presbyterian Church, Vacaville. Music Director with Solano Youth Theater through Solano Community College. Oh yeah, Andrew reminded me that he’s learning “Seventy-Six Trombones” since the Youth Theater is rehearsing “The Music Man.” Yep, we’ve really got Trouble!

Tom Fortson

(1971 IT, 1967-1971 Men’s Glee Club,World Famous Majors & Minors) My wife, Stefanie, and I split our time between Santa Cruz and Medford, Ore., as I’m able to telecommute in my business. I’ve joined the Santa Cruz Ukulele club, and continue to sing in the shower and during my commute. Have reconnected with Steve “Ted” Hastings of the M&Ms and would love to talk with others, too.

Barton W. Hendrix

(1968 Biology, 1964-1968, Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Band officer) Retired high school science teacher / department (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). Included in “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” and “Who’s Who in America” (upcoming edition). Still play clarinet for my own entertainment. Currently using a Selmer series 9. Working on restoring a 1926, 47-foot pleasure cruiser -- the first large pleasure cruiser built for sale by Stephens Bros. in Stockton. Goal is to match original specifications with the exception of safety and navigation equipment. A good excuse to add new tools to my shop. Have collected full documentation back to the original order and construction photos. Living in Valley Springs, CA.

Joan McDowell

(1974 BCHM, 1970-1974 Marching Band, Symphonic Band) Active in Masterworks Chorale at Mendocino College.

Amanda Yoshimizu

(2008 Music, 2004-08 Trombone Choir, Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphony, University Jazz Band)
I was planning on going to Central Michigan University, but an exciting opportunity was presented to me at the Conductors Institute at Bard in Upstate New York in summer. While I was attending the four week long workshop, Maestro Farberman asked me to change my plans and become a master’s student studying under him. I could not pass up the opportunity to work with this legendary teacher. My experience thus far has been very busy and challenging, but I feel like I am really learning. I’m taking German, composition, and symphonic repertoire in classes with only one other student! My other classes—conducting lessons, and ear training/score reading—are with six total students. It makes me be extremely prepared for class, I can’t hide in the back! I’m playing trombone and assistant conducting the Bard Orchestra and sit in on the Conservatory Orchestra rehearsals with Leon Botstein. I’m even taking violin lessons. The program is only 15 months total, so I’ll have my master’s next August. I miss SLO and the Music Department.