Many of our graduates continue to engage music as a significant part of their life after graduation. Graduates like Lisa Plumley, Kirk Hornberger, and Alison Sandford have studied at programs ranging from Penn State and the University of Wisconsin to the Royal Academy of Music in London. Others, such as William Black (a dentist and trumpeter) and Bill Fischer (and entrepreneur and avid singer), credit Dickinson’s music program with their life-long love of music. Sometimes our graduates continue to make dedicated contributions to our program, as is the case with Joseph Sobel, a lawyer who just celebrated over forty years of playing with the Dickinson Orchestra.
Below are some of our most accomplished graduates working in a musical profession:
Anne Jennifer Nash, '96
Music Performance, Voice
After graduation, Anne earned her Performance Diploma and Master’s degree in performance at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She has performed operatic roles with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Florentine Opera Company of Milwaukee, Lake George Opera, Bard Music Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Aspen Opera Theatre, the National Opera Company and Opera New Jersey, among others. Nash is the winner of the Aspen Music Festival Voice Competition and the Rising Star Recital Series competition. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in vocal performance at the University of Michigan and was recently featured in Dickinson Magazine.
Anne has been appointed as faculty in voice at Concordia College.
Craig A. Weinrich, '95
During his time at Dickinson, Craig composed several compositions that he had the delight of conducting himself and worked as an intern in conjunction with the department’s musical-artists-in-residence. The latter experience led to his current career path in arts administration. He has held development positions with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and subsequently with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA).
Catherine Weis-Brussel, '95
Upon graduation, Catherine worked as administrative Assistant and later Marketing Associate at Carnegie Hall.
Richard Amoroso, '92
Richard joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as a first violinist in 1998 and has performed with most of Philadelphia’s major ensembles, including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the Philly Pops Orchestra, with whom he has appeared as a soloist. His solo performances include a debut at Carnegie Halls’ Weill Recital Hall, and he returned to Dickinson in 2008 to give a concert and master-class to the next generation of performance students. You can read more about Richard in Dickinson Magazine.
David Metzer, ‘87
Music and Economics
David completed his PhD at Yale University. He is currently Professor of Music History at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on all types of music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including classical, pop, and jazz. He is the author of Quotation and Cultural Meaning in Twentieth-Century Music and Musical Modernism at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (both published by Cambridge University Press).
"Studying music in a liberal arts setting was the ideal training for me as both a musician and a scholar. I had the opportunity to play in chamber ensembles and the orchestra and to connect my study of music history and theory with other courses that I was taking. My broad interdisciplinary interests grew out of my years at Dickinson."
Laurie Phillips Gibson, '86
Laurie holds a masters in musicology from the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music and a masters of library science from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Library and Information Science. Her professional path took her to be the Bibliographic Control Coordinator/ Associate Professor at Loyola University Library, where she also works extensively with literacy volunteers in the New Orleans area.
"I arrived at Dickinson determined to major in biology, but I realized I belonged in music. My father was not thrilled about my choice of major. He was sure I‘d never make a living, but he was wrong. The professors in music at Dickinson prepared me well to go on to graduate school in musicology. I learned to analyze and write about music, and to think critically."
Rebecca Anstine Smith, '77
Music Performance, Harp and French
After graduation, Rebecca earned her master’s degree in harp performance at the Peabody Conservatory and also studied at Tanglewood. She is currently the principal harpist with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (DC) and has taught as a faculty member at the University of Maryland, College Park, George Washington University, and the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music.
"Some of my colleagues express surprise when they learn that I attended a liberal arts college rather than a conservatory. In truth I never started out my college life with a desire to be a performance major, but once immersed in the musical and cultural life at Dickinson, I soon couldn’t imagine my life without the harp. The many opportunities to perform and constant encouragement from fellow students and faculty gave me the courage to persevere."