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Joan Epstein
Professor of Music

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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local: (727) 864-8459
toll-free: (800) 456-9009

Music

Music

Alumni Success

Solo and Operatic Singers

  • Antonia Brown-Ulli (1978) - International Opera Singer. Longtime soprano at the Florence Opera in Italy, now based in Switzerland where she is now a free-lance operatic singer and a tour guide. After graduating from Eckerd, she studied voice at the Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini in Florence.
  • Todd Donovan (1991) - International Opera Singer. Successful international baritone and music educator based in St. Petersburg, FL. He has sung both operatic and oratorio roles in California, Austria and beyond, as well as on the west coast of Florida.
  • Anna Lorraine Tonna-Brown (1988) - International Opera Singer. A mezzo-soprano based in New York City known for her operatic roles and expertise in Spanish art song. Recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in Spain that launched a new phase of her career in South American and Europe. She earned a M.M. degree from the Mannes School of Music after moving from St. Petersburg to New York.
  • Chris Pedro Trakas (1978) - International Opera Singer. Chris focused on voice and organ performance as an Eckerd student, then earned an M.M. degree in voice at the U. of Houston. A frequent operatic and art song performer in the U.S. and abroad, Chris is a recipient of a Naumberg Award and he has made a number of highly respected art song recordings. He has also taught at the North Carolina School for the Arts, the Juilliard School, SUNY-Stony Brook and Florida State University. He resides in New York City and St. Petersburg.

Music Graduates (Majors & Minors) and Their Professional Involvements

The following graduates make a full-time living as music professionals:
  • Bruce W. Anderson (1974), St. Pete Beach, FL. Suzuki Piano Teacher with international reputation
  • Steven Estrella (1984), Philadelphia, PA. Music Technology Expert at Temple University and consultant to other major universities and music schools, including the Berkelee School.
  • Sally Gessler Robinson  (1973) St. Pete., FL. Private Piano Teacher with varied classroom and music therapy experience.
  • Caroline Biggs(Gray) (1988), Miami, FL. Soprano Soloist and Voice Teacher, long-time public school music teacher and solo singer.
  • Michael Fee (2000), St. Petersburg, FL. Public School Music Teacher and Professional Trumpeter.
  • Thomas Hall (1980), St. Petersburg, FL. College Organist and Instructor of Organ at Eckerd College; Director of Music, Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg.
  • (Mehmet) Atilgan Kaptanoglu (2000), Istanbul, Turkey. Professional Pianist and Piano Teacher; part-time business manager.
  • Julie Martin (2009), Chicago, IL. Music Theater and Choral Singer.
  • David Outland (1991) Marco Island, FL Church Music Director and Organist.
  • Susan Harrison Penrod (1988), Seattle, WA. Public School Music Teacher and Vocalist.
  • Devin Rice (1988), Seattle, WA. Song Writer, Video Producer and Performer.
  • Rhonda Harrison Shimano (1983), Matsumoto, Japan. Suzuki Violin Teacher and part-time administrator at Suzuki Institute.
  • Thomas “Ted” Shumate (1991), Panama Beach, FL. Professional Jazz Guitarist.
  • Mariola Tauro (1992), Bangalore, India. Private Piano Teacher.
  • Christa Tillman-Young (2003), Arlington, TX. Public School Music and Math Teacher, and Jazz Singer.
The following alumni are seriously involved with and earn a substantial part of their income from musical pursuits but have another full-time career:
  • James Baio (1999), Tampa, FL. Museum Professional, MOSI; part-time choral and musical theater performer.
  • David Bagaus (1999), Sarasota, FL. Retired Financial Advisor; part-time trumpet teacher and performer.
  • Samuel Davis (2005), Largo, FL. Restaurant Manager; part-time song writer and performer.
  • Ariel Epstein Dickson (2002), Schuylerville, NY. Scientific Sculptor and Compliance Manager for Phantom Laboratories; part-time professional French horn player.
  • Matthew Fagen (1999), Taipei, Taiwan. Prep School Physics Teacher and Band Director; part-time performer and composer.
  • (Angelina) Maya Freeman (1995), Washington, DC. Coastal Ecologist for Environmental Defense Fund; part-time violinist.
  • Christopher Glenn (1998), Seattle, WA. Administrator, University of Washington, Chapter Dean, American Guild of Organists.
  • David Hebden (2012), St. Petersburg, FL. Administrative Assistant, Eckerd College; preparing to enter graduate school in recording technology.
  • Eric Lundin (1984), Haddam, CT. Environmental Law Office; part-time church music director and organist.
  • Liandrea Menna (2008), Clearwater, FL. Realtor; part-time operatic soprano.
  • Michael Michel Moon (1996), Waltham, MA. Human Resources Professional; part-time soprano soloist.
  • Francis (Frank) M. Wells III (1996). Alternative Energy Entrepreneur; part-time choral director.
  • Byron Goldberg (1997), St. Petersburg, FL. Semi-retired Psychiatrist; part-time jazz pianist and arranger.
  • Michael Jones (1984), Lutz, FL. Presbyterian Minister; part-time folk rock composer, singer and guitarist.
  • Steven Kang (2004), Ann Arbor, MI. Medical Resident in Otoneurology; part-time classical pianist.
  • Thomas Lendrihas (2002), Tampa, FL. Medical Researcher (M.D./PhD); part-time classical pianist.
  • Lester McNutt (1986), Paris, France. Interpreter and Translator; part-time music theater director and performer.
  • Lova Patterson (2000), Bradenton, FL. College Student Affairs Professional; part-time performer and song writer.
  • Beatrix Pulido (1992), Dunedin, FL. Reading Specialist; part-time private music teacher with many years of music classroom teaching experience.
  • Todd Wathen (1988), Clearwater, FL. Hospice Social Worker & Counselor; part-time church music Director and songwriter.
  • Jeri-Lynne White Severance (1987), Kissimmee, FL. Special Education Teacher and school administrator; part-time choral conductor with many years as a high school choral director to her credit.
  • Stephanie Phass Womack (1988), Vero Beach, FL. Executive Recruiter; part-time church choir director and organist.
The remainder listed here have careers outside of music but continue to perform or compose for enjoyment and promote the arts in their communities:
  • Nicholas Arakawa (2005), New York, NY. Fashion Model; continues to compose and produce electronic music on the side.
  • Jennifer Ali-Hossein Bodden (1986), Grand Cayman Marketing Professional and Resort Owner; continues to sing for pleasure.
  • Corinna Cicmanec (2009), Seminole, FL. Attorney; continues to sing and play flute for enjoyment.
  • Lindsay Flanagan Huban (2005), Naples, FL. Museum Professional; Ph.D in history; continues to sing for pleasure.
  • Shirley Knobloch Groom (2002), Palm Bay, FL. Methodist Pastor; former church music director and organist.
  • Natasha Gregory (2012), Tampa, FL. Pharmacy Tech.; preparing to enter graduate school in pharmacy.
  • Danielle Herman Hould (2000), Clearwater, FL. Communications Director; continues to sing for enjoyment.
  • Bruce Hitchman (1971), Sarasota, FL. Businessman; maintains activities as organist, singer and arts advocate.
  • Julia McKee (2008), Seminole, FL. Attorney; continues to sing and play piano for pleasure.
  • Rino J. Rotta (1995), Clearwater, FL. Production Manager, Home Shopping Network; continues to sing.
  • Katherine Townsend (1990), Los Angeles, CA. Artist and Entrepreneur, former Personal Manager to solo musicians.

Music Travels

Concert Choir in Italy

The Eckerd College Concert Choir and Eckerd Ringers travel around the world to perform.