Bob Akers (c/o 2002, Computer Science and Music) is currently living in wild, wonderful West Virginia, where he works as a freelance software developer. A recently married step-father of four wonderful children, he is living the dream of a struggling novelist, and loving every minute of it. Visit him online at rlakers.com
Andrew Clark (BA Music, ’98) is a member of the music faculty at Harvard University, where he serves as Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer on Music. Dr. Clark has led the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum in performances at prestigious venues around the world and released numerous recordings of neglected but important American music. As an advocate for harnessing the arts in advancing social justice and human rights, he has spent nearly twenty years working alongside musicians with disabilities in providing and advancing universal arts access and participation. He teaches courses in conducting and music and disability at Harvard.
Kate Gibson (’04, economics major; music minor) practices international arbitration and trade law at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing violin and attending concerts in her free time. https://www.cov.com/en/professionals/g/catherine-gibson
After graduating from Wake Forest in 2000 with a degree in English, Heather Gilreath went on to receive a Masters in English with a focus in Appalachian Literature from East Tennessee State University. She, her husband, Lance Klosterman, and their son, Thomas, live in a restored farmhouse on 40 acres in East Tennessee where they raise chickens, goats, horses, and vegetables. She also serves as part-time pianist for her church and as a member of the violin section in the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra.
With music degrees from Wake Forest University and the University of Colorado, Boulder, Rick Gomez has been a professional crossover artist in opera and musical theatre since 1989. He’s also served on faculty at the University of Connecticut, Western Connecticut State University, the University of Tulsa, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Shorter College. He now works as the Director of Musical Theatre at Brenau University and the Gainesville Theatre Alliance in Gainesville, GA. His proudest accomplishment, however, comes in the form of his two beautiful daughters, Sophia and Summer.
Nola Reed Knouse is Director of the Moravian Music Foundation and an ordained Moravian minister. She graduated from Wake Forest with a B.A. in music and mathematics in 1978, holds the M.A. and Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music, and a Certificate in Theological Studies from Moravian Theological Seminary. She remains active as a music editor, scholar, composer/arranger, and flutist, along with directing all the programmatic activities of the Moravian Music Foundation.
John Kossler is a guitarist who attended WFU in 2008 and graduated in December 2011. He has performed in venues around the world, including Italy, Slovenia, South Korea, and the USA, including Carnegie Hall. Aside from performing, he writes and arranges, and has a guitar duo with his brother Adam Kossler.
Brittany Magiera graduated from Wake Forest University as a Music major in History, Theory, and Composition and a Communications minor. After graduation, Brittany worked in artist management at Columbia Artists Management Inc. (CAMI) for four years. After working at CAMI, Brittany returned to school at Columbia University Teachers College, where she received dual Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She is currently a first grade teacher in an Integrated Co-Teaching classroom in Manhattan, where she continues to use music on a daily basis to motivate and teach her students.
Christopher Magiera graduated from Wake Forest University as a Music major in Vocal Performance. After Wake Forest, Chris received his Master’s of Music the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, attended the Opera Program at the Yale School of Music, was a Young American Artist at Glimmerglass Opera, and a member of the Opera Studio at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany. Since then he has worked internationally as an opera singer in hundreds of performances at opera houses such as the Bayerische Staatsoper, Dresden Semperoper, English National Opera, Vancouver Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Colorado Opera. He has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (Richard Tucker Gala), Bilkent Symphony of Ankara, and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.
Ryan McCollum graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance and later received his Master of Music in Jazz Performance from North Carolina Central University. Mr. McCollum has been on the staff at Wake Forest since 2009. He previously worked as an Audio/Visual technician for Brendle Recital Hall and Wait Chapel. In 2015 Ryan transitioned into the role of Instructional Technology Specialist for the Music and Theatre and Dance departments. In his spare time he enjoys powered paragliding, playing gigs, and enjoying the outdoors with his wife.
Erin Saner Graduated in 2014 with a BS in Biology with honors and music minor. Currently pursuing career in Family and Community Medicine while continuing musical involvement throughout northwest North Carolina. Although primarily a pianist and clarinetist, has recently begun studying cello during time away from medicine.
Soon after graduating from Wake Forest, where he dabbled in jazz violin studies, chamber music, the University Orchestra, and collaborations with other improvising students, Christian Sedelmyer (Business, ’07) moved to Nashville, where he’s become one of the top fiddlers in today’s progressive string scene. His duo 10 String Symphony, dubbed by NPR’s All Songs Considered as one of the “The Newest and Most Promising Voices in Americana,” has performed throughout the US, the UK, New Zealand and Australia. He’s also been a key sideman to musicians such as 14-time Grammy winner Jerry Douglas, with whom he’s toured since 2014.
As the founder and artistic director of Cleveland-based APOLLO’S FIRE, Jeannette Sorrell (BA Music, 86′) has led sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, London’s BBC Proms, Madrid’s Royal Theatre, the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals, Boston’s Early Music Festival, the Library of Congress, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), among others. She and her ensemble have built one of the largest audiences of any baroque orchestra in North America. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 28 commercial CDs, including 8 bestsellers on the Billboard classical chart and a 2019 GRAMMY®-winner. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti and harpsichord concerti of Bach; Bach’s St John Passion; Handel’s Messiah; and the Monteverdi Vespers, among others.
Matthew Trautwein studied music at Wake Forest from 1984 to 1989, earning what was unofficially termed a “double music major” in voice and classical guitar. Since graduating, Matthew has spent many years working in theater as an actor, musician, and music director (primarily at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern from 1993 to 2008), and now teaches independent private music lessons (voice, guitar, violin, and piano) while performing in several rock groups as a sideman (Bill Gentry Band, Zangaro), as a member of several tribute bands (Cheap Trick, Rush, Aerosmith), and as band leader (the Lost Boys, Karma Lingo), touring, recording, and composing variously for each. Matthew resides in Decatur, GA, with his wife, author Caitlyn Mitchell Trautwein. https://www.facebook.com/matthew.trautwein