Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Music Alumni

Butler students sing, play, conduct, teach, and inspire. Students with undergraduate degrees in music from Butler University have continued their study in some of the country's finest programs including Indiana University, the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard Opera Program, Florida State University, Southern Methodist University, Eastman School of Music, Boston University, University of Maryland and the University of Michigan.

Former Butler students are on the stage and in the pit for major Broadway shows including Les Miserables, Blast!, La Bohème, and Phantom of the Opera. Butler graduates teach at such colleges and universities as the jazz/pop oriented Berklee School in Boston, Ball State University, the University of Michigan and, yes, Butler University!

Butler's music education graduates are regularly cited as outstanding young educators by the Music Educators National Conference and hold teaching positions in public and private schools all over the country. Butler has maestros on the podiums of such symphony orchestras as the Warner Brothers Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic, and the Ft. Smith Symphony.

Ben J. Davis '97

  • Professional actor, currently performing on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie in the role of Trevor Graydon
  • As a member of the principal ensemble of Baz Luhrmann's production of La Bohème (Marcello), was recipient of 2003 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
  • Performed in Les Misérables as Enjolras on Broadway and in a national tour
  • Other credits include Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol and The Pirates of Penzance

John S. Jeter '93

  • Music director/conductor, Fort Smith Symphony and visiting director of orchestral studies, University of Oklahoma
  • Recipient of the 2002 American Symphony Orchestra League Helen M. Thompson Award, given to one music director in America every two years, and the City of Fort Smith Mayor's Achievement Award
  • Significant regional media producer, commentator and educator on National Public Radio, Clear Channel and Cumulus Radio Networks and Cox Cable television
  • National and international guest conducting engagements include the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and West Bohemian Symphony in the Czech Republic

Lisa M. Sullivan '89

  • Music specialist, Mohawk Trails Elementary School for Carmel Clay Schools
  • Is a Certified Specialist in Orff-Schulwerk, a music teaching method that focuses on experiential aspect of music, and teaches Orff-Schulwerk at Anderson University
  • Directed Children's Orff Ensemble at 2001 National Orff Conference in Cincinnati
  • President of the Indiana chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Indiana Kodaly Educators, Indiana Music Educators Association and Music Educators National Conference

Johann S. Paetsch '88

  • Principal cellist, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland
  • Received top prize in the Emmanuel Feuerman Competition and the Young Musicians Foundation Competition in Los Angeles
  • Toured internationally with the piano trio Trio Kairos and performed concertos of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Haydn and Dvorák in Japan, the U.S. and Europe

Jonathan L. Chenette '80

  • Blanche Johnson Professor of Music, Grinnell College
  • Performed internationally at the ISCM World Music Days in Amsterdam, World Harp Congress in Vienna and others
  • His compositions have been performed by the Cedar Rapids Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • His music is available on CD from Innova, Riverrun and Fleur de Son Classics labels, and several of his compositions are published by Boosey & Hawkes and Theodore Presser Company

George Daugherty '78

  • Conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
  • His production of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, which premiered at Christmas 1995 on ABC and was rereleased on DVD in 2003 by Sony Entertainment, received a Primetime Emmy and has been nominated for five other Emmy Awards
  • Conducting credits include San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, National Symphony, Munich State Opera and Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa's New Japan Philharmonic, the orchestra of the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Pittsburgh Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic
  • Winner of numerous awards for his educational television series and concerts for children, including Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat and Sesame Workshop for PBS, Rhythm & Jam for ABC and Bugs Bunny On Broadway for Warner Brothers
  • Recipient of an Indiana Governor's Arts Award

Michael Schelle '76

  • Composer-in-residence and professor of music, Butler University
  • Nominated in 1988 and 1994 for a Pulitzer Prize in Music Composition
  • Named 1989 Distinguished Composer of the Year by Music Teachers National Association
  • Received composition awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Welsh Arts Council (Cardiff, Wales), BMI, ASCAP and arts foundations across the country
  • Published a film music book The Score
  • His compositions have been performed nationally by the Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland and Cincinnati orchestras and internationally by Kammerorchester Basel in Switzerland, Czestochowa Philharmonic in Poland, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Costa Rica and the Koenig Ensemble of London
  • Chamber works performed by professional ensembles from New York to Los Angeles to Honolulu

Alfred Savia '75, M.M. '76

  • Conductor and music director, Evansville Philharmonic
  • Recorded Russell Peck's The Thrill of the Orchestra with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1997 Associate conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 1996 and continues to guest conduct the ISO frequently
  • Past posts include associate conductor of the Florida Symphony Orchestra (Orlando), New Orleans Symphony and Florida Philharmonic (Miami and Fort Lauderdale), as well as artistic director of the Orlando Opera and Orlando Philharmonic
  • National and international conducting credits include the Alabama, Columbus, Detroit, Illinois, St. Louis, San Antonio, Savannah and Wyoming symphony orchestras, Denmark's Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Germany's Osnabrücker Symphonieorchester, Italy's Orchestra de Camera Fiorentina and Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Ankara, Turkey

Steven Eggleston, '74

  • Professor of music and conductor of the wind ensemble and orchestra at Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Former artistic director of the Central Illinois Youth Symphony
  • Has served as guest conductor for Illinois and Indiana All-State Bands and Orchestras, the University of Illinois String Consortium, the Peoria Symphony, Champaign/Urbana Symphony, the Volgograd (Russia) Philharmonic, the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Muncie (Indiana) Symphony

Sarah K. Fronczek '70

  • Fine arts consultant for the Indiana Department of Education, overseeing curriculum, educational standards and fine arts programs
  • Taught music in the elementary and secondary classroom for Pike and Washington townships for 15 years and received numerous awards for teaching
  • Previously served as artistic director of Young Audiences of Indiana and was founding director of the Summer Arts Education Institute

David A. Hardiman M.M. '70

  • Musician/recording artist/composer/arranger
  • Professor of Jazz Education and director of jazz studies at City College of San Francisco, director of the San Francisco All-Star Big Band and combos since 1971 and bugler for the Golden Gate Fields and San Mateo Horse Racing Track for six years
  • Performed and recorded with Jackie Wilson, The Dells, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, John Handy, David Baker and others
  • Performs at events across the nation including Indy Jazz Fest, AT&T Harlem, Wednesday Nights and Jazz Perspectives at the Gould Theater in San Francisco

Robert Todd Duncan '25, Honorary Doctor of Music '69

  • Singer, originated the role of Porgy in George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
  • Recipient of the George Peabody Medal, a medal of honor from Haiti, an NAACP award, the Donaldson Award and a New York Drama Critics' Award
  • Washington Performing Arts Society honored him on the occasion of his 75th birthday
  • In 1945, was the first African American to sing with the New York City Opera Company in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci
  • Other stage credits include Cabin in the Sky, The Sun Never Sets and Lost in the Stars and films include Syncopation and Unchained

Noble Lee Sissle '18

  • Jazz musician, performed with Eubie Blake
  • Received Yale University's Ellington Medal for contributions to jazz and helped found the Negro Actor's Guild
  • Appeared in several movies and co-wrote I'm Just Wild About Harry, Hello Sweetheart Hello, I Was Meant for You and Broadway and Vaudeville productions Shuffle Along, Chocolate Dandies and Elsie
  • Toured internationally to London and Paris clubs with great success in the 1920s