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History & Policy
|The Director and Accompanist
Grayson Hirst, Artistic Director
Grayson Hirst, professor of voice at the University of Arizona,
has devoted himself to the evolution of Sons of Orpheus since
founding the organization in the fall of 1991. His full biography
can be found here.
Our pianist since 1998, Brent is one who not only can play the accompaniments
to perfection, but also carefully checks all arrangements. We appreciate
the valuable advice and error checking of the “Orpheus Philharmonic,”
and also the occasional tidbits from Adler, Schopenhauer, and Nietsche
that he throws at us.
* Indicates a founding member of the choir
- Eugene Friesen—Eugene has had two careers, first
as an army chaplain, and second as a psychologist in private
practice in Tucson. In retirement, he gives psychology lectures
on cruise ships.
- Jeremiah Gaefke
- John F. Kamper—John, while in the seminary for
11 years, was in the Schola (choir) as a member and also as
Choir Conductor, both for Gregorian Chant and polyphony. He
played the clarinet, the Tenor Sax in a Dixieland Jazz quintet
and strummed the guitar to folk songs in the 60’s. After
the seminary, music slipped by. He was busy raising a family,
working for various banks as a Manager of the Real Estate Department.
John is now an Adjunct Faculty Member for both Pima Community
College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, teaching Finance
(he has an MBA) and Microsoft Office courses. After a chance
meeting with Tom McGorray, John joined Sons and has since realized
how much he missed and enjoys singing.
- Tom McGorray—Listserv Manager
A native of Buffalo, NY, Tom is a former Naval Aviator and a retired FBI agent. Tom has sung with the Barbershopers (SPEBSQSA) in quartets and choruses for 48 years. Tom also sings with the Diocesan Chorale, and St Elizabeth's Parish Choir, the Star Spangled Seniors, Matinee Idles Quartet, here in Tucson. Tom is a Desk Top Publisher, writer, an Apple Macintosh computer consultant and maintains some 30 web sites on the Internet. He also runs seven listservs, including the Sons of Orpheus (sonsofo), the Knights of Columbus (KC8077), and one for 3400 retired FBI agents (xgboys).
- Bruce Mortensen—Section Leader
Born in Clinton Iowa, Bruce has lived in Tucson since 1978.
His partner Vicki Franz works at the American Board of Radiology.
“We have two live-in domestic terrierests which keep us
on border patrol of our back yard. They think of themselves
as great white bush hunters in their little pith helmets, but
we have their numbers!”
- James Naughton—Born in 1941 in Pittsburgh, James
moved to Tucson in 1951. He went to High School, and college
at a seminary in California and graduated from the University
of Arizona in 1963. Married to Lesa, James has two children
and owned and operated Naughton Plumbing until
his retirement on January 1, 2000.
- Tony Spar
- Bryce Tomlin
- Jim Tomlinson—Jim was program manager for a $1.5
billion joint military services program to computerize the development
of weapons systems.
- Jerry J. Villano—Jerry graduated from the University
of Colorado in 1956, and has been a Tucson resident for fifty-three years. He trained and graduated from Colorado University—Boulder,
Colorado and Physical Medicine, Denver, Colorado. He worked
in private practice as a Physical Therapist for forty-one years
and is now retired. He has five wonderful children and five
wonderful grandchildren. His dear deceased wife Betty of fifty-two years supports family, friends and Sons of Orpheus concerts
with her spiritual grace. Jerry has sung with Sons of Orpheus
for eighteen years.
- Dick Wroldsen—Dick moved to Tucson in 1993 from
the Bay Area, and is currently associate manager of Long Realty’s
Foothills office. Dick is a member of the Catalina Foothills
Church and sings in the choir. Dick and his wife Kay enjoy desert
living in the Old Foothills and have two married children in
Portland and Denver, and two grandchildren.
- Dave Burns—Section leader
A Montana native, Dave has lived in
Tucson since 1984. He is a partner in BWS Architects, and is
a hiker, bicyclist and fisherman. His wife Nancy is a fantastic
cook and native of Lima, Peru. He has two grown daughters.
- Doug Crockett—A native of North Dakota, Doug grew up singing in a Presbyterian church choir, the Fargo High School Boys Octet and University of North Dakota Varsity Bards. After completing an MBA in Minnesota, Doug and his wife, Jackie, moved to Tucson in 1991. Doug worked as the energy manager for both Tucson Unified School District and City of Tucson before retiring in 2014. Doug also sings with the Tucson Threshold Choir.
- William Darnell
- Darwin Hall—Performing under his first name only, Darwin—“Mr. Smoooooth,” from Washington, D.C., has been an active part of Tucson’s arts community for more than thirty years, as both a professional singer and an actor. Darwin has been active in choral singing since high school, when his choir sang in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building for the 100th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. He attended Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia, where he sang with both the Concert Choir and Male Chorus. Audiences clearly enjoy his rich baritone voice and his warm personal magnetism whether on stage, at a dinner house, a dance, private party, a retirement community, many local churches or sacred ceremony. He regularly sings every Friday evening at Vitello’s Resturante Italiano, in Catalina.
- Gavin Kayner
- Richard Kenney—Richard sang with the Newton South Choir for three years, and played the lead in the musical Charley’s Aunt. In college, he had a bit role in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He sang with the Yale Glee Club.
- Bob Kurtz—A graduate of Michigan State University
with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and having served 8 years,
active and inactive, in the U.S. Army Reserves, Bob is now retired
from his family sand, gravel, and ready-mixed concrete business.
He and his wife split their year between Michigan and Green Valley.
Since high school, Bob has been actively involved in church
and community choirs, and has performed in a number of operettas.
- Richard Miller—Richard grew up in upstate New York and attended the University of Rochester and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He worked at Westminster School in Simsbury, Conn., for 33 years, eventually becoming Assistant Headmaster. He retired to Tucson in June of 2000. Since that time he has served as a community volunteer for several organizations, including the Community Advisory Board of United Way, as well as its Supporting Seniors Coalition, and as a Literacy Volunteer Tutor. He is the current chair of the Executive Committee of Sons of Orpheus. Richard and his wife Linda have two children, both of whom are married and live in California.
- Dennis Riley
- Larry Sayre—Larry grew up in Indiana, the oldest son of a Methodist minister. He attended DePauw University and obtained a BA in Psychology. He attended Arizona State University and obtained a MA and PhD in Psychology. Larry served 32 years with the United States Air Force, 26 years on active duty as a psychologist serving our troops and their families in several states and multiple foreign countries. Since retiring from active duty he has continued to serve as a contractor at the medical clinic at Davis-Monthan. He married the love of his life, Nancy, in 1961. Together they have one daughter, Jocelyn, and one grandson, Joshua. He has sung in choirs since childhood and everywhere he has lived.
- Mike Bradley—Mike is from the Bay Area and has
been an apprentice boat-builder, a Marine, a Sierra Club staffer,
a “junior executive” in the transportation industry,
a graduate student at Michigan’s School of Natural Resources
and Environment, a post-doctoral fellow at the Scripps Institution
of Oceanography in La Jolla and a professor of Hydrology and
Water Resources and Urban Planning at the U of A since 1972.
He specializes in water rights and policy in the Southwest (California,
Arizona, New Mexico and Texas). He and “team Bradley”
(wife Dorotha and her sister Kathleen) were on the Germany-Austria
tour, enjoying it greatly. Mike also paints watercolor landscapes
and is in the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild.
- Jeffry Davis—Jeffry has been singing in choirs from about age 10. He became involved in musical comedy, and has sung in many choirs in college, New Jersey and Arizona.
- Chuck Dickson—Chuck moved to Tucson after taking
early retirement from teaching history at a small college in
Ohio. He is thoroughly enjoying Tucson. In addition to singing
with Sons of Orpheus and Arizona Repertory Singers, he is an
active member of Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. His
hobbies include reading, weight-lifting, and swimming.
- Jim Filipek—Jim has been singing in choruses for over 40 years, and has
some conducting experience as well. He is married to Candice.
- Cameron Fordyce—Cameron retired in 1994 from
a career with the Federal Reserve Bank, and worked thereafter
for five years at Northeastern University Graduate School of
Business running a Master of Science in Finance program. He
has been involved, off and on for the past 40 years, in singing
choral, church and folk music. He and his wife moved from Massachusetts
to Tucson in 2003. They have four children and five grandchildren.
They have a summer home in Marion, Massachusetts.
- Michael Fraser—Originally from British Columbia,
Canada, Mike is a metallurgical engineer with a career in the
international mining and metals business. His current business
card says he specializes in smelling the roses (planted by others),
singing the old songs, and spoiling the grandchildren.
- Randy Harris—Randy can’t ever remember not singing: Sunday school, school choirs, church choirs, a folk group (The Madras Singers), Ball State University Singers, St. Francis in the Foothills choir, musicals…the shower. Randy was illustrator, cartographer and typographer for The Tucson Citizen until it closed in 2009; he now owns his own graphic services business (J. Randall Harris Design) and, not coincidently, designed the CD package for The Sons of Orpheus Holiday Hits CD.
- Frank Hartline—Frank and his wife Cherie moved
to Tucson to work for Raytheon Missile Systems from Dallas,
where he worked for Texas Instruments after a 30 year Army career
as an armored cavalry officer, acquisition manager and economics
professor. Degrees include a BS in Engineering from the US Military
Academy and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, UPA.
Frank sings with the Catalina Foothills Church and Arts Express
choirs and with the Tucson Babershop eXperience—the Tucson
chapter of the world’s largest male singing organization,
the Barbershop Harmony Society. He performs with the western
band the “Moonstruck Coyotes.”
- Jim Kitchack—Section leader
Jim and his wife Lorna hail from S.E. Wisconsin, but are now officially AZ residents. They have owned their Green Valley home since 2008, and spend most of the year in Arizona. they escape to central WI for a short time in the summer, where they were both teachers, Jim in middle-school German and Lorna High School English. Jim has had some previous singing and directing experience. Both are heavily involved in community and professional organization activities here in Arizona, so each year the amount of time spent in AZ increases. Jim is in his second year as Corresponding Secretary for the Executive Committee, and formerly was Baritone Section leader. Jim comes from a long line of musicians, his maternal grandfather having written and arranged music in the 1930s, and granddad commanded an old-world Czech musical family ensemble within his immediate family. Jim and his wife have two daughters, and also have two grandchildren. Jim has enjoyed singing with Orpheus since the winder of 2009, and likes bombarding the members with his constant email reminders of group activities, as Corresponding Secretary. At home, he loves to cook and entertain.
- Ronald Schwind—Ronald was formerly a Cadastral Surveyor whose 44-year career embraced delineation of original land boundaries for conveyance of title from Federal to individual, State of Alaska, and Alaska Native Corporation ownership. He also participated for nearly 30 years in Alaska and Arizona as an “Ending Hunger” activist.
- Walter Thomas—Walter moved to Tucson seven years ago from Dayton, Ohio. He is a semi-professional photographer. Two sons and their families also live in Tucson.
- Matthew Boberg
- Kenneth Frahm—With more than thirty years in barbershop choruses and more than fifty years in church choirs, Kenneth loves to sing in groups. He grew corn and wheat in northwest Kansas before retirement.
- Dale Fuller
- Kent Hoge
- Arnold Hunter—Music has been a part of Arnold's life since his music teacher mother started him on piano at age 3. He has played bass guitar in a number of projects and sang bass in the Catholic Masterworks Consort.
- George Ledbetter—Section leader
George is in his third year as an Orphean where
he sings bass. A native of Seattle Washington, George received
his BA degree from The University of Puget Sound and his MBA
from Seattle University. George moved to Tucson about 9 years
ago and became a member of the Unity Chorus, The Southside Presbyterian
Choir. He currently sings with the Tucson Arizona Mass Chorus
(TAMC) and the Eckankar chorus. He retired from Thermal Efficiency
Inc. an alternative energy company. His friends accused him
of working to support his physical fitness habits; running,
bicycling, mountaineering and playing racquet sports.
- David McWaters—Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, David has been singing since he was about thirteen years old. Music has always been a part of his life. He lives in Marana with his wife and three children.
- Stephen Romero
- Gary Smyth
- George Soltero— A recovering Federal Public Defender, George was named after George Herman “Babe” Ruth. He loves to sing (a bass who loves to go up high!), serves as an assistant Scout Master, and is going broke with two kids in college.
- Eugene Stevick
- Thomas Wentzel—Webmaster. Tom grew up
in Maine, where he sang in the Bates College Choir for four
years. In Tucson in the late 80s, he sang motets, madrigals,
carols, and shape-note music with the eight-member Furry Day
Singers. He joined the Sons of Orpheus in January 2002 and enjoys
their varied repertoire. With a Ph.D. in Physics, Tom works
as a senior scientific programmer for the National Solar Observatory.
He has been married to Cindy Meier since 1987. He currently
divides his free time between weekend dayhikes in the nearby mountains and deserts, Sons of Orpheus, for which he
is Webmaster and arranger, and The Rogue Theatre (co-founded by Cindy Meier), for which he is Webmaster,
layout artist, financial secretary, and business manager.
- Woon-Yin Wong
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