Student Stories

Katharine Hubert ’19

Biology and Music Double Major, Psychology Minor

The music department is truly like my second family. The faculty have been instrumental in helping me to grow both as a performer and as an individual. Their continuous support and encouragement has helped me to achieve my dream — to be a composer. Though I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I am also working to publish my music senior thesis and have been commissioned to write a piece for middle school band. Without the guidance of the music department faculty, I would not have had these opportunities.

Wind Symphony, Civic Symphony, Mallet Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemblek Independent study in conducting, Composition, Research project in genetics using fruit flies to study collagen

Megan Kelly ’18

Community Programs Manager, Erie Philharmonic

My time at Allegheny College made me realize my passion: making music accessible to performers and audience members. Through my time on stage with the choral ensembles and my work as Personnel & Publications Manager, the music department gave me unparalleled opportunities to grow. I was able to see first-hand the work that went into making a performance come to life, and to know the joy of sharing music with others. I’ve had the opportunity to plan and perform on a two-week tour in New Zealand, with the Alexander String Quartet, numerous concerts in Shafer auditorium and with my new home, the Erie Philharmonic. Allegheny gave me a strong foundation to continue my work at a professional orchestra, and I’m forever thankful for the support that I received from the music department. 

Chamber Choir, College Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Opera Scenes, Personnel & Publications Manager, Choral Ensembles

Student Achievements

Intercollegiate Band


Eight student musicians from the Allegheny Wind Symphony were selected to perform with the 74th Annual Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band, held at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, February 25–27. Students representing 19 colleges and universities came together for the oldest continual band festival in the United States. Representing Allegheny College were Megan Kresse ’22, Erika De Graef ’22, Natalie Lisle ’22, and Danielle Studer ’22, clarinet. Also participating were Simone Robinson-Stevens ’24, alto saxophone, Jordan O’Reilly ’24, trumpet, Seth Bobyak ’22, trombone, and Lynnsey Winchell ’22, tuba. Accompanying them to the festival were Julie Hepler, assistant professor of music, and Lowell Hepler, professor of music and director of bands. The conductor for the festival was Richard Heidel, director of bands at the University of Iowa.

The Allegheny College Wind Symphony was well represented at the 72ndannual Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band held at Wilkes University, Wilkes Barre, PA March 8-10, 2019.  This year’s guest conductor was Dr. Michelle Rakers, retired Assistant Conductor of the U.S. Marine Band “The President’s Own.”  Dr. Rakers is a familiar face at Allegheny as she served for several years as a conductor for our summer Band Camp for Adult Musicians. Pictured are Jon Mendez, euphonium; Tucker Harvey, trumpet; Morgan Palmer, oboe/English horn; Dr. Ronald Stitt, Assistant Director of Bands, Dr. Rakers, Guest Conductor, John Scott, alto saxophone, and Jon Schaeffer, alto saxophone.


Allegheny College and the Allegheny Wind Symphony were represented by Jonathan Schaeffer (alto saxophone) and Jonathan Mendez (euphonium) at the 2019 national Small College Intercollegiate Band. Selected from band programs across the U.S. and Canada, the band was part of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Conference held at Arizona State University from February 20 through 23. Jon Mendez is a double major in music and computer science at Allegheny, and Jon Schaeffer is a music major/computer science minor. The band was under the direction of Rodney Dorsey, Professor of Music in Bands at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Bloomington.