Class of: 1966

Alf Clausen of Canyon Country, CA, is a newly elected member of the ASCAP (or American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Board of Directors, in the writer member at-large field.

Class of: 1970

Ralph Hammer of Meadow Vista, CA, has performed and recorded with Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Etta James, the O’Jays, and others. He has also worked as a studio guitarist for Motown, CBS, and Capitol Records. He currently performs with his group Blue Rhythm. Visit

Class of: 1971

Saxophonist Greg Abate of Coventry, RI, released the album The Greg Abate Quintet Featuring Phil Woods. Visit

Class of: 1973

Keyboardist John Novello of North Hollywood, CA, and his trio Niacin released the CD Krush. The supergroup includes bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Dennis Chambers. Visit

Class of: 1974

Al Di Meola '74

Al Di Meola '74

Al Di Meola of Westwood, NJ, recorded All Your Life, an acoustic guitar tribute featuring the music of the Beatles, at Abbey Road Studios in London. Visit

Alan Palanker of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, has been the music director for John Davidson, Melba Moore, Nicholas King, Ariana Savalas, and Avery Sommers. Visit

Class of: 1975

Steven Saulls of Redmond, WA, teaches theory, musicianship, and music and sound design at DigiPen. He is also the designer and teacher of the workshop Sound Design for Games and Animation, and since 2009 he has been an engraver for Hal Leonard.

Johan van Rensburg of Lyttelton, South Africa, was a pianist and bandleader for a South African television game show from 1991 to 2012 and recorded nearly 600 episodes. Now retired, he composes and records music in his home studio.

Class of: 1976

Lori Starr ’76 of Stoneham, MA, lost her fight with cancer on March 19. She was 58. A pianist, vocalist, composer, and teacher, Starr played professionally with her husband, Les Fish ’76. In addition to her husband, Starr is survived by her son, Lee Fish ’05.

Class of: 1977

James Nicoloro of Arlington, MA, heads East Cambridge Piano, which is celebrating its 35th year. Jay Natale ’95 is the manager, and Reed Cournoyer ’74 is a team member. Visit

Class of: 1978

Stan Bann of Eden Prairie, MN, was commissioned to compose the brass works “Of Warmer Days” for the Wild Prairie Brass Choir; and “New Wings” and “Caution: Dark Alleys” for the Minneapolis Trombone Choir’s 40th anniversary concert. Visit

Bill McGoldrick of Norfolk, MA, and Pamela Stiebler ’13, were named the best acoustic act in the 2012 local music awards hosted by WMRC Radio in Milford, MA. Visit

Pianist and composer Emil Viklicky of Prague, Czech Republic, and bassist George Mraz ’70 released the duo album Together Again.

Class of: 1979

Pianist Jawanza Kobie of Wilmington, DE, released the new CD Feels Better Than It Sounds. It features several alumni musicians.

Pianist Lulu Martin of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is teaching music students in a program by Funarte, a Brazilian government arts entity. He is touring with Ithamara Koorax and has written television music. Visit

Class of: 1980

Tom Santagata of Johnston, RI, plays trumpet with Chris Jason and the Sinatra Live Big Band ( and is the trumpeter and vocalist for his own band the Down City Horns.

Class of: 1981

Michael Cassidy of Canoga Park, CA, released the collection of remakes I’m the Man (In Some Alternate Universe). He produced; arranged; and played guitars, bass, vocals, and keyboards with Ronnie Ciago ’77, who played drums on the album. Visit

Joseph Napolitano of Attleboro, MA, and his dark-wave electronic duo A Fifth Column completed a video for the release of the group’s latest song “If Winter Comes” for release on YouTube, Vimeo, ReverbNation, and other outlets.

Class of: 1982

Bob Ross of New York City has been recording and performing in the New York area with the RMA Trio and is the president of the New York Cycle Club.

Class of: 1983

Keyboardist and composer John Seppala ’83 of Walnut Creek, CA, died on January 15 after suffering a stroke and a heart attack while returning from a gig. He was 51. Seppala worked with many greats, including Arif Mardin, Chaka Khan, Snoop Dogg, and Peppino D’Agostino. He is survived by his mother, Wilma, and brothers, Karl and Eric.