Beth Quimby ’99 Fischer
Nine alumni who have pursued careers in opera or have experience as opera accompanists returned to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 24, to share their experience and talent during a panel discussion and a gala concert named for an acclaimed predecessor that brought them together for the first time. They gathered from as far away as Hong Kong through the efforts of Linda LeFever Dykstra, who retired from the college in May as an associate professor emerita of music after teaching voice since 1997 — and had mentored many of the vocalists as students.The concert was named in memory of Sakiko Kanamori ’63, who discovered her gift for singing while performing in the Chapel Choir and went on to Juilliard and subsequently had an acclaimed opera career. She died of a rare blood infection in 2004. In her memory, her husband, Byron Mook, and sons Barry and Dennis established an endowment to support Hope voice students who are on their way to professional singing careers.Pictured from left to right are: First Row, Jenna Buck ’12 (soprano), Linda LeFever Dykstra (retired faculty), Dr. Briana Sosenheimer ’10 (soprano); Second Row, Beth Quimby ’99 Fischer (pianist), Sally VanderPloeg ’10 (pianist), Meredith Arwady ’00 (contralto), Sarah Ashcroft ’11 VandenBrink (soprano); Third Row, Dr. Isaac Droscha ’08 (baritone), Brent Smith ’12 (bass), Greg Frens ’01 (heldentenor).More information about each of the performers is available online.