At Caravel Academy we pride ourself on offering our students the kind of music education that only a small school can provide. We are able to give our students opportunities to audition for various local, national and international music programs, work with them one on one to provide our music students with the skills they need to go on to prestigious college music programs, music careers and community music involvement after graduation.
OUR DISTINGUISHED MUSIC ALUMNI
Emily (Schneider)Cummings (Caravel Class of 2002) (University of Delaware Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication 2005) Communications Manager at the Smyrna Opera House
Emily is a 2002 graduate of Caravel Academy, where she attended from the age of 3, in the Blue Room, until she graduated. From 2001 through 2005, she was an employee in the Caravel Academy Aftercare Program. Emily enjoyed singing in Chorus from Middle School through 12th grade and performed in numerous Fine Arts Festivals. She always had a passion for the arts and entertainment industry, in particular music performance, and attended many concerts. She joined “street teams” for both new and established recording artists, assisting them in marketing and promotion, and received recognition for my efforts from Grammy award-winning artist, Linkin Park. Emily attended the University of Delaware, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication in 2005. In 2014, Emily began to volunteer as a Marketing and Communications Intern at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware. The Smyrna Opera House, operated by the non-profit the Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association, is a community cultural arts center promoting access to the arts in central Delaware. In this position, Emily created promotional materials for upcoming events, processed ticket sales, communicated with patrons, and assisted with the planning and execution of fundraising events. After a few months, her internship led to employment, and she became the Communications Manager, which is the position she currently holds. As the Communications Manager of the Smyrna Opera House, Emily gets to experience the process of bringing a live performance to the stage from start to finish. This involves working with a programs committee to decide what artists and events to schedule throughout the season, then communicating with performers to establish event details and generate a performance contract, creating advertising and other promotional materials, processing ticket sales and managing the Box Office, and finally to ensure the event runs smoothly for both ticket-holders and artists. She also get to experience the day-to-day operations of managing a non-profit arts center by maintaining the website and e-mail newsletter and working with committees and board members to successfully fulfill the mission of the Smyrna Opera House. The Smyrna Opera House is dedicated to showcasing and developing local, creative, visual and performing artists while also offering affordable access to the arts and varied cultural and artistic experiences to people of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more about the Smyrna Opera House, visit www.smyrnaoperahouse.org. You can join our e-mail newsletter for updates. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/SmyrnaOpHouse.
Hannah Abrams (Caravel Academy Class of 2012) Ithaca College (Bachelors of Music in Music Education 2015 Singer-songwriter and private music instructor
Hannah Abrams is a Seattle-based indie pop artist and private music instructor. Finding solace in music from a young age, Abrams threw herself into piano and choir, writing her own songs in a secret journal. Leaving her native Delaware to study music education at Ithaca College in New York, she eventually headed west with her keyboard, guitars, and ukulele. After two years of playing solo shows and singing backup around Seattle, Hannah hit the studio to record her music with a full band. Her debut EP Today I Feel will be available April 30th, 2019 on all major streaming platforms.
During her fifteen years at Caravel, Abrams divvied her time between accompanying and singing in the various vocal ensembles. She represented Caravel in the Delaware All-State Chorus six times, designed a senior thesis in music composition, and performed as “Vivian” in Legally Blonde the musical. Hannah is grateful to the Caravel Music Department for giving her a place to build confidence and grow as a musician. Learn more about Hannah’s music at hannahabramsmusic.com
George Murphy (Caravel Class of 2007) (Wilmington University Class of 2010) Founding Partner of Planet Ten Multimedia Company- Wilmington, DE Actor/Musician/Filmmaker/Designer
George attended Caravel from 1999-2007. During his tenure, he was a member of both the middle and upper school choruses, concert, symphonic and jazz bands, was a founding member of the guitar ensemble, and performed in middle and high school plays each year. George also provided audio support for numerous Fine Arts Festivals, pep rallies and assemblies. He was a charter member of the Tri-M Honor Society.
Since graduating, George has performed as an actor and musician on stages across the country. Key performances include The Buddy Holly Story at Media Theatre (2009) and several productions with Wilmington's City Theater Company, including featured roles in American Idiot (2015) and Hair (2016) and a return to the pit orchestra for La Cage aux Folles (2017 - upright bass). He has toured and performed across the US since 2013 with Philadelphia-based garage rock band SCANTRON.
In 2011, George founded Planet Ten, a full-service creative production company, with his brother, Kenn Koubek. George serves as creative director and producer of film and design, on projects for diverse clients including Scripps, PBS, Maersk, World Cafe Live, House Industries, Nemours, Saint Francis Healthcare, University of Delaware, and Austin Speed Shop, as well as musicians including Nancy Wilson of Heart, Steve Smith, Eric Tessmer, Har Mar Superstar, Nicole Atkins, and Low Cut Connie.
In 2017, the brothers produced and designed the scenic visual content for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 40th Anniversary Tour, including a historic three-show run at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2018, they had the same privilege for fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Journey on their summer tour.
George has continued to advocate for regional and non-profit arts organizations and performing artists as an art director and marketing strategist, including the Delaware Children's Theatre, Players Club of Swarthmore, Delaware All-State Theatre (trustee), Delaware Art Education Association, Arden Concert Gild, City Theater Company, and Delaware Shakespeare. Websites: Planet 10: www.planet-ten.com/ Scantron:https://scantronmusic.bandcamp.com/
Morgan Wallace (Caravel Class of 2017) (Susquehanna University Early Childhood Education & Theater)
Morgan Wallace is a sophomore at Susquehanna University where she is majoring in Early Childhood Education and minoring in Theatre. She is a member of Harmonic Combustion, the only a capella group on campus. When she is not at school participating in shows and cabarets she works at two Delaware theaters: The Griffin Theater where she will be directing summer camps this year and the Everett Theater as a creative team member.
Morgan attended Caravel from Pre-k through the twelfth grade. During her time here she participated in women’s choir, general chorus, and elite ensemble. She performed in ten talent shows and eleven theater performances, two of which she student directed. She graduated winning both the Caravel Academy Vocal Music Award and the Caravel Academy Theater Award. Links: https://everetttheatre.com/home https://griffintheatre.org/summer-camps-2019
Daniel J. Armistead (Caravel Class of 2015)(University of Delaware Class of 2018) Composer/Arranger Music Composition Major with A Music Management Minor
Daniel J. Armistead attended Caravel Academy from 2001-2014 and was involved in the the schools' music program for its entirety. Taught by elementary/high school choral teacher, Kelly Hudson (Busovsky), he began singing at a young age and participated in the school's bi-annual fall and winter Fine Arts Festivals. Beginning piano lessons in 1st grade and joining beginner band (playing the alto saxophone) in 4th grade, these festivals allowed elementary students the wonderful opportunity to express themselves in song, dance, or by musically playing in recorder ensemble or their respective beginner band instrument. During 5th-12th grade Daniel continued playing the saxophone and piano, participating in the school's talent show, joining jazz ensemble, concert band, wind ensemble, and of course the Caravel Academy Marching Buccaneers. Although these years included a rotation of several band directors (including Daniel Collins and Amanda Cardillo(Riffert)), the school finally found its perfect match with William Merritt in 2009. It is under Merritt that Daniel thrived, spending as much of his time in the band room as possible, taking a music theory course, and even completed a year-long senior thesis project studying music composition. This project culminated in the creation of 2 new works, 1 for solo piano, and 1 for marching band and was premiered (electronically) to the school board during his senior year.
Graduating in 2014, some of Daniel's fondest memories of the music program include performing at every marching band game, traveling each spring for the music in the parks trips, and singing a goodbye/thank-you to his two music teachers his senior year. Senior Good Bye Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hup99-0nEwo
Daniel received a degree in Music Composition and a minor in Music Management Studies from the University of Delaware in May of 2018. Coming from the small private school that Caravel Academy is, Daniel never forgot his roots or where he came from, even going as far as re-arranging the school's Alma Mater in 2016 for an assortment of choral ensembles. He is currently working as an assistant audio engineer for the University of Delaware Department of Music and as full time composer/arranger, receiving commissions, and seeking to continue his music education at graduate school next fall.
Ryan Doyle (Caravel Class of 2017) (University of Delaware Class of 2021)
Bachelor of Arts in Music Major & Spanish/Asian Studies Minor
A Caravel student since Mrs. Todd's Orange Room, Ryan began singing in choir during the Delaware Children's Honor Choir in fourth grade in 2009. In middle school, he began studying clarinet with former CA band teacher Amy Bland before playing in Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble with Mr. Merritt. Ryan was a six-time seat holder in Delaware AllState choir, and held first chair Bass I his senior year at Caravel. In his Junior and Senior years, he served as drum major of the Caravel Marching Buccaneers, where he first tried his hand at and came to love conducting. As a senior thesis, Ryan presented "An Adventure In Choral Conducting" with the formation of the Caravel Chamber Singers, an ensemble completely taught, conducted, and led by Ryan in adjudicated competition in 2017 at Music In The Parks in Williamsburg, VA. Ryan is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, with minors in Spanish and Asian Studies with Japanese Language. He is a member of the 48-voice UD Chorale, the university's premier touring, competing choral ensemble. Most recently, Ryan performed with the Chorale at Carnegie Hall in New York City, presenting a new composition by UD's Dr. Jennifer Barker and a new arrangement by fellow Caravel alumnus Daniel Armistead. Ryan is deeply involved in the University of Delaware's music program, singing in the NeuroNotes choir, an ensemble for patients of Parkinson's Disease and their loved ones, and collaborating on and conducting new compositions by his peers. He is also a nationally-registered member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and has attended both regional and national conferences with Caravel and with the UD collegiate chapter. Ryan hopes to pursue graduate conducting studies after his graduation in 2021, and to enter the field of professional orchestral and choral conducting. Ryan is most grateful not only to his family and friends, but most importantly to Mrs. Busovsky, without whom he would have never begun the musical journey he lives now every day.
Kristian Axelsson (Caravel Class of 2013) Bachelor of Science in Audio Production (Art Institute of Philadelphia Class of 2016) Warehouse Supervisor and Audio Engineer at Electro Sound Studios- Newport, DE
Kristian Axelsson began attending Caravel Academy College Preparatory School in 2006 in the 6th grade and graduated high school in 2013. During that time he was heavily involved in Caravel’s Music Department including: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Men’s Ensemble Chorus, and briefly was the pianist for the General Chorus. Within these programs he increased his range of instruments from primarily flute & piccolo to include electric bass and piano. After dedicating a majority of his time at Caravel Academy to music he decided to attend the Art Institute of Philadelphia where during his last year he would intern for World Cafe Live and Ephrata, PA based live production company Illusion Sound & Lighting. After he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Audio Production in 2016 Kristian would begin working full-time as a live sound engineer for Illusion Sound & Lighting for a couple years but has since began working full-time as Warehouse Supervisor and Audio Engineer at Electro Sound Systems located in Newport, DE. In addition to working full-time in the live sound industry, Kristian also works as a part time studio engineer at Moontree Studio.
Kristian was a member of the following Caravel Music Department Programs: Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Mens Ensemble, Piano Accompanist for General Chorus & Pep Band
Ross Forney (Caravel Class of 2015) Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Education & Minor in Vocal Performance (University of Delaware Class of 2020)
Ross came to Caravel In the fifth grade, playing trumpet in the Concert and Jazz Bands, joining the Caravel Academy Marching Buccaneers two years later. Ross performed with the high school Wind Ensemble in eighth grade, and in ninth grade began singing in the Elite and Men’s Ensembles. These groups provided Ross with leadership opportunities as a section leader of tenor voices and trumpets, as well as Drum Major. Ross was a founding member of Caravel’s Barbershop Quartet, a student-led group which sang at pep rallies, concerts, graduation ceremonies, and sporting events. Ross was a seven-time All-State Musician, earning a principal euphonium seat in Junior All-State and becoming the first Caravel student to participate in All-State Band and Choir in the same year. Learning from his future fraternity brother William Merritt, Ross performed on every member of the brass instrument family, playing trumpet, euphonium, tuba, and trombone in each of his last four Fine Arts Festivals. Ross threw shot-put and played football and lacrosse in his time at Caravel, and participated in the theater program, earning lead roles in three musicals. Ross worked in Caravel’s aftercare program from 2013-2016, and was voted “Most Outgoing” and “Best Musician” by his senior class. Ross enrolled at the University of Delaware in the fall of 2015, joining the University of Delaware Marching Band, Tuba Ensemble, 8-Bit Orchestra, and the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He served the UDMB for three seasons as tuba section leader and one as brass coordinator, is the president of the Tuba Ensemble, conductor of the 8-Bit Orchestra, and the Chorale Leader of UD’s Phi Mu Alpha chapter. After studying medicine and physics for a semester each, Ross finally became a music education major, his ambition since meeting Mr. Merritt in the seventh grade. Influenced equally so by Mrs. Busovsky, he added a vocal performance minor in hopes of directing both band and choir. Ross has held the principal tuba and euphonium positions in both the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, and hopes to study instrumental and choral conducting as well as euphonium performance at the graduate level.