Judy & Don Whitmore
Dance for Life (AIM)
The Dance for Life program provides therapeutic and recreational movement opportunities for people with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and their significant others. The program is designed to help patients improve their quality of life through enhanced overall physical well-being, social interaction, creative expression, and targeted improvements in Parkinson’s symptoms including balance, strength, and mobility. The program is led by professional and student dancers from the University of Florida and Shands Arts in Medicine, and combines elements of both modern dance and social dance. Click here for more about Dance For Life.
Kelly Drummond Cawthon
Dancer & Choreographer
Raised in Tasmania, Australia, Kelly Drummond Cawthon joined the faculty of the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance in 1999. As an associate professor, she teaches modern dance technique, composition and repertory, collaborates with the Digital Worlds Institute, and is the artistic director of the professional training company, the Florida MOD Project. Appearing in performances on five continents, in seven nations and most of the 50 states, Cawthon’s professional career spans over two decades in performance, choreography and teaching. She has been honored to work as a performer and rehearsal director for Shapiro & Smith Dance since 1993. Click here for an expanded biography.
Arts and Health Care
Jill Sonke is Director of the Center for the Arts in Healthcare Research and Education (CAHRE) at the University of Florida, is on the faculty of the School of Theatre and Dance and is Assistant Director and Artist in Residence with Shands Arts in Medicine (AIM). She is active in research, curriculum and program development at UF, serves as president on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, and is a frequent presenter, consultant, and guest artist at universities, conferences, hospitals, and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. Click here for an expanded biography.
Archie “Chip” Birkner
UF Marching Band
Chip Birkner has held positions as the Assistant Director of Bands at College Park H.S and Knox JH in The Woodlands, TX, as well as similar positions in Tomball, TX and La Porte, TX. His professional experience includes performances with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Central Florida Symphony Orchestra, Gainesville Symphony Orchestra, Willis Bodine Chorale, Sunshine Steelers Steel Drum Ensemble, Houston Texans Pep Band, and Trommel Percussion Ensemble. His professional affiliations include the Percussive Arts Society, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity. Click here for an expanded biography.
and the UF African Choir
Duncan Wambungu came to Gainesville, Florida to attend Graduate School from Kenyatta University in Nairobe, Kenya. He was the choir director at KU and is the first recipient of a collaborative program between the music departments at Kenyatta University and UF. Here at UF, he founded the University’s first African choir, which started in September of 2009. Duncan and the students perform authentic African tunes from all over the continent, creating a multicultural experience that only direct contact with the music of a country can create. Click here for The Fine Print’s article on Duncan Wambungu and the UF Africa Choir.
Chuck Levy has earned the title of Florida’s Old-Time Banjo Champ, as well as being a prize-winning Florida fiddler. Originally from Ohio, Chuck has been playing old-time music in north central Florida the last 9 years. Chuck also has traveled to Senegambia twice to study the African banjo ancestor, the akonting, with Jola masters Remi and Ekona Diatta. Chuck’s repertoire includes its share of uncommon tunes as well as a few intriguing originals. He leads the string bands Physical Medicine and Fear No Weevil, and co-directs both the Suwannee Banjo Camp and the Suwannee Old Time Camp. Chuck is the founder and past president of the Florida Banjo Society and a past president of the Florida State Fiddlers Association. Click here for an expanded biography.
Anthony Offerle’s credits include performances with the OperaEstate in Rome, Cincinnati Opera, International Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Opera, Wyoming Opera, Charleston Symphony, Savannah Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. He has sung over 30 leading roles including title roles in Don Giovanni and Don Pasquale, Papageno in Die Zauber’te, and Bartolo in both Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Le Nozze di FigaroCurrently. Dr. Offerle is teaching studio voice, directing the opera workshop program. Click here for an expanded biography.
Elizabeth P. Graham
Elizabeth P. Graham made her professional debut with the Houston Grand Opera Company in the Tony Award-winning revival of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess as both Clara and Bess. She toured these roles extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She was featured as Bess in the Spoleto Festival of Three Worlds in Melbourne, Australia. Most recently she performed the lead role of Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for Florida Arts Celebration and toured with Living Arts Productions’ Porgy and Bess singing the role of Bess. Click here for an expanded biography.
Meera Sitharam grew up surrounded by south Indian classical music and musicians in a traditional temple town in southern India. At the age of 15 she became a graded All India Radio artist and continued radio and live public performances throughout her undergraduate years studying Engineering in India. After graduate school in Madison, WI, Meera and her husband moved to UF as faculty members 10 years ago. She serves as faculty adviser for two student organizations: Asha for Education (partnering with grassroots education NGOs in India), and SPICMACAY (Society for promotion of Indian classical music among youth) and is active with the India Cultural and Educational Center (ICEC) and CHiTra (UF Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions). For more info on Meera, click here.
Kenneth Broadway has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Spoleto Festival, and with symphonies in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, South Carolina, and South Dakota. As a performer, composer,and presenter, he has appeared at various conferences and symposiums throughout North America, Europe and Australia. His compact disc with the LYNX Duo (Music for Saxophone and Percussion) is available on the Mark Custom Recording label, and he is featured on other recordings on the Mark and Capstone labels. For an expanded biography, click here.