Graduates of Note

Graduates of Note
The Hornell Performing Arts Department is proud to showcase our Graduates of Note. Each person was nominated, considered, and inducted based on their personal achievements and devotion to the arts. While some have left the area in pursuit of their dreams, each individual still considers Hornell their home – the place their passion for creative arts cultivated into a fulfilling life of artistic expression.

Nominees must have graduated from Hornell High School. Nominations can be sent to Chris van Leeuwen, Music Department Chairperson at
Photo of Bill BarberBill Barber
Class of 1939
MM – Juillard School of Music
Patton’s 7th Army Band – WWII
Claude Thornhill Band
Kansas City Symphony
Broadway Production of “The King And I”
Jazz Tuba for Miles Davis and Gil Evans
Albums: “Birth of the Cool” and “Into the Cool”

Photo of Lisa Marie PeltonLisa Marie Pelton
Class of 1998
AA – FLCC & SUNY Brockport
Founder of Dance Creations Workshop at FLCC
Walt Disney Entertainment Intern, 2001
Dance Masters of America (DMA), 2010
DMA certified in Tap and Jazz
Oxx School of Dance Assistant 1993-1998
Founder/Owner of Miss Lisa’s Artisty of Dance


Photo of Bill PullmanBill Pullman
Class of 1971
BA/MFA – SUNY Oneonta & UMass Amherst
Broadway debut “The Goat” by Edward Albee
Appeared in over 95 Movies/Television shows
“Independence Day” dir. by Roland Emmerich
“Spaceballs” dir. by Mel Brooks
“Lake Placid” dir. by Steve Miner
“The Virginian” starred & dir. by Himself

AnPhoto of Andrea Testanidrea “Spook” Testani
Class of 1986
BA – Elmira College
MFA – Wayne State University
1st recipient of Hal Roach Theatre Award
Broadway Stage Manager for 10 productions
“Side Man” – 1999 Tony Award
“25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
“Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune”

Photo of Susan OlixAndersonSusan Olix-Anderson
Class of 1984
BM/MM – Crane School of Music & Northwestern
DMA Studies – UNCG
Director of Instrumental Music at Arkport Central
Elementary Band Director at Alfred-Almond
Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Hall
Member of Crane Saxophone Quartet
NYSSMA All-State Woodwind Adjudicator



Photo of Eric PrenticeEric T. Prentice
Class of 1985
HCSD Choral Accompanist, 1981
HHS Musical Accompanist, 1982
Alfred State Choir Accompanist, 2003-2006
Hornell Rotary Musical Accompanist, 1993
Hornell Community Theatre Accompanist, 2006
37 years of accompanying; Hornell, Arkport, C-G
27 different musical performances


Photo of Raymond SuraniRaymond J. Suriani
Class of 1978
BM/MM – Mansfield University
Director of Bands at Warsaw Central School
Excellence in Teaching from U of R, 1997
Siena, Italy Summer Music Festival
Chamber Orchestra of Siena Conductor
Brass Quintet of Siena Member
NYSSMA Brass Adjudicator

Photo of Matthew WiggersMatthew Wiggers
Class of 2004
BS – SUNY Fredonia
NYSSMA Technology Composition Showcase, 2003
NYSSMA Conference All-State Band – Tuba, 2003
Studios: East-West, The Nook, Conway
Santata – mix engineering
Beyonce – asst. mix engineering
KISS – asst. audio engineering