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A Simple Ode features the Vocal Talents of:

JIM & DEBBIE SCHMITT have performed together as the musical duo “Back to Back” for well over thirty years. With a repertoire of over 400 songs, they have entertained audiences across the Western New York State area. Together they have collaborated on several musicals, including: “GETTYSBURG: THE TRUE AND FREE”, “THIS MAN”, “KING DAVID”, “THE LAST MUSKETEER”, and “SCHMITT HAPPENS”, their autobiographical Cabaret show.

Debbie, an accomplished Hammond B-3 Organist and Vocalist, has also worked as Stage Manager and Artist for many Rochester area professional and community theatres including TYKEs (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy), Cindy Miller Cabaret Show, Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, Irondequoit Theatre Guild, LYCCA, and Lake Plains Players.

Jim has worked as Writer & Composer for GOTTA DANCE with playwright, Sandi Henschel, the Musical series entitled A SIMPLE ODE, including PHASE III –THE ARK and PHASE V –THE FOUR HORSEMEN, and THE PRODIGAL with Writer E.A. Messenger, and special projects for TANYS (Theatre Association of New York State), and MCC (Monroe Community College), and AACT (American Association of Community Theatre). He has also worked as Music Director/Accompanist for professional and community theatres including: Geva Theatre Center, TYKES Children’s Theatre, the Irondequoit Theatre Guild, RBTL’s “Stars of Tomorrow” Awards Ceremony, the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, the Lake Plains Players, Webster Theatre Guild, LYCCA, the Historic Riviera Theatre, and the Palace Theatre. Jim has also appeared onstage as an actor in many local and regional productions, and as regular accompanist for Cindy Miller in I’VE GOT THE MUSIC IN ME.

In addition to their music, Jim & Debbie are both Adjudicators for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s “Stars of Tomorrow” program, have collaborated on writing the Theme Song for the 2011 AACTFest National Festival in Rochester, NewYork, and are recipients of the Genesee/Orleans Regional Arts Council Community Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts, the AMCA “AVA Gold Medal” Awards (For the Educational Series, A SIMPLE ODE, and the musical videos THE ARK, and THE PRODIGAL), as well as TANYS Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Composition & Writing (GETTYSBURG: THE TRUE AND FREE), Music Direction (THE FULL MONTY), and Orchestra (Lead Piano & Synthesizer for EVITA).


GREGORY LUDEK has been happy to take part in Qarab Productions’ A SIMPLE ODE PHASE V: THE FOUR HORSEMEN, PHASE III: THE ARK (Shem), and many other Qarab recordings and performances. Greg has appeared previously in TYKES’ JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (Old Green Grasshopper), A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (Toad), and ALEXANDER, WHO’S NOT, … GOING TO MOVE (Ensemble). Other recent credits include Irondequoit Theatre Guild’s GETTYSBURG, THE TRUE AND FREE (“Lo” Armistead), THE FULL MONTY (Jerry Lukowski) and THE KING AND I (The King of Siam); Irish Players of Rochester’s WAITING FOR GODOT (Vladimir). Greg has also performed in productions for JCC and Downstairs Cabaret Theatre in Rochester.


NANCY K. FANCHER has been involved in the performing arts for many, many years in Western and Central New York, on Cape Cod, and in Munich, Germany. Locally, Nancy has worked as a performer, choreographer, educator, and director with organizations including Rochester Children’s Theatre, JCC CenterStage, Blackfriar’s, Park Avenue Dance, TYKE’s, Penfield Players, Shipping Dock Theatre, UU Drama Group, and the RMSC. Favorite roles include: Kristine in A CHORUS LINE; Mary Brenham in OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD, Deirdre in I HATE HAMLET; Diana in LEND ME A TENOR; and director of UNDER THE TREE. Nancy has also appeared in a variety of commercials and film projects, and especially enjoys each opportunity she has to perform with her daughter, Esabella Cesarini.


JEFF MOON has been involved with theatre & music since high school. He graduated from Oral Roberts University with a degree in Dramatic Arts and traveled extensively with singing groups from the University. He has been very active in community theatre in the Rochester area – acting, singing, directing. Jeff sang the role of “Brother” in Qarab’s production of PRODIGAL SON at St. Thomas More Church, and has sung many roles for A SIMPLE ODE recordings and stage performances. Moon lives in Gates with his beautiful wife and two very spoiled dogs.


KARA MINUTE DEPORTER a Rochester native, holds a BFA in performing arts from Adelphi University. She is thrilled to perform in THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Kara recently was seen in ONE MAN BAND with the talented James Lecesne. She is no stranger to DCT and has performed in shows such as I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, THE WATER COOLERS,and SHOUT: THE MOD MUSICAL! Ms. Deporter also has been a lead acting teacher for young adults with DCT's Summer Education Program. Most recent credits include a six-month tour of OLIVER TWIST with Children Stage Adventures of New Hampshire, the 2009 Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire season, Mount Hope Estates' A DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS, plus three seasons with Merry Go Round Playhouse Youth Tour. Kara had a lead role as SheBee in Qarab's THE ARK - a musical at the Little Theatre in 2008. She has participated in many of the Qarab recording and performance productions.


JOE KUSMIERCZAK Currently a resident of Rochester, Joe originally hails from Medina, NY. He works as a science teacher at LeRoy Jr. Sr. High School, where he has also been the co-director of numerous high school music productions, including DAMN YANKEES, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and CURTAINS. Joe's favorite past roles as an actor include 1776 (Jefferson), JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Joseph), BRIGADOON (Tommy), YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN (Schroeder), THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Jamie) and TICK,TICK ... BOOM! (Jon).


JENNIFER NERONI TRUPO, vocal music teacher at Lyndonville Central School in Lyndonville, NY, is originally from Lyndonville, and currently resides in Medina. An accomplished performer, some of her favorite roles are Sister Hubert in NUNSENSE 2: THE SECOND COMING (Spot on Theatre Productions), Aunt Eller in OKLAHOMA (Curtain Up), Belle in SCROOGE (Curtain Up), Sally in YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN (Spot On), Betty in WHITE CHRISTMAS (Lake Plains Players), Irene in CRAZY FOR YOU (Lake Plains Players), Meg in BRIGADOON (Port of Call), Miss Scarlet in CLUE (Lake Plains Players), Svetlana in CHESS (Lake Plains Players), Lady Blanche in PRINCESS IDA (Houghton College Opera Theater), and Abigail Adams in “1776” (Lyndonville Area Foundation). She has served as vocal director for many productions and participated in numerous pit orchestras as a keyboardist and mallet percussionist.


JULIA C. BLATTER has been involved with many Qarab productions including THE FOUR HORSEMEN Oratorio, THE ARK, and PRODIGAL SON. She has also participated in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, ANNIE, FAME, and Missoula's Theater/TYKEs Productions of THE WIZ OF THE WEST, THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE, and BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE. Julia is a student at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester, NY. Ms Blatter has studied dance with Spins Dance Studio of Brighton, and the Vision Dance Studio, Henrietta, NY. She enjoys reading and school, piano lessons, swimming, soccer, volleyball, friends, and most of all her loving family.


E. CHRISTIAN BLATTER is “flying high” as Johnny Jacob Noah Jr. in THE FOUR HORSEMEN. He also played Cush in Qarab's THE ARK and sang with the Ensemble for THE PRODIGAL SON. Christian has participated in Missoula/TYKEs Theater Productions of THE WIZ OF THE WEST and BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE. He has fun playing with brother Aiden, Julia, and their neighborhood friends. He especially enjoys “recess football” in middle school. Swimming, golf, basketball, baseball, and fishing are all on tap for his summer fun.


AIDEN H. BLATTER , the newest and youngest member of the group, plays the lead character in Qarab's AIDEN THE OTTER and enjoys participating in the musical productions. He has performed in Missoula/TYKEs Theater Productions of THE WIZ OF THE WEST and BLACKBEARD THE PIRATE. Aiden attends Leary Elementary School and enjoys baseball, basketball, swimming, and playing with friends, sister Julia and brother Christian.


MATT MAYNE is featured on the CD album recording of the Qarab’s musical, THE GARDEN, from the series A SIMPLE ODE. He earned his Master’s Degree in Adolescent English Educationfrom SUNY Brockport and currently teaches at Victor Senior High School. He previously taught English and Drama at Batavia High School and served as Batavia Middle School drama director and High School musical director. Matt served as the director of STAGES’ production of THE WIZ, and TYKES’ production of HOW I BECAME A PIRATE. Recent roles include Lake Plains Players’ production of WHITE CHRISTMAS (Phil Davis), Irondequoit Theatre Guild’s premiere production of GOTTA DANCE! (Prince Tripsalot), Batavia Players’ production of RENT (Bennie) and JCC CenterStage’s WORKING (ensemble). Other favorite roles include: CRAZY FOR YOU (Bobby Child), YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN (Linus), OKLAHOMA! (Ali Hakim), and MY FAIR LADY (chorus). Matt also has performed in several productions with TYKES, including KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY MUSICAL, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and SEUSSICAL, TYA.


KEIGHLEY FARRELL has participated in a number of Qarab recordings. She is currently specializing in English and Journalism at the University of Buffalo, and is the Editor of the Alternative Newspaper at UB. She is a graduate of Irondequoit High School whose previous performing art credits include leading parts in ALMOST MAINE, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, and CURTAINS.


ALLYSON DIXON earned her BFA in Musical Theatre from The New School, NYC. Recent credits include: GETTYSBURG: THE TRUE AND FREE, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, WEST SIDE STORY, and THE CRUCIBLE. She is an honors student at MCC in the nursing program. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Matt and her perky cat, Jelly Belly Bean. ~~ “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12~~


BRENT BURKHARDT studies at St John Fisher and has performed in numerous local & out of state productions. He has participated in Geva’s summer theatre, and sings the lead on E.A. Messenger's O CARRY ME from THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Brent “loves” the music of THE FOUR HORSEMEN and is looking forward to the many future productions.


BROOKE HEMRY has attended Monroe Community College and has participated with several Qarab productions. She has been seen in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH as Ladybird, and THE CRUCIBLE as Betty Parris. A few favorite roles include Patty in SNOOPY, Margot in YOURS, Anne and a Silly Girl in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. She would like to thank her parents and her husband for encouraging her to pursue her dreams. She would also like to thank God for providing her with the talents and guts to be on stage.


LAURA MAXWELL has been performing on the stage since she was nine years old, and is a graduate of Geva Theatre’s Summer Academy 2004 and 2005. She has participated in productions of THIS MAN, GETTYSBURG: THE TRUE AND FREE, and Geva Theatre’s staged reading of THE HOUSE IN HYDESVILLE as one of the Fox Sisters. She attended Monroe Community College and Bucks County Community College and is thrilled to be singing with both mom and dad, Debbie and Jim Schmitt in Qarab’s production of THE FOUR HORSEMEN. Laura has recently relocated to Newtown, Pennsylvania to be with her fiancé, Charles.


LANCE ANDERSON has worked with a variety of local theatre groups as both actor and director, being a long-time member of the Lake Plains Players, where he has appeared in a number of Productions including: LES MISERABLES, INTO THE WOODS, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, 1776, FUNNY GIRL, and CHESS. As Director, he has done several productions, including NUNSENSE, FUNNY GIRL, and WHITE CHRISTMAS. He also appeared with Jim Schmitt and Jennifer Neroni Trupo in the Lyndonville Area Foundation/Lake Plains Players production of 1776.


STACEY HOMOLA has worked with many theatre companies, most recently with TYKE’s Children’s Theatre as Bird in A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD. Other shows include: GREASE, ALADDIN, HELLO MRS. PIGGLE WIGGLE and HONK! She has also been a participant in Geva Theatre’s Summer Academy.


PAMELA REVARD plays Bagpipes for THE FOUR HORSEMEN – O CARRY ME and is a member of the Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes & Drums. She has played soloist for the Charlotte Beach Breast Cancer Run, and numerous weddings, funerals, police vigils and Summer Firemen Parades. Her day job is as an attendant for special needs children in Penfield. Pamela also is a Reiki Master Practitioner and founded Pam's Hope Reiki, pamrevard@yahoo.com.


AMANDA EATON Amanda holds a BA in Theatre and Minor in Dance from The University of Maine. She graduated from The Second City Improv Conservatory and Music Improv Conservatory in Chicago where she was an ensemble member with Imagination Theatre, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and Erasing the Distance. Amanda has found Rochester to be a thriving center of theatre and has performed with TYKEs in WILLY WONKA and GO DOG GO. She loves to sing and has enjoyed being a part of the QARAB project! Amanda recently relocated to Wisconsin to pursue additional opportunities.

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