Coming Home - Coming Together

A Collection of Performers with Fairfield Connections

Sondheim Theater

Ticket Information

$20 | Adults - General Admission
$10 | Youth & Students - General Admission

Fairfield provided their roots, their talent gave them wings. Fairfield has been fortunate as many talented performances have passed through her proverbial doors. The tradition of having the Sondheim doors open for a weekend of performances from the talented artists with ties to Fairfield continues with Coming Home - Coming Together 2018.

Thank you to each performer who are sharing his or her talent on the Sondheim stage in appreciation of the encouragement they received along their performing journey. Each performer is donating their talent to the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and all proceeds will go to support the Sondheim acoustic improvement effort.

You are invited to join the performers in the Atrium following the concert for a reception.

Coming Home - Coming Together Performers
Female Vocalists:  Jeri Kunkle & Deborah Raymond
Male Vocalists:  Brittan Bowman, Mitch Goudy, Joe Hartman, Dick Hunt, Joe Hunt, Brandon Hyde & Paul Schwengels
Pianist:  John Turner
Accompanists:  LeAnne Edgeton & Robert Mills
Musicians:  Jim Edgeton directing the band made up of talented musicians

JERI KUNKLE is a native of Fairfield and graduated from FHS in 1968. She attended Northeast Missouri State University, married and returned to Fairfield and was hired to teach elementary music. She loved that job so much she continued for 33 years! She has played the role of Anna in the F.A.C.T. production of "The King and I", was one of the narrators in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Later she played one of the narrators in "Children of Eden." Being asked to perform in the Coming Home, Coming Together Concert is a thrill as well as a privilege. In past years many of the performers have been former students. The Fairfield Arts and Convention Center has brought the arts to many elementary children who might otherwise never have an opportunity to see an orchestra, to hear a musical performed by professionals, or to watch a play. Because of these performances students are inspired to be singers, dancers, musicians, and actors. With all the budget cuts in the schools we must find ways to support the arts for the children who are our future!

Soprano DEBORAH RAYMOND graduated from Fairfield High School in 1970. She has lived in Flagstaff, Arizona for 18 years, and has been teaching at Northern Arizona University the entire time.  She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and made her critically acclaimed debut as Salomé at the Semper Opera in Dresden/Germany in Joachim Herz's production which was televised throughout Europe.

OpernWelt wrote: "Deborah Raymond's voice culminates in a rapturous top. One has seldom experienced such a sensitive princess since Cebotari". Subsequently, Ms. Raymond has performed the role of Salomé at other German theaters, Utah Opera, Opera Carolina, Arizona Opera, Des Moines Opera, and covered Catherine Malfitano in in Chicago, as well as Maria Ewing in San Francisco.

Other roles sung in Europe include: Marie in Wozzeck, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, and Gerhilde in Die Walküre in theaters such as Deutsche Oper Berlin, Stadttheater Aachen, The Netherlands Opera, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, and Landestheater Coburg.

In the USA she has performed: Nedda in I Pagliacci, Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Mimì in La Bohème, Tosca, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Marie in Wozzeck; with Indianapolis Opera, Opera North Carolina, Nevada Opera, Arizona Opera, Virginia Opera, Florentine Opera, Mobile Opera, Sacramento Opera, Nevada Opera, as well as performances with symphony orchestras.

Of her Tosca one critic wrote, "Though Raymond's voice is more rounded, less reedy, she often reminded me of the legendary Magda Oliviero."  She recorded the role of die Frau in Erwartung with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra and has sung staged performances in the United States as well.  Deborah was featured as Eine Dirne (composed for her) in the world premiere of Reigen at the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, and the Théatre du Chatelet in Paris, directed by Luc Bondy. Reigen is available on Compact Disc, and the filmed version was televised throughout Europe.

Deborah performs regularly in Flagstaff, Arizona with international concert pianist Jeffrey Swann, the Flagstaff Symphony, and the Sedona Chamber Music Festival (Schoenberg's Second String Quartet with the Chicago String Quartet). Her staged performance of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with Jeffrey Swann and NAU music faculty was a triumph, as was her performance of Ravel's "Shéhérazade". In May 2015 she was artistic director and performer in a commemoration of seventy years since the end of World War II and the Holocaust.

Ms. Raymond is Associate Professor at NAU. She presents masterclasses at music schools in the United States and The Netherlands. Her students have won numerous awards, and many are accepted into graduate programs of the best conservatories in the country, including Juilliard, Boston Conservatory, Mannes School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and Rice University.  Deborah was the voice teacher for Fairfield's own Shannon Cochran in Shannon's undergraduate studies at Northern Arizona University. 

In 2007 she and her husband, Nando Schellen, founded a summer opera program in Italy, "Flagstaff in Fidenza", giving young singers from many countries the opportunity to receive training and perform entire opera roles with a professional orchestra.  She taught voice and was also Associate Artistic Director and Program Coordinator. The program ended in 2016 with the passing of Mr. Schellen.

One of the original honorary board members for the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, Ms. Raymond has had the privilege of performing on the Sondheim stage twice.

BRITTAN BOWMAN will be a senior at FHS this fall, and has resided in Fairfield his entire life. He has performed in many community theater productions, choir events, and family vocal performances. He played Benny Southstreet in the FHS production of Guys and Dolls, and recently played Gomez Addams in The Addams Familty. In his free time, Brittan loves fishing, playing video games, and playing on his school's varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. He also loves spending time with his family at their cabin in Solon Springs, Wisconsin. Brittan has always appreciated the Fairfield community and the opportunities that it has offered. He feels that Fairfield has helped to shape the person that he is today. Ever since he first appeared on stage at the age of 5, Brittan has loved performing in front of a crowd. Whether it is in sports or in the performing arts, he just loves being under the lights.

MITCH GOUDY is a rising country artist who graduated from Fairfield in 2013. Mitch has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "25 Best Things We Saw at CMA Music Fest" securing the 'Best One-Man Show' and one of Country Music Association (CMA)'s 'Who New To Watch Artists.' Mitch is becoming one of country's 'up-and-coming' new stars, rocking stages across the nation. He has now had 4 songs as a songwriter, and 3 songs as an artist to break into the Top 100 on National Country Radio.