Fairfield provided their roots, their talent gave them wings. Fairfield has been fortunate as many talented performances have passed through the proverbial doors onto great heights and achievements, with some just getting their start. The tradition of having the Sondheim doors open for a weekend of performances from the talented artists with ties to Fairfield continues with the Coming Home - Coming Together 2019.
Thank you to each performer who are sharing their talents 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 Center's educational outreach efforts bringing performing arts to the Fairfield and surrounding schools.
You are invited to join the performers in the Atrium following the concert for a reception.
Coming Home - Coming Together Performers
Linda Prill Mench
Jim Edgeton & Friends
Jeff Shepherd graduated from FHS in 1983 and lives in Eagan, Minnesota. He performed in the inaugural "Coming Home, Coming Together" concert in 2015, and is excited to be BACK on the Sondheim stage again. Jeff has performed in over seventy five plays and musicals since graduating from high school 36 years ago, and currently sings with the Easter Lutheran choir in Eagan, MN. When not performing on stage, he is the library media specialist at Eisenhower Elementary/XinXing Academy in Hopkins, MN, where he gets to stand daily before an audience and portray multiple roles and characters while reading to students. Jeff extends special thanks to Jeri Kunkle, Martha Flinspach, and Russ Goodell for instilling a lifelong love of singing that continues to be a motivating force, and powerful inspiration, in his life today.
Jason GlassDakota Andersen
Dakota Andersen is a 2016 graduate of FHS and currently lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He is a senior choral music education/jazz studies student at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) where he studies voice with Dr. John Hines, bass. Currently, he sings with UNI's Concert Chorale and Cantorei, and plays trumpet in UNI's Jazz Band One. Dakota also works as a stagehand/tech supervisor for the UNI School of Music, directs the sanctuary choir at First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo, serves as the music director for the Beta Nu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is involved with the UNI Guild of Carillonneurs and UNI's student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. In his free time, Dakota enjoys being in the outdoors (hunting, fishing, and trapping) with his family, learning about space and astronomy, and watching sunsets. Linda Prill Mench
Linda Prill Mench graduated from FHS in 1988. Linda and her husband Mike currently make their home in Annandale,Virginia and have 3 boys: Alex (21) and Nate (19) attending colleges in Minnesota, and Zach (14), a pre-professional ballet dancer. For the past 30 years (yikes!) Linda has lived in, performed, and explored much of the United States and Germany thanks to her husband's position in the US Air Force. From her start at the piano through graduate school at Florida State University, music has been the mainstay of her life. In addition to teaching piano, she has directed children's and adult choirs, developed worship programs and served as organist for several church denominations. Linda is an active accompanist, collaborating with professional musicians in the U.S. Air Force Band, professional opera singers, college and advanced high school musicians. Following their tour in Germany, Linda decided to turn her music career upside down. She will complete a Master of Science degree as a licensed Nutritionist next spring. Music will certainly always play a role in her life, and she has many wonderful people in Fairfield to thank for their role in her success! Linda Mitcheltree and Scott Slechta for trusting her at the piano for several musicals and countless choir concerts, Mrs. Sloca for giving her the foundational skills, Dr. Joel Brown for sharpening those skills, and most of all, her dad, Ron Prill, for his unwavering support and encouragement. Megan Higgins
Megan Higgins is the daughter of Rob and Michelle Higgins and is about to enter her senior year at FHS, where she will graduate in 2020. Her theater experience began right here at the Sondheim Center with The Wizard of Oz, and she continued to participate in many more stage productions with the company Way Off Broadway during her middle school years. In high school, Megan has made the All-State Chorus three years in a row and will be attempting her fourth year this coming October. She toured Europe with the Iowa Ambassadors of Music in 2018 and was featured as a soloist and in a small group along with her good friend and duet partner, Julia Fritz! Other awards and honors include earning one of five soprano spots in the 2019 All-State Jazz Choir, receiving the Best of Center award for her solo "The Black Swan" at State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and serving as drum major in the FHS Marching Band for two years. As one might see, music has played a large role in shaping Megan's life. She'd especially like to thank Jim Edgeton and Zach Reiter for helping her become the musician she is today by means of technical advice, moral support, and the occasional throwing of balls of paper. Enjoy the show!Julia Fritz
Julia Fritz graduated from Fairfield High School this past spring. She currently lives near Fairfield, Julia says, "I plan to attend the University of Northern Iowa in the fall. My participation in high school arts consisted of being in the chorus, speech team, and the drama productions of Guys and Dolls and The Addam's Family where I played "The Moon" and received an Outstanding Solo Dance Performance Award from the Iowa High School Musical Theatre Association. I also received the National School Choral Award from my school chorus director. I took dance lessons for 12 years from two different studios learning jazz, ballet, tap, clog, and tumbling. I began vocal lessons at 8 years old and worked with coaches for about 9 years. At the age of 10, I also started participating in Way Off Broadway shows here at the convention center where I played an orphan in Annie, Amaryllis in The Music Man, Nellie in Annie Get Your Gun, Teen Fiona in Shrek the Musical, Bridget in The Orphan Train, Jasmine in Aladdin Jr., and Mulan in Mulan Jr.. I also participated in productions at FMS where I played Ariel in The Little Mermaid Jr. and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. I also spent 14 years singing and dancing in Bill Riley Talent shows at county fairs all around Iowa! Music has always been a big part of my life and I am so grateful for many many people who have supported me and helped me grow over the years. Thank you to the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center for providing such a lovely venue for the arts and for allowing us to make music together! Enjoy the show!" Jim Edgeton & Friends