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Schwa

Schwa Alumni - the incomplete list

Last year's graduates

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Jackson Bellaimey, '12 - Tenor

Everyone knows that tenors sing real' high and make funny faces while doing it, but not everyone knows the men behind those raised eyebrows and looks of quasi-masochistic delight as they try to belt notes that should have been given to the alto section. Jackson Bellaimey is one of these fine men. Jackson is a Senior Spanish and Race & Ethnic Studies major from Minneapolis, MN. If he isn't singing in Schwa, choir, or study rooms where he thinks no one can hear him, he's probably outside doing something in the mountains which to him are Himalayan in comparison to the so-called hills of Minnesota. Or he could be far away in a foreign country as has been the case this past year. Jackson, for the record, has permanent dibs on wearing purple for concerts - It's my only shirt, so back off everyone!

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Adriel Borshanksy, '12 - Tenor

Adriel was born the prince of Genovia, heir to the throne of the king. He grew up bathed in wealth and splendor, pampered by every nanny, servant, chef, and hairdresser in the palace. Each day as his tutor read him his lessons, he would sip Arnie Palmers and receive foot massages from the local female underwear models, which, he claimed, helped his concentration. When he was in his late teens, his evil uncle, the captain of Genovia's armies, sought to overthrow the king, Adriel's father. A savage civil war broke out between the king's supporters and those desiring totalitarian reform. Adriel, always a sensible young man, chose not to participate in the danger that faced him, and instead fled into the King's forbidden woods, where he met a musical hermit, who had been exiled from the country many years before as a result of singing too much indy folk music. For 37 years, this wise sage mentored Adriel in the ways of melodious ecstasy, until at last the old man passed away. Adriel emerged from the forbidden woods, surprised to find that no time at all had passed in the outside world. Spiritually enlightened, with no desire to rule his land, he fled the country and came to Whitman to sing for Schwa.

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Rimmy Doowa, '12 - Soprano

Rimmy Doowa was a drawing, initially. One of the first great kings of Thailand, as a child, drew her on a piece of parchment and tacked it onto his chamber wall. His parents insisted that he take it down, as such childish things are not very characteristic of a prince. But this prince would cry and shout and throw tantrums insisting that his drawing of the girl would stay up on the wall, because he loved her and wanted to see her every day. As the king grew older, he kept the drawing as a childhood relic and framed it on his palace wall for his entire kingdom to admire. It became such a prized item of the kingdom that they buried it with the king when he died. Some time later, the president of Thailand sought the advice of that earlier king in important state matters, so he hired a voodoo witch to resurrect him. The witch worked her magic on his coffin, and when they opened it, they found not the king, but the girl from the drawing, Rimmy. She was given up for adoption and eventually made her way to Whitman, where she is now a soprano for Schwa.

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Caitlin Goldie, '12 - Soprano

Caitlin fell in love when she was seventeen years old. A passionate soul from the beginning, she was instantly drawn towards his mysterious gaze and masculine musk. When she first approached him, he seemed shy, yet simultaneously struggled to restrain his apparent eagerness at getting to know this intriguing young personage with soft features and delicate, feminine curves. They flirted cautiously at first, then more adventurously as the conversation went on. She brushed his firm bicep with her brightly painted fingernails. He seemed to tense up, but then relaxed and responded, lightly touching her calf with the tip of his shoe under the table. Now any tension was dispersed and they could fully open up their hearts to one another. The two went for a walk under the stars, pausing now and then to hold each other and sway in the moonlight, casting shadows on the neatly groomed lawn. She would rest her head on his muscular chest, breathing deeply and sensuously, listening to his rhythmic, pulsing heartbeat. He smelled the perfume of her hair and rested his hand gently on the small of her back. Then, hands entwined, he walked her home, and delicately kissed her soft pink lips before they whispered their good nights. They dated for about a month, but broke up due to personality incompatibilities. Such is life, thought Caitlin, and resigned herself to singing in Schwa.

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Paul Kruss, '12 - Bass

In the beginning when Paul created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from Paul swept over the face of the waters. Then Paul said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And Paul saw that the light was good; and Paul separated the light from the darkness. Paul called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And Paul said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." So Paul made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. Paul called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And Paul said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. Paul called the dry land Schwa, and waters that were gathered together he called Whitman. And Paul saw that it was good.

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Devin Stone, '12 - Bass

The mind of Devin Stone is one most interesting. Devin perceives, like all of us. He perceives with his senses the physical world as it appears around us. He perceives thoughts, ideas, and emotions as he ponders about these physical sensations, or imaginary ones. These are his perceptions and they are his world. The spicy taste of hot sauce, the conception of a robot elephant, the feel of earth between his toes, the confusion caused by a lost coat, feelings of anger, humor, lust, fatigue. Everything that Devin experiences within or without his mind is his world. The interesting part is that it also provides the framework for another world, that of millions of beings who inhabit his perceptions. It is a disconnected world of chaos and confusion. At one moment, explosions rip through the darkness and lions roar, while at the next the graphite of a pencil leaves dark crumbs upon a marked sheet of paper. A lone bird flies through the sky and then everyone has tentacles for arms. And in this world lives this population of beings, imperceptible to the human eye. They have adapted to the chaos and to them it is order. It is the norm. Devin lives in a world. A world lives in Devin.

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Ilona Davis, '11 - Alto

Ilona came into being when the wood elves of Ethendil planted a Blengar seed into the fertile soils of the field of the battle of Angor-thul. As it was nourished with fresh sunlight and cool rainfall, the seed grew into a stem, which produced a pod, which opened to reveal Ilona, a small baby with curious eyes and soft brown hair. The elves brought her back to their treetop home, and raised her in the Ethendil tradition, teaching her the virtues of intrepidity, introspection, and stalwartness. She took up archery and animal communication as hobbies and excelled at both. As a young woman, she was offered the choice to either stay in the wood of Ethendil and live in peace with the elves and forest creatures until the end of all days, or to choose a mortal life and enter the world of men, where such things exist as sorrow, failure, conflict, rage, novelty, excitement, and love. Ilona, having always felt the need for something more than singing songs of sunshine with the sparrows and frolicking among the babbling brooks of Bethenor, chose to enter the realm of humankind, where she was enrolled at Whitman and now sings alto with Schwa. She can sometimes be seen with her toes resting gently in the creek, mind wandering, softly singing songs of her past life, gazing longingly at the squirrels overhead.

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Curtis Reid, '10 - Tenor

Curtis once vowed that he would eat an entire space shuttle, piece by piece. He got the idea from a book he read in high school and thought it might help him get famous, or at least impress girls. He bought the used shuttle from NASA with the outrageous amount of money he inherited from his Wal-Mart executive aunt, and he is still not even ten percent done. The doctors say that it's unhealthy, crazy, a terrible idea, but he doesn't trust authority figures. They're all just out to make a buck anyway. He'll finish this mission, gosh darn it, if it's the last thing he does. In the meantime, he sings tenor for Schwa, munching on screws and sheet metal, taking occasional breaks for an uncomfortable bowel movement.

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Linnea Rudeen, '11 - Alto

Linnea Rudeen is an only child from Olympia, Washington. She grew up in a quaint home and was raised by loving parents, who are both moderately successful orthodontists. She had a cocker spaniel named Lucy until she was eight years old, when Lucy was diagnosed with cancer and had to be put down. Linnea went to public school, where she learned a decent amount about typical school things. In high school, she took interest in choir, theater, and backpacking, and her secret guilty pleasure was listening to acid rock at high volume while driving in her Toyota Prius. She has had several love interests in her time, most of which amounted to little more than an awkward, regretted peck on the lips. She is now a senior vegan at Whitman College majoring in environmental sociology, and she plans on participating in the WWOOF organic farming nonprofit organization for several years after graduating. She sings alto in Schwa.

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Zach Simonson, '11 - Tenor

Zach Simonson was a computer hacker by trade, using his skills to steal important information and sell it to the highest bidder. One day, he saw more than he ever wanted to see. He discovered that the "real world" that humans believe they are living in is actually a giant computer program run by sentient robots that had enslaved the human race, harnessing their bodies as an energy source. Zach met up with a team of human resistance members and was unplugged from the computer program. He then went on a series of adventures in an attempt to remove the blindfolds of the humans. When he succeeded and made peace with the robots, he chose to reenter the computer program to relax and retire by going to college and singing a cappella.

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Anna Sky, '11 - range: Tenor I - Soprano

Anna Sky was born into the "Sky-flying angels," a family of trapeze artists in a well-known traveling circus. She had no formal schooling other than the occasional story told to her by the circus's lion tamer, Alphonse. Anna grew very close to Alphonse, who became a good friend as well as a second father figure. When Anna was a young adult blossoming in her trapeze career, the FBI discovered that her circus had been laundering money for an underground organization that smuggled African lions into the U.S. under horrible conditions for zoos as well as personal pets, all of which was news to Anna. When she was deemed innocent, she was released, but Alphonse, who had been in charge of the illegal operation, was hit by the full fury of the law and his lion-tamer's license was revoked. This was a devastating blow for Anna. She packed her most cherished things neatly in a handkerchief, tied it to a stick, rested the stick on her shoulder, and walked sadly away into the sunset. She eventually found herself in Walla Walla, where she began singing with Schwa.

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Gretchen Swanson, '11 - Alto



Is a Tiger.





Some awesome older folk

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Cristine Tennant, '10 - Alto

Cristine Tennant was a senior Environmental Studies-Biology major who hails from Berkeley, California. When not singing her heart out as an alto in Schwa, Cristine enjoys dancing, traveling the world, and snorkeling in rivers while making earth shattering scientific discoveries.

For those of you who would like to send in bios or pictures, just let me know at scottkd@whitman.edu

"The List"

And our beautiful founders: