Arts Hall of Fame Inductees 2012

HOWARD BELK - CLass of 1978

Howard Belk, Co-President and CEO of Siegel+Gale based in New York, began his career after graduating from the Philadelphia College of Art. After working for a few design firms through 1988 he founded a firm of his own called Belk Mignogna Associates. It was there that he and his partner built the company into one of the country’s leading design firms for clients such as Nabisco, American Express, Morgan Stanley, SONY, Neiman Marcus, Dow Jones, and 3M. By 1997, his company was named one of the top ten web design companies in the world, and in 2001 they were purchased by Omnicom, one of the world’s leading marketing companies. Presently with Seigel+Gale, Howard leads teams of designers, writers and strategists creating brand strategies and design systems for many global organizations. Over the past few years, his company has designed logos for Pfizer, Allstate, The Reagan Library, Sony Playstation, the United States Mint, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Influenced by his father who worked in the advertising industry, Howard met one of his father’s colleagues while an eighth grader at Springfield Junior High School. From then on, he set his sights on making a career in the arts. A graduate of 1978, Howard played football, wrestled, and was involved in the drama group. He was most inspired by his art and design teachers in his high school years, an obvious motivator for his career choice. Having completed all the requirements for early graduation, Howard elected to skip his senior year and enrolled in college. Recently interviewed in his university’s alumni magazine, Howard was quoted as saying, “It’s a phenomenally exciting time to be in design. It’s possible to do impactful work that touches millions of people; the world is more connected than ever, and that is increasing the influence of designers.”


LORRAINE S. COHEN - Class of 1970

Lorraine graduated SHS in 1970 and was a member of the 1st placed winning SHS marching band, soloing the Haydn Trumpet concerto. She attended Temple University with a band grant and in 1973 won the audition to attended The Curtis Institute of Music from which she graduated in 1976. From 1973-1976, she performed regularly as extra trumpet with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy. Lorraine won the first trumpet position with The Hong Kong Philharmonic in 1977 and in 1979 Zubin Mehta selected her to be the principle trumpet at the Israel Philharmonic. Lorraine moved to NYC in 1980 where she has freelanced for 32 years. She is principal trumpet of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and an original member of the Westchester Philharmonic, which was directed by Itzhak Perlman until 2011. Lorraine was featured soloist on the Maury Povich show performing The Flight of the Bumblebee and Pavarotti’s first trumpet player for his final National tour. She appeared as soloist with Dmitri Shostakovich (grandson of the composer) at Carnegie Hall performing the Shostakovich Piano and Trumpet concerto. Lorraine has performed in over 50 Broadway Shows, currently at Spiderman, Phantom of the Opera and Anything Goes. She recorded a solo with Eric Clapton and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. Lorraine records for The Philip Glass ensemble and can be heard on the film scores of Taking Lives, Secret Windows, Fog of War, Ishtar, The Reaping, Roving Mars, The Undertow and many more. In addition, she is the very proud mother of her son, Adam, who is a professional chef, wonderful musician and a loving son.


LAWRENCE DiBELLO - Class of 1978

Lawrence DiBello performs extensively in the NYC metro area. He is currently principal horn of The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Lincoln Center and the Stamford Symphony. He is also a member of the American Symphony Orchestra. During the 2010-2011 season, Lawrence was appointed acting principal horn of the NYC Opera Orchestra. He has also been invited to play principal horn with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on numerous occasions. Some of the other organizations he has appeared with are the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, NYC Ballet Orchestra among others. He has been a member of many roadway show orchestras over the years; most notably, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oklahoma and Fiddler on the Roof revivals, Nine, Billy Elliot and most recently Mary Poppins. In 1990, he was awarded the Walter W. Naumburg Award for chamber music as a Member of the Saturday Brass Quintet.


TAMMY FILLER - CLass of 1992

Tammy Filler was a stellar student for Jeff Benton’s video production course for 4 years. Tammy’s story serves as a model for any student who has a passion and drive. In TV Production I, Tammy quickly decided that she wanted to pursue a career in television. She wanted to learn every aspect of the production process and what she didn’t learn in class she learned on her own. She worked after school and on weekends to create, “Tammy’s Place”; she built sets, wrote scripts, shot and edited video clips, and interviewed guests. The show was produced at SHS and aired on the educational channel. Following her dedication at Springfield, Tammy started her career as a booking assistant on Good Morning America in 1996. A year later, she was promoted to associate producer and in 1999 was already a segment producer for the acclaimed morning program. She has produced for the Caroline Rhea Show, the Oxygen Network, and a Wedding Story for Banyan Productions in Philadelphia. In 2003, Tammy advanced her career becoming a producer for the Today Show; and continued to quickly climb the ladder as coordinating producer shortly after. She is now a senior producer for the Today Show, currently in her 9th year, and a 3-time Emmy winner! She runs the 4th hour with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and is a vital member of the NBC staff.


NATALIE IFFRIG – Springfield High School Contributor 1999-Present

Natalie Iffrig by profession has been a critical care nurse at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital for the past 26 years. As a parent to two great sons Paul Jr. and Benn, in the Springfield district, Nat is the ultimate volunteer, giving her time and efforts at countless events throughout the years. She has served as President of the Choral Parents Association, a continual supporter of the high school ceramics program, ‘Super Bowl of Caring”, and has served for years, the entire duration of 15 hours, for Springfield’s Dance Marathon - an artistic endeavor all its own. Natalie has always led by example; never hesitating to volunteer to support the people of Springfield. This was never more obvious than when she helped resuscitate the grandfather of a graduating senior who had collapsed at the 2009 commencement ceremony. In Nat’s own words, “I have been blessed to have had the privilege to give service as a volunteer to our Springfield family and it is the highest honor for me to be inducted into Springfield High School’s Arts Hall of Fame. I am extremely grateful.” Nat, you are always “on call” for the entire town, and for that we are eternally thankful.


ROBERT LARKIN - CLass of 1983

Robert Larkin has achieved success in many areas of the filmmaking process. He has written, directed, and edited his own films as well as many other award-winning films and commercial videos. Bob’s work includes serving as film editor and post-production supervisor in the feature film, “Good Day for It,” starring Hal Holbrook and Robert Englund, which not only screened at the 2011 Nashville Film Festival and Philadelphia Cinefest, but has now been nationally released. He performed similar work on film, “The 24th Day,” starring James Marsen and Scott Speedman, which was also released on DVD and aired on HBO. Most recently, Bob released his own short film, “Romaine”, at the Ritz at the Borse Theater in Philly. “Romaine” was awarded a grant from the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association and the PA Council on the Arts, among others. Most importantly, Bob loves sharing his passion for film with others through his teachings at the University of the Arts, Drexel, Temple, and Film Tech in Philadelphia where he instructs the fine art of film editing.


STEPHANIE MACHO - Class of 1968

After attending Temple University as a Music Ed. Major, Stephanie began a full time career as a New York freelance musician, a career that has spanned over four decades. As a bassist, she has performed for a wide range of recording artists including singer/songwriter Peter Allen, Neil Diamond, Johnny Winter, Leslie Gore, Mary Travers, Sarah Dash, Perry Como, Leslie Uggams, Chita Rivera, Patti Lupone, Eartha Kitt, and Cab Calloway. As a studio musician, she has played on numerous radio and TV and has recorded for arranger Don Sebesky, Yoko Ono, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Otis Blackwell and the Academy Award winning movie composer, Alan Menken. Her album credits include the Grammy Award winning original American cast album of the musical, Evita, Yoko Ono’s New York Rock and the platinum record awarded to the original cast album of the musical, Rent. She has played for many Broadway shows including the original productions of Grease, Evita, Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Dreamgirls, and Smokey Joe’s Café. She was also the original bassist for the Tony winning musical, Rent and did the entire run. On television, she has performed on David Letterman, the Tonight Show, PBS Soundstage, Regis and Kathy Lee, Good Morning America, Mike Douglas and Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow program. While Stephanie’s career has primarily been bass performance, she did continue her trumpet studios with Vince Penzarella of the NY Philharmonic, Kevin Cobb of the American Brass Quintet, David Krauss, principal trumpet of the NY Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and she has performed for the NY Shakespeare Festival. Finally, she was a music director for the Church of All Nations Lutheran Church in Manhattan for several years and in 1996, she was awarded the Smith Fellowship while attending Hunter College.


DANIELLE BENTIVEGNA MELESKY - Class of 1995

Danielle Melesky was an ardent student of the graphic arts program while at Springfield High School earning numerous ribbons of recognition for her work in the annual Celebration of the Arts. While at Springfield, Danielle participated in field hockey, lacrosse, winter track, band front, choir and the performing arts. She recalls some memorable occasions about her Springfield years; such as, the band trip to Disney World in 1994, the Hello Dolly musical of 1993, attending school on a snow day to finish her graphics cover design for the Springfield Press, and the late night preparations leading up to Celebration of the Arts. After graduating in 1995, Danielle attended Philadelphia University where she graduated with BS in Graphic Design Communication in May 1999. From July 1999 to June 2005, she was employed by ARC International in Millville, NJ as a graphic designer. There she designed packaging for their glassware, dinnerware, and crystal giftware, as well as dinnerware patterns. In June 2005, she accepted a position as the Assistant to the Creative Director at K’NEX Industries in Hatfield, PA. In 2007, she was promoted to Creative Design Manager. Her design team currently creates packaging, under her direction, for all of the classic K’NEX, Kid K’NEX, and K’NEX Education building sets. Danielle also creates packaging for the following licensed products: Sesame Street, Roary, Lincoln Logs, Nintendo Mario Kart Wii, Top Gear, Monster Jam, Nascar, TinkerToy and most recently the Angry Birds line. Danielle currently resides in Clifton Heights with her husband Kevin and their two year old daughter Alyssa.


ALISON GRAF MURRAY - CLass of 1982

Alison Graf Murray is a true renaissance woman – artist, scientist, scholar, photographer, and teacher. Drawn to both art and science, she had her first professional art show at age 17 but chose science as her course of study, while continually practicing and absorbing art in all forms. She worked with the National Science Foundation and Loyal schools in the Midwest and became a pioneer of the “Hands on Science” movement for elementary education. Also during this time, Alison fell in love…with sculpture! Particularly fascinated with stone carving, she began an apprenticeship with renowned sculptor Bob Lockhart and assisted in one of his largest commissions, a 16’ tall bronze knight on Bellarmine College campus. Her sculpture soon became well-known in the Midwest, exhibited at shows in the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and two solo shows at the Southern Indian Center for the Arts. In addition to sculpture and photography, Alison has a passion for dance, painting, choreography, dramatic science, artistic garments, garden artistry, and poetry. She is a compulsive creator who thrills in actualizing ideas through art. Alison is the passion of art personified.


STEVE PEMBERTON - Class of 1975

Steve Pemberton is a freelance musician with an extremely varied career. As a Jazz drummer/percussionist, Steve has gained an international reputation as an incredibly versatile and sensitive musician. Graduating Summa Cum Laude from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Steve began a world-hopping career performing in concert and on television throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia. Most recently he has been performing with Broadway composer Marvin Hamlisch and Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney. Until recently, he held the position as jazz drumset specialist and utility percussionist with the prestigious Boston Pops Orchestra, and can still be seen on many of their A&E and PBS “Evening with the Pops” TV broadcasts. He has worked with over 130 orchestras worldwide, including Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Atlanta, Pittsburg, Baltimore and the National Symphony. Prominent artists with whom Steve has performed include Mel Torme, Doc Severinsen, the Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Melissa Manchester, Maureen McGovern, Frankie Avalon, Jerry Vale, The Smothers Brothers and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In addition, Steve has also had the privilege of performing at the White House for Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford and he was hailed by The Washington Post for his “show-stopping solo” at the Kennedy Center. Other reviews have noted “Drummer Pemberton maintained interest through all of his turn, exploring every resource of his instrument from rim to skin.” Steve noted that he has had many extraordinary experiences throughout his career that carry the mark of his early years in Springfield. From traveling the world, Santiago, Chile to Paris, France; London, England to Tokyo, Japan; to stepping inside the White House for the very first time to perform, these could never have happened without the influence of Springfield.


SUSAN L. SERBIN – Springfield High School Contributor 1997-Present

Although Susan L. Serbin is not a typical “practitioner” of the arts, in the visual or auditory realm, her work has promoted the work and talents of others; particularly, the thousands of children in the Springfield and Morton communities for the past fifteen years. Susan is a reporter and journalist for five publications. She selflessly gives her time and support to numerous individuals and groups throughout the district and is continually striving to promote the artistic talents of young people. An admirer of many art forms, Susan delves into each story and makes it personal. She finds out what’s “behind” the art and studies the frequent struggles that occur in order to make the work complete and aesthetically pleasing to both the artist and the audience. Although her name is often on every page of the Springfield Press, her efforts reach far beyond the printed words below the heading. As Susan states, “I am pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the Springfield students, and encourage them to recognize and include their artistic talents in a lifetime of learning whether in the arts or elsewhere.”


BRUCE VAN PATTER - Class of 1976

Bruce Van Patter is a creative illustrator and motivator that strives to instill a love for writing in every child. His high-energy presentations have inspired tens of thousands of young people across the country and he has spoken in over 350 elementary schools, plus numerous middle and high schools. Bruce has over 30 years of experience as a freelance artist, writer, and speaker and currently has many well-known children’s clients such as Scholastic, Crayola, Golden Books, Children’s Television Workshop, and even McDonald’s and Ringling Bros. Circus. His dedication to education is highly evident through his work with civic groups, reading associations, and his weekly online column for a national parenting organization on creativity in families. His self-designed website is a resource to inspire creating writing, with over 200,000 visitors each year, and he even initiated a holiday called “Keep Kids Creative Week” which is listed in Chase’s Calendar of Events. He has three published books already on the shelves – “Max Bonker and the Howling Thieves”, “Farley Found It,” and the newest one, “Tucker Took It,” with more on the way. As Bruce states, “I am energized by the promise that I can help motivate students to be the creative people they were born to be – and I’m not afraid to let that enthusiasm show!”

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