Learn little known facts about long-serving staff

We asked the staff, who were being recognized at the 2020 Spring Convocation for their milestone years-of-service, three questions about what they liked about working at the University of Arizona, their favorite arts experience and asked them to name an interesting fact about themselves that others on campus might not know. Their answers might surprise you.

Find out who likes wallyball, is writing a novel, coaches softball and who can teach you whitewater paddling.

Dean Andy Schulz with School of Dance’s John Dahlstrand, who reveals the little known fact that he’s “been writing the same novel since 2009.” Photo by Larry Gaurano.

What is an interesting fact about yourself that your workmates might not know?

“I love to cook! Some of that love stems from enjoying preparing food for my family, but some of it is just the epicurean delight of combining flavors.” – Brian Moon, School of Music

“I like cats. No wait, everyone knows that. I enjoy playing wallyball.” – Elizabeth Schauer, School of Music

“I began playing tennis and working in the theatre at age five.” – David Yarnelle, School of TFTV

“Since I grew up in rural Apache county Arizona, I often enjoy many traditional outdoor activities with my family and friends. I also try to “maintain” my tan with many spring, summer, and fall afternoons spent coaching on baseball and softball diamonds.” – Brian Luce, School of Music

“I studied percussion with retired UA professor Gary Cook in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and in my 20s I played drums in a rock band.” – Christina Beasley, School of TFTV

“I’m a pretty open book, but more people should come see me my current musical collaborator, JustNajima, for her CD Release performance at Club Congress Friday, Jan. 31!” – Tadj Hodges, UA Presents

“While I may have been fun and exciting 10 years ago, currently my hobbies are reading and attempting to mold my children into good humans.” – Teri McGill, UA Presents

“I love the outdoors and spend as much time as I can in the backcountry.  It’s one of the things I love best about living in Arizona.  I also volunteer to teach everything from advanced first aid; outdoor leadership; to whitewater paddling.” – Charles Cannon, School of TFTV

“I’ve been writing the same novel since 2009.” – John Dahlstrand, School of Dance

What do you like most about working at the University?

“The chance to work with really smart people engaged in important work. I’m not only speaking about faculty, here. I’m blown away with the passion and competence of staff, and the energy and enthusiasm of students. I’m really grateful for all of the people I get to interact with on a regular basis!” – Brian Moon, School of Music

“The fact that I met and married Brent Gibbs.” – Elizabeth Schauer, School of Music

“Teaching and mentoring students.” – David Yarnelle, School of TFTV

“I enjoy working in a world-class institution with highly skilled colleagues and dear friends.” – Brian Luce, School of Music

“I get to learn about each new generation of students as they reach university age.  It’s fun to keep up with the latest cultural/design trends and slang words/phrases!” – Christina Beasley, School of TFTV

“Having a group of theater professionals across campus to collaborate with.” – Teri McGill, UA Presents

“Getting to interact with so many different people doing so many different things.” — Tadj Hodges, UA Presents

“Furthering the education and cultural enrichment of the University students.” — Sandra Garcia, UA Presents

“It’s hard to choose just one thing but I really enjoy both the students that I get to work with, seeing them grow while they’re here; and also having a lot of contact with our audiences and supporters-they just love everything that we do. They are so kind and supportive; their enthusiasm is extremely contagious.” – Charles Cannon, School of TFTV

“Partnering with students and faculty to present their art to an audience.” – John Dahlstrand, School of Dance

What’s been your favorite arts experience?

“Lifetime arts experiences include things beyond the U of A (e.g., serenading Madame Durufle’s apartment with Durable motets on a choir tour through Paris; conducting Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb” with an excellent select choir and organist comprised mostly of friends and colleagues). Here at the U of A, there’ve been so many excellent musical experiences, that it’s hard to pick a few, and I risk insulting my colleagues by exclusion. That said, I have been enormously moved on several occasions that stick out in my mind. When the faculty formed a wind quartet to play Messian’s Quartet for the End of Time, I was so moved that I couldn’t find words to talk about it. I’ve also been blown away by the way that both Jeff Haskell and Angelo Versace have been able to illicit incredible performances by faculty and students in the jazz program. Even hearing rehearsals … Prof. Schauer’s choral warm ups, or Prof. Cockrell’s orchestra run throughs sometimes fill me with a warm feeling, pleased to be surrounded by such musical excellence!” – Brian Moon, School of Music

“Performing Haydn’s Missa Cellensis with members of Symphonic Choir, five Tucson-area High School choirs and the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall last year would certainly be one of them.” – Elizabeth Schauer, School of Music

“The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” … global performance with faculty and students (2009, Centennial Hall).” – David Yarnelle, School of TFTV

“I fondly recall all performances with my students beyond a UA campus in Albuquerque, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Shanghai.” – Brian Luce, School of Music

‘‘The arts are my life, so it’s hard to articulate “a favorite experience.”  I come from generations of musicians (and am a performing musician myself), and I have married into a family of visual artists.  I’m lucky to have a full life in the arts.  If I have to pick one experience – I fondly recall performing (as a backup musician) with Stevie Wonder at a concert on New Year’s Eve in Detroit. – Christina Beasley, School of TFTV

“Hosting Jon Batiste & the Stay Human Band at Club Congress for a three-day run. Close second: ONCE the musical (actors were the musicians for the musical).” – Tadj Hodges, UA Presents

“Touring the UAMA vault. I routinely give “behind the scenes” tours of my theater, so it was great to see the equivalent in a different discipline.” – Teri McGill, UA Presents

“School matinee performances because the youth are able to explore arts and culture and you can see the excitement they experienced.” – Sandra Garcia, UA Presents

Again, it’s really hard to choose just one thing, but one of my favorite things I ever did was perform in an antiphonal brass choir in an old cavernous cathedral. I still get goosebumps thinking about those performances with some of my greatest friends and fellow musicians. It was truly a magical experience.” – Charles Cannon, School of TFTV

“Watching students bloom as artists.” – John Dahlstrand, School of Dance

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