Three alumni of Grand Island High School were set to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards at a ceremony on Friday in the Grand Viking Theater of Grand Island High School, 1100 Ransom Road.
Scientist Dr. Anna Quider, Class of 2002; conductor and baritone Malcolm Merriweather, Class of 2003, and composer Wayne Sharpe, Class of 1982, have been chosen the 2019 honorees.
Malcolm J. Merriweather
Conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather is music director of New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs, known for their performances of great choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. He is an assistant professor, director of choral studies and Voice Department coordinator at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Merriweather has led performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Music Center, Madison Square Garden, and for Pope Francis at the Vatican, among others. He has collaborated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Trinity, Wall Street, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York Choral Society and many others. He has also worked closely with Andrea Bocelli and Placido Domingo. Merriweather holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting and received Master of Music degrees in choral conducting and in vocal performance.
Dr. Anna M. Quider
Dr. Anna M. Quider is the assistant vice president for federal relations at Northern Illinois University. She manages NIU’s presence in Washington, D.C., and serves as the primary liaison between NIU and the federal government including the U.S. Congress, White House, and federal agencies. Quider has held positions at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. House of Representatives where she worked to advance science and education policy. Prior to her career in policy, she was an active researcher in astrophysics. Her expertise is in galaxies from the early universe. She was the lead scientist on a Hubble Space Telescope research project and her scientific publications have received over 700 citations. She holds national leadership roles in higher education and science policy. She holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Cambridge.
Wayne Sharpe is an award-winning television and film composer who fuses orchestral scoring with electronic music to create some of the most unforgettable themes in television today.
Sharpe composed the new music theme for IMAX theaters playing daily in over 1,000 theaters worldwide. He was handpicked to create a fresh sound for CBS Evening News, and his theme is playing in households across the country, every evening, nationwide. His work led him to score the Olympics, the CBS election theme, “Face the Nation,” and Miss Universe, to name a few.