Office of Alumni Engagement

Sonja Schultz-Fryer

My hometown when I was a student was

Grand Rapids (Wyoming), MI

I graduated in

1979

I studied

Music Education

I currently live in

Grand Rapids (Wyoming), MI

Since graduating from Alma

I am going into my 38th year of teaching Middle School Band for Grand Rapids Public School. I also teach private piano lessons. I have directed Church Choirs, Handbell Choirs, many Middle School musical theatre productions. I have been on the Board of Directors of Social Service agencies, Camp Henry, and St. Mary’s Hospital.

My Alma education

My education at Alma prepared me for a wonderful career in teaching. It has also prepared me for the ups and downs of living this incredible life. I also maintain contact with many of the lifelong friends I met during my years at Alma. Now my son is attending Alma and experiencing the great opportunities it has to offer. I am grateful for Alma in so many ways. I learned about the art of being a teacher from Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Bowman. They inspired me to be committed to and to love music in all forms. My world of music education was expanded due to the variety of classes I was able to take. During one Spring Term I took Spring Flora with Dr. Kapp. I was not a science person however I will never forget running through the woods trying to keep up with Dr. Kapp’s long legs pointing out different trees and flowers. To this day my interests are not limited to music. I garden, read, knit, sew, camp, canoe, travel, etc. There is an entire world out there waiting to explore. My son Nathaniel has been inspired by Dr. Hulme and the Model United Nations program. It is inspiring to watch him return from India with the MUN group and hear about his life changing experiences.  He is the 7th person from our family who is going to Alma. We are working on the 8th!

My favorite place(s) on campus included

I spent much of my time in the music building practicing. Many of my fondest memories were there and also in the Dow auditorium. That is where Theatre productions were held.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is

My senior thesis was to be the musical director for the first ever musical performed with a live pit orchestra. I did this along with my friend Steve Wylie. He directed the musical and I conducted the pit orchestra. We did “Anything Goes.” Many of our friends were cast in this production. It was the highlight of my years at Alma.