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Our GBFOM Board is pleased to add our "WHERE ARE THEY NOW?" series to our website. The men and women we honor as our "Triumphant Returns" are Western New York natives who have returned to the area for guest appearances or returned as their chosen hometown to continue to pursue their careers. Read their exciting profiles to learn about how they have gone on to achieve amazing
achievements during their musical careers. 

James Burritt
James Burritt-Web.jpg

In 2002, Mr. Burritt founded the Vocális Chamber Choir, a select ensemble of dedicated professionals based in Buffalo, New York.

Jame Burritt is an active member of the musical community of Buffalo, NY as performer, conductor and teacher. He has degrees in Vocal Performance from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and the University of Maryland at College Park. He currently teaches vocal music at Lewiston-Porter Central Schools in Youngstown, NY. In the summer of 2014, Vocalis toured England, with engagements at Southwark Cathedral, Grosvenor Chapel, the Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Ely Cathedral, and the Cambridge Summer Music Festival.

Stephen Price

Dr. Stephen Price was an organ scholar with Andrew Scanlon when Drew was here with the GBFOM.

Dr. Stephen Price currently teaches organ and church music at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. He is a native of Buffalo, NY, and attended Western Connecticut State University where he received a Bachelor of Music degree. Following his undergraduate career, Price received a Fulbright Scholarship to Toulouse, France, where he studied historical and modern performance practices of French organ music. Price subsequently attended the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University receiving a Master of Music degree and is currently finishing research centered around organ pedagogy in fulfillment of the Doctor of Music degree.

Valerian Ruminski

Mr. Ruminski was born in Lackawanna, grew up in Cheektowaga, and he sang in Greater Buffalo area choirs in the 80s and 90s.

Valerian Ruminski is an American operatic bass. He is also the founder and artistic director of Nickel City Opera, in Buffalo, New York. He was named Martin Matthew Ruminski. As a child he sang in the St. Paul's Cathedral Men and Boys Choir. He later sang in the Canisius High School choir. He studied music at SUNY Buffalo where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1995. He went on to further study at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. While he was at AVA, he also did apprenticeships with Santa Fe Opera and Chautauqua Opera during the summers. 

Paul Moravec

Mr. Moravex was born in Buffalo, and he attended Lawrenceville School graduating in 1975. He sang in Greater Buffalo area choirs in the 70s.

Paul Moravec, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed over two hundred orchestral, opera, chamber, choral, and lyric compositions. He has been described in Opera News as “a masterful musical dramatist,” and his music has been hailed as “tuneful, ebullient and wonderfully energetic” (San Francisco Chronicle), “riveting and fascinating” (NPR), and “assured, virtuosic” (Wall Street Journal). Upcoming events include  Sanctuary Road at Vocal Arts Ensemble (April 29, 2023), and The Shining at Opera Parallele (June 2-4, 2023).

Malcom J.

Dr. Merriweather is from Grand Island High School, and he sang in SPC choirs until he graduated.

Conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather has literally taken NYC by storm with all his accomplishments in a short time (he’s only 37). He is singing in a recital at Eastman on Saturday, March 18, 2023.


He enjoys a versatile career with performances ranging from the songs of Margaret Bonds to gems of the symphonic choral repertoire. The baritone can be heard on the GRAMMY nominated recording of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road (NAXOS). Hailed by Opera News as “moving…expertly interpreted,” Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs (AVIE) has earned considerable praise around the world.


Alexander  Aylward

Mr. Aylward famed pianist sang in Greater Buffalo area choirs early on. He regularly appears as piano soloist with Ars Nova Musicians Orchestra in Buffalo.

Alexander Aylward (above photo) on June 2, 2020 was coronated as BC’s piano playing legend in Tchaikovsky BC Symphony Performance. In the time since Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky completed his first piano concerto, the work has become cemented as a quintessential piece in many pianists repertoire. Like the quadruple axel in figure skating, or the skateboarder’s coveted 900, performing Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto in public is a daunting task, reserved only for true experts. Those who congregated in Gasson 100 bore witness to an exhibition of greatness.

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