Linda Jackson began dance studies at the John Hayes O’Neill Studio of Dance in Rome when she was three years old, and furthered her training at the School of American Ballet in New York City and as a scholarship student of former New York City Ballet principal dancer Melissa Hayden.  She made her professional debut with the Baltimore Ballet and subsequently worked with the Eglevsky Ballet.
     In 1983, she joined Cleveland Ballet where she danced as a member of the company for 14 years, performing principal and soloist roles with renowned guest artists such as Rudolph Nureyev and Cynthia Gregory.  She served as President of American Alliance of Dance Artists from 1990-1997; as the Company’s Artistic Associate/Outreach Coordinator, she trained and coached 45 professional dancers.
     Ms. Jackson Linda became the Dance and Audience Development Manager of PlayhouseSquare in Cleveland in 2000.  She became Program Manager of the Community Engagement & Education Department in 2007 and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2012.  In December 2014, she joined the staff of Cleveland’s MetroHealth System, as its first Director of Arts-in-Medicine. In this capacity, she integrates the visual, performing and therapeutic arts, transforming the environment and experience for the patients, families, caregivers and the greater community.

 

Born and raised in Rome, NY, Margaret McLean Barcomb practiced law as a criminal prosecutor and currently teaches law at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.  She credits her legal background for driving her success as a fiction writer.  When she was a prosecutor trying cases she’d survey the courtroom, noticing all the different characters and knew there was a book in what she was experiencing in her daily work.  The result was a Boston-based legal thriller series featuring defense attorney “Buddy Clancy.”  Her first two works in the series are Under Fire (2011) and Under Oath (2012).  Currently she is at work on the third book of the trilogy entitled Under Treason.
     Ms. Barcomb is the president of the New England Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and is also co-chair of the New England Crime Bake.  In 2010, she was hailed as “one of the next faces of Boston crime fiction” by The Boston Globe. Last year she finished Whitey on Trial, a non-fiction project documenting the Whitey Bulger Trial.
When she is not writing, she hosts a two-hour live online radio show called “It’s a Crime.”  Listeners from across the United States tune in each week to hear her delve into topics relating to real life criminal investigations, law enforcement, and controversial court cases.  Margaret also discusses the law as a legal analyst for a Boston television station and enjoys helping new authors who share with her that intense passion for writing and getting published.

 

The daughter of artist H. Ernest King of Frankfort, Joan Tell has been member of the Rome Art Association since 1968 and has served on the organization’s Board of Directors as First Vice President, Recording Secretary and three terms as Board Member.  Along with fellow member Joyce Frank, Ms. Tell established the William Payne Memorial Award which was presented at RAA Regional Exhibits from 1982 to 1990.
     As a signature member of the Central New York Watercolor Society since 1985, Ms. Tell’s paintings have been displayed at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Rome Art and Community Center, Old Forge Art Center, the Remington Museum, the Cooperstown Art Association and other galleries throughout the Northeast.  Juried exhibits included Kirkland Art Center 1995 and 1997, RACC 1997-2003, and Gannet Gallery SUNYIT 1990 through 1998.  Joan Tell’s watercolors were consistently accepted for 20 years in the Munson Williams Proctor Institute Sidewalk Exhibitions, and in 1996, she received a special award.  She has won numerous awards including Best of Show (most recently in the 2014 Ava Dorfman annual exhibit).
     Ms. Tell’s work reflects her travels to Europe, Iceland, and Canada and throughout the United States.  It is displayed in the corporate collection of Dean Witter Reynolds Investment Corp, Syracuse and in private collections in Switzerland, Iceland and the United States.  Currently Joan Tell resides in Texas with her husband.

In 1973, four pipers from the western Mohawk Valley of New York State (Dr. William Forbes, Jim Clough, Tom Carl, and Frank Dugan, Jr.) created a new bagpipe band in Rome, NY.  The band was named after the famed British 78th Regiment of Foot, who helped to build and guard Fort Stanwix during the winter of 1758-59 and who played a major role later that year in defeating the French at Québec.  The 78th Regiment of Foot was commonly known as Fraser’s Highlanders (for Highland chieftain Simon Fraser who raised the regiment), thus the new band was incorporated as the 78th Fraser’s Highlanders. 
     The band won EUSPBA Supreme Championships four times, and, in 1982, became the first band ever to win two in one year, capturing the award for both Grades 3 and 4. When during the same year, a new Grade 1 band was incorporated in Ontario with a similar name resulted in confusion; the band voted to change their name.  In 1987, the new name 

Mohawk Valley Frasers was chosen to continue to honor the Scotsmen who helped build Ft. Stanwix. 
     Under the direction of Pipe Major Jim Clough, the Mohawk Valley Frasers continue to be popular performers at parades, concerts, festivals, college commencements, Highland games, and other special events throughout the northeastern United States.  The group has been recognized with numerous prizes and awards including first place in the Grade 3 Canadian Championship at Fort Erie in 2003 and third place in the North American Championship at Maxville

 

Jake Meiss’ earliest memories of music date back to when he was 18 months old and attended his first drum corps and marching band show.  He started Euphonium in 4th grade, and later attended Rome Free Academy, where he participated in various music programs, playing trombone, French horn and tuba.  Mr. Meiss majored in Music Education with a minor in Theatre at Pennsylvania State University and performed and travelled with the Marching Blue Band and the Singing Lions Show Choir.  
     He student-taught in Clearfield, PA, taught middle school chorus in Clinton NY, and then middle school and high school band in Mohawk, NY, prior to being hired as RFA’s Band Director in 2007.  Since then, he has revived, expanded, and created several programs including the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Jazz Band, with the Wind Ensemble earning Gold Ratings on level VI repertoire at the NYSSMA Major Organizations Festival.  The Marching Black Knights have grown exponentially, and began competing in the fall of 2011 with musical arrangements and drills designed by Mr. Meiss.  He started RFA’s Rhapsody show choir in early 2011, creating their musical arrangements and choreography, and produced the first annual Student & Alumni Cabaret in 2010.  Jake Meiss has directed and choreographed two musicals for the Boys and Girls club, two for the Mohawk School District, and ten at RFA. 
     Mr. Meiss continues to appear on stage locally in many musical theatre productions and to play in pit orchestras; he has also participated in the Rome Community Concert Band.  

Edyth Walker was born in Hopewell, NY on March 27, 1867.  She moved to Rome as a child, residing at 407 N James Street (future site of B & L Bakery), where her father conducted a carriage making business.  She attended Rome schools and taught music at Rome Academy circa 1888-1891.  She sang in the church choirs and became a featured soloist.
     She entered and won a singing competition which provided her with a scholarship that enabled her to study singing in Europe.  She came to Dresden, Germany in 1891 and was trained by Aglaia Orgeni.  She later studied with Marianne Brandt in Vienna. 
     Ms. Walker made her professional debut as a concert singer at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig in 1892 and made her professional opera debut on November 11, 1894 at the Berlin Stage Opera as Fides in Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Le Prophete.  She became a contract singer with the Vienna State Opera from 1895-1903.  In November of 1903 she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Amneris in Aida (opposite Johanna Gadski and Enrico Caruso) singing there for four seasons.
     After her retirement from the stage she became a noted voice instructor, first in France then in New York City.  Among her students were future Metropolitan Opera singers Irene Dalis and Blanche Thebom.  Her singing voice is preserved in the numerous recordings she made for the HMV Company (released on the Victor label in the US) between 1902 and 1908.  She died at her New York City home in 1950 at the age of 83.

Billie Worth

Billie Worth was born Wilhelmina “Billie” Rothmund in Rome, NY (at Rome Hospital) on October 20, 1916. 

She began her performing career at the age of six, making her initial appearance at a local talent show at the Strand Theatre in Rome on March 26, 1923, with brother Coley and sister Grace.  She began her performance career in earnest that summer, touring with her siblings (billed as “Grace, Coley, and Billie Worth”).  An expert tennis player, the 14-year-old Rome Free Academy student became City Wide Woman’s Tennis Champion in 1931 and repeated her triumph in 1932.  

After contemplating a career as tennis pro, Miss Worth chose the stage, and made her Broadway debut in the last performance of the Gershwins’ Let ‘em Eat Cake in 1934, before embarking on the show’s national tour.  Her subsequent Broadway appearances include 1934’s Thumbs Up!, Higher and Higher in 1940, Bright Lights of 1944 and Cole Porter’s Seven Lively Arts in 1944, and Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific in 1949, where she understudied Mary Martin.  (She performed the lead role in South Pacific 24 times on Broadway in Martin’s absence.)  Billie had been taught to dance by her brother, Coley, and often earned critical raves for her dancing.  In 1935 she married fellow actor Donald Burr, and two weeks later began her international career when the couple began appearances at the Grosvenor House in London. 
Billie Worth made her network television debut in 1951 in General Electric Guest House. She later guest starred in two episodes of The United States Steel Hour. In 1953 she starred in Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam in London.  She retired from the professional stage in the late 1950s, but directed several productions with the community theater group the Chester (NJ) Players in the 1970s.  She presently resides in Florida and Connecticut and remains an avid tennis player.

Billie Worth

Billie Worth was born Wilhelmina “Billie” Rothmund in Rome, NY (at Rome Hospital) on October 20, 1916. 

She began her performing career at the age of six, making her initial appearance at a local talent show at the Strand Theatre in Rome on March 26, 1923, with brother Coley and sister Grace.  She began her performance career in earnest that summer, touring with her siblings (billed as “Grace, Coley, and Billie Worth”).  An expert tennis player, the 14-year-old Rome Free Academy student became City Wide Woman’s Tennis Champion in 1931 and repeated her triumph in 1932.  

After contemplating a career as tennis pro, Miss Worth chose the stage, and made her Broadway debut in the last performance of the Gershwins’ Let ‘em Eat Cake in 1934, before embarking on the show’s national tour.  Her subsequent Broadway appearances include 1934’s Thumbs Up!, Higher and Higher in 1940, Bright Lights of 1944 and Cole Porter’s Seven Lively Arts in 1944, and Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific in 1949, where she understudied Mary Martin.  (She performed the lead role in South Pacific 24 times on Broadway in Martin’s absence.)  Billie had been taught to dance by her brother, Coley, and often earned critical raves for her dancing.  In 1935 she married fellow actor Donald Burr, and two weeks later began her international career when the couple began appearances at the Grosvenor House in London. 
Billie Worth made her network television debut in 1951 in General Electric Guest House. She later guest starred in two episodes of The United States Steel Hour. In 1953 she starred in Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam in London.  She retired from the professional stage in the late 1950s, but directed several productions with the community theater group the Chester (NJ) Players in the 1970s.  She presently resides in Florida and Connecticut and remains an avid tennis player.