ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph High School will induct its second class of honorees into the Performing Arts Center Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. Tuesday during the choir’s spring concert and awards ceremony at the John and Dede Howard Auditorium, 2521 Stadium Drive.
This year’s inductees are Betsy Baker (Class of 1973), Jeff Hoover (1984), James Hosbein (1964), Ruth DeVries Kurtis (1976), Ken Marshall (1968) and Kent Vanderberg (1979).
A reception will be at 6:15 p.m., prior to the choir concert.
Baker credits much of her early love of music and theater to St. Joseph Public Schools, and the inspirations of SJHS teachers like Betty Theisen and Dennis Bowen, according to a news release.
While at SJHS, she was a member of Thespian Troupe 584, received choral and drama scholarships, sung in the choir and performed in numerous productions. She has returned since graduating to perform in all of the “Encore” alumni variety shows.
She received her bachelors’ degree from Michigan State University in theater education with a minor in classical voice.
Throughout the years, she has performed as an actress and singer in hundreds of theatrical and musical productions, industrial films, summer-stock theater, national touring companies and musical revues nationwide. Today, she can be seen on TV shows, in theaters, in commercials, and in feature films.
For more than 20 years, she worked at the Santa Monica Unified School District as a music class enrichment teacher and vocal consultant. She also directed after-school choirs.
Baker is married with two children and lives in southern California.
As a performer in the variety show, musicals and school plays, Hoover’s interest in performing in the arts was piqued.
After graduation, he went on to study business at Western Michigan University, where he continued his theatrical pursuits while also performing with the Twin City Players and the Lakeshore Summer Theatre. He got his start on radio at WSJM/WIRX during his college summer breaks.
After moving to Chicago in 1991, he worked for a marketing company before becoming a writer and producer for the Jonathon Brandmeier radio show. On the show, he showcased his celebrity impersonations.
He has performed improv at The Second City, performed a children’s show on the Main Stage, and co-founded the WNEP Theater. He also has returned for “Encore” performances at SJHS.
Since 2003, he has been the Emmy Award-winning producer of WGN Morning News.
Hosbein was an active participant in student life at SJHS. He served on student council, was class president, was a band member, and performed on stage.
He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in theater from the University of Michigan. He performed in “Hotel Paradiso” at U-M, where he met Gilda Radnor. The two actors went on to found the improv group The Eastbound Mound.
In 1973 James performed in the Broadway musical of “Dear Oscar.” The performance opened the door to “Original Annie” at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, then the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Since 1980, he has appeared in more than 75 regional theater productions, on various TV show specials, and in more than 100 commercials.
Kurtis’ music-making began with a musical family, North Lincoln Elementary School, a borrowed 3/4 violin and an older sister who guided her.
During her time at SJHS, she led the orchestra, studied music theory, toiled in the pit with Bowen, and soloed in “Showtime.”
She also performed with the Twin Cities Symphony and Andrews University Orchestra.
She pursued music degrees, which became the stepping stones to teaching orchestra – from Michigan’s U.P. to Texas – then to national and international instructional roles.
Known as “Mrs. K,” she has inspired many young musicians in her school orchestras, the Greater Dallas Youth Sinfonietta Orchestra, and regional and all-state ensembles during her career.
She has been recognized in Texas for innovation and creativity in the classroom, her orchestras have been selected as the best in Texas, and she was honored as the Texas Orchestra Director of the Year in 2008.
“Retirement” finds her still sharing the passion and life lessons of music with students and teachers in clinics and through adjudicating. She mentors teachers nationally, and has taught and performed in China, Japan, Chile and, of course, St. Joseph.
She serves on the executive boards of – and is an active performer on violin and viola with – the Southern Arizona Symphony and the Tucson Repertory Orchestras.
After playing violin in the pit orchestra for SJHS musicals, Marshall tried his luck on stage, and was cast as Curley in his senior year’s production of “Oklahoma.”
He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in pre-med/English literature, and master’s in drama from the University of Michigan. He then spent four years in the drama department at The Juilliard School with the likes of Kelsey Grammer and Robin Williams.
While at Julliard, he had his first professional experience with Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park, and spent the next 14 years in New York City doing theater, film and TV, including being cast as Tony in the first Broadway revival of “West Side Story.”
On the West Coast, he appeared in “The Tempest” with Anthony Hopkins, and as Marco Polo in the NBC mini series by that title. In London, he spent six months on the Peter Yates fantasy adventure movie, “Krull.”
After a permanent move to L.A., he spent several seasons at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in the world premiere of Stephen Metcalfe’s “Emily,” his musical “White Linen,” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”
He lives with his wife, Linda, also a 1968 SJHS alum, and their two children, Amanda and Allen.
Vanderberg came to prominence at SJHS as the emcee of “Showtime” his senior year. He returned in 2014 and 2016 to reprise his role in “Encore.”
Under the direction of Robert Brown, he played French horn in Symphonic Band and coronet in Marching Band.
He studied music theory under Bowen, who he credits for igniting a passion for performing arts and a belief in himself.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied film and worked at WHA-Television. Following a stint as “UK Top Video Jock” at the Hippodrome in London, he formed a video production company in 1989, and traveled the world, documenting Whirlpool Corp.’s global expansion.
He moved his family to Orlando in 1997, under contract with Walt Disney World Parks Live Entertainment.
His career as a video director included several Olympics, music videos, commercials and countless special events for Disney and others. He also directs plays for community theater, occasionally appearing onstage himself.