Hounds’ Sounds

Hear how some Loyola students and alumni are making music at Evergreen and beyond.

By Rita Buettner


When Alex Saad, ’13, graduated from high school, her parents’ gift to her was a chance to record her own album. When she came to Loyola, she kept playing and started performing publicly last year. While she soaks up music knowledge from piano lessons and the Electronic Music Studio class, she is also pursuing a degree in physics.

“I do value an education, and I don’t like how a lot of musicians don’t have an education. There’s an assumption that music and education don’t go hand-in-hand.” After graduation, she plans to move to Nashville. “I’m not really country,” says the Delaware native, “But I feel my music would be better heard there than in New York or L.A.”

Unlike Pulling Teeth

James C. Georges, ’79, DDS, lives in Phoenix, Md., and has his own dental practice in Lutherville, Md. He co-founded Gram Positive and is the lead guitarist and sings vocals for the six-piece cover band specializing in classic rock and playing popular music dating back to the ’60s. His band plays clubs, restaurants, bars, and private events in the Baltimore area.

Palace at 4am

Named for Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture, The Palace at 4am, this band of seven members of the Class of 2013 has been playing together since their first year at Loyola. Philip Bolton, Patrick Diamond, Casey Miller, Dennis Mizzoni, Aaron Perseghin, Aaron Pinto, and Christopher Sweeney write their own songs and perform at campus events, such as Relay for Life, and Baltimore venues, such as the Recher Theatre and the Ottobar.

Praying Twice

Crossley Hawn, a student in the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program, sings professionally at the National Cathedral and the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

“I sang before I spoke, so it’s always been something I’ve been in love with,” said Hawn, who is a member of Loyola’s first MTS class. “It’s really exciting, it feels like I’m sort of in a way part of the school’s history. And because it is a new program, they’re really catering to us and letting us focus in on what we’re interested in. So I’m doing a lot of papers on sacred music and music’s relationship with theology.”

Giving through Music

David Gerkin, ’01, is a paralegal at Williams & Connolly in D.C. He and four of the firm’s partners participate in Banding Together, a charity band event sponsored by Gifts for the Homeless, a volunteer-run organization that serves the homeless of the Washington, D.C., area.

“We recently won our third ‘Battle of the Bands’ in June and were thrilled to contribute nearly $60,000 in donations,” he said. “I have been playing drums for 22 years now, and I never thought my hobby would lead me to this great group of guys as well as to such a great and important charity.”

Other Side of the Glass

At Loyola, Matt Troja, ’92, played in a student cover band called The Hip Ghosts of Elvis. After graduating, he moved to Prague to teach English as a second language and played in a variety of bands—including one that landed its first record deal. The English and creative writing major fell in love with the studio.

“That was my life-changing moment, deciding I love playing music, but I love working on it from the other side of the glass, doing the recording side of it,” said Troja, now a producer, engineer, mixer, and songwriter in Nashville, who will release his first album next year.

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