Cast & Creative Team

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IN THE MOOD tours with 19 performers and a 4 person production staff. Below is our current cast of singers/dancers, musicians, technical staff and the creative team. If you are interested in auditioning for a position with IN THE MOOD please click here.

IN THE MOOD Singers & Dancers

Emilie Bienne headshotEmilie Bienne (Vocalist, Vocal Captain) is thrilled to be returning to the cast of IN THE MOOD. She is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Music Theatre and is a resident actor at the Flea Theater in New York, NY. Previous credits include concerts at Lincoln Center, Big Band Beat (Tokyo Disney), and Stage To Screen (Royal Caribbean Productions). Emilie is active in the jazz and rock communities in NYC and recently has worked and performed with artists such as Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts and Mark Whitfield, and at events like F*Bomb or with her band E Vex. Emilie would like to thank her friend and family for their love and support.

Sarah Lindsey head shot

Sarah Lindsey (Swing Dancer, Vocalist, Dance Captain) is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre . She attended AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) and studied musical theatre . Sarah is joining IN THE MOOD for her third tour and could not be more excited to share the magic of this show! Recent work also includes choreographing/performing at the Denali National Park (The Music of Denali), sailing the world as a Singer/Dancer for AIDA Cruises, and RWS Entertainment Group as a singer in Charlie Brown Christmas Spectacular. Sarah would like to thank the IN THE MOOD team for the wonderful opportunity and she looks forward to the many more travels with her tour family!

TJ LamandoTJ Lamando (Vocalist) is so honored to be joining IN THE MOOD! Favorite credits include: Nice Work If You Can Get It (Jimmy Winter), Merrily We Roll Along (Charley Kringas), High Society (Mike Connor), and Peter and the Starcatcher (Prentiss). You can hear TJ’s writing/comedy on his podcast What’s The Theme? With Tom and TJ, available on Itunes or Soundcloud. TJ is a proud Wagner College graduate. From Gram and Mam.

Kyle Ivey

Kyle Ivey (Vocalist, Narrator) is thrilled to be joining the cast of IN THE MOOD. Kyle graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Accounting from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music (CCM). Regional credits include: Forum (Hero), A Chorus Line (Don), Joseph (Benjamin) and Legally Blonde. A big thank you to Skye, Mom, and Brooke for their love and support! Follow me on social media @kylesivey.

Laura LaCara Headshot

Laura LaCara (Vocalist) is thrilled to be back on tour with IN THE MOOD . She is originally from Huntington, WV and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Wright State University. Laura has worked regionally across the U.S. as well as around the world. Favorite past credits including singing at Greenbrier Resort, My Fair Lady and The World Goes Round at the Broward Stage Door Theater, and Hello Dolly and Sweeney Todd at WSU. She most recently returned from sailing the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean as lead soloist for AIDA Cruise Lines. When she isn’t travelling, Laura lives in New York. Big love and thanks to her family for their support and the IN THE MOOD team for this opportunity.

Brian Bandura Headshot

Brian Bandura (Swing Dancer, Vocalist) is thrilled to be back with IN THE MOOD! He is a proud Chicago native with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from Indiana University. Brian most recently was having a blast swinging for Seussical The Musical at Drury Lane in Chicago. A few of his favorite regional credits include: Newsies ( Boots / Swing), 42nd Street (Andy Lee), and The Little Mermaid (Jetsam). Brian would like to thank Bud Forrest and Alex Sanchez for this amazing opportunity! He wouldn’t be where he is today without the unyielding love and support from his incredible family. This goes out to Brigette, Tom, Thomas and Nick. Love you guys!

String of Pearls Orchestra

Bud Forrest

Bud Forrest (Music Director and Pianist) is a former Juilliard student who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and did graduate work in music at Catholic University in Washington, DC. He was accompanist to the world famous “Singing Sergeants”, the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Throughout his thirty years in Washington, DC he had been pianist for events at many of Washington, DC’s political events including performances at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, Bud was a pianist for touring Broadway shows appearing in the Washington, DC area. In 1993, World USO selected IN THE MOOD to be an official entertainment for the 50th Commemoration of World War II. From 1994 to 2017 this show has traveled to over 48 states (Alaska and Vermont here we come!), Canada, Europe, New Zealand and three times to Australia for over 80 sold-out performances. In 1997, Bud and his String of Pearls Orchestra were featured at an Inaugural Ball for President and Mrs. Clinton. Now celebrating the 24th year of touring, Bud and IN THE MOOD are looking forward to many more years of bringing the best decade of 20th century American popular music—the 1940s and the Big Band era to fans worldwide.

Bill Repavich headshot

Bill Repavich (Drums) is a freelance percussionist who dreams of making records and having the opportunity to use music to travel the world. He completed his BM in Percussion Performance at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with Dr. Alison Shaw and his MM in Jazz Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma with Mr. David Hardman. He has served as an adjunct instructor for both Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Central Oklahoma and has been a guest clinician at several other universities. He can be found regularly in Oklahoma City and Tulsa performing in a wide variety of musical settings including jazz clubs, popular dance, orchestra, and musical theatre. After filling in for the wonderful Tom Dupin in the 2016 tour of Australia, Bill is excited to carry on the great tradition that is IN THE MOOD.

Stephen Schultz

Stephen Schultz (Bass) Is a versatile bassist and guitarist, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Stephen studied music performance at the University of Central Oklahoma. Since then, he has completed four US tours and one previous Australian tour with In the Mood. Stephen’s other touring experience includes: blues legend Chris Duarte, Tulsa based free jazz/hip hop artist “Combsy,” and side-man for countless other groups in the OKC/Tulsa area. Stephen is in the process of writing and arranging for his own project currently, follow him on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated. Stephen has had the opportunity to perform with many jazz greats including Terrell Stafford, Bob Mintzer, Seamus Blake, Geoffrey Keezer, Vince DiMartino, and others. Stephen is thrilled to be traveling and playing for the production of IN THE MOOD.

Christian Ortiz

Christian Ortiz (Lead Alto Saxophone) is delighted to return for his fourth tour with IN THE MOOD! Originally from Walnut Creek, CA, Christian studied saxophone, clarinet, and flute with accomplished Stan Kenton alum, Mary Fettig, who taught him the value of learning each instrument as if it were his primary one. From 2011-2015, Christian continued his education at the University of North Texas where he studied saxophone with Brad Leali. While at UNT, he recorded on an album with the renowned Two O’ Clock Lab Band and on two Downbeat Award winning albums with the Latin Jazz Ensemble. Christian has toured in Europe, performing at the North Sea, Montreaux, and Umbria Jazz Festivals among others, and has performed and recorded recently with musical giants James Morrison, Jon Faddis, Bob McChesney, Robert “Sput” Seawright, and Dwayne “MonoNeon” Thomas. In addition to being an active educator, Christian is the horn section leader for the groups Idoljob, Sabor Puro, and King David Band based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, and would like to thank all his friends there for making this opportunity possible.

Gene ThorneGene Thorne (Alto Saxophone) is a former member of the sax section, arranger and featured soloist with the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors from 1975 to 2009. He attended the University of Miami from 1972-1975, later earning his Bachelor of Music degree in performance from Catholic University in 1984 and a Master of Music in composition from the University of Maryland in 1995. Gene has written arrangements that featured jazz great Phil Woods as well as pops arrangements that have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, the New York Pops and the Seattle Symphony conducted by the late Marvin Hamlish. He is now active as a clinician and freelance musician in the Baltimore, MD – Washington, DC area as well as many many years with IN THE MOOD.

John DeSalme, Baritone SaxJohn DeSalme (Tenor Saxophone) is an alumnus of the University of Iowa. From 1974-1981, he played in rock, pop, polka and swing bands in the SE Iowa area. In 1981, he became a member of the Jazz Ambassadors, the United States Army’s premier touring jazz ensemble. In 1988 he won the audition for the prestigious Army Blues, the official jazz ensemble of the United States Army based in Washington, D.C., from which he retired in 2012. John toured the Middle East in a USO show in 2002. He was also a member of a newly formed component called Swamp Romp, a Dixieland/traditional jazz ensemble, which traveled to New Orleans to help build homes with Habitat for Humanity and played concerts in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. He has played and recorded with D.C. Wammie award winning artists including Jon Carroll, Tom Principato, and the Texas Chainsaw Horns. He was a regular performer for 6 years with the D.C. area Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. John has been a part of the ongoing education-based Hal Leonard Play Along instructional series recording project. He has been fortunate to have played with many jazz and pop luminaries including Tony Bennett, Slide Hampton, Frankie Valli, and The Temptations.

Noah Vece Headshot

Noah Vece(Baritone Saxophone) is happy to be once again on tour with IN THE MOOD! Noah graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2011 and has been an active freelance musician in the Atlanta area ever since. He has studied woodwind performance with Sam Skelton, Dan Higgins, and Tony Carere among many many others. His experience playing a wide range of instruments has kept him an in-demand musical in the Atlanta area theatre scene, with over 30 Broadway musical credits at nearly every local professional company since 2014. Noah had previously traveled the world performing with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and is thrilled to be on tour again with the String of Pearls Orchestra for their momentous 25th Anniversary!

David WislerDavid Wisler (Trumpet, Tour Manager) Music has always been an important part of life for David Wisler. The son of a piano and voice teacher, he started music lessons at age 3, and at 5, he began studying the trumpet. At age 13, he started playing in jazz bands and orchestras and has been doing so ever since. Always striving for excellence, Dave has become an excellent performer in solo, orchestral, jazz, and commercial idioms. Over the years, Dave has performed and recorded with such artists as: Wayne Newton, Dianne Schur, Marvin Hamlisch, Misha Dichter, Byron Stripling, Wycliff Gordon, Frank Mantooth, Sandi Patty, and Ray Boltz. With extensive performances across the US, Dave has also played throughout Europe, including the Montreaux and North Sea jazz festivals. Dave has a Bachelor of Arts from Anderson University (95), an Masters of Music from Bowling Green State University (99), and has completed all course work toward a Doctor of Arts from Ball State University. Dave is pleased to be rejoining IN THE MOOD for the third year.

Tom YoungTom Young (Trumpet) is based in Salt Lake City where began his musical journey with the piano at age 6, taking to the trumpet at age 9. Classically trained throughout middle and high school, his first professional work came through churches and private parties in and around his home town of New Canaan, Connecticut. During this time Tom heard and became heavily addicted to jazz music, particularly the sounds of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Clifford Brown. While in Connecticut, and only one hour by train from New York City, he was fortunate to meet and be mentored by New Orleans natives Harry Connick, Jr and Wynton Marsalis, with whose generosity of time and knowledge he began piecing together his own unique concept of music. For the last ten years Tom has performed all over the world aboard major cruise lines, lived and worked heavily in Las Vegas, as well as traveled with some of the countries premiere party bands. In 2017 he graduated with a Bachelors of Music degree with an emphasis in Commercial Music from Snow College and is now working full time as a bandleader, sideman, and educator.

Scott Whitford, TrumpetScott Whitford (Trumpet) is excited to return for another season with IN THE MOOD. Hailing from Indiana, Scott is a graduate of Ball State University where he played lead trumpet in the esteemed BSU Lab Jazz Ensemble. While at Ball State, Scott had the privilege of studying under Larry McWilliams, of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and Mark Buselli. Scott is in high demand as a trumpet player and clinician throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He was a featured performer at Busch Gardens Europe and has worked throughout the world aboard Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise lines as a lead trumpet player and musical director. Scott has performed with numerous groups including the Heartland Big Band from Indianapolis, Global Jazz Orchestra in Osaka, Japan, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra in San Francisco, The Rat Pack, Reunited, and many others. Scott wishes to thank his beautiful fiancé, Heather Beck, for her love and support.

Dominic GaiettoDominic Gaietto (Trombone)is originally from Auburn, IN and holds a Bachelor Degree in Music from Ball State University and a Masters Degree in Music from the University of Minnesota. As an active freelancer and instructor in Northern Indiana, Dominic is often seen playing in big bands, musicals, brass quintets and jazz combos, as well as maintaining an active low brass studio. His primary teachers include John Seidel, Thomas Ashworth, and Mark Buselli. This is Dominic’s first tour with IN THE MOOD and he couldn’t be more excited.

Jonathan Dowd headshotJonathan Dowd (Trombone) is from the Long Island, New York area. This is his 2nd tour with IN THE MOOD and he could not be more excited for the experience. Jonathan received a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and Music Performance from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. Afterwards, he attended the University of North Texas where he went on to receive his Master of Music Degree in Trombone Performance under the tutelage of Tony Baker. While at North Texas, Jonathan has had the opportunity to be part of the Trombone Consortium and the highly regarded Two O’Clock Lab Band. He can be heard on the band’s latest album Two More Twice. When Jonathan is not on tour with IN THE MOOD, he is freelancing in the New York area or playing in the orchestra of various cruise ships.

Matthew SolisMatthew Solis (Bass Trombone) is on his third tour with IN THE MOOD. Originally from the North Texas area, Matt has a Bachelors of Music in euphonium and a Master of Music in bass trombone performance from the University of North Texas. A versatile musician, Matt has played with a wide range of ensembles during his time in school, playing with the Two O’Clock Lab Band directed by Rodney Booth, the Wind Symphony under Eugene Migliaro Corporon, and the Symphony Orchestra under Maestro David Itkin. Matt is also an alumnus of the Disneyland All-American College Band directed by Ron McCurdy. His primary teachers include Jan Kagarice of Musician’s Wellness of North America and Dr. Brian Bowman, professor of euphonium at the University of North Texas. Matt is excited and thrilled to be back again with IN THE MOOD!

Production Team

Todd Honaker (Lighting Director) is a freelance Lighting Director based out of Nashville, TN. Todd has been touring with musicians for over 13 years. This will be his first tour with IN THE MOOD and is looking forward to working with this wonderful show. For the past 5 years Todd has worked with the Nashville Symphony and has toured extensively with Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels, Trace Atkins and others. nocWhen Todd is not touring, you can find him on a local golf course, or with his family that includes 3 dogs.

John Nocera (Production Manager and Sound Engineer) is originally from Providence, RI, and now resides in Connecticut. He has 29 years of international touring as a freelance engineer. Most recently John has toured with Nuclear Cowboyz and Disney on Ice. This is his third tour with IN THE MOOD and is excited to be a part of this experience.

Kristin Ginther(Wardrobe Supervisor) has been working in theatrical wardrobe for many years and recently moved back home to the Midwest after living and working in Seattle. She has had the privilege of supervising wardrobe in a broad range of productions from the circus to musical theater and currently has had the pleasure of working with cast and crew of The Illusionists: Live from Broadway. Kristin is excited to continue touring with IN THE MOOD and the many adventures ahead with this fabulous show.

Creative Team

Bud Forrest (Creator and Executive Producer) is a former Juilliard student who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and did graduate work in music at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.. He was accompanist to the world famous “Singing Sergeants,” the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Throughout his thirty years in Washington, D.C. he had been pianist for events at many of Washington, D.C.’s political events including performances at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, Bud was a pianist for touring Broadway shows appearing in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1993, World USO selected IN THE MOOD to be an official entertainment for the 50th Commemoration of World War II. From 1994 to 2015, IN THE MOOD has traveled to over 48 states (Alaska and Vermont here we come!), Canada, Europe, New Zealand and three times to Australia for over 80 sold-out performances. In 1997, Bud and his String of Pearls Orchestra were featured at an Inaugural Ball for President and Mrs. Clinton. Now celebrating the 25th year of touring, Bud and IN THE MOOD are looking forward to many more years of bringing the best decade of 20th century American popular music—the 1940s—and the Big Band era to fans worldwide.

Alex Sanchez (Stage Director and Choreographer) is pleased to serve in his eighth season as director/choreographer of IN THE MOOD. New York credits: Red Eye of Love , Amas Musical Theater/Dicapo Theater(Joseph Callaway Award Winner Best Choreography). Far From Heaven, Playwrights Horizon, Fiorello, New York City Center Encores! Where’s Charley?, New York City Center Encores. Giant, The Public Theater (Lucille Lortel Award Nomination). Regional credits: Directed and choreographed Evita, The Marriott Theater. Choreographed Wonderful Town, The Goodman Theater, West Side Story, The PaperMill Playhouse, Guys and Dolls, Goodspeed Opera House (Connecticut Critic Circle Award Nomination). Far From Heaven, Williamstown Theater Festival, Roman Holiday, Guthrie Theater, 42nd Street, Stratford Shakespeare Festival,(Broadway World Toronto 2012 Award Winner). Giant, Dallas Theater Center, Follies, Chicago Shakespeare Theater,(Broadway World Chicago 2011 Award Winner & Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination), On the Town, Marriott Theater (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination). A Little Night Music, Berkshire Theater Group. Camelot, Glimmerglass Opera, Aladdin, St. Louis Muny, The Little Mermaid, St. Louis Muny & Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Mary Poppins, St. Louis Muny, Kansas City Starlight & Marriott Theater, Beauty and the Beast , Alabama Shakespeare Festival. SDC Dancebreak Alumni. Alex performed in 10 Broadway shows and was a soloist ballet dancer with Ballet Chicago. A special thank you to Lainie Sakakura, Avelina and Isabela Sanchez for being my inspiration, love and support. Website:

Vic Schoen (Arranger) was an icon of Hollywood. It is impossible to list all his credits but they do include being the arranger/conductor for over 20 years for the Andrews Sisters. He was music director for Paramount and Universal Pictures. Vic scored Road to Morocco with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and The Inspector General and The Court Jester with Danny Kaye.  Television specials include those of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Andy Williams, Ethel Merman, Shirley MacLaine, Perry Como, Maurice Chevalier and Pat Boone. He was the arranger/conductor for the Dinah Shore television series for 3 years. Vic arranged/conducted all of Patti Page’s hit recordings. Other collaborations include Ella Fitzgerald, Al Jolson, Dick Haymes, Betty Hutton, Carmen Miranda, Mel Torme and Eddie Fisher. He was an arranger for many of the famous big bands including Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Les Brown. A number of the music arrangements for IN THE MOOD are from the pen of Vic and we are very proud to carry on his great tradition as we dedicate each performance to his memory.

David Bandman (Arranger) a native of Waukegan, IL, David is a graduate of The University of North Texas where he played trombone in the premier One O’Clock Lab Band. As a euphonium player he was the winner of the first ITEC (then TUBA) international jazz euphonium competition. David is a composer/arranger for the Big Apple Circus in New York City and for the world traveled IN THE MOOD. He has written dozens of big band charts that are being played in high schools and colleges all over the country. David is retired from The United States Air Force Band, Washington D.C. where he played trombone and euphonium and is now a freelance musician, writer and teacher. He has recently released his first highly acclaimed jazz euphonium CD Can I Play Too where he arranged the music of Herbert L. Clarke arranged for big band and available at “Solo work reflects musicianship by one of the greatest soloists I’ve ever heard!…tailored arrangements made everything “fit” perfectly and are superb”…Sammy Nestico.

Linda Tomlin (Costume Designer) has worked with IN THE MOOD since 2000. Through the lens of historic materials and early Vogue publications, she has brought the memory of the 1930s and 1940s to the show. Originally from New England, Linda has spent most of her life in California. Currently residing in Virginia, she is wife to Bud Forrest, creator of IN THE MOOD. Linda’s passion for design includes costumes, period textiles, restoration and conservation, fine linen, and needlework. She is president of her own company, Details In Design, LLC, specializing in fine hand embroidered linens for churches and the home décor industry as well as hand embroidered monograms. Linda is also the director of the Williamsburg School of Needlework dedicated to teaching hand embroidery to help students start their own businesses throughout the U.S.

Jeff Greenberg (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer for theatre, dance and opera. His recent credits include Grease at the Eldorado Hotel/Casino in Reno, NV; the National Tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story; Man of La Mancha starring John Davidson, Titanic the Musical and Nunset Boulevard at the Ocean Professional Theatre Company. He also designed the 100th Anniversary national tour of Titanic the Musical for Boebe Productions and Windwood Theatricals which toured the U.S. and Canada during the fall of 2012. Other credits include the world premier of Starry Messenger, and Questions About Angels at Theater for the New City; The Sea Gull at Montclair State University; On Your Toes, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ragtime, Lady Be Good, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Stand By Your Man, It’s Only a Play, Dial M for Murder, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Surflight Theatre; The Odd Couple, Clue the Musical, and Oklahoma at the Allenberry Playhouse; and the world premier musical A Girl Called Dusty at the Provincetown Repertory Theatre. Other theatres where he has designed include Blue Heron Performing Arts Center, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey; New Jersey Repertory Company; 12 Miles West, the Penobscot Theatre Company, and Lake George Opera. From 2004-2007 Jeff was the lighting designer and production manager for the international tour of IN THE MOOD, a 1940s musical revue, and prior to that he was the Lighting Supervisor with the American Indian Dance Theatre. In 2005, Jeff was nominated for a Vivian Robinson/Audelco award for outstanding lighting design for his production of Robeson in New York. His lighting for The Brothers Karamazov received the Newark Star Ledger’s Best Lighting award for the 2002-2003 New Jersey theatre season. He has an MFA in Lighting Design from Brandeis University, and a BFA in Technical Theatre from Ithaca College.

Casting Consultant:

Arnold J. Mungioli, CSA

Bow Ties obtained from

Some of the vintage women’s shoes obtained from

Women’s pants and swing dance outfits obtained from