Six join Rome Arts Hall of Fame Class of 2017 includes musicians, educators, writer and painter

Published Apr 9, 2017 at 9:00am

Rome’s Capitol Theatre has announced the 2017 inductees into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame.

This year’s class includes:

  • Bill Bartell, musician;
  • Twyla Edwards, music
  • Kathleen “Chip” Haley, author/reporter/editor;
  • John Huckaby, artist/
  • Sara Landau, educator/
    director; and
  • Barb Seaton, music/theater director.

Trombone great

Bill Bartell graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1952, and served on the USS Midway and the USS Intrepid for four years as a proud member of the U.S. Navy Band.

After the Navy and Western Kentucky University, Bill’s musical talents took him around the United States, playing the trombone with the Salt City Five, the Salt City Six and other Dixieland bands in all the great jazz venues from New Orleans to Chicago to New York City.

Bill played trombone with most of the great Dixieland jazz musicians in America and was recorded on several Vinyl albums.

Two albums were recorded live in Rome:  The Salt City Six Live at RFA in 1960 and the Milt Munn Live album at the Savoy.

Legendary teacher

Twyla Edwards began teaching music in Rome in 1985, first at Strough Junior High and then at Rome Free Academy. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned a Masters of Arts in Music degree from Ithaca College.

At RFA, Twyla directed the ninth grade Mixed Chorus and taught voice, keyboard, guitar, bass, drum set and music technology. She also directed the RFA Select Choir and served as music director for several school musicals.

Twyla has been a part of numerous musical theater productions at the Capitol Theatre and the Rome Community Theater either as an on stage character or as a keyboard player in the orchestra pit.

Ace reporter and author

Kathleen (Chip) Haley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Maryland and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawaii with concentration in communications planning.

Chip compiled a regular local history column as a volunteer for the Rome Historical Society. The columns were carried in the Rome Sunday Sentinel and several have recently been compiled into a publication titled Rome Through Our History.

Chip covered news for the Rome Daily Sentinel for more than twenty years. Prior to her employment with the Sentinel, she held reporting positions in newspaper, radio and television in Virginia, Mississippi and Hawaii.

Passion for painting

John Huckaby was born in Texas. Following Navy service during World War II, the Korean conflict and Vietnam, he spent twenty-five years as an electrical engineer at Griffiss Air Force Base. John was an avid runner covering more than 25,000 miles in his running competitions. He had a passion for painting and especially liked creating murals.

Many of John murals can be seen locally at the Rome Sports Hall of Fame, the Rome First United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church in Westmoreland.

Subject matter for his murals ranged from Native American figures and scenes, to historic battle representations, to religious depictions. John’s autobiography is titled True Grit, “Incredible Huck”.

Inspiring educator

Sara Landau is a native Roman who taught English as a Second Language for 30 years for BOCES and the Rome Public Schools. She was active in Rome theater as a director, producer, costumer, stage manager and actor.

She worked at various local venues which include the Rome Community Theater, Rome Free Academy Drama Club, Broadway Bound, Capitol Theatre and the Rome Art and Community Center. She also served as an adjudicator for the Theater Association of New York State (TANYS).

Sara was the adviser and director of The Rome Free Academy Drama Club from 1998-2001. She also coached the Rome Free Academy Debate Team to an Oneida County Championship. Sara currently lives in Viera, Florida.

Master musician

Barb Seaton, a native of Rome holds BS and BA degrees from Upper Iowa University. Currently, she is a technical assistant in the Life Science program at Mohawk Valley Community College where she also directs the MVCC Concert Band.

In 2003, she received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Barb has served as a member of the boards of directors and in select officer positions for the Rome Community Theater and the Capitol Theatre.

She frequently directs musical productions at RCT and has performed on stage as well. When otherwise not engaged, Barb often plays the flute in the pit orchestra for area musical productions.

Tickets available for ceremony

The 2017 induction ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, April 30, 4-7pm at the Capitol. The program is open to the public with tickets priced at $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for students. Tickets will be available at the door; and beginning April 17, at the Capitol Box Office between 10am and 5pm Monday through Friday.

Induction ceremony events will include a performance by the RFA Show Choir Rhapsody under the direction of Jake Meiss. Refreshments will be served following the induction ceremony.

The class of 2017 will join sixty-nine prior inductees. Detailed information on prior Rome Arts Hall of Fame inductees is available at