Our Composers

Ted Allen

Many of Ted Allen’s compositions reflect his California upbringing in their invocation of California’s environment and social history. Ted’s California works include his choral pieces Mendocino Coast September 2020, Then I Took a Walk, and the repertoire for his electro-acoustic sextet, The Incendiary Cycle.

Ted’s music has been performed by San Francisco Choral Artists, San Francisco Bach Choir, San Francisco Girls Chorus, San Jose Choral Project, New Jersey All State Chorus, Galax Quartet, and the University of South Dakota Chamber Orchestra. His string metal composition, Fire in the Forge, is a best seller in the school music market, and dozens of school orchestras have uploaded their performances of the piece to YouTube. His work has been supported by ASCAP Grants to Young Composers, New York Foundation for the Arts, and IntermusicSF.

After completing his education at Pomona College and the Yale School of Music, Ted spent 10 years in New York City working as a composer, arranger, and copyist. He returned to California in 1991, where he wrote video game scores and contributed two orchestrations to the Metallica/San Francisco Symphony collaboration S&M. In 1999, Ted embarked on a second career teaching high school orchestra, jazz band, piano, guitar, and music technology.

Lee Aronson
Brandon Bangle
Lorrie Baum

Lorrie Baum studied trombone and music education at the Music Academy in Vienna, Austria and the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Ms. Baum later received a Master of Music degree in music theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado.

A member of The National Association For Music Education, Colorado Music Educators Association, American String Teachers Association, and ASCAP, Ms. Baum has traveled extensively as a performer and spent 30 years teaching band and orchestra, primarily in the Denver Public Schools. Her music has been performed throughout the United States, Germany, Hungary, and by brass groups from the President’s Own Army Band in Arlington, Virginia at the International Trombone Festival. Ms. Baum has had several pieces for band and orchestra published through Grand Mesa Music Publishers. Having retired from full time teaching in 2014, Ms. Baum continues to write music for school bands and orchestras.

In addition to composing, Ms. Baum performs regularly playing bass guitar in a women’s duo. She also enjoys travel, playing golf, hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and is a professional photographer, and selling her fine art photography online. Learn more about her here.

John Beeman

John Beeman is an award-winning composer and music educator for 32 years who has taught at all levels from elementary music to university classes. He studied with Peter Fricker and William Bergsma at the University of Washington where he received his master’s degree. Works have been performed by the Santa Rosa Symphony, Boston Metro Opera, the Ives Quartet, Paul Dresher, and the Oregon Repertory Singers. Mr. Beeman is the composer of symphonic, chamber, opera, and choral works, as well as numerous compositions for students. He has received awards through Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum and ASCAP.

Visit his website here JohnBeemanComposer.com.

Noe Benitez
Sarah Bernard-Stevens

Sarah Bernard-Stevens is a freelance musician, educator and artist living in central Nebraska. She has taught music from fifth graders up to the collegiate level. Sarah developed an interest in music composition and arranging in college and put these skills to use as the director of bands at a small university and community college -both in Kansas-where incomplete instrumentation in the ensembles was the norm. From this experience, Sarah developed an enjoyment from the challenge of arranging for small or incomplete ensembles.

Sarah currently lives in Hastings, Nebraska with her husband, David, and their cats. When not making music, she runs a sculpting studio called Pop Sculpture Designs.

Lauren Bernofsky

Described by Lukas Foss as “a master composer,” Lauren Bernofsky has written well over a hundred works, including solo, chamber, and choral music, as well as larger scale works for orchestra, film, musical, opera, and ballet. Her music has been performed across the United States as well as internationally in major venues.

She has over seventy works in print and her music is often heard at festivals and conferences, and has been played by members of The New York Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many others.

Lauren Bernofsky holds degrees from the Hartt School, New England Conservatory, and Boston University, where she earned a doctorate in composition. She has taught at Boston University, The Peabody Institute, and Interlochen, and she regularly serves as a clinician and guest conductor at schools, universities, and regional festivals.

David Bobrowitz

David Bobrowitz received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Mannes College of Music, majoring in Trombone Performance under Simon Karasick. He went on to Teachers College, Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in Music Education. He studied composition independently under the tutelage of Robert Russell Bennett.

Mr. Bobrowitz was a freelance bass trombonist, pianist, arranger, and composer in the New York area for more than 30 years. He retired from the Great Neck Public Schools in June 2000 and now resides in Midlothian, Virginia. Having published more than 225 compositions for either concert band, string orchestra, or chorus, he continues to be in demand as a performer, arranger, and composer.

For further information, please visit DavidBobrowitz.com.

Sara Bongo
Aric Branchfield
Timothy Broege

Born November 6, 1947, and raised in Belmar, New Jersey, the composer Timothy Broege studied piano and theory with Helen Antonides during his childhood years. At Northwestern University he studied composition with M. William Karlins, Alan Stout, and Anthony Donato, piano with Frances Larimer, and harpsichord with Dorothy Lane, receiving the degree Bachelor of Music with Highest Honors in 1969.

The music of Timothy Broege has been performed throughout the world. He has received numerous grants and commissions from schools, universities, professional performers, and Meet the Composer. His music is published by Boosey & Hawkes, Manhattan Beach Music, Bourne Company, Daehn Publications, Hal Leonard, Polyphonic Publications, Grand Mesa Music, Maestro & Fox, and Allaire Music/Woodbridge Wilson Music Publishers.

His works include the twenty-one Sinfonias for large ensembles, the series of Songs Without Words for chamber ensembles, and a series of Fantasias for solo instruments, as well as music for voices, keyboards, guitar, recorders, and school bands. His music has been featured at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Mid-West Band & Orchestra Clinic, and the College Band Directors National Association. He has appeared frequently as a guest composer/conductor and clinician and has received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from the American School Band Directors’ Association. To honor his career as a composer he received the 2003 Award of Excellence from the New Jersey Education Association.

In addition to his compositional activities, Timothy Broege is an active recitalist on early keyboard instruments, organ, and recorder. He wrote the “On the Cutting Edge” column for The American Recorder magazine from 2000 to 2014. Since 2006 he has been the pianist with The John Gronert Jazz Trio.

Donald Coakley
Lloyd Conley
Walter Cummings
Janelle Zook Cunalata

Janelle Zook Cunalata is an active composer and music educator in central Pennsylvania. Her music is compelling, passionate, intriguing, and exciting. Creative music making in a context where performers are engaged and playing without tension, but freely and from the heart is Janelle’s passion.

Janelle received her Master of Music degree from Sam Houston State University at the American Band College in Ashland, Oregon in 2010 and a BS in Music Education as well as an Oboe Performance Certificate in 2006 from Penn State University.

One of Janelle's passions is passing the joy of music on to the next generation through educating and composing for students of all levels. Janelle taught orchestra and band in the Southern Lehigh and Bethlehem Area School Districts before moving to Ecuador where she taught large and small group music and composition lessons to students in Riobamba.

While Janelle loves writing new music and motivating students, she can also be found exploring the unknown, hosting family and friends, while spending time with her husband, Franklin, and their daughters Elizabeth and Emily.

For more information please visit JZCMusic.com.

Andrew Dabcyznski

Andrew H. Dabczynski is Emeritus Professor of Music Education at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he founded the BYU “New Horizons Orchestra,” a beginning string orchestra for adults and a laboratory for string teacher training. In recognition of that work, he was awarded BYU’s Joseph E. White Fellowship for Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Dabczynski received a B.M. degree in applied viola performance from the Eastman School, and a M.A. from the University of Connecticut, serving there as violist in the graduate string quartet. He also holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Michigan.

As a performer, Dr. Dabczynski has played viola in the Rochester Philharmonic, the Hartford Symphony, the Portland (Maine) Symphony, the Kalamazoo Symphony, and the Greenwich (Connecticut) Symphony orchestras. For six years, he was a member of the Colden String Quartet, ensemble- in-residence at Western Michigan University.

He appears frequently as a clinician for teachers and guest conductor for student ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico. He has produced over 120 arrangements, compositions, and pedagogical works for string and full orchestra that are played regularly in concerts throughout the world.

Now retired, Dr. Dabczynski and his wife Diane, a commercial vocalist, live in Saco, Maine, and spend their summers not far away in the village of Waterford.

Eric B. Davis

Eric B. Davis is a professional and busy freelance musician in New York who has played on Grammy winning albums TV, film, and over 20 Broadway shows including Pulitzer Prize winning Next To Normal, the acclaimed revival of Anything Goes (2011), Matilda the Musical, Groundhog Day The Prom and Jagged Little Pill.

He has been the touring guitarist for Tony and Emmy winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth since 2012 and is currently Distinguished Scholar of Guitar/Music Industry at the Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University.

Susan Day
Erica Donahoe

Erica Donahoe currently directs the New Albany Plain Local Schools orchestra program, which serves over 400 string students in New Albany, Ohio. She holds a bachelor's degree from The United States Air Force Academy, and bachelor's and master's degrees from The Ohio State University. After having served in the Air Force, Ms. Donahoe returned to music and has been an active teacher and performer in central Ohio the last 15 years.

Ms. Donahoe, a violinist, has performed with the Pikes Peak Philharmonic, the MacLean Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and is currently a performer and student mentor with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra. In addition, she performs bluegrass, country, and rock with various local bands. Having grown up in a very musical household, one of her favorite activities in making music with family members. 

Ms. Donahoe resides in Ohio with her husband, Kevin, and their children, Annabelle, and Jackson. They enjoy hiking, camping, and spending time together outside.

Leland Forsblad
Robert Grice
Jerry Weseley Harris
Jeffrey Hart

Jeffrey Hart is a composer and arranger in the classical and jazz traditions. He holds music degrees from The University of Toledo and Duquesne University. Jeffrey is an active music educator in southeastern Pennsylvania, teaching at the high school and middle school levels. He has presented sessions at local and state PMEA conferences. Jeffrey can be heard performing with the Blackbird Society Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Symphonic Winds.

For more information, please visit Hart-Music.com

Phillip M. Hash
Brian Holmes
Carl Holmquist
Michael Hopkins

Michael Hopkins is Professor and Chair of Music Education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has been a guest conductor at orchestra festivals throughout the United States and has presented at many conferences on various topics in string education. He has composed and arranged over 80 published works for orchestra and is the author of The Art of String Teaching, a pedagogy resource published by GIA with a complementary YouTube channel containing 100 videos.

He has published articles in the Journal of Research in Music Education, American String Teacher, String Research Journal, and the Music Educators' Journal and many more. He has served on the executive boards of the Vermont and Michigan chapters of ASTA and has served on several national ASTA committees.

Paul Jacobson

Paul A. Jacobson is an active composer, conductor, performer, and educator. As a musician, Paul has been writing, performing, and directing music professionally for over 40 years.

During those decades, Paul has worked in settings ranging from local church and public-school settings through undergraduate, graduate, and professional performance levels.

He and his wife, Bobbie, have three sons, two daughters and 2 grandchildren; and live in suburban Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For more information please visit PaulJacobson.net.

Kevin Kaisershot

Mr. Kaisershot earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he graduated with honors. He received his master’s degree in Trumpet Performance from Illinois State University where in addition to playing in the Faculty Brass Quintet, he was also the Graduate Assistant and Assistant Conductor in the ISU Band Department. He was a finalist for Kane County (IL) Educator of the Year where he received the Distinguished Educator Award. He also received an Award of Special Recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education as part of their "Those Who Excel" program.

Recognized as one of the foremost achievers in his field, Mr. Kaisershot has been included in numerous editions of Marquis' Who's Who in America as well as many former students nominating him for Who's Who of America's Teachers. In 2017 he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who and in 2018 was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award in Music from the Hixon-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

As a conductor and clinician, Mr. Kaisershot has become well-traveled throughout the Midwest. Internationally recognized as a composer/arranger, especially of music for trumpet and brass, his music has achieved critical acclaim. His music has been performed not only in the United States, but also in several other countries.

After 35+ years of successful teaching, Mr. Kaisershot retired in June of 2015 but continues to contribute to the educational music field and on occasion will find an outlet to perform (trumpet).

Jason Krug

Jason W. Krug (b. 1978) is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana. He holds a degree in music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jason is a full-time freelance composer, arranger, clinician, and teacher. Since his first publication in 2006, he's had over 400 compositions and arrangements accepted for handbells, piano, strings, organ, and choir. His works have been featured at numerous festivals and workshops in the United States and beyond. He is also the owner and editor for Grassy Meadow Music, which publishes sheet music for handbells, piano, and strings.

In his spare time, Jason enjoys writing. He has spent several years working on a young adult fantasy series, The Sadonian Chronicles, and recently released his first non-fiction book, The General Theory of Creativity. He frequently participates in the National Novel Writing Month event in November.

Jason continues to live in Indianapolis with his wife Ellen and his sons Daniel and Malcolm.

You can find him on the web at JasonWKrug.com and GrassyMeadowMusic.com.

Pierre La Plante
Bob Latchaw
J. Cameron Law

J. Cameron Law is an award-winning educator, cellist, conductor, and composer. He recently retired after a 29-year career as Director of Orchestras at Grand Junction High School and West Middle School.

Mr. Law is in his 30th season as the Principal Cellist of the Grand Junction Symphony. He was the cellist with Trio de las Americas, formerly the Mesa State College Faculty Piano Trio, performed for six seasons with the Crested Butte Summer Music Festival, and is the cello instructor at Colorado Mesa University. His private cello students have completed music degrees at such prestigious institutions as the Hart School of Music, Indiana University, and the Berklee College of Music. 

Mr. Law is currently the String Editor for Grand Mesa Strings.  His compositions and arrangements appear on several state lists, as Editor’s Choices in the Pepper Music Catalog, and have been performed at the Midwest Conference in Chicago. His work Sinapu was premiered by the Grandview High School Orchestra at the 2015 National ASTA Conference in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Law spends his summers as the Program Director for the Road Scholar Program at the Aspen Music Festival. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance with University Honors and Academic Distinction from Colorado State University, and a master’s degree in Cello Performance and Teacher Certification from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Jeffrey Solow and Robert Culver. He has two grown children (Lindsye and Eric), and a grandchild (Marky D the Mini Maestro). He and his wife Kathy and their dogs Cooper and Patsy Cline enjoy all the outdoor activities Western Colorado has to offer.

Eric Law

Eric Law is a multi-genre cellist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist known for his innovative approach to string education. A native of Grand Junction, Colorado, Eric grew up in a family of musicians. With extensive training in the technical and athletic aspects of classical music, he began branching out into multiple new styles of music and performance in his teens. His inventive approach to alternative string techniques earned him first prize at the 2013 Asta Eclectic String Festival.

Recognized as one of Colorado’s top young cellists, Eric moved to Boston in 2009 to continue his studies at the Berklee College of Music. After earning his degree in Performance with a focus in American Roots Music, Eric returned to the Grand Valley to utilize his education and experience as a multi-instrumentalist to teach, compose, and record.

Eric has performed extensively with Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings and the Boston Ballet, and he has headlined at a vast assortment of venues. As a studio musician Eric has recorded on over 50 albums across genres. His work with Adrianna Ciccone on her 2015 Release “The Back of Winter” led to a Canadian Folk Music Award. He has studied with an array of Alternative String specialists including cello powerhouses Eugene Friesen and Mike Block, and fiddling legends Matt Glaser, Bruce Molsky, and Darol Anger.

Currently, Eric plays in the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and remains a highly sought-after instructor and performer nation-wide. His publications and productions are gaining national acclaim, and he is committed to utilizing his unique skill sets to create and educate in music internationally.

Chandra Lind

Chandra Lind fell in love with teaching at the age of 14. She teaches orchestra in the Bozeman, Montana Public Schools and serves as principal cellist of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra she has performed with for three decades. She is a co-founder of the Bozeman Summer String Jam, a camp for beginners through high school aged musicians.

A Fulbright recipient, active clinician and performing musician, Chandra enjoys teaching young people about the power of commitment, communication, and community through music.

When not musically busy, Chandra's favorite activities include disappearing into a good book and eating chocolate--preferably at the same time.

Bob Lipton

Bob Lipton graduated with honors with a B.M. in music education from San Francisco State University. He is a retired middle school orchestra and band teacher now living on a dirt road in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.

As a tuba player Bob has performed with the San Jose, Oakland, Napa, Monterey, and Berkeley symphonies. He was a member of the SF 49’s band and toured with the Colombia Artists Bel Canto Brass. He has also performed at the San Francisco and Frankfurt Jazz festivals as well at the Filmfare Awards in Mumbai India. Bob was also a member of Tom Petty’s high school rock band–after Tom left the group.

His compositions and arrangements have been performed around the world and multiple times at Midwest.

Darren Mitchell
Robert Moore

Robert Moore's musical background spans genres and instruments as well as compositional styles. In addition to graduating from the University of South Florida with a BM in composition and a minor in cello performance, in high school, Robert marched with the world-renowned Largo Band Of Gold while studying oboe with noted Chicago Symphony Orchestra oboist/educator Robert Mayer and making experimental wind band arrangements by night. Later, Robert played cello professionally with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, performed and recorded cello and electric bass with numerous bands, and also performed for a year with an innovative jazz string/wind group headed by former Earth, Wind & Fire multi-instrumentalist Doug Carn.

Moore studied composition at Jacksonville University with William Hoskins and William Schirmer, and at USF with James Lewis and Noel Stevens. He studied cello at JU with former Atlanta Symphony Principal cellist Walter Steinhaus and with Sebastian Toettcher, and later at USF with Ben Karp, a protege of Janos Starker. A composer and arranger for USF musical ensembles, double-reed camp workshops, and the Tampa Bay Symphony, Robert Moore is also a computer programmer and taught Computer Applications in Music at USF as well as serving as Music Resources Director and Chief Music Librarian.

A member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, and an ASCAP member for the last two decades, Moore has taught composition, cello and electric bass privately and continues a healthy regimen of daily score study and musical experimentation by night.

Matt Moreno
Matt Neufeld

A graduate of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, Matt Neufeld (b. 1985) does his best to compose, teach and play music for as many people as he can convince or coerce. Matt spends most of his days working with amazing middle school band students at Ecole Van Walleghem in Winnipeg, where he's been teaching since 2016. In his spare time, Matt enjoys competitive board gaming, playing his wife's favourite songs on the piano in ways that do not endear him to her, and having his three children try to beat him at Mario Kart.

For more information please visit MattNeufeldMusic.com.

Terence O'Grady

Dr. O’Grady received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and taught music theory and history at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for 33 years. He is also the host of The J. S. Bach Files podcast and The Beethoven Files Podcast.

John O'Neill
Kathryn Parrish

Kathryn (Griesinger) Parrish received her B.A. (cello) and M.M. (music education) degrees from the University of Akron, where she later taught string pedagogy courses as adjunct faculty. She taught elementary, middle, and high school string orchestra in Ohio and Florida private and public schools for 15 years, while freelancing as an arranger and cellist for various ensembles.

She also writes commissioned works and sight-reading music for regional music festivals. Kathryn currently works in educational music publication as an orchestra editor. 

Andy Reiner
Mekel Rogers

Mekel Rogers has been involved in music education since 1995. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Appalachian State University, the founding conductor of the Union Symphony Youth Orchestra, and a frequent guest clinician and adjudicator for orchestral clinics and events.

Mekel’s compositions for strings have received several Editors Choice Awards from the J. W. Pepper Music Company. Mekel’s works have been performed at various district and state events, music educator association conferences, adjudicated festivals, and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. International performances include festivals in Canada, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom as well as world premieres in both London, England and Paris, France.

For more information please visit MekelRogers.com.

Steven L. Rosenhaus

Steven L. Rosenhaus (b. Brooklyn, NY) is a composer, lyricist, arranger, conductor, author, educator and clinician, and performer. His concert music has been called “clever, deftly constructed and likable” by The New York Times.

Dr. Rosenhaus holds a Ph.D. from New York University where he serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Composition; other degrees are from Queens College (CUNY). He has over 200 original works and arrangements in print. In addition, Dr. Rosenhaus is a dramatruge for Broadway- and off-Broadway-bound musicals. He has consulted on approximately 30% of musicals presented in those venues since 2006.

Steven L. Rosenhaus is the author of The Concertgoer’s Guide to the Symphony Orchestra (Music Gifts Company) and is co-author with Allen Cohen of Writing Musical Theater (Palgrave Macmillan). Dr. Rosenhaus is a National Patron of the Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity and an awardee of the 2010 Con Edison Composer Residency; he has received numerous awards and grants from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, and other organizations

Gregory B. Rudgers
Sarah Siegler

Sarah Siegler is a composer, conductor, and educator. She holds a Master of Music Education degree from Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago and a Bachelor of Music Education from St. Olaf College. Her published compositions for choir and orchestra have been performed widely and she actively receives commissions for both choral and instrumental ensembles. Her music for string orchestra has been selected as “Editor’s Choice” by J.W. Pepper and performed at the prestigious Midwest Clinic. She is published with Northwestern Publishing House, C. Alan Publications, Wingert-Jones, and Grand Mesa Music.

Ms. Siegler has been a string orchestra teacher for two decades. She spent almost a decade teaching orchestra in central Connecticut and another decade teaching middle and high school students in Southeastern Wisconsin. After 20 years of teaching, she is channeling her passion for composing and educating in a new role of music publishing; she is currently the owner of Grand Mesa Strings Publishing. She is a member of NafMe, ASTA, ACF, and ASCAP.

Kevin Sluder
Randall D. Standridge
Lee Stevens
Marcia Stockton
Christopher Sumner

Dr. Sumner has been the Instrumental Music Director at Piscataway High School in Piscataway, New Jersey since 2000. Prior to that appointment, he also taught at Rutgers University, Seton Hall University, and Union County College. He received his Master of Music from Mannes College of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from Rutgers University. He has also been the Artistic director and conductor of the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band since 2014.

"Doc," as he is affectionately known at his school, is also an active professional musician both as a conductor and performer. In addition to his tenure at Piscataway as director of the Wind Ensemble and Orchestras, he has also been a guest conductor for the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra, and Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, as well as assisting Maestro Mariusz Smojli with the Riverside Symphonia. As a free-lance clarinetist, Dr. Sumner is the principal clarinetist of the Riverside Symphonia for which he is also the personnel manager and contractor. He has also performed with numerous other orchestras and jazz bands across the country.

Dr. Sumner has recorded on the Mark and Capstone record labels. He was accepted into the Julliard School Summer Conductor’s Symposium and was nominated as a semi-finalist for the “GRAMMY Signature Schools Award” in 2014, sponsored by the Grammy Foundation. Dr. Sumner was also invited to present a conducting seminar in 2018, and a Concert Band literature seminar in 2020, both at the New Jersey Music Educators State Convention.

Anthony Susi

Anthony Susi has been teaching music in Connecticut schools at the middle, high school, and collegiate level since 1985. He often serves as a guest conductor at honors band festivals for both middle and high school musicians throughout his native state as well as in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Mr. Susi has presented numerous state conference workshops and contributed articles for publication in CMEA, Band world, MEJ, and SBO on music pedagogy. He has also been invited frequently to adjudicate both jazz and concert band festivals in Connecticut and serves as an adjudicator for Fantastic Festivals & CMEA. His performing ensembles have been featured many times at CMEA and MENC Eastern Division Conferences and have earned Superior ratings and top honors at adjudication festivals throughout the Eastern states.

Some of his published works have been noted in The Instrumentalist magazine, JW Pepper’s Editor’s Choice and the top 100 lists by Band world magazine and the CT Chapter of ASBDA. As of the Spring 2022, he will have 37 works available for Concert, Jazz, Marching and Flex Band along with String Orchestra.

Outside of music education, Mr. Susi has also composed and recorded seven CDs of original music in a variety of genres that have been featured on Best of CT compilation discs and the soap opera, As the World Turns. In addition to composing and teaching, he is an active solo artist on guitar, keyboard, and vocals, performing regularly at several establishments around his home state.

Pasquale Tassone

Pasquale Tassone studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, has an honors diploma from the Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy and a PhD from Brandeis University. He has written music for the University of Lowell recital series, the M.I.T. Band and ALEA III.

He was first a prize-winner, with his Laudate Dominum, in Catholic University's composition contest in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music (1999). Laudate Dominum was premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC in April 2000. In October 2003, he was a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, where he worked with the composer, Olly Wilson. In January 2013, Tassone was named a Finalist, 2012 EAMA Prize. His Dzon (Concerto for Marimba and Strings) was performed in November 2015 by the AGBU London Chamber Orchestra, and the dull orchestra version was premiered by the Reading Symphony Orchestra in December 2018.

He has recently finished work on his first opera, Seven Rabbits on a Pole. In January 2018, his Wings of Light for String Quartet was chosen by the Italian Center for Rare Diseases in Rome as an artistic contribution in the fight against rare diseases.

More on Pasquale Tassone at MigidaMusica.org.

James K. Taylor
Bruce Tippette

Bruce W. Tippette (b. 1985) is a composer, performer, and educator. He holds a Master of Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in music composition and a Bachelor of Music in both music composition/theory and music education from Appalachian State University. His published compositions for chorus, concert band, orchestra, handbells, and solo/small ensembles have been performed internationally, and he actively receives commissions for both choral and instrumental ensembles.

In addition to his concert works, Tippette has composed original compositions for choreographers, film, and has co-composed music for a children's musical. Tippette's work Unconquered, written for orchestra, won the 2012 Mary Starling Composition Competition, and the Winston-Salem Symphony performed it four subsequent times. Additionally, he was chosen in2012, 2013 and 2014 to compose five new works as part of an experimental collaboration with Cirque du Soleil and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Tippette is the recipient of many awards, including the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarship and the Lynn Freeman Olson Composition Award for his piano solo Dance of Fire. As an educator, he teaches music composition, theory, piano, and voice at the Community Music School of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and he is the Youth Music and Handbell Director at Augsburg Lutheran Church. He resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife and frequent collaborator, Elizabeth, and their son and daughter.

Paul Trapkus

Paul Trapkus received a BM in violin performance and music education from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. Mr. Trapkus taught orchestra for 10 years at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colorado, where he started a fiddle group, chamber music class, and composition club.

His documentary about lifelong music making, Carry the Tune (www.carrythetune.com), was selected into five film festivals and received an Award of Merit from the San Francisco Film Awards.

Jorge Vargas

Jorge L. Vargas is a band director at Memorial Junior High in Eagle Pass, TX. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The University of Texas-San Antonio and a master’s degree in Education from Lamar University. Mr. Vargas has written and arranged for concert band, marching band, string orchestra, and mariachi ensemble. His music has been performed at many festivals and competitions by high school groups and by professional groups alike.

Jorge is a member of BMI, the Texas Band Masters Association, and the Texas Music Educators Association, where he has served as the Region 11 Mariachi Coordinator.

Mr. Vargas lives in Eagle Pass with his wife, Adriana.

Kirk Vogel

Kirk Vogel spent his entire music education career involved with Colorado schools including teaching assignments at Palisade Jr/Sr High School, Bayfield Middle and High School and Heath Junior High/Heath Middle School in Greeley. During his career he was fortunate enough to be able to teach band, orchestra, choir, and jazz band.

In retirement Kirk continues to be active as a composer, guest conductor, adjudicator, and an educator/clinician. He was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Hall of Fame at the 2020 CMEA state convention.

Mr. Vogel has also had a successful career as a composer of band and orchestra music. Three Waters Mountain, Escalante, and Perseids were the winning entries in the CMEA Composers Competition in 1993, 1996, 1998, and 2000. His compositions have been performed at state music conventions, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the National Flute Association Convention, and the American School Band Directors Association National Convention. The Pittsburgh Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, community bands and every age group from elementary through college have performed his music. He is a writer and publisher member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

He resides in Greeley, CO, with his wife, Susan. They have two grown daughters. On his free days he loves to spend time with his family hiking, biking, skiing, or photographing nature.

For further information, you can contact Mr. Vogel through his website at KirkVogelMusic.com.

Beth Weber
David Weirich
Christopher Wheeler
Ron Wilcott

Hello, I’m Ron Wilcott. I love arranging music for string orchestra and teachers and players seem to enjoy my arrangements. 

I’ve been playing cello since 1998 but I was about 50 years old then. Why did I wait so long? Because that’s when the youngest of my two sons started playing violin. My older boy had started about two years earlier. If both of my sons were going to play strings, I was too. 

I am now retired after four decades in the music classroom teaching orchestra, band and choir. My educational background includes Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate from Michigan State University. My primary positions have been at East Bakersfield High School (Bakersfield, CA), Dixie College (now Dixie State University—St. George, UT), University of South Carolina Aiken (Aiken, SC), and, in  Missoula, MT(the place I now call home) at Sentinel High School and Loyola Sacred Heart Catholic High School.

I still enjoy my opportunities to play cello in recreational settings—chamber music with family members and string orchestra repertoire with my friends in the Garden City Strings.

Grand Mesa has published six of my arrangements. My latest one, “All-Night Vigil,” was played in 2018 at the prestigious Midwinter Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago by Round Rock High School Orchestra of Round Rock Texas directed by Sandra Vandertulip.

I hope you’ll enjoy one of my pieces too.

Vance Zuehlsdorff