Dr. Richard L. Byrd, Houston TX, Forum Director
Richard L. Byrd,
Forum Director, is a holder of music degrees from the University of South
Alabama in Mobile, AL, and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Principal professors included Frederick Goossens, Peter Westergaard, Hubert
Howe, and Andrew Imbrie (composition), Orland Thomas and Daniel Drill
(trombone), and Gerald Welker and Carleton McCreery (conducting). Acquiring
additional coursework in theory and electronic music, he taught
college-level courses for six years, then moved to a private secondary
institution in Indiana as an instructor and principal before redeploying his
vocational focus to information technology. After moving to Chicago, he
worked in advanced medical software technologies at Northwestern University,
then rode the dot-com beast to immolation with a mid-sized startup.
Dr. Byrd is now president and CEO of Houston-based Technical Operations, Inc.
|Richard L. Byrd|
Artistically, he is the music director of The Woodlands Concert Band as well as being an active freelance musician, performing in jazz and classical groups in the Houston area on tenor trombone, bass trombone, tuba, euphonium, and percussion, and is a member of the Texas Renaissance Brass, which performs annually at The Texas Renaissance Festival. He also occasionally hauls out a sackbut, shawm and/or krummhorn in this capacity, much to the horror of listeners--that is, those who weren't already horrified at the sight of a 6'4" man with an Edwards B454, heavy gauge bell, dual-bore slide and independant Thayers wearing a 9-yard kilt of Baird hunting.
When not running ninety-to-nothing between all these activities, Dr. Byrd enjoys reading--voraciously--as well as researching naval battles of the Napoleonic wars, medieval and Renaissance music theory, pre-1750 European history, and cracking stupid, allusive, referential jokes and witticisms that nobody gets.
A native of Flomaton, Alabama, he is continually amazed that he managed to escape from that portion of the north American continent that Hernando de Soto pronounced "uninhabitable by human beings." (He was right) His personal website, part blog, part bully-pulpit, part scriptorium, is Satirica.
Billy Cordova, Nacogdoches, TX, Administrator: Professional Outreach
Billy Cordova has been a moderator of the Forum since the third quarter of 2000, and an administrator since the 1st quarter of 2001. Recently, he has been named Public Relations Coodinator for the Forum. He played the trombone in school until he graduated from high school in 1979. He then left the trombone behind until his choir director talked him into starting again to accompany his church choir (where he sings bass vocals) in 2000.
Billy attends Sacred Heart Church in Nacogdoches, Texas and is involved in various church and community activities, including the his church.s pastoral council (where he just finished a year as president) and chairman of his church.s stewardship committee. He is also the lead bass vocalist at his church and also serves a lector (the person who reads the epistles before the gospel), and psalmist (the person who sings the responsorial psalm between the epistles). Non church related activities include being a board member and past chairman of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful (an award winning affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful) and board member of East Texas Community Health Services (a non-profit health clinic) where he also serves as chaiman of the building committee.
Billy works as a construction estimator at, and serves on the board of directors of Cordova Construction Company, Inc., which is run by his father and two uncles. His duties there include preparing material and cost estimates, and preparing construction schedules for construction projects. Before becoming an estimator, Billy was a construction superintendent for the company, running projects in the 1.5 to 3 million dollar size. He is also the qualifying party for Cordova Constructions licenses in 4 states.
Billy graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1979 where he was twice inducted into Who.s Who Among American High School Students and The Society of Distinguished American High School Students (for school years 1977-1978 and 1978-1979). In addition, Billy holds a B.S. from Stephen F. Austin State University with a double major in Biology and Physics and a minor in Mathematics. He also has several graduate hours in biology and in mathematics and holds teaching certificates in Biology, Physics and Mathematics.
When not involved in other activities, Billy enjoys playing chess (he.s a life member of the United States Chess Federation), reading (especially Tolkien), playing with his cats (neither of which seems to enjoy his trombone playing J ) baking bread, and cooking for his girlfriend and her daughter. He also enjoys plays, musicals, concerts, movies, and renaissance festivals.
Brian F. Wibecan, Administrator: Operations
Brian hails originally from New York City. He played trombone in high school, and recently took up the instrument again after nearly 30 years of not playing. His primary musical training has been in vocal and choral music, including a Master's degree in choral conducting from New England Conservatory. He dabbles on piano and admits to having started out playing trumpet. Brian holds a degree in music from MIT, of all places, where he focused on subjects in theory and composition. Most of Brian's compositions have been choral music, including several pieces written for his workplace chorus, but he has also written a few instrumental works.
Music was to be a hobby rather than a jobby for Brian, though. He entered the world of software development after leaving the Conservatory, earned a computer science Master's degree, and now works as a software engineer in the area of compiler (computer language) development. Compiler work suits him; an inveterate punster having a twisted fascination with language, he enjoys the fact that his job allows him literally to argue semantics and get paid for it. (He has always been a punster; when young he was a kidder, and now he's a groan man).
Brian's recent musical activities included stints in various choral groups, plus directing a workplace chorus from 1990 to 2003. After taking up the trombone again, he played in a couple of pick-up orchestras and the local community band, eventually finding a spot (through the Forum!) as 3rd trombone in a wonderful nearby community orchestra. He currently plays bass trombone in two community orchestras and a casual trombone ensemble.
Other interests include mathematics, science fiction (he is working his way through the complete works of Philip K. Dick) and early music.
Brian lives in Massachusetts.
Christine Woodcock, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK, Administrator: User Relations
Christine (RedHotMama) has been a member of the Forum since August 2000 and a moderator since November of the same year, becoming an admin-type early in 2001. Her interest in the trombone began when her boss, a trumpet player, started a traditional jazz band at her place of work (Rothamsted Research, in the south-east of England). He managed to find six other musicians on site, but no trombone player. Christine was, at the time, engaged to the piano player and spent a rather dull year as the band "gopher" (going fer the beer!). The boss finally said that they really needed a trombone in the band and jokingly asked her if she fancied having a go. She hired an instrument, had a couple of lessons to see how it worked, then listened to all the recordings she could whilst transcribing the solo and ensemble parts by ear. After three months, she joined the band, realised that the chords it was using were mostly wrong, and took over that side of things. Eventually, she took over all the band organisation and has been successfully running it ever since. Christine has also been a member of a band recreating the authentic sound of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, which proved so popular that it was invited to undertake a week's tour of the Chicago area in 1999. Her latest musical venture is as a member of an all-female jazz band, which is playing at a number of UK festivals this summer.
Nonetheless, Christine is always happy that she isn't trying to pay the mortgage with the money provided by jazz gigs! The day job is as a scientist in the field of agricultural research, trying to find replacements for conventional pesticides by identifying chemicals which influence the behaviour and development of insects. She spends her days peering down a microscope, inserting extremely fine electrodes into insect antennae and recording the minute electrical signals they generate, and is an author on over 100 scientific publications. She is pictured in the gardens of the International Centre for Insect Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, which she visited in 2001. Christine is well known as "Mama" of the Forum Chit-Chat area and is by FAR the highest poster on the forum! However, she does realise that quantity isn't everything.... Her other interests are sci-fi, palaeontology, astronomy and cacti (one of these, grown from seed, is now four stories high, which she insists is NOT an indication of her own advancing years!). She is also proud to announce that her Brazilian Giant Spiny Stick Insects are expecting a happy event. And, of course, most of these activities go better with vodka....
Todd Jonz, Administrator: Special Projects
Feeling somehow unfulfilled with his mastery of the ever-popular tonette in Mrs. Hoffman's fourth grade class, Todd
Jonz was steadfast in his resolve to take up the trombone (although the
genesis of this resolve is lost to posterity.) Despite the fact that
his arm was not quite long enough to reach sixth position, he began trombone
lessons that same year and was permitted to join the high school band as a
fifth grader (there are certain advantages to beginning one's musical
career in a very small, very rural town in central Kentucky.) But
youthful passions being what they are, his interests were channelled
elsewhere by the time he entered high school, and his beloved King Cleveland
Superior spent the next thirty years in a closet.
a B.A. in Drama from Yale University, Todd briefly pursued a career in the
theatre before realizing that there was a certain friction between earning a
livable wage and undertaking a career in the arts. Having taken a
handful of computer science courses at Yale (purely to meet distribution
requirements, of course) he turned his attention to the computer industry in
the mid '70s. After receiving a lucky break and joining the data
processing department of a large produce company in Salinas, California,
Todd spent the next twenty-odd years as a software engineer in
California's Silicon Valley with IBM/ROLM, 3Com, and Sun
Microsystems. In 1994 he was a founder of Infoseek, the first
commercial search engine on the Internet, which was acquired by the Walt
Disney Company in 1998 (and subsequently twiddled, re-twiddled, and
ultimately disbanded with then Disney CEO Michael Eisner's infamous
2001 pronouncement that the Internet was "not ready for
primetime.") Fortunately Todd left Infoseek shortly after the
company went public and well before the high tech bubble burst, and had the
extreme good fortune to retire at a relatively young age after selling his
interest in the company.
Soon after he retired Todd's wife
gave him the Bach 16 he had always lusted after in his youth as a Christmas
present, and continuing his pursuits as a trombonist has occupied the vast
majority of his time ever since. Today he lives in Vermont with his
wife, Susan, and their two English springer spaniels, Max and Maggie. He
plays regularly with several college and community bands, a big band, a
Dixieland combo, and two brass quintets (truth be known, Todd has no pride
whatsoever and will play with anyone foolish enough to let him sit
in.) While his skills as a trombonist are surpassed by many, his love
for the instrument is exceeded by none.
Walter Barrett, Moderator
Walter Barrett is a freelance musician in the New York City area, performing on alto, tenor and bass trombones, bass trumpet, euphonium and tuba. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician. Walter has performed with many local groups, including the Westchester Symphony, Yonkers Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. Summertime finds him playing euphonium quite a bit, with groups like the Westchester Band, Lehman College Community Band and the White Plains Pops Band, where he has been solo euphonium for the full 25 years (and counting) of the band's tenure! Walter is a founding member of the Bottom Line Tuba Quartet and the Grace Avenue Brass Ensemble. His teachers include Wayne Andre, Fred "Moe" Snyder and Hal Janks on trombone, and Herb Weksellblatt and Toby Hanks on tuba. Walter is also an accomplished arranger, having produced scores for groups ranging from tuba quartet to full symphony orchestra. He has served as a clinician and adjudicator for YEA! - Youth Education in the Arts - and is listed in "Who's Who in American Music."
Walter is married to Dr. Connie Tomaino, she of superhuman powers, who works by day as a music therapist, studying the relationship of music and the brain, and as a trumpet player by night. They are attempting, with a minimum of trauma, both of the psychological and blunt-force types, to raise their two adorable daughters, Rebecca and Bernadette, as well as the equally adorable Havanese dog named Violet. Walter intends to get back into woodworking, as soon as he digs out an area big enough in the garage. (as if!). The garage also harbors his bicycles and sea kayak, which await him patiently. When not on the Forum, or gigging, Walter can often be found at Beer Advocate.com, searching for new, tasty beers to try.
Doug Elliott, Moderator
Doug Elliott plays lead trombone with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, the national tour of "In the Mood," and has recorded with the Airmen of Note, Bill Potts Big Band, Bruce Gates Jazz Consortium, and Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy.
Doug grew up in the Washington DC area, starting trombone at age 9, listening to the summertime concerts by the Marine Band with soloist Jim Erdman, the Navy Band with soloists John Marcellus and Larry Wiehe, and the Air Force Band, including the Airmen of Note with Dave Steinmeyer. He studied with Marine Band trombonists Tom Crowe, Bill Richardson, and National Symphony trombonist John Marcellus, and attended Catholic University where he continued study with Marcellus. After seeing Don Reinhardt's clinic at the ITW in 1974, Doug's interest in the idiosyncrasies of the embouchure and the mechanics of playing led him to study in depth with Reinhardt for over a decade.
He has attended every International Trombone Festival since 1974, except 1989 when he had to miss it for Air Force Basic Training. For the next 7 years, he was a member of the Airmen of Note, playing the 2nd trombone solo jazz chair. Doug's earliest jazz influences were Tommy Dorsey, Urbie Green and, at the early ITWs, hearing the incredible combination of Bill Watrous, Phil Wilson and Eje Thelin.
Doug has presented clinics at the ITW, NEC, BU, Yale, Julliard, and in Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. His personalized diagnostic approach led one teacher to write: "Many teachers shy away from the subject of embouchure because it is certainly possible to do more harm than good, however, a brilliant mouthpiece designer, Doug Elliott has built up a towering expertise on embouchure function. I have witnessed him help players to make simple, small adjustments with life-changing implications, as he guided them to become more natural players."
When not practicing...hey, who's kidding whom here, when was the last time he actually practiced?
David Guion, Moderator
David Guion, Assistant Music Librarian at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, got hooked on the trombone in seventh grade, reading the nice comments of the judge at district contest. He has studied with David Glasmire at Bowling Green State University, John Hill at the University of Iowa, and Frank Crisafulli and Audrey Morrison in Chicago.
He has a PhD in musicology from the University of Iowa, and his dissertation was published in 1988 under the title "The Trombone: Its History and Music, 1697-1811." His writings have appeared in American Music, Chicago History, College Music Symposium, Historic Brass Society Journal, ITA Journal, Journal of American Culture, Journal of Band Research, Journal of Musicological Research, Online Trombone Journal, Performance Practice Review, and Welsh Music. Most of his published work is about some aspect of the history of the trombone.
Performance highlights include six years as principal trombone with the Prairie Brass Band and touring England with the Illinois Brass Band.
Bruce Guttman, Moderator
Bruce grew up in New York City and went to the "other" magnet high school from BFW. He began playing in elementary school and was given the trombone because all the trumpets had already been assigned. He discovered the F-attachment in high school and fought to be named 3rd trombone in the band (because nobody else wanted to play it!). Whilst in high school, he spent a year studying with Jack Nowinski.
Bruce decided that engineering was a stronger call than music, and put the trombone in the closet for a few years to get established in his chosen profession. Periodically, the trombone would come out of the closet, it would get played a bit, and then go back. One day, he ran into another musician who told him about a band that could use a trombone. He went to the location of the rehearsal to discover that it had been cancelled because of the 1977 New York City blackout!
When he moved to New Hampshire in 1983, the trombone was removed from the closet to be packed, and when it arrived in the new location it started to be played a bit. Bruce joined the Hollis Town Band and purchased his King 7B that year. The next year he auditioned for, and was accepted to, the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra. Then he started 3 years of lessons with Larry Isaacson, who actually taught him how to play. He has played with many ensembles in southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts, but has stayed with the Hollis Town Band and the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra continuously. The Orchestra named him Principal after a 3 year probation in 1996.
When some players in the Hollis Town Band wanted to form a Dixieland group, they asked Bruce to join. He had never played this kind of music before, but learned a bit about it and still pushes a slide with the group. Another interest was created when he was asked to do a solo with the Hollis Town Band and unearthed a turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) solo called "The Wanderer". Now he roots through old band libraries and the Chatfield Brass Band to find pieces to play. His favorite composers of this kind of music are Clay Smith, Arthur Pryor and Herbert L. Clarke.
Bruce lives in southern New Hampshire with his wife (a Graduate Advisor and Professor) and a menagerie of two dogs, two cats and a cockatiel. There is also a collection of some 25 musical instruments including 13 trombones, 3 tubas, 2 cornets, bass trumpet, 2 pianos, 4 recorders and a Paul Renne flute. Apart from his profession as a chemical engineer in electronics manufacture, he is interested in computer repair, listening to opera and reading (mostly history and historical novels).
Scot Hagerman, Moderator
Scot is a bass trombonist and a music therapist. He is originally from Royal Oak, Michigan, but now lives in Tucson with his wife Alicia and daughter Sydney. He is the Assistant Director for Exceptional Education for the Tucson Unified School District.
He went to school at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Michigan State University. His teachers include: Jim Desano, Tom Klaber, Curtis Olson and Randy Hawes. He has performed with The Buffalo Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony and Greater Lansing Symphony.
When not practicing, he can be found cooking, gardening, or watching Formula One on the Speed Channel.
Joe Jackson, Moderator
Jazz trombonist, arranger and bandleader Joe Jackson chose the trombone at age 12, and during his high school years was the recipient of three Down Beat Magazine "DeeBee" awards. During his tenure at the University of North Texas, Joe studied with Vern Kagarice, Hal Galper, David Liebman and Don "Jake" Jacoby, played lead & jazz trombone in the famed One O'Clock Lab Band, and was named the National Association of Jazz Educators 1985 College Musician of the Year.
Joe left UNT in 1990 to join the Maynard Ferguson Band. He spent a year with Ferguson, performing throughout the United States and in Europe. In 1991 he auditioned for and was awarded the lead trombone position in the US Air Force Airmen of Note. In 2004, Joe was appointed the Music Director of the Airmen of Note. Joe has contributed commissioned arrangements to dozens of ensembles across the country, and his educational arrangements are published by Warner Bros. Publications.
Joe is a passionate advocate for children's rights, and has worked hard to bring attention to the discrimination inherent in conventional education and our culture's attitudes toward children. In 1998 he and his wife Linda helped found and build a Sudbury Model school in Prince George's County, Maryland based on student empowerment through full democracy and unabridged self-direction. He serves as a Director and Treasurer of a non-profit organization that supports Sudbury schooling by fundraising and providing financial aid for families in need.
Richard Zemry Johnson, Moderator
Richard Zemry Johnson, Jr. has the distinct honor of being born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana, the same city and state as the legendary trombonist, Carl Fontana. He is a second generation trombonist having been initially taught to play trombone by his father.
and Steve Turre
Being a natural lefty, when told by his father to put his trombone together, he naturally put it together backwards. His father, also a natural lefty, gave him a look that practically stated, "I can't believe that this is my kid!' and had him put the trombone together in the traditional manner.
Zemry has a brother who played trombone at Grambling State University but gave it up to become a Army officer (an airborne ranger, no less). Zemry also has a cousin that is a trombone player and a band director in the Dallas area. Another cousin played lead guitar for Barry White (Sho you right, baby).
Zemry played trombone at the Northeast Louisiana University for four years and played in the concert and symphonic band.Carl Fontana had played at the same university many years past when it was a junior college. After graduating from college, he stopped playing the trombone for a period of 17 years. In the interim, he was in the United States Army and spent over three years stationed in West Germany where he was attached to a British Artillery regiment (39th Heavy Regiment). While in Germany, he had a chance to travel extensively in Germany and also visit France, Holland and Tunesia.
He later completed law school and has been employed as an assistant district attorney for the past eighteen years. When reading a local "Penny-Saver" 10 years ago, he saw a trombone that was for sale at the price of $100.00. He purchased the trombone, a Conn Director, and began playing again.
After telling his father that he was playing again, Zemry, Sr., who was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease and later died of it, gave him a Bach 42B.
Zemry is now the section leader for the Shreveport Metropolitan Concert Band, a leading community concert band in Shreveport, La. He also plays lead trombone for the Shreveport Regional Jazz Ensemble, a professional jazz band in Shreveport.
He plays second trombone in another jazz band in Shreveport that is so new that it has not been named. Zemry also plays bass trombone in Prevailing Winds, a Bossier City community band and plays second trombone in the Prevailing Winds Jazz Band.
He was a member of the Impact Band, a Louisiana r&b band that specialized in "gumbo funk."
The high point of his musical career was being a sub in the Percy Sledge Band for a single performance several years ago.
Sven Larsson, Moderator
Sven was born in 1944, started to play trumpet at 8 and tried different brasses and clarinet until the trombone hit him at 15. He played in the Salvation Army, the Swedish Army band, different big bands. Studied at Borgarskolans Musik Linje for 3 years, Kungliga Musik Hgskolan for 6 years (Royal College of Music), Stockholm's Musikpedagogiska Institut for 3 years (Sthml music pedagog. inst). Took up the bass trombone (1969) in the Rolf Ericson Big Band. Was hard-working in the studios in Stockholm for many years, participated in lots of music of very light character, but also some heavy stuff. Played in most professional big bands in Stockholm. He has also worked in the Sender Freies Berlin Big band and the James Last Band in Hamburg.
Sven has recorded with George Russell, Thad Jones, Lars Gullin, Arne Domnerus, Lars Samuelson, Georg Riedel, Bernt Rosengren, Putte Wickman, Eje Thelin, Monica Zetterlund and many others. He participated in about 100 projects with the Swedish Radio Jazz Group (1970-1990), playing bass trombone, trombone and tuba. For 8 years, he played with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, where he also played the contrabass trombone.
Among the artists with whom he has toured are Sammy Davis, Jr, Bette Midler, James Last, Lena Horne and (as a member in Sender Freies Berlin Big Band) Paul Kuhn. Today, he participates in many groups of different characters like Bosse Brobergs' Nogenja, Stockholm Strauss Orchestra, Westra Aros Pijpare, Bernt Rosengren Big Band and Gugge Hedrenius Big Blues Band.
Teaching... Over 30 years, Sven has developed a method of teaching brass instruments which is based on many years' study of the human breathing physiology, the acoustics of the instruments and the development of "the inner ear". Many professional brass players have attended his devoted lessons. His ability to master classical trombone playing, as well as contemporary music, jazz and renaissance music, is of great advantage in these matters. As well as giving private lessons, Sven Larsson is employed at Sdra Latins Gymnasiums Musiklinje, at Stockholm's Musikpedagogiska Institut(SMI) and The Royal College of Music.
For many years, Sven has practiced the Australian didgeridoo and 15 years has passed since he performed with it for the first time. Through this experience, he has gained a more thorough attitude to brass playing overall.
Thomas Matta, Moderator
Thomas Matta (friends call him "Tom") is the newly appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at DePaul University, where he had previously served as a part-time Lecturer since 1994. His duties at DePaul include teaching the Jazz Composition and Arranging courses, coordinating the Jazz Combo program, and teaching applied trombone and bass trombone. An active performer, Thomas has performed extensively across North America, Europe and New Zealand, and is one of the most sought-after bass trombonists in Chicago's recording studios, concert halls, theater pits and other live-music venues. Thomas has performed and recorded with a diverse array of talents including the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Frank Mantooth Jazz Orchestra, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Jimmy Heath, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Fulcrum Point, the Colorado Symphony, Concertante di Chicago, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra - well, you get the idea! His compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by premier orchestras, big bands and chamber ensembles worldwide, and he is published by Kendor Music, Doug Beach Music, Andel Editions and the UNC Jazz Press.
Ben Patterson, Moderator
Ben Patterson began life in the small "American Heartland" town of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. He started playing his uncle's trombone at the age of ten, and to this date still hasn't thought of anything better to do with his life. At the age of seventeen, Ben left Oklahoma for the University of North Texas, where he received a Bachelors degree in jazz studies, and a firm - and much needed - kick in the seat of the pants. He was a member of the famed One O'clock Lab Band, with whom he played lead trombone and toured Japan and Hong Kong.
After graduation, and newly armed with a music degree, Ben stepped out into the world of the free-lancing musician. He became a regular member of Pete Peterson's "Collection Jazz Orchestra" and the touring R&B group "Lyndi and the Look". Ben also led his own group, "Master Plan", and recorded his first CD with the funky, four-horn group. In late 1997, Ben won an audition with the Airmen of Note and subsequently moved to Washington, DC, and began playing government-sponsored big band jazz for the United States Air Force.
Today, Ben is one of the most in-demand trombonists in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He is lead trombonist for the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra and is a member of DC's top salsa and Latin jazz group, "Sin Miedo". Ben's first jazz CD as a leader, "The Prowl", was released in June 2004.
Jim Prindle, Moderator
Jim Prindle has handled a trombone for about 45 years. He grew up in Spokane, Washington, and played his way through his Bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University. After teaching high school music for a year in the San Jose, California area, he became a member of the 6th U.S. Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco and studied with Mitchell Ross at the San Francisco Conservatory. Afterwards, Jim obtained his Master of Music degree at California State University, Northridge. While there, he performed around the Los Angeles Basin and took lessons from Jeff Reynolds, Miles Anderson, Dennis Smith, Norm Fleming, Barrett O'Hara and Jimmy Stamp. After that, he moved to San Diego, California. In 1982-3, he lived in Caracas, Venezuela, where he performed with the city's orchestras.
All his work now is in San Diego, playing for the Broadway shows that come to town (Chicago, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie and dozens of others), playing in brass ensembles, subbing in the SD Symphony, dance jobs, and you name it. When he isn't waiting for the telephone to ring with a gig, Jim is teaching privately and leading high school band low brass sectionals. Jim has had somewhere around 800 private students and worked with hundreds more in several school settings.
He and his wife of 30 years, Cat, travelled to 7 countries in Europe in the summer of 2004 with the California Ambassadors of Music, a 200 member band from high schools throughout California. Jim was featured soloist with the group, playing his arrangement of Misty and the published arrangement by B. Frank of "Variations on Barnacle Bill The Sailor". When he puts the trombone in its case, Jim likes to relax with the computer, running, hiking, travelling and spending time with his family.
In his picture, Jim is performing "Variations on Barnacle Bill The Sailor" in Seefeld, Austria in July, 2004. Each concert, JP added a different costume adornment (malfunction?): first the hat, then the shirt, then the eye patch and moustache (which is actually stuck on the mouthpiece rim). The concert after this picture, he had a stuffed parrot on his shoulder. No wonder the flute player is laughing so hard!
John Sandhagen, Moderator
John Sandhagen is a 1978 graduate of Chino H.S. (go Cowboys), 1982 graduate of Mt San Antonio College where he studied with Ashley Alexander, 1984 graduate of California State University Los Angeles where he studied with Roy Main, and was Graduate Assistant to Robert Curnow and H. David Caffey. John is married to Kelly whom he babysat, and has two children, Hunter and Helena.
John has been the Instrument repair technician at California State Polytechnic Universty, Pomona since 1987. In 1996 John opened the Boneyard, a resource for the repair and modification of trombones. The Boneyard is open most evening and weekends (when no rehearsals or gigs conflict).
John is the Bass Trombonist in the Claremont Symphony, the Riverside Jazz Orchestra, the Jack Lantz Big Band, the Pomona College Trombone Choir, and the rock band The Subliminals aka Phat Albert Einstein.
Denny Seifried, Moderator
Denny began his trombone career rather late, in his university days at Bowling Green State University, where he graduated, in 1964, with a B.S. in Education, with a music education major (instrumental music). Entering BGSU, as a tuba/string bass major, he finally became convinced that trombone was his major interest, some time during his junior year. He began his trombone career under his major trombone influence, David Glasmire, low brass professor/trombonist at BGSU. David still has, over these 40 years, remained a mentor in Denny's trombone career. His next move, after graduation, was to take an elementary band job, in Urbana, Ohio, all the while spending many hours, each day, working on his trombone skills. After two years of teaching, he decided he wanted to pursue advanced trombone instruction at the University of North Texas (then North Texas State University). He finally was able to get an audition tape recorded and off it went to Leon F. Brown, at UNT. He was accepted into the UNT School of Music, married in the summer of 1966, and headed to Denton, Texas, in August. He began in August, 1966, a Master of Music, in Trombone Performance, and graduated in January, 1968.
Moving back to Ohio, he began what would be a 28 year teaching career, in the Greenon Local Schools, along with developing a free-lance career on both tenor and bass trombone. Around 1969, he purchased his first bass trombone, and lesson books, teaching himself to play this instrument. He did get a little help, over a couple of summers, with CSO bass trombonist, Betty Glover. Along the way he also did some adjunct teaching at both Wittenberg University and Cedarville University, in trombone & low brass.
He is presently retired from public school teaching (1995); however, still does some private trombone teaching and adjunct trombone teaching at Wittenberg University. He is a 35-year member of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, playing all chairs, at different points, in those 35 years. He presently is the bass trombonist with the SSO, Dayton Jazz Orchestra, Buckeye Bones (10 bone jazz group), Johnny Mack Big Band, Barry Campbell Big Band, and the Wright State Univ./Community Trombone Ensemble. Denny also is the father of a trombonist, his son Jeremy (Jay), is also a member of the WSU Trombone Ensemble.
While not trombone playing, Denny spends a great deal of time watching and attending NASCAR racing and World of Outlaw winged sprint car racing. Denny & Jay are thinking about restoring an original 1968 Pontiac GTO, which has been in their family for many years. He can also be found riding his cross bike on local .rails-to-trails. bike paths, during the good weather months.
Denny joined the Forum in October of 2001 and was appointed an Forum Moderator, in May of 2003. He also participates in the trombone-list, Bass Trombone Forum and has been a life-long member of ITA--since it was established, many years ago.
Chris Stearn, Moderator
Chris Stearn Studied under Denis Wick and Peter Gane at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He worked freelance in London and Scotland until joining Scottish Opera in 1984 as Principal Bass and Contrabass trombonist, a post he still holds. Since 1991 he has been Professor of Bass Trombone and Director of Trombone Ensembles at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Chris has played with many of Britain's orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Bournmouth Symphony, English Northern Philharmonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish National Orchestra. He also works with chamber groups and small ensembles such as the Wallace Collection.
He has performed as a soloist in England, Scotland, Belgium and Holland and given masterclasses in Britain and Europe.
He has worked as a design consultant with Michael Rath Trombones, developing the R90 Contrabass with them, and is presently working with Wallace Brass Products on the design and development of accesories.
Chris also composes and has several works both published and recorded.
He has a collection of old trombones and even older jokes.
Other interests include old vehicles and decent beer.
Greg Waits, Moderator
Trombonist/composer/arranger Greg Waits is a veteran of a wide range of performance experiences. He has performed with ex-Miles Davis pianist Red Garland, Benny Goodman, the Harry Connick, Jr. Big Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Joe Williams and many others. As a sideman and guest soloist, he has recorded CDs with bands in many genres, including salsa, Western swing, big band, small group jazz, even hip hop!
In 1996, Greg produced his own jazz CD, which is comprised entirely of his own compositions and arrangements. Legendary saxophonist Dave Liebman took part in this project. This CD ("...and into the Light") was chosen by Cadence magazine to be on their annual "Critic's Choice" list in the year of its release. From '81 - '84, he was a member of the USMA Jazz Knights of West Point, New York. On two separate occasions, Greg has lived in then-West Germany, free lancing and touring throughout Western Europe with his own groups, as well as with other bands.
Greg holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas, where he was in the One O'Clock Lab Band. Greg is the author of "Advanced Flexibility Studies for the Jazz Trombonist." which is carried by Jamey Aebersold's Jazz Aids catalog and Robert King Music, et al. He is a clinician for Bach trombones, which he plays exclusively. At the time of writing, Greg is planning to move from Texas and settle in the NYC area in the near future.
He is married to a wonderfully understanding woman who tolerates the presence of jazz and trombone in his life. Lastly, but certainly not least important, Greg is the proud - and admittedly biased - father of a lovely, talented and smart 15-year old daughter (who incidentally contributed her original watercolor art for the cover of her father's CD).