The current 22 members of the Northwestern Trombone Studio hail from around the world. Past and present members have won national and international awards and competitions and have held positions in world class ensembles and institutions, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Drake University, Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Eastern Illinois University, Finnish State Opera, New World Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the University of Michigan, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and the United States Navy Band (Washington, D.C.). So many of our alumni have gone on to do incredible things, so take a look below!
Sean Holly, Tenor Trombone
Sean started his first year with the goal of losing 10 pounds. He only has 25 to go at this point. "I swear, it's all muscle!" he insists.
Sean is native of DeKalb, Illinois, where he studied trombone with Kirk Lundbeck. He has performed in ensembles with Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and Midwest Young Artists, has played with the Northern Illinois Jazz Lab Band, performing at venues such as the ILMEA All-State Festival and the Jazz Showcase, and participated in both the ILMEA All-State Honors Concert Band and Honors Orchestra. Sean was also a participant of the NAfME All-National Honors Concert Band in October of 2014 under the direction of Illinois native, Mark Camphouse.
Sean is very happy to be a part of the trombone studio at NU Bienen School of Music, and hopes that his instruction from the world class faculty and the exposure of the nearby Chicago arts and music culture will help him launch a successful and fulfilling career as a musician.
James Seymour, a Columbus, OH native, is extremely excited to be entering his sophomore year at Northwestern University. James has primarily studied with Jessica Sneeringer, Chris Davis, Doug Wright, Tim Higgins, Randy Hawes and Michael Mulcahy. He has performed with the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Central Ohio Brass Band, the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra. He has taken part in several competitions, most notably the North American Brass Band Association Low Brass Technical Solo competition in 2014, placing second in the adult division. His non-musical interests include cycling, following college football, and somewhat obsessively watching British TV.
Nick Kemp, Tenor Trombone
Nick Kemp is a tenor trombonist completing his third year of study at Northwestern University, where he studies with Michael Mulcahy, Timothy Higgins, Doug Wright, Randall Hawes, and Christopher Davis. A native of Northern Virginia, Nick studied with National Symphony trombonist Barry Hearn before attending Northwestern. Other teachers significant to his development include Toby Oft, Mark Lusk, and Bruce Docherty. Nick is active as a freelancer in the greater Chicago area, performing engagements with diverse ensembles such as the Bill Porter Big Band and the Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest, the latter of which included performances of Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem at Symphony Center in Chicago under Maestro Jay Friedman. Recent summer engagements have included individual study with Toby Oft, Denson Paul Pollard, and Nitzan Haroz.
Lena Piazza-Leman, Tenor Trombone
Lena Piazza-Leman comes to the studio from Kansas City, MO. Lena is
ecstatic to be completing her second year at Northwestern, where she has
performed with Symphonic Band, Jazz Orchestra, active chamber groups
with formal recital and community engagement initiatives, and soloing
with a small Jazz Ensemble performing a concert of Cachao. In addition
to the excellent faculty at NU, Lena’s influential teachers include Tom
Riccobono, Toby Oft, Drew Leslie, Don Lucas, and G. Murray Oliver. Lena
graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 2013, having performed
with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz
Ensemble, and in active chamber groups. Highlights of her performances
while at Interlochen include performing with the IAA Orchestra and Jazz
Ensemble on Interlochen's 50th Anniversary tours to Grand Rapids,
Detroit, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, and Los
Angeles as well as performing in the pit orchestra for local musicals,
on the Interlochen Public Radio with the Take Four Trombone Quartet, and
in solo recitals.
In the summer of 2014, Lena was invited to participate in the rigorous Eastern Music Festival where she performed with the EMF Orchestras as well as in chamber and outreach concerts. In the summers of 2012 and 2013, she performed with the Boston University's Tanglewood Institute Orchestra and Wind Ensemble as well as on solo recitals and as a member of the iBrass Brass Quintet and the Fourth Movement Brass Quartet on venues including Tanglewood on Parade and community outreach concerts. She was also selected to perform the Tuba Mirum solo in Mozart’s Requiem with the BUTI Orchestra and professional vocal soloists. During her time at Tanglewood, Lena was coached by the members of the Axiom Brass Quintet, Don Lucas, and David Krauss.
When she’s not bonding with her trombone, Lena can be found writing poetry, working on a creative project, being a selfie-master, jogging, practicing her Australian accent, or going on an adventure.
Michael Cox, Tenor Trombone
Michael Cox was born and raised in
Skokie, Illinois, where Altoids were invented. He is currently a 6th year
student of blowing-raspberries-into-
Joe Dubas, Tenor Trombone
Tommy Holmes, Bass Trombone
Tommy Holmes is a fictional detective created by author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A London-based "consulting detective" whose abilities border on the fantastic, Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve difficult cases.
Actually Tommy is a junior at Northwestern University from the east bay area of California pursuing a five-year double degree program in Electrical Engineering and Bass Trombone, and a Certificate in Design from the Segal Design Institute. Over the course of his trombonistic career, Tommy has taken lesson(s) with Tommy Davidson, Van Hughes, Dave Ridge, Tim Higgins, John Engelkes, Joseph Alessi, Randall Hawes, Michael Mulcahy, Peter Ellefson, Christopher Davis, and Douglas Wright. In his free time, Tommy dabbles in arrangement/composition, billiards, piano, ultimate frisbee, ukulele, YouTube, and standup comedy. Tommy is also a brother of the Iota Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity at Northwestern. OAS, AAS, LLS!
Cameron Kerl, Tenor Trombone
Sam Patchett, Bass Trombone
"Born on a mountain, raised in a cave - playing trombone is all I crave."
Michael Shayte, Tenor Trombone
They hate us cause' they ain't us
A San Diego native, Rachel Trumbore is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance with a Minor in Music Theory. Besides studying with the renowned Northwestern trombone faculty, Rachel's influential teachers include Peter Ellefson, Kyle Covington, Toby Oft, and Sean Reusch. At Northwestern, Rachel has performed in various ensembles such as the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and the Sine Nomine Trombone Quartet. During her time in Chicago, Rachel has enjoyed participating in educational outreach with The People’s Music School of Chicago, the Mather Pavilion in Evanston, and the First United Methodist Church in Evanston giving performances with the Sine Nomine trombone quartet for children and senior citizens respectively. Professionally, Rachel has been called in San Diego to play in the pit orchestra for Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady and to be a substitute with the San Diego Symphony Pops. This past June, Rachel was a selected member of the Texas Music Festival Orchestra in Houston where she learned the true meaning of sweat and became a semi-decent bowler. Outside of trombone, Rachel’s interests include backpacking, looking at the sky, exercising, and beer.
Ashley Carter, Tenor Trombone
Master of Music Candidate
Ashley Carter was born in Mt Isa in central Queensland, Australia, and began playing the Trombone at age 12. Learning from his Grandfather, after only playing for 3 years, Ashley was awarded his Associate Diploma in Music (A.mus.A) at the age of 15 from the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB). After graduating from Shalom Catholic College in Bundaberg he moved to Brisbane to study a Bachelor of Music Performance and Graduate Diploma of Music Studies with Benjamin Marks (ELISION) and Jason Redman (Principal Trombone, Queensland Symphony Orchestra) at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. In 2012 Ashley moved to Melbourne, Australia, to commence his first year at The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under the instruction of Michael Bertoncello, Trombone player of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Ashley has been involved in a number of youth ensembles including the Queensland Youth Orchestra, Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute, Tasmania Discovery Orchestra and the Australian Youth Orchestras. Ashley has performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the New South Wales Police Band.
Evan Clifton, Bass Trombone
Master of Music Candidate
Evan Clifton is a Bass Trombonist and Master of Music Candidate at Northwestern University. Born and raised in Michigan, he completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance at Western Michigan University studying under Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger. Frequently doubling on tenor trombone and euphonium; he is well versed in a variety of musical styles, having performed in big bands, pit orchestras for musicals and opera, solo recitals, as well as symphony orchestras. Evan has enjoyed a great deal of success in competitions. He was named a finalist in the 2012 National Solo Competition (bass trombone, Division I) and the International Trombone Association's George Roberts Bass Trombone Competition, held in Paris France in July, 2012. Evan was a winner in the WMU School of Music's annual Concerto Competition and was a featured soloist on the April 2014 University Symphony Orchestra concert performing Eric Ewazen’s Ballade for Bass Trombone, Strings, and Harp. He was also chosen as the winner of the bass trombone opening for the 2014 Round Top Festival Institute Symphony Orchestra, the internationally-acclaimed music institute for aspiring young orchestral musicians and distinguished faculty. Most recently, Evan was selected as a finalist in the International Trombone Association’s Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Solo Competition held at the International Trombone Festival in Valencia, Spain in July, 2015. He was also selected as Honorable Mention in the ITA Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition.
Evan was recently named Bass Trombonist of the Battle Creek Symphony and has previously held a position with the Lansing Symphony. He is also a frequent substitute musician in Michigan, performing with the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Saginaw Bay Symphonies.
Outside of music, he enjoys running, biking, craft beer, and Detroit Tigers baseball.
Master of Music Candidate
Stephanie Lebens, 23, from Everett, WA, is a trombonist at Northwestern University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, studying with Peter Ellefson. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has performed as principal trombonist of the Concert, Chamber, Symphony, and Philharmonic Orchestras. In addition, she was principal trombonist of the New Music Ensemble for a semester, and regularly plays with the Brass Choir on euphonium. In the summer of 2014, she was chosen as a participant at Michael Mulcahy’s master class series at Northwestern University, and in 2013, she was a member of the Fellow Class at the Alessi Seminar. While attending high school in the Seattle area, she performed with many local groups, including the British-style brass band Puget Brass and Seattle Youth Symphony. For three years running, she won the euphonium division of the Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competition, culminating in 2011, when she also won the trombone division and both the large and small brass ensemble divisions. In addition, she also received the honor of participating in Washington All-State and All-Northwest ensembles in 2009 and 2010, and the National Association for Music Education’s National Honor Concert Band in 2010. She has also studied with Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto and Danny Helseth. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking cookies, kayaking, skiing, and hiking.
Master of Music Candidate
Cory is an incoming graduate bass trombone performance major native to the Texas Panhandle. Cory received his undergraduate degree in music education from West Texas A&M University where he studied with Raimundo Morales and John Shanks. During his time there, he performed with various ensembles at venues such as the Big 12 Trombone Conference, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the Texas Music Educator's Association Convention and the International Trombone Festival. Additionally, he has performed multiple times with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Jacomo Rafael Bairos. In addition to the faculty of WTAMU and Northwestern University, Cory has also received coaching from some of the leading trombonists in the country, including George Curran, Nathan Zgonc, and Brian Hecht at the Southeast Trombone Symposium, where he was also selected as a finalist for the Orchestral Excerpts Competition in 2014 and 2015. Cory hopes to one day perform as the bass trombonist of a major symphony orchestra, and is excited to continue on this journey in a fantastic new environment here at Northwestern University!
Carl "Carl" Maragos, Tenor Trombone
Master of Music Candidate
Carl Maragos is originally a native of Morton, IL, a town that has won undying international fame and respect through its self-proclaimed title as “the pumpkin capital of the world”. Following his formative years in various pumpkin sweatshops, Carl received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Professor Elliot Chasanov. Carl has performed with the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony, the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia da Camera, and the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra. In 2014, Carl was chosen as a finalist for the Krannert Debut Artist Competition, and appeared as a soloist with the University of Illinois Trombone Choir. Recently he has attended the Third Coast Trombone Retreat and the Southeastern Trombone Symposium. His hobbies include reading, watching "Game of Thrones", running, taking notes on Grant’s erratic behavior, playing Euphonium, and teaching. He is very excited to enter his second year with the Northwestern trombone studio.
Scott Nguyen, Bass Trombone
Master of Music Candidate
Scott Nguyen has frequently performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which includes an appearance at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival during the summer of 2013. He has also performed as a substitute with the New World Symphony. He has collaborated with multi-Grammy-winning contemporary ensemble Eighth Blackbird. In the summers of 2013 and 2015, he was a member of the Music in the Mountains Classical Music Festival Orchestra, located in Durango, CO, as well as a member of the 2014 National Repertory Orchestra. Scott is the winner of 2015 ITA Edward Kleinhammer Bass Trombone Competition as well as being a finalist in the 2010 ITA George Roberts Bass Trombone Competition. Scott holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Methodist University, where he studied with John Kitzman, and was awarded the Norman L. Jacobs Memorial Award. Scott is currently an associate member with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as a finalist with the New World Symphony.
Grant Reed, Tenor Trombone
Master of Music Candidate
Mary Tyler, Tenor Trombone
Doctor of Music Candidate
Mary is a passionate beer enthusiast with a penchant for single-serving mug cakes and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Internationally renowned within the Northwestern Trombone Studio community as a baker of cookies, cakes, and pies, Mary provided exquisite delicacies for studio class each week during the 2009-2011 academic years.
Hailed by critics as “crazy” and “masochistic”, Mary ran her first marathon in Philadelphia during the fall of 2013, completing the course in just under 5 hours. Since then, she has run competitively in many half marathons, placing as high as 9,786th. Mary will run in the Big Sur International Marathon in April 2016, hoping to finish within the grueling course’s 6-hour time limit.
Mary is also a passionate knitter, having begun her training with the YouTube School of Knitting in November of 2014. Her rapid ascension to advanced styles and techniques has been celebrated by close friends and family as well as several yarn shop owners, including Genevieve Day of JP Knit & Stitch. Mary hopes to expand the reach of the craft and has made it a personal mission to find and engage new audiences.
received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University in
2011, under the tutelage of Michael Mulcahy, Peter Ellefson, Timothy
Higgins, Charles Vernon, and Randall Hawes. She received her Master of
Music degree from The New England Conservatory of Music under the
instruction of Toby Oft. A native of Gainesville and the Gator Nation,
almost nothing more than a Saturday spent watching Florida football and trash
talking with rival fans
Luis Fred, Tenor Trombone
Doctor of Music Candidate
Luis Fred currently serves as principal trombonist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, and is professor of trombone and chamber music at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. Previous to thess appointments, he was co-principal trombonist of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid and Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla in Spain. In the United States, he was the tenor trombonist with the Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts. He has had the opportunity to work with music directors of internationally renowned orchestras such as: Esa-Pekka Salonen - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Eiji Oue - New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach - Houston Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas, at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.
Mr. Fred has performed as a soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico on subscription programs and also in pops- outreach concerts. He has on several occasions performed as a chamber musician or co-produced concerts for the Festival Casals de Puerto Rico. Among his credits with the Casals; a joint concert with members of the New York Philharmonic Brass (2003), works of Igor Stravinsky (2007), and Metales del Festival Casals (2011), an all brass concert in which Derek Bourgeois Osteoblast was premiered in Puerto Rico. On the summer of 2014, Mr. Fred did concerts and went on tour with Trombones de Costa Rica. As part of this tour, he performed Vinizio Meza’s Concierto para Cuatro Trombones with the Santa Fe Provincial Band.
He has given master classes at Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, University of Texas-Austin, Texas State University-San Marco, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University-Fort Worth. Outside of the mainland United States he has taught at Trombonanza-Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival (United Kingdom). As a professor of trombone at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, he has been a promoter of major initiatives that have provided the impetus for the formation of a new generation of young musicians. Players of major symphony orchestras and professors of universities in the United States have frequently done master classes or artistic residencies. In 2002 he founded the Seminario Song and Wind, an innovative summer camp aimed towards high school students and teachers. Musicians from: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama, have participated in such seminars.
Luis F. Fred is a graduate of the Free School of Music in San Juan where he studied with Antonio Salcedo. He studied his Bachelor of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of Keith Brown and Edwin Anderson. He is a Performer's Certificate recipient from Indiana. His graduate work was done at Manhattan School of Music in the Orchestral Performance Program, where he studied with David Finlayson (New York Philharmonic). He is a recipient of the John C. Clark award as outstanding brass student at MSM. Having completed his graduate work, Mr. Fred did extensive work with Steve Norrell, (MET Opera) on Song and Wind. He has done additional studies with: Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic), Manny Laureano (Minnesota Orchestra), and Michael Mulcahy (Chicago Symphony Orchestra). Mr. Fred is currently on sabbatical leave from both the Puerto Rico Symphony and Conservatory to pursue doctoral work at Northwestern University.
Hana Beloglavec, Tenor Trombone
Doctor of Music Candidate
International award-winning trombonist Hana Beloglavec has competed successfully in several solo competitions. Her most recent accomplishment includes winning the 2014 Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship. In 2012 she won the International Women’s Brass Conference’s 2012 Division II Solo Competition, and in 2010 she won the International Trombone Association’s (ITA) Larry Wiehe Arthur Pryor Solo Competition.
As a chamber musician, she has found success in her trombone quartet at Northestern, the Lakeside Quartet, which competed in the finals of the 2014 International Trombone Quartet Competition. The Handsome Dan’s, her trombone quartet from Yale University, won the 2013 Eastern Trombone Workshop’s Trombone Quartet Competition and performed a quartet recital at the workshop as well as the 2013 Yale Woolsey Concerto Competition.
Since beginning her DMA at Northwestern, Hana has performed as a substitute trombonist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago based early-music ensemble Music of the Baroque. In the summer of 2014, she performed as a member of the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria.
She completed her previous degrees at Yale University (MM) and Western Michigan University (BM), where she studied with Professor Scott Hartman and Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger, respectively.
In her free time, Hana enjoys cooking, running, making ice cream, and sleeping.