Brass Program Coordinator
Main Office: 973-655-7212
Donald Batchelder is Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Coordinator of Brass at Montclair State University’s John J. Cali School of Music. Recognized as an outstanding soloist and orchestral trumpeter in the New York area for many years, he performs frequently with the Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway, and is Principal Trumpet with the New York City Opera. Don also holds the principal trumpet chairs in the New Jersey Festival Orchestra and the Stamford (CT) Symphony. Don earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Rutgers in 2016, where he received the Irene Alm Award for excellence in performance and scholarly research. He has Bachelors and Masters Degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied with William Vacchiano and Mel Broiles. Other influential teachers include David Krauss, Vince Penzarella, Arnold Jacobs, and Philip Smith.
Michelle Reed Baker is the second horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and frequently performs with the Met Chamber Ensemble. Before joining the Met Orchestra in 1990, she was a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and a regular substitute with the New York Philharmonic. Her recordings include the Hindemith Sonata for Alto Horn with pianist David Korevaar. A dedicated teacher, she serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. She has given master classes at the Texas Music Festival, Boston University, Western Michigan University and University of Delaware and the International Horn Society featured her in its “Ask the Pros” series in 2009. She appears each summer at Music on the Hill in Rhode Island and has taught and coached at the Round Top Summer Music Festival (Texas), Bowdoin International Music Festival (Maine), and the Verbier Festival (Switzerland). Ms. Baker earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where she studied with Julie Landsman, Nancy Goodearl and Jay Andrus. She earned her master’s degree at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of James Chambers.
Peter Bond has been a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1992. Prior to his appointment to the Met, he was Principal Trumpet of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1987-92). Mr. Bond has an unusual background for an orchestral musician in that his formative years were spent in drum and bugle corps, big bands, and even the circus. He began serious study of orchestral playing while doing graduate work at Georgia State University in Atlanta with John Head, Principal Trumpet of the Atlanta Symphony. From 1980-87 he enjoyed a busy freelance career in the Atlanta area, and continued to study on an “outpatient “ basis with Chicago Symphony legends Vincent Cichowicz, Arnold Jacobs, and Adolf Herseth. In spite of his connection with the “Chicago” approach, Mr. Bond has developed his own unique pedagogy based on using speech and song as literal models for brass performance. He is in demand both as a teacher and a soloist on cornet and trumpet.
Sara Cyrus spent the earlier part of her career in full time orchestras, holding positions with Dallas Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Grant Park Symphony, South Dakota Symphony and the Dakota Wind Quintet. Now a freelancer in the NY area, Ms. Cyrus performs with various orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Broadway shows, and is Principal Horn of the Harrisburg Symphony. Ms. Cyrus also performs on the natural horn with many groups throughout the United States and has given masterclasses at various colleges around the country. She has recorded on modern horn with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and on natural horn with Apollo’s Fire, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Rebel Baroque Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. Her teaching style incorporates aspects from studying with a wide variety of teachers including Philip Farkas, Myron Bloom, Michael Hatfield, Kendall Betts, and William Purvis.
Kyle Hoyt is an active french horn player and teacher in the NYC metropolitan area and beyond. Kyle can be heard frequently playing with the American, New Haven Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra of St. Lukes, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Knights Chamber Orchestra. He performs regularly at the Bard Music Festival Orchestral and Chamber Music Programs. Previously he was Associate Principal horn of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and held full-time positions with the Columbus and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras. He recently recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Knights. Kyle was a member of the Broadway pit orchestras of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Something Rotten, Sideshow, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra. Kyle has also recorded for Naxos, Telarc, Nimbus Records, CBS and NFL Films. He has given masterclasses at the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Kansas. He studied at the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music. His principal teachers were Bryan Kennedy, Soren Hermansson, Erik Ralske, and Jeffrey Lang.
Charles Bumcrot received a BM in both Music Education and Performance at San Francisco State University and earned his MM at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with William Vacchiano and Alan Dean. He also studied extensively with former NY Philharmonic trumpeter Vincent Penzarella. He is the Principal/Solo trumpet with Orchestra New England (New Haven, CT) and performs with the American Symphony Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, The Orchestra of St. Lukes, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Solid Brass, New York Chamber Symphony, the Westfield Symphony, Little Orchestra Society of New York, Solisti New York, and has been heard on NPR and NPTV, as well as Japan National Television and Radio. Recording labels include Sony/CBS, CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Grammophon, Delos, Koch International Classics, New World and CSM. Mr. Bumcrot performed the world premiere of William Ryden’s Sonata for Trumpet and Orchestra (commissioned by Orchestra New England). He was a member of the orchestra for the Grammy nominated recording of The Orchestral Music of Charles Ives. He has given masterclasses at universities and other forums in the U.S. and abroad.
Throughout his career, Tony Kadleck has been praised as a highly effective sideman, who has lent his hand to numerous musical activities. He is currently one of the most sought-after trumpet players in the New York area. While attending the New England Conservatory in Boston, Kadleck studied both classical and jazz music, a task that would later benefit him as he went on to perform and record with the Boston Pops Orchestra. In 1986, Tony was asked to join the trumpet section of the Buddy Rich Band, and later that year decided to move to New York. Tony has recorded with several artists, including Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Celine Dion and Tony Bennett. Kadleck also spends time playing a wide variety of live concerts, having performed with Natalie Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and most recently Steely Dan. Tony is currently a member of many organizations including John Pizzarelli’s “Swing Seven”, the Ron Carter Great Big Band, John Fedchock’s NY Big Band, the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and the New York Pops Orchestra. He can also be heard on Broadway in Disney’s Aladdin.
Described by the New York Times as “the gold standard of Baroque trumpet playing in this country”, John Thiessen appears as soloist and principal trumpet with North America’s foremost early music ensembles, including Trinity Baroque, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque and the American Bach Soloists. He has also appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and guest Principal with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. On period instruments, Mr. Thiessen is known primarily for clarino register playing, with a special affinity for works by J.S. Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Telemann and Purcell. In addition to Montclair State University, he serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, American Bach Soloists Academy, and Oberlin College’s Baroque Performance Institute. Thiessen has recorded extensively for Sony Classical Vivarte, Telarc, EMI, BMG, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, London Decca, Analekta, CBC, Tafelmusik Media, Denon and Little Pumpkin Records.
Nicole Abissi is a professional trombonist and teacher living in New York City. She is a member of the nationally touring Stiletto Brass Quintet and performs on Broadway and with professional orchestras around the world. Nicole received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School and her Master of Music Degree from Stony Brook University. Nicole has held positions in the Alabama Symphony, the Colorado Symphony and the Macon Symphony. Nicole has also had the pleasure of performing with such orchestras as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Delaware Symphony and Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. Nicole is a passionate teacher. She has given clinics at many fine universities as well as music festivals, such as, Georgia State University, University of Alabama, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Southeast Trombone Symposium, University of Kentucky, Jackson State University and Youngstown State University. Her students have gone on to study trombone performance at such schools as the Juilliard School, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory and Lynn University.
Brian Santero, from Poughkeepsie, NY, has been Principal Trombone of the New York City Ballet since 2015. Before his move to New York, he held the same position with the San Antonio Symphony. While studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, he won the grand prize in several competitions, most notably the Steve Zellmer Competition and three separate International Trombone Festival competitions. He has extensively performed with many orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Brian is a recent addition to the faculty at Rutgers University and Montclair State University, teaching both individual studies. He is a lover of audio equipment and technology when he’s not making music and enjoys cooking for his wife, Alexandra, an active oboist and chamber musician.
Jennifer Wharton is a low brass specialist based in New York City. Though getting her start classically, Jen has deep roots in jazz, commercial, chamber and Broadway music. Jennifer can be found performing in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical but has also held positions at The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Jekyll and Hyde, Scandalous, Wonderland, 9 to 5 and Curtains, as well as performing as a substitute in over a dozen other Broadway productions. Jen is a member of two Grammy-nominated ensembles, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and Alan Ferber Extended Ensemble. She has also performed on the Grammy-nominated cast albums for The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, 9 to 5 The Musical and Curtains The Musical as well as the Grammy-winning recording of Beautiful The Carole King Musical. She has performed and/or recorded with ensembles including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, Ken Peplowski Big Band, Ronald McDonald House Brass Quintet, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, John Yao and His 17 Piece Instrument, Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra, Jack Mosbacher Band, Walking Distance, South Florida Jazz Orchestra, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Jeff Fairbanks Jazz Orchestra, and the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop.
Adjunct Professor Trombone
Photo by Chris Lee
Colin Williams joined the New York Philharmonic as Associate Principal Trombone in September 2014. He previously served as principal trombone of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, for 12 seasons, and principal trombone of the San Antonio Symphony, for three seasons. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra (of Washington, D.C.), and Houston Symphony. Mr. Williams made his solo debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2003 performing Paul Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone. He has been a guest soloist with the San Antonio Symphony, U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own), U.S. Military Academy Band, Georgia Brass Band, Atlanta Wind Ensemble, Juilliard Orchestra, and James Madison University Brass Band. He has also appeared as a soloist at the Eastern Trombone Workshop and the International Trombone Festival. Also active as a chamber musician, Colin Williams has participated in numerous festivals, including the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa in Matsumoto, Japan; Grand Teton Music Festival; and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. He has also performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Mr. Williams’s first solo CD, Roadwork, is a collaboration with his former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra colleagues Bill Thomas and George Curran. Together with Bradley Palmer at Columbus State University, the four musicians founded the Southeast Trombone Symposium in 2010: through his continuing work with the Symposium Mr. Williams has helped to educate hundreds of young trombonists. During his high school years Colin Williams studied with Douglass Wright. He continued his education at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, where his primary teachers included Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi and Philharmonic trombonist David Finlayson. He is an alumnus of the Music Academy of the West, now a partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy.
Philip Broome joined the West Point Band in 2012 and was appointed principal euphonium in 2015. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Music in performance from Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. where he studied with Andrew Miller, principal tuba with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. While attending Columbus State, he competed in many prestigious international euphonium competitions as a finalist, including the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Tuba competition and the ITEC artist euphonium competition. He was brought up in the Salvation Army brass band tradition. Before joining the West Point Band, Philip was principal euphonium of the Southern Territorial Band of the Salvation Army. He has been a featured soloist with a number of Salvation Army bands throughout his career. Philip is also an active professional audio engineer. In addition to his professional euphonium duties, he serves as an assistant audio engineer for the West Point Band. He has several album engineering credits to his name from rock and roll, to jazz and classical. Philip still maintains a very active freelance audio engineering schedule, recording and mastering projects for many renowned artists. His recordings can be heard on the Naxos and Summit record labels.
Keith Kile, originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the Principal Tubist of The West Point Band at The United States Military Academy. Outside of The West Point Band, Kile is an active free-lancer performing with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Collective Brass. Prior to moving to New York, Kile performed regularly on both tuba and euphonium and appeared with The Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band, the Hal Leonard Studio Ensemble, numerous regional orchestras in the Midwest and Southeast, and served in the 129th Army National Guard Band for eleven years. Kile holds a B.S. in Music Education from Tennessee Tech University, and a M.M. from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and is currently pursuing a D.M.A. at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
Kyle Turner has performed over 500 concerts with the New York Philharmonic. He also performs regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Saturday Brass, Concordia Orchestra, Solisti New York, Riverside Symphony, Solid Brass and the Lake George Opera Orchestra. He has also performed with many other ensembles including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, NYC Ballet, NYC Opera, the American Composers Orchestra, American Ballet Orchestra, New York Chamber Orchestra, the American Horn Quartet, various Broadway shows (playing bass-trombone and tuba), and Harmonic Brass of Munich. Mr. Turner also works in the recording industry and has played for over 75 television commercials, feature films such as The Rookie, Tom & Huck, Journey of August King, Ransom, Michael Collins, Primary Colors, You’ve Got Mail. He has recorded for many labels including Sony, Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, Warner Brothers, Angel, Dorian, EBS, Music Masters, Koch Classics, Arabesque, Musical Heritage Society, and many independent labels. His solo album, Expressions, has received rave reviews since its release in 2005.
Ryan Zellner currently serves as the Strategic Programs Director for the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition (GMEC). His work includes overseeing national strategic educational efforts, local and national partnerships, localized district efforts and curriculum procurement and development. Prior to his work with GMEC, he spent 7 years as National Program Director for Little Kids Rock, a national music education non-profit, working to scale the organization from serving 70,000 students to over 500,000 students in 45 states throughout the country. Before moving into the nonprofit sector, he served as Director of Instrumental Activities and K-12 Music Department Chair for the Tunkhannock Area School District (1998-2012). While teaching, he received numerous awards including the 2010 WVIA Great Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Zellner holds a terminal degree in educational psychology, master’s degrees in music education, educational management and strategies, and in classroom technology as well as bachelor’s degree in music education.