Alumni News

  • Chris Shook

    Chris Shook (B.M.'73): Secretary/Treasurer of the International Trombone Association and President of the Jim Gilmore, Jr. Foundation.

  • Ruth Lindgren-Livengood

    Ruth Lindgren-Livengood (B.M.'06, M.M.'08): Successful Director of Bands at Brandywine (MI) Schools. 

  • Nate Musch, trombone

    Nate Musch (M.M.'12): Calvin College faculty member, Michigan freelance trombonist.

  • Ben Kadow, trombone

    Master Sergeant Benjamin Kadow (M.M.'02): Trombonist in the U.S. Air Force Heartland Band of America at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. 

  • Dr. David Krosschell, bass trombone

    Dr. David Krosschell (B.M.'98): Trombone professor at Seattle Pacific University and University of Puget Sound, Seattle freelance bass trombonist.

Are you a former student or trombone graduate of Western Michigan University? If your name is not on the list and you would like it added, please contact Steve Wolfinbarger.

Carrie Krueger-Bates: Carrie was recently a doctoral graduate assistant in the School of Music at Michigan State University. She is now living in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Shawn Bell, B.M.'06: Shawn is currently a doctoral student at Michigan State University. Following his WMU graduation he was selected to be part of the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC., followed by completing his master of music degree in jazz studies at Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Hana Beloglavec, B.M.'11: Hana Beloglavec is trombone professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is a frequent performer with well-known groups such as the Monarch Brass and Seraph Brass. and Prior to teaching at Louisiana State University Hana taught low brass at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Hana completed her doctorate in trombone performance at Northwestern University. Prior to that she earned her master's in trombone performance at Yale University. Hana has won numerous competitions and awards for her performance, the most recent of which was the $1,200 solo competition Grand Prize at the Women's International Brass Festival.

Dr. James Bicigo, M.M.'93: Dr. James Bicigo is associate professor of music at the University of Alaska—Fairbanks. Jim has been a guest artist at several International Trombone Festivals (ITF), most recently of which was the 2013 ITF in Columbus, Georgia.

Eric Bowman, B.M.'12: Eric recently completed his doctorate in jazz studies as the Henry Mancini Fellow and master's in jazz performance with a full assistantship at the University of Miami, Miami, FL. Eric has won numerous national and international competitions, and has performed with many well-known artists (see Alumni Spotlight).

Earlie Braggs, M.M.'01: Earlie is a freelance trombonist and clinician for King Trombones. He has had the pleasure of backing up and touring with many known jazz artists and entertainers (hear selections from his recently-released CD).

Tylar Bullion, M.M. '18: Following graduation from WMU, Tylar freelanced for a year in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, serving as a trombonist at the Carowinds Amusement Park, among other things. Tylar was recently hired as the adjunct jazz trombone professor at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke.  

Joe Busuito, B.M '09, MM '15: Joe Busuito is the Assistant Professor of Athletic Bands at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. At Rutgers he is an instructor for the Marching Scarlet Knights and Pep Bands, and he conducts the Rutgers University Symphony Band and Brass Ensemble. He is also a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting at the University of Illinois. Previously he was a teaching assistant at WMU where he received his MM in Wind Conducting, where he was named the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Leadership and Service. Joe also completed his undergraduate degree at WMU in music education as a trombone student of Dr. Wolfinbarger. Before returning to WMU he was Associate Director of bands at Oxford High School (MI). 

Connor Clayton, B.M. '18: Connor Clayton was admitted with a full scholarship to attend the Academy of Music and Drama at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, where he is now studying with one of Europe's most well-known trombone teachers Ingemar Roos.

Evan Clifton, B.M. '15: As a student at WMU Evan enjoyed a great deal of success at both national and international competitions. Since graduating from WMU, Evan completed his master's degree at Michigan University and occasionally was a substitute bass trombonist with The Cleveland Orchestra. He is now a freelance bass trombonist in Nashville, Tennessee. Evan has commissioned several for bass trombone, and has appeared as a guest at the Vanderbilt Trombone Symposium. 

Evan Conroy, B.M.'09: Evan Conroy is bass trombonist of the Louisiana Philharmonic. He recently completed course work on his doctorate in trombone performance at Indiana University. Prior to winning a position with the Louisiana Philharmonic Evan was a master's student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York where he was studying with now Boston Symphony Orchestra bass trombonist James Markey. During his year at Juilliard, Evan was named a finalist with bass trombone auditions for both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Naples, Florida, Philharmonic (see Alumni Spotlight).

Raphael Crawford, B.M.: Raphael Crawford is a Chicago-based performer, composer and clinician. He has performed with numerous well-known artists, an he is currently on the faculty at Columbia College in Chicago and Moraine Valley Community College. 

Jared Dalgleish, M.M. '17: After serving as the Interim Professor of Trombone at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, Jared Dalgleish is now the Director of Bands at Norris Middle School in Bakersfield, CA. He also is the Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at California State University, Bakersfield, and he also serves as the principal trombonist in the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra.

Erik Dancy, M.M.'12: Erik is teaching in the Raytown (Missouri) School District. He works in both the instrumental and vocal areas. Erik also serves as the Elementary Music Curriculum Coordinator at Raytown C-2 School District. He also stays busy as a freelance trombonist in the Kansas City, Missouri area.

Dan De Kok, M.M.'87: Daniel De Kok is the associate principal trombone, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, as well as a freelance trombonist and vocalist in and around Philadelphia. He is a Reference and Special Collections assistant, Langston Hughes Memorial Library, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. 

Ryan Demkovich, B.M.: Ryan is the Assistant Director of Bands at Elkins (Texas) High School. Ryan obtained his master's degree in conducting from the University of Houston. 

Evan Dorner, M.M.'10: Evan recently participated in the competitive Pokorny Low Brass Seminar 2010 held at the University of Redlands in California. He was also one of three finalists for the bass trombone chair with the Akron (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra.

Brandon Drew, B.M.'08: Following graduation Brandon worked as a professional trombonist with the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, "Jewel of the Seas."  Brandon then joined the Army as a bandsmen in 2012 and was stationed at Fort Drum (in upstate NY) where he was a part of the 10th Mountain Division Band for three years.  He was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from January - May of 2014. In October of 2015 he moved to Fort Bragg where he is currently part of the Army Ground Forces Band.  

Omar Elmusa, B.M. '19: Omar received a large scholarship to study trombone performance at DePaul University in Chicago, where he is now working on his master's degree.

Will Ford, B.M. '18: Will was admitted to Louisiana State University as a graduate assistant under the guidance of LSU trombone professor and WMU graduate Hana Beloglavec. He also recently won the adjunct low brass faculty teaching position at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. 

Chris Green  M.M.'08: Chris was recently hired as the trombone professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is also completing his doctorate at Louisiana State University.

Scott Grupke, B.M.'03: Scott is an active freelance bass trombonist and low brass instructor in southwest Michigan. He serves as bass trombonist with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, the Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra, and The Bone Road Trombone Quartet.

Gabe Guglielmina, B.M. '18: Gabe was selected into the Professional Performance Certificate program at Penn State University where he is now studying with Mark Lusk.

Katie Hahn, M.M.'06: Katie is now Band Director at Lincoln High School, Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Michael Haisten M.M.'04: Michael resides in Indianapolis, Indiana where he teaches music. He was recently a trombone doctoral graduate assistant at the University of Illinois.

Dave Hepinstall, B.M.'10: Dave is the Director of Bands for the Plainwell (Michigan) Public Schools.

Anibal Hernandez, M.M.'15: Anibal has been touring as a professional trombonist on the cruise ship, The Carnival Breeze. The cruise goes to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Key West, Florida, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

Vicente Hernandez, B.M. '19: Vicente is working on his master's degree in trombone performance as a graduate assistant at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   

Dr. Chris Van Hof, B.M. '06: Dr. Chris Van Hof is the trombone professor at Ball State University. Prior to teaching at Ball State, Chris was the trombone professor at Colorado State University. After completing his M.M. degree in Trombone Performance at the Eastman School of Music (New York), he was a doctoral student in the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He is active as a clinician and recitalist throughout the country, as well as an arranger (see Alumni Spotlight). Chris served as the Host of the 2019 International Trombone Festival, held at Ball State University in July, 2019.

Adam Houk B.M. '07: Adam recently won the one year principal trombone position with the Madison (Wisconsin) Symphony Orchestra. He also continues playing with the Quad City (Iowa) Symphony Orchestra. Adam was selected as an Associate Trombone Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago for the 2009-2010 year, and has performed with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. He is also on the sub list with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (see Alumni Spotlight).

Amy Holtz, B.M.'91: Amy is the Grandville (Michigan) Middle School Band Director.

Jennifer Hyslop-Borr, B.M.'98, M.M.'03: Jennifer is the Director of Bands, Loudon High School, Loudon, Tennessee.

Eric Joslin, B.M.'94: Eric is the Director of Bands, Standish-Sterling Central Public Schools, Standish, Michigan.

Benjamin Kadow, M.M.'02: Master Sargent Benjamin Kadow is a trombonist in the U.S. Air Force Heartland Band of America at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, and a member of the Offutt Brass. As a band member he has toured extensively throughout the country and around the world. 

Aaron Kadrmas: Master Sergeant Aaron Kadrmas is trombonist in the U.S. Army Field Band and the U.S. Army Field Band Brass Quintet, Washington, D.C. He has toured extensively throughout America with both groups.

Sandy Kessler, B.M.'99: Sandy is the trombone Instructor at the Fine Arts School of the State College Universidad Autonoma de Querétaro, Mexico, and Director of the Querétaro Municipal Youth Band (see Alumni Spotlight).

Michael Klepp, B.M.'16: Mike has accepted a position as Director of Bands in the Reed City (MI) Public Schools. He will be in charge of music from grades 6-12 (updated 8/16). 

Dr. David Krosschell, B.M.'98David Krosschell is currently on faculty at Seattle Pacific University where he teaches the trombone studio, as well as brass techniques and ear training classes. He has performed with the Seattle Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Seattle Wind Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Opera Company, Fayetteville Symphony, Opera Carolina, Fort Worth Symphony and Opera, Illinois Symphony, Peoria Symphony, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, and Grand Rapids Symphony.

Dr. David Lambert, M.M.'02: Since September 2012 David Lambert has been the trombone professor at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. David was a 1999 Downbeat Award winner, past winner of the Eastern Trombone Workshop Jazz Division, and a two-year participant in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His writings on jazz trombone techniques have been published in The Instrumentalist Magazine. 

Ruth Lindgren-Livengood, B.M.'06, M.M.'08: Ruth is the Director of Bands at Niles Brandywine High School (Michigan). During the last four years under her guidance, the size of the program has increased five fold. Next year they will be adding a jazz band to the curriculum, and a para-pro has been hired to assist with the program. The band's overall success was highlighted with a Division 1 rating at Festival this past year.    

Dr. Jeremy Marks, M.M.'10: Jeremy Marks is the Assistant Professor of Trombone at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Prior to that he was the Assistant Professor of Low Brass at the University of Louisiana, Monroe, and low brass teacher at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Blinn College (Texas). Jeremy recently completed work on his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in trombone performance at the University of Texas, Austin, where he was the trombone graduate assistant. Jeremy was also one of four trombonists in the Northside Trombone Quartet, winners of the 2013 International Trombone Quartet Competition. He is a web assistant for the International Trombone Association (see Alumni Spotlight). 

Brian Massey, B.M.'10: Since September 2011 Brian has been the Director of Bands at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Neil Maxa, B.M.'88: Since graduating from WMU Neil has had an impressive trombone career in Las Vegas, backing up and performing with some of the most well-known musicians, entertainers, international recording artists, bands and productions in the world.

Leland Matsumura, M.M. '16: Leland Matsumura was a freelance trombonist throughout the upper Midwestern US, and was also the principal trombonist of the Battle Creek Symphony prior to accepting a position with the US Navy Fleet Bands.  

Brian McCullough, B.A.'81: Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, and trombonist with the Rochester (Minnesota) Orchestra. Brian was an administrator at the American Society for the Alexander Technique, and he is currently the Director for the Minnesota Center for the Alexander Technique in Minneapolis.

Rob Medd, M.M.'15: Rob Medd is an Associate Band Director at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. The school has just over 1,500 students, about 315 of whom are in the band program. They have four concert bands, three jazz bands, and a large marching band. There are three other directors who are at the high school with Rob. Rob teaches the marching band in the fall along with one concert band, and one jazz band in the winter and spring. The marching band does not compete, but goes to Disney every other year. In 2015-16 they had 67 Division 1 ratings at the state solo and ensemble festival, and they also had 10 students make all-state with an additional five alternates. 

Dr. Andy Mitchell, B.M.'07: Dr. Andy Mitchell is the trombone professor at Youngstown State University, in Ohio. He is a very active freelance trombonist throughout the upper Midwest. Recently he filled in as the temporary, one-year vacant trombone professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He is a frequent substitute trombonist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and he has been one of the busiest freelance trombonists in Detroit. Prior to that he lived in Chicago where he performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as an Associate Trombone member for the 2010-2011 season. He was also attending The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he was on a full tuition scholarship while earning his Performance Diploma Certificate as a student of Peter Ellefson. After graduating from WMU in 2007 Andy completed his master's degree in trombone performance as the trombone graduate assistant in the School of Music at Florida State University. Andy has his doctorate from the University of Michigan, where he was the trombone graduate assistant (see Alumni Spotlight). 

Louie Morand, B.M.'07: Louie is a board certified music therapist, and is currently completing a master's degree in music therapy at WMU. He works in several clinical settings, and specializes in providing treatment that addresses social, inter-personal, and behavioral skill development with clients in youth detention facilities in West Michigan. 

Paul Mundo, B.M.'95, M.M.'97: The former Director of Bands at Plainwell High School, Plainwell, Michigan, Paul is teaching public school music in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Paul is also trombonist with the Michigan rock group "The Verve Pipe," and he was featured on their 2009 album release (see Alumni Spotlight).

Nate Musch, M.M.'12: Nate teaches trombone and euphonium at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he regularly performs with the Grand Rapids Symphony. He is also a member of the West Michigan BrassWorks, a brass quintet formed in 2014 comprised of WMU School of Music alumni and retired applied faculty. 

A. J. Muusse, M.M. '16: AJ received a trombone fellowship to attend the University of Michigan for his master's degree. He is now freelancing in the Grand Rapids area, as well as throughout Michigan, and he is a frequent substitute bass trombonist with the Grand Rapids Symphony. 

Dr. Chris Nigrelli, B.M.''90: Associate Professor of Music, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC. He is also the principal trombonist of the West Piedmont Symphony and a founding member of the Charlotte Chamber Brass.

Emily Cox-Redmond, B.M.'06: Emily is Director of Bands for Gobles (Michigan) Public Schools.

Claudia Schmitz, M.M.'09: Claudia was recently the Director of Bands at both the middle school and high school, Bloomingdale, MI. For 2013-14 she taught music in South America.

Ed Schoendorff, B.M.'98: Ed is a music teacher for the Manchester School District, Manchester, MI.

Chris Shook, B.M.'73: Chris Shook is the Secretary-Treasurer of the International Trombone Association. He served as Principal Trombonist of the Battle Creek (MI) Symphony for many years, and he is serving as President of the Jim Gilmore, Jr. Foundation in Kalamazoo, MI. 

Jay Siverson, B.M.'02, M.M.'04: Following graduation from WMU Jay Siverson attended The Cleveland Institute as a trombone performance major and the University of Nebraska, where he was a trombone graduate assistant in the School of Music. After working and living in South Korea, he now resides in the Seattle, WA area. 

Ive Sodawalla, B.M.'07: Ibe Sodawalla is the Executive Director/CEO and founder of the Legends Performing Arts Association from Kalamazoo MI, the organization that sponsors the Legends Drum & Bugle Corps. He is the Vice-Chair for the DCI Open Class Advisory Committee and was selected as the 2009 DCI Open Class Corps Director of the Year. He is also the brass arranger for the Legends Drum and Bugle Corps and arranges for a number of high schools and colleges across the country.

Nicole Stahl (Peabody), B.M.'94: Book Production Manager, Jenkins Group, Inc., Traverse City, MI.

Shawn Sudduth, B.M: Shawn Sudduth is an Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education Studies at University of Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY. She also taught in the public school system for over 20 years. 

Dr. Steve Sudduth, M.M.'88: Dr. Steve Sudduth is the Associate Professor and Director of Bands and Low Brass at University of Cumberlands, Williamsburg, KY.  

Mike Suter: Mike was a freelance bass trombonist in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. As a clinician for Kanstul Musical Instruments, he designed the MS169i bass trombone. He was a former member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and member and founder of both the National Slide Quartet and the 11-piece band, Slidewerke. Mike has a number of albums to his credit, and he recently re-issued his bass trombone method, "Exploring the In-Line Bass Trombone."

Cheryl Gibbons Thomas, B.M.'02: Cheryl Thomas is the Director of Bands, Coloma Community Schools, Coloma, MI.

Brian Wagner, B.M. '02, M.M.'10: Brian is the adjunct trombone instructor at Cornerstone University.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Wardlaw, B.M.'90: Dr. Jeffrey Wardlaw served as an Assistant Professor of Music at Clarion University in Clarion, PA. He is now the Tutoring and Testing Coordinator at the university. 

Mark Wells, B.M.: Director of Bands, East Grand Rapids Middle School, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Lauren Westerly, B.M.'12: Lauren graduated from WMU with a double major in music and Spanish. She is now teaching Spanish I and II in the Carlton, Michigan, public schools. Lauren stays active on trombone as a member of both the Farmington Community Band and the Farmington Big Band.

Dr. Matthew Westgate, B.M.'00, M.M.'06: In 2009 Dr. Westgate graduated with a D.M.A. in Wind Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He was the Director of Bands at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH and he is now an Assistant Professor and Director of Wind Studies at the University Massachusetts, Amherst (see Alumni Spotlight).

Tim Wight, B.M. '18: Following graduation has been working toward an MM degree at Southern Methodist University as a student of retired Dallas Symphony Orchestra trombonist John Kitzman. Tim was admitted to SMU under a full scholarship.