Alan Burns, a native of Arkansas, is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Masters in Trombone Performance. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and minor in Psychology from Henderson State University's Honors College, where he studied with Prof. Jamie Lipton.
Alan was a member of the Participant Class at the 2015 Southeast Trombone Symposium and finalist in the S.E. Shires Excerpt Competition. His undergraduate quartet performed a student recital at the 2015 Big-12 Trombone Conference at Texas Tech University. In 2017, Alan attended the Alessi Seminar as a member of the Fellows Class.
In addition to studies with Peter Ellefson and Jamie Lipton, he has received private or masterclass instruction from Øystein Baadsvik, Brian Bowman, Brian Hecht, Justin Isenhour, Gerry Pagano, Denson Paul Pollard, and Jonathan Whitaker.
Ashley Cox, a summa cum laude graduate of Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Missouri, is now entering her junior year at Indiana University. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance under the instruction of Peter Ellefson. Since beginning her studies at the Jacobs School of Music, she has performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Trombone Choir. Ashley’s previous teachers include M. Dee Stewart, Timothy Myers, Vanessa Fralick, and Dave Dickey. In high school, she was a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, through which she had the opportunity to work with Gerry Pagano, Amanda Stewart, and Jonathan Reycraft. In college, she has attended the Pokorny Seminar and Alessi Seminar as an auditor.
Additionally, Ashley is pursuing a BSOF degree in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures with a concentration in the Arabic language. In addition to her usual Arabic coursework, she studies Arabic intensively through the Language Flagship program, which is administered within the Department of Defense’s Defense Language and National Security Education Office. Holding the belief that the arts can provide a great emotional outlet for people, which is critical for those coming from traumatic backgrounds, she is pursuing a career in the field of cultural diplomacy and would like to start a humanitarian organization that uses music to influence the lives of refugees.
When she isn’t playing trombone or studying, Ashley enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, making coffee, and dabbling in other languages.
Adam Dostalik is a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa. He is currently majoring in instrumental music education and minoring in conducting. He has been playing the piano for 13 ½ years and trombone for nine years. In high school, Adam was a four-time member of the Iowa All-State music ensembles, performing with the orchestra on three occasions and the band one time. He played in his school’s wind ensemble, jazz syndicate, and various chamber ensembles. Additionally, he organized and conducted his high school’s musical pit on three occasions, leading the ensemble through productions of Into the Woods, Bye Bye Birdie, and Footloose.
In his freshman year, Adam performed with the IU Symphonic Band, IU Marching Hundred, and the IU Big Red Basketball Band, along with a variety of chamber ensembles. This upcoming year, he will be the treasurer of the IU Chapter of the National Band Association. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends, cheering on the Hoosiers at sporting events, reading, and listening to a wide variety of music. He looks forward to continuing his development as an educator and performer during the rest of his time at IU.
Nat Esten, a 2016 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Cedarburg High School, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, has studied music since he was four years old. In 2009 he picked up a trombone and discovered his passion. Nat intends to pursue a career in trombone performance and will continue his undergraduate training this fall at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in the studio of Professor Peter Ellefson. He is pursuing a BSOF degree plan with an outside field in Sports Media.
Nat has studied since 2014 under Ms. Megumi Kanda, Principal Trombone for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 he was recognized by the Wisconsin School Music Association as an Exemplary Soloist and as a Finalist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Stars of Tomorrow Concerto Competition. He was also honored with both the John Philip Sousa Award and the Louis Armstrong Award by his high school Director of Bands.
Throughout high school, Nat performed with the Milwaukee Festival Brass; Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Senior Symphony; UW-Milwaukee Youth Jazz Ensemble; Cedarburg High School Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Pit Orchestra; and the Wisconsin School Music Association High School State Honors Music Project. In 2015, he was selected for the Honors Band in the High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall. Nat is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the International Thespian Society. In his first year at IU, he was able to perform the Alpine Symphony by Strauss with the Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition to his trombone studies Nat has been active in his school, church and community through participation in Varsity Boys Soccer (All Conference Goal Keeper and Scholar Athlete), Student Council (Senior Class President), Teens Teaching Tolerance, National Honors Society (Vice President), volunteering and mission work.
Katie Franke a sophomore from Falls Church, Virginia, and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in trombone performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She graduated from JEB Stuart High School, and has been playing trombone since fourth grade. Katie previously studied with Craig Mulcahy, the principal trombonist for the National Symphony Orchestra, from 6th through 12th grades. She also previously studied with John Huling.
This past year at the Jacobs School of Music, Katie had the opportunity to perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concert Orchestra, and the Concert Band. Katie also participated in chamber ensembles and the freshman/sophomore trombone choir. Throughout high school, Katie played in several Virginia All-State ensembles, including placing first in the state in 2014 and 2015. She also participated in the Brass of Peace ensemble, under director Sylvia Alimena, for three years. In addition, Katie participated in the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship program for two years, which included playing in rehearsals with the NSO, playing in a brass quintet, performing on the Millennium Stage, and much more.
During her summers, Katie has participated in the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) in Canada, the Pokorny Seminar, the Northwestern Trombone Masterclasses, and audited the 2015 Alessi Seminar held at the University of Oregon. She was also a student worker at the International Trombone Festival this past summer at the University of Redlands, California.
In addition to music, Katie enjoys photography, sports, and hiking in her spare time.
Jose Fuentes is a sophomore Trombonist from Houston, Texas, and will be pursuing a Music Performance and Music Education Degree at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Since attending IU, Jose has performed concerts with the Jacobs School of Music’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, and the Rob Dixon Jazz Ensemble. He has also performed with chamber ensembles such as a Trombone Quartet and Brass Quintet.
Prior to studying with Peter Ellefson at Indiana University, Jose has studied Trombone with Ramsey Hampton, Jason Harvey, Joe Dixon, Mike Warny, and Ben Osborne.
In high school, Jose has placed in the Texas All-Region Band every year throughout high school, advanced to the All-Area phase his junior and senior year, and made the Texas All-State Band his senior year.
During the summers, Jose has attended music festivals, camps, and conventions such as the American Festival for the Arts Summer Music Conservatory, the Houston Brass Band's "Brass-Only" Band Camp, the Boston University's Tanglewood institute Trombone Workshop, the Idyllwild Summer Arts Young Artist Orchestra, Texas Music Educator Association Convention, the Texas Bandmaster Association Convention, and attended the International Trombone Festival (2016).
Away from his studies, Jose enjoys spending his time visiting with friends and family, and relaxing indoors.
Carter Hanthorn, a tenor trombonist from Ft. Worth Texas, is a second year Masters student at Indiana University studying with Peter Ellefson. After graduating from R.L Paschal High School in 2012, he went on to graduate summa cum laude with a degree in Music Performance from the University of Alabama, where he studied with Dr. Jonathan Whitaker. During his time at UA Carter was a member of the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Choir, Crimson Slides, and the Druid City Jazz Orchestra. Apart from his primary teachers Carter has also worked with Dave Begnoche, Paul Pollard, Brent Phillips, Craig Mulcahy, Michael Mulcahy, Joseph Alessi, James Markey, Brian Hecht, Sim Flora, and Alex Iles. During the summer of 2015 he was selected as a participant in the Michael Mulcahy Summer Masterclass at Northwestern University in Chicago. Apart from playing trombone Carter enjoys racing dirt bikes, watching and playing many different sports, and reading.
Eric Hung returns from the Bay Area, California to study his fourth year of his BM for Trombone Performance and BME for Music Education. He has been a participant of the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, Michael Mulcahy Masterclass, the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, and most recently, the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar.
Eric has performed in spaces such as Davies Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Green Music Center, and the Musikverein in Austria, home of the Vienna Philharmonic.
He is grateful to study at IU with Peter Ellefson and is looking forward to pursuing music in the future. Before coming to Indiana, Eric has had additional study with David Ridge, Timothy Higgins, Paul Welcomer, Michael Mulcahy, Nitzan Haroz, Shachar Israel, Joseph Alessi, and Jeffrey Budin.
Favorite things to do with free time include playing boardgames, cooking new and old recipes, tuning thirds, and appreciating family and friends.
Hailing from Sherwood, Oregon, William Karceski is a junior pursuing a bachelor's in music performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. While at the Jacobs School of Music, William has performed with the IU Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra and the IU Trombone Choir, in addition to small chamber ensembles. While in these ensembles, he has performed notable pieces such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, and Bolcom’s First Symphony for Band. Under the direction of Professor Stephen W. Pratt, William performed with the IU Wind Ensemble in Carnegie Hall for the 2016 New York Wind Band Festival. One of William’s favorite musical experiences is performing in the pit orchestra for the collegiate premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.
Over the summer months, William has participated in several summer programs, including the Alessi Seminar (Audit 2015 and Fellow 2017), Cleveland Trombone Seminar, Northwestern Summer Trombone Masterclasses, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
William's desire to become an orchestral musician began when he joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Under the direction of David Hattner, William quickly found a strong connection with the music he was performing. William has additionally studied under, Jack Quinby, Aaron LaVere, and Charles Reneau. William is looking forward to continuing his studies under Professor Peter Ellefson and is excited to see what the future has in store for him.
Jonathan Kraft is a senior entering his final year of his music performance degree at the Jacobs School of Music. His past teachers include Brian Logan, Noe Marmolejo, Michael Webster, and Beau Hunter. In his first three years of his undergraduate career at Indiana, Jonathan had the opportunity to perform with the IU Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic, Concert, and Symphony Orchestras, the Brent Wallarab Jazz Ensemble, the Wayne Wallace Jazz Ensemble and the IU Trombone Choir. His freshman year he traveled with Stephen Pratt and the IU Wind Ensemble to Nashville, TN to perform at the CBDNA Convention. Jonathan was selected for the 2015 Alessi Seminar as a fellow, where he spent a week learning from Peter Ellefson, Joseph Alessi, and Jon Whitaker. In the spring semester of 2016, Jonathan went to Louisville, KY with Brent Wallarab's Jazz Ensemble to perform at the JEN Convention with featured soloist and IU alum Randy Brecker. In the summer of 2016, he was a participant at the Northwestern Summer Trombone Workshop, led by Michael Mulcahy, as well as the Southeast Trombone Symposium, where he was a finalist in the S.E. Shires Solo Competition. In June of 2017, he was a participant in the National Orchestral Institute Festival at The Clarice in College Park, Maryland. Away from the trombone, Jonathan likes to throw frisbee, watch Houston sports teams, and eat Mexican food.
Ryan Krofta is from Delafield, Wisconsin and is working on his Bachelor's degree at Indiana University under the tutelage of Peter Ellefson. Ryan's previous teachers include Megumi Kanda of the Milwaukee Symphony and Thomas Riccobono, Professor of trombone at the Interlochen Arts Academy and Principal Trombonist of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. Ryan has attended the Aspen Music Festival, Mulcahy Seminar, International Trombone Festival, the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, Raphael Mendez Brass Institute, National Brass Symposium, the Midwest Clinic, Interlochen Arts Camp, and is an alum of the Interlochen Arts Academy. Ryan is a Downbeat Award winner with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. He was also an honorable mention for the ITF Gagliardi competition in 2012. Ryan has played with the Milwaukee Symphony, Traverse City Symphony, and plays full time with Masterworks6; a touring brass quintet based in Indianapolis.
When Ryan is away from the trombone he loves being outdoors, listening to live music, tending to his vegetable garden and organizing his extensive lego collection.
Will Lusk is from Potomac, Maryland and is working on his Bachelor's degree in trombone performance and arts management under Peter Ellefson. While at Indiana University, he has performed with the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, trombone choir, and various trombone quartets.
Outside of trombone, his interests include cooking and watching and playing soccer.
Justin Napier is a junior from San Antonio, TX currently attending the Jacobs School of Music for a bachelor's degree in trombone performance and instrumental music education. A student of Peter Ellefson, Justin was born and raised in Texas, beginning his trombone experience and continually improving and practicing more as he developed a passion for the instrument. With the help of past teachers Ilan Morgenstern, Andy Post, James Decker, Brent Phillips, Patrick Montgomery, and Louis Bremmer, Justin made it to the TMEA All-State level twice in high school. Justin attended the Idyllwild chamber fest in California in 2015 and was selected as a solo performer during the solo performance run off. At IU, Justin has performed in the Wind Ensemble, Latin Jazz ensemble, numerous pep and athletic ensembles, as well as performed two full recitals and numerous other chamber performances. Justin attended the Cleveland trombone seminar and the Mulcahy seminar as a participant and studied with Shachar Israel, Randy Hawes, Jamie Box, Nitzan Haroz, Michael Mulcahy, Mark Lusk, and Steven Lange. During the 2017 Cleveland seminar, just advanced to semi final round of the mock audition. Justin has also been the the Opera Maya program as well as the KKPsi TBS National intercollegiate band, and in 2017, Justin won the KKPsi Intercollegiate National solo competition. Justin enjoys all forms of playing, be it solo or chamber, classical or jazz, and he believes there is always fun to be had as long as music is being made. Outside of trombone, Justin enjoys listening to all forms of music, frisbee, hiking, biking, swimming, racquetball, basketball, sleeping, teaching, and just being around friends and making new ones.
Tommy Neidecker, a junior from Vienna, Virginia, will be returning to the Jacobs School of Music this year to study the trombone under the instruction of Peter Ellefson and earn his Bachelor's degree in music education. A versatile musician, Tommy is proficient in many different musical styles. He has performed with orchestras, wind symphonies, big bands, brass chamber ensembles, and rock bands. In addition, he was recently featured on a track by Bloomington hip-hop legend Big Bill. Tommy has also done time in all three of IU's athletic ensembles, and was a featured soloist in the Crabb Band from 2015-2017.
Tommy loves jazz music more than most humans, and frequents the National Jazz Workshop at Shenandoah University during the summer, where he has worked with heavy-hitting jazz musicians such as Matt Niess, Alan Baylock, and Joseph Henson. He has played in IU's Jazz Ensemble II led by Tom Walsh, and was honored last year when he was asked to play lead trombone at the 2017 Jazz Celebration.
Outside of trombone, Tommy is a self-proclaimed composer/arranger, having written music for a number of commercial ensembles as well as wind ensemble. During his free time, Tommy enjoys ruthlessly mocking his roommate Justin (pictured above) and sleeping.
Mark Soueidi will be pursuing his Doctorate in Music in trombone performance and pedagogy with Peter Ellefson beginning fall of 2016. He enjoyed being a part of the Music Faculty at the University of Wyoming Music Faculty from 2012 to 2016, where he taught trombone/low brass, conducted the UW Trombone Company as well as performing with the faculty brass quintet, Snowy Range Brass. Originally from Montana, Mark studied with Lance Boyd at the University of Montana, earning his Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance. His orchestral experiences in Montana began early on with performances with the Billings, Bozeman, and Glacier Symphony Orchestras as well as a four-year appointment with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra as an undergraduate. Mark continued his studies with Frank Crisafulli and Michael Mulcahy at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where he earned a Masters in Music and enjoyed performing under the direction of renown conductor, John Paynter. Three seasons ago, Mark won the Principal Trombone position with the Billings Symphony Orchestra - a position his former teacher, Jim Robertson, held for 28 years.
Following his grad studies, Mark remained in the Chicago area, pursuing a professional, freelance career, playing regularly with a number of orchestras, including the Chicago Sinfonietta, Civic Orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic, Rockford, Elgin, and Elmhurst Symphony Orchestras in addition to performances with the Chicago Brass Ensemble and Millar Brass, under the direction of trumpet great, Vincent Cichowicz. He also enjoyed big band work with the Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. In addition to his busy work performing throughout Chicago, Mark also maintained a studio of low brass students for well over 10 years. Mark returns to Montana each summer to teach and work at the Red Lodge Music Festival, under the direction of Billings’ teacher, Steve Patton. Mark has also collaborated with Patton in the growing Arts without Boundaries Program in Billings, MT.
When Mark’s not spending time with his family, he can be found cycling or “teaching” bicycles in the local shop. His passion for bicycles included leadership positions in both the non-profit group, TrailNet, and the Billings Chamber of Commerce, working to further develop an effective bicycle infrastructure in the community.
Jason Steptoe, a freshman from Pearland, Texas, is dedicated to earning a bachelor’s degree in Trombone Performance at the Jacobs School of Music. Along with performing around the Houston area, Jason was also selected to be a part of the TMEA All State Philharmonic Orchestra and the TMEA All State Symphony Orchestra, making 11th chair as a junior and 2nd chair as a senior. He also performed with the Houston Youth Symphony his senior year, performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the top orchestra and La Mer in a side-by-side concert with the Houston Symphony. Jason has also performed at the 2015 and 2016 Texas Music Festival Jazz Institute where he studied under Noe Marmolejo. His past teachers include Brian Logan, Michael Webster, Joseph Munoz and Beau Hunter. Jason is very eager to play great literature while attending Indiana University and develop his skills as a musician during his studies with Peter Ellefson.
When he isn’t playing trombone, Jason enjoys relaxing, watching movies, listening to music, and enjoying time with friends.
William Wilkinson, a senior from Allentown, Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has performed in a variety of ensembles at IU, including the Marching Hundred, Tom Walsh Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, and University Chorale. Last summer he served as camp counselor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, playing principal trombone in the Staff Symphonic Band and Staff Jazz Ensemble. In high school, he qualified for All-Eastern Honors Band, State Band, and State Choir. He has studied trombone with Ralph Brodt III, Jonathan Schubert, and Peter Ellefson, and has taken over ten years of private piano lessons.
In addition to his trombone studies, William is a self-taught music producer and rapper, performing his original songs at local house venues, open mics, college radio stations, and on cable television as a musical guest on Ball State University Tonight. He has also won 1st place at the Bloomington Poetry Slam at The Bishop. His second self-produced album, Toast, was released last July on iTunes. He currently serves as the emcee and second trombonist in the recently founded B-Town Brass Band. His radio show Big Bill’s Beats can be heard weekly on WIUX 99.1 FM Pure Student Radio.