Ashley Cox is a senior from St. Louis, Missouri pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Music with an outside field in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Before beginning her studies with Professor Ellefson, she studied under M. Dee Stewart, Timothy Myers, and Vanessa Fralick. At IU, she has performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra, Concert and Symphonic Bands, Wind Ensemble, and the Tom Walsh jazz ensemble.
In addition to music, Ashley has studied Arabic for three years and is a member of the Arabic Flagship Program through the Department of Defense. Through this program, she had the opportunity to study Arabic and the Moroccan dialect intensively for two months in Meknes, Morocco this past summer. Following graduation, she hopes to attend law school to pursue a career in international and refugee law.
In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and reading.
Adam Dostalik is a junior from Des Moines, Iowa. He is majoring in instrumental music education and minoring in wind conducting. He has been playing the piano for 14 ½ years and trombone for ten 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 was honored with the John Phillips Sousa award in 2016. Additionally, Adam was selected as a member of the inaugural Big 10 Trombone Choir, which performed at the 2018 International Trombone Festival at the University of Iowa.
During his time at Indiana University, Adam has had the privilege to play in the IU Wind Ensemble, the IU Symphonic Band, the IU Marching Hundred, the IU Big Red Basketball Band, and the IU Crabb Band, along with multiple chamber ensembles. This year, he will be a member of the undergraduate staff for the Marching Hundred and President of the National Band Association at Indiana University after serving as the organization’s treasurer during his sophomore year.
In his free time, Adam enjoys spending time with his friends, cheering on the Hoosiers at a wide range of sporting events, cooking, playing board games, and listening to a wide variety of music. He looks forward to continuing his development as an educator and performer during the remainder 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 Peter Ellefson. He is pursuing a BM in music with a minor in Italian.
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 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 is a junior 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.
The past two years at the Jacobs School of Music, Katie has had the opportunity to perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Concert Orchestra, the University 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, and the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship program, for two years.
During her summers, Katie has participated in the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute, 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.
In addition to music, Katie enjoys photography, sports, and hiking in her spare time.
Jose Fuentes, a Junior Trombonist from Houston, Texas, will be studying Music Performance under Peter Ellefson at the Jacobs School of Music. Since attending Indiana University, Jose has performed with the Jacobs School of Music’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, Marching Hundred, the Crabb Band, and the Rob Dixon Jazz Ensemble in addition to small chamber ensembles.
Prior to studying with Peter Ellefson, Jose has studied Trombone with Ramsey Hampton, Jason Harvey, Joe Dixon, Mike Warny, and Ben Osborne in the Houston area.
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, the Texas Music Educator Association Convention, the Texas Bandmaster Association Convention, and the International Trombone Festival.
Jose aspires to one day become a professional musician while maintaining a studio of his own. Away from his studies, Jose enjoys spending his time visiting with friends and family, playing video games, and attending music festivals.
Kody Hartman will be studying to receive his Doctorate of Music in trombone performance beginning in the fall of 2018. Kody grew up in Springfield, Missouri and received his Bachelors in Music Education from Missouri State University under Dr. Jason Hausback after switching his major from Electrical Engineering in his fourth year of school. While at Missouri State, he enjoyed a wide range of ensembles and performance opportunities, including being a member of the top ensemble at the MMEA conference in three of the four years he was a music major.
Kody continued his education and received a Masters of Music in trombone performance from the University of Central Arkansas under Dr. Justin Cook. Kody was the graduate assistant for the trombone studio, and his responsibilities included teaching lessons, conducting trombone choir rehearsals, and aiding in studio logistics including event advertising and guest artists. During his tenure at UCA, he performed in masterclasses for Nathan Zgonc of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Inda Bonet from Spanish Brass, and Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic. Recently, Kody traveled with the UCA Wind Ensemble to perform at Carnegie Hall with Mr. Aless as the soloist.
When he’s not playing trombone, Kody enjoys spending time with his wife, meditating, playing video games, and talking with friends.
Chris Houlihan is from Chevy Chase, Maryland and has been playing trombone since the fourth grade. He just completed his freshman year at Juilliard as a student of Joseph Alessi, but decided to make the switch to Indiana’s Jacob School of Music, where he studies under Professor Peter Ellefson. Chris’ previous teachers include David Kanter and Ken Wolff, who continues to teach Chris when he’s back home in Maryland.
Chris has performed in more than 20 masterclasses around the country, including with Massimo LaRosa, Ralph Sauer, Mark Lawrence, Nitzon Heroz, David Sporny, Tim Smith, Tim Higgins, Brad Edwards, Norman Bolter, John Marcellus, Peter Sullivan, Peter Ellefson, Randy Campora, Jim Markey, Joseph Alessi, and Weston Sprott.
Chris attended Interlochen Arts Camp in the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016, winning the Emerson scholarship in 2015 and 2016 for orchestral studies, serving as the principal trombone in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and winning the Maddy Award in 2016. In summer 2017 Chris was chosen as the principal trombone for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra, where he toured Central and South America under the baton of Marin Alsop.
He was a member of the 2017-2018 Juilliard Trombone Choir, which won the International Trombone Association’s (ITA) Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition. Chris also won the 2018 ITA Gagliardi solo trombone competition.
Chris also enjoys participating in sports when he's not practicing. He played varsity baseball all four years of high school, and he also enjoys swimming and ultimate frisbee.
Eric Hung returns from the Bay Area, California to complete his BME for Music Education. He has been a participant of the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, Michael Mulcahy Masterclass, the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, and the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar. Most recently he was selected as a participant for the Alessi Seminar 2018 in Asia.
At IU, he has performed principal roles with the IU Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and others.
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.
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, singing barbershop, learning hymns, powerlifting, and appreciating family and friends.
William Karceski hails from Sherwood, Oregon and is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance. While at the Jacobs School, William was selected as the winner of the 2017-18 Brass Concerto Competition where he performed Henri Tomasi’s Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra under direction of Arthur Fagen. Additionally, William has performed with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Trombone Choir, as well as several chamber ensembles. William has also performed in the pit orchestra for Daniel Catan’s opera, Florencia en el Amazonas, and Leonard Bernstein’s masterwork, West Side Story. During his freshmen year, Karceski had the opportunity to perform with the Wind Ensemble, under direction of Stephen W. Pratt, at Carnegie Hall in New York City for the 2016 New York Wind Band Festival.
During the summer months, William has participated in several professional development workshops, including the Alessi Seminar, where he was a fellow in 2017, the Northwestern Summer Trombone Masterclasses, and the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, where he was selected as the winner of the 2018 mock audition.
William had formerly studied with Jack Quinby, Aaron LaVere, and Charles Reneau. He has also received additional study with numerous professional musicians such as Joseph Alessi, Blair Bollinger, James Box, David Finlayson, Nitzan Haroz, Shachar Israel, Steve Lange, Michael Mulcahy, and Matt Vaughn.
William’s desire to become an orchestral musician began in high school when he joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic. Some of his personal interests include cooking, playing with his dog, watching hockey, and no longer playing “touch” football.
Ethan Lehman is an incoming freshman from Fishers, Indiana and graduated from Fishers High School. He will be attending the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University this fall, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Music Education. Ethan has been playing the trombone since the 6th grade, and has studied with Todd McCready all throughout that time.
Ethan has had the honor to play as principal trombone for the Indiana All-State Orchestra, and principal trombone of the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ethan also was a member of the Indiana All-State Honor band in 2017 and 2018. Ethan was also the recipient of the John Phillips Sousa award in 2018.
In his spare time, Ethan enjoys reading, backpacking, and spending time with his family.
Will Lusk is a senior from Potomac, Maryland entering his final year of study on a Bachelor of Science in trombone with an outside field in arts management. An aspiring arts administrator with a passion for film music and exploring how music interacts with and manifests itself within society, Will is dedicated to finding ways to make all genres of music accessible, affordable, and sustainable for artists and listeners alike.
This past summer, Will worked for the Jacobs Development Office, the Jacobs Communications Office, the IU Auditorium, and played in the IU Summer Band. Additionally, he is writing the soundtrack for When Magic Touches Stone, a locally produced short film expected to be released in January 2019. He has also worked for the Musical Arts Center and the Jacobs Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.
Away from the trombone, Will enjoys soccer, food, reading, big fluffy dogs, tackling similarly named studio mates with his head, and being outdoors.
Justin Napier is a senior 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 featured solo performer for the festival.
At IU, Justin has performed in the Wind Ensemble, Latin Jazz ensemble, Tom Walsh’s Jazz band, the three primary athletic ensembles, as well as performed four full solo recitals and numerous other chamber performances. Justin has attended the Cleveland trombone seminar three times as a participant as well as the Michael Mulchahy seminar. He has studied with Shachar Israel, Randy Hawes, Jamie Box, Nitzan Haroz, Mark Lusk, Steven Lange, Matthew Vaughn, and Blair Bollinger. 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. In the fall of 2017 Justin studied abroad in Vienna, Austria and was able to play principal trombone with the Universität Wien Philharmonie in the premier of Vijay Upadhyaya’s second symphony in the Musikverein.
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, especially that of the hip hop artist Big Bill, singing, frisbee, hiking, biking, swimming, racquetball, basketball, sleeping, teaching, being ruthlessly mocked by his roommate Tommy Neidecker (pictured below), and just being around friends and making new ones.
Tommy Neidecker, a senior 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 with a minor in jazz studies. A versatile musician, Tommy is proficient in many different musical styles. Last year, he was honored to have performed with the IU Wind Ensemble under the direction of Stephen W. Pratt and IU’s Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Brent Wallarab. He 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 has performed numerous times in the Bloomington community as well, including performances with the Bloomington Drive-By Big Band as well as local hip hop star Big Bill.
Tommy is an active jazz musician, 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.
Outside of trombone, Tommy is the president of IU’s chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), which was recently honored as a National Chapter of Excellence in Professional Development. During his free time, Tommy enjoys ruthlessly mocking his roommate Justin (pictured above), pretending to be a proficient drummer, and sleeping.
Angela Prictoe will be attending the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University as a freshman trombone performance major this fall. She has studied under Demain Austin, Weston Sprott, and Nicholas Schwartz of the Metropolitan Opera, as well as Martin Tyce, a retiree from West Point.
Angela attended Juilliard Pre-College during her senior year of high school, participating in their Pre-College Orchestra and trombone choir. Throughout high school, Angela participated in NYSSMA All State Band in 2016 and NAFME All National Orchestra in 2017. Angela has spent two summers at the Eastern U.S. Music Camp, and recently attended the New York State Summer School of the Arts Orchestral Studies program last summer, where she worked with Blair Bollinger and other members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
When she isn’t playing trombone, Angela enjoys dancing, napping, meeting new people, and exploring new places with friends.
Mark Soueidi is continuing his doctoral studies this fall in Trombone Performance and Pedagogy with Peter Ellefson. Prior to his acceptance to the Jacobs School fo Music, Mark was on faculty at the University of Wyoming from 2012 to 2016, where he taught trombone/low brass, conducted the UW Trombone Company, and performed/toured with the UW Faculty Brass Quintet, The Snowy Range Brass. He has served as guest clinician and soloist in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Illinois, and overseas in Italy.
Originally from Montana, Mark studied with Lance Boyd at the University of Montana, earning his Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance. His orchestral experiences began in Montana, performing 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. Mark also serves as Principal Trombone with the Billings Symphony Orchestra in Billings, Montana.
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 work performing in 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 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 sophomore 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 orchestras twice in high school. Jason has also performed at the 2015 and 2016 Texas Music Festival Jazz Institute where he studied under Noe Marmolejo. During his time at Jacobs, Jason has performed with the IU Philharmonic Orchestra in addition to small chamber ensembles. He recently went to the 2018 Cleveland Trombone Seminar as a Participant where he studied with Mark Lusk, Matt Vaughn, Shachar Isreal and Steve Lange. 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 different shows, listening to music, and enjoying time with friends.