Mark Ponzo holds the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music with the Performer’s Certificate. Dr. Ponzo is a Full Professor at Northern Illinois University, where he joined the faculty in 1990. His principal teachers include John Hagstrom, Barbara Butler, Charles Schlueter, George Coble, and Richard Jones. Mark is a member of the New Sousa Band, Fox Valley Orchestra and Antiqua Baroque Consort. He has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra,
Kirk Garrison is a professional musician residing in the Chicago area. He attended Mankato State University in his home state of Minnesota from 1978-1983. During a nine year United States Air Force Band career he developed his unique abilities as a lead trumpet player, creative jazz soloist and writer. One of the peaks of his military career was an assignment as musical director for a select band deployed to the Middle East during operation Desert Storm.
There is a distinct difference between musicians who play for profit and musicians who play for the passion of the craft. Jimmy King is one such musician who fits solidly in the latter category. He discovered music in middle school as a way to follow in his brother’s footsteps, but ended up carving out a niche for himself that shows not only his musical style but demonstrates his passion in a way that moves his audience every time he picks up his instrument.
Trumpeter Farnell Newton is one of the most versatile musicians & educators in the Northwest, playing straight ahead jazz, smooth jazz, Latin music, soul, hip hop, and more. When he is not teaching at Portland State University’s Jazz Department or working with his youth jazz group, PDX Jazz Project, he is touring, recording, and performing with sax man Mike Phillips (who has performed with Stevie Wonder and Prince, among others), the DooDooFunk All-Stars, & the BET/CENTRIC Soul Train Award All-Star Band.
Chris O’Hara is an internationally renowned trumpet soloist, chamber musician, and educator. His playing is described as “virtuosic and impressive in every way” (Chicago Music Examiner), and “a treat beyond measure” (Arlington Advocate), and the International Trumpet Guild Journal hails him as a “true master of [the] instrument.”
Already in his young career, Chris has performed over 3,000 events covering 47 states and 11 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia. His performance schedule has taken him to notable venues such as the Ravinia Music Festival,
Trumpet soloist Buddy Deshler is an ambassador for the transformative powers of the arts, champion of living composers, and agent for change in the instrumental music field. His bourgeoning career has taken him around the country, as well as internationally, and has allowed him to share the stage with ensembles such as the King’s Brass, The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, and his own Vice City Brass and Marquee Brass.
In addition, Buddy has performed with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra,
Young trumpeter on the rise, Arnetta Johnson is an aspiring musician from Camden, New Jersey. At the age of 13 Arnetta began playing trumpet under the instruction of Nasir Dickerson. While in her first year of playing she joined a group called the Little Jazz Giants led by Hassan Sabree. This group consisted of middle school students planning to pursue music as a career. During her time in the group she performed at various jazz festivals such as the Cape May Jazz Festival and the Tony Williams Jazz Festival.
Trumpeter and native of Marion, Massachusetts, Aaron Janik has been steeped in the discipline of music from the age of 10. His earliest introduction to music was by way of revered New England trumpeter Jack Martin.
Aaron furthered his studies at Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Conservatory of Music by way of the great Wendell Logan, graduating in June 2013 with a Jazz Trumpet Performance Degree and a Biology (Pre-Medical) Degree.