BFO Principal Brass
Jeff Garza, Principal Horn
HOMETOWN: San Antonio Bill VerMeulen influences me every time I pick up the horn. In recent years, watching on-line performances featuring the great solo horn player of the Berlin Philharmonic Stefan Dohr gets me excited about what is possible on the horn.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Currently Principal horn, San Antonio Symphony; Adjunct Professor of Horn, Trinity University and St. Mary's University
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: Interlochen Arts Academy, Rice University
CAREER INSPIRATION: Falling in love with the sound of the horn in great movie soundtracks by John Williams and other great Hollywood composers.
MUSICAL TASTES: Indie Rock, 50's and 60's rock and roll, Hip Hop, jazz, 80's new wave, old schoolcountry, folk/traditional American music, world music, basically anything.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: The recordings of the Chicago Symphony featuring retired principal horn Dale Clevenger were a great inspiration growing up. The instruction of my teacher
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: English professor, evolutionary biologist, copy editor
BRITT HISTORY: 11 years
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: Hiking in the Redwoods, visiting the Oregon Coast, jumping into Crater Lake, eating breakfast at Morning Glory
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: Having audience members join us on the Britt Stage during a rainstorm for an intimate performance of Beethoven's 2nd Symphony. Also, the performance of Schumann's Konzertstuck for Four Horns with my Britt colleagues.
Bill VerMeulen influences me every time I pick up the horn.
In recent years, watching on-line performances featuring the great solo horn player of the Berlin Philharmonic Stefan Dohr gets me excited about what is possible on the horn.
Conrad Jones, Principal Trumpet
HOMETOWN: Indianapolis, IN
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Currently Principal Trumpet, Indianapolis Symphony; Trumpet, The Kyōdai Brass Quintet; formerly Principal Trumpet, Tucson Symphony Orchestra
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I grew up on Long Island, NY, about an hour away from the city. I did my undergrad at the Cleveland Institute of Music and earned a performance certificate from the Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA. It was in Cleveland that I started the Kyōdai Brass Quintet with my two younger brothers and the two Tanaka brothers. (Hayato will be at Britt this summer performing on Mahler 2!)
CAREER INSPIRATION: My parents are both musicians and I think being constantly surrounded bymusic from a young age made it a natural fit. I had a lot of fantastic and inspiring teachers along the way too!
MUSICAL TASTES: Hate to be cliché, but just about everything! I mostly play classical music now, but I first started as a jazz trumpet player. Before I really decided to try to make a living playing the trumpet at 15yrs old, I played a lot of guitar in rock bands (Metallica/Iron Maiden style), and even bagpipes for a short bit. My favorite music to listen to outside of "jazz and classical" would be Motown hits, the Punch Brothers, Tino Derado, and Serbian music.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: It feels like it changes weekly, sometimes even daily, but lately the musicians that come to mind are Judith Linsenberg, the Empire Brass, and Jeroen Berwaerts.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: Not sure, it's hard for me to picture, but since I love watching the food network- maybe I'd be a chef?
BRITT HISTORY: This is my third summer at Britt.
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: I went to Crater Lake last summer and it was absolutely unbelievable. So I guess going to Crater Lake and wine tasting!
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: Getting a glimpse of the Southern Oregon landscape for the first time.
James T. Decker, Principal Trombone
HOMETOWN: Lubbock, TX
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I have performed in a variety of professional ensembles, ranging from orchestras in Honolulu, New Mexico and New York to fine brass quintets, trombone quartets and various commercial groups. It's this variety that I draw upon to give me the energy and inspiration for each performance.
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from The Julliard School as well as a Masters Degree in Music Education from
Lehman College of the City of New York. I have studied with Edward Herman,
Edward Erwin, John Swallow, Joseph Alessi, Steve Norrell, Keith Underwood, Jim Pugh and Jerome Callet.CAREER INSPIRATION: My family has loved music over many generations. This love and the constant exposure to great music through recordings and live concerts inspired me.
MUSICAL TASTES: Classical, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Latin and Music from the Far East. Trombonists Joseph Alessi, Jorgen Van Rijen, Larry Zalkind, Wycliffe Gordon, JJ Johnson and Urbie Green are some of my favorites, along with YoYo Ma, Pablo Casals, Andre Watts, John Coltrane and Oscar Peterson, to name a few.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Arnold Jacobs. His influence, as well as that of his protégés, was essential for my pursuit of music as a profession.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: I would probably be an accountant or a counselor.
BRITT HISTORY: BFO member since 2000
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: Hike, visit wineries and just be with people whom I love.
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: The final concert of the 2008 season. My long time hostess, Liz Braislin, passed away the day before. Peter Bay dedicated that final concert to Liz. We played Copland 3. It was a bittersweet, emotional concert. I wonder what it will be like when we perform the Copland again.......
Seth Horner, Principal Tuba
HOMETOWN: Eugene, OR
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: I have performed with the North Carolina Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony, Kennedy Center Opera, Colorado Symphony and Louisville Orchestra among others.
BACKGROUND/EDUCATION: I went to school WITH Teddy Abrams at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. I also attended the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) and the Peabody Conservatory.
CAREER INSPIRATION: My grandfather was a school superintendent in Portland but also a wonderful tuba player and a great music lover. For he and my grandmother the pursuit of music was the highest virtue a person could cultivate. At family gatherings my dad and my uncles would be compelled to crank through polkas and marches on their instruments. Grandpa played bass lines on his sousaphone, sometimes taking great creative license
MUSICAL TASTES: I love nearly all styles of music, but my favorites tends to be the romantic Russian stuff like Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. Copland also gets me every time.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: I have a deep and abiding love for the Chicago Symphony, which has an exceptional legacy of great brass playing. Also a great fan of singing and love to hear a beautiful voice in any genre, whether it’s Jüssi Björling or Allison Krauss.
IF YOU WEREN’T A MUSICIAN: School teacher or writer.
BRITT HISTORY: This is my fourth summer!
SOUTHERN OREGON FAVORITES: Lithia water (so delish)
FAVORITE BRITT MEMORY: When it was 100+ degrees on stage and Teddy ate a bug during Carmina Burana.
2020 BFO Brass
Jeff Garza, Principal
Johanna Yarbrough, Second
Markus Osterlund, Third
Matt Eckenhoff, Fourth
Conrad Jones, Principal
Kevin McKee, Second
Joan Paddock, Third
Jim Decker, Principal
John Bartlett, Second
Mike Becker, Third/Bass Trombone
Seth Horner, Principal
+ Orchestra Member for 20 or more years
* On leave