Tallgrass Brass Band in action!

Tallgrass Brass Band in action!

From March 10th through 11th of this year, current and former members of the UI Trumpet Studio participated in the North American Brass Band Association’s annual competition held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Current members who participated are the studio’s graduate students, Evan Fowler and Kenken Gorder, and former members include Benjamin Drury, Laura Saylor, and Caitlin Berge. Dr. Schendel was also involved in the competition as well!


All the UI Trumpet Studio members listed were asked to join the Tallgrass Brass Band, a newly formed brass band that was comprised of some members of the Eastern Iowa Brass Band, two guest artists from Norway including Arfon Owen (Yamaha Performing Artist) and Paniz Gorang, professors from other universities, and graduate students. This band is led by Alex Beamer, who is also the conductor of the Eastern Iowa Brass Band. This group gathered together for only 6 days with 4-hour rehearsals each day in preparation for this competition. It was a melting pot of unique sounds that then became unified in the end!


Tallgrass Brass Band was competing in the championship section of the competition, and was one of 7 sections. Within the championship section, there were 7 bands that competed (including Tallgrass). Although Tallgrass is extremely new in this competition, it placed 4th out of 7, with only a few points away to reaching 3rd place! This is an incredible feat for a group that included members who played for only 6 days together, with some never having had experience in the brass band world, competing against bands that have had 20+ years of experience playing together.

The cornet section of Tallgrass!

The cornet section of Tallgrass!

Dr. Schendel and her students.

Dr. Schendel and her students.


Below is the list of members in Tallgrass Brass Band:

Soprano Cornet - John Daniel

Principal Cornet - Amy Schendel

Solo Cornet - Laura Saylor

Solo Cornet - Matt Hartmann

Solo Cornet - Caitlin Berge

Solo Cornet - Paul Waech

Repiano Cornet - Jessica Jensen

2nd Cornet - KenKen Gorder

2nd Cornet - Evan Fowler

3rd Cornet - Ben Drury

3rd Cornet - Steve Kenny

Flugelhorn - Patrick Doyle

Solo Horn - Arfon Owen

1st Horn - Jen Kempe

2nd Horn - Paniz Golrang

1st Baritone - Todd Bransky

2nd Baritone - Dave Neff

1st Trombone - Todd Schendel

2nd Trombone - Robert Parker

Bass Trombone - Casey Thomas

1st Euphonium - Geoff Durbin

2nd Euphonium - Ben Reid

1st Eb Bass - Bo Atlas

2nd Eb Bass - Chris Bird

1st Bb Bass - Josh Calkin

2nd Bb Bass - Dave Earll

Percussion - Lauren Calkin

Percussion - Megan Cooney

Percussion - Aaron Ottmar

Percussion - Kelvin Tran