Moody Music Room 114  |  Phone: 205-348-1480

jwhitaker@ua.edu

 

2019-20 Studio Bios

Stewart Brockman is a senior music education major at the University of Alabama. A graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School, he played in Middle School All State Band, High School All State Band, and All State Orchestra. He has played in both the Alabama Concert and Symphonic Bands, and was a soloist in the Million Dollar Band and a 3 year trombone section leader. He has played trombone for 10 years, and is looking forward to continue his musical education this year at UA.

 

 

 

 

Kizer Brown is a freshman Music Education major from Medina, Tennessee. Kizer graduated from South Gibson County High School, where he was principal trombone, drum major, and band leader. He was also a five year member of the Jackson Symphony Youth Orchestra. Kizer participated in numerous honor bands including TMEA All-State, Music For All Honor Band of America, The University of Alabama Honor Band and All-West Honor Band. He is extremely excited and grateful to be continuing his musical education here at The University of Alabama.

 

 

 

Ben Brunson is a Sophomore music education major. A graduate of Fairhope High School, he has performed in the Alabama All State Blue and Red bands. This past summer Ben marched in the Jim Ott winning CrownBrass. Along with his experience at Crown, He also marched with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps (2017-2018). He is on marching band staff at Tuscaloosa County High School. Ben is looking forward to expanding his musical knowledge here at UA.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Campbell is a freshman from Atlanta, GA where he attended Lassiter High School. He is pursuing both a degree in music performance as well as aerospace engineering. Through his time playing he has been able to partake in many groups and events including the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. and in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Alongside performing as a member of district and all-state bands as well as the Music for All honor band.

 

 

 

 

 

Luke Foster is a tenor trombonist from Birmingham who has played for 9 years. Luke studied with Jay Evans, Billy Bargetzi, Jeff Koonce, Brad Kerns, and Dr. Mark Foster. The ensembles in which Luke has played include the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, SuperJazz Big Band, the Giatina Big Band, Just Friends, The Southside Brass, and the Montevallo Trombone Choir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Fowler is from Tuscaloosa, AL and a graduate of Tuscaloosa County High School. He is a Senior music performance major. He is a member of the University of Alabama Trombone Choir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Frederick is a junior pursuing a degree in music education. He is a graduate of Hamilton High School as well as Itawamba Community College. In high school, he participated in a number of honor bands, including District III, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and the University of North Alabama. Justin is currently a member of the UA Symphonic Band and Trombone Choir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Gilmore is a sophomore from Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas. He is double majoring in trombone performance and microbiology, with minors in computer science and neuroscience; he is also a member of the UA honors college. Michael has been playing trombone for nine years. During his freshman year at UA, he served as principal trombone for the Symphonic Band, performed with the Trombone Choir, and soloed with the Resonance Show Choir. In the summer of 2019 Michael was selected to attend the Cleveland Trombone Seminar. Michael is currently involved in the same ensembles as freshman year, as well as being part of the Million Dollar Band.

 

Logan Hicks is a sophomore trombone performance major from Brandon, Mississippi. During his time at Alabama, he has served as principal trombone for the symphonic band, and as third trombone in the wind ensemble. Logan has also played in ensembles outside of the University, such as the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and the Belhaven University Orchestra. In the summer of 2019, Logan was selected as a participant in the Mulcahy Trombone Seminar at Northwestern University, where he attended and participated in masterclasses conducted by Michael Mulcahy. Logan looks forward to continuing his education on the trombone.

 

Michael Johnson is currently a 3rd year DMA candidate in Trombone Performance. Michael completed his master’s degree at Texas State University, graduating summa cum laude. At Texas State, Michael studied with Dr. Martin McCain and served as the graduate teaching assistant for the studio. During that same time, Michael was a finalist for the Big 12 Trombone Conference Bass Trombone Competition and was selected as the winner of Division III in the American Trombone Workshop Bass Trombone Solo Competition. Michael has been a part of the Performer class at the Southeast Trombone Symposium twice and was again invited to the finals for the Big 12 Trombone Conference in 2018. In the Spring of 2018, Michael was a guest soloist with the Austin Civic Orchestra, one of several Austin based ensembles he has performed with over the years. Currently, Michael is an adjunct instructor of music at Shelton State Community College, adjunct staff with the Million Dollar Band, and a private teacher to several students in the Tuscaloosa area. Aside from Trombone, Michael is an active composer writing works for Trombone choir, solo Trombone, tuba/euph. ensemble, jazz band, and much more. Recently, Michael’s Trombone concerto “Requital” was recorded on Dr. Whitaker’s second album entitled “Paceline.”

 

Alex Mayhew is currently a first year Doctoral student at University of Alabama studying with Jon Whitaker. He grew up in Northborough, Massachusetts where he was able to participate in many of the Boston youth groups including the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, and the Greater Boston Youth Symphony. He also played in the semi-professional Symphony Pro Musica where he made his concerto debut playing the Morceau Symphonique in 2013. He also played the Rimsky-Korsakov Concerto with his high school Wind Ensemble later that year. During high school he studied with Ed Clough and Norman Bolter. He then studied with Doug Yeo and Brad Edwards at Arizona State where he earned a degree in music performance. In 2017, he began studying with Jim Miller for his Master’s Degree at UCLA before transferring to University of Alabama to finish the degree.

 

Jackson Merker is a freshman music education major from Guntersville, Alabama. He is a graduate of Guntersville High School, where he served as principal trombone for the jazz band and symphonic band. Throughout his seven years playing the trombone, he has participated in multiple honor bands including the Jacksonville State University Honor Band and the University of Montevallo Honor Band. Jackson looks forward to continuing his education at the University of Alabama and playing trombone for years to come.

 

 

 

 

Will Rosati is a second-year DMA student studying trombone performance at the University of Alabama. Prior to his studies at UA, Will completed his Master’s degree in trombone performance and pedagogy at Texas State University, studying under Dr. Martin McCain. At Texas State, he was a graduate assistant with the band department and played in several school ensembles, including the Wind Symphony and University Orchestra. Will also previously attended the University of South Alabama, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He has performed with several professional ensembles in Alabama, including the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and the Rhythm City Big Band, in addition to many community ensembles such as the Baldwin County Pops Band, Mobile County Pops Band, and the Mobile Second Line Society. Students of his have consistently earned places in Mobile County Honor Band, Baldwin County Honor Band, and Alabama All-State Bands.

 

Isaiah Vasquez is a freshman music performance major from Harvest, Alabama. He is a graduate of Sparkman High School, where he was principal trombone of the wind ensemble, lead trombone in the jazz band, and section leader for the low brass section. Isaiah has been offered positions in many honors ensembles including the Honor Band of America, the National Honors Performance Honor Band at Carnegie Hall, and the Alabama All-State Red Band. Isaiah was also the founder of the Huntsville Trombone Choir, an ensemble consisting of the most talented trombonists in the Huntsville area and have performed at multiple venues across Madison County, including original compositions and arrangements alike. Isaiah is studying trombone performance and business as a part of the CREATE Path to MBA program.

 

Stephen Whimple, hailing from Clifton Park, New York, is currently a 1st year DMA student in Trombone Performance at the University of Alabama, where he studies with Dr. Jonathan Whitaker. Prior to his studies at UA, Stephen attended The Juilliard School as an Irene Diamond Graduate Fellow, Morse Teaching Artist Fellow, Music Advancement Program Teaching Fellow and Teaching Assistant for the Tenor Trombone studio. During this time, he was a student of Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, Summa Cum Laude, at The Crane School of Music, at SUNY Potsdam, where he studied applied trombone with Dr. Mark Hartman. Masterclass experience includes Boston Brass, Gaudete Brass, the American Brass Quintet, Tim Smith, Burt Mason, Colin Williams, Enzo Turriziani, Jorgen Van Rijen and John Romero.

 

While in New York City, Stephen performed with groups such as the American Brass Quintet, Camerata Notturna, the New Manhattan Sinfonietta and the Harlem Chamber Players. As a member of the Juilliard Orchestra, Stephen performed under the baton of conductors such as Edo de Waart, Matthias Pintscher, Itzak Perlman, Sir Mark Elder, Jeffery Milarsky and David Robertson. In 2018, he performed in Carnegie hall on three separate occasions. As a student at Potsdam, Stephen performed with professional ensembles such as the St. Lawrence Orchestra, Orchestra of Northern New York, Central Winds Syracuse Wind Symphony, and Northern Symphonic Winds.

 

Stephen is an alumnus of programs such as the Arthur Frackenpohl Honors Brass Quintet, Third Coast Trombone Retreat, the Winter Trombone Workshop, the Texas Music Festival, the Hot Springs Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institution and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. In 2018, Stephen was recognized twice by the International Trombone Association, both as a finalist for the Marsteller solo competition and as a member of the Juilliard Trombone Choir, winner of the Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition. He was a finalist in the 2017 Texas Tech University Big 12 Tenor Trombone Solo Competition. At the Crane School of Music in 2016, Stephen placed as “Honorable Mention” in the Crane School of Music Concerto Competition. He was also a member of the 2016 Crane School of Music Chamber Music Competition’s 1st Prize ensemble, Bearbones Trombone Quartet.

 

Walker has been playing trombone for six years. He attended Bob Jones High School, where he was part of many ensembles including the wind ensemble, jazz band, and marching band, where he was drum major. While in high school, Walker participated in All-State Band, making district honor band in his junior and senior years, and making first chair in blue band his senior year. He was in Alabama Honor Band’s Festival Wind Ensemble his senior year. He spent the summers of 2017 and 2019 with Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, where he played euphonium and lead baritone, respectively. Walker is a freshman trombone performance major and mathematics major and is also in the Honors College.

 

Matthew Willingham is freshman music performance major at the University of Alabama. Growing up in Moody, AL, Matthew performed with many ensembles including the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra and Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Matthew has also played in the Alabama All State Red and White Band, Alabama All State Orchestra, and Alabama All State Jazz Band, and also played in his high school's brass quintet and brass ensemble. Previously to studying with Dr. Johnathon Whitaker, Matthew studied with Jay Evans, Dr. Mark Foster, and Joseph Aumann.

 

 

Student Success

2018-19

 

DMA Student Jonathan Houghtling wins second trombone audition with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.

 

DMA Student Jonathan Houghtling has advanced into the semifinals or finals of numerous auditions over the past year including the Alabama Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic and Sarasota.

 

Senior Taylor Duren named Most Outstanding Music Education Student in the School of Music.

 

UA Students selected to participate in summer festivals:

 

Cleveland Trombone Seminar

Matthew Fowler - junior

Michael Gilmore - freshman

Michael Johnson - DMA

 

Mulcahy Summer Masterclass

Logan Hicks - freshman (participant)

 

2016-17

 

DMA student Dan Kolan appointed to the faculty of Andrew College in Cuthbert, GA.

 

DMA student Arie VandeWaa appointed to the faculty of the University of South Alabama.

 

Senior David Kidd was selected as a 2017 Alessi Seminar Participant .

 

Senior David Kidd was selected as a Nashville Symphony Semifinalist.

 

Senior David Kidd was selected as a 2017 Lewis Van Haney Trombone Competition Finalist.

 

Senior Cameron Owen performed a week with the New World Symphony in Miami, FL.

 

Senior Cameron Owen was selected as a finalist for the American Trombone Workshop Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

Senior Cameron Owen was selected as the bass trombonist for the Tanglewood Music Center.

 

Junior Chris Healy was selected as first alternate for the 2017 International Trombone Association George Roberts Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

Junior Chris Healy was selected for the Participant Class and as a semifinalist for the STS excerpts competition.

 

 

2015-16

 

Junior Cameron Owen was selected as the bass trombonist for the Music Academy of the West.

 

Junior Cameron Owen was the WINNER of the 2016 Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition at the International Trombone Festival held at The Juilliard School in June.  He also was a Finalist for the George Roberts Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

Junior David Kidd was selected as 1st Alternate for the 2016 Lewis Van Haney Philharmonic Prize Orchestral Tenor Trombone Competition as well as Honorable Mention for the 2016 Robert Marsteller Tenor Trombone Competition.

 

Junior David Kidd was selected as a finalist for the Texas State Trombone Symposium Conn/Selmer Tenor Trombone Competition.

 

Juniors David Kidd and Cameron Owen (bass trombone) were selected as finalists for this year's American Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition.

 

Several UA Trombone Students Participated in Summer Festivals.

InterHarmony International Music Festival

Jeremiah Ward - 2nd year MM Bass Trombone

 

Cleveland Trombone Seminar

Nick Gilmore - sophomore

Blake Malone - sophomore

 

National Music Festival

Cameron Owen - junior Bass Trombone

 

Mulcahy Summer Masterclass

Carter Hanthorn - senior (Participant)

Lucas Kaspar - UATS Graduate

David Kidd - junior (Participant)

Cameron Owen - junior Bass Trombone (Participant)

 

The Alessi Seminar

David Kidd - junior (Participant)

Cameron Owen - junior Bass Trombone (Participant)

Dr. John Shanks - UATS Graduate

 

2014-15

 

Freshman bass trombonist Chris Healy was announced the winner of the 2015 American Trombone Workshop Division 1 Bass Trombone National Solo Competition.

 

Second year MM student Anthony Darnall was selected as one of 3 finalist for the Big 12 Bach Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

Current DMA student Russell Ballenger has been appointed to the faculty of the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND where he will teach the trombone studio and jazz ensembles.

 

Recent UATS graduate Dr. John Shanks has been appointed to the faculty at West Texas A&M University.

 

Recent UATS graduate Dr. Bruce Faske was recently appointed to the faculty at Arkansas State University.

 

2013-14

 

MM Bass Trombonist Jeremiah Ward was recently selected as a Participant for the 2014 Cleveland Trombone Seminar.

 

Five UA students were selected for the Participant Class for the 2014 Southeast Trombone Symposium!

Anthony Darnall (bass) - MM

Kevin Dugat - MM

David Kidd - Freshman

Cameron Owen (bass) - Freshman

Jeremiah Ward (bass) - MM

 

Freshman David Kidd was named Honorable Mention for the 2014 Gagliardi Tenor Trombone Competition.

 

Freshman bass trombonist Cameron Owen was named one of 3 finalist for the 2014 George Roberts Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

2012-13

 

DMA Student Russell Ballenger advanced to the finals for West Point Military Academy Band Audition.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was selected as a Participant for the 2013 Alessi Seminar.

 

DMA Student Bruce Faske was selected as a Participant for the 2013 Alessi Seminar.

 

Sophomore Ben Carrasquillo was selected as a Participant for the 2013 Alessi Seminar.

 

Sophomore Ben Carrasquillo was selected as a Finalist for International Trombone Association Solo Competition.

 

Sophomore Ben Carrasquillo attended the National Music Festival.

 

MM Graduate Lucas Kaspar was appointed Lecturer of Trombone at Muskingum University.

 

DMA Student Bruce Faske was appointed Adjunct Instructor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was announced the Winner of Mississippi Symphony Principal Trombone Audition.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was appointed to Faculty of Jackson State University.

 

2011-12

 

DMA Student Bruce Faske was announced the Winner of UA Concerto Aria Competition.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was announced the Winner of 2012 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition – Division 3, Washington, D.C.

 

Freshman Ben Carrasquillo was announced the Winner of 2012 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition – Division 1, Washington, D.C.

 

Freshman Ben Carrasquillo was announced as the 2nd Alternate for the  2012 International Trombone Association Trombone Solo Competition.

 

MM Student Lucas Kapsar was named Honorable Mention for the 2012 International Trombone Association Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was a Finalist at the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Second Trombone Audition.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was Runner Up at the US “President’s Own” Marine Band Audition.

 

2010-11

 

DMA Student Bruce Faske was announced the winner of the second trombone audition for the Starkville Symphony.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was named a finalist for the 2011 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition.

 

Freshman Chris Davis was named a Finalist in the 2011 International Trombone Association George Roberts Bass Trombone Solo Competition.

 

Freshman Roni Garayanala was named a finalist in the 2011 International Trombone Association Gilberto Gagliardi Trombone Solo Competition.

 

MM Student Lucas Kapsar was named Honorable Mention in the 2011 International Trombone Association Frank Smith Trombone Solo Competition.

 

DMA Student John Shanks was selected as a Fellow for the 2011 Alessi Seminar.

 

DMA Student Bruce Faske was selected as a Participant for the 2011 Alessi Seminar.

 

2009-10

 

UA Trombone Choir Performs at 2010 Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington , D.C.

 

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