Peter Ellefson

IU Studio Bios - Fall 2014
(pictures and bios as submitted by student)

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After 2 years living and working in Chicago, Adam Almeter is returning to Indiana University to study with Peter Ellefson. While in Chicago, Adam taught privately at the Midwest Music Academy and for Naperville Central High School’s Jazz band. Previously while studying art Indiana, Adam performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble. He has also played with the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center. Adam has previously studied with Stephen Fissel with the Seattle Symphony as well as Max Bonecutter, former bass trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Adam is also an avid coffee roaster who specializes in single origin roasts from Ethiopia and Kenya.
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Felipe Brito is a finalist in the 2014 IU Brass Concerto Competition. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, he was awarded both the Artistic Excellence Award Fellowship and the Anthony & Olimpio Barbera Scholarship by Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

In 2013, he performed Danish composer Launy Grøndahl’s Concerto as a soloist with the Campinas State University (UNICAMP) Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, he performed Swiss composer Erick-Larsson’s Concertino as a soloist with the same ensemble. In 2009, he fronted the Villa-Lobos Symphonic Band, performing the solo from Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto.

At UNICAMP, Felipe was the Assistant Teacher of Trombone at the Pre-College of Music. In his native city of Itu, he served as the Band Director at the City of Itu – Anglo High School.

Felipe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Trombone Performance at UNICAMP, where he studied under Robson de Nadai. He also received his Performance Diploma from the São Paulo State School of Music, where he studied under Gilberto Gianelli and Carlos Freitas.

In May of 2013, shortly after completing his Performance Diploma at JSOM, Felipe went on tour, performing the Tomasi Concerto, Hindemith Sonata, and Telemann Sonata in several cities throughout Brazil, including Campinas, Piracicaba, and São Paulo.

Felipe is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Bloomington, Indiana at the Jacobs School of Music, where he studies under Peter Ellefson, Dee Stewart, and Carl Lenthe.
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Dan Coffman (known formally by his peers as “Tim Coffman’s kid”) is a senior from suburban Chicago pursuing a degree in trombone performance at Indiana University. When he’s not busy pretending to be productive, Dan likes to binge watch “The Office,” glean his entire comedic arsenal from Reddit threads, and mooch food off of his friends. Dan also has a restraining-order-worthy relationship with Taco Bell, a chronically disheveled bedroom, and a horrid nail-biting habit.

In addition to “slaying the competition with his mad trombone flow,” Dan’s talents lie in smothering people with his massive body during pickup basketball games, trolling his friends in sports video games, spilling condiments on himself, complaining about how hot it is outside, and chugging light beer.

In the future, Dan hopes to go to grad school, play in a military ensemble, and own a cat named Beef.

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Tiffany J. Galus is in her first year of pursuing the Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she also serves as an Associate Instructor with the Department of Bands and the Director of the CRABB band.  She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a minor in Wind Conducting from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she studied conducting with Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman, Dr. Paul Popiel and Dr. Matt Smith and she studied trombone with Carl Lenthe, M. Dee Stewart and Peter Ellefson. During her time at Indiana University, she performed in several ensembles including serving as the drum major for the 2011-2012 Marching Hundred, where she ranked third in Bloomington’s “Best Student Athlete” caption. Her final performance in an IU Ensemble was with the Hundred during the pre-game ceremonies of Superbowl XLVI.
 
Prior to her return to Indiana University, Tiffany served as the Director of Bands at New Prairie United School Corporation in New Carlisle, Indiana. Under her direction, the program received consistent unanimous gold ratings at numerous band festivals, including two state titles.  Tiffany was also a quarter-finalist for the first Music Educator Grammy Award in 2013. 
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A native of Pleasanton, California, Allison Gehl is in her second year of pursuing a master’s degree in trombone performance. She completed a degree in euphonium performance at the University of Alabama, while also studying and playing the trombone. While at IU, she has played in many large and chamber ensembles on both trombone and euphonium, and will be the Graduate Assistant for the trombone area for the 2014-15 school year. In April of 2013, her tuba-euphonium quartet won the chamber music competition at the South Central Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference. Her primary teachers include Peter Ellefson, Demondrae Thurman, Jonathan Whitaker with additional instruction from Daniel Perantoni, James Markey, Luis Fred, Tim Higgins and John Stevens.
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Eric Hung, also known as a human, is a multicellular being native to the unreal biome of the California Bay Area. Commonly found in very stable Mediterranean climates, Eric Hung generally is seen wearing equally predictable clothing. However, due to herd migrations, Eric Hung has recently been placed half a country away to study at IU with Prof. Peter Ellefson in order to hone the art of "pffbffbffbffbfffffft"ing into a yellow metal tube.  Beginning a Bachelor's Degree in Music, Eric Hung is grateful and excited to continue to develop musically and personally, and cannot wait to make the practice room his new habitat.
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Yukyung Kang, born in South Korea, is currently a Master Student at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. When she was 17 years old, she joined a brass band club in her high school, which was the first time that she learned a kind of musical instrument. In the spring of 2006, she began her Bachelor’s of Music Degree at Ewha Women’s University. For four years, when she was a freshman, she prepared for an audition for her college’s Spring Concert; fortunately, she won the audition and was able to become a representative player of her department of orchestral music. In addition, in her junior year, she was awarded 1st prize at the 1st Music Concourse organized by the Estonia Academy of Music and Theatre. Plus, in last semester, she had a chance to perform brass quintet again in a team “Battle Suite”. Moreover, she performed David Concertino with the Ewha Orchestra, which was what she had dreamt during her school years. After graduation, she taught underprivileged children for 2 years as a trombone instructor in Working With Us, Social Welfare Foundation and she participated in Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea.
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Caleb Ketcham is pursuing a Masters Degree from Indiana University and is a member of Peter Ellefson's Studio. Tenor trombone is his primary instrument, but he also plays bass trombone and euphonium. At IU, he has performed with a variety ensembles including University Orchestra, Brass Choir, Concentus Early Music Ensemble, Wayne Wallace Jazz Ensemble, and the IU Trombone Octet. He won both the 2011 & 2013 Edwards/Big 12 Area Trombone Conference Bass Trombone Solo Competitions, 2010 International Trombone Association’s George Roberts Solo Competition, and he led his trombone quartet to winning the 2012 Courtois Trombone Quartet Competition at the Fort Worth Trombone Summit. He has also been a finalist in the 2011 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Bass Trombone Solo Competition, the 2011 Southeast Trombone Symposium Solo Competition, and he won both third and second place in the 2012 and 2013 Hyechka Club of Tulsa Instrumental Competition. He spent the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013 as a scholarship student at the Eastern Music Festival and recently attended the Pokorny Seminar in Redlands, California. Caleb received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, Caleb played principal trombone with Oklahoma State University’s Wind Ensemble during their featured performance at the 2013 Japan Band Clinic and also with the Symphony Orchestra at the 2013 National Orchestra Directors Conference. In 2013, Caleb was voted by faculty as the OSU Department of Music’s outstanding senior and was also named a top ten senior for the College of Arts and Sciences. Caleb is an active member of the International Trombone Association. In his spare time, Caleb enjoys reading books, working on cars, and playing guitar.
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Jonathan Kraft, an incoming freshman from Pearland, Texas, is committed to earning a bachelor's degree in trombone performance from IU's Jacobs School of Music. Jonathan has been in ensembles in the Houston area such as Houston Youth Symphony, Texas Music Festival Jazz Ensemble, Greater Houston Youth Orchestra, Brian Logan's Christmas trombone choir, and ensembles at Pearland High School. When with HYS, Jonathan had the opportunity to perform Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony with the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall. Along with being involved in the Houston area, Jonathan was a part of the TMEA All-State Symphony Orchestra in 2013 and 2014, where he made 3rd chair as a junior and 1st as a senior. He was band president of the Pearland High School band his senior year and served on the leadership team in years before. Jonathan's main teachers include Brian Logan (Private Lesson Teacher and Freelance Trombonist), Noe Marmolejo (University of Houston Director of Jazz), Michael Webster (Conductor of HYS and Professor at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music), and Beau Hunter (Assistant Band Director at PHS). Jonathan is very excited to study under Peter Ellefson at the Jacobs School of Music and is ready for what the future brings.
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Ryan Krofta, from Delafield, Wisconsin, is working on his bachelor's degree at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Peter Ellefson. At Indiana he has performed in many different settings, such as solo, quartet, band, a latin brass band, and in a world premier opera. 

Ryan's previous teachers include Megumi Kanda of the Milwaukee Symphony, and Thomas Riccobono, Professor of trombone at the Interlochen Arts Academy and Principal trombonist of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. 

Ryan Krofta has attended the International Trombone Festival two years, working as a student worker. He has also attended the Cleveland Trombone Seminar, Raphael Mendez Brass Institute, National Brass Symposium, the Midwest Clinic, Interlochen Arts Camp, and is an alum of the Interlochen Arts Academy. 

When Ryan is away from the trombone he loves mountain biking, listening to vinyl records, being outdoors and listening to live music.   
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Stephanie Lebens, 22, from Everett, WA, is a trombonist, entering her final year of study towards a Bachelor’s in Music Performance at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, studying with Peter Ellefson. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has performed as principal trombonist of the Concert, Chamber, Symphony, and Philharmonic Orchestras. In addition, she was principal trombonist of the New Music Ensemble for a semester, and regularly plays with the Brass Choir on euphonium. In the summer of 2014, she was chosen as a participant at Michael Mulcahy’s master class series at Northwestern University, and in 2013, she was a member of the Fellow Class at the Alessi Seminar. While attending high school in the Seattle area, she performed with many local groups, including the British-style brass band Puget Brass and Seattle Youth Symphony. For three years running, she won the euphonium division of the Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competition, culminating in 2011, when she also won the trombone division and both the large and small brass ensemble divisions. In addition, she also received the honor of participating in Washington All-State and All-Northwest ensembles in 2009 and 2010, and the National Association for Music Education’s National Honor Concert Band in 2010. She has also studied with Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto and Danny Helseth. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking cookies, kayaking, skiing, and hiking.
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Karen Mari is a senior instrumental music education major studying trombone with Peter Ellefson. She has spent semesters with the IU Symphony Orchestra, Trombone and Brass Choirs, Marching Hundred, and International Vocal Ensemble, and performs on both tenor and bass trombone. Karen has indulged her love of chamber music for many years by way of brass quintets and trombone groups, and is a frequent performer of vocal music adapted for trombone. Through IU, Karen was able to participate in a four-month program in Vienna, Austria, where she studied music and history with former Vienna Philharmonic trombonist William McElhaney. Karen is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and an alumna of IES Abroad and the Merit School of Music.
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Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Paulo Ramos completed his Bachelor Degree at São Paulo State University. Paulo have been an active musician in his Home country, being trombonist at São Paulo State Youth Symphony Band, Experimental Orchestra of Repertoire and lastly at St. Peter Theater Symphony Orchestra 2010-13, all the three in Brazil. Recently, he concluded a Performer Diploma at IU at M. Dee Stewart’s Studio and now is pursuing a MM studying with Professor Peter Ellefson. Outside Music Paulo enjoys sports, outside activities, reading and spending time with friends.
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Brian Tajii, 20, has lived his entire life in Torrance, California. He Began playing trombone in the 4th grade and has been playing for 10 years. He took private lessons with Dan Bochard, a well-respected free-lance musician in Los Angeles, for 7 years. In high school, Brian was the president of both the choir and band and a section leader in both groups. He also marched in 2 Tournament of Roses Parades with The Pasadena City College Honor Band. Being a part of his high school choir, Brian got to perform on stage at the Lincoln Center in New York and on stage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. As a junior in college, Brian will continue to pursue his BM in Trombone Performance and really looks forward to increasing his ability and knowledge in music.
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Connor Thummel, a native of the Chicago area, is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree at Indiana University under the instruction of Peter Ellefson. His interest in pursuing music was largely sparked by his middle school band director, Mr. Chip DeStefano. Before beginning his collegiate studies, Connor studied with Tim Smith, Doug Rosenthal, and BJ Hardesty. While in high school, he also had the opportunity to play in Midwest Young Artists, where he enjoyed playing in the Symphony Orchestra, as well as various chamber ensembles and the honors wind symphony. Through MYA he also had the opportunity to participate in various performance competitions, receiving honorable mentions in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition in 2010 and the Discover Chamber Competition in 2011. In the summer of 2014, he participated in the Pokorny Seminar, where he received instruction from Tim Higgins, Mike Roylance, Kyle Covington, and Andrew Glendening. While at IU, Connor has performed with the Symphony Orchestra, IU trombone choir, Concentus Early Music Ensemble, and the Concert band. Outside of music, Connor enjoys running, doing archery, reading, writing, and spending time with friends.
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Rolando O. Velazquez Jr. is a native of Edinburg, TX. He is currently in his first year of Doctorate of Music studies at Indiana University and is in the studio of Peter Ellefson. He received his Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied under Dr. Nathaniel Brickens. He received his Bachelor of Music from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he studied under Dr. Oscar Diaz.

In 2014, he was a member of the University of Texas Trombone Choir that received a runner-up placement in the Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition. In 2011, he was also a member of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Trombone Choir that received an honorable mention.

As a soloist, Rolando won the 2012 Texas A&M University-Kingsville Concerto Competition and had a featured performance of Johan De Meij’s T-Bone Concerto with the TAMUK Wind Symphony. He also received an honorable mention in the 2011 Robert Marsteller Tenor Trombone Competition.

Rolando is an active member of the International Trombone Association and is an alumni member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.
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Hailing from Allentown, Pennsylvania, William Wilkinson will begin his Bachelor’s Degree in both Trombone Performance and Music Education at Indiana University in the fall.  He has qualified for NAfME All-Eastern Honors Band, PMEA State Band, and PMEA State Chorus.  He has participated in a variety of ensembles throughout high school, including the Young People’s Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley, Parkland High School Chorale, pit orchestra, jazz band, and served as band president and section leader in the marching band.  A student of Ralph Brodt III for 5 years and Johnathan Schubert for 2 years, he has also studied with Jeremy Wilson, Tim Anderson, Mark Kellogg, Matthew Guilford, and Massimo La Rosa among others.  Additionally, he has studied classical piano for 10 years under Susan Kuntz, and participated in the Penn State Summer Piano Camp.  When not playing trombone, Will enjoys exploring all forms of popular music, collecting records, and pretending he can rap.  In the coming years, he hopes to become a well-versed musician and learn to better communicate his musical ideas with others.
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Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Aaron Zalkind is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Indiana University in trombone performance. He is currently studying with Peter Ellefson. Aaron has attended several music festivals including Boston University Tanglewood Institute, The Pierre Monteux School, Brevard Music Center and National Orchestral Institute. Aaron was also a participant in the Mulcahy Seminar in 2011 and the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in 2014.