College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Current Undergraduate Students

Zachary Brake, euphonium - BM Education, 2016

Zachary feels privileged to be a new member of Professor Dunn’s Studio at the University of Colorado.  Zach took the opportunity to switch from trumpet to euphonium in 2010, and has since become proficient on multiple bass clef instruments.  In Fort Collins, Zach participated in numerous ensembles in the award-winning Fossil Ridge High School Band Program including the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and Marching Band as well as the Northern Colorado Honor Band.  Currently, Zach studies music education and participates in many CU ensembles.  After graduating from CU, Zach hopes to find work as a high school band director.  In his spare time, Zach enjoys music composition, gaming, socializing with friends and spending time with loved ones.

Connor DeFehr, tuba – BM Education, 2014

Connor DeFehr is primarily known as a bassist but is known to push the limitations of the tuba by using it in many different genres. After playing euphonium for two and a half years in high school, Connor was motivated to start playing the tuba and got into all state band on it after playing it for two months. He saw the similarities between tuba and bass and thought it would be cool to learn how to use bass lines on both of these low sounding instruments. He then began playing with a brass ensemble at Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church. Connor also joined an Eastern European brass band called Gora Gora Orkestar. Also in the spring of 2011, Connor began to play tuba with The Twinberries, his jazz duo, and began experimenting with tuba as well as the bass. Connor has also been a big advocate for using the tuba in place of bass in all sorts of different settings including jazz and rock. He even found a place for it in Nonsense in the Woods’ rockin song, “Smile”. Currently, Connor is trying to use the tuba in even more settings and genres.

Michael Eller, tuba -  BA Music, BS Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2016

Michael Eller is a Freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Wanting to continue his education in music yet still learn to master electronics, Michael elected to pursue a dual degree in both music and engineering. He has played in ensembles such as Colorado All-State-Band and DoD European Honor Band. He hopes to continue his studies and someday play in a symphony orchestra. He is enjoying his time at Boulder and recommends any and all students interested in the school to come stop by.

Jack Hoeksema, tuba - BM Performance, 2014

Jack Hoeksema is a junior music performance major at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Originally hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Jack began his musical life at age 9 on the recorder and moved to trumpet when he was 10. Whilst in Middle School, Jack was recruited to play tuba for an upcoming band competition because of his size and frankly, lack of skill on the trumpet. Jack has toured Europe with the American Music Abroad Bronze Tour, a group in which he was the principal player. He won the John Phillip Sousa Award for Excellence from the Haverford High School Music Program and was named Class Musician by his graduating class. Jack currently serves as a section tuba player in the University of Colorado’s Symphonic Band, a position he has held for the last two and a half years. Jack has performed with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the SOAP Festival Orchestra, the Upper Darby Sousa Band, Bravo Brass, the Liberty Brass Band, and many others. Jack has received the Nancy and Ted Anderson award from the University of Colorado, as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence. Jack’s primary teachers have been James Michael Dunn and Brian Brown. He is a founding member of the award winning Brass CO Quintet and has been a featured soloist with Rose Tree POPS and the Bala Cynwyd Middle School Wind Ensemble. Aside from his pursuit for music, Jack is an avid Ultimate Frisbee player and passionately cheers for all things Philadelphia, especially the Phillies.

Brian Kemble, tuba – BM Performance, 2016

Brian Kemble is a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder studying under the guidance of Mike Dunn to complete a Bachelor of Music Performance degree. Brian started his musical career on the Trumpet in fifth grade and switched to tuba in the spring semester of his sophomore year of high school in order to help fulfill the need of his high school. Originally from Murrieta, California, Brian has been a member of ensembles in the Southern California area such as the Vista Murrieta High School Wind Ensemble, Riverside All-Valley Honor Band, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Honor Band, and the California Band Director’s Association All-State Honor Band. Brian has also performed in a variety of chamber ensembles through his participation in several chamber ensemble festivals. In addition, Brian was a member of the Vista Murrieta High School Jazz Band where he began to study doubling on the bass trombone and, to a lesser extent, the trumpet. Brian’s primary instructors thus far have been Garrett Karlin and Scott Sutherland, a founding member of the Presidio Brass Quintet. Brian is expected to graduate in 2016 and progress on to a graduate school program and begin the audition process for professional opportunities.

Megan McMaster, tuba – BM Performance, BM Education, 2015
Ottawa, Canada

Megan McMaster is originally from Ottawa, Canada but lived in Ohio for several years before starting her college career. Megan graduated from Dublin Jerome High School. While in high school, Megan was in the Ohio All-state Band and Columbus Youth Symphonic Band as well as many other ensembles in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky. Before coming to CU Boulder to study with James Michael Dunn, Megan studied with Tony Zilincik, Aaron Tindall and Dennis Nulty. She won the Semper Fidelis Marine Band award her senior year of high school. Megan started her college career at Eastern Michigan University in the fall of 2011 for music education. After a year of school, Megan transferred to the University of Colorado at Boulder to pursue a double major in music education with an emphasis for instrumental band and music performance.

Kevin Nguyen, euphonium - BM Performance, BM Education, 2015

Kevin Nguyen joined the Tuba/Euphonium studio at the University of Colorado in the fall semester of 2011 and is currently in his sophomore year. Prior to his membership in the CU tuba and euphonium studio, Kevin had lived in Fountain, a small town in southern Colorado where he finished high school at Fountain-Fort Carson High School. During his pre-collegiate years, Kevin received many euphonium and trombone performance opportunities. In addition to his participation in top honor bands and orchestras throughout Colorado, Kevin was heavily involved in the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, the Pikes Peak Winds Ensemble, the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus, The Rafael Méndez Brass Institute and the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Kevin has performed throughout Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and all across the United States. Now working to complete his dual degree in Music Performance and Music Education, Kevin plans to ultimately teach at the university level after his career as a performer.

James Onorato, euphonium – BM Performance, 2016

James Onorato is the most eccentric man in the studio and loves the color purple. He is a freshman euphonium performance major who is also studying to complete the jazz studies and the music entrepreneurship certificate. James hails from the state of Texas and his primary teachers have been Brian Bowman and James Michael Dunn. James started studying the euphonium in 2010 after failing to learn to play the Trumpet for the six years before that, after which he started to have success in his playing. After graduation, James wishes to attend graduate school at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and, after that graduation, to play in a world-class British Brass Band. In terms of interests during spare time, I ask you: what spare time?


Ben Pollack, euphonium - BM Education, 2014

Ben is a junior Euphonium player from Poway, California. He is a Bachelors of Music Education candidate at CU.  Before studying with Professor Dunn, Ben has studied with Andrew Moreau, Vince Hernandez, Jim Prindle, and Christian Riesebeiter. After practicing, Ben keeps busy by participating in the Golden Buffalo Marching Band and the CU Buffoons, CU’s oldest a cappella group.

Andy Quinn, euphonium – BA Music, 2013

Andrew is currently a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He is an avid euphonium player and plans to pursue a teaching license upon completion of his degree. He is a member of both the National Association of Music Education and the national honorary band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi. He has had the privilege of co-presenting a session on teaching special needs students in a music classroom at the Colorado Music Educators Association Conference in Colorado Springs, CO in 2011. He has attended the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic as well several conducting symposiums since his time at CU.

Woody Riehl, tuba - BM Performance, 2014

Woody Riehl is a junior Music Performance major from Boulder, Colorado. He has played in ensembles such as the Colorado All-State Band, All-State Orchestra, and the C.U. Opera Orchestra.

Angelo Sapienza, tuba – BM Education, 2013

Angelo Paul Sapienza started his instrumental career twelve years ago as a saxophone player.  He started playing tuba for his high school marching band in 2005. He graduated from Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colorado.  Angelo is currently in his fourth year as an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, pursuing a degree in music education with an emphasis in instrumental teaching. He anticipates graduating in the Spring Semester of 2014.  Angelo pursues his passion for music in the marching arts, with a combined 11 seasons of performance experience, most notably 5 of those with the Blue Knight Drum and Bugle Corps (Denver, CO).

Detrick Snyder, euphonium - BM Musicology, 2013

Detrick Snyder is in his fourth year pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree in Musicology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  His field of interest is instrumental music in the Western canon, studying with professors such as Paul Miller and Thomas Riis, and euphonium performance with professor Michael Dunn.  He graduated with the Grand Junction High School class of ’09 as a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and various Colorado honor bands.  Detrick is also an avid pastry and sourdough baker and a cyclist, now riding a stripped Trek fixed-gear.

Justin C. Tebbe, tuba – BM Performance, BM Composition, 2016

Having started as an undergraduate this year at CU, Justin is looking for opportunities to hone his craft.  Justin has been playing tuba for seven years and in this time, he has participated in countless honor bands and ensembles such as the WIBC Thunderbird Honor Band and the Colorado All-State Honor Band.  Not only is Justin an aspiring performer on tuba, but he also practices and performs as a solo pianist.  Justin loves the performance art, however, he actively pursues a career in composition.  When he isn’t studying for his dual degree in tuba performance and composition, Justin enjoys competitive gaming and raising bonsai trees.

Alex White, tuba – BM Performance, BM Education, 2017

Alex White started playing the the euphonium in elementary school and then switched to tuba for middle and high school.  He has been a member of several ensembles across the state including the Front Range Youth Symphony, the Thornton Community Band, the Westminster High School Symphonic Band and Choir, the Mendez Brass Institute Brian Bowman Quartet, among others.  Alex is currently pursuing a dual degree in Performance and Education.  He aspires to play professionally and teach at the collegiate level.  He is trying to build his private studio as much as possible.  Alex enjoys playing a little guitar on the side and sometimes picks up a few gigs as well.  He enjoys hiking, browsing, writing, and meditation.