College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder

Student Accomplishments

Tom Ball - MM in trombone performance 1998 - bachelors degree from the Berklee College of Music, Doctor of Arts degree in Trombone Performance/Pedagogy with a secondary emphasis in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.  Tom is currently Instructor of Jazz Trombone at the University of Denver and he recently released a solo jazz euphonium recording - The Tom Ball Quartet Fishleather Jacket available at

Adam Bartczak - BM in trombone performance with Honors, 2001.  He performed and toured with Yo, Flaco!, which was nominated for an American Music Award in 2002.  Adam attended  the New England Conservatory of Music in the MM/Jazz Composition degree and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Colorado. He leads his own jazz group, which has performed at the Telluride Jazz Celebration on three occasions, and also teaches and performs regularly with several groups in the Denver area.
Hear Adam with the Vanguard Combo:
Green/Heyman - I Cover the Waterfront

Danielle Chollet
- MM in trombone performance, 1991 - BME degree from SUNY-Potsdam. Danielle is currently a member of the Boulder Philharmonic, performs with Colorado Ballet and is the first call trombonist for the Buell Theater in Denver (DPAC). She is also the trombone teacher at the Rocky Mountain Center for the Musical Arts.

Karen Silbernagel Danley
- MME 1998, BM Univ. of Oregon.  Karen continues to teach at RiverGlen Junior High School in Boise, ID.  She was chosen to represent Idaho as one of "50 Directors Who Make a Difference," awarded by School Band and Orchestra magazine in 2004.  Karen and husband Greg are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Kalena.

Matt Dixon
- BM 2001, completed the MM at SUNY-Purchase, spent a few years free-lancing in new York with the likes of Jim Pugh, Alan Baer, and Marcus Rojas, and is now in the DMA program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Matt and Zsofia recently had their first child, Daniel.
Hear Matt:
Martin - Ballade (1941)

Jim Gray - MM in trombone performance, 1994 - bachelors degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Jim has performed with all of the major groups in Denver including interim contract player and substitute/extra with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Ballet, the Boulder Brass, Opera Colorado, etc. He spent several years on the road with the national touring company of the Broadway musical Cats, and since 2001 has been the bass trombonist with the national touring company of Les Miserables.

Alex Heitlinger
- BM in trombone performance with High Honors, 2002.  Alex spent several years living and freelancing in the the NYC area, and is now completing the masters in jazz composition at the New England Conservatory. He currently holds the  DMA fellowship in Jazz Composition at University of Texas at Austin.  He has two recordings  "Green Light" (Synergy Music SMCD80021), and the recently released "The Daily Life of Uncle Roger."
Hear Alex with his sextet:
Heitlinger - Pondering

Samantha Keehn - completed the DMA in Aug. 2010 - BM from Texas Tech University, MM from Baylor University.  Sam  competed with the Flatirons Brass in the 2009 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, winning the Bronze Medal in the Senior Winds Division.  Recently, she was appointed low brass instuctor at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL. Sam's doctoral dissertation involved pedagogical techniques used in theater and how they can be applied to trombone/brass teaching.  As part of that dissertation she performed the multi-media piece, Eight Poems of William Carlos Williams by David Vayo.  See and hear parts of that performance:
Vayo - Eight Poems - Late for Summer Weather
Vayo - Eight Poems - The Lonely Street
Vayo - Eight Poems - The Sea-Elephant

Sean KeenanBM in trombone performance 2009.  Sean recently completed the MM degree at Northwestern University.  He was selected as a finalist in the 2011 ITA Larry Wiehe solo competition.
Hear Sean:
Pryor - Blue Bells of Scotland

Justin Loiselle- BM in trombone performance with High Honors, 2005. Justin spent  afew years seeing the world performing aboard cruise ships with Princess Cruises.  He now lives and freelances in Denver.

Keith Munson
- BM in bass trombone performance 2005. Keith graduated from Arizona State University in the MM program where he held the graduate teaching assistantship in bass trombone.  Keith received Honorable Mention in the 2006 ITA solo competition.

John Neurohr
- completed the DMA in Aug. 2009 - BME degree from the University of West Virginia, MM from the San Francisco Conservatory. John has been principal trombonist in the Cheyenne (WY) and Longmont (CO) Symphonies, and is a founding member of the Apollo Chamber Brass.  He was recenly appointed assistant professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA.
John's dissertation was a study of lesser-known works for trombone by Pulitzer Prize winning composers.  Hear his recording of some of those pieces:
Michael Colgrass - Mystic With a Credit Card
Elliott Carter, ed. Sluchin - Gra

Matt Plummer
- BM in bass trombone performance with Honors, 2001. Matt completed the MM degree at the New England Conservatory of Music and is currently freelancing in NYC.  He has a recent recordingwith Anthony Coleman on New World Records.

Max Ripple
BM in trombone perfiormance 2010.  Max played co-principal trombone in the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and was chosen as a finalist in the Jefferson County Solo Competition.  He attended the Aspen Music Festival in summer 2009.  Max was admitted to the MM degree at Indiana University in fall 2011.

Johanna Rubsam
- BM in trombone performance with highest honors (outstanding graduate) 2007. Winner of the Boulder Philharmonic principal trombone audition in 2005, Johanna was a scholarship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2004 and 2005.  Johanna was selected as one of 3 finalists in the 2006 Frank Smith ITA solo competition.  In 2010 she was chosen as winner of the Lewis Van Haney orchestral excerpt competition at the International Trombone Festival in Austin, TX.  She is currently living in Switzerland, with her husband Ian Bousfield (former principal trombonist of the London Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic) and son Aidan.  She has performed in Vienna with the Wiener Akademie and the Wiener Hofkapelleorchester made up of members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hear Johanna:
Tomasi - Concerto, I. Andante et Scherzo-Valse
Tomasi - Concerto, III. Final - Tambourin

Will Scharen - completed the DMA in Dec. 2008 - BM degree from the University of Montana, MM from the New England Conservatory. Will's doctoral dissertation included a new, critical edition of Eugen Reiche's Concerto No. 1in B-flat.  He found early sources in Russia and Germany for the trombone and piano version, edited that, and then recreated the orchestra score based on the instrumentation used in the more easily availableConcerto No. 2.
Hear Will:
Reiche - Concerto No. 1 in B-flat:  I. Tempo di marcia
Reiche - Concerto No. 1 in B-flat:  II. Andante
Reiche - Concerto No. 1 in B-flat:  III. Tema mit variationen

Ian Shaw - BM in bass trombone performance, minor in Business Administration, 2002.  Ian completed the MM degree at the San Francisco Conservatory.  As a freelance musician in the San Francisco Bay Area, he has played with a diverse array of ensembles including the Vallejo, Stockton, and Modesto Symphonies, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, Peninsula Ballet Theater, Nothingset Ensemble, and the occasional Jazz Big Band.

David Stern
- BME 1993 - MM in Performance  from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. in Fine Arts (Instrumental Conducting) from Texas Tech.  David is currently Associate Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Activities at Anderson University, Anderson, SC.

Ryan Van Gilder - DMA 2012, MM 2008, BM University of Iowa.  Ryan's dissertation involved a study of vocally influenced orchestral excerpts emphasizing how the original vocal text can/should influence modern performances.  He was recently appointed as Adjunct Instructor of Low Brass at CSU-Pueblo.

Debby Lissner Whaley - MM 2002, BM Bethel University, spent several years in the development office of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  She is now a stay-at-home mom with her beautiful daughter, Lucy Mae.

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