March 23, 2012

Casey Maday

Casey Maday is the Principal Trombonist with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Northern Illinois University, a master of music in performance from DePaul University and has completed doctoral course work in Brass Pedagogy at Indiana University.

As an active performer, he has worked with ensembles such as the Monterrey Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Omaha Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Concertante di Chicago, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Trombone Quartet, Asbury Brass Quintet, The Stanley Paul Orchestra, the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra, and many others. You can also hear him performing regularly in the orchestra pit of the Civic Center in Des Moines. .  In March 2016, Mr. Maday performed the Concertino by Ferdinand David as well as Blue Bells of Scotland by Arthur Pryor with the Fort Dodge Symphony Orchestra.   Mr. Maday can be heard on the DVDs Symphony in Sculpture and Symphony in Sculpture II with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Power of Music DVD with Ethan Bortnick, Damian McGinty, and Jane Monheit.

Mr. Maday has taught private and group brass lessons in a variety of musical styles since 1996 and currently serves as the Instructor of Low Brass at Grinnell College. He also serves as the trombone faculty at the Des Moines Symphony Academy where he coaches the Des Moines Youth Symphony Honors Brass Quintet, as well as the Youth Orchestra Brass Section. Many of his students have advanced to All State Band and Orchestra as well as continued their musical careers at such prestigious schools as the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, Yale University, University of Illinois, and University of North Texas.

Mr. Maday’s primary teachers include: Peter Ellefson, Mark Fisher, and Charlie Vernon.  Mr. Maday is an Edwards Performing Artist and Clinician, and is an in demand clinician throughout the Midwest with recent masterclasses at Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and the Kansas City Conservatory.

He resides in Des Moines with his wife Dr. Erin Bodnar and American Bulldog, Floyd.

March 23, 2012

Bret Seebeck

Bret Seebeck is Principal Horn with the Des Moines Symphony. He also performs in Eastern Iowa with Orchestra Iowa as third horn. Additional professional activities include the Des Moines Symphony Wind and Brass Quintets and Polaris Wind Quintet.

Formerly, Mr. Seebeck was a member of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony and The Southeastern Iowa Orchestra. During his tenure in the Des Moines Symphony, he has also regularly played in the pit for many Civic Center productions.  Mr. Seebeck is a renowned teacher of horn both privately and at educational institutions such as Drake University, Iowa State University, Central College, Grinnell College and Simpson College.

Mr. Seebeck is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.  While working on his Bachelor of Music degree, he studied with Eldon Matlick, William Scharnberg, and received master class instruction from renowned professional hornists such as Greg Hustis, Charles Kavalovsky and Barry Tuckwell.

When not performing, Bret manages 80 acres of family crop ground and produces eight varieties of wine grapes with a twelve-acre vineyard.   Bret lives near Colfax, Iowa with his wife and two children.

March 22, 2012

Jennifer Wohlenhaus

MM – San Francisco Conservatory of Music
BM – Drake University

Jennifer Wohlenhaus is the principal oboist of the Des Moines Symphony. She holds a master of music degree in oboe performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with John de Lancie and bachelor of music degrees in both Applied Music and Music with elective studies in business from Drake University, where she studied both oboe and bassoon with Jay Light. Ms. Wohlenhaus serves as adjunct faculty at both Drake University, where she teaches oboe, bassoon, theory and aural skills and at Grinnell College, where she teaches oboe and bassoon.

In addition to performances with the Des Moines Symphony, she performs frequently with many ensembles in the Des Moines/Central Iowa area such as the Polaris Wind Quintet and the Des Moines Choral Society. She teaches oboe, bassoon and piano privately and is active as a church organist and accompanist.

March 22, 2012

Kory Johnson

Kory Johnson is a native Iowan and received his bachelor of music degree in double bass performance from the University of Iowa in 2002. Mr. Johnson has held principal bass positions with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Linfield Chamber Orchestra. He has also been a bass section substitute with several orchestras across the midwest and northwest United States including the Boise Philharominic. He is currently a section bass member of the Des Moines Symphony, an associate at Becker Fine Stringed Instruments and teaches privately in the Des Moines area.

March 21, 2012

Julie Sturm

PhD – University of Arizona

Julie Sturm joined the music theory faculty of the Department of Music at Iowa State University in 2010. Dr. Sturm is a Fulbright scholar, studying German Harmonielehre (instructional texts in music theory) from 1990-91. Her PhD in music theory is from the University of Arizona.

As a cellist with international experience including concertos, recitals and orchestral performances, Julie also holds degrees in cello performance from the San Francisco Conservatory and Indiana University. Among her many and varied performance credentials, she has collaborated with the Munich Philharmonic, has toured Israel, Germany and the Canary Islands with Orchester der Nationen, has been the soloist in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in Taejon, South Korea, and has appeared as a recitalist in Mexico City, Berlin, Munich, Passau, Los Angeles and Boston, in addition to her more recent appearances in Iowa.

Dr. Sturm has held the principal cello chair of the Des Moines Symphony since 1998, during which time she has also held professorships at Drake University and Grinnell College, where she has taught cello, chamber music and music theory. Prior to moving her career to Iowa, Julie directed the chamber music and theory programs at The Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Mass.

She plays a cello made by the Hungarian luthier Janos Spiegel.

February 21, 2012

Gregory Oakes

Gregory Oakes is one of the most exciting and energetic clarinetists of his generation. From his Carnegie Hall debut with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pierre Boulez to his performances as a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Oakes has been praised by critics for his “outstanding performance” (The New York Times) and “jazzy flourishes” (Denver Post).

He has appeared as a concerto soloist with such esteemed ensembles as the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Denver Brass, performed with Grammy® Award-winner Terence Blanchard at the Telluride Jazz Festival, played at Amsterdam’s venerable new music hall, De IJsbreker, and been a featured soloist at the prestigious MaerzMusik festival in Berlin. He has been featured as a soloist at multiple International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the International Computer Music Conference, Amsterdam’s Gaudeamus International Interpreters’ Competition, the Karnatic Lab concert series (Amsterdam), the Crested Butte Chamber Music Festival, Boulder’s Modern Music Festival (M2F), and Colorado Music Festival’s Young Artist Series.

Dr. Oakes has also toured Brazil and been in residence at Princeton University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and the Aspen Music Festival. In the summer, he is on the faculty of The Cortona Sessions festival for new music in Tuscany, Italy. Dr. Oakes’ recordings have been released on Bridge, CRI, Gothic, Karnatic Lab Records, and Naxos and broadcast on National Public Radio. His solo CD New Dialects appears on the Centaur Records label. Dr. Oakes is on the faculty of Iowa State University and is principal clarinet of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. He is a Buffet Crampon and Vandoren Performing Artist.

February 21, 2012

Michael Geary

Michael Geary is the Principal Timpani for the Des Moines Symphony. He is a native of Mason City and became an extra percussionist with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO, Tri City at the time) as a college freshman and was appointed Timpanist three years later. The same year he became Resident Percussionist with the University of Iowa Center for New Music, beginning a l4-year association with that ensemble and ultimately developing a reputation as a skilled interpreter of challenging 20th-century repertoire. He has premiered numerous solo and collaborative works often working directly with composers and performing from coast to coast and Alaska at conferences and universities. While at the University of Iowa, Geary was a member instructor and composer for the Hawkeye Marching Band over the course of ten seasons.

Geary is also a  Percussionist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony as well as the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. He has performed often in Hancher Auditorium and other area venues. He champions Australian composers, whom include Carl Vine, presenting the premiere of the orchestrated version of his Percussion Concerto in Des Moines and the North American Premiere of the Percussion Symphony with colleagues from the QCSO.

ln 1992, he joined the orchestra of the Spoleto Festival, performing during ten seasons in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina. He took part in such projects as Prokofiev’s War & Peace, Berg’s Wozzeck, Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and Elektra, Shostakovich’s The Nose and diverse works of festival founder Gian Carlo Menotti. He was also featured in Milhaud’s Creation du Mondeo Crumb’s Madrigals and the American Premiere of Mauricio Kagel’s Oral Treason. He performed there with renowned artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Renee Fleming, Placido Domingo, Renata Scotto, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and conductors Richard Hickox, James Conlon, Steven Mercurio,  Christopher Keane and Spiros Argiris. Geary’s contemporary projects include performances and recordings with David Gompper, Lewis Nielson, John D. White and cellist Craig Hultgren (former QCSO member and a Davenport native). He is heard on numerous Spoleto Festival recordings on the Chandos label as well as CRI, Music & Arts, aca, and Innova.

Geary holds degrees from the University of Iowa and has also taught at lowa State University. He studied with Thomas L. Davis at the UI, Steven Schick  (his predecessor at the CNM) and Cloyd Duff, the long-time Timpanist of the Cleveland Orchestra.

He is currently on the faculty of Luther College, Decorah Iowa. He currently resides in his hometown of Mason City.

January 31, 2012

Misha Rosenker

Misha Rosenker has been principal second violinist with the Des Moines Symphony since 1998.



January 30, 2012

Derek Stratton

Derek Stratton, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is currently the Middle School Band Director for the Pella Community Schools. There, he is responsible for Seventh Grade Band, Seventh Grade and Eighth Grade Jazz Bands, and lessons for students in grades six through eight.

Mr. Stratton is considered one of the most versatile music educators in the state, having taught in all sizes of schools and situations. His experience includes the Perry Junior and Senior High Schools, Dowling High School, Indianola High School, Elk Horn-Kimballton Schools (5-12), and PCM High School. His Pella seventh grade concert band has received highly superior ratings at all large group festivals in his district as well as being chosen twice to perform at the Iowa Music Educators Conference. His eighth grade jazz band commissioned a work from composer/jazz educator Bob Washut and was invited to open for Washut’s “Jazz Panther” spring concert at the University of Northern Iowa in 2008.

In 1982, he received the ASBDA-Stanbury Award as Outstanding Young Band Director for the State of Iowa and also was awarded a Music Education Fellowship to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1986. He received a Bachelor of Music Education in 1977 and Master of Music Education in 1982 from Drake University in Des Moines.

In November of 2003, he became one of 8,195 elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide who achieved National Board Certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. His certificate is in Early Adolescence Through Young Adulthood/Music.

An active trumpet player in the Des Moines area, he has been a member of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra since 1982 and Principal Trumpet since 1986. Described by the symphony’s conductor, Joseph Giunta, as “one of the best trumpet players in the state”, he can be heard as soloist on the symphony’s recording of Concerto in F by Gershwin with Earl Wild, piano, on the Chesky label. In October 2004, he performed Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto with the Des Moines Symphony. The Des Moines Register said “Stratton plays with poignant lyricism.” He also has performed with the Des Moines Municipal Band, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Des Moines Choral Society, and the Des Moines Symphony Brass Quintet as well as numerous shows at the Des Moines Civic Center.

His wife, Julie, teaches art at Pella High School and they have a son, Jack, and a daughter, Rachael.