July 31, 2019

Andrew Bishop

Kansas City based trumpet player Andrew Bishop has enjoyed a successful and diverse career throughout the Midwest and Colorado front range area. In the spring of 2019, Andrew won the Principal Trumpet chair with the Des Moines Symphony.

Andrew was born and raised in Lindsborg, KS, known as “Little Sweden U.S.A.” He cultivated his musical endeavors under Lindsborg’s extraordinary support of the fine arts and strong musical traditions. During his youth, he performed in the Bethany Oratorio Society’s production of Handel’s Messiah and studied trumpet with Roger Thorstenberg. He studied trumpet performance at Wichita State University, where his primary instructors were Les Linn, Bob Grim and John Hagstrom. He also holds a Masters degree in trumpet performance from the University of Missouri.

During his academic studies, Andrew was a winner of the Wichita State University Concerto/Aria Competition and performed the Tartini Concerto in D with the WSU Symphony. He won the 2004 University of Missouri Concerto Competition and performed the J.F. Fasch Concerto in D for Trumpet, 2 Oboes, Strings and Continuo with the University Philharmonic. He was a recipient of the MU Emerging Artist Award, and appeared as a featured soloist with the University of Missouri Trumpet Ensemble at the 2004 International Trumpet Guild convention in Denver, CO, performing the Concerto in E-flat by G.H. Stölzel.

In 2010, Andrew won the Principal Trumpet chair with the Fort Collins Symphony, performing to acclaim Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 on his first Masterworks Concert. He was granted full tenure after his first full season in 2011, and went on to appear with FCS as a featured Guest Artist performing Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat.

While in Colorado, Andrew was also Principal Trumpet with the Colorado Bach Ensemble, Opera Fort Collins and Canyon Concert Ballet. He has also appeared regularly with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Ballet Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Boulder Philharmonic, Greeley Philharmonic, Pro Musica Colorado and Cheyenne Symphony. As a chamber player, Andrew is Co-Principal Trumpet with the Apollo Chamber Brass, as well as a member of the Boulder Brass. He has also appeared with the Denver Brass, Epic Brass Quintet, Wichita Brass Quintet and the University of Missouri Faculty Brass Quintet. He has been a trumpet lecturer at the University of Northern Colorado and is also in demand as a featured soloist and clinician.

Andrew enjoys spending free time arranging music for trumpet, brass quintet and large brass ensemble. He is a three-time World Champion (self-given title) Cribbage player. He also has an affinity for the game of baseball, and faithfully carries on the Bishop family tradition of being loyal St. Louis Cardinals fans.

In addition to his position with the Des Moines Symphony, since relocating to Kansas City, he has performed with the Kansas City Symphony and Wichita Symphony Orchestra. He lives in Olathe, KS with his wife Jillian, and their Puggles, Bella and Matai.

December 13, 2016

Erin Brooker-Miller

Erin Brooker-Miller is a Classical and Irish harpist with a passion for orchestral and chamber playing. She joined the Des Moines Symphony as Principal Harpist in 2017. She was featured as a concerto soloist in October 2018 performing the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto and has appeared on two of the Spotlight at the Temple concerts.

Erin has performed with a variety of orchestras including the Milwaukee Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Akron Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestras, among others, and has participated in the Round Top, Fresh Inc, and Miami Music Festivals.

Happiest when playing music with others, Brooker-Miller has sought out unique chamber ensembles. Her current projects include Trio Affogato, a flute, harp, and viola trio that brings classical music to coffee shops and Goodfoot, a traditional Irish trio with brother Brennan Brooker (fiddle) and husband Andy Miller (bodhran). She was a founding member of the flute, harp, and percussion trio, Archaea Tree Ensemble and a member of the pop harp quartet, HarpCore4.

Representing the United States, Erin has won numerous awards in traditional Irish music competitions in solo harp, duo, trio, and Grúpaí Cheoil categories at regional and All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoils. Most notably, she was a member of the Grand Prize winning Grúpaí Cheoil in 2002, the first time since 1957 that an ensemble from outside Ireland won that category, and won 3rd place in solo harp in 2007. Erin was named an Alternate for a prestigious Fulbright Grant to Ireland in 2014.

An accomplished arts administrator, Erin is the Executive Director of the USA International Harp Competition. Under her direction, the 10th (2016) and 11th (2019) Competitions have received the highest praise in the organization’s history.

Erin received her Master’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign as a Chancellor’s Scholar and winner of the prestigious Thomas J. Smith Award resulting in a full-tuition scholarship. Her principal classical teachers include Susann McDonald, Dr. Ann Yeung, Elizabeth Hainen, and Ayako Watanabe and Irish teachers include Eileen Gannon, Marta Cook, and Grainne Hambly.  Erin lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband, percussionist Andy Miller, and divides her time between Milwaukee, Bloomington, IN and Des Moines, IA.

December 13, 2016

Dominic Azkoul

Dominic Azkoul is Principal Bass with the Des Moines Symphony. He is also a section bassist in the Kalamazoo Symphony and a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He began playing the double bass in the 6th grade in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy, he went on to pursue an undergraduate degree at DePaul University studying under Rob Kassinger and maestro Cliff Colnot. Upon completing a Performance degree from DePaul, Dominic chose to study at Northwestern University for his Masters Degree with Andrew Raciti. Dominic currently lives in Chicago where he teaches private lessons and manages his fantasy football and basketball teams.

November 2, 2012

Kevin Judge

MM – Rice University
BM – University of Iowa

Kevin Judge is a bassoonist committed to bringing a variety of experiences to artistically engaged audiences. Mr. Judge’s work as a performer and teacher has led him to establish an international presence; his orchestral experience has given him the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, Brazil, and France. In addition, he has performed with various orchestras across the country under the direction of Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, and Larry Rachleff. He is the principal bassoonist of the Des Moines Symphony and performs regularly with the Quad Cities Symphony, Orchestra Iowa, and the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony. He  has attended distinguished classical music summer programs, including Music Academy of the West, Castleton, and the Sarasota Music Festival.

Mr. Judge’s passion for teaching has led him to serve on the faculty at Iowa State University. Prior to his appointment at Iowa State, he was awarded the William Akers Endowed Scholarship to pursue a Master of Music degree at Rice University under the tutelage of Benjamin Kamins. While attending the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he was the Education Outreach Coordinator for the music program, helping elementary students in the Greater Houston Area to better understand classical music in an interactive environment. In 2008, Mr. Judge won first prize in the Iowa Center for the Arts Scholarship Competition at the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree under the instruction of Benjamin Coelho.

July 20, 2012

Ravil ‘Bo’ Atlas

BM – University of Kansas
MM-University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Ravil “Bo” Atlas is Principal Tubist with the Des Moines Symphony.

He served as Principal Tubist with the Topeka Symphony Orchestra for three seasons while finishing his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Kansas. He has also been active as a freelance musician performing with groups such as the Lincoln Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Kansas Brass Quintet, Blackhouse Improviser’s Collective, Kansas City Brassworks, and the Fountain City Brass Band.

An avid supporter of new music, Mr. Atlas commissioned a new work  “Hybrid Entities” by composer Ben McMillan, and has been a member of the North American Tuba Repertoire Initiative for multiple years. Mr. Atlas, himself a burgeoning composer, has had multiple performances of his tuba ensemble works “Remembrance,” “Finding the Silver Lining,” and the Bass Trombone solo “Soliloquy.”

Bo is a much sought after soloist and has received many accolades for his solo work including Semi-finalist at the International Tuba Euphonium Conference in 2010, Finalist at the Arapahoe Philharmonic Concerto Competition in 2011, winner of the University of Kansas Symphony Concerto Competition in 2012, winner of the Great Plains Regional Tuba Conference solo competition in 2009, and winner of the US Army Band Mock Audition in 2012.

Bo has studied tuba with Craig Fuller, Scott Watson, Patrick Stuckemeyer, Tony Clements, Peter Warhaftig, Sam Pilafian, and Christian Carichner.

March 23, 2012

Aaron Williams

MM – Cleveland State University
BM – Oberlin Conservatory of Music
HS Diploma – Interlochen Arts Academy

Aaron Williams serves as Principal Percussionist with the Des Moines Symphony and the Quad City Symphony. He has also held the positions of Principal Percussionist with the Mansfield Symphony (Mansfield, OH) and Section Percussionist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony.

Concurrently, Aaron is also an active freelance percussionist. He has performed with the Kansas City Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Wichita Symphony, Orchestra Iowa (Cedar Rapids, IA), Buffalo Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, and the New World Symphony, among others.

Additional orchestral engagements have lead Aaron to performances on three other continents. He performed with the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome, Italy.  He toured China with the Oberlin Orchestra, giving concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, among other cities.  He also performed with the Orquestra de Professores at the Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil.

As a soloist, Aaron has performed David Gillingham’s Marimba Concerto No. 2 with the Des Moines Symphony, Áskell Másson’s Konzertstück for Snare Drum and Orchestra with the Firelands Symphony (Sandusky, OH), and Paul Creston’s Concertino for Marimba and Orchestra with the Quincy Symphony (Quincy, IL). During the summer, Aaron performs on the steps of the Iowa State Capitol with the Des Moines Metro Concert Band and has been featured as a soloist with the band.

Having great enthusiasm for contemporary chamber music, Aaron served as Artistic Director and percussionist for “Rhythm Unleashed: The Music of Marc Mellits”, a concert on the Quad City Symphony’s Signature Series. In Des Moines, he collaborated with organist Tin-Shi Tam to perform the U.S. premieres of Phaikon 493 by Leander Kaiser and The Shining City by JacobTV.

Aaron resides in Des Moines, IA where he maintains a private teaching studio and is on the faculty of the Des Moines Symphony Academy. He is also the Director of Operations for the Des Moines Symphony.  He has a Master of Music degree from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.  He received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy.  His former teachers include Tom Freer, Michael Rosen, John Alfieri, Keith Aleo, and Dr. Donna Bohn.

Aaron is a Performing Artist for the Pearl Corporation and Adams Musical Instruments.

March 23, 2012

Casey Maday

Casey Maday, Principal Trombonist with the Sarasota Opera and Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, 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. During the summer of 2017, Mr. Maday was a Fellow at the prestigious Alessi Seminar in Eugene, Oregon.

As an active performer, he has worked with ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, 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, and many others. You can also hear him performing regularly in the orchestra pit of the Civic Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Recent performances include: Aladdin, Sound of Music, Evita, Pippin, Cinderella, Lion King, Newsies, Book of Mormon, Beautiful, and more.  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 is the adjunct professor of Trombone at University of North Florida. 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 is an in demand clinician with recent masterclasses at University of North Florida, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and the Kansas City Conservatory.

He resides in Jacksonville with his wife Dr. Erin Bodnar.