School of Music

UF BrassFest

Dr. Timothy Howe

Dr. Timothy Howe received a Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance from Northwestern University in 1983, where he was a student of the late Chicago Symphony trombonist, Frank Crisafulli. Shortly after his graduation from Northwestern, Dr. Howe was appointed Second Trombone of the Omaha Symphony in 1983. He served in this position for over 20 years, performing everything from great symphonic and operatic masterworks to concerts with popular music artists and educational programs. In addition to his orchestra duties, Dr. Howe was a member of the Omaha Symphony Brass Quintet.  During his time in Omaha, Dr. Howe also was appointed Principal Trombone of the Lincoln (NE) Symphony, a position he held from 1997-2003, and Principal Trombone of the Des Moines Metro Opera, a position which he still currently holds. He also performs regularly with the Shreveport Symphony, the Arkansas Symphony, South Arkansas Symphony, and was Principal Trombone of the Pine Bluff (AR) Symphony.

Dr. Howe received a Master of Music degree in 1995 and a Doctor of Musical Arts in 2002 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was a student of Vernon Forbes and Dr. Scott Anderson. He has received additional instruction and master classes with Max Bonecutter, Glenn Dodson, and Michael Mulcahy. Dr. Howe’s thesis was entitled: Developing a Historical Model for Trombone Performance Practice in German and Austrian Orchestral Works from the Period 1785-1830.  The University of Nebraska-Lincoln honored Dr. Howe as a distinguished arts alumni and he performed a guest recital on campus in 2004. In addition he has performed solo recitals and concerto performances at colleges in Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas, Nebraska and Iowa. In May 2006 and 2008 he presented master classes and recitals at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China. Recent premieres include Episodes for Trombone and Timpani by Phillip Parker at the South Central Conference of the College Music Society, and Fanfare for Trombone and Computer by Jeremy Baguyos at the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States National Conference at Iowa State University. He has been a region jazz clinician in Arkansas and president of the Arkansas Jazz Educators Association. He released his solo and chamber music CD "Across  the Wide Missouri, New Music for Trombone" in 2014. It is available on CD Baby.

Dr. Howe performs with the Drei Bones Trombone Trio, which has presented concerts and master classes at the International Trombone Festival, The Americam Trombone Workshop, Midwest Trombone and Euphonium Conference, Big Twelve Trombone Conference, and many universities. They released thier debut CD "Drei Bones" in 2016 on Emeritus Recordings and their second CD, "Of Hammered Gold" will be released in spring 2019 on Emeritus as well.

Dr. Howe teaches trombone, low brass methods and directs the Trombone Choir at the University of Missouri. Before coming to Missouri, Dr. Howe was Assistant Professor of Music at Arkansas Tech University.  He has also served as a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Grace University, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Dana College, Concordia College, and Union College.

Dr. Dunwoody Mirvil

With an innate love for the arts, passion to perform and drive to teach others, Dunwoody Mirvil is a world-traveled and well-versed trombonist from Miami, Fla. For more than 25 years, he has honed his skills as an instrumentalist and educator, performing and sharing his knowledge with low brass musicians of all disciplines, ranges and skill levels. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University and is also a proud alum of Florida A&M University and its famed "Marching 100" Band. Additionally, Dr. Mirvil is an experienced adjudicator for the Florida Bandmasters Association, a member of the International Trombone Association, Florida Music Educators Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, Inc. He is also an Endorsed Performing Artist for Conn-Selmer, Inc. and the creator of two signature mouthpieces for Giddings Mouthpieces.

Dr. Brenda Luchsinger

Dr. Brenda Luchsinger teaches applied horn, music appreciation and string methods at Alabama State University. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004 with Bachelor of Music degrees in Applied Horn and Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and earned her Master of Music degree in Horn Performance from the University of Florida in 2006. She recently completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Horn Performance from the University of Alabama. Her document, The Horn Quartets of Michael Kallstrom – A Performance Guide was presented at the 2010 International Horn Symposium in Brisbane, Australia.

Professionally, Dr. Luchsinger is a member of the Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Macon (GA) Symphonies, and has performed with many orchestras throughout the southeast and midwest. Internationally, she has performed in concerts, solo recitals and chamber recitals in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. As a member of the American Wind Symphony in 2007, she appeared on CBS’s The Early Show and was an artist at the Festival of Arts and Ideas at Yale University.

Dr. Luchsinger has presented lectures and lecture recitals regionally and internationally on topics including Michael Kallstrom’s horn quartets, unaccompanied horn literature, extended techniques for the horn, and teaching and performing techniques for musicians with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders.

She can be heard on the University of Florida Wind Symphony’s CDs Durian Music and Stravinsky & Friends, on the American Wind Symphony’s Music of the Americas, and has recorded with the Trade Winds for Carl Fischer Music. She is a member of the National Assiciation for Music Education, the International Women's Brass Conference, The College Music Society and the International Horn Society, where she currently serves as the IHS representative for the state of Alabama. Dr. Luchsinger’s principal horn teachers include Charles “Skip” Snead, Paul Basler, Patrick Miles and Michael J. Arendt.

Steven Newbold

STEVEN NEWBOLD started playing music in his early years.  His mother first taught him piano lessons at the age of 5.  He then began to play the French horn at the age of 11 and went on to receive a Bachelor's of Music from Brigham Young University and a Master's of Music from the University of Southern California on the French horn.  Steven has performed with the Long Beach Symphony, San Antonio Symphony and played with the Houston Ballet Orchestra for two years.  He has also taught many French horn students along the way.  He first began composing and arranging music as a teenager and continues to perform, arrange and compose music.  He has published instrumental and vocal church music with Jackman Music.  Steven grew up in Houston, TX and now resides with his wife and family in Southern California.  He is currently finishing his Doctorate degree in composition at Claremont Graduate University and teaches Music Theory and Musicianship at Fullerton College.

Dr. Paul Basler, Professor of French Horn

Paul Basler is Professor of Music at the University of Florida where he has been on the faculty since 1993. Prior to his appointment at UF, he served as the Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Music at Kenyatta University, taught at Western Carolina University and was the North Carolina Visiting Artist in Residence at Caldwell Community College. Basler is a frequent guest performer and composer at national and international music festivals, horn society workshops and educational institutions. He has been a member of the Brevard, Charleston, Valdosta, Greenville, and Asheville Symphonies and continues to maintain a busy performing schedule throughout the United States and abroad. Basler has received American Cultural Affairs Specialist Grants from the U.S. Department of State and for ten years served as Visiting Artist with the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Culture and National Conservatory of Music.

Basler's compositions have been performed throughout the world and have received performances at Carnegie Hall, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Festival Internacional de Música de Cantonigròs, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, the Kennedy Center, the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center and by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.  His music is published by Carl Fischer, Colla Voce Music,, Walton Music, Hinshaw Music, WaveFront Music, ALRY Publications, Veritas Musica Publications, and the IHS Press.

Basler received his B.M. degree from Florida State University, M.M., M.A. and D.M.A. degrees from Stony Brook University and has garnered teaching awards from the University of Florida, Western Carolina University, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Culture, and the Kenyan Office of the President’s Permanent Music Commission. Basler's horn teachers have included William Purvis, William Capps and Barry Benjamin and his composition teachers have been John Boda, John Downey, Bülent Arel, John Lessard and Billy Jim Layton.

Dr. Randolph Lee, Associate Professor of Trumpet

From Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, trumpeter Randolph Lee has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert venues, giving appearances throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Spanning a career as a soloist, teacher, and a recording artist, he can be heard on Deutsche Grammophon, Centaur Records, Tantara Records, international television and radio broadcasts, albums, television shows, commercials, video games, and movies.

Randolph Lee has performed as a soloist in Carnegie Hall, premiered new works, and presented guest artist recitals at various universities. A collaboration with Columbian composer and pianist Mauricio Arias brought about the creation of a new concerto for trumpet, piano, and orchestra titled Rapsodia Camaleonica, as well as its world premiere and Carnegie Hall debut. A new cantata for trumpet and choir titled The Mystic Trumpeter was also written for Randolph by Anthony Maglione; and after giving its premier, he recorded it on Centaur Records (to be released in 2015). Other solo appearances with various ensembles include the Bells at Temple Square, Salty Crickets Composers Colletive, Azlo Orchestra, Scottsdale Musical Arts Orchestra, Academy of St. Barnabas on the Desert, ASU Schola Cantorum, UCLA Philharmonia, UCLA Brass Ensemble, UCLA Symphonic Band, BYU Synthesis jazz band, as well as high school and community bands.

As an orchestral trumpeter and collaborator, Randolph Lee has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Opera Hong Kong as guest principal trumpet, Tucson Symphony Orchestra as substitute principal trumpet, Orchestra at Temple Square with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as principal and section trumpet, Philip Glass Ensemble, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Utah Wind Symphony, Phoenix Chorale, Phoenix Boys Choir, Salt River Brass as principal solo cornet, Scottsdale Arts Orchestra as principal trumpet, Utah Regional Ballet, and various chamber ensembles including the Potsdam Brass Quintet.

Prior to the University of Florida, Dr. Lee served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Trumpet at State University of New York Potsdam and has taught at Arizona State University, University of California Los Angeles, Brigham Young University, BYU - Idaho, and has given clinics at various high schools and middle schools. He holds degrees from BYU (BA), where he studied with David Brown, UCLA (MM) with Jens Lindemann, and ASU (DMA) under the tutelage of Regents’ Professor David Hickman. Other teachers include K. Newell Dayley, Nick Norton, Donald Green, and Jay Posteraro. When not performing or teaching, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and children.

Dr. Jemmie Robertson, Assistant Professor of Trombone

Jemmie Robertson is Assistant Professor of Trombone at the University of Florida and is Principal Trombone of the Gainesville Orchestra. Dr. Robertson studied at Northwestern University (DM, 2006), Yale University (MM, 2003), and the University of Northern Colorado (BM, 1997). Jemmie was a founding member of the American Trombone Quartet, which released the “Premiere!” (2020, Mark Masters) and were featured artists at the  2019 Lille Trombone Festival in Lille, France and the 2017 & 2018 International Trombone Festivals.

In May 2019, Jemmie performed as the international guest artist at the ATPB 2019 Trombone Festival in João Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil. In June and July 2019, Jemmie performed Turrin’s Fandango at the Les Anches d'Azur Music Festival in La Croix-Valmer, France and chamber music at L'église de la Madeleine in Paris with the UF Wind Symphony. In July 2019, he gave a solo recital tour in Japan and returned for his twentieth season as a member of the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra (CO) where he appeared as a featured soloist with the ensemble in Robert Starer’s Concerto a Tre at the Vail International Dance Festival.

Jemmie is an active orchestral musician, having recently performed with the Florida Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and the Jacksonville and Ocala Symphonies, as well as throughout the Midwest where he has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Civic Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Philharmonic, and many others. Jemmie, in addition to numerous ensemble recordings, has published four solo recordings: Red Dragonfly (2022, Mark Masters), Collaborations (2017), Conditions of a Solitary Bird (2014), and A New Day Dawning (2008, MSR Classics) of which the ITA Journal wrote in a July 2018 review: “expertly interpreted and performed with personality, charm, and precision.” and “Jemmie Robertson is not just an accomplished trombonist, but a true artist of the instrument who has taken the time to craft his artistic vision of each piece.” Before pursuing graduate studies, Jemmie was a member of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra (2000) and the USAF Heritage of America Band (1996-1999). Jemmie is an Edwards performing artist.

Danielle VanTuinen, Assistant Professor of Low Brass (Tuba and Euphonium)

Dr. Danielle VanTuinen joined the faculty of the University of Florida in August 2019 as Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium. Danielle is a performer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Rochester, New Hampshire. She previously served as Visiting Lecturer of Music at Plymouth State University where she taught low brass methods and applied low brass lessons. She also served as brass faculty at the Portland Conservatory of Music, adjunct staff for the marching band at the University of New Hampshire, Educational Representative with Music and Arts, and a private lessons instructor at Timberlane High School and throughout northern New England. Danielle is the co-founder of the Moreau | VanTuinen Duo and an active presenter, clinician, and performing artist throughout the United States and Europe. 

Prior to her work in New England, Danielle was the low brass instructor for the Phoenix Youth Symphony. Her responsibilities included small group and ensemble coaching for middle and high school students participating in the organization’s bands and orchestras. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she coached the Arizona State University concert band low brass section, comprised of first-year and non-major performers. Danielle has been invited to adjudicate at a variety of festivals, including the New Hampshire MEA Solo & Ensemble Competition, the Paul l. Willwerth Brass Competition at Central Michigan University, the Maine and Arizona All-State Festivals, and the AETYB Young Artist Competition in Spain. As a strong proponent of new music, she has actively participated as a member and coordinator of several commissioning projects for both solo euphonium/tuba and percussion/euphonium repertoire. This passion has resulted in over 15 new works from 2016-2019, three of which will be premiered by her in 2019. 

Dr. VanTuinen has performed with several ensembles throughout Arizona, Michigan and the New England areas, including the Phoenix Ballet, West Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Salt River Brass Band, and the New England Brass Band. As a co- founder of the Moreau | VanTuinen Duo, she has been invited to perform at the International Alliance for Women in Music, the International Tuba Euphonium Conference, Spanish Association of Tubas and Euphoniums, Northern Arizona University, Ithaca College, the Miraphone Academy of the Southwest, the United States Pershing’s Own Army Band Tuba- Euphonium Workshop, and the International Women’s Brass Conference as a guest artist and educational presenter. 

Danielle earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Performance from Arizona State University. Her culminating doctoral project, “Euphonium and Live Interactive Electronics: A Performer’s Examination of Three New Works”, sought to provide historical context and expand the electroacoustic repertoire for low brass. She holds a Master of Music degree in Music Performance from Arizona State University and a Bachelors of Music degree in Music Performance from Central Michigan University. Her principal mentors include Dr. Deanna Swoboda, Professor Douglas Yeo, Dr. Mark Cox, and Professor Scott Hanson. Danielle is an active member of the International Tuba Euphonium Association and the International Women’s Brass Conference. 

Dr. Laura Ellis, Professor and SOM Associate Director, Organ, Carillon, Harpsichord

Laura Ellis was recently elected to her second term as President of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), an organization of professional musicians dedicated to promoting the carillon art. She may often be found at the top of Century Tower performing on UF's 61-bell carillon. 

Her well-known recording of the works of Jeanne Demessieux is now available on multiple digital platforms worldwide. Legacy: Laura Ellis Plays the Works of Jeanne Demessieux was produced by ProOrgano and recorded on the "Great Hosanna" organ on the campus of the University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Arkansas. The album is available on SpotifyPandoraApple Music, and the Naxos Music Library.

Ellis recently featured the Andrew Anderson Memorial Organ on the UF campus in a recording produced by the Raven label: "Music for the Testaments Old and New". This 2-CD set offers contemporary interpretations of scripture written by composers active in the United States from the mid-twentieth century to the current day. Tracks from this CD have been featured on "Pipedreams", a nationally broadcast public radio program (her recording of "A Prophecy" by Daniel Pinkham was broadcast on the Sept 27, 2018 program and "Incarnation Suite" of Joel Martinson was aired on December 23, 2019

Dr. Ellis has been on the faculty in the School of Music since 2003 and serves as Associate Director. She teaches undergraduate and graduate organ, harpsichord, and carillon. In addition to applied lessons, Ellis teaches courses in the Sacred Music area. Ellis is a graduate of Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) and holds a Master of Music degree in church music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the University of Kansas. Her major organ teachers have been James Higdon and William Kuhlman. While in residence at the University of Kansas, she studied carillon with Albert Gerken.

Prior to her Florida appointment, Ellis served as professor of music at McMurry University and held the position of parish organist at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, TX. Ellis began her teaching career at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

Ellis was invited to discuss the music of her carillon mentor at the 2012 Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. The presentation entitled "Bert Gerken: His Arrangements and Original Compositions for Carillon." In June 2010 Ellis performed a solo carillon recital for the 2010 Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago. During this same congress, Ellis passed her advancement examination recital on The Millennium Carillon in Naperville, Illinois, and is now a carillonneur member of the GCNA.

Recital engagements as organist have included appearances with the Jacksonville (FL) Symphony, Piccolo Spoleto (Charleston, SC), Westminster Abbey, and various locations throughout Florida, Texas, and the South. In addition to her performances on the carillon in Century Tower on the University of Florida campus, Ellis has performed solo carillon recitals throughout the United States and Canada. Recent appearances include recitals at International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois; Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; the University of Rochester (NY); Alfred University (NY); and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Spokane, Washington.

In October 2007 Ellis traveled to Australia for a series of five recitals, including a solo organ recital on the Great Hall Organ at the University of Sydney. She also performed solo carillon recitals at the University of Sydney and at the National Carillon in the capital city of Canberra. Ellis presented a solo organ recital at the Region IV Mid-winter conference of the American Guild of Organists in January 2010. In this recital she premiered, "Praise," a composition by University of Florida composition faculty member Paul Richards based on Psalm 150:3-5.

Ellis is active in the American Guild of Organists (AGO) where she was elected to three terms as Regional Councillor for the Southeast. She is currently Director of the National Nominating Committee and Dean of the Gainesville Chapter of the organization. Ellis also serves as director of the Music Publications committee of the GCNA. 

John M Jr (Jay) Watkins, Director of The Gator Marching Band

Mr. John M. “Jay” Watkins, Jr. serves the Gator Nation as the Associate Director of Bands, Director of Athletic Bands, Assistant Professor in the School of Music and as the Director of The Gator Marching Band. Prior to his appointment at UF, he served as Assistant to the Director of Bands, Assistant Director of the Longhorn Band, and Conductor of the Longhorn Basketball, Volleyball and Concert Bands at The University of Texas at Austin, where he was the principle guest conductor of the Symphony Band and the show designer for the Longhorn Band. In the past, ensembles under his direction have performed and recorded with over 36 Grammy-award winning artists in a program he developed to integrate the academic, athletics and live music communities of Central Texas. Prior to his appointment at Texas, he served as the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Charleston Southern University (SC), where he was also the Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education. Mr. Watkins has received recognition as the CSU Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year and as a recipient of the National Band Association’s “Citation of Excellence”, and was the founder, Music Director and Conductor of The Lowcountry Winds, a professional wind ensemble based in Charleston, SC. He has also served as the Director of the U.S. Navy Drum & Bugle Corps and the Director of Instrumental Music at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and as a teacher in the public schools in North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. Prior to his work in music education, he worked for the US Naval Research Laboratory as a research associate in the areas of liquid fuel propellants and their stability and published over 75 articles in refereed science journals.

Mr. Watkins is a native of Falls Church, VA and earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Music Education degrees from George Mason University and Valdosta State University. He holds professional memberships in numerous organizations, served as South Carolina State Chair and Southern Division Chair for the National Band Association, and is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu, the International Bandmaster’s Fraternity. Mr. Watkins remains very active as a designer, clinician and adjudicator throughout the country. He is married to the former Natalie Kay McLain of Duncan, SC; they have one son, Jacob.

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