Brass Ensemble Members' Biographies





Dave Arko:


Dave was born in Canon City, Colorado in 1940.  He graduated from Canon City High School in 1958, where he won the John Phillips Sousa Band Award as a senior.  Following high school, Dave attended the University of Colorado, where he received his Bachelors Degree.  He taught for four years in Gunnison, Colorado while working to attain his Masters Degree from Western State College.  Dave then moved to Jefferson County where he finished his teaching career.  He taught for 30 and ˝ years, including 4 ˝ years at the high school level, 9 years at the junior high level, and the remainder at the elementary level.  He retired from teaching in 1993 and began playing the trumpet again in 1997 as a member of the Jeffco Community Band.  Dave is married to Linda and has two children, Carol and Mark.


Bob Caldwell:


Bob has spent his entire life in Denver, CO being a native and living in the Arvada area. Having grown up in Arvada, Bob attended Lawrence grade school and began to play the trumpet there. Moving on to Arvada Jr. High he played in the concert band directed by Ken Glann. At Arvada High School Bob played in the marching band and concert band under the direction of Bob Hurrell. Upon graduating from high school he joined the Army National Guard and went to Ft. Gordon Georgia for basic training. Spending five years in the signal corp he fell away from playing the trumpet but an opportunity to join the 101st Army Band came about, so he spent the next six years playing trumpet there. Through the years he has played trumpet in his church and also for the past eight years the Jeffco Community Band and the Jeffco Brass. Bob also has a mission ministry in gathering instruments and taking them to the orphanages in Nicaragua. There he has local musicians willing to teach the children music and bring them the joy that playing music affords. Of course Bob believes that God gave us music to sooth our souls, and singing and playing trumpet has been very much a part of his life since he was in grade school. He does have a real job working for Xcel Energy/Public Service for the past thirty six years and proudly has two boys, both pursuing sharing Jesus Christ in the mission field around the world. Anyone wishing to donate instruments to be taken to an orphanage can contact him at Bob Caldwell .


Amy Midyett:


Amy plays trumpet with the Jeffco Brass and the Jeffco Community Band. After growing up in Arvada, she attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree, and Regis University, earning a Master of Arts in Education degree. She currently teaches band and orchestra to 5th and 6th graders in five schools in Arvada in the very same neighborhood in which she began her trumpet-playing life.



Dan Eagan:


Dan is a Colorado native, born Nov. 24, 1977 (Turkey Day). He has lived most of his life in the Westminster area, but about 4 years ago Dan decided to buy a place of his own in Lakewood. He started playing the trumpet about 17 years ago at Wilmore Davis Elementary and continued through his years at Wheat Ridge High School. Dan graduated from Red Rocks Community College with an A.A.S. and took and job as a cad operator for Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers, that’s when he met Ben Nelson. When Ben found out that Dan played an instrument, he told him about the Jeffco Community Band and suggested that Dan come sit in with the band and hear them play. He was so impressed that he joined the band and has been a member for several years. Dan has found that playing music not only brings enjoyment to others but it is also a great way to relax and release stress. When he is not working or playing his trumpet, Dan enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, and fishing. His new hobby is ATV Riding. He believes that there is nothing like getting up early in the morning and going for an all day ride in the mountains!



Mark Stutzman:


Mark Stutzman is Relationship Manager at E*Trade Financial Services, a brokerage firm that provides investing/trading/banking/lending services to individuals and corporations. Raised in La Junta, Colorado, Mark now lives with his wife Diana, son Ryan and 3 dogs in Westminster, Colorado. Mark enjoys anything with an engine and wheels and has recently completed restoration on his vintage Mustang. In addition to tinkering with cars, Mark enjoys weekends on his Harley. Mark got his musical roots from his Mother and band director, David Schmidt. Mark was honored as the recipient of the Susie Driscoll Memorial Music Award his senior year for outstanding musicianship. He furthered his study of music at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas and continued the experience at the University of Colorado at Boulder during the mid-1980’s where he marched with the Golden Buffalo Marching Band under the direction of Dr. Wayne Bailey. Mark serves on the Board of the Legacy High School Lightning Marching Band, as the Jazz Band liaison. He is very active with the high school music program and enjoys the time that it allows to work with teens and their love for music. Mark was honored to be asked to join the Jeffco Brass early in 2005. He also plays with the Jeffco Community Band and has had the opportunity to play the “hard hat” concert at the new Ellie Caulkins Opera House.





Larry Bullen:


Larry is a salesman for Gary Leimer, Inc., who installs commercial flooring for schools and hospitals. Larry started the brass group with small groups playing at Arvada Covenant Church in 1997 and it has grown to what it is today! As the spokesman for the group, humor is never a lacking quality for Larry. Larry is married with four grown children and three grandchildren. Larry's goal in life is to be able to retire and devote more time with the brass group. His wife has the same goal!


Alex Campbell:


Alex B. Campbell plays French horn and piano for the Jeffco Brass and in the Jeffco Community Band.  Retired, Alex was the Coordinator of Music for the Jefferson County Public Schools for many years.  He has been a high school choral director, church choir director, and a part time instructor at Metro State College.  In addition, he is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.  Currently, Alex is an active volunteer with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Colorado Symphony and the Young Musicians Foundation.  He is enjoying the opportunity to sit next to his grandson, Derek Smith, who is also in the horn section.





Bob Hurrell:


Robert (Bob) attended the University of Wyoming from 1947-1951 where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Music education. He took additional classes at the University of Colorado and University of Northern Colorado and later received his Administrative Degree from the University of Denver.

His first teaching position (1951) was at Golden High School in Jefferson County, Colorado. He returned to the county after two years of military service with the U.S. Army to become the first-ever full-time elementary school instrumental band director in Jefferson County (1953-1954). He then went to Brush, Colorado (1954-1959) where he taught all high school vocal and instrumental music, and instrumental music in both elementary and Jr. High school. In 1959 he accepted the Director of Bands position at Arvada High School and remained there until his retirement in 1984. Since retiring, he founded and conducted the Jeffco Community Band until 2001, when he passed his baton to current director, Bob Zachman.

His awards and professional organizations include Outstanding Young Teacher Awards - Brush (1958) and Arvada (1964), Secretary of the Colorado Bandmasters Association (2 years), ASBDA (1971), Mac Award (1971), CMEA, Kappa-Kappa-Psi, Phi-Mu-Alpha, and the Parade Marshall for the Arvada Harvest Festival in 1984. He was elected to the Colorado Bandmasters Association Hall-of-Fame in 1986 and was honored by the Colorado Music Educators Hall-of-Fame in 1992.

During his 33 year career, his bands traveled to Europe (3 times), Hawaii (twice), San Antonio, Washington D.C., California, Cheyenne Frontier Days (7 times), College Band Days (CU, AFA and CSU), Colorado State Fair, Denver Broncos (14 times), and the Canon City Blossom Festival ( 25 times). At contests, his bands received the Outstanding Jr. High Band (Brush, 1959), 20 consecutive 1st place awards in Denver’s St. Patrick's parade, and numerous first division awards and solo contests, ensemble presentations, and festivals in Colorado and across the nation.

During his retirement he continues to play his trombone and tuba in the Jeffco Community Band and the Jeffco Brass presenting concerts throughout Colorado. He continues to judge parades and festivals in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming.



Ben Nelson:


Ben began playing trombone almost 30 years ago since first being invited to join his 4th grade band. His tall lanky body and long arms in the 4th grade were a perfect fit for the trombone, or so his elementary music teacher DeForest Chase said! All Ben's music teachers have played an instrumental role in his life. His Junior High School teacher, Dave Rucker, gave a shy, awkward teenager a real confidence boost when he selected him to the Jr. High Jazz Band and they later cut two records with music of the Beetles, Captain & Tennille, Woody Herman, and Glenn Miller. Mr. George Duncan introduced him to Marching Bands and Mr. Robert Zachman allowed him to conduct his high school Wind Ensemble. Mr. Robert Hurrell taught him how to play trombone all over again (but correctly) and helped him win his first All-County honor. Ms. Dixie Norquist featured Ben's trombone playing with her Orchestra in his first non-Jazz solo. In Gary Hill's University of Colorado Golden Buffalo marching band he first heard what four trombone and four trumpet parts could sound like with everybody contributing. Wayne Bailey took over for Gary Hill and gave Ben his next opportunity at CU perfecting the art of fortissimo blowing his brains out on the Malaguena trombone solo for 75,000 at Mile High Stadium. Allan McMurray taught him pianissimo and helped him relish in performing Aaron Copland and Vaughn Williams. Ben graduated college and married his high-school sweetheart, Pattie Hurrell, and teacher Bob Hurrell became father-in-law and music mentor by teaching him that music doesn't end after college --- it just begins!

So here Ben finds himself, a 30 year trombone veteran, having played for family, friends, and peers in untold hundreds of band concerts, countless college football games, hundreds of parades, numerous church services and weddings, and don't ask how many company Christmas parties! This awkward trombonist has played in Canada, Disneyland, Disneyworld, all over the country during bowl games, St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland and in Rome during Christmas! Did I mention he is still as awkward as ever? Nothing much has changed - especially his love of music!

Ben has been lucky enough to blend his love of music with his structural engineering career and have been the privileged designer of the new music rehearsal building at CU, Buell Theater and several additions in Denver's Performing Arts Center, the proposed new music college at Colorado College and the Fine Arts and Performing Arts Buildings at Mesa State College.


Stan Rudeen:


Stan began playing the trombone in junior high school and continued playing through high school and college at the University of Nebraska.  After a 37-year career in aviation with the U.S. Navy and United Airlines, Stan began playing once again with the Jeffco Community Band.  He is currently keeping busy in retirement with church activities and music.





Dave Dietrich:

Dave, a native of Colorado, began playing in the Arvada High School band program, then with the Men's Marching Band at the University of Colorado, Boulder, until the engineering and NROTC class schedules became too intense. After graduation, he served his active duty obligation as Electronics Materiel Officer aboard a ship home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan. Upon return to Colorado, he began a 31 1/2 year engineering career. He returned to playing when he joined the Jeffco Community Band in 1985, and has since been associated with the Jeffco Community Band and other Denver area musical groups. Since retiring as a Standards Engineer, he is able to devote more time to his love of playing the low brass instruments: trombone, euphonium, bass trombone and tuba. "Bands are like martinis - one's not enough, but three or four are sometimes too many". Dave and his wife, Joyce have an adult son, Craig and a daughter, Denise, and are enjoying their first grandchild, Taylor.



Crissy Duran:






Timothy Johansson:


Tim began his tuba career playing the Sousaphone in the Arvada High School Redskin Marching Band under the direction of Robert Hurrell and tutored by Robert Townsend. He switched to the contrabass after high school when he joined the U. S. Navy Recruit Drum and Bugle Corps in San Diego. This band was directed by MUCS F. L. Hutchins. Tim later began playing the tuba in the Jeffco Community Band and the Jeffco Brass Ensemble. He currently plays on either a VMI 3301 or a Roth-Reynolds recording bass. His preferred mouthpiece is a Conn Helleberg. Tim is a Chief Engineer responsible for operations and upkeep of a renewable energy laboratory. His interests outside of music include: The Mountain Men of El Jebel (Shriners,) fly fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, bow hunting, and riding a BMW Airhead.





Dave Herzog:


Born on Isaac Newton's birthday (January 4th), Dave Herzog (aka: Zog) debuted in a small town in South Central Nebraska known as Geneva in the year of 1951. This was his hometown through the Tenth Grade. Dave's main interests were Music, some Art, and Science. Although one of his greatest joys was joining Marching & Concert Band in the Fifth Grade! (He was also in Mixed Chorus and Boys Glee Club, as they were called in that day.)

Dave's family moved to Southern Colorado (Rocky Ford) in May of 1967, where he finished his Junior and Senior years of High School. He was selected for Director's Choir and Mixed Octet, which would perform at numerous churches on Sunday mornings and other special places and events as selected by the Director. Additionally, Dave was active in the High School Choir, Forensics, Dramatics, and of course Marching, Concert, Stage and Pep Bands. (Elected President of the Band, too.) Also becoming a member of Thespian Troop 1348, he performed in all of the theatrical productions. Graduating in Spring of 1969, he continued his education at the University of Southern Colorado (in Pueblo) that September. While simultaneously working toward two degrees, he remained active in the Marching and Concert Bands, and joined "Symphonette" via invitation - the Director's select group. Also, Dave proudly accepted membership into Phi Mu Alpha Symphonia Fraternity - Nu Rho chapter. He continued in Thespian Club and performed in a few more theatrical productions - eventually becoming the only member remaining in Troop 1348. (This makes some of the productions quite difficult for him - especially if they're Musicals!) Most of Dave's spare time was spent working his way through college. Taking no less than 19 credit hours (his last Quarter) and no more than 26 credit hours per quarter (only once - that was enough), he managed to achieve an Associates Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology (Spring of 1972), and a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications - Television Direction/Production (Spring of 1973). Some of his other accomplishments included: Manager of the City Pool; Swim Team Coach; Certified Water Safety Instructor (Instructor of the Teachers of Life Saving and Water Safety); Certified Scuba Diver and Assistant Instructor in PADI and NASDS schools; Member of Mensa.

After 15+ years in Broadcasting (both Radio and TV - including seven years at Channel 4 in Denver), Dave got into the Customer Service field in September of 1984, where he's been ever since. His current employer (for over 21 years now) is ParTech Inc. - a company that primarily produces and supports computerized Point of Sale equipment for the Fast Food industry. The facility is in Boulder and is a 24x7x365.25 Phone Support Center that spans 11 Time Zones. Starting out as a Customer Service Technician on the phone, Dave became Phone Center Supervisor in less than 5 years. After being promoted to Manager of the Training Department (for 5 years until the department was closed down), he returned to the Phone Center as a Supervisor, now completing over 12 years in that position.

Currently, Dave feels honored to be a member of the Jeffco Community Band and also the Jeffco Brass Ensemble. He feels these organizations "give back to the community enjoyable music for all ages." He finds it "therapeutic and just downright fun!" Additionally, he's a Certified Substitute Teacher in Colorado Public Schools System.





Pattie Nelson:


Pattie grew up the youngest daughter of high school Band Master Robert Hurrell who was an icon in High School marching bands, concert bands, and Dixieland jazz bands. Her mother says Pattie's first spoken words were "Band, Horns Up!" and her first steps were in classic 8 to 5 (meaning 8 crawls for each yard taken). Her travel passport was filled with stamps from all over Europe barely before she could even try to toot her dad's trombone.

Needless to say, when she was given the choice of all the band instruments in the world to play, she chose to begin her music career by playing her mother's violin! Pattie thrived in Orchestra, music history and music theory and enjoyed All-County and All-State Orchestra honors in High School. She also learned from her "papa" that the surest way to meet musicians of the opposite sex was to join the band playing in a predominately Male section, like the trombones! So Pattie's "frugal" parents located the best garage-sale trombone that money could buy and she was off to join the Arvada West High School bands (Yes, she also met a boy trombone player! More on this later).

After high school, she joined the CU Marching Band while also playing her violin in the Music Education program. Her violin professor didn't think much of the odd combination, but the need to instruct bands and orchestras in a future teaching career was a necessity and provided her valuable experiences of a lifetime. Upon graduation, she married her high school trombone-playing sweetheart and began teaching Band/Orchestra at Thornton, Northglenn, and Horizon High Schools. She shared the love of music travel with her students with music festivals in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Orlando. In 1988 and 1991, Pattie and her husband Ben had two future musician girls and Pattie rejoined teaching in Jefferson County Schools as a string specialist teaching elementary students since 1993. Both girls enjoy playing in Orchestra and are being encouraged to find a good used trombone for dating purposes.

In her spare time, Pattie assists her father in conducting the Jeffco Community Band that he founded in 1984. She also guest conducts Orchestras in Colorado and directs the Jeffco Brass Ensemble that was created in 1997.


Previous Members

Although these members have left the Jeffco Brass on an active basis, several member return from time to time to play with the band.

Shannon Lewis:


A Colorado native, Shannon has played in several bands around the state.  She was a member of the Lakewood High School marching, concert and jazz bands until she graduated in 1992.  During high school, she participated in the C.S.U. honor concert band three times, the state honor concert band once, and the county honor concert and jazz bands several times.  She also won the John Phillips Sousa Band Award as a senior.  Shannon attended Colorado State University, earning a Bachelors Degree in English in 1996.  While in college, she played the trumpet in the university marching band for one year and in the university concert band for four years.  Shannon joined the Jeffco Community Band in 1997 and the Jeffco Brass Ensemble in 1999.  She worked as an Assistant Band Director for Golden High School in 1998 and 1999 during the marching band season.  She is currently employed as a Customer Service Executive for a health insurance broker.



Ted Carpenter:


Ted Carpenter is an Iowa native, receiving his Bachelor of Music degree with an educational emphasis from the University of Northern Iowa in 1994. He taught high school band for 2 years, then switched to elementary general music. His principal instrument is horn, though he fills in on trumpet when needed. He currently resides in Arvada, CO with his wife and son where he has been teaching general music in the Jeffco school district since 2000. Ted earned his Kodaly Certification from Colorado State University and will earn a Master's Degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University in May of 2006. Though he is not currently playing with the group, he looks forward to returning in the near future.



Derek Smith:


The grandson of fellow French horn player, Alex Campbell, Derek is the youngest member of the ensemble.  He is a student at University of Wyoming.  He also plays French horn in the Jeffco Community Band and has been playing for seven years.  Derek also enjoys mountain biking, fishing, and camping and is active in the Boy Scouts of America.



Chris Grostic:


Chris Grostic was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Muskegon High School in Muskegon, Michigan in 1997. Chris went on to major in math and physics at Kalamazoo College, where he also played in the jazz and symphonic bands and won the Lillian Pringle Baldauf Prize as top music student in 2001. Chris moved to Colorado and joined the JeffCo Brass in the fall of 2001, keeping a steady 'day job' as a paraprofessional at a behavioral mental health treatment center for adolescents. After two years, Chris headed back to Michigan and enrolled at the University of Michigan Law School, from where he plans to graduate in May 2006.



Don Jones:


Don Jones is another of the Colorado Natives to have played in the Jeffco Brass. Born December 13th (lucky day) 1961. Oddly enough this is almost exactly 9 months to the day after my Dad's birthday of March 17th (St Patty's Day). Don started playing Baritone in 4th grade at Alsup Elementary in Commerce City with Mr Gustafson. This was following in the shoes of Dad who played for Hall of Famer Dwight Dale in La Junta CO and sat Second Chair All State Baritone in High School. At Adams City Junior High Don got into big band/jazz and marching band with band director Mr Tito. A Christmas present of a Conn Valve Trombone let him play the Budweiser song in the Marching band and introduced me to his lifelong love of fully instrumented big band with 5 Trumpets, 5 Trombones, and 5 Saxes with rhythm section. Don's musical world really expanded during high school with Hall of Fame Music Teacher Mr. Joe Brice. He played in the First Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Wind Ensemble for 3 years after moving to Aurora from Commerce City. Stan Kenton became Don's favorite composer/artist along with John Barnes Chance, Louis Armstrong, Dimtri Shostakovich, Woody Herman, Gustav Holst, and Aaron Copeland. Smoky Hill had a great music program for a lot of years but the late 70's and early 80's were the best! His Senior year (80) Don was awarded the John Philips Sousa award, First Chair Euphonium Centennial League Honor Band, First Chair Euphonium All State Honor Band, and at Mr Brice's urging auditioned for acceptance to the University of Denver School of Music where he attended my Freshman year on Scholarship. After one year at DU, he then studied and played music at CU, Metro State, and CU Denver while earning a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA in International Business while working full time. After school Don continued to play, off and on, in various groups including the Civil War recreation 10th Artillery Regimental Brass Band, the Monday Night Jazz Band, the Over the Hill band (Smoky Hill alums), Tuba Christmas, and Jeffco Brass. He met his wife Laurie of 23 years in the CU Marching Band (piccolo player) and has 2 children. Jill is a senior at Ponderosa and color guard member of 9 time world champion 'The Cadets' Drum and Bugle Corps. Levi is a trumpet, soccer, and lacrosse player going into Ponderosa fall of 06. Don is self employed (PrecisionFab, Inc.) selling world class fabrication machinery.