Pelican Music Publishing would like to

introduce you to our Composers   


    1. Jeffrey Agrell

    2. Dr. Patricia D. Backhaus

    3. Timothy J. Bowlby

    4. George Chaltas

    5. Barton Cummings

    6. Robert Denham

    7. Erica Glenn

    8. Kenneth C. Henslee

    9. Doug Hill

    10. Henry Hofmann

    11. John Humphries

    12. Mert Karabey

    13. Aaron Keim

    14. Steve Le Bel

    15. Gregg Marolf

    16. James Papanek

    17. Michael Pariza

    18. Kevin Petersen (1959-2009)

    19. Dr. Lynn L. Petersen

    20. Dale Pforr

    21. Peter Rail

    22. Daniel C. Schrader

    23. Dr. Michael Sczerba, D.M.A.

    24. Mort Shafer (1931-2009)

    25. Nicolas Sikaczowski

    26. Charles J. Smith

    27. Chris Teichler

    28. Daniel Vendt

    29. Robert L. Werntz Sr.



Jeffrey Agrell

Associate Professor of Horn Jeffrey Agrell has taught at the University of Iowa since 2000 after a first career as symphony musician. As a performer/educator he has played and taught the full gamut of horn literature for symphony orchestra, opera, musicals, ballet, operetta, solo and chamber music, while stretching personal artistic boundaries beyond the orchestra as a composer, writer, clinician, recording artist, and solo performer.

He has won awards as both a composer and writer, with over one hundred published articles, and many compositions published, recorded on CD, and performed on concerts stage, competitions, and festivals, and broadcast on radio and TV worldwide. He has completed two terms on the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. Summers he is on the faculty of the prestigious Kendall Betts Horn Camp, and has been on the faculty of the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong. He frequently gives concerts, workshops, and lectures nationally and internationally. Recent recordings include the CD "Repercussions" with pianist Evan Mazunik, "Mosaic" with Duende (horn, cello, piano) on MSR Classics, and "Side Show Tim" with Cerberus (horn, trumpet, tuba) on Dane Records.

Visit Jeffrey Agrell web site


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Dr. Patricia D. Backhaus

Patricia D. Backhaus is an internationally acclaimed trumpet and cornet soloist.  Pat has been a private studio teacher for over 20 years.  In addition, she has taught band music at every level.  She attended Carroll College in her hometown of Waukesha, WI where she earned her BA degree in Trumpet Performance.  She also holds a MM degree and a DMA degree, both in Trumpet Performance, from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities.  Her most notable teachers were Dr. David Baldwin, Dr. Edgar Turrentine, Mr. Terry Bjorkland, and Elizabeth A.H. Green.  Dr. Paul E. Bierley and William H. Rehrig influenced her development as a music historian.  Byron Autrey, former Cornet Soloist of the Detroit Concert Band,  inspired her career as a cornet soloist.  Gladys Wright, Founder of Women Band Directors International, Inc. (WBDI) has been a mentor.

Dr. Backhaus has written for professional journals and magazines including “The Instrumentalist”, “Bandworld”, “The Journal of Band Research”, “The New York Brass Conference”, “The Woman Conductor”, “The National Band Association Journal”, “Windjammers” and the WMEA Journal.  She authored the method bookCreative Practice.  She has presented clinics at state music educator meetings, several papers at the Great American Brass Band Festival, the Sonneck Society for American Music and WBDI.  In 2002 she was also a presenter at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.  Dr. Backhaus is the current president of WBDI and a Council member of the Wisconsin Music Educators Association.  She is also a member of the International Trumpet Guild, National Band Association, and the Music Educators National Conference.  Pat is a National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota and the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.  She is also on the Executive Board, and is a co-founder of Soli Deo Gloria Institute for the Arts, Inc. which is devoted to developing an appreciation for the arts in worship.

Patricia is an artist/clinician for the Getzen Company.  She has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, the Florentine Opera, Pamiro Symphony, Waukesha Symphony and Racine Symphony.  Along with keyboardist Valerie Floeter, she has produced 4 CD’s of outstanding hymntune based literature.   Backhaus and Floeter have toured to Germany twice and are preparing to return in August of 2003 when Pat will be the guest conductor for the Evangelical Free Church - Church Music Day held in Zwickau, Germany. 

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Timothy J. Bowlby

Timothy Bowlby  was born in Wolfville Nova Scotia (Canada) on 23 Dec. 1958. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Acadia University (Wolfville).Ý His principal composition teachers were Owen Stephens (Acadia), William Brooks, Morgan Powell, and Paul Martin Zonn; he has also studied with Brian Ferneyhough, Libby Larsen, Anea Lockwood, and Milton Babbitt.

Tim composes music in a number of styles for a wide variety of media, and his scores have been performed throughout the United States and in Canada.  Recent works include a trumpet ensemble piece inspired by the events of September 11 2001 which was commissioned by Ronald Romm (a former member of the Canadian Brass).  Tim is currently completing a trio for clarinet, violoncello and piano for a group in Huddersfield England.

Tim is also active as a singer, researcher, and conductor. He leads a number of church-based ensembles in the Champaign area. He was On-line Composer-in-Residence for the NETCOMM telementoring project at UIUC for three years and has recently begun serving University Place Christian Church in Champaign as their first official Resident Composer. 

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George Chaltas

Born in New Haven Connecticut, George Chaltas composed his first piece at age 12 - a mercifully brief trio for Horn, Flute and 'Cello.  He began composing more seriously in college; several of the horn duets published by Pelican Music date from that time.   Other works include pieces for Band, Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble and several Woodwind Quintets.  He received a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance (French Horn, 1980) from the University of New Hampshire, and Master of Music in Music Theory (1982) and Master of Computer Science (1985) degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  George resides in Portland Oregon, works for a microprocessor manufacturer and composes as the mood takes him.

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Barton Cummings

Barton Cummings enjoys a distinguished international musical career. Recognized as an author, composer, conductor, educator and performing artist, he has pursued these activities successfully for more than forty years.

His consistent and scholarly writing have produced three books, more than four hundred articles, scores of reviews and several editorship positions. His work is constantly citied in articles, books and dissertations by other authors.

The music of Barton Cummings has been performed throughout the world by such prominent artists and ensembles as Harvey Phillips, Mark Nelson, Mary Ann Craig, Fritz Kaenzig, Dennis Askew, Kenyon Wilson, Susan Bradley, Susan Nigro, James J. Pellerite, Jay Easton, Tony Clements, David Deason, Carson Coorman, Janet Polk, Jae Young Heo, San Jose (CA) Chamber Orchestra, Bowling Green State University Euphonium-Tuba Ensemble, Colonial Tuba Quartet, Meridian Arts Ensemble Brass Quintet, St. John’s Brass Quintet, Prima Toni, Tokyo Bari-Tuba Ensemble, University of Michigan Euphonium-Tuba Ensemble, New Castle Brass Ensemble, Harmonious Brass Choir, University of New Hampshire Concert Choir, University of the Pacific Wind Ensemble, University of Memphis Concert Band, University of North Carolina – Greensboro TubaBand, Georgia Honors Euphonium-Tuba Choir, University of Washington Wind Ensemble and The Chicago Symphonic Wind Ensemble. 

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Robert Denham

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Robert Denham holds a DMA in composition from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music CCM) where he studied with Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. His other degrees are from UCLA (MA Composition) where he studied with Roger Bourland, Ian Krouse, and the late Jerry Goldsmith, and Biola University (BM, Trumpet Performance). Mr. Denham managed the annual new music festival MusicX for four years, and currently teaches Theory and Composition at Northern Kentucky University.

Denham’s music includes works of every genre and has been performed across the United States and Europe by such performers and ensembles as Timothy Lees (Concertmaster, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), the CCM Philharmonia, the Los Angeles Flute Quartet, the Orion Saxophone Quartet, the CCM Chamber Players, and the Academia Musicale di San Casciano Orchestra e Coro di bambini (Florence, Italy). Performances of his music include such notable venues as the 2006 SCI National Conference, Composers Inc., Culver City Chamber Music Series, the Pacific Contemporary Music Center (Long Beach CA), and the Ernest Bloch Festival (Newport OR). He has won numerous competitions, including the Hvar International Composition Competition (Croatia), the CCM Philharmonia Composition Competition,the Gluck Brass Quintet Composition Competition, and was the 1998 recipient of the coveted Stanley Wilson Composer’s Award (UCLA). For more information, visit the composer’s website at

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Erica Glenn

Erica Glenn has composed for music ensembles ranging from brass quartets to string orchestras to musical theater choruses. As a child, she entered the BYU Composition Competition and took second place against contestants twice her age. Erica’s choral compositions have been performed by the Utah Children’s Choir, the PGHS Chamber Choir, and the Arizona State University Women’s Chorus. In 2004, her children’s musical, Between the Lines was awarded first prize in the VIP Arts Competition. One of Erica’s most recent compositions (a two piano/eight hand piece entitled Factal) was premiered on February 14, 2005, in ASU’s Katzin Concert Hall by the students of Walter Cosand (winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition). Erica is currently studying music composition at Arizona State University.

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Kenneth C. Henslee

Ken received his Bachelor of Music degree from Colorado State University in 1964.  Following a 20 year career in the United States Air Force and several years as a computer programmer and electronic technician, Ken reentered the music world in 1991.  First as a performer on the Euphonium and French Horn then as an arranger and composer of music for Horn, Brass Quintet and Woodwind Quintet/Sextet.  After winning a composer’s contest, Ken started his own publishing company in 1995 and proceeded to sell music worldwide, gaining a good reputation for his works.  Having made the decision to retire, he has turned his music over to others to publish and distribute.

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Doug Hill

Douglas Hill, Professor of Horn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1974, Emily Mead Baldwin Bell-Bascom Professor of the Creative Arts, recipient of a Wisconsin Arts Council Artist Fellowship, and past President of the International Horn Society, has played first horn with the Rochester Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Co., the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble of New York (European tour and recording), the "Mass" of Leonard Bernstein (Lincoln Center, and at the Metropolitan Opera House), "Mostly Mozart ’at Carnegie Hall, the Wingra Woodwind Quintet and presently with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Hill was the original hornist in the Spoleto Festival Brass Quintet and has soloed with orchestras in the U.S., Germany, and China, and as a recitalist and clinician at numerous International, National, and Regional Horn and Brass Workshops. His interest in modern performance practices is fully demonstrated in his book Extended Techniques for the Horn - A Handbook for Students, Composers and Performers (including sound demonstrations on CD.) Hill is the author of Introducing the French Horn and has recently finished a comprehensive book entitled: Collected Thoughts on Teaching and Learning, Creativity and Horn Performance.

Douglas Hill was included as one of only 20 hornists in the book of biographical sketches; Twentieth Century Brass Soloists by Michael Meckna, based primarily on the success of his recordings and solo appearances.

Professor Hill has recently released (Musicians Showcase Recordings, MS1060) a double CD (145 minutes of music), featuring 14 of his compositions performed by alumni, faculty, students, and staff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. He has recorded two solo albums with pianist Karen Zaczek Hill for Crystal Records (re-released on CD in 1999), "A Solo Voice" on GunMar Records (modern unaccompanied works), and has recorded with the St. Louis Symphony, Contemporary Chamber Ensembles of Chicago and New York, Wingra Woodwind Quintet, Dick Shory at Carnegie Hall, and the Wisconsin Brass Quintet on Summit and Mark Records. Hill has produced a full-length educational video "HILL ON HORN." and frequently contributes articles to leading journals. He has served on the faculties of the Oberlin Conservatory, Aspen Music School, Asian Youth Orchestra Rehearsal Camp in Hong Kong, the Conservatories of Bejing and Shanghai, the Sarasota Music Festival, Hartt College and Yale Summer Schools, the University of South Florida, Wilkes College, and the University of Connecticut.

As a frequent recipient of research grants, he has studied unrecorded horn and piano repertoire, extended techniques, hand horn, extemporization and compositional techniques and applications. Mr. Hill is also a published and recorded composer including such works as; "Abstraction for Solo and Eight Horns," "Jazz Soliloquies for Horn," "Jazz Set for Solo Horn," "Shared Reflections for Four Horns," "Intrada for Brass Quintet," "The Spirit World...Massacre," for Wisconsin Public Television, and "Ceremonial Images" for tribal drum and large ensemble, (commissioned by the Omaha Symphony) and produced in full for broadcast by Nebraska Educational Television and in part for a CBS feature on "Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt." More recent compositions and publications include "Song Suite in Jazz Style" for Horn and Piano, "Reflections" for Solo Horn, "Intrada" for Brass Choir, "Timepieces" for Brass Quintet, "A Place for Hawks" for Mezzo Soprano, Horn and Strings, "Elegy" for Violin and Horn, "Americana Variations" for Horn Quartet, "Homage to ’Thoreau" for Chorus, Flute and Drum, and "If I Were the Wind" for Narrator, Wind Quintet and Strings.

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Henry Hofmann

Henry Hofmann, a 1985 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.  A freelance trombonist and arranger, he has recorded and performed with many artists and groups, including Shije, George Romano, Naked Fish, the Bowery Boys, Tribus and the Pierce College Symphonic Wind Ensemble.  Since 1998, he has been a trombonist and writer/arranger for the jump blues band The Swingin’ Deacons.  The band has performed in clubs and at festivals across the United States and plays regularly throughout southern California. 

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John Humphries

John Humphries was born in Sheffield, England and read musicology at Oxford University.  Subsequently he attended London’s Guildhall School of Music, where he studied the natural horn with Anthony Halstead.  His editions of horn music have been performed by many of the world’s leading horn players, including Barry Tuckwell, Michael Thompson, Eric Ruske, Anthony Halstead, Stephen Stirling and Frank Lloyd and his reconstructions of Mozart’s incomplete horn concerto movements have been praised for the “polish, authenticity, good scholarship and talent”.  He is also well known as an arranger.  One of his arrangements appears on the legendary London Horn Sound CD while others have been played worldwide.  His arrangements for young players appear on all the main examination syllabuses in the UK.  As a writer, he has contributed booklet notes for many CDs and program notes for hundreds of concerts.  He has contributed articles and reviews for The Horn Call, the Horn Magazine and Brass Bulletin.  His book, The Early horn, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2000 and has been described as “a superb book” “packed with usefulness” “Rarely can anything have been written on the early history of the horn that is quite as accessible and flowing.”  John is also a teacher and an examiner.  He lives in Surrey, England with his wife, son and daughter and his hobbies include collecting brass instruments and repairing them. 

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Mert Karabey

Mert was born in Ankara, in 1976.  He was encouraged by Professor İlhan Baran in his first composition studies.  Mert studied composition and orchestration with Bujor Hoinic at Bilkent University, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts (B.Mus.; 1999.) He went to England; studied composition with Martin Butler at the University of Sussex (M.A.; 2001.) He finished his proficiency in art (doctorate) studies at Bilkent University, Institute of Music and Performing Arts in May 2003.  Since September 2000, he has been teaching at Bilkent University. Apart from Turkey, some of his works were performed in Ukraine, Russia, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, USA and England

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Aaron Keim

Aaron Keim is a hornist and double bassist living in Boulder, CO, pursuing a master's degree in Musicology from University of Colorado.  He graduated with honors from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2002 with a degree in Music Education.  Aaron is a founding member of The Hyrus Brass Quintet, Quintette L’Etoiles and The Paradise String Band as well as a member of the Beloit-Janesville Symphony Orchestra.  Aaron’s music has been performed by faculty and students at UW-Whitewater and The Semplice Harbor School of Music as well as The Mukgwonago High School Band.  He has written chamber works for brass, winds, percussion and strings as well as works for jazz ensemble, wind ensemble and string orchestra. 

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Steve Le Bel

After graduating from the University of Lowell in Massachusetts with a Bachelors in Music Education, Steve Le Bel taught junior high and high school instrumental and high school choral music. The Air Force then took Le Bel around the world where he learned to enjoy music from other cultures. Now he works in the retail sector, conducts a church choir, sings in a madrigal group, and is the assistant conductor/vice-president of a community band. See Steve arranges both sacred and secular music for small wind ensembles and full concert bands.

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Gregg Marolf

Gregg Marolf is originally from Bettendorf, Iowa, and studied tuba with Robert Yeats at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1976. He has been a resident of Dubuque, Iowa since 1980 and originally taught elementary and junior high instrumental music in both the Dyersville Beckman System and Western Dubuque County Community School District. Since 1987, he has been teaching 5th and 6th grade instrumental music for Western Dubuque at Drexler Middle School in Farley, Iowa. In addition to being a member of the Julien Brass Quintet, Gregg is also a member of the Big Band Express, the Tri-State Wind Symphony and the Clinton Symphony Orchestra.

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James Papanek

James Papanek has a BM in Education with a minor in classical guitar from Roosevelt University, Chicago. He currently teaches private lessons in Chicago and Glenview, Illinois in addition to composing.  His areas of interest are in the genres of symphonic, chamber, and solo music; Christian, children's, and modern rock songs. In addition to performing various styles of music on the guitar (principal instrument), James has performed in orchestras as a cellist and a violist. He also has experience with project studio recording.  Some of James' works that have been performed are classical guitar pieces, a song for solo voice, and his first symphony which was performed at Concordia University at River Forest, Illinois in the fall of 2002.  

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Dr. Michael Pariza

MICHAEL W. PARIZA, PH.D. is the Director of the Food Research Institute and Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Food Microbiology and Toxicology, University of Wisconsin--Madison.  He is recognized by Thompson-ISI as one of the most “Highly Cited Researchers” of the last two decades.   His avocation is music composition.  Pariza began composing while in high school and his first significant composition, entitled March and Air, was premiered by his high school orchestra.  As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he majored in both Bacteriology and Music (theory and history emphasis).  At the UW-Madison School of Music, Pariza studied theory and composition with several members of the faculty including Hilmar Luckhardt and Robert Crane, andcomposed for piano, chorus, and chamber groups.  One of his choral compositions, entitled You Shall Have a Song, was performed by a choir under his direction; the performance won first place at a choral competition.  Recently he returned to composing. 

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Kevin Petersen (1959 - 2009)

Kevin Petersen graduated with a B.A. in Music Education from UW-Madison in 1982 and and continued on with Master studies in Trombone performance at UW-Milwaukee until becoming an Air Traffic Controller in 1985.  His trombone teachers were Bill Richardson and David Ruck.  Though he studied both classical and jazz styles, the last twenty years of his life saw a definite progression towards jazz. He was a member and performed regularly with the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra (an eighteen piece Big Band jazz group,, Clutch Cargo (an oldies rock band,, Opanjii (a smooth jazz group), and BoneDaddyz (a jazz trombone ensemble).  He arranged many works for Moonlight Jazz, Clutch Cargo and BoneDaddyz.  He built his own recording studio and recorded CDs for these groups and many others.  He was a recipient of the first ever In Memoriam Rockford Area Musician Award in 2009.  His contribution to the local music scene would be forever missed.   

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Dr. Lynn L. Petersen

Lynn L. Petersen grew up in Wisconsin and was one of five siblings in a musical family. She began piano lesson at the age of six with her mother as her first teacher, and showed an interest in composition and improvisation at an early age. While piano has always been her primary instrument, she has also studied organ, violin, and voice. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Dr. Martin Luther College, a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia College-River Forest, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Minnesota. Her composition teachers included Dominick Argento, Paul Fetler, Richard Hillert, Carl Schalk, and Richard Wienhorst. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor of music at Carroll College in Helena, Montana. Before arriving at Carroll she taught music at St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota, and St. Cloud State University, and she held several church music positions in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Colorado Springs. In 2004 she was awarded a grant through the Myrna Loy Center Grants to Artists program to compose an original work for flute and organ for a performance in the Helena area. She was commissioned by Regions VIII & XI of the American Guild of Organists to arrange “Amazing Grace” for organ, which was performed at the Tabernacle on Temple Square during the AGO Regional Convention held in Salt Lake City in 2003. Other commissions include the University of Minnesota/Jerome Foundation and the Yavapai College Symphony Orchestra. Besides teaching at Carroll College and composing, she remains active as an organist and pianist in the Helena area, and she maintains a small studio of private piano students.  For more information on the composer please visit her website:

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Dale Pforr

Dale Pforr is the Director of Music at Heritage Presbyterian Church USA in Muskego, Wisconsin. He directs the church Chancel Choir and conducts the Heritage Brass Ensemble made up of church and community members. He has worked, arranged, and written for church and school ensembles for over 45 years and has over 35 years of public school instrumental music teaching experience. He currently is active in studio teaching and vocal performance with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. He resides with his wife Barbara in Franklin Wisconsin. 

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Peter Rail

Peter D. Rail studied French horn and music theory with Herb Winslow (Principal horn, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) and Kirsten Thelander (Director, Iowa school of music) at the University of New Mexico in the 1980s.  Today as a software designer, consultant and inventor with eleven patents, Pete transfers the concepts and discipline of software design to music composition and still finds time for horn choir in the Dallas area. 

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Daniel C. Schrader

Daniel Schrader is currently studying Music at Concordia University in River Forest, IL, specializing in music theory and composition.  He has studied under Dr. Jonathan Stahlke and Professor Jonathan Kohrs.  He has studied several instruments including Euphonium, French Horn, and Violin.  Students at Concordia University have performed Dan’s music since his freshman year.  He has written several pieces of music for a variety of ensembles including clarinet trio, brass choir, symphony orchestra, and is currently working on a piece for symphonic band.  Dan hopes to get his Masters and his Doctorate work done in the area of composition within the next ten years, and wishes to pursue a career teaching while he composes. 

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Dr. Michael Sczerba, D.M.A.(ASCAP)

Dr. Sczerba is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has conducted his research on the music of Stefan Wolpe and the music of India.  He enjoys writing music for a variety of ensembles, as well as music for solo instruments in jazz and non-jazz styles..  His mentors have included Charles Capwell, Guy Garnett, Erik Lund, Chip McNeill, John Melby, Pat Pace, Roland Paolucci, Morgan Powell, Nikola Resanovic, Paul Zonn and Alexander Ringer.

Recent performances of Sczerba’s work include those with the Society of Composers, Inc. in Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky, and also in recitals on the east coast (Keene State College) and at Urbana.  He has written commissions for the opening ceremony of Matthew House Chapel in Champaign, Illinois and for theSound Speculations CD compilation of electro-acoustic music issued by the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois.  Two of his compositions,Orbits for viola and Three Meditations for Tuba Alone, are published by Frank E. Warren Music Service of Sharon, MA. Sczerba's jazz saxophone ensemble arrangement of Rogers and Hart's Have You Met Miss Jones? is available from University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.

Dr. Sczerba holds memberships with the American Composers Forum, Chicago Composers Forum, College Music Society, International Association for Jazz Education, Society of Composers, Inc., and SEAMUS.

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Mort Shafer (1931 - 2009)

Shafer’s musical career began at the age of 2 ½  by receiving a full scholarship to a new experimental class for the very young at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, IL.  He began private piano lesson at 6 and horn at 13 with H. E. Nutt at the VanderCook School of Music and then Harry Jacobs, 3rd Horn of the Chicago Symphony.  At age 14, began playing in Chicago-area community orchestras including Olivet Institute, Garfield Park, Roosevelt College, Wilson Jr. College and First National Bank.  At age 16 began playing in the newly-reorganized Phoenix Symphony.  Entering Eastman School of Music at age 17, Mort studied with Arkady Yegudkin (“the General”).   

After Eastman, he was drafted and became a member of the 6th Infantry Division Band at Fort Ord, CA and became 1st horn of the Monterey Peninsula Symphony.  During this time, he began to teach horn privately.   Shafer’s performing career continued in 1953, when Shafer joined the Humanist Orchestra in Los Angeles (devoted to breaking down pattern of racial discrimination in Southern Calif. among symphony players, and drawing such talent as Ted Dale and Elmer Bernstein for conducting, Buddy Collette and Red Callendar as orchestra members, and many other regulars from the movie studio orchestras, with hornists including recently-deceased Gale Robinson, who was first horn with Universal Studios at the time.)  He then went on to join the Whittier Symphony in 1955 and the Downey Symphony and began teaching horn in 1956 in the Whittier area.  In 1965, he played under Elmer Bernstein again with the Valley Symphony in San Fernando Valley.  In 1968, he was hired to play 1st horn in Victoria, B.C., Symphony, and returning in 1969, to play with the Santa Monica Symphony.   Shafer began playing in the Casa Italiana Opera Orchestra, in Los Angeles.  During this period, he also conducted for the Plummer Park Opera Workshop, Wilshire-Ebell Theater (Hollywood Opera Ensemble) and the Casa Italiana Opera.  In 1998, he moved to Seattle and joined the Emerald City Symphony and finally retired from performing in 1999. 

Shafer also had a successful career in teaching orchestra and band at Whaley Jr. High, Compton, CA and then Jr. High Band and Chorus in Rialto, CA with both ensembles rising to the top of their respective area

In 1969, he began his composing career.  He wrote several original compositions for full orchestra, including his “First Suite (the “Life Is” suite), “2nd Suite”, and “Winning Number”, which is based on a telephone number of a sweetheart.  “Winning Number” was premiered in 1975 by the Pacific Palisades Symphony.  In 1976, Shafer was commissioned by the Cousteau Society to write the music for their forthcoming planned educational filmstrip, “A Day In The Life Of The Sea”, which he orchestrated for woodwind nonet.   However, the project was put aside due to objections by oil company sponsors.  Shafer was paid for the project by Jacques Cousteau himself.  The work, “A Day In The Life Of The Sea” was premiered in 1977 by players of the San Bernardino College Symphony and performed again in 2001 by the Pacific Chamber Ensemble.   In 1999, began composing horn ensemble arrangement for the Puget Sound Horn Society.  Shafer has previously been published by “The Hornist’s Nest”, but is now exclusively published by Pelican Music Publishing. 

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Nicolas Demetrius Sikaczowski

Nicolas Demetrius Sikaczowski started playing music when he was eight years old.  Though he has studied piano, saxophone and percussion, he began to study guitar, his primary instrument, at age 12.  At age 18, he began to study classical guitar.  Three months later, he received the Helen Wright Award for his classical guitar playing, and received the opportunity to perform at the Woodstock Opera House. 

Sikaczowski is currently attending Millikin University as a commercial music major, where he has studied composition with Dr. Jeff Morton, Dr. Jeremy Brunk, and Professor John Stafford, and studies guitar with Professor Manley Mallard.  Recently, he took leave from his studies at Millikin for a semester to study electronic music composition and philosophy at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Nicolas has completed composing the full soundtracks for three Independent films, including one full-length film.  He recorded a CD, entitled “Underwater”, consisting of the soundtracks for these three films. He invites you to visit his website at

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Charles J. Smith

Charles Joseph Smith started playing the piano when he was 8 and composing music when he was ten.  His piano teachers included James Williams, Sophia Zukerman, Emilio del Rosario, Pawel Checinski, Sharon Rogers, Kenneth Drake, Gustavo Romero and William Heiles.  His composition teachers were Charlotte Lehnhoff and Sever Tipei.

Charles graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University (which is now the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts).  He also earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

As a high school student, Charles was a frequently awarded musician.  For instance, in 1984, he won first place in the CAMTA (Chicago Area Music Teachers Association) piano contest.  He received the Zoltán Kodály Academy and Institute Honorary Award in 1987 at the Three Arts Club in Chicago—one of the youngest musicians to ever receive the award.  In 1988, he won first place in the Society of American Musicians (SAM) competition at Roosevelt University, in Chicago.  In the same year, he won first place in the Classical Music and Composition categories in the ACT-SO competition in Chicago.  He then represented ACT-SO in the national Competition in Washington D.C. and won second place in Classical Music.  In 1989, he took first place in the local competition in the same categories and again represented ACT-SO in the National Competition.  Then in 1990, he won the ACT-SO First Place Award in Musical Composition at the local level, and represented ACT-SO in the National Competition in Los Angeles.

During undergraduate studies at Roosevelt University, Charles earned a Franklin Honor Society Award.  In addition, he also was featured as a guest soloist with the South Side Family Chamber Orchestra on at least seven occasions, under conductors like Delano O’Banion and Terrance Gray.  They did performances of piano concertos from Beethoven, Mozart, and Edvard Grieg.  At one time, Charles and the orchestra performed outside the Daley Plaza in Chicago in July 1987.

He has also had success as a pianist abroad.  He attended the French Piano Institute in Paris in July 2000 and won an Honorable Mention in their final recital and competition.  He went to Italy in 2001 to compete in the IBLA Grand Prize International Competition in Sicily, where he won Honorable Mention for Musicianship.  In the same year, he also performed in a master class under the famous Hungarian pianist Csaba Király at the International Piano Master Class in Budapest.

In addition to his piano accomplishments, Charles also has an interest in creative writing, especially poetry.  He adores ballroom, Latin, and swing dancing, and his favorite dance is the salsa.  He also continues to compose music. 

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Chris Teichler

Dr. R. Christopher Teichler has been an active musician for over 20 years as composer, conductor, performer, and teacher. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in Composition from Northwestern University. As a gifted composer, Dr. Teichler has received awards from Wheaton College, the Elmhurst Jazz Festival, WFMT 98.7 FM Chicago, and the National Band Association’s Young Composer Mentor Project, where he was privileged to work with composers Mark Camphouse, Julie Giroux, and James Curnow.

As an accomplished conductor, Dr. Teichler has directed numerous ensembles including orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz band, choir, musical theatre, and opera for Wheaton College, Trinity International University, the Round Lake Area Community Band, and West Suburban Community Church.

As a respected teacher, he has taught composition, conducting, aural skills, trumpet, and piano, and his experience includes teaching at Wheaton, Trinity, and Northwestern University, as well as privately. Currently, Dr. Teichler is on faculty at Trinity International University, where he directs the Trinity Community Philharmonic Orchestra, founded and directs the jazz band, and teaches composition. He also serves as the music director at West Suburban Community Church in Elmhurst, IL. He resides in Aurora with his wife, Sarah, and their four beautiful children.

Visit Chris Teichler personal web site

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Daniel Vendt

Daniel P. Vendt is an award-winning composer who is pursuing a career in film and television music.  Recent honors include the premier of his score for the silent film Persephone (Blue Damen Pictures), recording and conducting a score at Capitol Records, and being selected as a Graduate Student Speaker for the 2008 Commencement Ceremonies at Columbia College Chicago.

While in High School, Daniel demonstrated unique talent and ability through many awards and recognitions, including being a member of two All-State Bands, being chosen as a Drum Major, and being recognized as the Most Outstanding Music Student at his High School.

Graduating cum Laude from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2005, Daniel was a pioneer in the composition program by being the first student to have original film music performed at a student recital.  Two years later, he repeated this feat by being the first to feature original film music at their Senior recital.  While at IWU, he also wrote and directed three short films about student life, that he then scored and produced.

Shortly after graduating from IWU, Daniel was the first student accepted to a brand new MFA Music Composition for the Screen program at Columbia College Chicago, also receiving the prestigous Follett Fellowship from the school.  A founding director of Chicago-based Blue Damen Pictures, Daniel keeps busy with many score projects, collaborating with both independent artists and Columbia-sponsored films.

Daniel is an accomplished Pianist and Horn player, but also brings his experience with countless other instruments to a score. 

Visit Daniel Vendt's web site.

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Robert Werntz, Sr.

Robert (Bob) Werntz, son of music instructor Lester Werntz, has extensive experience in professional performance, recording and composing.  As a performer (trumpet), Bob has played in numerous jazz bands.  He played in an all-star Dixieland Band in Door County, Wisconsin with musicians from around the nation, and directed the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra in Rockford, Illinois for several years.  He was awarded the Outstanding Soloist Award at a Governor’s State University jazz competition and graduated from Northern Illinois University.

Bob is an award-winning (Keyboard Magazine) composer, and has composed a wide-range of music:  music for ballet and jazz dance classes, ‘Alice’ a score for ballet based upon ‘Alice in Wonderland’, big band charts, brass quintet pieces (including works commissioned by the Branson Brass Quintet, Branson, MO), television and radio jingles and commercials, television theme songs and background music, and Christian, Adult Contemporary and Country songs.  He has also written a book called ‘Creative Improvisation’, reviewed and endorsed by Clark Terry, which teaches a unique method for learning to create interesting jazz improvisations and solos, available in both English and Spanish.

Bob serves Park Hills Evangelical Free Church in Freeport, Illinois as their Worship Pastor.  He and his wife have three sons (Craig, Chad and Rob) and served 12 years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras as missionaries.  In Honduras he worked frequently playing live, recording, appearing on national television, teaching at the national university, and other music schools, and recently was invited to be part of the Arts Envoy program in conjunction with the US Embassy in Honduras.


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