Isthmus Brass – Biographies

Season Listing | Program | Biography

Isthmus Brass Personnel

CONDUCTOR: John Stevens, UW-Madison (Emeritus)


Dave Cooper, UW-Platteville & Madison Symphony

Don Sipe, Carrol University

Jon Schipper, Madisalsa & Phat Phunktion

Brent Turney, UW-Stevens Point

HORN: Ricardo Almeida, Madison Symphony Orchestra


Mark Hetzler, UW-Madison

Dylan Chmura-Moore, UW-Oshkosh

Mike Dugan, UW-Whitewater

Mark Hoelscher, UW-Milwaukee

TUBA: Mike Forbes, UW-La Crosse & La Crosse Symphony

PERCUSSION: Keith Lienert, UW-Platteville

Under the direction of brass-icon, John Stevens, and comprised of the finest professional brass players in the Midwestern US, the Isthmus Brass is Wisconsin’s premiere large brass ensemble. Isthmus Brass was established in 2009, through the collaboration of the best and busiest brass players in Southern Wisconsin. They initially performed charitable Christmas concerts but now are active year-round, presenting concerts of varying styles and repertoire in concert series throughout the Midwest. They promote the ideology of energy, entertainment, and eclecticism of virtuosic repertoire — much of it especially arranged for them — showcasing the best of brass music in a variety of musical settings and styles. Their recent, critically-acclaimed Summit Records release of “Isthmus Brass Christmas” was heralded as “…one of the best brass Christmas albums of all time” by American Record Guide.

Member Biography

Ricardo Almeida (horn) is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and performs extensively throughout Southern Wisconsin as a freelance hornist and chamber musician.

Dylan Chmura-Moore (trombone) is Assistant Professor of Music at UW-Oshkosh where he teaches trombone and serves as Director of Orchestral Activities, conducting the University Symphony Orchestra.

Dave Cooper (trumpet) is the Chair of the Department of Music at UW-Platteville and also Associate Professor of Trumpet.

Michael Dugan (trombone) is the Associate Professor of Trombone at UW-Whitewater and has appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Mike Forbes (tuba) is the founder and manager of the Isthmus Brass. He is also the Principal Tubist with the La Crosse Symphony and the Instructor of Low Brass at UW-La Crosse.

Mark Hetzler (trombone) is the Associate Professor of Trombone at UW-Madison, a member of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, and a member of the Empire Brass Quintet from 1996-2012.

Mark Hoelscher (bass trombone) is a member of the Chicago-based Millar Brass Ensemble, an Edwards artist/clinician and Adjunct Professor of Trombone at UW-Parkside and UW-Milwaukee Peck School of Music.

Keith Lienert (percussion) is percussion instructor at UW-Platteville. His performing and teaching career credits include Disneyland’s Collegiate All-Star Show Band and Arizona State University.

Jon Schipper (trumpet) is Director of Bands and Music Dept. Chair at Madison Country Day School in Waunakee, WI and an active freelance trumpeter.

Don Sipe (trumpet) is a member of Present Music, Stained Glass Brass, the Wilson Center Big Band, and the Milwaukee Brass Quintet. He teaches trumpet at Carroll University and conducts the Brass Choir at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

John Stevens (conductor) has recently retired from the Tuba/Euphonium Professorship at UW-Madison and served twice as the Director of the School of Music.

Brent Turney (trumpet) is an active cross-genre soloist and ensemble player throughout the country and has been Professor of Trumpet at UW-Stevens Point since 2007.

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