Mike Steiger
U.S. Air Force Band of the West

Airman First Class Michael Steiger is a trombone apprentice with the United States Air Force Band of the West, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, TX. His duties include performing with the Concert Band, Ceremonial Marching Band, Dimensions in Blue Jazz Ensemble, and Gateway Brass Quintet. In addition to his responsibilities as a trombonist, he also serves as a publicity representative in the Public Affairs division of the band. Prior to his assignment with the Air Force, Michael worked as a freelance musician performing for musical theatre touring productions and various symphony orchestras, including the San Antonio Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, Toldeo Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches private music lessons to students ranging in skill from the novice to collegiate level. Michael earned a Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance with teaching certification from the University of Michigan, and Master of Music degree in trombone performance from Northwestern University. Prior to his musical studies, Michael was born and raised in Central Oregon. He and his wife are enjoying their life in Texas, exploring the various hikes and outdoor opportunities of the Texas Hill Country.

Derek Hawkes
Second Trombone, Nashville Symphony

Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Derek W. Hawkes started his musical studies at an early age. Coming from a musical family, he began piano instruction at age five and trombone at age ten.  He studied primarily with John Kitzman, former Principal Trombone of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, H. Dennis Smith, former Principal Trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, Toby Oft, Principal Trombone of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Hawkes was a multiple-year substitute on trombone, euphonium, and bass trumpet with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as Principal Trombone of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in Maine. Most recently, he spent two seasons as Second Trombone of the Jacksonville Symphony beginning in 2015. He began his position as Assistant Principal/Second Trombone of the Nashville Symphony in September 2017.

Hawkes has been a soloist with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Plano Symphony Orchestra, SMU Meadows Wind Ensemble, and Interlochen Philharmonic. He was the Winner of the 2010 International Trombone Association Gilberto Gagliardi Competition, and was selected as a Finalist for the Lewis Van Haney Philharmonic Prize in 2011 and 2015. Growing up in Plano, Texas, Hawkes was a trombonist in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra for four years and received its Outstanding Instrumentalist Award.    

Hawkes graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Trombone Performance at Southern Methodist University in 2014. Upon seeing a large hole in the path from student to professional in a very specific field, he utilized the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program at the Meadows School of the Arts, creating and completing the very first known Bachelor of Arts focusing on Orchestral Management. He also pursued studies as a Graduate Diploma student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Hawkes is a Bach Artist, and also advocates for Conn and King jazz instruments under the greater Conn-Sellmer umbrella. He plays a 1979 Bach 42B, restored and rebuilt by Dallas-area brass technician Eric Edwards and treated by Ron Pinc of R.J. Pinc Brass Repair. He also plays Greg Black Mouthpieces exclusively in his classical playing. Additionally, he runs Hawkes Arts Consulting, LLC; an arts consulting firm specializing in assisting smaller performing arts organizations.

*photo credit - Toby Oft

John Fedchock
International Jazz Trombone Artist

John Fedchock’s illustrious career in jazz has spanned over three decades. Since his emergence on the scene in 1980, Fedchock has established himself as a world-class trombone soloist, a heralded bandleader, and a Grammy-nominated arranger. An in-demand performer and writer in New York City, his multifaceted talents have led him to become one of NYC’s premier jazz artists. His critically acclaimed John Fedchock New York Big Band has become a marquee group, showcasing Fedchock’s trombone and arranging as well as the band’s all-star soloists. The JFNYBB’s five CDs on the MAMA and Reservoir Music labels have all received high praise from critics and extraordinary success on national jazz radio charts. The early success of the band resulted in Fedchock’s name appearing in DOWNBEAT’s Readers Poll under the categories of Trombone, Arranger and Big Band, simultaneously for several consecutive years. In recognition of his formidable arranging skills, Fedchock is a two-time GRAMMY Award nominee for “Best Instrumental Arrangement”. The JFNYBB’s recordings have appeared in jazz radio’s Top Ten, and the New York Times has applauded the band’s “Cheerful Syncopation, Served With Spit-and-Polish Precision.” Small group projects with his quartet and NY Sextet showcase A-list sidemen along with Fedchock’s “incomparable trombone playing, which seems to have no limit, technically or musically” (JazzReview.com).

Fedchock began his career as a jazz trombonist when he joined the legendary Woody Herman Orchestra in 1980. He toured with Woody’s “Thundering Herd” for seven years, during which time he was musical director and a featured soloist. He served as musical coordinator and chief arranger in the production of Herman’s last two Grammy Award nominated albums “50th Anniversary Tour” and “Woody’s Gold Star”, and received accolades from jazz journalists worldwide. Famed jazz critic Leonard Feather called him the “unsung hero” of Woody’s “50th Anniversary Tour” album and Woody said of Fedchock, “He’s my right hand man. Everything I ask of John he accomplishes, and I ask a lot. He’s a major talent.” DOWNBEAT magazine stated that, “it was the young blood of musicians like Fedchock that helped keep Woody Herman’s last years musically healthy and growing”. Fedchock still maintains a close association with the Herman orchestra, performing with the group on occasion and continuing to add his own compositions and arrangements to the band’s library.

Fedchock has toured with T.S. Monk, Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, Louie Bellson Big Band, Bob Belden Ensemble, Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and has performed at jazz festivals and concert halls around the world. As a solo artist, he appears throughout the United States and abroad performing as guest trombonist/composer/conductor. To add to his already diverse list of multiple talents, Fedchock is also a producer of note, and has lent his studio expertise to several recent recording projects.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Fedchock is a graduate of The Ohio State University with degrees in Music Education and Jazz Studies. He also holds a master’s degree in Jazz Studies And Contemporary Media from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is an in-demand clinician, and conducts seminars and workshops at colleges and universities across the country. His compositions and arrangements are published by Jazzlines Publications, Kendor Music Inc, and Walrus Music Publishing. John Fedchock is a trombone artist for XO Professional Brass and plays XO trombones exclusively. His collaboration with the prominent instrument company to create the XO1632 trombone has proven to be an overwhelming success in both innovative design and industry popularity.


Steve Menard
Professor, University of North Texas

Steve Menard is a native of Slidell, LA and is the newest member of the trombone faculty at the University of North Texas. Mr. Menard holds a bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. In 2003, he spent several months in Vienna, Austria studying independently with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Primary teachers include: Michael Mulcahy, Mark Lawrence, Richard Erb, and Timothy Schneider. Mr. Menard maintains an active performing schedule, and has recorded and performed with the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and the Louisiana Philharmonic. As a soloist he has presented recitals around the country, and was the 2008 winner of the Frank Smith solo competition at the International Trombone Festival. In 2009 Mr. Menard was the trombonist for the National Broadway Tour of “Fiddler on the Roof”, and in 2006 he served as trombone/bass trombone/tuba for the first National tour of “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life”. Mr. Menard is also passionate about chamber music, and is a founding member of the Equali Quartet, a trombone quartet made up of members of the St. Louis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony. Mr. Menard is a performing artist for Shires Trombones.

Steve Peterson
Principal Trombone, San Antonio Symphony

Steve Peterson is an active performer and teacher in the Dallas and San Antonio areas. In addition to performing as principal trombone with the San Antonio Symphony, Steve often performs with the Dallas Symphony and has also performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. He has a Bachelor of Music in trombone performance from the University of Michigan where he studied with David Jackson and a Masters of Music from Southern Methodist University where he studied with John Kitzman.

Peter Steiner
International Trombone Soloist

At the age of 23, Italian trombonist Peter Steiner was appointed Trombonist of the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic for the 2016-2017 season. On the international stage, he is the second prize winner of the 2015 SliderAsia Tenor Trombone Competition in Hong Kong. In 2014, he was a Finalist in three competitions held by the International Trombone Association, including the Lewis van Haney-Tenor Trombone Orchestral Excerpt Competition, the Frank Smith-Tenor Trombone Competition and the Robert Marsteller-Tenor Trombone Competition. Steiner released his debut album UNITED under the HELLOSTAGE Label in January 2017, in collaboration with Hsiao-Ling Lin (piano) and Silver Ainomäe (cello). Following the official release, he toured the US extensively on a three week CD Release tour, giving 19 recitals at some of the most prestigious conservatories and universities in the US. In addition to the Vienna State Opera/Vienna Philharmonic, Mr. Steiner was Principal Trombonist with the Colorado Symphony for the 2014-2015 season and performed as guest Principal Trombone of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

In 2014, he was Assistant Principal for Joseph Alessi at a benefit concert with musicians from the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. In collaboration with the InnStrumenti (Austria), Mr. Steiner gave the world premiere of Eric Ewazen’s Visions of Light (Chamber Orchestra Version) in the fall of 2016. During the ITF 2016, he appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Trombone Choir. He was also a featured soloist with the Austrian Youth Brass Band at the European Brass Band Championship 2010 in Linz (Austria). Other solo performances have taken him to North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Steiner began his studies at the Music Conservatory in his hometown of Bolzano, Italy before continuing his study at The Mozarteum of Salzburg (Austria). In the Year 2016 he graduate from The Juilliard School in New York City with the “Diploma”.  His major teachers and influences include Joseph Alessi, Warren Deck, Nitzan Haroz, Dany Bonvin, and Lito Fontana. Mr. Steiner is a Performing Artist for the Thein Instrument Company.

Luke Brimhall
U.S. Army Blues

A seasoned performer and educator, trombonist Luke Brimhall travels roughly 100 days a year performing public jazz concerts and participating in educational outreach clinics and masterclasses throughout the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Florida and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. As a performer, Brimhall has had the privilege throughout his career to share the stage with a number of prominent jazz musicians including Slide Hampton, Dave Brubeck, Wayne Bergeron, Claudio Roditi, Bill Watrous, Jiggs Whigham, Terry Gibbs, John Mosca, Lyle Mays, James Carter, Gordon Goodwin, Eddie Gomez, Ernie Watts, Kenny Garrett, and Doc Severinsen. He has recorded as a sideman on several recordings covering a number of genres including big band, brass quintet, small group jazz, pop, reggae, and flamenco music.