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Brass & Woodwind Faculty

Scott Agster

Scott Agster

Assistant Department Head, Ensembles

Dr. Scott Agster has performed all over the world with such distinguished groups as The UNT One O’Clock Lab Band, The Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Salsa del Soul, the Matt Sawyer Orchestra, Snowblind (founding member and composer), Jack Brass Band, G8, Bella Galla Big Band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, and The Skunkfoot Seven. Scott has had the opportunity to work and perform with many acclaimed artists including Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Dave Douglas, Phil Woods, Nicholas Payton, Stefan Karlsson, Slide Hampton, and Paul McKee. He’s recorded 21 CDs including several KJOS Music Big Band Samplers; The Music of Frank Sinatra (Bella Galla Big Band); Traditionally Speaking (Jack Brass Band); Taking Shape (Snowblind) and Run With It! (Hip-hop group G8). Scott was also a founding member and arranger for the Vector Trombone Quartet, which was a finalist in the International Trombone Association Quartet Competition in Helsinki, Finland in 2003. Scott is currently active as a clinician on low brass techniques and improvisation. Scott's recent research to determine modern trends in jazz curricula around the United States has been highlighted during the 2007 IAJE conference in New York.

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Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson is a graduate of North Texas State University where he performed with the famous 1:00 Lab Band, which toured the U.S.S.R. on a State Department tour in 1976.

Since 1978, Mark has been a musician in the Twin Cities, working as a freelancer and as the resident woodwind player at the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters from 1988 to 1993. He performs regularly at the Guthrie and Children’s Theaters and is an affiliate member of the Minnesota Orchestra. He was also an original member of the Jazz MN Big Band.

Mark completed a Masters Degree in Saxophone Performance at the University of Minnesota in 1995, and was a member of the University’s Faculty Jazz Quintet. He taught privately at MacPhail Center from 1980 to 1989 and has worked as a jazz clinician for festivals from Alaska to Germany.

Since 1996, Mark has been composing music and sound design, as well as engineering for television and radio commercials. In 2003, Mark and his wife Mary started a new company, Dirty Dog Productions, which is producing ad music, as well as corporate video and DVD’s for small business clients in addition to many orchestrations and arranging endeavors. In 2006, Mark arranged all the live orchestrations for the Robert Robinson Christmas Tour, featuring a 12-person orchestra and a 100-member choir.

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Adam Meckler

Adam Meckler

Adam Meckler is a trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Minneapolis, MN. He is an Edwards Instrument Co. Performing Artist and Clinician, and leads The Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO), an 18 piece big band that plays his original compositions. The AMO's debut album 'When the Clouds Look Like This' was listed among 2014's Best Jazz Releases by iTunes. Adam holds faculty positions in trumpet and Jazz at McNally Smith College of Music, and MacPhail Center for Music. He tours and records with Youngblood Brass Band and Nooky Jones, and plays regularly with a host of bands around the Twin Cities including Lulu's Playground, The Jana Nyberg Group, Jack Brass Band, The Graydon Peterson Quartet, and The Pete Whitman X-Tet. His latest release 'Wander' by the Adam Meckler Quintet is now available through www.shiftingparadigmrecords.com.

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Adam Rossmiller

Adam Rossmiller

Dr. Adam Rossmiller is a trumpet performer and music educator in the Twin Cities. Performance credits include the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Glen Miller Big Band, JazzMN Big Band, Bach Society of MN, Pete Whitman’s X-tet, Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church Brass, Dr. Mambo’s Combo, Jack Brass Band, and Ronn Easton’s All Star Soul Revue. He has also had the pleasure of performing professionally with Jason Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Eric Alexander, Mike Stern, Nicholas Payton, Fred Wesley, Diane Schuur, Ernie Watts, Wayne Bergeron, the Hornheads, the Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas, and Wayne Newton.

Rossmiller is also a regular performer in the Twin Cities vibrant musical theatre scene and has been hired for numerous engagements at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Children’s Theatre, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently directs the Jazz Ensemble at Concordia University St. Paul. He has also served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Morris, Gustavus Adolphus College, and St. Cloud State University. He directs a beginning band and maintains a private studio at the Mt. Olivet School of Music. His edition of Frank Bencriscutto’s Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble is published through Ars Nova Press.

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Janis Weller

Janis Weller

Associate Dean of Assessment and Accreditation | Department Head, Liberal Arts

Janis Weller serves as the associate dean of assessment and accreditation and heads the Liberal Arts Department of McNally Smith College of Music, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she also teaches the capstone course, Creating a Life in Music, and woodwinds. With several colleagues from around the world, she is co-author of a book called Life in the Real World: Making Music Graduates Employable, published by Common Grounds Press (2013). She has developed and taught innovative courses in career development and music business at the University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and the University of St. Thomas; and flute at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and MacPhail Center for Music, where she is a former dean of individual and group instruction.

Active with the International Society for Music Education, Dr. Weller served as Chair of the Commission for the Education of the Professional Musician organizing the 2012 CEPROM Seminar in Athens, Greece for participants from twelve countries. As part of CEPROM/ISME, she has presented workshops and papers internationally in Spain, Vietnam, U.K., Italy, China, Greece, and Brazil. In the U.S., she has presented at conferences and meetings of the College Music Society, Association for Popular Music Education, Minnesota Music Educators Association, National Careers Conference, Minnesota Career Development Association, National Flute Association and others.

Dr. Weller specializes in artist career development, assessment in higher education, curricular design, and the role of a liberal arts education for professional artists. As a flutist, Dr. Weller has premiered more than 100 new works ranging from traditionally notated pieces to graphic notation and sculptural scores. She performs with Improvestra, the Crocus Hill Trio, and freelances in the Twin Cities.

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Pete Whitman

Pete Whitman

Department Head, Brass & Woodwinds

Pete has spent over 25 years teaching and playing professionally as a saxophonist, flutist, and clarinetist. He has toured the U.S., Japan, and Brazil with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and has also performed with such distinguished ensembles and musicians as the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Jazz MN Big Band, JAZZAX saxophone quartet, Andres Prado and Laura Caviani. Whitman has also recorded extensively as a sideman and has three CD’s out under his name: “Departure Point” (Igmod Records) “The Sound of  Water” (Artegra) and "Where’s When" (Artegra). His latest CD, “Where’s When” features the X-tet, a ten-piece ensemble led by Whitman, and received a four star rating by DownBeat Magazine (Feb.04).

For more about Pete Whitman, go to www.petewhitman.com.

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