The UNO Faculty Brass Quintet
The UNO Faculty Brass Quintet entertains audiences of all ages with their outstanding renditions of classical transcriptions, jazz standards, world music, pop tunes, and original works composed and arranged by members of the quintet. The addition of percussion allows the ensemble to traverse a colorful sonic palette sure to please the varied tastes of diverse audiences in educational school performances, summer park concerts, and formal concert hall presentations. Members of the quintet perform regularly with the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies, the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band, the Omaha Big Band, and the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra. The group knows how to walk down the middle of the road of brass quintet repertoire, but they are equally at home wandering the littleknown byways or forging new paths in 21st century music. Known for their sense of humor, spontaneity, and improvisatory stage antics, the UNO Faculty Brass Quintet is: Barry Ford, trumpet (resident composer/arranger); Jason Johnson, trumpet (former member of the United States Navy Band); Jason DeWater, horn (Omaha Symphony); Pete Madsen, trombone (Omaha Big Band); Alex Serwatowski, tuba (United States Air Force Heartland of America Band); and Scott Shinbara, percussion.
Jason DeWater has served as Principal Horn of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra since winning the international audition in 2007. He is an in-demand musician for symphonic, chamber, solo, and studio work as well as being a prize-winning composer. Since graduating with a masters degree in performance in 2006 he has performed as guest Principal Horn with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Ballet. Before accepting the full-time Principal post in Omaha, DeWater was a busy freelance musician in Dallas/Ft. Worth where he performed with the symphonies of Dallas, Ft. Worth, Lubbock, Plano, Irving, East, and Northeast Texas. In 2009, Jason debuted as soloist with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, performing works by Dukas and Saint-Saëns. Jason was also the winner of Des Moines Metro Opera's Principal Horn audition in 2008. The University of Nebraska at Omaha appointed Jason as Professor of Horn in 2010 and, most recently, the Joslyn Castle Trust has welcomed him as Director of its exciting new ensemble, the Joslyn Castle Consort.
Born in 1964 in Châteauroux, France, Barry Ford received his Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Northwestern University and his Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia. He currently teaches music appreciation, composition and theory and conducts UNO's Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra. While at Northwestern University he studied trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz and Luther Didrickson. He also studied conducting, arranging, and composition with John P. Paynter, Don Owens and Jay Kawarsky. After teaching for several years in the public school system, Ford began studies of composition and orchestral conducting at the University of Missouri - Columbia with Edward Dolbashian, Dale J. Lonis, John Cheetham and Thomas McKenney. Before joining the faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2004, Ford served as Professor of Trumpet at the State University of Pará and the Carlos Gomes Conservatory, as well as conductor of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Theatro da Paz and the Amazônia Jazz Band in Belém, Brazil.
Jason Johnson is originally from East Moline, Illinois and received his bachelor's degree in music education from Northern Illinois University in 1996. After graduation he enlisted in the US Navy and spent eight years in the fleet music program. While stationed in Naples, Italy, Jason performed extensively throughout Europe and Northern Africa. In 2004, he became a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra with a one year contract as acting 3rd trumpet. He then moved to the Phoenix area to attend Arizona State University where he completed a master's degree under the guidance of Professor David Hickman. While in Phoenix he was a regular substitute with the Phoenix Symphony and a member of the acclaimed Sonoran Brass Quintet. Jason is a former student of Ron Modell and Stephen Squires, and has consulted with Sam Pilafian, Patrick Sheridan, Vince DiMartino, Vincent Cichowicz, and Barbara Butler. Well versed in the classical and jazz idioms, Jason has also performed with the likes of Quincy Jones, David Sanborn, and Phil Collins.
Pete Madsen received a bachelor of science degree in music education from the University of Missouri, a master of music degree from Northern Illinois University, and a doctor of musical arts degree in trombone performance from the University of Illinois. Madsen's duties at UNO include directing the jazz ensembles and jazz combos, coordinating the UNO Low Brass Day and the UNO Great Plains Jazz Festival, and teaching applied low brass, jazz survey, low brass ensemble, and improvisation. He has performed extensively in jazz, pop, and classical venues, having played with Bill Watrous, Pete Christlieb, Aretha Franklin, Frank Valli, the Jim Widner Big Band, the Omaha Big Band, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, the Omaha Jazz Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, the Omaha Brass Ensemble, and the Missouri Symphony Society. Dr. Madsen is also in high demand as a guest artist/clinician and has performed and/or adjudicated throughout the United States and in Europe, Japan, and Brazil. As a member of the Continental Trombone Quartet, Madsen has performed and presented clinics at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the Midwest Clinic, and the International Association for Jazz Education International Conference. The Continental Trombone Quartet has also performed in Spain, Mexico, Brazil, China, and Canada. Dr. Madsen is a Getzen artist/clinician.
Alex J. Serwatowski performs on tuba with the Brass in Blue brass ensemble, Offutt Brass, Concert Band and Ceremonial Band of the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Serwatowski is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the St. Louis Conservatory of Music, earning the Diploma, and Graduate Diploma in Music Performance. He has been principal tubist of the St. Louis Philharmonic, the Mighty Mississippi Concert Band, the Gateway Festival Orchestra, and the Fox Theater Orchestra. He is currently the Artist-Faculty of tuba at UNO.
Scott Shinbara holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Masters of Music and a D.M.A. in Music Performance from the University of Arizona. Currently, Shinbara holds the position of Instructor of Percussion and Multicultural Music at The University of Nebraska at Omaha where he teaches private students, non-western music classes, and directs the university percussion ensemble. Outside of training in traditional concert percussion, he also has a specialty in world music and popular music. He has performed dates across the United States and Mexico, as well as recent fieldwork in Brazil. His principal teachers include Gary Cook, Tomm Roland, Janet Sturman, and Norman Weinberg.