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Performer Blogs

Congratulations to all the performers! Here, we share some of their first reactions and continued thoughts to being invited to appear at The Midwest Clinic.

Monarch Brass is getting ready to perform at The Midwest Clinic! Put us on your calendar for Thursday, December 15th at 10:30 a.m.!

There was a time when I was not in a position to be able to attend the Midwest Clinic because of my job with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, and a few years after my retirement from the orchestra, that all changed. I was able to attend the Clinic for the first time that year. The reports from my friends were not an exaggeration--it is an incredible program, and there is nothing like it anywhere else!

Monarch Brass was formed 20 years ago in 1996. I am excited we will be performing at the Midwest Clinic for the first time! The personnel for our performance in Chicago includes:


Mallory Thompson, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles, Northwestern University


Karin Bliznik, Principal Trumpet, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Barbara Butler, Professor of Trumpet and Director of the Artist Diploma Program, Rice University
Soloist and Co-Principal, Chicago's Music of the Baroque

Amy Gilreath, Professor of Trumpet, Illinois State University
Co-founder, Stiletto Brass Quintet

Amy McCabe, Member, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Washington, D.C.
Gunnery Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

Susan Rider, Member, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Washington, D.C.
Master Gunnery Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

Carrie Schafer, Second Trumpet, The Houston Symphony

Susan Slaughter, Principal Trumpet (retired), The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Ginger Turner, Member, The United States Army Field Band, Ft. Meade, MD
Sergeant Major and Element Leader for the Concert Band, United States Army


Lin Foulk, Associate Professor of Horn, Western Michigan University

Nancy Goodearl, Member, The Houston Symphony

Haley Hoops, Second Horn, Dallas Symphony
Adjunct Lecturer of Horn, Southern Methodist University

Misty Tolle, Professor of Horn, Transylvania University
Member, Stiletto Brass Quintet

Gabrielle Webster, Chicago, Illinois: Freelance musician

Gail Williams, Professor of Horn, Northwestern University
Associate Principal Horn (retired), Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Nikki Abissi, New York, New York: Freelance musician
Member, Stiletto Brass Quintet

Hana Beloglavec, Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone, Louisiana State University

Kensey Chellis, San Francisco Bay Area: Freelance musician
Second Trombone, Boise Philharmonic

Ava Ordman, Associate Professor of Trombone, Michigan State University
Principal Trombone, Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra


Isabelle Lavoie, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Freelance musician

Megan Hodge, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Freelance musician


Angie Hunter, Co-leader, eurobrass

Gail Robertson, Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium/Jazz, University of Central Arkansas


Stacy Baker, Professor of Music Tuba/Euphonium, Morehead State University

Velvet Brown, Professor of Tuba and Euphonium, Penn State University
Co-founder, Stiletto Brass Quintet

Jan Duga, Retired member, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.
Chief Master Sergeant (ret.), The United States Air Force
Freelance musician


Tessa Highmark, Chicago, Illinois: Freelance musician

Mallory Konstans, Adjunct faculty, Illinois College

Erica Montgomery, Member, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C.
Chief Master Sergeant and Flight Chief for The Singing Sergeants, United States Air Force

Sidonie Wade, Member, The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," Ft. Myer, VA
Staff Sergeant, United States Army


Julie Boehler, Member, The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own," Ft. Myer, VA
Sergeant First Class, United States Army

We hope to see you at our performance!

Susan Slaughter
Principal Trumpet (retired), The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Founder, Monarch Brass and The International Women's Brass Conference

Monarch Brass performance at The Midwest Clinic

Having recently retired from the U.S. Air Force Band, I was no stranger to attending and performing at The Midwest Clinic over the past 30 years. So when the invitation came for Monarch Brass to perform, I was thrilled. Not only is it an honor, but knowing that we've paved a solid path of excellence that is recognized in the greater music education community goes beyond words.

This all-star female brass ensemble made up of artists from North America was created out of the International Women's Brass Conference (IWBC) who's mission is to provide opportunities to educate, support and inspire women brass musicians in furthering their own musical careers. The Midwest Clinic is the perfect venue to reach out and expose both band and orchestra directors and students of all ages to this extraordinary level of musicianship.

Please come hear Monarch Brass perform under the baton of Dr. Mallory Thompson, Director of Bands at Northwestern University on Thursday morning, December 15th at 10:30 a.m. in the Skyline Ballroom W375E. You won't want to miss this!

And please visit the IWBC booth #1635 for more information about Monarch Brass, and our upcoming IWBC 2017 Conference.

Find us at:

Thank you!

Jan Duga
Tubist, The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. (ret.)
Monarch Brass Manager

From a senior horn player:

Senior year is a time for new experiences, big decisions, and last chances. I am so lucky to have been granted this last chance to perform at the Midwest Clinic with my high school wind symphony as a Senior. When our director spoke to us about applying to the clinic, it seemed like a distant dream, achieved by few. But now that 'distant dream' is a reality. Music and life are related in the sense that they're both about growth and continuous learning. I hope to be a sponge at the clinic and learn all that I can in order to apply it to my music-making. Thank you, Midwest Clinic, for granting my classmates and me the wonderful opportunity to make music and show the world what we have to offer as young men and women from Mason, Ohio.