Bios

Paul Stevenson – Trumpet

Paul Stevenson has been the Principal Trumpet with Brassroots since 1988. He regularly plays with Orchestra London and the Fanshawe Symphonic Chorus. He has performed with such artists as the Temptations, Diana Krall, Allen Frew, Rick Emmitt, Larry Gowan, Della Reese, Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons and most recently with Natalie Cole. Paul performed his second show, “Brassed Off II” in “Jeans and Classics” series with Orchestra London. He has also been featured as a soloist with Intrada Brass of Oakville. He holds a Masters Degree in Performance from the University of Western Ontario and is a secondary school music educator with the Thames Valley District School Board.

Kevin Swinden – Trumpet 

Kevin studied with Erik Schultz while completing an undergraduate degree in music at Western University (1992), and went on to complete a Ph.D. in music theory from SUNY at Buffalo (1997). He is an Associate Dean and Associate Professor of music theory at Wilfrid Laurier University. In addition to a busy academic career, Kevin is a freelance musician in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, having played with the KW Symphony, Stratford Symphony, Guelph Symphony, Wellington Winds, Intrada Brass, the Camerata Panonica in Köseg, Hungary and others. He joined Brassroots in 2008.


GWYN BEYNON- TRUMPET

Gwyn joined Brassroots in the fall of 2001. A retired music educator and school administrator with undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Western Ontario, Gwyn continues to be very active in the London music scene. In addition to performing with Brassroots, the London Jazz Orchestra and the Prime Time Big Band, Gwyn is the Artistic Director of Encore…The Concert Band.


Julia Vaughan – Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Julia (Julie) is a founding member of Brassroots in 1987. She completed her musical training at Western University and then trained to be an educator at the Faculty of Education – Western. Presently, she is a Physical Education and Outdoor Education Teacher with the Thames Valley District School Board. As well as playing trumpet and flugelhorn in Brassroots, Julie is also Brassroots’ librarian and personnel manager. She also performs regularly with the Jeans and Classics Rock Symphony, the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and Encore – The Concert Band. An avid advocate of physical fitness, Julie spends her ‘free time’ cross training (swim/bike/run) and mountain biking and enjoys playing hockey.


Tony Synder – Horn

Tony Snyder, currently principal horn with the Guelph Symphony, is in demand as a soloist, recently performing concertos by Mozart and Strauss, Dukas’ Villanelle and the Mozart Horn Quintet. Tony appeared as Co-Principal Horn with the BE Phil at the Philharmonie in Berlin under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle.  Other international performances include Principal Horn at the Sejong Centre in Seoul, Korea, and excerpts from Wagner’s Gotterdammerung at the Lincoln Centre in New York. His European debut of Howard Cable’s Point Pelee for horn and strings was given glowing reviews.  Tony’s  arrangement of this wonderful piece can be heard on Brassroots CD, Passion for Brass. Tony is also a fine Woodworker and Luthier. His Horn and Trumpet mutes are used by principal players in the Boston Symphony and most of Canada’s major orchestras. Tony has been a member of Brassroots since 2004.


John Monkhouse – Trombone

Since graduating from the music program at the University of Western Ontario, John has continued to perform in all styles of music ranging from classical, chamber and musical theatre to Oktoberfest polkas. He is currently principal trombone /euphonium with the Wellington Winds and the trombone quartet, Slide by Slide. An amateur hockey player, canoeist and skier, John still finds some spare time to operate his wire spring manufacturing business in Guelph, Ontario. John has been a member of Brassroots since 1995.


Dave Davidson – Trombone

Dave is a graduate of the Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario. He studied with James Ford and Charles Dalkert. He has performed with Ice Capades International, CTV Octoberfest Pageant, as a studio musician for commercials and with many other shows and bands. Dave is currently conductor of the Kitchener Musical Society Band and low brass instructor at the University of Guelph. He has been Music Director and conductor for many Broadway shows at the River Run Centre (Guelph) and is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. After 32 years he retired from a successful teaching career and continues to play trombone with Brassroots, Slide by Slide trombone quartet, and maintains an active freelance career. Dave’s other interests include canoeing, cycling, golf, X-country skiing, gardening and photography. Dave and his wife Alison manage to visit their five grandchildren frequently and note that retirement has its advantages. Dave has been with Brassroots since 2002.


Seth McNall – Trombone

Seth is a busy trombonist in Southwestern Ontario. He studied at Western, McGill and the University of Southern California before performing with Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Mary Wilson (The Supremes),  Rick Emmitt, Roger Hodgson (Supertramp), Dru Hill, Bobby Darin, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Phil Nimmons, Rob McConnell and Holy Cole.  Seth is also a first-call for many Theatres and Orchestras having performed with Stratford Festival, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, Jeans & Classics Rock Symphony, the Grand Theatre and several Drayton Theatre productions.


Susan Follows – Bass Trombone

Susan Follows obtained her music degree from the University of Western Ontario then began her career playing trombone with the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Orchestra and fanfares, London Symphony Orchestra and freelancing in Toronto. She moved to Germany in 1985 where she performed education concerts, founded 3 brass choirs and taught brass. In 1988 she returned to Canada to teach in the Waterloo Regional District School Board. Since retiring Susan now teaches brass at the Beckett School at Laurier and is active playing with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Full House Brass Quintet, Wellington Wind Symphony, Slide by Slide trombone quartet and directing the Ebytown Brass. Susan joined Brassroots in 1991. 


Eric Probst – Tuba

Eric Probst moved to Kitchener in 2017 after completing a Masters of Music in Tuba Performance and Pedagogy at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he was also Principal Tuba of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. As a native of the GTA, Eric has worked as a freelance tuba player and military musician, performing most often with Weston Silver Band and Brassroots. A Sergeant in the Canadian Army Reserves, Eric has taught tuba at the Canadian Forces School of Music, and spent 11 summers in Ottawa performing with The Band of The Ceremonial Guard for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. He has also performed with The Royal Canadian Artillery Band in Edmonton, and currently belongs to the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Band. Eric has also been on the tuba faculty at music camps, such as Interprovincial Music Camp, and regularly teaches at high schools as a brass clinician.


Rob Inch – Percussion

Rob joined Brassroots in 1988. He is presently teaching elementary school music with the Thames Valley District School Board. Originally from Toronto, his music and education studies had brought him to the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1989. Rob maintains a busy schedule including Brassroots, Principal Timpanist with the Fanshawe Chorus London Concert Players Orchestra, freelance work with London Symphonia, Amabile Choirs, the Percussion Trio and other groups throughout Western Ontario.


Eric DeVooght – Percussion

Eric began performing with Brassroots in 2012. He is currently teaching secondary school music with the Thames Valley District School Board. Prior to teaching, Eric received his Bachelors of Music and Bachelors of Education degrees at the University of Western Ontario. In addition to Brassroots, Eric is a member of Encore… the Concert Band, and has also performed with the London Concert Band as a former member, and as a featured soloist.

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