Formed in 2008, Spectrum Brass is committed to creative collaboration.  Spectrum works with innovative performers to enrich and enliven the chamber music experience, focusing on arrangements that augment the quintet genre through inclusion of performers not traditionally associated with brass chamber music. In Spectrum’s debut CD, Rhapsody: The Music of George Gershwin, they join forces with soprano Elizabeth Stoner, pianist Aviram Reichert, and percussionist Alex Trajano to explore the music of kindred spirit George Gershwin. In addition, Spectrum has worked closely with composer/arranger James Stephenson, performing the premiere of his Latin-themed show for brass quintet and orchestra, Salsa Metales, which was commissioned by Matthew Savery and the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra. Spectrum also formed a consortium of fourteen leading universities from around the United States to commission Stephenson’s new work for brass quintet and wind ensemble, Dodecafecta, which Spectrum premiered at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

Spectrum’s live shows are engaging and exciting, featuring tremendous variety combined with strong, unifying themes. With their singular focus on musical artistry and energy, Spectrum lures diverse and enthusiastic audiences to concert halls across the United States.  Spectrum’s numerous programs include: Who could Ask for Anything More?, an all-Gershwin revue featuring music from their debut CD; American Masters, featuring the music of Bernstein, Copland, and Gershwin; Salsa Metales, a Latin-themed show for quintet and orchestra; and An Evening with Spectrum Brass, a program for community band where members of Spectrum, and the quintet in its entirety, perform solos accompanied by concert band.

The members of Spectrum are leading freelance musicians who have performed with an impressive collection of orchestras and chamber groups including: American Brass Quintet, Boston Brass, Burning River Brass, Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Colorado Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Hong Kong Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Motor City Brass Quintet, New York Chamber Soloists, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Summit Brass, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.



Trumpeter Scott Thornburg has performed as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. Following undergraduate and graduate study at the University of Miami and the Juilliard School, Mr. Thornburg lived in New York City where he was principal trumpet with the New York City Symphony, the Summerfare Opera Orchestra, Philharmonica Virtuosi, the Stamford Symphony, Musica Sacra, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He performed at the Caramoor Festival as principal trumpet with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and toured South America, Europe, and the U.S. with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Thornburg is a member of the New York Trumpet Ensemble and has performed with the Canadian Brass, Parnassus, and the New York Brass. He was invited to fill in for one of the regular members of the American Brass Quintet who was on leave during the fall 1997 season. Mr. Thornburg spent two months performing around the country with the group and conducting masterclasses and chamber music coachings at the Juilliard School where the American Brass Quintet is in residence. For four years he toured the U.S. and Canada for Columbia Artists with the trumpet and organ duo Toccatas and Flourishes. He has also appeared as soloist with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the St. Lukes Chamber Ensemble, the Juilliard Symphony, the Brass Band of Battle Creek and, most recently, on U.S., European, and South American tours with the New York Chamber Soloists. 1996 held performance and master class tours in Spain and Russia and in the Spring of 2000, a tour with the Summit Brass.

Mr. Thornburgs recording with pianist Silvia Roederer was released in 2001 and he has recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, and with the organist Richard Morris.

Since the fall of 1989, Mr. Thornburg, his wife Sue Larsen and their three children, Laura, Lee and Eric, have lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he is a Professor at Western Michigan University as well as a member of the acclaimed Western Brass Quintet and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. In the summer he teaches and performs at the Bay View Music Festival in Bay View, Michigan.



Brian Buerkle holds music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Duquesne University. Currently, he serves as Principal Trumpet of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast (FL) and has held positions as Acting 4th/Utility Trumpet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2006-2007), Acting 2nd/Sub-Principal Trumpet with the West Virginia Symphony (2007-2010), 2nd Trumpet with the Lexington Philharmonic (2000-2001), and 2nd Trumpet with the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra (1999). He is also a member of several new and innovative chamber ensembles, including the Spectrum Brass, the Pittsburgh Brass, and the Motor City Brass. Brian is a former member of the prestigious faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI).

As an active freelance musician, Brian has performed and recorded with some of America’s finest orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Pops, Columbus Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, and Kentucky Symphony. His extensive chamber music experience has led to additional performances and recordings with the Spectrum Brass, Pittsburgh Brass, Motor City Brass, Canterbury Brass, Queen City Brass, American Wind Symphony, and Burning River Brass. He can be heard on the Telarc, PentaTone, BrassJar, Centaur, Albany, Summit, PSO, and AWSO record labels.

Brian has earned notable awards from the Music Academy of the West, the International Trumpet Guild, and the National Trumpet Competition. In October of 2010, Brian was featured in a profile article–of the International Trumpet Guild Magazine–recognizing his many achievements as a professional musician. Aside from his skills as a trumpeter, Brian is also an accomplished conductor and arranger. His publications for brass have been performed and recorded by groups worldwide and his conducting experience ranges from brass ensembles and vocal choirs to symphony orchestras. In 2009, he joined the classical music review team at the American Record Guide and also became the Owner and President of the Southern Ohio Music Company–a business specializing in the sale and distribution of high quality brass sheet music (

During his free time, Brian can be found doing a number of activities including playing tennis, racquetball, golf, baseball, darts, billiards, and ping-pong. He is also an avid audiophile and maintains an extensive collection of classical music recordings. He currently resides in Cincinnati, OH, where he enjoys an active and diverse playing career.




Born and raised in New York, Shelagh Abate has loved the horn since age nine.  She studied formally in Boston, graduating from Boston College with a BA in English Literature and Music.  Shelagh’s MM from UMASS at Amherst as a Howard W. Lebow Scholar was followed by an Artist Diploma from NEC as a Wilhelm Walkenier Scholar, studying with Richard Sebring.  Since then she has performed all over the world in many capacities.  Since 1999 Ms. Abate has been principal horn with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, led by Jaime Laredo.  She has also served as principal of City Music Cleveland, The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Opera North, The National Repertory Orchestra, and was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. She has performed under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, James DePreist, Andre Previn, Carl St. Clair, Gunther Schuller, John Williams and Keith Lockhart.

As a founder of the Triton Brass Quintet, Shelagh has been a member of the faculty at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and in residence at Boston College, The Boston Conservatory, MIT, at Boston’s King’s Chapel as well as with Boston’s Composers in Red Sneakers.  The Triton Brass is a widely acclaimed ensemble having received honors from the Lyon Competition, Fischoff, and the Concert Artist’s Guild.

Since relocating to NYC in 2005, Ms. Abate has become a freelancer in even higher demand.  She has performed with the American Ballet Theater, The Opera Orchestra of NY, The Wind Soloists of NY, and has played with over a dozen Broadway shows.  Shelagh has been a contracted member of the Broadway companies of The Woman in White, South Pacific, and Mary Poppins, and is currently playing solo horn in the 2012 Broadway revival of Evita.

As comfortable in the commercial realm as any other, Shelagh has performed live and recorded with Placido Domingo, Michel LeGrande, Barry Manilow, Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, Peter Cetera, Olivia Newton John, Bjork, Brian Wilson, Ian Anderson, Linda Ronstadt, and Phish’s Trey Anastasio.  Her playing can be heard on two of Trey Anastasio’s solo CDs (Elektra Records), and she has performed on live television multiple times on A&E’s Live by Request, Good Morning America and the Today Show.  Shelagh has played innumerable television commercial jingles as well—from ESPN, to Bank of America and Zoosk.

Most of Shelagh’s spare time is spent riding the Fung Wah Bus between Boston and NY, which is O.K., as this allows her to stock up on Gucci and Chanel knockoff bags, and to increase her ridiculous shoe collection.  In addition, she is an experienced mixologist, which makes her handy at parties, and an 80’s pop music fan which makes her handy at Karaoke.



John Rutherford is one of Detroit’s leading freelance trombonists. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan after two years of study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. John has held teaching positions at the University of Toledo, Albion College, Henry Ford Community College, and most recently at Oakland University.

John has performed and recorded with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra. He has served as guest principal trombonist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and has performed abroad with the Jerusalem International Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Palermo, Sicily, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, and most recently at the Santo Domingo Music Festival in the Dominican Republic.

An active chamber musician, John has performed with the Detroit Chamber Winds, the Boston Chamber Ensemble, the Michigan Chamber Brass, the Spectrum Brass Quintet, and is the founding member of the Motor City Brass Quintet, whose 2009 debut CD features the premier recording of Pulitzer Prize winner John Harbison’s Christmas Vespers. He has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers MeetS), for Sony Classical as part of the Silk Road Project. With the Silk Road Ensemble, John toured a large part of North America, including performances at Carnegie Hall.

On the other side of the spectrum, John performs with many of Detroit’s leading jazz ensembles and is lead trombonist with the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra. He performs on tenor trombone, bass trombone, and tuba for the pit orchestras at many theaters in Michigan and Ohio and has played in bands and orchestras for artists including Ray Charles, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, George Russell, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, Gladys Knight, Debbie Gibson, the Four Tops, the Temptations, the Fifth Dimension, and Dennis DeYoung of Styx. John is the founding member of the Motor City Horns, who recently joined Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band on their 2006-2007 “Face the Promise” North American tour. With the Motor City Horns, John has collaborated with Clarence Clemons and the Temple of Soul, The Verve Pipe, Carl Craig and Tribe, and frequently with Alexander Zonjic. With Zonjic, they have shared the stage and crafted horn arrangements for many well-known jazz artists, including Bob James and Jeff Lorber. He has recorded for radio and television commercials at studios in Detroit and Los Angeles and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYS).




Tubist Jacob Cameron has taught at universities throughout the United States and has led an active and interesting performing career. As a soloist, Cameron was the Artist Division winner of the 1996 Leonard Falcone International Tuba Competition, a second place winner of the Lansing Matinee Musical Orchestral Brass Competition and a national finalist for both the high school and collegiate brass divisions of the MTNA solo competition. He has also performed numerous solo recitals including guest recitals at Indiana State University , Michigan State University, UNC Greensboro, and the Interlochen Arts Academy .

Large ensemble experience includes performances with the Blue Ash Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Lebanon Symphony, Orchestra X, Richmond Symphony (IN), Saginaw Bay Symphony, Springfield Symphony (OH), West Shore Symphony and the Wilmington Symphony. An active chamber musician, he has recently performed with the Buerkle Brass, Canterbury Brass, Michigan Chamber Brass, Pamlico Sound , Today’s Brass Quintet, the Queen City Brass and is a current member of the Motor City Brass Quintet and the Spectrum Brass Quintet.

Mr. Cameron received his M.M. in Tuba Performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and his B.M. in Tuba Performance from Michigan State University, where he is currently pursing his DMA. His primary teachers are David E. Kirk and Phil Sinder.

Jacob Cameron is currently Instructor of Tuba and Euphonium at Grand Valley State University, and Artist/Faculty at the Bay View Music Festival in Bay View, Michigan. He has held teaching positions at Wright State University, East Carolina University, Calvin College and Cornerstone University.



Soprano Elizabeth Stoner is a versatile performer, having enjoyed success in a wide variety of genres. She has recently performed the roles of Despina in productions in productions of Così fan tutte with both the Chicago’s Da Corneto Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera Theater production.  Other recent productions include the role of  Ms. Wordsworth in the University of Michigan Opera Theater production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring and Ein Sklave in Richard Strauss’s Salome with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater.  In addition to her opera engagements, Ms. Stoner is the soprano soloist touring with Spectrum Brass Quintet singing the music of George Gershwin.  This unique ensemble released its debut CD, Rhapsody: The Music of George Gershwin, in the fall of 2009.

Previous performances include: Musetta in  La Bohème, both Suor Angelica and Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, Ma Moss in The Tenderland, and Miss Todd in  The Old Maid and the Thief. Elizabeth has been featured as soprano soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Mozart’s Requiem with the Bay View Festival Choir, as well as Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, and performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Mennonite Choral Society and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra.

As an actress, Ms. Stoner’s theater performances include the title role in Anna Karenina, Martine in Learned Ladies, Lemon in Aunt Dan and Lemon, and Carol in State of Grace. Musical Theater credits include Lilli/Kate in Kiss Me Kate, Zinia in an off-broadway workshop production of Tear Gas, Rose in Secret Garden, Julie Jordan and Cousin Nettie in Carousel, Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, and a player in Godspell. Elizabeth Stoner has also appeared on NBC’s Law and Order.

A passionate educator, Elizabeth is Temporary Assistant Professor of Voice at Central Michigan University where she serves as Music Director for the Musical Theater productions and teaches applied vocal lessons. In addition, Dr. Stoner has held faculty positions at Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, Bergen Academy of Music and Art (NJ), Concordia Conservatory (NY), and Rosedale Achievement Center (NYC).

Ms. Stoner completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Michigan where she was also employed by the University as a graduate student instructor of voice. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater Performance and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal performance magna cum laude at Lawrence University and Conservatory, and her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Her primary teachers are Caroline Helton, Karen Leigh Post, Ashley Putnam, and Timothy X. Troy.  She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Lambda, Sigma Alpha Iota, and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).



Drummer Alex Trajano is a seasoned mainstay of the Detroit music scene who puts eclecticism and creativity at the top of his agenda. Trajano has performed with the finest of Detroit and Ann Arbor and has performed widely in the U.S., Europe, and Scandinavia. He is also a founding member of Blue Dog. The group’s latest release is an improvised sound track to Jean Cocteau’s 1938 avant silent film Blood of a Poet.

As owner of Thrilla Park Recording Laboratory in Clawson, Trajano has produced CDs for artists ranging from Marcus Belgrave to Iggy Pop. ThrillaPark transforms into an intimate, inviting performance space/gallery to host the infamous “sessions@west14mile.” The series, assembled by Trajano and guitarist Ryan Mackstaller, is a recording session of two widely varied groups in front of an audience while adjoining rooms become a gallery to exhibit visual art. In October, Trajano debuted a group project concept at Ann Arbor’s 2005 Edgefest called Bright Out.



Aviram Reichert

Van Cliburn bronze medalist (1997)

Aviram Reichert – acclaimed for his deeply intelligent interpretations, phenomenal technique and ravishing tone – won the Bronze Medal at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. Earlier accomplishments include First Prize at the Dong-A International Piano Competition in Seoul, Korea in 1996, Grand Prix at the 1995 Epinal International Piano Competition in France, and top prizes at the 1995 International Music Competition of Japan and at the Köln (1993) and Bremen (1996) International Piano Competitions.

Reichert is a frequent soloist with all the leading orchestras in his native country, Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. His prize-winning participation in competitions in Japan and Korea has brought him engagements for recital and concert tours in the Far East where he has been earning immense applause for more than a decade, performing in Japan with the Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and with the Daegu Symphony Orchestra of South Korea. He has also performed with the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic, the major orchestras in South Africa, and has played and recorded with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Broadcast Symphony Orchestra and the Dessau Symphony Orchestra (Germany). Conductors he has worked with include the late Sergiu Commissiona, Nicholas Cleobury, James Conlon, PeterBay, James De Priest, Leslie Dunner, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, David Lockington, Ken-ichiro Kobayashi, Emmanuel Krivine, Meir Minsky, Kevin Rhodes, and Barry Wordsworth.

In the United States he has appeared with the Spokane and Yakima Orchestras, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Symphony Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, West Shore Symphony Orchestra and the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, amongst numerous others. The 2008 season included performances of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Tacoma Symphony, and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini with the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra.

In recital, Reichert has performed throughout the United States, Israel, South Africa, Japan, Korea and Europe where an appearance at the Herkules-Saal in Munich elicited an enthusiastic ovation and high critical praise. Festival performances include the Ruhr and Epinal Music Festivals, Tokyo Summer Festival, Bear Valley, CA, Durango and Steamboat Springs, CO, Ravinia Festival, the Fontana and the Gilmore Keyboard Festivals. A fine chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists such as Anne Akiko Meyers, Maya Beiser, Guy Braunstein, Yuri Gandelsman, Vadim Gluzman, Dylana Jenson, Bill Purcell and Philippe Quint.

He can be heard on a Harmonia Mundi CD featuring highlights of his prize-winning solo performance at the Van Cliburn Competition, a Jerusalem Music Center label (JMC) featuring two Schubert Sonatas, and Mozart concerti with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra under the baton of Mischa Semanitzky.

In addition to his busy performing career, Reichert is a sought-after teacher who is frequently invited to conduct master-classes in Japan, Korea, South Africa, Israel and the United States. From 2001-2008 he held the positions of Associate Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. Mr. Reichert was recently appointed Professor of Piano at Seoul National University, College of Music.

Aviram Reichert studied at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv with Professor Arie Vardi.

He is a Steinway artist.


Ralph Votapek

Van Cliburn gold medalist (1962)

Pianist Ralph Votapek’s early triumphs — as winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award and gold Medalist in the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — were an auspicious prelude to an even more remarkable career. Votapek’s compelling keyboard style embodies all that is best in twentieth-century piano traditions, combining the fire, poetry and tonal warmth of the grand-manner prewar era with the modern-day virtues of fastidious clarity and electrifying rhythmic flair.

Mr. Votapek has made literally hundreds of appearances with major American orchestras, partnered by such legendary conductors as Rafael Kubelik, William Steinberg, Joseph Krips and Erich Leinsdorf. Featured no less than sixteen times as the Chicago Symphony’s guest soloist, Votapek has frequently played with the Boston Pops, also concertizing with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, and leading orchestras in St. Louis, Houston Dallas, Louisville and elsewhere.

With concerto appearances abroad ranging through London, Lisbon, St. Petersburg and into the Far East, Mr. Votapek has made a special commitment to Latin America, where he has toured every other year for more than 42 years, performing in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Asuncion, Montevideo, Sao Paolo, Lima, Caracas, Santiago and numerous smaller cities. Mr. Votapek is equally celebrated as a solo recitalist throughout four continents: in New York alone, he has performed repeatedly at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Guest appearances with the Juilliard, Fine Arts, New World and Chester String Quartets are highlights of his extensive chamber music experience.

Born in Milwaukee, Mr. Votapek began his musical education at age nine, when he enrolled in the Wisconsin Conservatory. Continuing his studies at Northwestern University, he subsequently attended the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Rosina Lhevinne and Robert Goldsand. He presently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Mr. Votapek was the soloist on Arthur Fiedler’s last Boston Pops recording, a Gershwin program released on CD by London Records, and most recently available as part of the Deutsche Grammophon CD titled “The Arthur Fiedler Legacy.” In recent years he has recorded prolifically for the Ivory Classics and Blue Griffin labels. On the former, he has recorded the complete Debussy Preludes, the complete Goyescas of Granados, and a collection of important 20th century works. On the latter there are “Votapek Plays Gershwin,” “The Votapeks, from Mozart to Piazzolla,” and Beethoven’s complete works for piano and cello with cellist, Suren Bagratuni. Each recording has received critical acclaim in the industry’s leading publications.

Frequently joined by his wife Albertine in two piano and four hand recitals, the Votapeks have appeared in Buenos Aires under the auspices of the Mozarteum Argentino, on the Van Cliburn series in Fort Worth, the Pabst Theatre Series in Milwaukee, and have been featured on performing arts series of numerous colleges and universities.

Ralph Votapek is Professor Emeritus of Piano at the Michigan State University College of Music.


Anthony Patterson

Artist-in-Residence, Alma College

Anthony Patterson holds the position of Artist-in-Residence at Alma College. One of the great pianists who is equally at home in the classical and popular music worlds, Tony performs as a soloist and collaborative musician countless times each year. As a coach/accompanist he performs regularly with other professional musicians, and he accompanies Alma students in their recitals and public performances.

A noted composer, Tony has released two CD recordings of his original piano compositions and he has written and arranged many songs for the Alma Choirs. His choral arrangements can be heard on several of the Alma Choir CDs.

For eighteen years Tony has been a member of the artist faculty at the Bay View Festival in northern Michigan where he has served as the Music Director for the renowned Bay View Opera.

Tony made his solo debut at the age of eight playing the Mozart Piano Concerto #29. A graduate of Ohio University, where he studied with Professor Richard Syracuse, Tony has won or been a finalist in a number of prestigious piano competitions including the Ohio and National Federation of Music Clubs competition.