Brass

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Leander Star, French horn

[B.M., The San Francisco Conservatory of Music; M.M., Northwestern University]
Leander Star is the French horn player with the award-winning wind quintet, the City of Tomorrow. Formed in 2010, the City of Tomorrow has become known for their performances of virtuosic works, including the North American premiere of "Blow" by Franco Donatoni in 2010 and world premieres of works by Rob Keeley (2012), Zosha Di Castri (2012), and Nat Evans (2014). In addition to his work with the City of Tomorrow, Mr. Star holds positions with the Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestra and the Portland Opera Orchestra and plays regularly with the Memphis Symphony and the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tennessee. Other current projects include performing with Holcombe Waller in his new staged art piece, "Wayfinders," and playing solo horn in (as well as helping to arrange) a new musical by Portland, Oregon playwright Max Voltage.

 

J. Michael McKenzie, trumpet

[B.M.E., The University of Memphis; M.M., The University of Memphis]
Mike McKenzie joined the Rhodes College music faculty in 2013. Since 1995 he has performed with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra trumpet section, and also been featured as a jazz soloist. He teaches instrumental and elementary music for Tipton County Schools, organizing and directing student groups, and also composing original music for other teachers to help them integrate the arts into the core curriculum as a means to improve student achievement.

 

 

 

Mark Vail, trombone and tuba

[B.M., North Texas State University]
Mark Vail has been the Principal Bass Trombonist with the Memphis Symphony since 1986. He is an adjunct faculty member at both Rhodes College and at the University of Memphis. He is one of the founding members on staff at the Germantown Baptist Church Conservatory of Music. Mark also serves as the low brass instructor with the “Artist in Residence” program of the Memphis City School system. He is a member of the International Trombone Association.