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Monteverdi Brass
Monteverdi Brass

Don Benham studied trombone with Miles Anderson and Robert Marsteller, and additionally, studied harmony and composition with Hollywood composer Hugo Friedhofer. Principal trombone with the California Symphony since 1987, Don is also active as a San Francisco freelancer and has held positions with the Oakland Symphony, San Francisco Ballet, Santa Fe Opera and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Don teaches privately and coaches young musicians in Piedmont and in Union City. Also, Don arranges and writes music for brass, winds, and orchestra. His hobbies include classic cars, film music, and marathon running.

Michael Cushing, alto and tenor trombone, is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music and the Yale School of Music. After finishing school, he toured for several years playing musical theater before settling in the Bay Area. As a specialist in Renaissance and Baroque brass performance practice, he has appeared with the San Francisco Bach Choir, Gabrieli West, and was Associate Music Director for the Utah Shakespearean Festival. He currently plays 2nd trombone with the Santa Cruz Symphony and West Bay Opera.

Trumpeter Richard Roper holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, and the University of Maryland. Formerly on faculty at the University of Maine, Richard currently teaches at the Preparatory/Extension department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of California Santa Cruz, California State University Stanislaus, and the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View. Richard spent a year studying trumpet in Paris as a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar, and also studied and performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. In addition to teaching, he stays busy performing with many of the ensembles in Northern California.

Rob Wilkins, trumpet, is a graduate of UCLA, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Yale School of Music. He has performed with New Haven Symphony, Rhode Island Symphony, as a member of the Westwind Brass, and many orchestras in the Bay Area including Oakland Symphony and Santa Rosa Symphony. In addition, Rob has studied and performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan and the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds in Italy. He currently teaches fifth grade in Oakland.

Brendan Lai-Tong, trombone, performs with orchestras and ensembles throughout Northern California. He is a graduate of the University of Miami and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.