Undergraduate Students


imageDylan Harris is a native of Houston, Texas and currently a senior Trumpet Performance major at the Eastman School of music. He currently studies with Professor James Thompson and is an active performer in various ensembles at the Eastman School of Music and the Houston area. Dylan has performed in various venues across the United States such as the Texas Music Educators Association, The Mid-West Clinic, and the National Orchestra Championships in New York City.  

Along with these venues, Dylan is an alumni of the Houston Youth Symphony and the American Festival for the Arts where he was a finalist in the annual concerto competition. He has also had the opportunity to be featured as a soloist with the Clear Lake High School Full Orchestra.

 Dylan has performed for various artists such as Mark Hughes, Wiff Rudd, Tom Booth and Chris Martin.  In addition to being an active performer, he is also an active educator in the Houston area and aspires to both teach and perform as a profession. Along with playing the Trumpet, Dylan is an avid outdoorsman where he spends a lot of his spare time by the Texas coast. 


IMG_2955Dean Oaks, a trumpet player from Fayetteville, NC, is a senior at the Eastman School of Music. He currently studies with Professor James Thompson and is an active perform in various ensembles such as the Eastman Wind Orchestra, and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra. Dean has also performed regularly with The Little German Band and Dancers, in which toured Germany in 2008.

Along with large ensemble performances, Dean also performs in chamber and solo settings as well. He was a regular member of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Student Brass Quintet, UNCSA Trumpet Ensemble and former principal trumpet of the Weasty Boys Brass Quintet. As a soloist, Dean has won numerous awards at the National Trumpet Competition including third place in the High School Division in 2012, and second place in the same division in 2013. Dean has also placed second at the International Trumpet Guild’s Youth Solo Competition in 2012.

Dean has performed in various masterclasses and clinic including those led by Susan Slaughter, Allen Vizzutti, Thomas Hooten, Chris Martin and Charlie Schlueter. Along with his performance career, Dean is also focused on the education of other up and coming brass players. He one of the founding members of the Summer Brass Bash in North Carolina that  provides beginning and high school students masterclasses, clinics, ensemble performances, and concerts for its members.


969051_567729136583003_816809646_nNicholas Piato  is currently a senior at the Eastman School of Music, double majoring in Trumpet Performance and Music Education under Douglas Prosser. While in his hometown of Syracuse, NY, Nick studies privately with John Raschella. Nick is an active performer in both the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, as well as a brass quintet. Nick has also performed with the Eastman Jazz Lab Band and the Eastman New Jazz Band.

Nick is an alumni of the NYSSSA Summer School of the Arts where he participated for two years, playing for members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was also a member of the NYS All-State Symphonic Band and the All State Wind Ensemble, where he was principal trumpet. Nick has also been principal trumpet with the Syracuse Youth Orchestra and a first trumpet in the US Army All-American Marching Band.

When Nick isn’t playing trumpet he loves to teach. He teaches private lessons in the Syracuse area as well as helps instruct marching bands. When not involved in music, Nick likes to read and exercise.



Ben Bird HeadshotBenjamin Bird is a graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Throughout high school he participated in Jazz Band, Pit Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and various small jazz ensembles. Ben is an alumni of the Lincoln Youth Symphony and served as principal trumpet and senior soloist. Ben was also a member of the NSBA All-State jazz band and performed as lead trumpet and soloist each year. He has also performed in various ensembles throughout Nebraska such as, the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra Young Lions Honor Band.

During Ben’s senior year, he was a member of the University of Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and also participated in a combo at the University.  Ben studies with Professor Douglas Prosser at the Eastman School.




Headshot Christopher DanzChristopher Danz, a native of Germany, is currently a junior at the Eastman School of Music studying with Professor James Thompson. His former trumpet teachers include Moritz Mainusch, David Dash, Mary Bowden, and Matthew Sonneborn.

In Germany, Christopher played in local youth and community bands, being principal trumpet in the youth band for three years and performing as soloist for several bands. He also played trumpet in his school’s Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Christopher became a member of the State of Hesse Youth Symphony Orchestra.

After moving to Florida in 2011, Christopher participated in the Artis Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra where he played principal trumpet for three years. A recent graduate from Golden Gate High School, he performed in the Jazz and Marching bands. Starting 2012 he attended the Bower School of Music at the Florida Gulf Coast University as part of a dual enrollment program. During this time Christopher played in the Wind Orchestra, a Brass Quintet and a Trumpet Ensemble. With the Brass Quintet he had the honor to perform in a concert with the Boston Brass.



1964892_10201883000789171_1270887179907895540_n (1)Peyton Johnson is currently a junior at the Eastman School of Music studying under James Thompson. He is an alumni of the Carolina Youth Symphony. While at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities he participated in the Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra , Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Quintet and Jazz Combo. Peyton has placed in the  South Carolina All-State Band and All-State Jazz Band multiple times throughout his high school career and was a participant in the Brevard Music Center in 2013.





imageJonathon Pitts is currently a junior at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with Professor James Thompson. He is a recent graduate of Liberty High School in Kissimmee,FL.  While attending Liberty High, Pitts was principal trumpet in the Wind Ensemble and lead trumpet in the Jazz Band for four years. He also managed to place in the Florida Music Educators Association All State Concert Orchestra in 2012 and the All State Symphonic Orchestra in 2013-2014.

He has been awarded numerous times on a local and national level. Recently he won the brass division of the Bach Festival Concerto Competition in Winter Park, FL. Pitts was also featured as a soloist in the Semi-Final round of the National Trumpet Competition during two consecutive years.  His primary teacher during high school was Christine Lundahl, Director of Bands . He also had the opportunity to study with Chad Shoopman, Robert Hinkley, and John Almeida-Professor of Trumpet at the University of Central Florida.


MattTrump1Matthew Suckling is currently a junior at the Eastman School of Music studying with Douglas Prosser. He is a graduate of Cornwall Central High School in Cornwall, NY. At Cornwall, Matthew performed in the Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Pit Ensemble, and Mixed Choir. Throughout his time in Cornwall Matthew studied with Dr. John Charles Thomas of the Chestnut Brass Company. In high school, Matthew had the honor to perform in the NYSBDA Jazz Ensemble, the NY All-State Jazz Ensemble, and as lead trumpet in the NAfME All-National Jazz Ensemble. 






12238384_780213215440456_8948071647021503033_oStephanie Anderson – Bio coming soon!











11204917_699518343513854_5718969073334133721_nJarod Lau is a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music, studying trumpet with Doug Prosser.  A native of Rochester, NY, Jarod is a proud product of the Eastman Community School of Music, where he studied extensively with Wes Nance throughout high school.  Throughout his high school career, Jarod performed with a variety of noteworthy ensembles, including the NY Allstate concert band & orchestra, the NAfME Nationals Honors Band, was also a semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition.  Summer Programs that Joard has attended include the Eastman Summer Jazz studies and the Eastman Summer Trumpet institute.





1796496_1135417416482587_8600076433344796721_nDavid Puchkoff is a native of Poughkeepsie, New York, and is currently a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music.  He is studying Trumpet Performance under James Thompson. He most recently performed with the BU Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Orchestra where he played principal on works that include Bartok Concerto for Orchestra.  In high school, David was featured as a soloist in the semi-finals of the National Trumpet competition. He is an alumni of the Empire State Youth Orchestra. David was presented with the Louis Armstrong jazz award, John Philip Sousa band award, Essentially Ellington Outstanding Soloist award, and the Berklee HSJF outstanding performer Award 2 years in a row.  When David is not involved with music he likes to hike, cook and sail.






John Chadwick Rockwell, III from Albany, NY, began his musical studies at the age of five on piano and at the age of eight started trumpet lessons under Steve Lambert. Upon entering high school, Chad continued his studies under Dennis Johnston, PhD. Throughout his middle and high school years Chad found his passion for music through his participation in numerous ensembles and opportunities in his community including NYSBDA, NYSSMA, the Empire State Youth Orchestra, as well as the Niskayuna high school’s Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, and Band. As well as being a performer, he was a teacher of several students throughout high school. Chad is now entering his sophomore year at the Eastman school of Music in Rochester in the studio of Douglas Prosser.






Coming soon!