WMU Horn Studio 2015-16
Major: MM Horn Performance
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
David Acton is a first year graduate student at Western Michigan University and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Horn Performance. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Horn Performance from DePauw University in May 2015. During his time at DePauw, David was a member of the Symphony Orchestra and University Band, as well as the horn ensemble, woodwind quintet, and brass quintet. He also served as principal horn of the DePauw Chamber Symphony, which went on tour first to London and then to Austria. In the spring of his junior year, David had the opportunity to study abroad in Vienna, Austria. There, he studied horn with a former member of the Vienna Philharmonic, met the Berlin Philharmonic horn section, and frequently went exploring in the Alps. Currently, David is performing in the University Symphony Orchestra, the University Symphonic Band, Graduate Wind Quintet, Western Winds, Horn Choir, and the Kalamazoo Philharmonia. When not playing horn, David also enjoys playing organ, composing music, hiking, and watching cat videos.
Ben ArkingMajor: Music Education
Hometown: Grand Ledge, MI
Benjamin Arking is a second year student in the WMU horn studio. A Music Education major, Ben hopes one day to be a high school band director. Ben is currently in the University Concert Band and is a member of the mellophone section in the Bronco Marching Band. Previously, Ben attended Grand Ledge High School, and was a four-year member of the GLHS Wind Symphony horn section, as well as a member in the Grand Ledge High School Comet Marching Band. Highlighting his high school horn experience was the opportunity to play onstage at Carnegie Hall in 2011. Ben was also a member of Michigan State University’s Spartan Youth Wind Symphony at Michigan State University during his last two years in high school. Ben attended Blue Lake and WMU Seminar music camps. While in high school, Ben also performed in the Grand Ledge Concert Choir and the Corduroys, an all men’s Choir. Throughout his four years in high school, Ben participated in the GLHS theatrical productions, including principal roles in: West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and more. Overall, Ben is excited to be part of the WMU Horn Studio and looks forward to a great college experience.
Caroline BinnsMajor: Music Education
Hometown: Blissfield, MI
Caroline is currently a junior in the WMU horn studio. She is working towards a music education degree. Caroline is involved in the University Symphony Orchestra, the Bronco Marching Band, and the Western Horn Choir. Before coming to Western, Caroline was heavily involved in music while in middle school and high school. Most notable of those was holding the principal horn position in both the Siena Heights Youth Orchestra and the Toledo Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for 2 consecutive years. Caroline’s favorite venue to perform in is actually in pit orchestras for musicals and has now played in over ten musical performances since her freshman year of high school.
Stephen BlancoMajor: pre-Music Education
Nick CramerMajor: Music Therapy
Hometown: Battle Creek, MI
Nick is a 2nd year student in his 1st full school year in the horn studio as a music therapy major. He currently in the University Concert Band, WMU horn choir, WMU Brass Ensemble, and plays Mellophone in the Bronco Marching Band. A graduate of Battle Creek Central High School, he won the John Phillip Sousa award in 2014. While a senior in high school, he received a division I rating at MSBOA solo & ensemble, and also had the opportunity to perform with the John Mackey All-Star Band during spring conference at WMU. He instructed mellophone at his alma mater in the summer of 2015, and will return in 2016 as instructor for the entire high brass section.
Dominic HayesMajor: pre-Horn Performance
Hometown: Capac, MI
Dominic Hayes is a sophomore in the Horn Studio at WMU.
He is hoping to major in Music Performance. He graduated from Capac High School in 2014, where he performed in a variety of chamber ensembles and as a soloist. He is currently a member of the University Symphonic Band, the University Horn Choir, the Bronco Marching Band, and a collegiate brass ensemble as well as other ensembles outside of school. He has been a member of many honors ensembles and chamber groups, and has won numerous awards for his solo work. Most recently, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Kendall Betts Horn Camp in Lyman New Hampshire, where he studied for a week under the tutelage of several incredible professors and performers from across the United States.
Ben HaywardMajor: Music Education
Hometown: Portage, MI
Jasmine JoubranMajor: Music Education & Horn Performance
Hometown: Flushing, Michigan
Jasmine Joubran is a junior in the WMU horn studio double majoring in music education and horn performance. She graduated from Flushing High School, where she received the John Philip Sousa Award and the Arion Award. She currently plays with the WMU Symphony Orchestra as well as the Symphonic Band, in which she serves as music librarian. She is also a member of the Russell Brown Brass Quintet and the WMU Horn Choir. Playing the horn has taken her overseas twice, playing on tours in both Europe and China. In addition to horn, Jasmine plays first violin with the Kalamazoo Philharmonia. She enjoys playing racquetball, watching movies with friends, reading, and traveling.
Kirstie KeillMajor: MM Horn Performance
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kirstie Keill is a performer, teacher, arranger, and lifetime student. She is pursuing a master's degree in Horn Performance at WMU and is serving as a graduate assistant for the WMU athletic bands. Kirstie is a Pennsylvania native born in Philadelphia and raised in the country. She received her bachelor's degree in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While in attendance, she performed with the IUP Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Marching Band. She is a member of the professional music fraternity Delta Omicron as well as the IUP collegiate chapter of PCMEA, and served as treasurer for both. After she completed her student teaching requirement, she took a study abroad to Ljubljana, Slovenia to further her knowledge of music education in a European setting. She teaches horn lessons, cooks vegetarian, bakes fancy cakes, and loves a good cup of tea with great friends.
Jennifer KempeMajor: MM Horn Performance
Hometown: Champaign, Illinois
Jennifer Kempe is a second year graduate student at Western Michigan University and is pursuing a Master’s of Music in Horn Performance. Originally from Champaign, Illinois, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois in Spring 2014.
While there she performed with many fine University ensembles, including the Illinois Wind Symphony and University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra. She also performed with ensembles throughout the community, including the Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra and the Urbana Pops Orchestra. She had the privilege of teaching horn lessons with the Music Shoppe Lesson Studios in Champaign as well. Currently, Jennifer is performing with the Battle Creek Symphony as Principal horn, as well as with the University Symphony Orchestra and the University Symphonic Band. She performs in chamber ensembles that include the Graduate Brass Quintet, Western Winds, and the WMU Horn Choir. Jennifer is very excited to be a part of the WMU horn studio and to continue developing her musicianship in such an exciting musical environment!
Lilly RuellMajor: pre-Music Performance
Hometown: Cadillac, MI
Tessa SalisburyMajor: Music Education
Hometown: Charlotte, MI
Tessa Salisbury is currently a second year student in the horn studio, studying Instrumental Music Education at Western Michigan University. She is playing French Horn in WMU's Concert Band and Horn Choir as well as playing mellophone in the Bronco Marching Band. At Charlotte High School, she was a member of the concert band for one year and the symphony band for three years, where she held first chair her last year; she was also drum major for two years in the marching band. Tessa was awarded the John Philip Sousa Award her Senior year and received high ratings in Solo/Ensemble Festivals in both band and choir. Along with singing in the All-State Honors Choir, she involved herself with various musicals for three years during the fall and played doubles on the varsity tennis team in the spring.
Nicole Vanden BoschMajor: Music Education & Horn Performance
Hometown: Jenison, MI
Nicole is a senior at WMU studying Music Education and Horn Performance. This year she is serving as the second horn in the University Symphony Orchestra and as a member of the WMU Horn Choir. In the past year her, she has played with the Western Horn Quartet who traveled to Los Angeles for the International Horn Symposium for the International Horn Quartet Competition and to present a lecture/workshop on classical improvisation with Dr. Foulk. During her previous four years at WMU she has performed with the University Concert Band, the University Symphonic Band, the Western Winds Ensemble, wind quintets and brass quintets, along with many other short term ensembles. She also marched mellophone for two years and cymbals in the Bronco Marching Band. She works as a private instructor and as a music education advocate at Marshall Music. While in high school, Nicole participated in various honors bands and competitions including serving as assistant principal horn for the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony 2010-2011 season, the 2011 Michigan All State Band, and was a finalist in the 2011 Kalamazoo Concert Band Concerto Competition. Nicole sat principal chair each year in high school and received the Arion Music Award. Nicole was also a four-year member of her high school's varsity swim team. Along with receiving the 2011 Academic Athlete Award she was a 2010 OK Green All Conference swimmer, a state finalist in two events, and holds her high school's records for the 200 Medley Relay, the 200 Freestyle Relay, and the 100 Breaststroke. Nicole enjoys reading and listening to movie sound tracks, especially Hans Zimmer, Steve Jablonsky, James Newton Howard, and John Powell.