Five Luther College brass professors are performing a faculty recital at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, in the Noble Recital Hall in the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music, located on the Luther campus.
The event is open to the public with no charge for admission, and features Luther's Jon Ailabouni, trumpet; Rebecca Boehm Shaffer, horn; John Cord, trumpet; Michael Smith, alto and bass trombone; and Benjamin Yates, trombone.
Together, the five faculty members make up the Norse Brass Quintet. The recital will feature music by 20th century composer Paul Hindemith, including "Sonata for Trumpet and Piano," "Sonata for Alto Horn," "Sonata fur Horn und Klavier," " Sonate für Posaune und Klavier" and a movement from Hindemith's symphony "Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber."
Jon Ailabouni, adjunct faculty in music, currently directs the Luther Jazz Band and the jazz combo program. He graduated summa cum laude from Luther with a degree emphasizing classical trumpet performance.
Ailabouni received the Master of Music in jazz studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and later joined the WMU music faculty where he taught jazz brass lessons, directed the Jazz Lab Band and served as co-director of the Western Invitational Jazz Festival. Since then he has toured internationally in France, Puerto Rico and Brazil, and performed domestically in many festivals, conferences and clinics.
In addition to her duties as adjunct professor of music, Rebecca Boehm Shaffer conducts Luther's Horn Ensemble. Shaffer has performed as a soloist and with numerous musical acts and ensembles across the country, including Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Metallica.
She holds a bachelor's degree in horn performance from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a master's degree in horn performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a doctoral degree in horn performance and pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado.
John Cord, Luther assistant professor of music, conducts Luther's Trumpet Ensemble. He has appeared with more than 30 professional symphony orchestras over the course of his diverse performing career.
Cord holds a bachelor's degree in trumpet performance from the University of Iowa, a master's degree from Yale University School of Music and a doctoral degree in trumpet performance and jazz studies from the University of North Texas.
Michael Smith serves as Luther associate professor of music, and conducts both the Trombone Choir and the Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble. Smith has served as the principal trombonist with the University of Illinois Wind Symphony, touring Great Britain with the ensemble. He has performed with symphonies and orchestras from Texas to the Midwest. He is in his 10th season as the bass trombonist with the Rochester Symphony.
Smith holds a bachelor's degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, a master's degree from McNesse State University and a doctoral degree in trombone performance and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Benjamin Yates, adjunct faculty in music, teaches low brass lessons at Luther. He regularly performs with Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin area symphonies, bands and chamber ensembles such as the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, among others.
Yates received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther, a Master of Music from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Iowa. He performs and presents master classes high schools, colleges and universities around the country, as well as presenting master classes in Austria, Brazil and Japan.
Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation with six choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and nearly 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory/ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.