Kate Amrine, Trumpet, Co-Leader
A passionate and creative performer, Kate Amrine is a prominent trumpet player balancing a multifaceted career from developing new repertoire and curating concerts to freelancing with many different groups in the New York City area. Kate frequently alternates between the musical theater world and the contemporary classical/new music worlds. Some favorite recent experiences include being the lead trumpet player in all-women bands New Heights Brass Band and TOP Queens and performing with classical groups including the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, Kings County Brass, eGALitarian, and Spark Duo. Kate is also very dedicated to commissioning and performing new music, premiering over 30 pieces both as a soloist and a chamber musician. In addition to performing, Kate maintains her own private trumpet studio and is an Adjunct Instructor at New York University. Find out more about Kate on social media @katetrumpet or on her website: www.kateamrine.com
Melissa Muñoz, Trumpet
Melissa Muñoz is a dedicated trumpeter, educator, and non-profit administrator based in New York City. She enjoys playing various genres of music and has performed with The Dallas Winds, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Music degree at UT Austin and graduated with her Master of Music degree from Yale School of Music, where she was awarded the John Swallow Brass Prize. She also studied at the Colburn School under the tutelage of Jim Wilt.
Melissa has a passion for education and loves bringing out meaningful musicianship in her students. She has served as Adjunct Instructor of Brass at Cheshire Academy since 2019 and maintained a private lesson studio since 2017. Melissa is a co-founder of Brass Out Loud, an organization dedicated to uplifting the voices of musicians from underrepresented communities and has lectured on the topic of diversity in the brass world at universities across the U.S.
Blair Hamrick, Horn, Co-Leader
Blair Hamrick is passionate about horn performance and expanding its boundaries. She has performed and commissioned new solo works from composers Nirmali Fenn and Jason Mulligan, a trio from Samuel Beebe, and performed the late Donald Robb’s “Variations on a Chromatic Line” at a Composer Symposium in New Mexico. Blair is a part of Metropolitan Horn Authority (MHA), a horn quartet that has recorded several albums, performs regularly with Mozart for Munchkins, and has performed at Rockwood Music Hall. She recently received a grant from the Meir Commissioning Fund to have a piece by Jessica Meyer written for the group. In addition to new music, Blair is a studio musician in NYC, recording for films, operas, and independent projects in addition to chamber and orchestral ensembles. Blair runs a private lesson studio, gives masterclasses, and gives consultations for composers writing for horn. Blair is currently working on her DMA at Stony Brook University.
Julie Dombroski, Trombone
Julie is a New York City based trombonist performing commercial, musical theater, chamber music, new music and orchestral genres. Known for her innovative spirit and versatile performance, Julie can be heard on multiple video series with producer and audio engineer Nich “S!lky” Jones, performing in musical theatre pits, playing classically with subtle cheetah brass, jazzing it up with Brass by the Slice and combining it all with eGALitarian Brass. Playing whatever music is thrown her way, she has notably performed with The Fresh Kids of Bel-Air, Brass Queens, Doll Parts, the Climactics, and ZapOte. Most recently, Julie performed with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra for the 2021 season and is scheduled to perform in a brand-new production, “Other World”, at the Delaware Theatre Company in February. Julie is a proud alumna from the Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) studying with Colin Williams, associate principal of the NY Philharmonic, and Ithaca College (B.M.) studying with Jeffrey Gray, bass trombone of the Rochester Philharmonic, and Dr. Harold Reynolds.
Heather Ewer, Tuba, Sousaphone
Heather Ewer is a freelance tuba player and educator born and raised in Colorado, living her best life in New York City. She grew up playing in a brass quintet with her trumpet playing twin brother and has been in love with the genre ever since. Heather studied with Deanna Swoboda at Western Michigan University where she earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education After teaching middle school band in Denver for two years, she earned a Master's in Tuba Performance from Colorado State University. She played a variety of ensembles in Denver including orchestras, concert bands, British style brass bands, and recording sessions. One of her favorite projects was playing sousaphone and cymbals for the Denver Broncos marching band. Since moving to New York in 2019, she has explored the New Orleans brass band scene, performing with Brass by the Slice, Brass Queens, New Heights Brass Band, Brooklyn Delta Jazz Party, Off the Bar Brass, and the L Train Brass Band which she also led as Music Director for the past two years. Heather is passionate about music education and maintains a private studio while also teaching brass lessons for the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. When she is not playing her tuba, Heather can be found in the audience of a Broadway show soaking up the joy that is musical theatre!
Shelby Blezinger-McCay, Drums
Shelby Blezinger-McCay is a New York City-based passionate soloist, chamber player, educator, and experimental percussionist who desires to explore the vast art of percussion and music within today’s communities and cultures. Shelby is a graduate from the University of North Texas with a Master’s in Percussion Performance with emphasis on Contemporary Performance Practice. She has also received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Auburn University. She has been grateful to have recently performed and collaborated with the New York Virtuosi, Sō Percussion, Distinguished Concerts International Orchestra, the World Percussion Group, and more. She currently performs with her chamber trio, Troika and with Aladdin on Broadway. She has performed across the world including USA, Poland, and China as a soloist and chamber percussionist. She serves as Operations Director for Sō Percussion and Program Coordinator for the Sō Percussion Summer Institute.