Meet the artists behind Genuine Brass
GARTH ANDERSON, trumpet
Garth Anderson received his performer's certificate from Northern Illinois University in 2012, and his Master's in trumpet performance in 2011. He earned a Bachelor's of Music Education degree from DePauw University in 2009. While at NIU, he studied with Professor Mark Ponzo and played principal trumpet for the NIU Philharmonic, was section leader for the NIU Wind Ensemble, and played with the Graduate Brass Quintet. He is currently teaching beginning band and general music in the Sycamore public schools.
In addition to performing with the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble and serving as the president of the board for the group, Garth currently performs as a regular member of the Fox Valley Orchestra, principal trumpet with the DuPage Symphony, and has played principal trumpet for the Chicago Bach Ensemble.
Garth also serves as the personnel manager for the Wheaton Municipal Band and personnel manager for the Fox Valley Orchestra. He has taught private lessons since 2004, having taught students of all ages from beginning to high school to students returning to the instrument later in life. Several of his students have gone on to All-State honors in high school or to study music in college.
Bennett Konstans grew up in Aurora, Illinois before attending the University of Illinois where he earned his degree in Music Education. While studying at Illinois, Bennett also had the opportunity to take classes in Jazz Studies and perform with the Marching Illini for all four of his years at Illinois. In addition to performing with the Marching Illini at Illinois, Bennett also played lead trumpet in the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps during the summers of 2011 and 2012. He has continued to teach in the Drum Corps activity every year since he aged out in 2012.
Bennett currently teaches elementary band in Elgin and also works with the Northern Illinois University Huskie Marching Band. Bennett is the director of the Huskie Pep Band.
In addition to a busy teaching schedule, Bennett maintains an active performing schedule, playing with groups such as the Chicago Brass Band and the Wheaton Municipal Band. He also writes and arranges music for schools all around the state of Illinois, including the NIU Huskie Marching Band.
Charles is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, where he studied Horn with Philip Farkas. After graduation, he returned to the Chicago Area where he has been an active performer for many years. He has extensive brass quintet experience and loves performing in chamber settings.
In high demand, Charles performs regularly with many ensembles. Currently he can be heard with the Northbrook Symphony, CinqueVenti Wind Quintet, Festival City Symphony in Milwaukee and the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble. He is an active freelance musician in the Chicagoland area and recently was featured as a soloist with the Glen-Ellyn Wheaton Chorale. Charles spends several weeks in the summer performing with theLakeside Symphony in Lakeside, OH.
Rachel Monroe is a 2012 graduate of the University of Iowa with a Masters degree in Trombone Performance. Rachel received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2010.
Rachel won her earliest orchestra position with the Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra in 2007. Rachel has since performed with many professional organizations including the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (principal trombone), Lake Shore Symphony, Evanston Symphony, Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble and Fox Valley Orchestra. She is passionate about chamber music; brass quintet being her favorite.
Rachel is currently the Director of Bands at Illiana Christian High School (Dyer, IN) and served as director of the South Suburban College Symphonic Band for the 2021-2022 season.
When she's not spending time with her rockstar musician husband and four beautiful daughters, she maintains a busy performing schedule as a substitute musician with the Andrew Blake Band, Wheaton College Symphony, Lake Shore Symphony, Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble, the Chicago Brass Band and the DuPage Symphony. Rachel serves as trombonist for The District through Elan Artists as well as a trombonist for Aragon Artists.
Keith Polito is a freelance tuba player in Chicago. He has had the privilege of performing with many groups including The Chicago Sinfonietta, The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, The Greeley Philharmonic, and The Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Keith earned a Master’s Degree from The University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor’s Degree from The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. While studying in Colorado, Keith was the Teaching Assistant for the tuba studio and taught classes in brass fundamentals.
He has also given masterclasses at Vandercook College and Morton College in Chicago. When Keith is not on stage performing, he can be found in his shop (based in Elgin, IL) cleaning, repairing, and modifying brass instruments.
Wesley Woodward, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania is a Chicago based trumpet player.
Wesley has appeared with the DuPage Symphony, Lakeshore Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition, Lakeview Symphony Orchestra, (Chicago, IL), Lake Forest Civic Orchestra (Lake Forest, IL), Lake County Symphony Orchestra (Zion, IL), Kenosha Symphony (Kenosha WI), Erie Chamber Orchestra (Erie, PA), Johnstown Symphony Orchestra (Johnstown, PA), and Westmorland Symphony Orchestra (Greensburg, PA).
In addition to his passion for trumpet, Wesley is an advocate for new music. He was a premiering soloist for Kevin McKee’s Centennial Horizon for Solo Trumpet and Wind Ensemble (2017), and commissioned 3 Divertimenti for Wind Orchestra by Luigi Zaninelli, which he conducted the premier in 2017. His most recent commission, Impromptu for Solo Trumpet, premiered in March of 2020.
Wesley's principal teachers include Neal Berntsen (Pittsburgh Symphony), Channing Philbrick (Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Mark Ridenour (Chicago Symphony Orchestra). In 2018, he graduated cum laude with a B.M. in Trumpet Performance from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where he studied with Chad Winkler (Pittsburgh Symphony.)
Wesley currently is on faculty at South Suburban College where he teaches applied trumpet, conducts the Wind Ensemble, and teaches music coursework. Additionally he is the affiliated trumpet instructor at the University of Chicago. Wesley also teaches with The People’s Music School proudly serving the mission of bringing free high quality intensive music education to underserved students in the city of Chicago.