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Tom Hessney


Tom is the Founder and inspiration behind BME.  A life-long music educator and performing musician, he has assembled a great group of musicians who share his passion for the music BME plays.  In addition to being a talented trumpeter, he also arranges the music for the ensemble and is the Director as well.  In addition to BME, Tom performs with the Naples Concert Band and the Bonita Springs Concert Band.

Meet the Band

We have a talented group of professional musicians, with the experience to make any moment memorable!  Meet the Band!

David Michalewsky


Dave retired to Florida after teaching music in New Jersey for 40 years. Dave graduated from Glassboro Sate College with a BA in Music Education and from Trenton State College with an MA in Music with a concentration in Instrumental Conducting. While in NJ Dave performed with several bands and quintets. He played principal trumpet with the Hunterdon Symphony and was featured soloist when the symphony toured Austria and the Czech Republic for the Mozart 250th birthday celebration.

Lynn Asper


Lynn is a native of South Bend, Indiana. Lynn holds a BS in Music Education from Ball State University and a Master of Music Education from Michigan State University. He has taught trumpet at the high school and collegiate level for over 40 years. Lynn was a member of the music faculty at Grand Rapids Community College and served as conductor of the Kent Philharmonic Orchestra. Lynn is principal trumpet with the Bonita Springs Concert Band and is the owner of Asper Trumpet Products. He is the author of the book "A Physical Approach to Playing the Trumpet."

Richard Vanderburg


Richard was born into a musical family in Texas. He received his first trumpet at the age of six after which he played in school bands, orchestras, and later, in the US Army Band. With a passion for music, he worked his way thru Architectural School at Texas A&M University playing with a variety of road bands including the Glenn Miller, Charlie Barnet, and Les Elgart, orchestras. After graduation, he lived and worked in New York, Dallas, Honk Kong, Cleveland and Miami and in 2021, moved to Fort Myers, Florida, all the time continuing to play professionally with a variety of Small Jazz Ensembles and Big Bands.

Mary Zitnik

Flugelhorn & Vocalist

Mary holds a BM in voice performance from DePaul University. Prior to relocating to Florida, Mary appeared as a soloist and ensemble member with many groups in Chicago and the Chicago metro area, including the Grammy-winning Chicago Symphony Chorus. She recorded several commercial jingles as well as the CD Totally Catholic, an album of original Catholic Christian music. Mary's performance background includes classical, contemporary, pop, and rock.
As an instrumentalist, Mary is also a member of the Naples and Bonita Springs Concert Bands and the Symphonic Winds of SWFL.

Dave Drewek

French Horn

Dave is a retired automotive engineer and a snowbird from Harrison Township, Michigan. Dave holds a master's degree in engineering and enjoys playing with the Naples Concert Band.

Kathy Williams

French Horn

Now a full-time resident of southwest Florida, Kathy hails from Pottstown, Pennsylvania. With her master's in music, she taught music for 41 years in the PA public school system at the multiple levels of elementary through high school. At retirement, Kathy was honored by being a guest conductor with the Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra. Today, Kathy plays in several local music groups.

Steve Kreuz

French Horn

Chris Gillette

Guitar - Bass

Christopher was raised in Newport Beach, California and now calls Cape Coral his home. His multiple degrees in music, biblical studies, and his PhD in Worship Studies has allowed him to be a professor of music and Church Music Director / studio musician.

DeFino Dance Team

Studio Dancers

John and Penny DeFino are longtime residents of North Fort Myers. Formerly a Research Engineer and a Medical Assistant, they currently teach ballroom dance in the local area. Their career accomplishments include USA Dance National Ballroom Champions for their division and six-time USA Dance National Finalists in American and International style ballroom dance.

Curt Kumpf


Curt is from Minot North Dakota. He has performed with the Purdue University Symphonic Band, the Minot Symphony, the Minot Symphonic Brass Band, the Renaissance Brass Quintet, the Jazz Band of Minot and numerous backup bands. He has performed with the Lee County Community Band,and is an active member in the Bonita Springs Concert Band, Naples Concert Band, and the Lehigh Concert Band.

John Monachan


John served as a musician and conductor in the Canadian Forces Music Branch for 38 years. He presently divides his time between Trenton, Ontario in the summer and the Fort Myers area in the winter. John performs with the German Haffenkappel Band, the Sanibel Big Arts Band, Bonita Springs Concert Band and the Lee County Band. He is the conductor of the Southwest Florida Concert Band

Matthew Murrell


Matthew is a graduate of Florida International University's Music Education program and has been a middle school band director since 2010. He has performed with the Gulf Coast Symphony, the Naples Concert Band, and Sun Coast Brass along with Brass Music Elements. He is a clinician in the area and mentors young music teachers. Currently he is the Middle School Band Director at the Canterbury School in Fort Myers

Michael Ciccarone


Before becoming a lawyer, Mike began his college studies as a music major. While attending Duke University he performed as the principal trombonist with the university orchestra, wind ensemble, and jazz band. He is the former first trombonist with the Gulf Coast Symphony and presently performs with the Bonita Springs Concert Band and the German Hafflenkappel Band.

Rock Ciccarone


After high school, Rock attended Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music for two years before transferring to The Berklee College of Music in Boston. After that he joined the Buddy Rich big band in 1982, playing the jazz chair for 6 months before switching over to the electric bass chair for another 6 months. He then left the band and eventually joined and toured with the Artie Shaw band ,playing lead trombone until rejoining Buddy’s band in 1985 playing the lead trombone chair. In 1986 he moved to NYC and established himself there. He lived in the city until November 2020 when he relocated to Ft Myers FL. While in NYC for 34 years he was a member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and later a first call sub with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He’s performed with:The Woody Herman Band, John Fedchock NY BiG Band, Bob Mintzer Big Band, Bill Bruford Nonet and many acts including:
Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Frank Sinatra, Tony Benett, Mel Torme, Vic Damone, Don Rickles, Steve Lawrence, Edie Gourmet , Jimmy Roselli, Hennie Youngman, Cheeta Rivera and others.

Kathy Kvet


Kathy holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin-Wallace University and a Master of Music degree from the College-Conservatory, University of Cincinnati. She taught choral and instrumetal music in Ohio, Michigan and New Orleans. In addition to her teaching, Kathy has played principal trumpet with the Cleveland Women's Orchestra, Middletown Symphony, Midland Symphony and as an extra trumpet with the New Orleans Symphony. Currently, Kathy plays with the Naples Concert Band and the Santa Fe (NM) Concert Band in the summer.

Peter Davis


Although Pete grew up in Cleveland, OH, he now calls southwest Florida his home. He holds a Bachelor of Music Ed degree from Northwestern where he lived and performed in Chicago. Pete performs a full spectrum of music styles in jazz, big-band, R&B/funk and is a professional musician playing with The Temptations, Marie Osmond, and tributes to Neal Diamond, Ray Charles, and The Beatles. BME is one of several local groups in which Pete plays.

Scott Osler


Scott is formerly of Massachusetts. He holds a BA from Bates College, a JD from Northeastern University, and received his musical education at the Rivers Music School. When he isn't out kayaking, Scott also plays with the Bonita Concert Band, Southwest Florida Concert Band, Sanibel Big Arts Concert Band, and Haffenkapelle.

Steve Finkelstein


Steve is Canadian and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. Steve went into the family furniture upholstering business and eventually worked with hotels and restaurants in refurbishing their properties. Steve was a performer with the Wedding / Corporate Cover Band for over 35 years. In 2012 he and his wife moved to Niagara Falls. Steve plays with the Jimmy Stahl Big Band as well as Brass Music Elements

Tom Hessney


Tom is formerly of Massachusetts. Tom holds a BS in Music from Berklee College, Boston and an MS in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Before retiring Tom was Director of Music at Blackstone-Millville Regional School District. As one of the most respected band directors in Massachusetts, Tom was inducted into the Paul Smith Hall of Fame. Tom is the Director and arranger for Brass Music Elements.

Berge Johnson


Berge is a Snowbird from Minnesota and holds a BS from St. Cloud State University. His career was that of a Public-School Band Director for 35 years. Berge plays several brass instruments in diverse music groups.

Janna Braun

Vocalist and Keyboard

Janna is from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. She now resides in Fort Myers. She did her undergraduate work at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and has a Master's degree in vocal performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Janna sang with the Dallas Opera Company and Anoka Opera in Minnesota.
In recent years, Janna has been playing jazz piano with vocal for private and corporate events, including a jazz band performance at the Minneapolis Convention Center for an international convention.
Her newest joy in life is her 3 grandchildren.

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