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Concert Band Personnel

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Trombone

Sgt. Major Matt Wozniak

Brass Group Leader

Sergeant Major Matthew Wozniak, from Toledo, Ohio, has served as bass trombone of the West Point Band since November of 1997. Since his acceptance in the band, he has performed as a member of the Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Knights, West Point Trombone Ensemble, and other various chamber ensembles. Sgt. Maj. Wozniak has also served in many senior leadership positions within the band and is currently the brass and percussion Group Leader for the Concert and Marching Bands. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a performer’s certificate at the Eastman School of Music.

Sgt. Maj. Wozniak has performed in numerous concerts and recitals as a featured artist. In 2014, he performed Alex Freeman’s "Concerto for Bass Trombone and Band" at the International Trombone Workshop. He was also guest soloist with the Ridgewood Concert Band at the Eastern Trombone Workshop and at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 8 conference, where he premiered Carter Pann’s "Duo for Alto Saxophone and Bass Trombone" with his wife, former West Point Band member Lois Hicks-Wozniak. He was a two-time runner up at the Eastern Trombone Workshop’s International Solo Competition and has performed at numerous other musical workshops and seminars throughout his career.

Staff Sgt. Philip Stehly

Principal Trombone

Staff Sergeant Philip Stehly joined the West Point Band in the summer of 2005. A native of Kansas City, he received a Bachelor of Music in trombone performance from Indiana University. While at Indiana, he was the principal trombonist of the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Ray Cramer. Staff Sgt. Stehly has also performed with the IU New Music Ensemble, IU Symphony Orchestras, and the Bloomington Camerata. His principal teachers are Roger Oyster of the Kansas City Symphony, and Dee Stewart and Peter Ellefson of Indiana University.

Staff Sgt. Barry Cooper

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Staff Sergeant Barry Cooper moved to New York shortly after graduating high school to attend the New School University, where he studied under jazz master Benny Powell. Shortly thereafter, Staff Sgt. Cooper became a regular touring member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, performed on Sunday nights at Birdland with the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Orchestra, and had many other performances with other bands around New York City. Clark Terry was also very helpful to Staff Sgt. Cooper, inviting him to perform with a very young band he put together called “The Young Titans of Jazz.” Terry invited him to record in Bern, Switzerland, and as part of a live DVD in Birdland in New York City. While on tour with Terry in Switzerland, Staff Sgt. Cooper met the members of the Count Basie Orchestra and was invited to join. Since then, Staff Sgt. Cooper has performed all over the world, playing in concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and Bunkyo Civic Hall in Japan. He has played with Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Liz Wright, Dianne Schuur, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Jon Hendricks, and the Charles Tolliver Orchestra, to name a few.

Staff Sgt. Alaina Alster

Staff Sergeant Alaina Alster joined the West Point Band in October of 2013. Originally from Long Island, New York, she earned her Bachelor of Music in both trombone and euphonium performance from the University of Michigan and her Master of Music in trombone performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Prior to joining the West Point Band, Staff Sgt. Alster was an active freelance musician in New York City where she enjoyed a career performing a wide range of musical genres. She continues to perform with ensembles outside of West Point, specifically as a member of PitchBlak Brass Band, a ten piece hip-hop brass band based out of Brooklyn, New York. Staff Sgt. Alster is also a music educator and has worked as a teaching artist for the Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children and as a private music instructor.

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