Sam Houston State University & Austin Symphony
United States Air Force Band
Houston Symphony & Rice University
Edwards Performing Artist
R. Benjamin Osborne began his studies in music with the piano at age 5, and then with trombone at age 12. He grew up in Lubbock, TX, where he also received his bachelor's degree in music performance from Texas Tech University in 2002 studying under Don Lucas.
After completing his Bachelor’s degree, Ben took a brief respite from music, spending one year in urban ministry in Chicago and then two years of full-time study at Dallas Theological Seminary, earning a certificate of graduate studies. In 2007 Ben completed a master’s degree in trombone performance at Southern Methodist University where he studied with John Kitzman.
Ben has served as second trombone of the Austin Symphony Orchestra since 2008. He has performed on numerous occasions with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and as acting bass trombone for the 2019-20 and 2022-23 seasons with the Houston Grand Opera. He has served as faculty at the MasterWorks Festival in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Crescendo Summer Institute in Saraspatak, Hungary, and The Festival Institute at Round Top. In August of 2010 Ben was appointed as Lecturer of Trombone at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where he currently teaches.
Ben is an artist and clinician with the Edwards Instrument Company and owner and sole proprietor of Edwards House Texas.
Ben currently resides in Conroe, Texas with his wife Rachel and their two children, Zeke and Blythe.
Alison Miserendino is a euphoniumist with the Concert Band, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. A native of Burke, Virginia, her Air Force Career began in 2020.
Miserendino completed her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2013 at The University of North Texas. She then went on to earn dual Masters Degrees in Music Education and Euphonium Performance at The University of North Texas. Her most influential teachers are Jennifer Cox, Roger Behrend, and Dr. Brian Bowman.
An accomplished soloist, Miserendino has received several international accolades. In 2010, she was the winner of The United States Air Force Band’s own George S. Howard Young Artist Competition. She was runner up in the International Women’s Brass Conference’s Mock Audition competition in 2014, and in 2016 Miserendino was awarded a Bronze Medal in the Artist Division of the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Competition.
Dave Kirk is Principal Tubist of the Houston Symphony and an Associate Professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, positions held since 1982.
Kirk was selected for his teaching and playing positions during his final year of undergraduate studies at New York’s Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, he studied with Don Harry. Dave’s other teachers include Chester Schmitz, Warren Deck, Neal Tidwell, and his Houston Symphony colleagues.
Kirk appears as a guest performer and teacher in North America and Japan. He enjoys an international reputation for his teaching of musicianship and physical aspects of wind playing. Locally, he is an active recitalist, chamber music collaborator, and conductor.
His orchestral playing is heard on Houston Symphony recordings under conductors Sergiu Comissiona, Newton Wayland, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Krajewski, Hans Graf, and Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Kirk’s solo playing is featured on Mark Custom Recordings’ The Music of Leroy Osmon, Volume 1.
HIGH SCHOOL MASTERCLASS CLINICIANS
LOW BRASS FACULTY
University of Houston
Houston Grand Opera & Ballet, ret.
Brian Kauk (Trombone) became an Affiliate Artist of Trombone at the Moores School of Music in 1995, and was a member of the Moores Faculty Brass Quintet for 13 years. As a student of Allen Barnhill, he earned his B. M. in Applied Music from the University of Houston. He has performed extensively with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, including two international tours and can be heard on various recordings. In addition, he has performed with the Utah, San Antonio, and Jacksonville symphonies, and for numerous summers with the Utah Festival Opera Company and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Mr. Kauk has taught at the Texas Music Festival for many years and, in 2004, led efforts to successfully establish the Al Lube Scholarship Endowment, in honor of his former teacher. After decades of service, he retired as Principal Trombone of both the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet orchestras. While a member of the HGO orchestra, Mr. Kauk participated in NPR broadcasts as well as HGO's commercial CDs of Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas and Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men.
University of Houston
Phillip Freeman began his musical studies on euphonium before switching to bass trombone during his senior year at the University of Houston. After completing a degree in composition he continued his study of trombone at the Manhattan School of Music. He was awarded fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center and Spoleto Festival USA.
Freeman has been the bass trombonist of the Houston Symphony since 2007, before which he was a member of the Sarasota Opera orchestra. He has performed with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Houston Ballet on tenor and bass trombone, euphonium, and bass trumpet.
Formerly a faculty member of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and the American Festival for the Arts, he now teaches at the Texas Music Festival and the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston.
University of Houston
Houston Grand Opera and Ballet
Mark Barton is currently principal tuba with the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra and Houston Ballet Orchestra. He has also performed with the Houston Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Waco Symphony, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Barton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of St. Thomas, a Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University. In recent years he has participated in the production of eight world premiere performances with Houston Grand Opera, the most recent being Andre Previn's A Brief Encounter. Barton is also an active freelance artist and clinician.