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Meet the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble!

Garth Anderson

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.

Brandon Bokowski

Brandon Bokowski is bass trombonist for the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble and serves as one of the ensemble's most prominent arrangers.

Brandon is a "jack of all arts", graduating from the University of Iowa with a BA in Cinema. At different points in his life he has been immersed in graphic arts, writing, music, film/sound design, and most recently music arranging and composition for CMBE. Having spent years recording audio on film sets and editing post-production sound design, Brandon is the sound engineer for all the recording projects of the ensemble.


Outside of CMBE, Brandon is currently working on publishing a number of his brass arrangements (most written for CMBE) as well as a building a short book of poetry. He works as an email marketing coder for Oracle in Chicago.  

Josh Benjamin

Josh is a founding member of the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble.  He started playing the piano at the age of 4 and euphonium at age 11.  During high school, Josh performed as a church musician regularly and as a member of the DuPage Community Band.  Josh holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Euphoniium Performance from the University of Illinois where he studied with Mark Moore.  Josh's tuba-euphonium quartet was a semifinalist at the 2008 International Tuba & Euphonium Conference (ITEC). 


Josh has performed with the Illinois Wind Symphony, British Brass Band, Tuba Ensemble (from University of IL), the Slippery Tuba Quartet and the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

Josh grew up in Woodridge, IL, Josh has performed at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center and has toured New England and Europe and is an active freelance musician in the Chicago-land area.  Josh is a carpenter by day and resides in Carol Stream with his wife and two cats.

Robin Krieb

A native of the Chicago area, Robin Krieb began her trumpet career at the age of 11- trumpet not being her first instrument. She received many music awards before attending the University of Illinois. While there she was selected to participate in the Smith Competition for talented female musicians, chosen to lead a jazz class in improvisation, and won a conducting competition giving her the opportunity to conduct one of the symphonic bands in concert. Robin has studied with trumpet greats Greg Helton, Ray Sasaki, and Michael Ewald. She holds a Master of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music.

Robin enjoys playing a variety of musical styles. She performs with jazz/big bands, R&B/funk/rock groups, brass ensembles, and in musical pits. In her free time Robin enjoys riding her motorcycle, gardening, and cracking people up. She shares her life with her wife and fur babies.

Maddie Lindgren

Maddie Lindgren is a French horn player based in the northwest Chicago suburbs. Maddie graduated in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a BA in Horn Performance. Her teachers include Eric Kaiser and Doug Hill.


Since her graduation, Maddie has been privileged to perform with several excellent ensembles including the Fox Valley Orchestra and the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble.  Maddie is a current and founding member of Genuine Brass, a professional brass quintet based out of Elgin, IL.

Outside of performing, Maddie has a career in financial services and enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and cat, and traveling as much as possible.

Sean O'Donnell​

Sean O'Donnell is a freelance trumpeter and teacher in the Chicago area. He joined the Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble's trumpet section in 2016. A native of San Diego, California, Sean attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy. He graduated from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in 2012 with his Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance, where he studied with Joey Tartell. He has also studied with Channing Philbrick, Stephen Burns, Frank Glasson and Ken Larson.

Sean has served as Principal Trumpet of the Classical Symphony Orchestra of Chicago since 2013 and has performed with the Andrew Blake Band, Full Score Chamber Orchestra, Wheaton Municipal Band, Chicago Brass Band, Lakeshore Symphony and the North Shore Concert Band. He is the trumpet teacher at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Palatine High School and is a brass instructor for the Ravinia Festival's El Sistema program. Sean's hobbies include ice hockey, soccer, weightlifting and Tai Chi.

Steve Marcus

Steve Marcus earned his B.Mus.Ed., summa cum laude (Piano and Choral Conducting), and his M.M. (ABT) from Temple University Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia, PA. Subsequently, his tuba study was with Rex Martin at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music and with Roger Rocco. He performed in Master Classes with Kenneth Amis, Arnold Jacobs, R. Winston Morris, Sam Pilafian and Rolf Smedvig. Steve also performed at the International Tuba-Euphonium Workshop at the University of Oklahoma and participated in the Symphonia Tuba-Euphonium Workshop at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Steve served as CMBE's first President of its Board of Directors and during his time as Manager of Piano Sales for PianoForte Studios, he was instrumental in CMBE's performance at the prestigious Schubertiad.

Steve has performed with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Wheaton Municipal Band, Wheaton Symphony Orchestra, and many other ensembles. He is a co-founder of Chicago Brass Band and played in that organization and its 10-piece ensemble for its first 5 years. He is currently the Principal Tuba for Park Ridge Civic Orchestra, West Suburban Symphony Festival Orchestra, Barrington Brass Quintet, and two trad jazz/Dixieland Bands: the Mad Monks of Melody and the Sinful Saints.

Rachel Monroe​

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 and served as solo/lead trombone of the Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra from 2008 to 2010. Rachel has since performed with many professional organizations including the Lake Shore Symphony, Evanston Symphony and Fox Valley Orchestra. She is passionate about chamber music, and has performed Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat along with important chamber works. Rachel teaches at Westminster Christian School in Elgin, IL.

Rachel currently serves as principal trombonist for the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Brass Ensemble and is a founding member and trombonist for Genuine Brass and is an performs with The District (Elan Artists).  She also maintains a busy playing schedule performing frequently with the Andrew Blake Band, Wheaton College Symphony, Lake Shore Symphony, Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble, and the Chicago Brass Band.

Charles Payette​

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.

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.  He also performs for several weeks in the summer with the Lakeside Symphony in Lakeside, OH.

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