Joe Boertmann, Music Education, Class of 2009
Joe Boertmann graduated from PLU in 2009 with a degree in Music Education. While at PLU he played trumpet in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, University Symphony Orchestra, Trumpet Ensemble, student brass quintet, and Concert Band. Currently, Joe is the Director of Bands at Snohomish High School where he directs 3 concert bands, jazz band, percussion ensemble, marching band, and pep band. He is working toward his Masters in Music Education at Central Washington University. He also directs the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble’s Symphonic Band.
“Professor Lyman was able to individualize his instruction to meet my specific needs. I never once felt like any of my time was generic hoops to jump through. I learned how to be a better band director from being his student. I had access to my teacher at times outside of my scheduled lessons. He even came and found me in a practice room to provide additional advice after a conversation we had. This would have never happened at any of the larger schools – even the ‘best’ schools in the nation, I’m convinced. Outside of trumpet, the music faculty working in concert created a complete experience. There were professors whose classes I was never in, but I was able approach them and ask advice on playing, being a musician, about my intended career and just life in general. Again, something you wouldn’t find at many other institutions no matter the size. I would not have survived my first years of teaching in this current assignment had it not been for the complete music education experience I received at PLU. If the program had been any less, I’m not sure I’d still be teaching. After I graduated, I have kept in touch with my private instructor and my band director. They both have served as sources of information and advice. I transformed from being their student to their colleague in the profession and, looking back, I feel that this was their goal the whole time.”
Kari Munson, Physics and Civil Engineering, Class of 2011
Kari Munson graduated from PLU in 2011. She completed the Dual-Degree Engineering program with Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Civil Engineering, also receiving a minor in Mathematics. Kari played trumpet in the Wind Ensemble and Trumpet Ensemble at PLU, and played trumpet and french horn in the WSU Wind Symphony. Kari is currently a Bridge Engineer for T.Y. Lin International in Beaverton, OR, where she lives with her husband Philip (a PLU trombone player) and their energetic dog Mia. When she isn’t busy enjoying the outdoors or knitting something, she continues playing trumpet in the Tualatin Valley Community Band and the casual brass quintet known as the Polished Brass.
Micah Haven, Music Education, Class of 2009
Micah Haven graduated from PLU in 2009 with a degree in Music Education. At PLU, Micah played with the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, brass quintet, and Trumpet Ensemble. He is currently the director of bands at Meeker Middle School in Tacoma. Recently, the Meeker Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at All-Northwest.
“Having faculty members that are approachable and helpful, professors who have students in mind first and foremost, made PLU an incredible place to develop as a musician.
The PLU faculty members come from varied backgrounds, most having taught at many levels and out of their content areas at some point in their careers. This gives them a special appreciation for the developing music educator. In my lessons, my teachers were able to draw from their varied teaching and performing experience to help me understand more deeply the teaching and performing process. The PLU music faculty, more so than other schools, collaborate and communicate with each other. They care about student success in all music classes, not just their own. Most schools give you the technical skills and content knowledge to have a career in the world. PLU gave me the opportunities and experiences to make sure my career impacts the world. My GUR classes taught me to think deeply about the world around me and to question the injustices I see. My lessons and ensembles taught me the amazing impact music has on the world and why making music is an experience everyone deserves. My experience at PLU taught me to care. It taught me to care for the successes of everyone around me. It taught me care for places in the world I may never see. It taught me to look outward in a society that is so profoundly inward facing. More than the technical skills and content knowledge I teach my students, I teach them what being a musician truly means. On any given day, 235 young minds walk through my door and my hope is they learn from the lessons I learned at PLU. My private lessons, ensembles and tours, and relationships I developed at PLU gave me a sincere sense of gratitude to be able to teach music. My hope is to create a classroom that has so many of the good qualities that are deeply rooted in PLU.”
Matt Terjeson, Business Marketing, Class of 2009
Matt Terjeson graduated from PLU in 2009 with a degree in Business Marketing. While at PLU he took trumpet lessons from Dr. Lyman and played in the Trumpet Ensemble and Wind Ensemble. Matt currently works as as a freelance recording and mixing engineer and serves as Audio Director at Brooklake Church in Federal way. When he’s not in the sound booth, he’s on tour as a rock guitarist.
“The groups within the PLU music program are far greater than college classes you get a few credits for. It feels as if you are playing in a professional atmosphere.
There is also a striving for excellence that never lets up. We could have given the best performance of our lives but the next day we were working to raise the bar for the next performance. It’s not only in performances either. Each and every rehearsal in Wind Ensemble we worked and played to the best of our ability. Some of the best moments I experienced were in rehearsal. The same goes for Trumpet rehearsals. This has a lot to do with the excellent leadership from Dr. Powell and Dr. Lyman. They set the tone for us in rehearsals and inspired us to be great. In trumpet lessons, Dr. Lyman was great at giving me material that was doable but challenging at the same time. It’s a plus to learn an instrument from someone who is exceptional at their instrument, both musically and technically. If I had to do it all over, I would never consider another program to be a part of. PLU did an outstanding job preparing me for what I do. Although I don’t need a business degree for what I do, I learned many skills that I use everyday. The business knowledge helped me start and maintain multiple businesses. I have used tons of the marketing skills for music advertising and promotion. I also learned how to meet deadlines and work well with teams. The music program not only helped me further my music theory and skill on my instrument, but also gave me a great attention to detail which I use everyday editing and recording music.”
Mary Davis, Music Education, Class of 2010
Mary Davis graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2010 with a bachelors degree in Music Education. While at PLU, Mary played trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Band. She also participated in the PLU Brass Quintet. Mary has worked as a substitute teacher in several school districts in the Seattle-Metro area. She is currently the director of bands at Highland Middle School in the Bellevue School District.
“What I love most about PLU music is that there are so many opportunities, even if you do not major in music. Music is truly a passion and even if you don’t want to devote your entire life and future career in music, you can still perform and be a part of top-notch groups and take lessons from the same staff that teach the music majors, and pursue a passion. PLU prepared me very well for what I am doing now.
I was hired for general (K-4) music in the district I was in simply because they didn’t have another band job but didn’t want to lose me to a different district, that’s what having PLU Music Ed can do for your resume. Now I am teaching beginning (and very early) band and every opportunity I was given through trumpet lessons, brass lab, and band methods, I use every day. In any given day I will play clarinet, trumpet, baritone, trombone, and tuba for my students. My time at PLU really helped me to feel confident in my abilities in front of a group as well as flexibility to meet students where they are at.”
Zoyia Perry, Music Education, Class of 2010
Zoyia Perry is a 2010 graduate of PLU where she received a degree in Music Education. While at PLU she performed regularly with the University Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Brass Quintet, Trumpet Ensemble, and Jazz Band. She is currently teaching beginning band in the Edmonds School District.
“PLU was a great school to go to. When I started going there I couldn’t believe how welcoming and helpful everyone was. PLU… helped me find ways to pay for everything I needed.”
Ben Tully, Musical Arts, Class of 2011
Ben Tully graduated from PLU in 2011 with a degree in Musical Arts and a minor in English writing. While at PLU, Ben played trumpet in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Brass Quintet, Concert Band, and sang in the Men’s Chorus. Ben is also a baseball fanatic and has worked in the broadcast booth for the PLU baseball team during home games. He currently teaches primary and middle school music at The Harbour School in Hong Kong.
“The PLU music program is outstanding in the fact that it both trains professional musicians and allows non-music majors to continue participating in music. In addition to that, it was a good fit for someone in the middle of the spectrum like myself. I majored in music, but never was interested in a performance or education degree, wanting a more general knowledge base and the flexibility to minor in another discipline. My classes both non-musical and musical gave me a much more informed vision of life and the world, but my non-academic experiences were just as impactful, such as the friends I made on campus and how I learned from them. I don’t think I could’ve made the leap to move 6,500 miles and experience something so new if I’d gone to a university that put less energy into turning me into a mature, critically thinking adult.”
Ryan Foster, Trumpet Performance, Class of 2011
Ryan Foster graduated from PLU in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance. He was a member of the University Wind Ensemble, University Symphony Orchestra, University Jazz Ensemble, and the student brass quintet. He was also a 2010 student soloist winner and performed the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto with the University Symphony Orchestra. Ryan recently finished his Master of Music Degree in Trumpet Performance at Rutgers University, where he studied with David Krauss, principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He currently works as a freelance trumpet player and is part owner of modcup coffee co. in Jersey City. He is still looking at orchestra auditions, drooling over trumpets he can’t afford, and playing the crap out of Mahler 5.
“PLU gives the amount and quality of performance opportunities needed to improve as a performer, unlike some schools where opportunities are only offered to graduate students or even ‘ringers.’ Looking back at my time at PLU, I am amazed at all the opportunities I got to either solo with a group, or feel like an important member of the group I was performing in. PLU did an amazing job of preparing me for what I’m working on now. Each week I travel to New York City to take lessons with David Krauss. I sincerely feel like I’m building and refining what I learned at PLU and that going there really prepared me for studying at the level I’m at now. PLU was extraordinarily friendly and eager to teach me when I came to visit the school, and I felt that I would have no trouble fitting there. I never expected just how great the experience actually was, and I would recommend any serious music student to consider the program at PLU.”
Joe Natwick, Religion and Classics, Class of 2011
Joe Natwick graduated in 2011 with degrees in Religion and Classics. Joe played in the trumpet ensemble, was a member of the Jazz Ensemble, and studied under Zachary Lyman as well as Matthew Swihart. After PLU he worked as a backpacking guide in Northern Colorado and graduated with a Masters of Divinity at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. On May 30, 2015, Joe was ordained as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and received a call to serve as the Associate Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Dickinson, ND. He will forever have trumpet in his heart and will never let his chops go unused!
“The PLU trumpet program offered a flexible and encouraging community for me to grow not only as a musician but also as someone who is intentional about caring for the self and others through nurturing gifts and talents. As someone who had a double major outside of the music department, I was very grateful to have teachers and ensembles that challenged me but also took seriously my commitment to other academic pursuits.”
Christine Pyle, History and Political Science, Class of 2011
Christine Pyle is a 2011 graduate of PLU. She was a double major in History and Political Science. She played trumpet in the Trumpet Ensemble and Wind Ensemble at PLU. Up to the present she has studied under Paul Bain, Kevin Paustian, Dr. Lyman, and Matthew Swihart. Christine currently works for Auburn Parks and Recreation and is a para-educator in the Dieringer School District. She currently back at PLU studying in the Masters in Education program.
Thomas Siburg, Economics and Global Studies, Class of 2011
Thomas Siburg graduated from PLU in 2011 with majors in Economics and Global Studies. He also received minors in Religion and Political Science. In addition to having taken trumpet lessons from Dr. Lyman, he played in the Trumpet Ensemble, University Symphony Orchestra, and Concert Band, and sang in the Choir of the West and Men’s Choir. While at PLU, Thomas was able to study in Namibia, South Africa, and Uganda. Most currently, Thomas graduated (May 2015) from the University of Minnesota with a Master of Social Work and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. He is currently working two jobs that he loves. He is a Community Organizer & Tenant Advocate with All Parks Alliance for Change, working with mobile home park residents across the state of Minnesota to claim power and voice. He is also the Director of Urban Planning and Asset Development at Redeemer Center For Life, the nonprofit of Redeemer Lutheran Church of Minneapolis. And finally, he is blessed to be able to improvise on his trumpet every Sunday morning as part of Redeemer Lutheran Church’s gospel and praise worship. Peace and love, y’all.”
Allison Lansverk, Biology and English Writing, Class of 2011
Allison Lansverk graduated from PLU in 2011 with degrees in Biology and English Writing. While at PLU she took trumpet lessons from Dr. Lyman and played in the Trumpet Ensemble and Concert Band. She also studied abroad in Antarctica, Argentina, Costa Rica, and South Africa. Allison is currently a PhD candidate in evolutionary biology at East Carolina University in her fifth and final year.
“PLU was all about going beyond just teaching students to regurgitate information and actually teaching them to think critically and creatively and question what they know. I loved that I was able to take private lessons from a phenomenal professor and be involved in multiple groups even though I was not a music major or minor. The department didn’t have a closed-off feel where non-majors were unwelcome. I wouldn’t be where I am without PLU! I had many opportunities to participate in student-faculty research in the biology department and gain valuable experience that is helping me succeed in grad school now. PLU in general made me a critical thinker, a good communicator/writer, and gave me the passion to pursue my vocation.”
Erina Riley, Religion, Class of 2014
Erina Riley attended PLU from 2008-2013 as a music major with a focus on trumpet performance. She also studied South East Asian Religions and Spanish. Erina was a member of the University Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, and one of the university’s student-led brass quintets. Erina has studied under Dr. Zach Lyman, Matt Swihart, Ed Castro, and John Wells. Currently, she is working as a bartender and pursuing a degree in business management. She is also a current member of the Washington Wind Symphony.
Josh Kinne, Communication, Class of 2013
Josh Kinne is a Senior at PLU majoring in Communication. He has performed with the Wind Ensemble and Trumpet Ensemble and enjoys playing folk music on the side. Some of his trumpet teachers include Dr. Lyman, Dr. Castro, Matt Swihart, Paul Bain, and Brian Rascon. During his spare time Josh enjoys toying with professional audio equipment and software, listening to local radio, watching football and baseball, traveling, and reading.
Kim Stone, Music Education, Class of 2013
Kimberly Stone graduated from PLU in 2013 with a degree in Music Education. She performed with the University Symphony Orchestra, Trumpet Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and sang with Choir of the West. She is currently living in Ketchikan, Alaska where she teaches dance at Ketchikan Theater Ballet and participates in community music and theater. She is also a ramp trainer for Alaska Airlines and works as a volunteer firefighter.
“It’s really hard for me to sum up my PLU experience in words, because it was absolutely incredible. I always felt supported by the faculty, and many of them continue to support and encourage me now. I appreciated the opportunity to study music in a highly professional and positive environment.
The music department provided me with some amazing performance and travel opportunities, which included Alaska, Oregon, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia. PLU has prepared me to be a great musician and person as I step out into the world, and I’m sure the years I spent here will be among the most cherished of my life.”
Hannah Lansverk, Biology, Class of 2014
Hannah Lansverk is a 2014 PLU graduate with degrees in biology and a minor in psychology. She is interested in neuroscience and hopes to one day have a career in animal cognitive research. Hannah has played trumpet for 11 years. At PLU she performed with the Trumpet Ensemble. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, playing piano, and traveling.
Mykal Moody, Music Arts, Class of 2015
Mykal is a 2015 graduate of PLU with a Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree and a cognate in Business. He played in the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Trumpet Ensemble. Mykal is currently building onto his resume by working his way up the management levels with Regal Entertainment Group. He recently began working for Ted Brown Music as a road rep.
Caleb Chandler, Chemistry and Computer Science, Class of 2017
Caleb Chandler is currently studying to graduate in 2017. He is pursuing degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science. Caleb played with the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, and Trumpet Ensemble. Currently he is working as a Resident Assistant in Tinglestad Hall, and researching ligand effects on CdSe nanocrystals with Dr. Andrea Munro. Caleb plans to enter a master’s program after graduation.
Sebastian Hernandez, Music Education, Class of 2015
Sebastian Hernandez graduated from PLU majoring in Music Education. While at PLU he played the trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and the Trumpet Ensemble. Currently, Sebastian was recently hired by the Puyallup School District to teach middle school band and will be coaching voice at Auburn High School. In his spare time Sebastian loves to contemplate the notion of being a professional Mountain Biker! Sebastian also enjoys playing in as many musical groups as possible.
John Heckel, BA in Music and Pre-Med, Class of 2105
John Heckel graduated from PLU in 2015 with a BA in music and having completed pre-med courses. While at PLU John played the trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble and pep band. Currently John has been employed at Sound Family Medicine, a private practice located in the Puyallup and Bonney Lake area for almost a year gaining experience in the medical field. John was recently accepted into the Master of Music in Music Therapy with Undergraduate Equivalency program at the University of Miami and will begin classes in Fall of 2016. John says without the unique atmosphere at PLU which allowed for his study in both music and science he does not think he would find himself pursuing neurological music therapy today.