Music Performance: Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion

Josh Ryan, Chair of Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Department
(440) 826-2368,

Apply  Visit  Request Information  


Develop the technical, artistic, entrepreneurial and analytical skills that can help you succeed as an instrumentalist preparing for a rewarding career in music.

Baldwin Wallace’s woodwind, brass or percussion major is a rigorous program that combines comprehensive coursework with private lessons and extensive performance experiences.

It provides outstanding preparation for graduate studies and career opportunities.Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are inherent to the program. BW’s faculty-student ratio is 7:1 for the Conservatory of Music.

Baldwin Wallace faculty are established professionals with real-world experience, impressive credentials and networking connections. They’re published composers, authors, musicians and researchers.

Among BW woodwind, brass and percussion faculty are members of the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Akron and Canton Symphony Orchestras, and other professionals who have performed internationally with prestigious ensembles.

Also impressive to your studies is BW's 20-minute proximity to Cleveland – home of nationally ranked music, theatre and arts organizations and facilities.

Career Opportunities

  • Music educator
  • Chamber musician
  • Orchestral musician
  • Conductor
  • Music business executive
  • Arts administrator
  • Private teacher
  • Concert soloist
  • Church or theatre musician or director

All-Steinway School

BW is closing in on achieving the elite All-Steinway School designation for its Conservatory of Music. Once accomplished, BW will join a prestigious list of 11 conservatories worldwide that boast this renowned classification. The addition of 88 Steinway pianos will further elevate your learning experience by having lessons and performance opportunities on the same quality instruments that are the standard in concert halls worldwide.

Vibrant Facility Engages Students

Striking Boesel Musical Arts Center is a picturesque four-building complex that houses BW's Conservatory of Music. It's a seamless blend of historic architecture and modern design. The facility houses 50 soundproofed practice rooms, instructional space, practice studios and impressive rehearsal halls that can accommodate the latest technologies for teaching and performance.

Exceptional Learning Experiences

Innovation, excellence and outstanding hands-on learning and performance opportunities make Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music a proven choice for students nationwide. The undergraduate-only Conservatory provides an exceptional learning environment for students to take lead roles in performing, conducting, managing and teaching. Alumni can be found at top graduate schools and working with the best orchestras, operas and theatres. Other alumni are employed in rewarding positions in teaching, arts management and music therapy.

Conservatory Students are Talented, Intelligent

BW Conservatory of Music students are achievers. Over the past three years, the average ACT score for incoming students was 26. The average SAT score was 590 for verbal and 570 for mathematics.


Rigorous coursework coupled with intensive and extensive practical experiences provide comprehensive learning.

You’ll study music theory, history and literature, form and analysis, tonal harmony, Solfège and more. You’ll learn to apply critical thinking, creativity and technical skills to your work.

Outside the classroom, you’ll take private lessons and participate in rehearsals and performances with a major ensemble, as well as other performance activities.

The culmination of your studies is a full-length recital program held during your senior year.

BW’s instrumental performance program offers an outstanding foundation for graduate school. It can be studied as a single major or companion field of study for a double major. You can enhance your studies by adding a music emphasis to your major.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.

Special Degree Emphasis

Students can apply to participate in one of the Conservatory's emphasis programs. Music emphasis programs may be added to any Conservatory major to provide more intensive, focused and experiential study of a particular area of music. Emphasis such as those in chamber music, composition, conducting, jazz, music history, music theory, pedagogy (studio teaching) and sacred music provide superb opportunities for many students.

Master Classes

Master classes are an integral part of the education of every Conservatory student. Each year, BW brings to campus guest artists to interact with students. These include professional composers and performers.


Student success is a top priority. Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's Conservatory of Music programs.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. As an instrumental performance major, you’ll have numerous opportunities to demonstrate your musicianship:

  • Regular studio classes
  • Departmental recitals
  • Conservatory convocations
  • Guest master classes
  • BW concerts
  • BW opera and music theatre pit ensembles
  • Semester juries
  • Required degree recitals
  • Annual concerto competition

With more than 325 events a year, Baldwin Wallace's Conservatory of Music offers an impressive array of performance opportunities.

You can get involved with the Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Jazztet and Percussion Ensemble, among others.

At the faculty level, BW woodwind, brass and percussion musicians perform regularly as members of the Africa->West trio (in-residence at BW) and Greg Banaszak Quintet, in addition to participating in solo, chamber music and small ensemble recitals.

Impressive Performance Opportunities

Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music has outstanding campus performance traditions and collaborations with regional and national organizations. A few examples include:

  • Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival
    The three-day campus event is the oldest collegiate Bach Festival in the country. It features lectures, BW performance groups, faculty members and renowned professional soloists and musicians. Baldwin Wallace students consider the unusual opportunity of participating, as colleagues, with world-class professionals a high point in their performing experience. The festival is evolving to include year-round events, such as Bach Haus, that explore Bach's influence on a broad spectrum of music.
  • FOCUS Festival of Contemporary Music
    The biennial festival features the music of a contemporary composer who visits Baldwin Wallace for a week-long residency. At the conclusion of the week's rehearsals and symposia, the composer's music is performed in a series of concerts, including large ensembles and chamber groups.
  • Art Song Festival
    BW Conservatory of Music is home to this week-long biennial event that brings international concert artists, singers and pianists to campus. The festival focuses on the unique relationship between singer and pianist in the performance of art song repertoire. It provides an opportunity to hear renowned artists in both recital and master classes.

Learning Resources

At Baldwin Wallace, student learning experiences are enhanced by exceptional resources that include:

  • Riemenschneider Bach Institute
    The institute houses rare items related to J.S. Bach and his circle, as well as historical reference materials, scores and a collection of classic recordings. It has one of the nation's most impressive holdings of Baroque manuscripts and first editions. It attracts scholars from around the world.
  • Ferne Patterson Jones Memorial Music Library
    A valuable campus resource, the library offers 18,000 scores, 7,000 books, and more than 10,000 sound and video recordings. Online resources to which the library subscribes include over one million tracks of streaming audio and video. Help with research is available by appointment, on a walk-in basis or through email.


At Baldwin Wallace, you'll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Woodwind, brass and percussion performance graduates can be found working for leading orchestras and other regional performing organizations. They also have pursued master's and doctoral degrees at some of the best schools:

  • University of Michigan
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Boston Conservatory
  • The Julliard School of Music
  • Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University
  • Indiana University
  • University of London
  • University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)

BW Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Performance Majors Find Success:

David Baker '12 is research assistant at the Music, Mind and Brain Lab at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is pursuing an MS. His comprehensive training in instrumental performance fostered creative and intellectual growth, which prepared him for research work in the field of systematic musicology.

Kevin Johnson '12 is a graduate student at Indiana University pursuing a degree in jazz studies. He published “The Beatles Session Parts” and has performed trumpet with the Columbus Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Blossom Festival Band and Brent Wallarab Jazz Ensemble in New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Kristen Klehr '10 graduated from Florida State University with an MA in arts administration. While at BW, she founded PRISM, an annual student-produced multi-arts performance. In addition to working with music festivals across the nation, she is a concert producer for an L.A. chamber orchestra and remains active as a percussionist.

James Wyman '06 is principal timpanist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Prior to this appointment, he held principal timpani positions with the Erie Philharmonic, the Reading Symphony and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. During his time at BW, he focused heavily on solo, chamber and non-western music and was part of a bata drumming trio.


Woodwind Faculty

Sean Gabriel
Lecturer in Flute
Performance Degrees from
The Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music and
The Indiana University School of Music at Bloomington

George Pope
Lecturer in Flute
M.M., Northwestern University
B.M.E., University of Tulsa

Jeffrey Rathbun
Lecturer in Oboe
M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
B.M., University of North Texas
Member, The Cleveland Orchestra

Daniel McKelway
Professor of Clarinet
B.M., A.D., The New England Conservatory
Member, The Cleveland Orchestra

Jonathan Sherwin
Lecturer in Bassoon
M.M., Northwestern University
B.M., Eastman School of Music
Member, The Cleveland Orchestra

Cynthia Cioffari
Lecturer in Bassoon
M.M., University of Michigan
B.M., Bowling Green State University

Greg Banaszak
Lecturer in Saxophone
Director of BW Jazz Studies and the BW Jazz Ensemble
M.M., Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw
Artist Diploma, Centre Musical d'Annecy in France
B.M. Cum Laude, Hartt School of Music

Tom Lempner
Lecturer in Saxophone
M.M. Summa Cum Laude, Kent State University
B.M., Baldwin Wallace University
Diploma, Armed Forces School of Music

Brass Faculty

David Brockett
Lecturer in Horn
M.M., University of Akron
B.M., Cleveland Institute of Music

Jesse McCormick
Lecturer in Horn
The Juilliard School
Member, The Cleveland Orchestra

John Brndiar
Lecturer in Trumpet
Director of BW Brass Choir
M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
B.M.E., Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music

Jack Sutte
Lecturer in Trumpet
M.M., The Juilliard School
B.M.,The Curtis Institute of Music

Richard Stout
Lecturer in Trombone

Yasuhito Sugiyama
Lecturer in Tuba
B.M., Soai University
Member, The Cleveland Orchestra

Ken Heinlein
Lecturer in Tuba
M.M., Cleveland Institute of Music
B.M., Central Michigan University

Percussion Faculty

Josh Ryan
Professor of Music
Chair of the Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Department
M.M., Peabody Conservatory of Music
B.M., Music, Lawrence University
B.A., Government, Lawrence University