Past Guest Artists
It is hard to find a drummer as diverse as Stockton Helbing. Stockton is not just a drummer. He is also a composer, arranger, producer, band leader, educator, music director, author, and entrepreneur.
Stockton maintains a busy schedule of performing, recording, and teaching around North America. He is a frequent guest artist at colleges and high schools largely due to his hefty resume of past performances. Most recently Stockton can be heard playing drums for American music icon and trumpet player extraordinaire Doc Severinsen.
Stockton has released five albums to date: Lodestar, For Nothing is Secret, Battlestations & Escape Plans, Crazy Aquarius, and his most recent Handprints. Each album showcases not only Stockton’s drumming abilities, but his composing, arranging, and producing skills as well.
Stockton has performed and recorded with a broad range of artists including Maynard Ferguson, Erika Badu, David Braid, Chip McNeill, Jennifer Holiday, The Dallas Wind Symphony, The Metropolitan Winds, Steve Wiest, Darden Purcell, Clay Jenkins, Phil Woods, Denis DiBlasio, Randy Brecker, The Imperial Brass, Kris Berg and the Metroplexity Big Band, Paul Tynan, and many more.
Stockton currently serves as Jazz Artist in Residence at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma and Music Director at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, Texas. Stockton also owns and operates Armored Records, an independent record label that focuses on releases by up and coming jazz artists.
Stockton lives in Dallas, TX, with his wife Denise, John their son, Jack the dog, and Aquarius the turtle.
Geoff Gallante, 13-year-old trumpet prodigy from Alexandria, VA, began playing trumpet at age 4. By age 6, he had performed on NBC’s Today Show with Chris Botti, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and CBS The Early Show. He also became the youngest instrumentalist to perform at the White House and the Kennedy Center. Since that time, he has performed solo engagements with orchestras, symphonic bands and jazz groups in 34 states, most notably The Philadelphia Brass, The Louisville Symphony, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and 5 outstanding ensembles of the U.S. Military.
Geoff has received resounding praise, including:
- “One of the most remarkable young trumpeters in the world today…dazzling technique”, Captain Lew Buckley, Conductor Laureate, The U.S. Coast Guard Band
- “An amazing talent”, Stan Hendrickson, principal trumpet The National Symphony
- “I’ve never seen such a rare gift”, Chris Botti
- “His command of the instrument and jazz vocabulary are truly astonishing”, Dan Morgenstern, dean of jazz critics
Geoff, finished eighth grade at Carl Sandburg Middle School, is also an accomplished pianist and vocalist. He enjoys swimming, fishing, bike riding and being an obnoxious little brother.
Geoff’s appearance with The Plano Community Band at Texas Bandmasters Association was sponsored by Peak Music Festivals.
Michele Todd’s love of jazz music began in college, though she has been singing her whole life. She was the vocalist for the T.I. Stage Band and as a singer in her college jazz choir, Michele had the honor of traveling to Montreux, Switzerland, to perform in the Montreux Jazz Festival. She has participated in various a cappella groups such as Five Minus One, The Connection, and Four the Holidays. For the past 7 years, Michele has had the proud honor of being a vocalist for the Phares Corder Jazz Orchestra, singing songs by some of her favorite singers like Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, and Ella Fitzgerald. She has been fortunate enough to sing with some of the most talented musicians and in some of the most prestigious locations in the Dallas area.
Michele performed with the band at its Star-Spangled Spectacular concert on July 3, 2014 at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano at 7 p.m.
Drew Lang performs regularly with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and many regional orchestras in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. He is also the principal mallet player with the Dallas Wind Symphony and percussionist for Casa Mañana Musicals. As a theater percussionist, he has also performed at the ATT Performing Arts Center and the Dallas Theater Center. In addition, he was principal percussionist at the Breckenridge Music Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. As a marimba specialist, Drew has commissioned and premiered and recorded works for marimba in solo, chamber and concerto settings. Drew appears throughout the United States as a soloist and in his duo with Flutist Helen Blackburn. Drew is on the percussion faculties at Southern Methodist University and Eastfield College and is director of the “MARIMBA MADNESS” summer Junior High/High School percussion camp and endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.