Guest Artist

Wayne Bergeron

Wayne Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most sought-after musicians in the world. Studio sessions, film dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest appearances, and clinics keep him busy not only in his hometown of Los Angeles, but worldwide.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1958, Bergeron came to Los Angeles at age one, so considers himself a native Californian. Originally starting on French horn, he switched to trumpet in seventh grade and found he had natural upper register ability. Bergeron credits his junior high and high school teachers, Ron Savitt and Bob Smith, for molding his talent into practical working skills.

Bergeron first caught the ear of many when he landed the lead trumpet chair with Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1986. Bergeron can be heard on Maynard’s recordings of “Body and Soul,” “Big Bop Nouveau,” “Brass Attitude,” and “The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.” Bergeron demonstrates daily why Maynard remarked, “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve had on my band.”

As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of recording credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day. Other names include Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Michael Buble, The Dirty Loops, Seth MacFarlane, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Seal, Diana Krall, Tito Puente, Christina Aguilera, Dianne Reeves, Michael Bolton, Earth Wind & Fire, The Pussy Cat Dolls, My Chemical Romance, The Mars Volta, INXS, Chicago, Rosemary Cloony, Diane Schuur, Barry Manilow, Lee Ann Womack, Lou Rawls, Eric Marienthal, Kenny G., and David Benoit.

Bergeron has worked on over 400 TV & motion picture soundtracks. A partial list of film credits include Crazy Rich Asians, Coco, Moana, Frozen, Bridge of Spies, Get On Up, Toy Story 3, Monsters University, Planes, Despicable Me 1 & 2, Cars 2, Charlie St. Cloud, High School Musical 3, Pink Panther 2, Marley & Me, Get Smart, Superman Returns, The Simpson’s Movie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Mission Impossible 3, Ice Age 2, Spiderman 1 & 2, Team America, Catch Me if You Can, and South Park.

Bergeron’s featured trumpet solos can be heard on the motion pictures La La Land, Rough Night, Ted 2, Minions, Jersey Boys, The Incredibles 1& 2, Rocky Balboa, The Green Hornet, The Interview, Smurfs 2, Despicable Me 2, Duplicity, Leather Heads, Princess & the Frog, The Perfect Game, High Crimes, Rounders, Fled, Hey Arnold (the movie), The Life Aquatic, The Rat Pack, Child Star, Illegal Tender, Aladdin King of Thieves, Foolproof, and Two Days in the Valley.

Numerous TV credits include Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards, NBC, ESPN & TNT sports themes, Entertainment Tonight Theme, American Idol (2001-02), Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Latin Grammy’s, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, The Goode Family, Jeopardy, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Phineas & Ferb, Emperor’s New School, Mouse Works, Have a Laugh, House of Mouse, King of the Hill, Futurama, Buzz Lightyear, Hercules, Disney Mickey Mouse Shorts, and Hey Arnold.

Bergeron’s passion for big bands has led to his inclusion in some of Los Angeles’ most well-respected bands. He has recorded and played with Quincy Jones, Gordon Goodwin, Arturo Sandoval, Pat Williams, Sammy Nestico, Jack Sheldon, Chris Walden, Tom Kubis, John La Barbara, Bob Florence, Ray Anthony, Bill Watrous, Bob Curnow, and more recently Vince Mendoza’s re-creation of the Gil Evans/Miles Davis recordings featuring Terance Blanchard and Sean Jones.

After being behind the scene for so many years, Bergeron stepped out on his own with his first solo effort, “You Call This a Living?” This debut project earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble, as well as rave reviews from fans and press worldwide. Bergeron’s second CD, “Plays Well With Others,” released on the Concord Jazz label in 2007, was met with the same acclaim. Bergeron’s latest CD, “Full Circle” was released in January of 2016. Bergeron feels this is his best work to date.

Bergeron has been principle trumpet at the Pantages Theatre for over 15 years and is regularly featured with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has done guest appearances with the L.A. Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Bergeron is a National Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America and is co-designer of the YTR-8335LA trumpet and YFH-8315G Flugelhorn. Bergeron also designed a series of trumpet mouthpieces with Gary Radtke of GR Technologies that are available through Bergeron’s website.

Bergeron is currently on faculty at California State University Northridge.  Maybe Grammy winning composer and bandleader, Gordon Goodwin said it best, “Wayne is a once in a lifetime lead trumpet player.”


Past Guest Artists

Stockton Helbing Trio – Stockton Helbing, Josh Hanlon, James Driscoll

Stockton Helbing

Stockton Helbing - Headshot 1

Stockton Helbing is not very good at sitting still. When not drumming he is being 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 due to his hefty resume of past performances. In recent years, Stockton has been heard across the United States playing drums for American music icon and trumpet player extraordinaire Doc Severinsen.

Stockton has released six albums to date: Lodestar (2005), For Nothing is Secret (2007), Battlestations & Escape Plans (2010), Crazy Aquarius (2012), Handprints (2014), and, his most recent Patina (2015). Each album showcases not only Stockton’s drumming abilities, but his composing, arranging, and producing skills as well. Stockton also released his first educational text in 2015, Big Band Drum Set Sight Reading Etudes Volume 1, which helps drummers learn how to improvise and succeed in a big band setting.

Stockton has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists including Maynard Ferguson, the Maniacal 4, Erika Badu, David Braid, Steve Wiest, Jennifer Holiday, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Denis DiBlasio, The Cincinnati Pops, Chip McNeill, Darden Purcell, Clay Jenkins, Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, Randy Brecker, The Imperial Brass, Mary Wilson, Paul Tynan, Ernie Watts and many more.

Stockton currently teaches drum set at the University of North Texas as an adjunct professor of music. In the past, Stockton held positions as Jazz Artist in Residence at Oklahoma State University (2012-2015) and Artist in Residence at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2011-2013) and he has appeared as guest artist at schools including the University of North Texas, San Jose State University, the University of Illinois, George Mason University, the University of South Carolina, and St. Francis Xavier University.

Since 2007, Stockton has owned and operated Armored Records, an independent Jazz record label that focuses on releases by up and coming Jazz artists. To date, Armored Records has released over fifty albums from artists coast to coast.

Stockton lives in Dallas, TX, with his wife Denise, John their son, Liliana their daughter, Jack the dog, and Aquarius the turtle.

Visit StocktonHelbing.com

Josh Hanlon

Noted for his distinctive spark on the instrument, Canadian pianist and composer Josh Hanlon has made his musical home in the jazz oasis of Denton, Texas, for over a decade. His focused, yet versatile approach to the instrument has kept him well in demand as a performer and educator. Recent examples include his upcoming release, “The Baytree Sessions, Vol. 1” (Armored Records), and sideman work with the Stockton Helbing Quintet and the Maniacal 4.

Hanlon earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, where he played piano in their flagship ensemble: the One O’Clock Lab Band. He served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, as well as taught Jazz Piano at the University of North Texas and St. Francis Xavier University. Perhaps Hanlon’s most notable credit is his five years as pianist and conductor for country music legend Ray Price. You can keep up with Hanlon at his website, joshhanlon.com.

James Driscoll

Bassist James Driscoll has been an active member of the Dallas/Ft. Worth music scene for 20 years. He has performed with Doc Severinsen, Dan Haerle, George Garzone, Stockton Helbing, Joe McBride, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm and many more. After earning a BM in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas, Driscoll began an adjunct faculty position at Richland College (DCCCD) where he teaches bass performance. In addition to his busy performing and recording schedule, Driscoll operates a small studio in Dallas where he composes for music production libraries and mixes and masters artist recordings.

Geoff Gallante

Geoff GallanteGeoff 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.

Visit www.geoffgallante.com

Michele Todd

Michele ToddMichele 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

Lang-high-res-9978Drew 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.