Cormont Music and KBHC Leadership
Cormont Music Corporate Officers
- Thomas Cowan, President
- J.G. Miller, Vice President
- Gretchen Zook, Treasurer
- Janet Oliver, Secretary
Cormont Music Board of Directors
- Thomas Cowan, Chair
- Steve Eddins, Technology Advisor
- Randy Gardner
- Frank Lloyd
- J.G. Miller
- Jesse McCormick, Associate Artistic Director
- Bernhard Scully, Artistic Director
- John Wunderlin
- Susan Zollers
- Gretchen Zook, Vice Chair
- John Ericson, Director Ex Officio
- Peggy Moran, Director Ex Officio
- Jay Sewell, Director Emeritus
Kendall Betts Horn Camp Leadership Team
- Peggy Moran, Executive Director
- Bernhard Scully, Artistic Director
- Jesse McCormick, Associate Artistic Director
- Julie Gerhardt, Director of KBHC Operations
- Elizabeth Simmons, Director of Cormont Development and Digital Initiatives
- Aliyah Qualls, Director of Social Media
- Natalie Douglass Grana, Assistant Executive Director
- Nikki LaBonte, Assistant Artistic Director
- Chris Williams, Artistic Fellow
- Steve Eddins, Technology Advisor
President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Cormont Music
Thomas Cowan now makes his home at Columbia University. This follows the first half of his career at IBM and the second half building software companies.
Tom rose through the leadership ranks to become CEO, Board Director, and Board Chair of more than ten companies – including public, private, not-for-profit, and academic organizations.
Today, Tom’s focus is on change, technology, and leadership – with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligence and the leadership paths forward.
Tom has served on numerous boards, including OutlookSoft, Tivoli, Tagetik, PGA.com, and NHL.com. He has chaired audit, compensation, governance, and nominating committees. He has also been Executive in Residence at RockRidge Capital Partners.
Currently, Tom is on the faculty at Columbia University and serves as Associate Director of the Columbia University Center for Technology Management. He also serves as board director and board chair for several technology companies, an advisor to investment firms, and an advisor to tech CEOs.
His most recent books are on strategy, leadership, and music: Strategy Workbook: From Idea to Strategy (2021); Business Plan Workbook: From Strategy to Funding (2021); Leading in the Digital Age: Disruption, Transformation, Data, Cybersecurity, & Artificial Intelligence (2018); and Basic Scales & Arpeggios: Horn in F (2019).
Tom’s next books are: Operations & Measurements Workbook: From Funding to Results (to be published in 2022); and The Four Pillars of Leadership: What You Need to Know Leading & Managing a Tech Company (to be published in 2023). He has two additional books planned – one on Artificial Intelligence for CEOs & Board Directors; and one on ADM Hyman G. Rickover and his leadership approach.
Tom’s academic background includes undergraduate work at Wake Forest University, an MBA from the University of South Carolina, and doctoral studies at Columbia University.
Director and Technology Advisor, Cormont Music
Steve Eddins develops engineering and scientific software at MathWorks, in Natick, Massachusetts, where he has worked since 1993. He has led software development teams responsible for general-purpose engineering and scientific functions, mathematics, digital image processing, and image and scientific data. He currently specializes in the evolution of technical programming languages and the design of programming language interfaces intended for use by engineers and scientists. Prior to joining MathWorks, Steve was on the engineering faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He coauthored the textbook Digital Image Processing Using MATLAB. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Steve is principal horn with the Melrose Symphony and 2nd horn with the Concord Orchestra, two volunteer community orchestras in the Boston area. He has also performed with several other orchestras in the region, including Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra, Boston Civic Symphony, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica, and the New England Film Orchestra. He studies horn with Hazel Dean Davis.
Director Ex Officio, Cormont Music
John Ericson has wide-ranging experience as an orchestral player, soloist, and teacher. Ericson began his professional career with serving for six seasons as Third Horn in the Nashville Symphony. From there, he turned to teaching, first at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) and, since 2001, at Arizona State University. Ericson holds degrees from Indiana University (where he served as teaching assistant to Michael Hatfield for three years), the Eastman School of Music (where he studied with Verne Reynolds), and Emporia State University, his hometown university. He has also performed and taught on the summer faculties of the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Brevard Music Center and is proud to currently serve as an ex officio board member of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp.
His three solo CDs on the Summit label received critical acclaim. The Horn Call hailed Les Adeiux for “Fantastic playing…. The level of musicality, nuance and artistry is not to be missed” and called Canto a “Terrific collaboration between horn and piano.” Among many other orchestral, chamber music, and studio recording projects, a highlight was performance on the Grammy Award nominated Fourth World of Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai.
Co-founder of the online magazine Horn Matters, his publications are a reflection of his teaching and interest in problem solving and in improving the pedagogy of the horn. With his additional interest in all instruments of the middle brass and in the history of the horn, Ericson has print and online publications on topics as diverse as the mellophone and the Wagner tuba. Ericson is a recipient of the Harold Meek Memorial Award and the Punto Award from the International Horn Society. He has performed and presented sessions at seven international horn symposiums and numerous regional events.
Director, Cormont Music
Randy C. Gardner is Professor Emeritus from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he was Professor of Horn and Chair of the Winds, Brass, and Percussion Department. During his tenure, he was honored to have received the University of Cincinnati Award for Faculty Excellence and CCM’s Ernest N. Glover Outstanding Teacher Award. Recently retired from CCM, Gardner is an adjunct Artist-In-Residence at Temple University. A successful and dedicated teacher, his students occupy performing and teaching positions throughout the US and abroad.
Prior to joining the CCM faculty, Gardner was Second Hornist of The Philadelphia Orchestra for 22 years, under the music directorships of Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti, and Eugene Ormandy.
Professor Gardner maintains an active schedule as an orchestral and chamber musician, soloist, and clinician. He performs regularly with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra, and he was a long-time member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Gardner has also performed as a substitute/extra musician with the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Colorado, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh.
Professor Gardner presents innovative and popular Modular Music Masterclasses, is the author of the acclaimed International Opus publication Mastering the Horn’s Low Register and self-published Good Vibrations: Masterclasses for Brass Players, and composed WHY?! for unaccompanied horn, published by Thompson Edition. He was a performer and co-producer of the Summit Records CD Shared Reflections: The Legacy of Philip Farkas and is featured on D+, a recording in collaboration with trombonist M. Dee Stewart.
Gardner has fostered the composition of new works for horn by commissioning compositions and by serving as Chair of the International Horn Society’s Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund. Works composed for him include Good to Go for horn, oboe, and piano by Douglas Lowry (premiered at the 2008 IHS Symposium in Denver), Quartet for Horns by Randall E. Faust (in memory of Philip Farkas, recorded on the Summit Records CD Shared Reflections), Sonata for Horn and Violoncello by Marcel Farago, Four Random Movements for horn and piano by Larry Wheelock, and Valor for horn choir by Wayne Lu (dedicated to the CCM Esprit de Cor Horn Choir).
Among the institutions where Randy Gardner has held faculty positions are Indiana University, Temple University, Trenton State University (now The College of New Jersey), and the New York State Summer School of the Arts. He is a Board member and long-standing faculty member of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp.
Randy Gardner was a Featured Artist at International Symposia of the International Horn Society in Beijing, China (2000), Lahti, Finland (2002) and Denver, CO (2008). In 2012, he had the distinct honor of performing Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns and Orchestra at IHS Symposium 44 with conductor Barry Tuckwell and fellow hornists Gregory Hustis, Joseph Ognibene, and John Ericson. Gardner also had the great pleasure of performing Kenneth Fuchs’ Canticle to the Sun with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at the 2008 IHS Symposium. He has been a Contributing Artist at many international and regional horn workshops and he serves as an adjudicator at solo and chamber music competitions.
An enthusiastic member of the International Horn Society, Gardner is a member of the IHS Advisory Council, on which he also served from 1999-2005. In 2018, Randy Gardner was honored to receive the International Horn Society’s Punto Award for his contributions to the horn world.
Psychology, sports psychology in particular, has been an area of personal study for many years. In 1999, the University of Cincinnati Faculty Development Council awarded Prof. Gardner a grant for intensive study of principles of sports psychology as applied to music performance. His studies in performance psychology underpin many aspects of his teaching and performing.
Randy Gardner’s major horn teachers were Philip Farkas, Christopher Leuba, Ethel Merker, and William Adam. In his free time, Randy enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hiking, reading, sports, cheering enthusiastically for the Chicago Cubs, church/community activism, and learning.
Director of KBHC Operations
A native Atlantan, Julie Gerhardt’s musical endeavors include both performance and teaching. Julie holds positions in the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and the Albany (GA) Symphony Orchestra and has served as a substitute or extra hornist with orchestras throughout the Southeast, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, LexPhil, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra among others. Julie has also performed as a member of the Cobb (GA) Wind Symphony at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2003 and 2018. Additionally, Julie has been an audition finalist for positions in the United States Army Field Band, the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, LexPhil, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, and the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
Since earning her undergraduate degree in instrumental music education from Indiana University in 2001, Julie has served as a middle school band director, marching band technician, horn instructor, and music theory professor. Now, in her role as a horn evangelist, Julie maintains a thriving studio of private horn students and works as a horn section coach for middle and high school band programs in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Performance experience during college with both Star of Indiana Brass Theater and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps gave Julie the foundation for an ongoing relationship with music in motion. In 2006, Julie was an inaugural member of Star United, helping to begin their championship reign on the mini-corps stage of Drum Corps Associates. Julie was highlighted in 2007 as SU’s mellophone soloist but has since retired from mellophone performance, limiting herself to rare renditions of Kopprasch’s first etude, exclusively in the key of E-flat.
Julie’s graduate study took her to the University of Georgia, the University of New Hampshire, and back to her undergraduate alma mater, Indiana University. Julie earned the Master of Arts in Music: Music Studies at UNH in 2010 and the Performer Diploma at IU in 2012.
Julie attended the Kendall Betts Horn Camp in 2006 and 2007. Her first year on KBHC staff was 2009, she was the camp’s associate operations director in 2017, and she’s been the operations director since 2018.
Julie’s primary teachers include Michael Hatfield, Myron Bloom, Dr. Jean Martin-Williams, Richard Deane, Kendall Betts, Rick Seraphinoff, Dale Clevenger, and Jeff Nelsen.
Assistant Artistic Director, Kendall Betts Horn Camp
Nikolette LaBonte, a native of South Florida, is an alumna of KBHC. Nikolette is tenured as the Associate/Assistant/Utility Horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She joined the RPO in 2016 but prior to that, LaBonte was appointed acting assistant principal horn of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra in 2015. While living and working with the orchestra in Honolulu, she also served as the associate principal horn of the Hawaii Opera Theater and Oahu Choral Society. In addition to the RPO and HSO, she has had the opportunity to perform with orchestras across the country including the New York Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Syracuse-based Symphoria and is an award-winning soloist who recently made her concert debut with the Eastman Philharmonia.
Ms. LaBonte received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2018 from the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of W. Peter Kurau and is currently working to complete her graduate degree coursework under the same guidance. In addition to her degree studies, she maintains a private studio, is a guest clinician with the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of several chamber ensembles including the Antara Winds and the American Wild Ensemble. In all of these endeavors, Nikolette performs on an Elkhart Conn 8D and was recently selected to be a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist. Outside of the concert hall, LaBonte is active in promoting classical music throughout the community. She is a faculty member of the Eastman Horn Institute, was a general music instructor with “Kalikolehua,” an El Sistema program, and previously worked as the education coordinator of the Hawaii Symphony. Away from the horn, she enjoys bicycling, hiking, and scuba diving, although she has to reserve the latter for her visits to more tropical climates.
Director, Cormont Music
Frank Lloyd is renowned for his technical virtuosity, his musicality, and his willingness to share his expertise. Among many memorable performances at IHS symposiums are Paganini Caprices (with David Pyatt) at Tallahassee in 1993, the Britten Serenade at Tuscaloosa in 2005, and the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor at several symposiums (2006-2008).
Frank was born in Cornwall in 1952 and began his musical career on the trombone in his school brass band at the age of 13. At 16, he left school to join the Royal Marine Band Service and was subsequently changed to the horn.
On leaving the Royal Marines in 1975, Frank went to study with Ifor James at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Soon after starting, however, he was offered the post of principal horn with the Scottish National Orchestra (now The Royal Scottish Orchestra), where he remained until 1979. He returned to London to take up a post with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and soon after that became a member of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble, and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Frank has been on the faculty of the Guildhall School of Music, Trinity School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and, since 1998, Professor for Horn at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, following in the footsteps of the legendary Herman Baumann after Baumann’s early retirement. He has toured the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician and has recorded much of the horn solo and chamber literature.
Frank is an Honorary Member of the British Horn Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. He has served on the IHS Advisory Council (2000-2006, 2012-2017) and as President (2004-2006, 2012-2014). He was elected an Honorary Member in 2009.
Associate Artistic Director and Venue Coordinator, Kendall Betts Horn Camp; Director, Cormont Music
Jesse McCormick was appointed to the horn section of The Cleveland Orchestra in 2006. He previously served three seasons with the Colorado Symphony, and two seasons as a member of the Denver Brass. On New Year’s Eve 2013, Mr. McCormick appeared on the nationally-televised PBS series Live from Lincoln Center, performing as guest associate principal horn with the New York Philharmonic. In 2005, he took top prize in the Professional Division at the International Horn Competition of America. He has also made solo appearances with the Denver Brass, Windworks Ensemble in Capetown (South Africa), and the Chamber Orchestra of Colorado Springs. In 2015, Mr. McCormick performed the Haydn Double Horn Concerto with Richard King and The Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. McCormick is currently a member of the “Factory Seconds Brass Trio,” an ensemble comprised with fellow Cleveland Orchestra members Richard Stout and Jack Sutte.
Jesse has been a member of the faculty at Baldwin Wallace University since 2007. He has also lectured at the Cleveland Institute of Music and with Case Western Reserve University. In recent years, Mr. McCormick has appeared as a clinician at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Denver, University of Florida, Florida State University, and University of Miami. He has also taught masterclasses in South Korea, South Africa, and Colombia.
Jesse began his studies with Sally Ann Wilson of Colorado Springs and completed his studies with Jerome Ashby at the Juilliard School. He currently resides in Shaker Heights with his husband, attorney Landon Paul, and their three cats.
Executive Director, Kendall Betts Horn Camp; Director Ex Officio, Cormont Music
Peggy Moran is the Associate Professor of Horn at the University of Central Oklahoma, and Executive Director and faculty member of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp. Peggy maintains an active performance career, having performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Tulsa Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, and the Louisville Orchestra.
She has performed guest recitals and masterclasses throughout the country and regularly worked in the recording studios in Indianapolis. Peggy has performed at the International Horn Society Symposiums and the International Women’s Brass Conferences. An advocate for new music, she has commissioned and performed new works at each of these performances, including commissions for horn and piano; horn, violin, and piano; horn quartet; and horn, flute, and narrator. She performs chamber music with the Akouo Trio, Corna Cattiva Horn Quartet, and with the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma.
Secretary and Director, Cormont Music
Jo Oliver first schooled in English, but the advent of personal computers lured her into a cybercareer. She is now a retired information technology specialist who volunteers throughout the year doing free income tax return preparation for low- and middle-income earners in the Austin, TX, area. She has attended KBHC since 1998 and, as a lifelong amateur horn player, has chalked up decades of experience in community bands, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. She has served on the Cormont Music Board of Directors since Kendall Betts invited her to join in 2003. She is committed to furthering the unique contribution KBHC makes to the global horn community.
Artistic Director, Kendall Betts Horn Camp; Director, Cormont Music
Bernhard was a student of Kendall Betts and has been integrally involved with the camp since its inception in 1995. He is formerly the horn player for the Canadian Brass and horn professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was formerly Principal Horn of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and has worked with many symphony orchestras across North America including the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra. He is in demand as a soloist and has numerous solo recordings to his credit. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree with honors from Northwestern University, and his Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he attended on the Paul Collins Distinguished Fellowship. In 2009, he was the first classical brass player to receive a McKnight Fellowship, and in 2010 the University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded him the distinguished alumni award for excellence in artistry. For more information on Bernhard, please see the following sites:
Director Emeritus, Cormont Music
Jay Sewell originally hailed from Oklahoma City but has lived most of his life as a resident of Texas. Now retired after a successful 40+ year career at Lockheed Martin Co. in Fort Worth, he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Rice University in Houston, TX.
Jay has enjoyed a busy and rewarding horn playing schedule, appearing in local orchestras, musical and theater pit orchestras, brass and woodwind quintets, and many freelance gigs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He was previously principal horn of the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, as well as the New Texas Symphony Orchestra (Dallas). He also served as first-call sub/assistant principal horn for the New Philharmonic of Irving Orchestra for many years, and he has appeared with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.
Jay has been attending KBHC since 1998 and has been a member of the Cormont Board of Directors since being invited to join by Kendall Betts in 2000. He also served as a judge on the KBHC scholarship committee from 2002 through 2010, along with Kendall and Michael Hatfield.
Prior to his involvement with KBHC, Jay’s primary horn teachers included James Sours (2nd horn – Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra) and Jay Andrus (4th horn – Houston Symphony Orchestra).
He is currently serving as principal horn of both the Northeast Orchestra (Fort Worth) and the Texas Chamber Music Project (Fort Worth), as well as third horn in the Brazos Chamber Orchestra (Burleson, TX).
Jay is also a licensed and active private pilot and aircraft owner.
Director, Cormont Music
In 2014, after a long and successful career, first as a computer programmer, then as an entrepreneur and business owner, John decided to follow his passion and returned to school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to complete his master’s degree in horn performance with Daniel Grabois completing it in 2016. This decision was made in large part due to his long association with Kendall Betts Horn Camp. Since then, John has been playing professionally with regional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and pit orchestras throughout Wisconsin.
John joined the board of Cormont Music in 2008 and was the Executive Director of KBHC from 2016 to 2018.
Director, Cormont Music
Originally a northeast Ohio native, Susan ended up in the Houston, TX area after a series of relocations. Thanks to degrees in chemistry from SUNY Potsdam and a Ph. D. from Texas A&M University, she currently works in the petrochemical industry. However, music and horn playing have always been an integral part of her life. She studied music at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and several years later, continued studies in Le Havre, France, where she earned “Niveau Fin d’Etudes” at the Conservatoire Arthur Honegger.
Susan plays 3rd horn with the Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, in addition to being a member on its board of directors. Formerly, she was President of the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra and played 2nd horn.
She is an adult KBHC veteran since 2005, and was invited by Kendall Betts to be a board member of Cormont Music in 2013. Susan is a strong advocate for KBHC and the unique opportunities it offers to players of all ages.
Treasurer and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Cormont Music
Gretchen Burne Zook serves on the Board of Directors and is Treasurer of Cormont Music. Her professional career since 1976 has been with The Northern Trust Company, Chicago where she is a Senior Vice President. In this capacity, she provides expertise on the legal, accounting and regulatory aspects of the bank’s business related to cash flows, liquidity, and balance sheet recognition. During her tenure with The Northern Trust Company, she has acted in a variety of roles including cash management, operational management, product management, expansion activities, and balance sheet risk and control.
Gretchen is a native Philadelphian and studied French Horn at Temple University and the Philadelphia Musical Academy with John Simonelli. After a lapse in playing of many years, Gretchen began attending Kendall Betts Horn Camp in 2002. Her friendship with Kendall Betts, however, began in Philadelphia in the very early 70s. She presently plays in the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra. Gretchen also serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer for The Solti Foundation U.S. and as a member of the Board of Directors for Rush Hour Concerts.