Durango Chamber Music Festival :: Ten half-hour concerts June 7-11 & 14-18, 2021

Meet the Artists



Mick Hesse, trumpet, lives in Farmington. A graduate of Eastman School of Music and University of Illinois, Mick served in the West Point Band, played for 15 years in the Norwegian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and several other European orchestras before moving back to the US. He leads several brass ensembles in Farmington and has played with Music in the Mountains, the San Juan Symphony, Brassworks4 and Kissmah Brass Band. Mick is the president of the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports the arts community of San Juan County. Mr. Hesse is a radio host on KSJE FM for "Roving with the Arts" and co-founder of Classy Brass.

Chris Nierman, trumpeter, has been a Santa Fe resident since 2004. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from the University of Kansas prior to moving to New Mexico. He currently serves as the principal trumpet of Concordia Santa Fe Wind Orchestra, and is a member of Best Brass of the Four Corners and a substitute player for Santa Fe Pro Musica. Chris's appearances as a soloist have earned multiple awards from MTNA and the National Trumpet Competition. In addition to his musical career, Chris owns and operates a local computer consulting and repair service, and teaches middle school band at Aspen Community School.

Melissa Freeman fell in love at first sight with the French horn when she was eight years old watching the Boston Pops on PBS with her dad. Her primary musical interest is chamber music playing, particularly in mixed ensembles with winds and strings. She has traveled as far as the UK and Italy participating in chamber workshops and performed in chamber music festivals. Mel is an original member of Concordia Santa Fe Wind Orchestra and Best Brass and plays in various other chamber ensembles and orchestras in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. She is Executive Director of the Albuquerque-based southwest chapter of the non-profit, Healing the Children. With a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration she maintains a healthy appetite for politics and enjoys unwinding with a good book or a hearty trail run or hike anywhere in the mountains.

Connie Schulz, co-founder and organizer of Best Brass of Christmas, has been playing euphonium since the fifth grade. She graduated from Minot State University with a degree in Music Education and taught music in grades K-12 at Bainville Schools in northeast Montana before moving to Farmington, NM. She has performed as soloist and ensemble member in many area groups, most recognized being Brassworks 4. Connie is principal euphoniumist with Concordia Santa Fe, Best Brass of Christmas and Kissmah Brass Band. Connie owns and operates Brassworks 4 Sheet Music Sales and Ready to Roll Painting.

3rd Ave. Arts PO Box 1383Durango, CO 81302 (970) 903-8854