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Paul Dietrich

Paul Dietrich has been described as “an apt bandleader, an exception composer, and a superlative performer” (All About Jazz) and “a skilled composer” (JazzTrail) and his music has been praised as “stunningly beautiful” (Audiophile Audition) and “captivating” (Chicago Jazz Magazine).

A composer, trumpet player and educator based in the Midwest, Dietrich has led the Paul Dietrich Quintet since 2012 and the Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble since 2016. The Chicago-based Quintet has released two albums: Focus (2017, ears&eyes) and We Always Get There (2014, Blujazz). The Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble’s 2019 album Forward features guest artist and world-renowned drummer Clarence Penn (Dave Douglas, Maria Schneider) alongside many of the Midwest’s best jazz musicians.

As a composer, Dietrich has completed over a dozen commissions for schools and organizations including the Isthmus Jazz Festival, Lawrence University’s Jazz Weekend, Ripon College, Madison College, the Mount Horeb Middle School Jazz Festival, and various high schools throughout Wisconsin. He is a two-time recipient of the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium’s Artistic Development Grant.

Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in trumpet and jazz studies from Lawrence University and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from DePaul University. As an educator, Paul has directed the Jazz Ensemble at Ripon College since 2021, and served as co-trumpet instructor with his wife, Jessica Jensen, while filling in for his former teacher, John Daniel, at Lawrence University in 2021. Previously, Paul taught at Prairie Music & Arts in Sun Prairie, WI, and directed the jazz ensemble at Madison East High School.

man with a conducting stick

Jonathan Kim

Marc Sackman

  • D.M.A., Flute Performance, Rutgers University
  • M.M., Flute Performance, Rutgers University
  • B.Mus. program (no degree), University of Illinois
  • B.A., History/Social Studies Secondary Education, Rutgers College
Jessica Jensen posing with her trumpet

Jessica A. Jensen

  • D.Mus., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.Mus., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.Mus., Lawrence University
A headshot of Erin Bryan.

Erin K. Bryan

  • D.Mus., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.Mus., University of Louisville
  • B.Mus., Lawrence University

American soprano Erin Bryan has been praised for her “deft” operatic characterizations and a voice that is “a lyric soprano of exceptional beauty.” Recent engagements include Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus), Anne Sexton/#2 (Transformations), and the Governess (The Turn of the Screw), and she is featured as Young Anne/#1 on the recently released world-premiere recording of Conrad Susa’s Transformations. An advocate for new music, she enjoys frequent collaboration with living composers, including the Midwest premiere of Laura Schwendinger’s Kay Ryan Songs and the world premiere of Dangerous New Avenues, a chamber duet for soprano and percussion by Justin Giarrusso. She has just completed her second season with the innovative Fresco Opera of Wisconsin, where she was heard in works by Mozart, Verdi, Floyd, and Bellini.

Dr. Bryan holds degrees from Lawrence University, where she studied with Steven Spears and Patrice Michaels, and the University of Louisville, where she studied with Edith Davis Tidwell. She earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied with Paul Rowe. Her research concentration is largely in the area of vocal repertoire, with particular emphasis on eighteenth-century opera.

As a member of the music faculty at Ripon College, Dr. Bryan instructs courses in applied voice study, vocal pedagogy, lyric diction, and musicology, and she also enjoys regular collaboration with both the school’s choral program and the theatre department.

Toby Shucha Portrait

Tobin C. Shucha

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.Mus., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.M.E., University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Deb Mackenzie

  • Master of Music/Piano Performance and Pedagogy

My name is Deb MacKenzie, and I teach in the Music Department at Ripon College, as well as accompany all ensembles, juries and recitals. I have degrees from the University of Iowa (B.M. Music/Music Therapy) and UW-Madison (M.M. Piano Performance and Pedagogy). I enjoy watching student progress in their fields of study, and love watching their growth. I am married with four children, a son-in-law and a grandson.

Todd Truesdale

  • M.M., University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point
  • B.A., University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point
Adjunct Instructor of Music Mishan Han

Mishan Han

  • Graduate studies, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Chamber music studies with Juilliard Quartet, Michigan State University
  • B.Mus., Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing
Charles Stephan

Charles Stephan

 

Sandra Polcyn

Sandra Polcyn

  • M.A. in Education, Olivet Nazarene University
  • B. Mus., K12 Instrumental Music Education – Lawrence University
  • A.S., UW-Fox Valley
William Nelson

William Nelson

  • B.A. in Music Education, University of Wisconsin Parkside

I have been the clarinet and saxophone instructor at Ripon College since 1993. I was the band director at Ripon Middle School from 1988-2020. This fall I will be the band instructor at Xavier Elementary School in Appleton, and Seton Catholic School in Sheboygan. I am an active jazz performer throughout Wisconsin and I am a master adjudicator with the Wisconsin School Music Association.