* Board Member
Flute/Piccolo: *Lisa Fee, Laurie Lawson, Sally Shorrick, Staci Rosbury, Deborah Venezia
Oboe/English horn: Kevin Bogdan, Bliss Carter, *Laura Earle, David Free, Chris Leese, Jessica Russell, Marti Upton
Clarinets: Dana Alward, Cole Binkley, Tony Borges, Cole Bushman, Victoria Bushman, Michael Chen, Jessica Davolli, Judy Dixon, Emma Fernandez, Richard Harmon, Kevin Hauser, Kayla Heckford, Katelyn Jarvis, Spencer Jones, Ron Jewell, Melissa Kindy, Kathleen Kinion, Elyse Larkins, Terri Longdo, Bonnie Myers, Jennifer Nguy, Hannah O'Neal, Edward Pallone, Terri Poppell, Jennifer Rocco, Susan Rowe, Kim Scaccia, Andy Stachow, Jamie Szafran, Greg Treadwell, *David Tweed, Michael Westmoreland, Jennifer Zahn
Eb Clarinet *Judy Kessler
Alto clarinet Paul Spiwak
Bass clarinet: *Ruth Ann Heller, Noah Palmer, Christian Ricketts, Paul Spiwak
Contrabass clarinet: Noah Palmer, Joey Rosati
Bassoon: David Borst, Larry Cramer, Nick Gallagos, Garrett McCormick, Edward Sheridan, Michael Sperr, Andrew Stanchow
Contrabassoon: Justin Aubuchon
Soprano Sax: Ian Crumpton
Alto Saxophone: Brandon Adams, Andrew Cleaver, Ian Crumpton, Jade Deatherage, Alyssa Kanocz, Alex Kaufman, Michele Tyler Scheen
Tenor Saxophone: Benjamin Hart, Michelle Scheen, Andrew Stanchow
Baritone Sax: Dylan Thompson, Jeff Vickers
French horn: Jeff Adams, Tim Albritton, Aaron Bartos, Fred Brownlee, Nick Brunner, Rick Collins, Frank Grey, Nicholas Grey, Milford Kuhn, Michael Longdo, Klae Peek, Steve Repp, Johan Warburton
Trumpet: Kim Aubuchon, Mark Browning, Jessa Buroker, Jack Carr, Linda Clark, David Ewing, *Jim Matthews, David Quenzler, Chris Rodriguez, Richard Wood
Trombone: Veronica Curran, Joseph Dumm, Eric Lee, Steven Johnson, John Lisbeth, Rob Mayer, Gary Roland, Ian Schwindt, Michael Schwindt, Andrew Pietruk, Charlse Tollios, Alex Walden
Bass trombone: Nicholas Dufresne, Charles Tollios John Lisbeth, Michael Schwindt
Euphonium: David Balcerzak, Justin Snively, Marli Anne Varnadoe
Tuba: Pablo Elias, Daniel, Fernandez, Colby Hollingsworth, Steven Johnson, Charlie Lukkari, Joe Rosen, Bill Snook
Keyboard: Jean Black
Timpani: Parker Allen, Logan Ruch, Scott Smith
Percussion: Zane Adams, Conner Cheek, Marcella Frese, Ethan Henn, Mark McNary, Jason Packard, Michele Tyler Scheen, Sara Smasal, Charles Smith, Wayne Weeks
Cello: Tabitha Bennett, Isaac Moorman
String bass: Richard Desgrange, Butch Gardner
Harp: Gretchen Cover, Rex Moore
More information about different members in the section below will be added over time as they are featured on our Facebook page. To easily visit our Facebook page, please click on the button below.
Born in Canada, Aaron was raised in the United States and began playing the Horn at age 11. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music while studying with Randy C. Gardner at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. He then went on to earn a Master's degree in Horn Performance, studying with David Johnson at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland.
Aaron has performed with several orchestras, including the Solothurn Orchester in Solothurn, Switzerland, the Lugano Chamber Orchestra, the Verdi Orchestra of Milan, and was a staple member of the Civica Filharmonica di Lugano. He currently performs as a core musician with The Gainesville Orchestra, and is a substitute horn for several orchestras in the state of Florida. Outside of his work with orchestras, he dabbles in singing, electronic audio and DJing, and is an amatuer composer, having recently completed his biggest composition - a Concert Piece for Two Horns and Orchestra.
Jean is a Brevard County native, born in Rockledge. She began studying piano under the tutelage of Connie Trainor, with whom she studied from the age of five through high school. During her school years, Jean sang with her family, played handbells, and began playing the flute, but piano was still her first love. By age fifteen, she was the accompanist for the Titusville High School Madrigals. As a junior, she attended the All State Convention as a member of the sight-reading choir, which was comprised of all the top sight-readers in the state of Florida. Very active in the Titusville High band program as well, she participated in All-County Band and Orchestra as well as attended various solo and ensemble festivals, performing solos on piano and flute. She received the John Philip Sousa award for her work in the instrumental program and the Frederic Chopin award for her work as a student accompanist during her time at Titusville High School. Upon her graduation, she attended The Florida State University where she minored in music while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film from the School of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts. In the past twenty-five years, Jean has earned a reputation for excellence as a collaborative pianist working with Brevard County public school choirs and soloists, band and orchestra students, and theatrical productions at the Cocoa Village Playhouse, Titusville Playhouse, and the Henegar Center. In 2016, she had the privilege of playing keyboard at The Dr. Philips Center in Orlando for the National Tour of “Wicked.” She is the principal pianist and keyboardist of the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra and has worked with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Central Florida Winds, Orlando Light Opera, Opera del Sol, and Central Florida Vocal Arts. Jean is also the accompanist for the Brevard Chorale at Eastern Florida State College.
Dr. David T. Borst is our principal Bassoonist who is originally from Hempstead, New York. While he was a senior at Hempstead High School, Dave studied bassoon with the famous Simon Kovar, who performed with the New York Philharmonic, taught at Julliard, and published many bassoon étude books. Mr. Kovar awarded Dave a summer session scholarship to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. After graduating from Fredonia State University of N.Y., Dave won the audition for the Buffalo Philharmonic and performed there three years as a full-time player. After taking a teaching position and being the Director of Music for an area school district, he continued to perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic during the summers and as needed during the regular season.
In 1965, Dave was invited to take a music professorship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), where he taught for 33 years before retiring. While teaching there, he and his violinist wife, Ingrid, performed with the Johnstown Area Symphony Orchestra for over 35 years. While at IUP, he continued to study bassoon with K. David Van Hoesen at Eastman School of Music and earned a DMA degree at Eastman in 1974. Over the course of several summers, Dave performed concerts with the IUP Keystone Winds and recorded commercial CDs of major wind composers under the direction of Jack Stamp.
In 1979—1980 Dave was awarded a full-year sabbatical from IUP, during which he, his wife, and their young son traveled through Europe. He also had the privilege of living nine months in Israel. While living in Jerusalem, he started an instrumental program at the Anglican School, and was appointed as the conductor of the Jerusalem Youth Orchestra. In the summer of 1980, he conducted the orchestra on a goodwill tour of Germany and Austria.
After retiring in 1998 from IUP, Dave and his wife traveled with their motorhome across the United States. They were snowbirds in Florida for seven months a year until several years ago, when they became full-time residents at the ORA Resort in Melbourne Beach, Fl. While in Florida, he has performed with the Miami Symphony, Land of Lakes Symphony, Brevard Symphony, Space Coast Pops, Central Florida Winds, the Central Florida Chamber Winds, other professional ensembles, and the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, where he was a charter member and principal bassoonist for 10 years.
Dave and Ingrid were married for 65 years before she passed away last Easter morning. All throughout their years together they enjoyed performing in many churches. They are blessed with 3 wonderful children, 11 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. With a grateful heart, Dave gives thanks to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the strength and ability to continue to perform with the Central Florida Winds and Chamber Winds, which he has greatly enjoyed for 19 years.
Andrew Cleaver is our principal saxophonist and frequent soloist with CFW. Andrew is originally from Baltimore, Maryland but grew up in Lakeland, Florida. He now lives in Melbourne.
Andrew enlisted in the Air Force in 1988 and joined The Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base (AFB) as a saxophonist. In 1992, he transferred to The United States Air Forces in Europe Band as 1st alto in the Concert Band and lead alto for the Glenn Miller Band, all while serving as Drum Major for the Ceremonial Band. He moved from Germany to the Band of Mid-America at Scott AFB in 1996. Following a two-year assignment with Air Force Public Affairs at the Pentagon in September of 2001, he joined the United States Air Force Band at Bolling AFB, Washington D.C. in 2003. He later played baritone sax as a member of the Air Force's premier jazz ensemble, The Airmen of Note until his retirement in 2009. Here is a link to his performance with The Airmen of Note:
He has performed with Louise Mandrell, Kevin Eubanks, The Beverly Sisters, Karrin Allyson, Paquito D'Rivera, Eugene Rousseau, and Bill Clinton. Andrew currently works for the Department of Treasury, and spends his free time performing with Melbourne's Space Coast Big Band and the Adagio Sax Quartet when he's not teaching saxophone lessons.
Rick Collins is our French Horn Section leader. He hails from Decatur, Indiana and is a graduate of Ball State University. While he spent his professional career in Indiana, he currently resides in the retirement community of Genesis Pointe just south of Lake Wales.
Rick enlisted in the Indiana National Guard as a trumpet player while still in high school. He remained in the Band during his time as a student at Ball State and continued to be a member until his retirement 42 years later. During his enlistment he became played Trumpet, Euphonium, and French Horn. Rick served in the Officer Corps in several personnel roles, wrote Equal Opportunity policies while working at the Pentagon, and retired as the Commander and Director of the 38th Division Band.
Rick enjoyed a parallel career in public education as a Band Director, worked as a clinician in several settings, and judged marching bands, concert bands, and instrumental solo contests. He also served as a public school administrator and building level principal.
He retired from teaching and the military in the same year. Shortly afterwards, Rick’s wife of 30 years, Annie, fell victim to cancer in 2004. They had six children. Ten years later Rick married Joyce, who was also widowed and already living in Florida. They were “Snowbirds” until deciding to move to Florida permanently in the fall of 2017.
While Rick played in many community bands in Indiana, he saw a greater opportunity for performing in Florida. Since coming to Florida, Rick has played with:
Central Florida Winds, Central Florida Chamber Winds, Central Florida Brass Choir, Orlando Concert Band, Orlando Brass Sextet, Peacock Wind Ensemble, All Saints Episcopal Church Woodwind Quintet, Heartland Pops, Bartow Adult Community Band, Lakeland Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra, Winter Haven Symphony Orchestra, Heatherwood Concert Band, and guest soloist with Central Florida area Churches and Universities.
Ian Crumpton is a native of Tampa, Florida and attended the Florida State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education. While studying at FSU, he was a member of the Marching Chiefs, University Concert and Symphonic Bands, Saxophone Orchestra, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. As a member of the Saxophone Orchestra, he performed at the 2016 North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference in Lubbock, Texas. As a member of the Marching Chiefs, he performed at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California and was a Medal of Honor award recipient his final year.
Ian is currently in his fifth year of teaching high school band, having spent four years as the Director of Bands at Fort Pierce Central High School, and now at Rockledge High School. Bands under his direction have consistently earned superior ratings in Marching, Concert, and Jazz Band assessments.
Ian is an active performer, performing with the Jordan Thomas Odyssey big band, For Dancers Only (FDO) big band, Treasure Coast Wind Ensemble, and Central Florida Winds.
Ian currently lives in Palm Bay with his wife, Adrienne, and two cats, Finn and Arya.
Dr. Earle-Imre plays oboe and English horn with CFW and acts as Board Secretary for the group. She has also played locally with Melbourne Community Orchestra (2005-present, principal oboe), Community Band of Brevard (1995-2007), BCC/EFSC Wind Ensemble and Orchestra (as needed), and in pit orchestras at Cocoa Village Playhouse, Henegar Center for the Performing Arts, and Titusville Playhouse (1995-2005). She also acts as a Board member for Melbourne Community Orchestra.
Laura graduated from the University of Florida with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (1989) and was in clinical practice locally (Coastal Animal Hospital, Rockledge) until 2005. Since then, she has been on faculty at Eastern Florida State College (formerly Brevard Community College) as a full-time professor in Veterinary Nursing and Biomedical Sciences and acts as Department Chair of Community Based Health Sciences Programs and the Bachelor’s in Applied Allied Health. She is also president of the Brevard Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida faculty union.
She continued her education and received a Master’s in Public Health and a Master’s in Pharmacy/Clinical Toxicology. She is board certified in Public Health through the National Board of Public Health Examiners and is a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. She is also certified in Animal Chiropractic through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
Laura lives in Cocoa with her husband, Bill Imre (a retired engineer and trombonist), her Bully dog Toby, her Cornish Rex cats Freki and Nadia, and her Senegal parrot Satchmo.
David A Ewing, principal trumpet and cornet of Central Florida Winds, is originally from Pompton Plains New Jersey where he studied from Nellie Clark of The Eastman College of music. David got a full five-year scholarship from the Philadelphia college of Performing Arts currently known as the University of the Arts. While there, he studied privately with Anthony Marchione who was chairman of brass. He graduated cum laude with both a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees.
After college, David taught in the Passaic County New Jersey school systems. He then studied trumpet with Gerard Schwartz of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. David also went on six tours with the International Symphonic Winds Orchestra as soloist and section leader. He toured throughout Scandinavian, Iceland, and Europe. One of his musical highlights was playing the Haydn trumpet concerto for the king of Denmark.
David has played for the Utica Symphony, Catskill Symphony, Colgate University Orchestra, Garden State Sinfonia, New Jersey Wind Orchestra, North Jersey Operetta Guild, Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, and the East Coast Brass Quintet. Locally, David plays(ed) with the Space Coast Pops, Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, Swingtime Jazz Band, Oh Golly Dixieland Band, Melbourne Municipal Band, NASA Holiday Band, Sunshine Brass Quintet, Melbourne Brass Quintet, the Coastal Brass, Central Lyric Opera, Space Coast Winds, Cocoa Village Playhouse, Henegar Pit Band, and also freelances.
David enjoys teaching trumpet as well as band and chorus at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School, Rockledge High School, Cocoa High School, Melbourne Youth Band, Burnished Brass, Camerata Winds, New Horizons Jazz Band Of Melbourne, and the New Horizons Jazz Band Of Rockledge, as well as the Stake Choir of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Until COVID-19 appeared, he taught at Sebastian River High School and Melbourne High School as a trumpet tutor. He currently teaches privately from his home in Rockledge and through Zoom.
David is married to his best friend Donna and they have one son, daughter-in-law, and is blessed with four grandchildren. He currently has three chickens and two Moodles, which are a Maltese-Poodle mix. He is an active member of the Latter Day Saints Church.
Lisa is originally from Salem Ohio. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from The Dana School of Music in Youngstown Ohio with a full scholarship, studying with Walter Mayhall. After graduation, she began teaching in the public schools as an Assistant High School Band Director. In 2003, she moved to Kingsland Georgia and taught elementary music. She has taught most everything in K-12 music education; band, choir, elementary ensembles, orchestra, and had the privilege of helping her eighth-grade show choir place first in a Class-A competition. It was during this time that she earned her Master's degree in Distance Education through the University of Phoenix.
Lisa moved to the Space Coast 2006 and taught at Mims Elementary for 4 years. In 2010, she began instructing teacher-education courses online at the university level. Over the past 13 years she has taught online graduate-level students at Concordia University-Portland, Concordia-University Nebraska, Wilkes University, St. Thomas University, and high school Music Appreciation and Music Business for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools. Lisa earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership/Higher Education in 2017 while working for Concordia University-Portland in their online programs as an online orientation director. She currently teaches at the Master's level for Southern New Hampshire University Online, as well as Nebraska Methodist College online in their Ph.D. programs as a Faculty Chair in the Dissertation program, helping her students complete their dissertations.
Lisa has performed with the Space Coast Flute Orchestra, the Teacher's Flute Orchestra, the Cocoa Village Playhouse, the Melbourne Municipal Band, Central Florida Winds, Central Florida Chamber Winds, and very recently, with Eclectique Productions, created, owned, and operated by Deb Venezia of Central Florida Winds. Lisa has performed with Central Florida Winds and Central Florida Chamber Winds since 2018 and became the President of group in 2021. In addition to the previously named groups, she has also studied with Dr. Kristen Stoner from the University of Florida and Ory Schneor with the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Lisa enjoys anything in her free time that doesn't require her to sit still for very long. She enjoys walking, running, hiking, gardening (she has an incredible green thumb!), biking, and anything that has to do with the outdoors. Her husband Paul serves as the videographer/photographer/recording technician for Central Florida Winds and is employed with Axient as a senior launch site systems engineer at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Lisa and her husband Paul also enjoy S.C.U.B.A. diving, and have explored the underwater worlds of the Florida Keys and areas near the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii.
David Free loves to play the oboe, especially the rare members of the oboe family. He has played the oboe for 35 years in Canada and the United States. After college, David originally had a full-time career as principal oboe and English horn (the tenor member of the oboe family) in Canada’s premiere Naval Band, the Stadacona Band, while also playing with Symphony Nova Scotia.
David went back to school and transitioned to a career in hospice, palliative, and pain medicine over 20 years ago but has continued to study and perform professionally. He has played with orchestras, wind ensembles, and in Toronto and New York musical pit orchestras. In the past several years, Dr. Free has been invited to perform multiple times with the Buffalo Philharmonic in New York, the Virginia Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony in Maryland, the Esprit New Music Orchestra in Toronto, Canada, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and recently with the Space Coast Orchestra. Often he is called upon to perform on the rarer members of the oboe family like the oboe d’amore (the alto member of the family), or the bass oboe. As a result, David has performed with some of America’s leading conductors: Marin Alsop, JoAnn Falletta, John Morris Russell, and Rossen Milanov, as well as two performances for Queen Elizabeth while on tour in the U.K.
David’s lifelong love of and passion for music began at a young age when his parents would play classical music records in their home to spark his imagination. When he was 12 years old, the soon-to-be renown and now late Cynthia Steljes (Quartetto Gelato) was playing with her university orchestra for a local event. David heard the sound of the oboe live for the first time and said “that’s what I want to play”.
David started formal musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto Canada studying with Anne Tammisaar, the principal oboist of the National Ballet of Canada. David completed requirements for a Bachelor of Music degree at McMaster University in Canada studying with Nancy Nelson, and continued with performance studies at Louisiana State University with Mark Ostoich. Further private musical studies were undertaken Cary Ebli of the Toronto Symphony.
David’s career in palliative care brought him to Florida in mid-January this year. Since arriving, he has performed with the Orlando Concert Band, and has joined the Central Florida Winds and will perform with the Space Coast Orchestra for the remaining concerts this season.
Butch Gardner has enjoyed a 40-plus-year career in the aerospace industry at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. While he majored in Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida and later obtained an MBA from the UCF Executive MBA program, he has had a lifelong love of music going back to age 12, starting with tuba and electric bass at Jackson Jr. High School in Titusville. He continued in music at Titusville High School, playing tuba, bass trombone, and electric and acoustic bass in the Titusville High School Symphonic and Jazz Bands. He was awarded the inaugural Director’s Award at Jackson, was twice selected to the Florida Bandmasters All-State Band, and was awarded numerous Superior ratings in Solo & Ensemble contests. He has performed with Central Florida Winds since 2012, in addition to The Community Band of Brevard, The Community Swing Band of Brevard, and numerous Church orchestras and praise bands. Butch Gardner resides with his wife Beverly in Titusville Florida where they raised their four children.
Frank Grey was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa where his parents met because of his dad's assignment to the US tracking station there in support of the Apollo Program, and moving to the United States so his father could support that program.
Frank attended FSU as a Horn performance major, studying with Dr. Capps. Frank transferred to the University of Central Florida to study electrical engineering and after completing his BSEE degree, he then earned an MSEE in Electromagnetics, Microwaves, and Antennas. Frank continued studying music at UCF on scholarship with Arnold Mascaro and after college, Frank moved back to Brevard County where he, along with his wife who plays the flute, have had the opportunity to be part of many performing groups together including: 25 years with the Orchestra at First Baptist Merritt Island, the Cocoa Village Playhouse pit orchestra, the Henegar Center pit orchestra, Central Florida Lyric Opera, the Orlando Light Opera, Opera del Sol, Theatro Lirico D' Europa, and the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra.Frank also continues to perform with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Central Florida Winds, Central Florida Chamber Winds, Coastal Brass Quintet, Central Florida Chamber Brass, Space Coast Symphony Woodwind Quintet, Space Coast Symphony Brass Quintet. Frank enjoys living in Melbourne, with his wife and 2 children.
Nicholas Grey is 15 years old and is a native of Brevard County. He attended Stevenson Elementary where he started playing the trumpet in the third grade. Nicholas switched to the horn just prior to his 7th grade year. He attended middle school at Edgewood Junior Senior High School. While at Edgewood, Nicholas made the All-County Band as a 7th grader. As an 8th grader he was the principal horn in the Edgewood Wind Ensemble and was also selected as the principal horn for the Brevard County Middle School All-County Band. Nicholas is currently attending Viera High School as a sophomore where he is the principal horn in their Wind Ensemble. He was selected to All-State as a 9th grader and was also selected as the principal horn for the Brevard County High School All-County Band. Nicholas has been part of many groups here in Central Florida, including playing with the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Space Coast Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Brevard Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Central Florida Winds. Nicholas has attended various summer programs, including the Melbourne Community Band Camp, Florida State University Band Camp, and the Brass Camp at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He studies the horn with his dad, Frank Grey, and has recently started studying the horn with Ben Lieser at the University of Central Florida. Nicholas enjoys every opportunity he gets to perform.
Benjamin Hart is the Director of Bands at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, FL. Prior to his appointment he served as the Associate Director for 2 years. He spent his first year as band director at Tavares Middle School. He graduated with a Bachelors in Music Education from the Florida State University, where he studied conducting. Professor Richard Clary, music education with Dr. Steve Kelly, and interned with Mr. John Nista at Ramblewood Middle School. During his time at Florida State, he performed with the Wind Orchestra, Symphonic and Concert bands, as well as various jazz combos, chamber ensembles, and the Florida State University Marching Chiefs. Mr. Hart has received various awards from the College of Music, including the Colborn Family Marching Chiefs Scholarship, and the William L. Hughes Top Music Educator award. At Tavares Middle School, he is responsible for teaching Advanced band, Intermediate band, two beginning band classes and jazz band. His professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha, FBA, FMEA and NAfME.
A native Hoosier, Ruth Ann grew up in Sheridan, Indiana, and after graduating from Butler University with a degree in music, moved to the Mystic, Connecticut area where she worked for many years, both performing and teaching. After receiving an MA from Connecticut College, she continued her education, studying clarinet with Charles Russo, principal clarinetist of the New York City Opera Orchestra, bass clarinet with Cris Inguanti of the Vancouver Symphony (a former student), and conducting with Stanley DeRusha, Director of Winds at the University of Hartford.
Ruth Ann’s professional music career spanned over forty years, primarily as a clarinetist and bass clarinetist with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and the Salt Marsh Opera Orchestra, while enjoying many opportunities to perform with other Connecticut orchestras, chamber music groups throughout New England, and several wind bands.
During her thirty year teaching career she taught all levels of instrumental music, directed the Rockville & Lyme-Old Lyme High School bands, and chaired the Regional District #18 K-12 music and art departments. As an adjunct teacher, she taught the woodwind class and supervised student teachers at the University of Connecticut. She also guest conducted the University of Connecticut Band, many Connecticut Middle and High School Regional Bands, and the Rhode Island All-State Middle School Band.
Teaching honors included the UConn Excellence in High School Teaching award, CMEA High School Teacher of the Year, and Regional District #18 Teacher of the Year. She served as President of the New England Music Festival Association, Director of the Hartt Summer Youth Music Program, and Chair of the CMEA Student Affairs Commission and All-State Festival. Ruth Ann was also a co-founder of the Thames Valley Music School in New London, Connecticut, now in its forty-second year.
After retiring from teaching, she was the administrator of the Salt Marsh Opera Company in Stonington, CT. She has served on several non-profit boards including the Connecticut Early Music Society, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Thames Valley and Calvary Music Schools, Orlando Concert Band, and a small eponymous foundation that gives scholarships to instrumental students in the Lyme-Old Lyme school system.
In 2012 she and her husband, Dr. Stephen Heller, and their two Portuguese water dogs, Isa and McCormack, left beautiful but frigid Connecticut for Orlando. In Florida she is happily playing with Central Florida Winds, Orlando Concert Band, and Southern Winds.