Jacob Roland | Graduate Assistant | Masters in Music Performance
Jacob Roland is a trombonist and educator from Tupelo, Mississippi. He recently earned his Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Mississippi and is excited to pursue a Master’s in Music Performance at Baylor. While studying at the University of Mississippi, Jacob performed in the UM Wind Ensemble, the Mississippians Jazz Ensemble, the LOU symphony orchestra, the Ole Miss trombone ensemble, the Pride of the South Marching Band, and several chamber ensembles. As part of his degree in music education, Jacob student taught at Booneville High School. There he discovered a love for teaching and communicating with students about music. In the future, Jacob hopes to share his passion for music by playing trombone professionally and by teaching his own studio. Jacob’s hobbies include chess, tennis, playing games, and learning Spanish.
Ryan Baldwin | Graduate Student | Masters in Music Performance
Ryan is a first year Masters student from Paragould, Arkansas. He recently graduated from Arkansas State University where he studied under Dr. Bruce Faske, a Baylor alumnus himself.
As a performer, Ryan was a leading force in the Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Trombone Choir, Orchestra, and Chamber Ensembles. His passion for chamber music led to the creation of Novus Brass, a student-led brass quintet focused on educating and entertaining younger audiences in Arkansas band rooms. In addition to touring, Novus Brass presented at the Arkansas Bandmasters Association conference with the renowned Boston Brass in 2019.
Ryan comes to Baylor excited to study with Professor Brent Phillips and other faculty. He plans to continue his growth as a musician, leader, performer, and teacher.
Graham Gornall| Freshman | Bachelor of Music Performance
Graham is a freshman from Mansfield, TX. In High School Graham was a member of his schools Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and was Brass Captain of the marching band. He was also a 2x all-state musician.
Outside of school, Graham was a member of the GDYO Philharmonic, where he met his orchestra section, who went on to form a trombone quartet. They played Christmas tunes on the street, performed for events, and held multiple recitals as a group.
Graham looks to become a professional orchestral musician in the future, and cannot wait to be an active member of the trombone community. Graham lives by a quote from JJ Watt that states, “Success isn’t owned it’s leased, and rent is due every day.” He looks to this for inspiration and to keep him motivated to work.
Max Davis | Senior | Bachelor of Music Education
Max is a bass trombonist from Flower Mound, Texas, and during high school, participated heavily in wind ensemble, full orchestra, marching band, brass quintet, and trombone choir. He also had the amazing experience of playing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with the Texas All-State Symphony Orchestra. In his senior year, he was honored with the John Philip Sousa Award and featured as a soloist.
Max hopes to teach at the collegiate level. In his free time, he enjoys composing and arranging music, playing board games, and, of course, practicing.
Mark Bennett | Junior | Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance
Mark Bennett is a junior from Leander, Texas. During his high school career, Mark was a member of the wind ensemble, jazz band, pit orchestra, and served as section leader and low brass captain in the marching band. He also helped form his school’s first ever trombone choir and got accepted to the 2020 Midwest Clinic with his school’s wind ensemble his senior year.
Outside of school, Mark was principal trombonist of the Texas Youth Wind Symphony in 2018 and principal trombonist of the Austin Youth Symphony Orchestra from 2019 to 2020. He also performed in the TMEA All-State Symphonic Band and Philharmonic Orchestra his junior and senior year respectively.
Mark earned his 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and taught students of all ages and ranks for several years. He also enjoys watersports and practicing mindfulness. Mark is excited to continue his musical journey at Baylor, and he hopes to win a performance job and start a family afterwards.
Grant Hayes | Junior | Bachelor of Music Education
Grant Hayes is a trombonist from Sachse, Texas. He has been developing his musical passion since elementary school, when he began playing the piano, guitar, and viola. In middle school, he found his love of the trombone, and his passion exploded. He participated in his high school’s wind ensemble, jazz band, and marching band. Grant served as the trombone section leader his junior year, and Brass Captain his senior year. During his junior year, he was a member of the Wylie Community Band, as the youngest musician in the group.
He succeeded at the region and area levels all 4 years, and was a member of the TMEA All-State Band his junior and senior year of high school. He was also selected to go to the UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest for three years. In June of 2020, Grant was a recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award.
In his spare time, Grant enjoys watching sports, listening to and arranging music, and spending time with friends. Grant hopes to become a band director at the high school level, and would also love to win a performance job!
Jameson Talton | Junior | Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance
Jameson attended Seven Lakes High School and was an active member of the marching band and was Texas All-State trombone player this past year. He will be marching this year in the Golden Wave Band, performing in the Symphonic Band and Baylor Trombone Choir.
Conor Wilson | Junior | Bachelor of Music in Bass Trombone
Conor attended Coronado High School and has quite the HS bass trombone resume: The humble musician took first chair bass trombone at the Texas Music Educators Association's All-State competition this fall – earning a top spot on the state’s Jazz Ensemble 1 and making him the top student bass trombonist in Texas.
Wilson’s talent and accomplishments also inspire his band mates.
“When you have a student like Connor with the right mix of talent and attitude, it really impacts the other students around here,” Saenz said. “They hear how well he's playing and it makes them better and inspires them to practice and make themselves work on improving their skills.”
Wilson began his band career in sixth grade playing the tuba, then moved on to trombone in seventh grade. He turned to bass trombone as a Coronado freshman – further developing and fueling his passion for jazz.
“I like the way that you can kind of just make your own melodies off of a melody that someone else created 30 years earlier,” he said. “I just think it's really cool.”
His passion and love for brass instruments might be directly related to his genes. His parents, Steve and Elisa Wilson, are both UTEP fine arts professors. Dad Steve is an accomplished trombonist, while mom Elisa is a professor of choral music and voice.
“Connor has a particular strong family music background,” Saenz said. “They're supported him from day one. They’ve given him the room to grow and have supported him in whatever direction that it takes him.”
His pure talent, dedication and a little DNA give the trombonist the elements necessary for success at the state level and among his peers.
“Connor is just such a great player as far as the jazz element is concerned. But on top of that, he's also a wonderful classical tubist,” Saenz said. “He’s just a wonderful student and an inspiration for the kids around here.”
Story by Reneé de Santos
Photos by Leonel Monroy
Gannon Allen | Sophomore | Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance
Gannon Allen was the top trombonist in the Clear Springs Charger Band Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Full Orchestra during his time in high school. He was Trombone/Baritone Section Leader and Brass Captain his junior and senior years, four-time TMEA Texas Music Scholar, member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, and National Honor Society. He was a TMEA All State trombonist his junior and senior years in high school. Along with his high school performing groups, he was also an active member of the Galveston Community Band, Webster Presbyterian Church Winds, and the Houston Youth Symphony. He is an ordained deacon at his church and has participated in multiple mission activities helping people rebuild after natural disasters.
Wyatt Bond | Freshman | Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance
Wyatt Bond is a freshman trombonist from Spring, Texas who studies music performance. He graduated from Klein High School where he played with the wind ensemble, jazz band, full orchestra, and marching band. He was also fortunate enough to receive the John Phillip Sousa award from his band program.
Wyatt has played with the Houston Youth Symphony. Highlight performances include pieces Carmen Suite No. 1, Dvorak Symphony No. 9, and Les Preludes. He also performed with the AFA Symphony Orchestra in 2021 playing Firebird and La forza del destino.
A big part of Wyatt’s motivation to continue his music education came with encouragement from his family, directors, and his lesson teachers, Matthew Norman and Michael Warny. Another huge factor came from listening to professional orchestras and trombonists.
Wyatt is very grateful to attend Baylor University, and hopes to become a professional trombonist after graduation.
Tayton Crutsinger | Freshman | Bachelor of Music Trombone Performance
Tayton is a freshman from Aledo, Texas pursuing a Bachelors in Trombone Performance. During his time playing the trombone, he was a member of nationally awarded jazz bands, orchestras, and wind ensembles. In 2020, Tayton performed with the wind ensemble at the Music For All National Festival in Indianapolis. He would again perform with the wind ensemble as a TMEA Honor Band in 2022. Tayton found his home in the Baylor Trombone Studio at the Mountain Light Music Festival in 2021.
Throughout his time in high school, Tayton was the principal trombone of the wind ensemble, lead trombonist in Metro Praise Youth orchestra as well the Aledo jazz ensembles. He was also a member of the Keller Area Youth Jazz Orchestra, Trombone Choir of North Texas, and the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra.
With the help of friends and family, great directors and conductors, and private lesson teacher, Christian Paarup, Tayton found great success being an TMEA Area contestant multiple times and TMEA All-State alternate as well as many UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contests.
Joshua Ho | Freshman | Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance
Joshua attended Clements High School in Sugar Land, TX, where he served as principal trombone of the Clements High School band and orchestra for four years. In the 2019-2020 school year, he had the privilege of being a TMEA All-State musician. He was also a soloist in the 2021 marching band show, when they made the UIL state marching contest. Joshua also played in the Houston Youth Symphony and attended the AFA summer festival for two years. In 2022, he was a finalist in the AFA Concerto Competition and is also a Baylor Invitation to Excellence scholarship recipient.
In his spare time, Joshua enjoys watching sports, listening to and writing music, coding, and hanging out with friends. He also plays drums and guitar in his church’s worship band.