Special Guest Artist

Ali Ryerson - Flute and Alto Flute

(for the Special Summer Concert Series)

With a career spanning over four decades, jazz flutist Ali Ryerson consistently ranks among the top flutists in the Downbeat Jazz Poll. She is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music of the University of Hartford.

Ali is an international touring/recording artist, with performances ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Blue Note to festival appearances worldwide. She has released nearly two-dozen albums as leader or co-leader on major jazz labels such as Concord Records, DMP, Capri, and legendary jazz producer Bob Thiele’s Red Baron. . She has recorded and performed with jazz greats such as Stephane Grappelli, Red Rodney, Roy Haynes, Hubert Laws, Art Farmer, Kenny Barron, Frank Wess, and Joe Beck, as well as classical artists Julius Baker, Luciano Pavarotti (while principal flutist with the Monterey Bay Orchestra), and harpsichord master Anthony Newman.

As an educator/author, Ali has published a widely acclaimed Jazz Flute Practice Method book in ’09, and has written numerous instructional articles for The Flutist Quarterly, Downbeat Magazine, and Flute Talk, among others. She recently joined the faculty at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield CT as flute professor, and continues to conduct master classes worldwide, including her week-long annual master class held at Hidden Valley Music Seminars in California.

The Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band (Capri Records ‘13), remained in the TOP 10 on the US Jazz Charts for six straight weeks.


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Robert "Bob" Grossman - Trombone/Leader

Robert Grossman is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he was a member of the OSU Marching Band. Bob holds a BS and Masters degree in Business Administration. He has been involved with music his entire life and plays numerous instruments.

Bob currently plays Trombone with Trombones plus, but for several years he was a "Plus" member of the group, playing Electric Bass Guitar in the rhythm section

After graduation from OSU he started working at Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation and in 1984 he met his future wife Susan while singing in the Columbia Gas Chorus.  Susan and Bob recently celebrated 25 years of marriage.


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Dr. John Mitchell - Trombone

John is a graduate of Ohio University (the ORIGINAL), has a master’s from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D from Indiana University, all in music theory. He served in a number of positions in colleges, teaching theory, trombone, directing bands and orchestras, and music education.

Since coming to Columbus in 1968 he has been a professor of music at Capital University and played for 21 years in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. His playing experience has ranged from Army bandsman to orchestras and bands, pit orchestras, big bands, and small groups such as this one.

He has also been a professional vocalist as a member of the Cantari Singers and the Lancaster Chorale. In keeping with being the second oldest member of the group, he is happily retired and playing as much as possible.


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Jeff Kopp - Trombone

Jeff is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Biological Sciences, with a Bachelor's Degree in Physiology.

He is now retired after a 36 year career in the life insurance business, most of which was spent with a Columbus-based company that is "on your side".

He is a former member of the Swing Machine big band and the Aladdin Shrine concert and dance bands.  In addition to Trombones Plus, he plays in the Dublin Wind Symphony, Buckeye Brass, and the Tony Lewis Swing Orchestra.


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Joe Riedel - Trombone

Joe was born and raised in Ohio and graduated from Urbana High School. He attended The Ohio State University, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education as a trombone major. While at OSU, he was a membor of the Marching Band, Concert Band, and Men's Glee Club. He earned his Master's Degree and Specialist Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University.

He has over 40 years of experience in Education as a music teacher, Principal, Assistant Superintendent, Superintendent, and currently holds the position of District Planner for the Dublin City Schools.  He has served as the superintendent at Hopewell-Loudon for four years, Jonathan Alder for ten years, and Dublin City Schools for five years.

Joe was one of the founding members of Trombones Plus in the mid -1970's.


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Wayne Rickert - Trombone

Wayne is the newest member of Trombones Plus. He grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio, played trombone in Wapak High School band, and in various musical organizations at The Ohio State University, where he received his B.S. degree in Marketing. He continued his education at Xavier, graduating with an MBA in Finance.

While at OSU he became a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and has served on the House Corporation for many years most recently holding the position of President. He is a lifetime member of the OSU Alumni Band and a member of the Script Ohio Club. Wayne is also active in supporting the OSU Men's Hockey program, involved in mentoring college age men and has returned to OSU to study trombone in the School of Music playing in the Trombone Studio and the Jazz Workshop Big Band. He is a 45 year member of First Community Church and active in many of the programs through his church.

After a 40 year break from playing, he picked up his trombone, cleared the dust off his lips, and began playing again. He is excited at the opportunity to sit with more experienced musicians and play music once again.

Wayne has been involved in virtually all aspects of the real estate industry since 1969 and is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Ohio. In 1986, he founded Rickert Property Management with offices in Upper Arlington. He is retired and lives with his wife, Cheri, in NW Columbus. They have two married and artistically talented children and five wonderful grandchildren.

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John Amerman - Bass Trombone

John grew up in St. Paris, Ohio and graduated from Graham High School. He began playing in a local Dance Band at age sixteen where he developed his admiration for the Big Band sound.

John received his bachelor's degree in music education from The Ohio State University where he was a four-year member of the OSU Marching Band. He also attended Wright State University, Clark State Community College, Sinclair Community College, and the University of Michigan.

He was a band director, music teacher, and trombone instructor for over twenty years and has worked in the information technology field for the past twenty five years. He is currently a business analyst for a large financial institution.

John played in the Springfield Symphony for 21 years and with various big bands, theater groups, opera companies, and pit orchestras in the Springfield / Dayton area.


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Fred Ahlborn - Bass

Fred is a member of the “Plus” section of Trombones Plus, playing electric bass. He is a multi-talented individual who plays tuba and electric bass, and has performed on stage in four different musical productions.

He is also a member of the Scioto Valley Brass Band & Percussion Company, Columbus Pops Concert Band, and Z Sharp Big Band.

Fred graduated from Otterbein University and is a Retired Enlisted Band Leader for the 122nd Army National Guard Band. He is also an avid handball player.


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Sue Grossman - Piano

Susan is a graduate of Hocking Technical College where she received her Associates Degree in Computer Science. She started playing piano at age 6. By age 12 she was the pianist in her church. During her teenage years she played for numerous weddings and receptions. After graduation from college, she started working at Columbia Gas in the data processing department.

In 1984, she met her future husband, Bob, while singing together in the Columbia Gas Chorus. In 1986, she and Bob were married and just recently celebrated 25 years of marriage.   Susan studied with Dave Wheeler from 1993 to 2005. In addition to playing with Trombones Plus, Susan is also asked to fill in with various performance groups around Columbus from big bands, combo's to Dixieland.



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Wally Richardson - Drums

Drummer Wally Richardson managed to eke out a Bachelor’s degree with a physics major at OSU and went to work at the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) where, desperate for money, he studied and passed the board exam to become a registered professional engineer, and got a raise.  That was back when orange barrels were orange BARRELS that didn’t just collapse on impact; they got revenge.  Wally retired from ODOT and now works for Ohio University’s Civil Engineering department as a research engineer.  His boss, Professor S., calls him “useless” and “eccentric.”

Wally was fortunate to receive encouragement (read: forbearance) from music teachers from middle school through college.  One day during eighth grade band practice Wally bolted from the clarinet section to the drum section.  The director was glad to be rid of him on clarinet, the habit stuck, and he drummed in bands and orchestras through college.  He kept the clarinet, just in case.

Wally and his wife, Mary, grew up in Bryan, Ohio.  They have two children and one grandchild.  He says that any brains he might have, he inherited from his kids.  It figures.


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Ed Hinton - Drums

Ed grew up in Kettering, Ohio and graduated from Fairmont East High School. He attended Ohio University and Franklin University earning a bachelor of public administration and a business degree and is three courses shy of a masters in education.

He retired from a career in Public Administration with the State of Ohio and now raises corn, hay and soybeans on his 26-acre Brown Township farm in Hilliard. He also serves as the announcer for Hilliard Davidson High School football team. He took up substitute teaching and is in the process of getting his full-time teaching license through Ashland University.

Ed is a multi-talented musician. He started playing the trumpet and is a self-taught drummer. He has played with various Shrine groups, with jazz vocalist Debbie Walton, and currently serves as an alternate drummer with Trombones Plus.


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In Memoriam

Ken McCoy - Bass / Arranger

Retired Sergeant Major Ken McCoy passed away on January 11, 2018, at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Ken was a native of the Buckeye State, born and raised in Ironton (Lawrence Co.) and a graduate of Greenville High School (Darke Co).    He was the retired Chief Arranger (Sergeant Major) for the United States Army Field Band Washington, DC where he arranged and composed music for the Concert Band, Soldiers Chorus and the Jazz Ambassadors. By virtue of the Field Band's mission, Ken's music has been performed in all 50 United States as well as Europe, Japan, South Korea, India, Mexico and Canada.

Ken completed his undergraduate studies at the University Of North Texas (North Texas State) where he played trumpet in the famous One O'clock Jazz Lab Band under the direction of Leon Breeden. While in Texas he served as contractor and trumpeter with the Les Elgart Orchestra. After retiring from the US Army Field Band, Ken attended The Ohio State University and began writing for The Ohio State University Marching Band under the direction of Dr. Jon R. Woods. For 24 years, Ken was an arranger for "The Best Damn Band In The Land". Ken earned his Master's Of Music Education from OSU in 1997.


Dr. Jon Woods - Trombone

Jon R. Woods, 76, of Columbus, passed away on Saturday, September 12, 2015. He joined Trombones Plus in 2002 and played with the group (other than football season) through 2014. He was a avid supporter and will be greatly missed.

He was born on January 22, 1939 in Barnesboro, PA to the late Russell and Marjorie (Moore) Woods. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Catherine Elizabeth. Jon was a passionate, selfless educator who will be greatly missed by his wife of 36 years, Donna (Greer) Woods, his children, Jon Stephen (Katrina) Woods and Victoria Alexis Woods and fiancé Jason Peckins; and his much loved and doted upon granddaughter, Reese Catherine Woods.

Jon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his Masters Degree from The Pennsylvania State University, and his Ph.D. from The University of Michigan. He was a music education professor in the School of Music at The Ohio State University for 38 years. He served as the Director for The Ohio State University Marching Band for 28 years, prior to that, he was the Associate Director for The OSUMB for 10 years under Paul Droste. Jon taught and embodied the Tradition of Excellence for which "The Best Damn Band In The Land" is known. He truly believed that to be its greatest tradition. He was once asked about his legacy and responded that, "My students are my legacy."

Prior to teaching college, he was the band director at Northern Cambria High School (Pa.), Cambria Heights High School (Pa.), and Newark (Del.) High School. During that time, his concert bands, marching bands, and jazz ensembles received numerous awards for their performing excellence. He played in the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, the Wilmington Jazz Arts Orchestra, and on occasion with the Tommy Dorsey Dance Band, under the direction of Warren Covington.


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Sid Lapworth - Trombone

The members of Trombones Plus were deeply saddened by the passing of one of our long-time members, Sid Lapworth, on March 3, 2013. Sid had taken leave from the group after a fall that injured his shoulder.

Sid began playing in a dance band at age sixteen.  He graduated from Memphis Tech High School in 1942 and worked for the Illinois Central Railroad until he was drafted by the Army in 1944. Along the way he played in the Memphis Sinfonietta, the Memphis Concert Orchestra, and the US Army 388th ASF Band. 

After graduating from Memphis State University in 1952 with the hopes of becoming a Band director, Sid found it tough making a living teaching music.  In 1954 he began working as the Instrument Manager at the O. K. Houke music store in Memphis. He sold instruments to many of the area's future recording artists including Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, Johnny Cash, B. B. King, and Conway Twitty, to name a few.

Like many people that work in music stores, Sid was also an aspiring musician. Although his main instrument was the trombone, he took up the string bass and played with the Bill Justice Band from 1950 to 1961. During this time, Sun Records was one of the big name recording studios in the country, and in 1957, Sid played on two hit recordings with the Bill Justis Band - Raunchy and Midnight Man.  He also played with many of the name big bands traveling through Memphis who needed a trombone or string bass player, including Hal McIntyre, Buddy Morrow, Joe Reichman, Jan Garber, and Buddy DeFranco.

In 1968 Sid moved north to the Columbus area where he teamed up with Wayne Martin and Bob Chalfant to form the Wayne Martin Trio.  This was followed by 20 years with the Bruno Masdea Dance Band and then the Cindi Black Big Band. He was a member of Trombones Plus for 12 years and we were all proud to know and work with him.

He was a very special friend and member of the group. He will be missed greatly and remembered fondly.

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