The Metro Brass Quintet started in the spring of 2014 with all of the members seen below, and has had some other fine musicians sit in for performances and rehearsal. The regular membership currently includes:
Joy Lucas grew up in the Des Moines area and attended Taylor University where she received her B.A. in Music Performance in 2011. While at Taylor, she played with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Pep Band. Outside of the university, she performed with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra and Muncie Symphony Orchestra. Joy currently performs with the Des Moines Community Orchestra, the Des Moines Metro Concert Band, and regularly fills in with a number of other ensembles in the Des Moines metro area. Joy works as a bank teller in Altoona and enjoys spending her weekends playing music and spending time with her family.
Melody Dawning holds a Master of Music in Composition from Central Michigan University, where she studied with David Gillingham and Jose-Luis Maurtua. Melody earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition and Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance from Drake University, where she studied composition with William Dougherty, trumpet with Andrew Classen, and piano with Rika Uchida. Her compositions and arrangements have been recognized with a number of scholarships and awards by many different institutions, and she has contributed several pieces to the Metro Brass Quintet's repertoire.
Melody currently works as a church secretary and a self-published composer and arranger. (You can find her music at melodydawning.com!) She also enjoys serving on the worship team of her local church as a pianist, singer, and trumpet player.
John Sens completed his Master’s degree in Trombone Performance at the University of Minnesota in May 2013. While in Minneapolis, he played with the Adam Meckler Big band, the Compass Rose Brass Ensemble, Red Rock Swing Band, along with the ensembles at the University of Minnesota. During his time in Des Moines, John has performed with a number of ensembles, including the Des Moines Big Band, Des Moines Community Orchestra, CJC Big Band, the Windsor Brass, Music Under the Stars, and more! John started the Metro Brass Quintet in April 2014 and is proud to see it continue to develop and grow as time marches on.
Outside of music, John works as a Regulatory Consultant at EcoEngineers where he does compliance work for the renewable fuels industry, primarily with the federal Renewable Fuel Standards and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standards program. When not working or performing, he loves a good book, movie, bubbly drinks, or a nice bike ride.
Bradley R. Harris is a native of Forest City, IA. Bradley graduated from Luther College in Decorah, IA and earned a Masters in Trombone Performance and Conducting from Illinois State University in Normal, IL.
While at Illinois State, Bradley performed with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia da Camera. Bradley serves as Principal Trombone of the Central Iowa Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Metro Brass Quintet and Fifth of Brass quintets.
Bradley is an Instrumental Music Instructor at Johnston Middle School in Johnston, IA. Since he started in 2013, the Johnston Middle School 8th Grade Jazz Band has earned top honors at contests throughout the state of Iowa.
When not teaching or playing trombone, Bradley is an avid bicyclist, kayaker, traveler, and DIY home project enthusiast.
Ben McCartney is currently a senior at Drake University where he is earning his B.M. in Music Education. Ben has studied with Mr. Al Naylor at Coe College, Dr. James Bovinette at Iowa State University, and currently studies with Prof. Andrew Classen. Ben plays in Drake Jazz One, the Drake Orchestra, and Drake Wind Symphony, along with frequent performances with the Faculty Brass Quintet. Outside of academia, Ben plays with the Quad City show band “Identity Crisis” and has had the great pleasure of playing regularly with the one and only Karl King Band. When not adding his high-octane trumpet playing to the quintet, Ben works on his short game and plays as much basketball as possible.
Brian Martin is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, with a degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies. While at UNI, he was a member of UNI Jazz Band One, the UNI Wind Symphony, and the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra. Brian’s original compositions and arrangements have been performed by UNI Jazz Band One, the UNI Jazz Panthers, the Panther Marching Band, the UNI Pep Bands, as well as a wide variety of student soloists and chamber ensembles.
Currently, Brian is the 5-12 Band Director for the Interstate 35 Community School District, based in Truro, Iowa. He maintains a private studio with trombone students of all ages. He performs frequently in the Des Moines area with a variety of ensembles, including the Des Moines Big Band, the Renovation Jazz Quintet, the Roni Garza Salsa Orchestra, and the Metro Brass Quintet. When not performing, Brian often composes and arranges new music for players of all ages, and for a variety of ensembles.
Brian played with the MBQ from April 2014 - August 2017