The Pikes Peak Brass Band is an elite 33 member ensemble in the classic British brass band tradition, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Concerts electrify audiences in educational and public settings and promote excellence in music. Let the PPBB enrich your next school band concert, civic event, or special occasion. Our volunteer members have backgrounds in symphony orchestra, jazz, concert band, The Salvation Army brass band, the United States Marine Band, the D.C. Navy Band, the Naval Academy Band and our own USAF Academy Band. They come from a variety of occupations, including military, business, IT, medical and educational professions. Some commute to weekly rehearsals from as far as Woodland Park, Denver, and Pueblo. 

Debbie Baker

Debbie Baker has emerged as one of the premier conductors in the Pike's Peak region. Her energy, precision, musicianship and insistence on excellence have brought the Pikes Peak Brass Band to a level that has attracted attention both nationally and locally. Her very busy schedule as Director of Bands and Fine Arts at Colorado Springs Christian School has not kept her from a deep commitment to the PPBB. She was Associate Director during the band's formation in 1999 and was appointed Musical Director in 2002. She continues to push the band to ever higher levels with an increasingly demanding repertoire and a clear expectation of growth in musical skills by the members. Debbie earned her Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Masters in Music degrees from Kansas State University. She is a member of the American School Band Directors Association, Colorado Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Beta Mu. She is in frequent demand as a clinician and adjudicator for state and regional music contest and workshop events.

Mark Baker
Eb Soprano Cornet

Mark has been playing cornet with the PPBB since it's beginning in 1999. Originally from Kansas, he grew up performing in many community organizations and in the ranks of local Drum and Bugle corps until age 21. He studied trumpet with Dr. Paul Shull at Kansas State University and was a member of the KSU Marching Band, Concert Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, KSU Brass Choir and Trumpet Choir. Mark Moved to Colorado with his wife Debbie in 1984 and served as a church Music and Worship Minister for 25 years. Mark has been involved with many community ensembles throughout Colorado and is currently a Brass Instructor and School Music Representative for Graner Music Company in Colorado Springs.

Gary Cellar

Bb Cornet

Gary is a Colorado native who grew up in the town of Cortez. He graduated from the University of Northern Colorado where he studied trumpet under Bill Pfund. While at UNC he performed with the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band 1, and the Greeley Philharmonic. After graduating he and his wife, Emily, moved to Georgia where he was a music pastor for 13 years. His family now resides in Highlands Ranch, CO and enjoy spending time together by keeping up with the activities of two busy teenagers. Gary has been a member of the Pikes Peak Brass Band since 2016.

Rick Tiller
Bb Cornet

Rick has been a member of the band since 2004. He earned a B.A. degree in Music Ed. from Marshall University in 1977, where he studied trumpet with J. D. Folsom. His professional experience includes a tour with the NORAD Command Band in Colorado Springs, CO (1977-1979). Rick continued his military duty in the cockpit of several different aircraft (KC-135/T-37/KC-10) and retired as a USAFR officer in 1998. He is currently an A320 Captain for United Airlines and makes his home in Franktown, Colorado with his wife of 33 years, Suzie. Rick assumed the duties of principal cornet in January 2007.

Timm Knoerzer
Bb Cornet

Timm is originally from Lansing, IL and started playing the cornet in 4th grade under the tutelage of Mr Joe Saia. He continued his passion for music as a member of the Marian Catholic HS band in Chicago Heights, IL under the direction of Mr Greg Bimm and then as member of the Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle corps. He also studied trumpet with Mr Gerry Mattern as an undergraduate student at St Norbert College in De Pere, WI. After living for many years in Rochester, NY, Timm moved in 2010 to Colorado Springs with his wife, Linnea, and their children to become a professor of chemistry at the US Air Force Academy. He is also a member of the Rocky Mountain Wind Symphony and since 2014 the PPBB.

Jeremy Ellison
Bb Cornet


Coming soon!

Kevin Brand
Repiano Cornet

Kevin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied trumpet under Terry Sawchuck. After graduating from CU Kevin taught high school band and choir from 1990-1993 until an Army recruiter came to his school to talk about the Army Band program and recruited the teacher instead of the students. Kevin recently retired from the Army after serving for 21 years in Army Bands all over the world. Kevin is currently teaching band in Harrison School District in Colorado Springs at Mountain Vista School.

Mark Santarelli

Bb Cornet

Graduated east high school in Pueblo 1976. Attented the eastern school of musical instrument repair graduated Oct 1978. Mark has been repairing for 37 years. He is principal trumpet with the Pueblo Municipal Band. Past principal of the southern colorado concert band. Also a member of the Pueblo symphony.

Tom Dufur
Bb Cornet


Coming soon!

Steve Engler
Bb Cornet

Steve is a computer security analyst with Lockheed Martin Corporation in Denver and has been with the PPBB since its inception in 1999. He holds a BS degree in Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science from Mesa State College. Steve has been associated with various community music groups over the years and helped found the Grand Junction Centennial Band in which he participated in for 15 years. Steve and his wife Kim have three children and are currently living in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Jeremiah Fowler

Jeremiah went to Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. It was there that he was first introduced to British Brass Band while playing in the Colorado Brass Band under the direction of Mr. John Kincaid. After graduating with a degree in music education Jeremiah joined the Rocky Mountain Brassworks in Denver, CO and played with them until 1999 when he joined the PPBB. Jeremiah played with the PPBB from 1999-2003 and rejoined the group in 2006. Jeremiah taught band at Panorama Middle School in Harrison School District 2 from 1995-2009, and now teaches band at Holmes Middle School in School District 11.

Anthony Ebert
Principal Tenor Horn

Anthony Ebert earned his B.A. in Music from Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) in 2008. While at Northwestern, he performed in a number of ensembles and toured internationally with the Symphonic Band as a featured soloist. He is a 2012 graduate of The American Band College of Sam Houston State University where he earned his M.M in Conducting. Anthony teaches 7-12 band at The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs and has performed with the brass band since 2008.

Kelsie McCallum
Tenor Horn

Kelsie graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with her B.M.E in 2013 and is currently teaching elementary general music at The da Vinci Academy in Colorado Springs.  At UNC, Kelsie was a member of the Symphony Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Band, The Pride of the Rockies Marching Band, and various chamber ensembles.  She joined the Army National Guard in 2010 as a member of the 101st Army Band, playing horn in the concert band and piano in the Dixieland Jazz Band.  She also performs locally with the Rocky Mountain Wind Symphony and the Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra.  

Michal Garner
Tenor Horn


Coming soon!

Chris Welch

Chris is currently a band director in Colorado Springs School District 11. Chris has been with the PPBB since its beginning in 1999. Chris is a past PPBB President. Chris earned his Music Education degree at New Mexico State University in 1993 and has participated in numerous University ensembles including NMSU Wind Ensemble, the, NMSU Pride Band, the Las Cruces (NM) Symphony Orchestra and the NMSU Brass Quintet.

Bill Bertoniere
Principal Euphonium

Originally a tuba player, Bill played euphonium with the 2nd Marine Air Wing Band for three years.He then played tuba in "The Golden Band From Tigerland" at Louisiana State University. Ten years later, back on euphonium again (and not looking back), Bill played with the Salt Lake Symphonic Winds and the Utah Premiere Brass for three years. He moved to Colorado Springs in 2009 and has played with various community groups, finally finding a home with the Fountain Creek Brass Band. Bill has been self-employed for 14 years in the paintless dent removal industry and is currently training disabled veterans and wounded warriors in his trade.

Chris Cotton



Coming soon!

Ryan Van Gilder
Principal Trombone

Dr. Ryan Van Gilder is Lecturer in Trombone and Jazz Studies at Colorado State University Pueblo. An active trombonist, Ryan performs regularly throughout Colorado as principal trombone of the Pikes Peak Brass Band and Boulder Chamber Orchestra, as well as numerous groups around the state. Ryan is originally from Iowa and attended the University of Iowa for his bachelor's degree. He also holds master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Colorado. Ryan is a Shires Trombone Artist and performs exclusively on S.E. Shires trombones.

Mike Danforth


Mike grew up playing in grade school, community and youth ensembles in the Detroit area.  He then went to Northwestern University as a trombone major.  In 1980 he was selected to play with the Disneyland All American College Band.  Other notable performances as a young man were with  the Charleston Symphony, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and the Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus Band.  He is the CEO of MTD Research, a firm that provides data and analysis on K-12 school music, theatre and dance programs.  His wife and three adult sons are active musically as well.

Tom Bruszewski

Tom is the band director at Vista Ridge High School, where he teaches concert, marching, jazz, and pep bands, as well as music theory and appreciation. He has played with the Pikes Peak Brass Band since February 2007, and has served as staff on the board of directors for the Colorado Music Educators' Association since 2006, and has helped run and facilitate the annual state CMEA conference. While earning his Music Education degree at University of Northern Colorado in 2005, he was a member of the UNC Trombone Choir, Marching Band, and Concert and Symponic Bands. Tom works closely with his wonderful wife, Jessica to raise their two boys, Anthony (2007) and Carson (2010).

Bruce Blomquist
Bass Trombone

Bruce has been a member of the Pikes Peak Brass Band since 2008. He completed his undergraduate studies at San Francisco Conservatory before joining the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, under the direction of conductor Michael Tilson-Thomas. While in college he won the prestigious International Trombone Association Bass Trombone Concerto Competition and was invited to perform at the ITA's international conference. His orchestral career includes performances with the Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, and San Francisco Symphonies. Bruce also performs regularly with the Academy Jazz Ensemble and the John Saunders Band. 

Rick Potter
Principal Eb Tuba

Coming soon!

Tyler Perea
Eb Tuba


Coming soon!

Joe Walsh
Bb Tuba

Coming soon!

Rick Packard
Principal Percussion

Rick is a senior research manager with Johns Manville, located in Littleton, Colorado, and has been with PPBB since the spring of 2008. Rick holds a BS degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Kansas Wesleyan University, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from The Ohio State University. He has participated in numerous community and church music groups over the years, most recently with the Castle Rock Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, and with the classic rock band The Procrastinators, also based in Castle Rock.

Stephen Walden


Coming soon!

Nate Knitter


Coming soon!