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Hill Country Brass

The Musicians

Ron Ledbetter, trumpet

Originally from Cuero, Texas, Ron got an early start in music by singing in church and community children’s choirs. In the fifth grade, he was introduced to the trumpet by his father, a former musician. From that point forward, he was involved in the public school band program. Upon deciding to pursue a music career, he began his collegiate studies at Victoria College, where he studied trumpet with James McCrury. During both years at Victoria College, he was selected as a member of the Texas Junior College All-State Honor Band. He continued his education at Southwest Texas State University, where he studied trumpet with Dr. Keith Winking and Jack Laumer. While a student at Southwest Texas State University, he held positions as principal trumpet in the university’s orchestra and wind ensemble. In 1995, he was a featured soloist during the orchestra’s European tour. In the same year, he was the winner of the Southwest Texas Orchestra Concerto Competition. Ron was recognized as the Outstanding Collegiate-level lead trumpet at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in 1996. He graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Music degree.

Ron holds positions as principal trumpet in the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, and Corpus Christi Ballet Orchestra. In addition, he plays lead trumpet in the Sound of Swing Big Band and the U.S.S. Lexington Big Band. He has been a member of the Hill Country Brass Quintet since 1993. Other groups he has performed with include the Corpus Christi Symphony Brass Quintet, Corpus Christi Wind Symphony, Dallas Wind Symphony, and Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra. Ron works as a freelance musician and music educator in central and south Texas. He lives in Victoria with his wife Christine and son Trevor.

Randy Heaton, trumpet and leader

Randy started playing trumpet in the fourth grade in Porter, Texas and has had difficulty kicking the habit ever since. His love of performing took him to McLennan Community College in Waco where he studied under the direction of David Hibbard and many other accomplished musicians from the commercial music world. He then attended Southwest Texas State University under the direction of Jack Laumer. Randy performed as principal trumpet for every major ensemble at the university and received a Bachelor of Music in 1996.

While a student, he organized the SWT Student Brass Quintet in 1990, which later became Hill Country Brass.

Mr. Heaton has performed with a variety of organizations including the Victoria Symphony, the Corpus Christi Symphony and Ballet, the Houston Youth Symphony, the Victoria Bach Festival and the Waco Civic Theater. In addition to his freelance trumpet work, Randy, along with his wife Fran, own and operate Frandy Oaks Pet Resort in San Marcos, where they reside with their sons Samuel and Ryan.

Monica C. Martinez, horn

Dr. Monica Martinez is currently on her third year as a part-time Lecturer of Horn at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg Campus, and teaches privately for Austin ISD and Dripping Springs ISD. She also holds the third horn position with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and the third horn/utility horn position with the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra. She has a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Horn Performance from The University of Texas at Austin. She also holds dual Bachelor's degrees in Horn Performance and Music Education from Texas A&M University at Kingsville. She has taught public school for Point Isabel ISD and private school in San Marcos, TX. She has held Adjunct Horn Instructor positions for Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi and Prairie View A&M University. As an active freelance musician she has had the opportunity to perform with the San Antonio Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Texas Symphony, Symphony of the Hills, Temple Symphony Orchestra, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Lakeside Pride Symphony Orchestra and the Beloit- JanesvilleSymphonyOrchestra. Her mentors have included Patrick Hughes from The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Jennifer Ratchford-Sholtis from Texas A&M University at Kingsville, and Robert Ward, Principal Horn of the San Francisco Symphony and instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Brenda Sansig, trombone

With much encouragement from her junior high band director and algebra teacher, Brenda Sansig started taking trombone seriously at age twelve. By the time she was just fourteen, she was already playing professionally in Southwestern Pennsylvania as a freelance musician. As a senior in high school, she attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.

Upon graduation from high school, Ms. Sansig enlisted in the United States Army band program. She was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Clayton, Panama. While in the service, she performed for such dignitaries as Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell, among others.

After receiving her honorable discharge, she attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. While at UT, her primary teachers were Donald Knaub, Allen Barnhill, and Wayne Barrington.

While living in Austin, Brenda has become very busy freelancing in the area. She plays principal trombone in the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the San Antonio Opera Orchestra. She has performed with the Mid-Texas Symphony for a number of years. She has also been a regular member of the Victoria Symphony, and has appeared with the Houston Symphony and the San Antonio Symphony on numerous occasions, as well as local back-up bands.

Generally during the week it is business as usual, serving on the faculty of Texas Lutheran University, where she teaches low brass lessons and masterclasses. In addition to her university duties, she participates in the private lesson program at Austin High Schools.

Keith Robinson, tuba

Keith J. Robinson juggles, reads, runs, composes, sings in the shower, smiles and laughs a lot in Seguin, Texas. Since 2000, he has loved his wife Nelwyn very much. And since 2003, they have loved their daughter Jillian very much; a beautiful busy gift from God, brought to them from India as a toddler.

Born in Michigan, transplanted to the Lone Star State, Keith attended High School and College in Kingsville, Texas, graduating from Texas A&I University in 1985. He teaches all levels of music, ranging for pre-kinder to college, teaching general music and directing choirs and bands. He currently teaches in the Seguin Independent School District at Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, and at Texas Lutheran University, also in Seguin.

Keith was introduced to his first tuba by Roger Lund in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the 7th grade Cadet Band. From his public school band beginnings, he has gone on to become an active professional tubist, educator, and motivational clinician, performing in Texas, Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Michigan, the Pacific Northwest, and the Azore Islands. He has performed with the Air Force Band of the West, the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Brass, the San Antonio Festival Orchestra, the 49th Armored Division Band, the Laredo Philharmonic, the Laredo Brass Quintet, the Blue Lake Fine Arts Band, and the Corpus Christi Wind Symphony, (Charter Member). Currently, Keith performs freelance work and holds the position of tubist with Hill Country Brass.

His teachers include Joseph Blaha, Paul M. Hageman, Michael Sanders, Lee Hipp, and Steven Bryant. He has also studied with Sam Pilafian, Warren Deck, and Pat Sheridan.

In the Summer of 2008, Keith designed and launched www.tuba4u.com, a new web site providing creative, challenging, engaging, free tuba music for tubists around the world. He has also had some of his work published through the Tuba Euphonium Press, found at www.tubaeuphoniumpress.com. Two of his compositions and a story of his own creating can be heard on tubist Deanna Swoboda’s recording entitled Deanna’s Wonderland, available at www.summitrecords.com.