Laura Caviani, Instructor in Music: Jazz Piano. B.M. Composition, Lawrence University, where she studied with Fred Sturm and Rodney Rogers. M.M. in Improvisation, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she co-taught and studied with Ed Sarath and bass legend Reggie Workman. She has extensive teaching experience, including St. John's University, the Universities of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and Stevens Point, The University of St. Thomas, and many middle schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul through the "Harman How to Listen Program", an outreach program co-founded by Wynton Marsalis. The Minneapolis Star Tribune hailed her debut recording, Dreamlife, as: “...in a word, outstanding”. Marian McPartland found it “...sparkling and inventive”. Her second release, As One, nominated for a 1999 Minnesota Music Award, was touted as “stunningly fresh” by Jazz Times. Her holiday album, Angels We Haven't Heard, was considered “this season's finest new jazz CD of holiday music” by the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Caviani has performed and recorded with Concord recording artist and vocalist Karrin Allyson, and has toured with the Concord Jazz Festival featuring Oleta Adams, Diane Schuur and Sara Gazarek. Locally, she has performed with many fine artists in the Twin Cities, including: Lucia Newell, Pete Whitman's Xtet, Prudence Johnson, Debbie Duncan, among others. Her compositions include numerous works for jazz ensembles, the Sax Quartet JazzAx, as well as orchestral works for both the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra.
Phil Hey, Instructor in Music: Drum Set. Drummer Phil Hey grew up in Philadelphia, where the city's jazz, British Invasion rock, Motown, and Philly soul formed the foundation of his musical interests. He has studied with Marv Dahlgren, Floyd Thompson, and the legendary Ed Blackwell. For more than 25 years, Hey has been one of the busiest and most respected drummers in the Twin Cities music scene. Over the years, Phil has played drums with virtually every active Twin Cities jazz musician, including membership in groups like Eddie Berger's Jazz All Stars, Departure Point, the Chris Lomheim Trio and countless others. Whether keeping the beat on standards with vocalists like Lucia Newell, burning through be bop in groups like Mulligan Stew or breaking down free jazz with folds like sax-man Pat Moriarty, Hey's sense of swing and versatility are welcome additions to any rhythm section. In addition to working with virtually every active Twin Cities jazz musician, Hey has hit the road with internationally known artists like Benny Golson, Dewey Redman, Jay McShann and Stacey Kent. As a recording artist, Phil has appeared on over 60 albums as sideman including Von Freeman Live at the Dakota and the Pete Whitman's X-Tet's Where's When?, both of which received the "four star" treatment from Downbeat magazine.
Kurt Claussen, Instructor in Music: Saxophone. Kurt Claussen has taught saxophone and band for more than twenty years, working with students at all levels from beginner through adult. Since 1995, he has been a band and woodwind specialist at Falcon Ridge Middle School in Apple Valley, Minnesota. In addition to his school duties, he is adjunct instructor of saxophone at St. Olaf College, and also maintains a select private saxophone studio. Mr. Claussen freelances throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and has appeared as a solo and quartet recitalist and clinician in the US, Canada, Norway and Germany. He holds the performer’s Certificate from the Conservatoire National de Region de Bordeaux, France, where he studied with eminent saxophonist and teacher Jean-Marie Londeix. He earned the Master of Music degree in saxophone performance from the University of Minnesota, studying with Ruben Haugen, and the Bachelor of Arts in music education from St. Olaf College.
Martin Hodel, Associate Professor of Music: Trumpet/Music Theory. Martin Hodel teaches trumpet and music theory at St. Olaf and is active as a soloist and freelance performer in the Twin Cities. He holds a doctorate in trumpet performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music as well as a B.A. in Music Education from Goshen College and a M.M. in trumpet performance and conducting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His teachers have included Donald Hunsberger, Charles Geyer, Barbara Butler, James Ketch, Raymond Mase, David Hickman and Anthony Plog. In 1997 Hodel performed a 23-concert solo tour of Europe with organist Bradley Lehman. As Principal and Solo Trumpet with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Hodel toured the U.S. and Japan, performing Haydn's Trumpet Concerto. He has also shared the stage with jazz artists Joe Henderson, Maria Schneider, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, and Jimmy Heath and has toured and soloed with the Dallas Brass. He has performed and recorded with numerous symphony orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Minnesota Chorale, Rochester Philharmonic, South Bend Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony, and the Asheville Symphony. For two years Hodel worked as a North Carolina Visiting Artist, giving solo and chamber performances around North Carolina. He also has served on the faculty of Goshen College, conducting the symphony orchestra and teaching trumpet and music history.