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Band Bios

Our Musical Journeys

WALT TANNER: Lead Vocals, Sax

A native of Central New York. Walt is a veteran singer and sax player. His musical training began at the age of six with classical study and later jazz. At age fourteen he joined his first rock band. Walt has played in various groups including James Street, and has performed in many different venues over the years. After some time off, Walt's desire to perform and love of music has brought him back to the stage as the front man of Brass Inc. 


DEE ENGELBRECHT: Lead Vocals, Perc.

Dee Engelbrecht is thrilled to accompany Walt as the lead singer of Brass Inc. She holds a bachelor's degree from Ithaca College majoring in woodwinds, and a Master's from CUSE (Go Orange!) Dee is a seasoned veteran, singing in bands such as The Electric Chick Magnets, Prime Time, Alter Ego, and the 8 Track All-Stars. When not lending her powerhouse vocals to the stage, Dee teaches elementary school band in the ESM school district and is a mom of two future rock stars. 

BRIAN BURKE: Trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals

Brian has been playing trumpet for over 3 decades. During his high school days, he was selected to the All-State jazz band and All-State orchestra. He continued his music education at Onondaga Community College and was a member of their brass ensemble. Over the years he has participated in some of the areas local drum and bugle corps. including the World Champion Syracuse Brigadiers Drum & Bugle Corps as a marching member/soloist. 
Brian also was selected and participated in the Drum & Bugle Corps Eastern All Stars who performed in the 1994 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He is a current member of the Syracuse Brigadier Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps.. 
Previously played with Max Shadow and the Wayward Horns.

CLAYTON MORGAN: Trombone, vocals

Clayton was born and raised in Central New York, where he participated heavily in his school music programs, including field band, jazz band, and concert bands.  He attended college at the Crane School of Music then went on to perform with various drum and bugle corps.  Clayton has been working as a pit orchestra musician in the local musical theatre scene since 2014.  In addition to Brass Inc, Clayton performs regularly with Brig Juice Mini Corps and The Hit Men Brass Band.

DAVE FRATESCHI: Tenor sax, flute, piccolo

David L. Frateschi, a resident of the City of Syracuse, is the director of the 7th and 8th Grade Bands, Middle School Jazz Band and Middle School Parade Band at The Emerson J. Dillon Middle School in Phoenix, New York.   Mr. Frateschi has taught public school at all levels (Elem, JH, SH) since 1989.  A high school graduate from North Syracuse Central Schools, Mr. Frateschi went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and Master’s Degree in Music Education from Syracuse University and holds a C.A.S. in Educational Leadership from Syracuse University.  Mr. Frateschi is a member of The Oswego County Music Educators Association, The New York State Band Director’s Association, MENC, The New York State School Music Association, Local 78 American Federation of Musicians and Honorary Member of both Tri-M Music Honor Society and National Junior High Honor Society.   Mr. Frateschi was the current Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce “Teacher of The Year” 2002/2003, was inducted in the “National Honor Roll’s Outstand American Teachers” for exceptional performance in the motivation and empowerment of today’s youth in 2005-06 and is listed three times in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”

He is active as a performer, guest conductor and adjudicator across the state of New York.   Mr. Frateschi is both a NYSSMA Solo and Major Organization Judge.  Mr. Frateschi’s performing ensembles have enjoyed a longstanding tradition of excellence in the CNY region as well as along the North East.  His Bands have won numerous 1st Place and Grand Champion Awards.   His 8th grade concert band performed at the NYSBDA Spring Symposium in 2005.  He has conducted bands in New York, Canada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

He has performed as a member of the “Stan Collela Big Band”, the “Stan Collela Pops Orchestra”, the “Sunday Night Road Band”, the Latin group “El Zorro Band”, the “American Musical Ambassador’s European Tour”, Rochester’s # 1 Party Band “NIK and The Nice Guys”, the “Coachmen”, the “Critics”, the “Sharp Dressed Penguins”, the “Bob Cooper Band” and “The Marching Bluenoters”.  

Mr. Frateschi has been very active as a pit musician with “The Talent Company”, “The Merry- Go- Round Playhouse”, “The Cortland Theatre” and “Cruisin Through The 50’s, 60’s 70’s” held at the New Times Theatre.  He currently can be seen performing with “Brass Inc”, Syracuse’s Old School Soul/R&B group “The Blacklights”, “Menage A Soul”, the “Salt City Jazz Collective”, and the “Silver Arrow Band”.  Mr. Frateschi is also the founder and music director for the Phoenix Community Concert Band (2004 – 2019), founder and music director the Jazz Kats Big Band, and the Jazz Kats Combo (2006-2017). The Jazz Katz Big Band was the featured Jazz Artist for the NYSBDA Spring Symposium in 2016. And has performed regularly with the Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival. 

His students have had tremendous success at All County, All State and Honor Band Festivals.  Several of his students are now band directors in local schools. Many others are now enrolled in music colleges pursuing their performance and teaching degrees.  Mr. Frateschi brings a wealth of professional and practical knowledge to the students he teaches with a warm and friendly approach.  He is highly energetic and motivational, always inspiring excellence in those he teaches and leads.

Mr. Frateschi has taught privately for 20 years in Oswego County where he taught children/adults of all ages and levels.

MIKE CIEPLY: bass, vocals

Mike has played in a few groups, The Celebration Band,  The Bo Henderson Group (lead singer from the "Temptations") in Las Vegas, Prime Time and Take Four Jazz. He is a professional pit musician for many school musicals. The funny thing is, he is actually a tuba player, so he also plays in the brass quintet "Pinnacle Brass" and the Camillus Community Band. He has been a public school band teacher since 2006. Currently, he is an educator at the Canastota School District.  He holds music degrees from The Crane School of Music and Syracuse University. 


Jason Schirripa made his debut in the CNY entertainment scene at 3 years old as a stand up comedian at Wise Guys Comedy Room in Syracuse. After giving up comedy for the rigors of Kindergarten, Jason opted for the drums and never looked back. Since then, he has performed both nationally and internationally in a variety of performance venues from rock and jazz bands to wind ensembles, orchestras and marching drumlines.  Jason is an educator/artist endorsee with Promark Drumsticks and proudly performs on Evans Drumheads.

PAT HODSON: Lead Guitar, Vocal

At a young age, Pat found music as a refuge, fell in love with it and began developing his musical talents.  Now a seasoned guitarist/vocalist with passion and versatility, Pat’s performances are fun to watch and he’s having a blast doing them!  His creativity shines while playing blues, rock, funk or jazz. And his versatility shows while performing solo or working with popular regional acts like Brass Inc or international artists like Badfinger or The Hollies. He’s a great team player and knows how to enhance the sound of all those he works with.


Rhys studied music from the age of 7 with private piano lessons and began
playing electronic instruments in his teens. At 17, Rhys started playing
professionally and continued his music education at Onondaga Community
College. Rhys also studied computer programming and analysis. At 19,
joined a full-time touring act performing all over the eastern half of the
After a couple years of travel, Rhys returned home to start a career in
information technology and stayed active locally playing music in several
Rhys’s favorite music to cover early on was all genres from the 1960’s and
he became successful doing so during the 1980’s with one of his first
project bands called ‘Timepiece’.
By 1990, Rhys formed another act called ‘Windsong’ with some close
friends. This band played virtually in any possible setting, from private
parties to rock clubs and remained booked solid for over ten years.
In the early 2000’s, Rhys, along with members of Windsong created a new
act called ‘The Billionaires’. This band played up to 100 dates per year, and
still is active locally with two of the original lineup.
By 2015, Rhys co-founded another local group called ‘Salt City Chill’. This
band covered American-style rock and recorded a self-produced CD of all
original music entitled, ‘And Another Thing’.
From 2017 – present, Rhys plays a handful of concerts and festivals each
year with a band in Rochester, NY called Soul of the City.
Rhys is delighted and thankful for becoming an integral member of Brass
Inc. He can now share his years of experience on stage with new, talented

Member Bios: Bio
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