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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. 

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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.

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: Drums

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 BRIGIDA: Keyboards

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
USA.
After a couple years of travel, Rhys returned home to start a career in
information technology and stayed active locally playing music in several
bands.
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
friends.


TONY MASTROBATTISTO: Tenor Saxophone & Flute

Tony is a 1985 graduate of Ithaca College where he majored in music education and performance.
Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Army where he performed as the lead alto
saxophonist with the First United States Army Band. He performed at various events with the
Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Parade Band and the rock band Camouflage. After his enlistment,
he taught instrumental music for 30 years retiring from Westhill High School where he served as
the Director of Bands for 19 years. Tony currently performs as the first alto saxophonist with
Central Winds (A Music Educators’ Wind Ensemble) and previously performed with the Stan
Colella Orchestra for 20 years. He also played second alto saxophone with the Central Winds
Jazz Ensemble where in the summer of 2023 he toured throughout Italy including Rome. Tony is
thrilled to join the group and is excited to be a part of the awesome bourbon drinkin’ horn section.

Member Bios: Bio
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