Kurt Gartner serves as Associate Director of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and Professor of Percussion at Kansas State University. There, he teaches applied percussion and percussion methods. Also, he directs the Percussion Ensemble, Keyboard Percussion Quartets, and the Latin Jazz Ensemble. As a 2010-2011 Tilford Fellow, he coordinated an interdisciplinary study of Cuban arts. In the past, he was a Big 12 Faculty Fellow, collaborating with the percussion studio and jazz program at the University of Missouri. There, he provided instruction and performances in Afro-Cuban music and applications of technology in music. He has served as Special Assistant to the Provost and as Coordinator of the university's Peer Review of Teaching Program.
Gartner has performed professionally in orchestral, jazz, chamber, world, and commercial venues, and has performed on a showcase concert and presented additional clinics and performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He is an educational consultant for Remo, Sabian, and Vic Firth.
Prior to his appointment at KSU, Gartner served as Associate Professor of Bands at Purdue University. In 2001, he completed his Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Northern Colorado. At UNC, he directed ensembles, taught jazz history, and was the Assistant Director of the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival. Also, he received the Graduate Dean's Citation for Outstanding Dissertation for his research of the late percussion legend, Tito Puente. Gartner is a founding member and contributing composer of the Indiana-based Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band. He is the technology editor for the journal Percussive Notes.
Toby Benson works at Complete Control Management where he is Director of Digital Marketing and Manager of Dada Life, Bingo Players and Tritonal.
Jon Berger is a renowned percussionist and considers himself a "musical linguist" as he loves playing numerous styles on both drums and percussion. He graduated with a BFA in musical percussion from SUNY Purchase and has since performed with a wide variety of musicians including Aretha Franklin, Little Anthony & The Imperials, and John Medeski. He's also performed in such Broadway shows as Jersey Boys, Fiddler on the Roof, Seussical, Cats, In The Heights, and The Grinch, among others.
Jeff has been working with music copyrights from inception to exploitation for over 20 years. He works to prove and explain the intimate relationship with music and the business of exploiting it. He entered the music and entertainment business as a professional guitar player in the creative field. His interest in the mechanics of the business of making money in music equipped him with knowledge and skills that made him gravitate to the business side.
Jonathan "JJ" Jones has been with ASCAP since 2010. After college, he worked for the Aphilliates Music Group and for a nationally distributed music publication in Atlanta, GA. Upon moving to New York, he landed a job with Sony Music-Epic Records. At ASCAP, his duties include but are not limited to finding and signing songwriters/producers to ASCAP, establishing and maintaining relationships with members and helping to organize events. In addition to music, he's very passionate about sports and aims to one day go head-to-head with ESPN's Skip Bayless on 1st and 10.
Songwriter Holly Knight wrote chart-topping hits for Pat Benatar, Patty Smyth, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart, Divinyls, KISS, Aerosmith and many, many others. Her songs have appeared in movies as varied as Thelma and Louise, Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome, and Stewart Little, and on TV shows such as American Idol, The Voice, 30 Rock, Family Guy, The Simpsons and South Park. Knight's songwriting has earned three Grammys and 13 ASCAP songwriter awards. In June of 2013, Holly was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. In the works is a Broadway musical with all of her iconic songs.
Feature films, network and cable television, commercials, trailers and beyond: as the creator of sonic imprints for an expansive range of high profile projects, Craig Marks' comprehensive musical expertise is reflected in his extraordinary eclecticism. Earning a degree in Music Composition at UCLA while moonlighting at Hans Zimmer's Media Ventures, Marks has contributed his talents to a wide array of films running the gamut from Elmo in Grouchland to End of Days, but is best known for his scores for Iron Chef America and the Emmy Award winning A&E hit Intervention.
Ted works as a theatre producer with Revelant. His current projects include: 'Snapshots,' with book by David Stern and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, (Wicked, Pippin); a new stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby'; a new musical version of Hank Ketchum's 'Dennis The Menace'; and the Broadway musical 'Million Dollar Quartet.' Ted started his theatre career as co-founder of the American Stage Company, where he helped develop and produce over 20 new shows, including 'Other People's Money' and 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.'
Both a writer and music department executive, Chris Saranec has scored films and has concert material placed with Boosey & Hawkes. For over 20 years, Chris has worked at NBC and Universal for the top film music executives in the industry and oversees licensing budget compliance and musicological questions for the Film Music Department. He graduated from USC Thornton's SMPTV Scoring program with a degree in music recording. He is also a vocalist on soundtracks for 'Day the Earth Stood Still', 'Evan/Bruce Almighty', 'Charlie Wilson's War', 'The Wolfman' and 'American Gangster', among others.
Brian Schall has been an entertainment industry lawyer for the past 18 years. During his time as an entertainment lawyer, Mr. Schall has advised and guided the careers of various multi-platinum musicians, songwriters, DJs and record producers. Additionally, Mr. Schall's clients include major executives at record and publishing companies as well as artist management companies, entertainment entrepreneurs, and music publishing companies.
Mara Schwartz is Senior Vice President of Licensing for 10th Street Entertainment and Eleven Seven Music Group, as well as COO of Five Nineteen Music Publishing. Based in Los Angeles, she is responsible for placing and licensing songs in 10th Street and Eleven Seven's roster in films, television shows, videogames, commercials, trailers and interactive media. Schwartz also works as a freelance journalist who has written extensively on music and its convergence with media. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, LA Weekly, New Times Los Angeles, Raygun, Seventeen and many other outlets.
Mark Weinberg is an award winning, LA-based songwriter and producer. An ASCAP writer since 1995, Mark has been signed to Qwest/Warner Bros., Atlantic Records, Warner Chappell Music Publishing and is currently a writer with EMI Music Publishing. He co-wrote and produced Matt Nathanson's records Beneath These Fireworks, Some Mad Hope and Modern Love. Mark has also written and produced for the likes of Tristan Prettyman, Sugarland, Donovan Frankenreiter, Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers, Tyler Hilton and The Maine "Inside of You."