Meet Sandy McMillen, French Horn

As the daughter of the late Hugh McMillen, former CU director of bands and founder of today’s Boulder Concert Band, Sandy McMillen Sartin was delighted to rejoin the French horn section last year after living in Tulsa, OK for 23 years.

“My father resurrected the Boulder Concert Band in 1976, and I had the privilege of being a member various times until he stepped down from his director position in 1986,” Sandy said. "I just loved playing for my father."

"Dad was an excellent musician and conductor," Sandy added. "Once many years ago, he guest-conducted the Disneyland band, and the director said he had never seen any conductor get more out of a march than my dad. He was quite proud of that comment!"

Sandy grew up in Boulder, learned the flugelhorn in fourth grade, and switched to French horn the next year. While in seventh grade, she got the horn she still plays today. She graduated from CU with dual degrees in elementary education and music education. She spent her career teaching and is now retired.

“During all those years, I continued playing my horn in various bands in the Tulsa area,” added Sandy.

“It is wonderful to be home in Colorado again,” shared Sandy. “I am thrilled that the Boulder Concert Band is still active and that I’m able to be part of it once again.”

Sandy is also a member of the Longmont Concert Band.

What is the most recent concert you've attended (not played in)?
The last concert was really a couple of musicals. I saw both, Kinky Boots and Jersey Boys at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Both were terrific!

What is the most recent book you've read?
I just finished reading a short story titled, Cynthia Ann Parker - The Life and the Legend, by Margaret Schmidt Hacker. I also read Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music, the Judy Collins autobiography.

What is your favorite meal?
Some of my favorites are green chili burritos and chimichangas. I also like buffalo boneless chicken wings.

What is your favorite movie?
I really enjoy watching South Pacific, both on stage and the movie, and Gone with the Wind.

Meet Benjamin Schardt, Tuba and Percussion

After our percussion section got a bit lean during the summer, Ben Schardt stepped up and that's when we learned that he is an excellent tubist and percussionist!.

Ben Schardt grew up in te Central Valley of California and studied music performance and theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara and CU. He has played percussion since primary school and continued doing so through his first few years of tuba study, which he began in high school.

"Initially, I took up tuba for the benefit of the marching band," commented Ben. "They always wanted more tubists, and I wanted to learn a bass clef instrument. I quickly became adept at the tuba and it became my primary instrument when I focused my collegiate studies."

When he's not playing music, Ben enjoys gardening, stargazing with his telescope, and camping with his wife Zoe and their two dogs.

Though I studied the arts in college, I've become enamored with the sciences and often read literature in the fields of biology, astronomy and paleontology," added Ben.

What is the most recent concert you've attended (not played in)?
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Mahler's Sixth Symphony (yes, last year's) at the Boulder Mahlerfest and saw Beck perform at Red Rocks last summer.

What is the most recent book you've read?
I recently completed a biography of Igor Stravinsky by Stephen Walsh, but not to be too one-dimensional, also read The Flamingo's Smile, a collection of essays on natural history and paleontology by Stephen Jay Gould.

What is your favorite meal?
I'll eat and enjoy most anything without meat (I've been a vegetarian since the age of 10) but particulary enjoy Asian cuisine of all sorts.

What is your favorite movie?
The Empire Strike Back and The Princess Bride both have inexhaustible re-watchability and have long been my favorite movies.

What is/was your occupation?
I work as a buyer's assistant at Boulder's McGuckin Hardware.

Meet Mary-Katharine Huebener, Clarinet

Mary-Katharine Huebener has been playing clarinet ever since she unearthed one in her family's attic 18 years ago. "It's been a wonderful journey of music and broken reeds ever since," laughs Mary-Katharine.

After graduating from Ithaca College in 2010 with a BM in Music Education, Mary-Katharine spent a year as a cross-country ski instructor at Devil's Thumb Ranch. Then she started her dream job as a music teacher.

Mary-Katharine's introduction to the Boulder Concert Band is calssic.

"I first heard of the Boulder COncert Band when I was looking for something free to do on a summer night in 2011, and saw an ad for band music in the park. I immedeately hopped on my bike and enjoyed a wonderful concert at Scott Carpenter Park," shared Mary-Katharine. "I e-mailed the section leader the next day, asking to join. I've been in the band ever since, and I absolutely love it!"

What is the most recent concert you've attended (not played in)?
The last concert I went to was Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish at the Boulder Theater. I have a soft spot for earsplitting 90's ska.

What is the most recent book you've read?
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

What is your favorite meal?
That's a toss up between a giant platter of sushi and my mom's tuna casserole.

What is your favorite movie?
High Fidelity

What is/was your occupation?
I am in my fourth year as a music teacher at Prospect Ridge Academy in Broomfield. I currently teach K-3 general music and 6-9 band and orchestra. I also lead the Jazz Band and coach middle school cross-country.

Meet Jan Cartwright, Clarinet

Jan Cartwright grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and starting playing the clarinet in the sixth grade. She wanted to play an instrument that she could carry easily on the school bus, so she narrowed her choices to flute or clarinet. Her parents found a used wooden clarinet, and a clarinet player was born!

Jan majored in English at Indiana University, and worked in published before going back to graduate school to major in international relations. She worked for five years at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC.

After moving to Colorado in 2013, Jan was looking for a way to get more involved in the community, meet some interesting people, and challenge herself in a different way, so she dusted off her clarinet.

She attended a community playathon hosted by the Boulder Symphony, and asked some of the musicians to recommend local groups. Several were familiar with the Boulder Concert Band or had played in it themselves.

Jan enjoys international travel, and has studied Japanese, Spanish, German and Farsi. She likes to knit, crochet and sew, and she loves cats! What is the most recent concert you've attended (not played in)?
The most recent concert that I've attended was an abridged version of Hansel and Gretel at the Denver Opera. The most recent concert I've attended for myself (i.e., not a kids' concert) was the Mahler 6 last year that was performed as a part of the annual Colorado MahlerFest. Mahler is my favorite composer, so I always try to make it to any and all Mahler concerts!

What is the most recent book you've read?
The most recent book I finished was Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo, a nonfiction narrative about the slums of Mumbai. The most recent book I started (but haven't finished) was Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson.

What is your favorite meal?
Indian food! Saag paneer, naan with chutney, and mango lassi.

What is your favorite movie?
I love the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.

What is/was your occupation?
Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mom to my three kids (ages 6, 4 and 7 months). Previously, I worked in communications in the field of international development, focused primarily on the Asia region.

Meet Fred Peterbark, Guest Vocalist

If you've attended any of our summer concerts, you've heard the beautiful voice of Frederick A. Peterbark.

Fred is a native of Springfield, Virginia, and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Michigan, along with a Teacher's Certificate for grades K-12.

His operatic and oratorio performances have been highlighted with performances of Lensky in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Pasék in Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Brother Bates in the restoration premier of James P. Johnson's De Organizer, evangelist and tenor soloist in J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion and tenor soloist in Ralph Vaughn Williams' Serenade to Music.

Fred has been privileged to study under Metropolitan Opera tenor George Shirley and Professors Julie Simson and Jennifer Bird-Arvidsson.

Fred currently serves as Assistant Dean for Recruitment and Outreach at the University of Colorado at Boulder's College of Music.

The Boulder Concert Band is thrilled that Fred will be joining us for more of our summer concerts.

What is the most recent concert you've attended?
Tenor soloist in the performance J.S. Bach’s Cantata #106, at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church.

What is the most recent book you've read?
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

What is your favorite meal?
Breakfast at Lucille’s in Boulder

What is your favorite movie?
Coming to America

What is/was your occupation?
I serve as the Assistant Dean for Recruitment & Outreach for the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. Additionally, I serve as the Executive Producer of Peterbark Productions, LLC.

Meet Matt Findley - Tuba

About a year ago, on a whim, Matt Findley played in an alumni band concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his high school in Fairfax, Virginia. He hadn’t played tuba since high school (20-plus years ago) and didn’t know what to expect, but had a good time. When he returned to Colorado, he purchased an inexpensive, used tuba from craigslist and started playing again.

"My partner, Holly, is an absolute saint for putting up with it," laughs Matt.

After just a couple of months, he began looking for a group and learned that the Boulder Concert Band needed tuba players, and he joined us.

Besides his resurgent interest in music, he describes himself as a "fairly avid" rock climber. He also tends to a few dogs and a cat.

How long have you been in the Boulder Concert Band?
I’ve been with the Boulder Concert Band for less than a year. I just completed the winter concert season. It has been challenging, but worth the effort.

Does your Tuba have a name?
No, I am lucky enough to now have two tubas and neither have names. I brought my old beater tuba to work where it is kept hidden in a coat closet. (I found a place where I can sometimes practice during the lunch hour). If any tuba is going to have a name, it would be that one because it has a ton of personality. It is the Walter Matthau of tubas. There, it now has a name: Walter the Tuba.

What is the most recent concert you've attended?
I just saw the Gora Gora Orkestar at the Bohemian Biergarten on Pearl Street. Those folks have so much fun playing their horns and the group gets bigger and bigger each time I see them – highly recommended.

What is the most recent book you've read?
I’ve been reading a bunch of non-fiction these days and that’s nothing to brag about. The last bit of real literature I’ve consumed was probably a heap of audio books during a long holiday drive to Indiana. I think it included a mystery, Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain, and an Elmore Leonard novel. Any audio book by Elmore Leonard will make the miles melt away. He’s fantastic for road trips.

What is your favorite meal?
Pasta is always welcome on my dinner plate. I’m also a big fan of going out for breakfast on the weekends.

What is your favorite movie?
Undercover Brother – it was the sleeper hit of the 2002 summer movie season.

What is/was your occupation?
I am a scientist working for an oil and gas company in Denver. I help keep us in compliance with environmental laws and regulations, specifically those dealing with water, spill prevention, and waste.