Kalamazoo Brass Collective is made up of many different musicians in a collaborative fashion as called upon by the circumstances of each performance setting. However, the Collective maintains three core members who perform, teach, and clinic as a brass trio.
David Bernard, trumpet
Originally hailing from Livonia, Michigan, David Bernard is a sought-after and versatile trumpet player based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and has performed nationwide and throughout Europe. He received his bachelor's degree in music performance from Western Michigan University. He studied with Scott Thornburg, Scott Cowan, and Steve Zegree in Kalamazoo, MI, and Charles Larkins in Ann Arbor, MI.
David has extensive performance experience in Southwest Michigan pit orchestras, having played at Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Grand Rapids Circle Theater, Portage Central and Northern High School Theaters, Western Michigan University Theater, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Farmer's Alley Theater, the Barn Theater in Augusta, as well as others in the area. He freelances regularly for classical, jazz, rock, commercial, and wedding services in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Holland, and Detroit, and serves as a contractor for various musical needs in those areas. He is a proud member of Bugles Across America and proudly performs 'Taps' for veterans being laid to rest.
David Bernard is the acting principal trumpet of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, and has performed with the Holland Symphony Orchestra, Livonia Symphony Orchestra, Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. and enjoyed several seasons as a member of the Motor City Brass Band in Metro Detroit. He has had the honor of performing onstage with Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Kurt Elling, and the New York Voices, and toured with the DCI World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from Concord, California.
David is the Lead High Brass Instructor at Kalamazoo Kids in Tune, an "El Sistema-inspired" orchestral immersion after-school program presented by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in partnership with Communities in Schools and Kalamazoo Public Schools. He lives with his wife and son in Kalamazoo.
David Bernard is the owner of the music contracting business Bell and Bow Music.
Craig Freeman, bass trombone
Bass trombonist Craig Freeman is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a Bachelors degree in music education from Bowling Green State University, and a Masters degree in trombone performance from Western Michigan University. Craig’s primary teachers include Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger, Dr. William Mathis, and Rebecca Ciabattari.
Craig is an active freelance musician in Southwest Michigan, performing with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and Battle Creek Symphony. Craig also enjoys playing in non-classical settings, having performed and recorded with artists such as Aretha Franklin, the Go Rounds, the Macpods, and Last Gasp Collective.
As a passionate educator Craig has taught at Western Michigan University and currently maintains a trombone studio for students of all ages. He teaches for Kids in Tune, an after school music program for elementary and middle school students. He also serves as a producer for 102.1 FM WMUK where he interviews local musicians on the program “Weekend Let’s Hear It” hosted by Cara Lieurance. When he’s not playing or teaching you can probably find Craig on his bicycle riding in the beautiful Kalamazoo countryside.
Bob Lewis, horn
Bob Lewis is a Missouri Native currently residing in Southwest Michigan. Being an avid outdoorsman, a passionate musician, and a courageous nut have taken him on a lifelong adventure across the country and around the world. Bob graduated from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelors in Music. After performing at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearian Festival, selling Christmas Trees in St. Louis and bumming around with the pros in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bob moved north to Kalamazoo, MI.
He served as a Graduate Assistant at Western Michigan University while earning his Masters in Music. Mr. Lewis also served as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Bands working closely with Dr. David Montgomery and Dr. Bob Spradling. Bob Lewis has performed with The Kalamazoo Bach Festival, The Kalamazoo Singers, and the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. He has performed with both the Kalamazoo Brass Quintet and the Western Brass Quintet. Bob has cherished his opportunities to perform with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, the Southwest Michigan Symphony, the West Michigan Symphony, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.
He is the sole proprietor of the Music Foundation, a 400 square foot shared space for collaborative musical efforts. Bob teaches middle school and high school horn lessons as well as beginning piano lessons. He is also the front man for the Kalamazoo-based blues band, NorthLand. Bob’s primary teachers include Rebecca Flynn, Elizabeth Freimuth and Dr. Lin Foulk.