Little Lakes Stomper's Bios

Musical entertainment provided by our team of professionals

Dennis Najoom       Cornet/Trumpet/Flugelhorn/Vocals

Najoom is most known as the retired Co-Principal and Pops Principal Trumpet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and leader of the Little Lake Stompers Jazz Band.  He has also soloed numerous times with the MSO and Kieth Brion and The New Sousa Band, and perfromed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (Connecticut), the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Chamber Orcehstra, the MSO Jazz Quintet and the Connecticut and Wisconsin Army National Guard Bands.  He graduated from the Hartt School of Music and was  a Performance Fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival


Najoom has taught at Lawrence University, The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and has given master classes at universities and music conservatories throughout the USA and Canada.  His love of Jazz started at an early age and he has been starting bands ever since.  Authour of the trumpet method book  "Trumpet According to Dennis Najoom".

            William Helmers             Clarinet/Bass Clarinet

William Helmers spent the majority of his career as a member of the MSO. He has also performed with the contemporary ensemble Present Music since the group’s inception. He has worked with many others including Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Chicago orchestras, the Ravinia Festival, Santa Fe Opera and Rochester


Holding degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School, Mr. Helmers’ primary teachers were Stanley Hasty and Joseph Allard. Other influential teachers included Anthony Gigliotti, Ronald Reuben, Harold Wright and Mitchell Lurie.


Mr. Helmers performs chamber music throughout the year in many different settings. He is a founding member of Musaik, a consortium of Milwaukee musicians. He has been a member of the Portland-based Westwood Wind Quintet, participating in many of their recordings for Crystal Records. Recently, he has enjoyed regular engagements with the Little Lake Stompers, a traditional jazz group.


Steven Lewandowski      Guitar/Banjo

Steve is the resident guitar/banjo player. He has many years’ experience working as a multi-string

instrument specialist and composer in a variety of musical settings including, jazz, popular, Broadway  orchestral and opera. His original composition, “Trinity for Orchestra and Jazz Quintet” premiered with The Racine Symphony Orchestra in 2013. His album “Familiar
” (2009) is streamed regularly world wide on major jazz stations. As a performer he has worked with the MSO Orchestra,  numerous touring Broadway shows such as “Lion King” and “Tina”, with Skylight Theater, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra (MJO), and much more. He thoroughly enjoys working with “the most happy band” around –
The Little Lake Stompers!

Kirk Ferguson  Trombone/Euphonium

Kirk Ferguson was named Assistant Principal Trombonist of the Milwaukee Symphony in September, 2011. Prior to Milwaukee, he served as Principal Trombonist with the Spokane Symphony, Co-Principal Trombonist with the Malaysian Philharmonic and Associate Principal Trombonist with the Honolulu Symphony. He has also served as a member of the River City Brass Band in Pittsburgh, PA. Kirk has performed with the Clarion Brass Choir, Seattle Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Akron Symphony, Wheeling Symphony and Lincoln Center Festival. He is a member of the Little Lake Stompers, Sequenza Trombone Quartet and Chicago Trombone Consort.


Kirk is currently adjunct professor of low brass at Wisconsin Lutheran College. He is also an associate teacher with the Art of Practicing Institute. Kirk received his Masters degree from The Juilliard School, studying under Joseph Alessi and his Bachelors degree from Duquesne University, studying under Peter Sullivan and Murray Crewe. He has also studied under Matty Shiner, Per Brevig, Peter Ellefson, William Conable, Leo Potts and Jay Mason. Kirk currently serves as Board Chair for the Art of Practicing Institute. Kirk is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Glen Quarrie Saxophones/Flute/Piccolo/Oboe

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                       David Brady                        Keyboard

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                 Paul Westfahl                   Percussion/Vocals

Paul is an Adjunct Percussion Instructor at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Percussion/Drumline Instructor at Ronald Reagan High School - Milwaukee and Drums/percussion teacher at Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

                     Scott Tisdel                      Contra Bass

Scott Tisdel has served as associate principal cellist of the MSO and principal cellist of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra since his arrival in Milwaukee in 1987. He has appeared as soloist with both ensembles, as well as with the Waukesha and Manitowoc Symphonies and the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra.


Prior to his arrival in Milwaukee, Mr. Tisdel served as principal cello of the Florida Orchestra in Tampa and was a member of both the Oakland and San Jose Symphony orchestras in California.


He is the founding cellist of the Prometheus Trio, in residence at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and coaches chamber music at the Conservatory while teaching private lessons at home in Shorewood. Mr. Tisdel has recorded for Arundax, CRI, Fleur de Son, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Oris Records.


Besides playing gigs across the Milwaukee area, Little Lakes Stompers are also cultural partners with the Milwaukee Symphony through the ARTS IN COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAM.


"We are so privileged to have our amazing Rawson PTO from the School District of South Milwaukee and their willingness to fund our 'Arts and Community in Education' program. A bonus feature of this is a free 'ACE Family Night Concert' once a year. We would like to thank the 'Little Lake Stompers,' who are a professional Jazz band made up of musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. They put on an fantastic show!




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