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Band Members

WIth 16 members, we deliver a full big-band sound.

Dr. Jeremy Brekke
Lead Trumpet

Brekke is Associate Professor of Trumpet at North Dakota State University, a position he’s held since 2008. He teaches trumpet, high brass methods, various brass chamber groups, jazz lab band and jazz combo. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Loyola University (New Orleans, LA) from 2002 to 2008. Brekke received a Doctorate of Arts in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy and a Masters in Music  in Trumpet Performance from the University of Northern Colorado (Greeley, CO), where he studied with William Pfund and performed with the award-winning Jazz Lab Band I. He has a BS in Music Education from NDSU.

Tom Christianson

Christianson is a private percussion teacher in Fargo and also teaches at the International Music Camp. He is a member of the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Fargo Moorhead Opera, the Jazz Nickel Combo, the Skipjacks and the Varying Degrees Percussion Trio. Christianson studied at Minnesota State University Moorhead and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

John DiFiore
Lead Tenor Sax

DiFiore has extensive professional performance experience, most notably touring with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra and MAME National Broadway Touring Company. Locally, he has played with the FM Jazz Arts Group, and Mike and the Monsters. DiFiore holds a Bachelor of Music in clarinet performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He taught saxophone at Valley City State and Minnesota State University Moorhead until retiring in 2011.

Eric Dill
Baritone Sax

Dill holds a Bachelor of Science in Music from North Dakota State University. He works as the woodwind specialist and lessons coordinator at Schmitt Music in Fargo. In addition to playing with the Kicks band, He has performed with the Dempsey’s Big Band, NDSU Jazz Combos, and as a substitute with the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, as well as several pit orchestras in the FM area.

Keith Eider
Trumpet 4

Eider maintains a private trumpet studio and is a band director with Fargo Public Schools. He holds a Masters of Music in Music Education from North Dakota State University and has studied trumpet with Ted Disanti and Jeremy Brekke. In addition to playing with the Kicks Band, he performs with professional and amateur groups in the FM area, such as the Lake Agassiz Wind Symphony.

Bruce Geske
Lead Trombone

Geske studied music performance at Indiana University and played professionally in the Indianapolis area for 5 years. Bruce worked overseas serving as a Thailand missionary for 25 years before returning to the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Race Hoglund
Lead Alto Sax

Hoglund teaches Jazz Band and Music Composition at Fargo South High School and is an adjunct saxophone instructor at Concordia College. He plays in various professional and amateur groups in the FM area, composes and arranges music for his own jazz group and is a freelance recording artist. Hoglund has performed with notable musicians, including Don Braden, Peter Erskine, Terell Stafford, Danny Seraphine, Jacob Mann, Dave Pollack and Bernie Dresel. He earned his Bachelor of Music in instrumental music education from Concordia College and has spent time during his summers learning music in Italy, Finland and New York City.

Amy Johnson
Trombone 3 and Vocals

Johnson has performed with a range of local groups, including the Fargo Moorhead Symphony, Fargo Moorhead Ballet, Fargo Moorhead Opera, the Jazz Nickel Combo and the Allen Carter Big Band. She teaches band at Liberty Middle School in West Fargo, ND. Johnson holds a Master of music in Music Education from North Dakota State University and received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Paul Liversage
Alto Sax 2

A veteran in the Fargo Moorhead music scene, Liversage was an inaugural member of the Lake Agassiz Wind Symphony, Hard Bop Saxophone Quartet and the Jazz Arts Big Band. He has continued to play in the Lake Agassiz Wind Symphony and also plays in the Jazz Avalanche. A music educator since 1984, he is a North Dakota State University alumnus and received his master’s in music education from Florida State University.

Jon Lucht
Trumpet 2

Lucht is a band director at Discovery Middle School in Fargo, where he teaches high brass and percussion, as well as the 7th grade bands and jazz band. He has performed with Large Olive, The Wurst Band, Dick King and the Classic Swing, Shrine Circus Band, Myra Jazz Band and Jazz Arts Group, in addition to the Kicks Band. He also directs the orchestra at Bethel Church. Lucht earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Dakota.

Josh Mathern
Bass Trombone

Mathern enjoys performing with a wide range of professional and amateur ensembles in the Fargo-Moorhead area. He studied bass trombone at DePaul University in Chicago. Mathern is a Fargo South graduate, studying bass trombone with Ed Huttlin.

Doug Neil

Neill is currently an adjunct bass and tuba instructor at North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College. He retired after 34 years of teaching band, choir orchestra and general music in Moorhead Public Schools. In addition to serving as the principal tubist with the FM Symphony since 1981, he has played with many other groups, including the Dick King Band, Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome and Jazz Arts Group. Neil earned his master’s degree in Music Education from MSUM.

Joey Pettit

Joey is a freelance musician and software developer from the Fargo Moorhead area. A native of Fergus Falls, he completed degrees in music performance from UW-Steven’s Point and received his Master’s from Arizona State University, where he studied with renowned bassist Catalin Rotaru. Pettit served as principal bassist of La Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador prior to becoming an instructor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he taught until 2021. He now lives in Moorhead with his girlfriend and poodle.

Matthew Salzer
Tenor Sax 2

Salzer currently teaches band, jazz band and woodwind and trombone sections teacher at Discovery Middle School in Fargo, ND. He received a Bachelor of Science in Instrumental Music Education from North Dakota State University and a Master of Music from the American Band College of Sam Houston State. He has performed with the Lake Agassiz Concert Band, the Kicks Band and other groups throughout Fargo-Moorhead.

Steve Wallevand
Trombone 2

Owner of Steve Wallevand Audio. Performs trombone with multiple jazz and rock groups.

Keith Wander
Trumpet 3

He received a Bachelor of Music from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota and a Master of Science in Music Education from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Keith is the Past President of the Northwest Region Of the Minnesota Band Directors Association and has been the Director of Bands at Hawley High School since 1983. He was the Minnesota representative of 50 Band Directors That Make A Difference in School Band and Orchestra Magazine in 2013. Keith was also nominated as Director of The Year in 2014 for Schmitt Music Centers in Brooklyn Park, MN. Keith teaches music theory, theater arts, and performance at Hawley High School.