Kathryn Swope is a passionate performer and educator in Dekalb, IL. She holds regular professional positions with the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra and Wheaton Municipal Band. She is a regular substitute member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra in Springfield, IL and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.
As a member of the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble, Kate has been instrumental in bringing new music to the world of brass. She has been involved in more than 15 new commissions for Brass Quintet and Organ and most recently was featured on American Public Media's nationally syndicated radio program "Pipe Dreams."
Kathryn is an Applied Artist at Northern Illinois University where she directs the Brass Choir, coaches brass quintets and other brass ensembles and teaches Brass Techniques. Kathryn also teaches privately at the Northern Illinois Community School of the Arts and was the Horn Teaching Assistant at Birch Creek Music Camp in Door County, WI during previous summers. While not playing horn, Kate conducts the Chancel Choir at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Dekalb. Her degrees were awarded from the University of Louisville (B.M./M.M.) and Northern Illinois University (Performance Certificate). In addition to playing horn, Kathryn holds a second Master’s degree in Wind Band Conducting from Northern Illinois University.
Michael Swope, an accomplished freelance trumpeter, currently resides in Dekalb, IL. He is a member of the Rockford Chamber Players Brass Quintet, the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble, a substitute member for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Brass Quintet and frequently performs with the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra in Decatur as well as the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra of Dekalb. He has performed with major artists including The Temptations, Kool & the Gang, Kansas, Starship and Cirque du Soleil. Michael maintains a private studio of bright, young musicians and is frequently called upon to judge Solo and Ensemble competitions in the northern Illinois area. Michael played Eb Soprano Cornet with the Illinois Brass Band, and is a former member of the Indiana Wind Symphony, Indianapolis Brass Choir, Reunion Brass Quintet and performed as Auxiliary Trumpet with the Louisville Orchestra. He holds degrees from the Jordan College of Fine Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis (B.A.) and the University of Louisville (M.M.) in Louisville Kentucky. In addition to playing trumpet, Michael is an Instructional Support Analyst in the Digital Convergence Lab at Northern Illinois University.