Our Bios

Jim McIlvain (Trumpet) attended The Juilliard Pre-College studying with Mel Broiles of the Metropolitan Opera. During his time at the Indiana School of Music, he studied with Louis Davidson of the Cleveland Orchestra and completed a Bachelor of Music Degree. Jim is the Principal Trumpet with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, and has played the "Call to the Post" at the Meadowlands, Philadelphia, and Garden State Race Tracks. He has also performed for King Hussein, at his Royal Palace in Morocco, for the 12th birthday of his granddaughter. Jim is also the group's Webmaster.

John Luckenbill (Trumpet) grew up in Little Silver, NJ, and was a member of the All-Eastern Band. He traveled to the Rose Bowl Parade as a member of the prestigious Mac Donald's All American Band. John studied tuba at Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Music Education. John is the substitute bugler at Monmouth Race Track Oceanport, NJ, and is the contractor of the Metro Lyric Opera and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea. In the summers, John conducts the Asbury Park Concert Band and the John Luckenbill Concert Band. He was selected by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as a Master Teacher and his articles have been published in the National Music Educator Magazine. John currently lives in Shrewsbury, NJ, and is a music teacher in the Long Branch Public Schools

Nancy Gallager (Horn) is a graduate of TCNJ and studied horn with Dr. William Silvester, and Philadelphia freelance hornist Kathy Mehrtens. She also studied with Gene Standley, formerly of the Philadelphia Orchestra now Principal Horn of the Columbus Symphony. Nancy is a full-time band director for the Hillsborough, New Jersey school district. As an educator, Nancy has served twice as a clinician for the NJMEA Conventions and has received the Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2001. She was also selected to be included in the 2009 edition of “Who’s Who Among American Women” for her dedication to her students and fundraising efforts for the school’s philanthropic fund. She co-conducts the Grand Staff Music Ensemble with former colleague Gary Smith. This ensemble is a Hillsborough School District music advocacy group that promotes music as a life skill. The ensemble is comprised of district teachers, administration, family, and friends. Proceeds from the annual concert are awarded as a scholarship to a graduating Hillsborough High School senior planning a career in music. Nancy is passionate about fitness and practices yoga. She loves to travel and spend time with her family and friends. Being a Godmother and an Aunt is one of her greatest joys!

Nick Martin (Trombone), Mr. Martin began his study of trombone at the age of 12 in Southern California, taking lessons with Loren Marstellar. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from California State University Long Beach where he studied with Greg Woll and Jeff Reynolds, Bass Trombonist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. While in CA, Mr. Martin actively freelanced and won auditions with two prestigious youth orchestras, the Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony, which toured Italy in 1993. He then moved to Boston, MA where he earned degrees in performance and education from New England Conservatory, studying with Norman Bolter, trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Martin is currently an active freelance musician and has performed with: the Boston Pops, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Henry Street Chamber Opera, the American Symphony, and two seasons with the Spoleto Opera Orchestra (Italy). Most recently, he earned a diploma in Computer Programming and Web Development from the Chubb Institute for Technology. Nick is currently Principal trombonist with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea.

Richard Hensley (Tuba) grew up in Grant City, a small town in N.W. Missouri. He received a B.A. in Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University and taught music in Leon, Iowa for two years. After three years in the Army performing with the Band of New York, he married a female tuba player, Loretta. Richard then moved to Kansas City to work on his M.A. at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. After graduation, they moved to New Jersey and Richard to perform with the National Guard Band, Sea Girt. Richard is currently the Principal Tuba with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea. In addition to his active freelancing career, Richard is a retired Spring Lake letter. He, his wife, and their three children are currently residents of Belmar, NJ

John K. Gronert (Drums) began his musical studies in the 4th grade studying with Vinnie Talarico and Art Magyar. John was the first student to complete a Masters of Music Education / Dalcroze Eurythmics from the Manhattan School of Music. He also holds an Elementary Teaching Certificate in Dalcroze Eurythmics from the Dalcroze Institute in NYC. John has studied with some impressive teachers: the legendary Jazz drummer, Joe Morello of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Sonny Igoe of the Benny Goodman and the Woody Herman bands. In addition, John has studied percussion with James Lattimer, Paul Price, and James Priess. John has a very active schedule of private drum students and he performs with a wide variety of groups including Jazz Combos, Symphonic Orchestras, Concert Bands, and Theater Pit Orchestras. He has performed with artists such as Charlie Rouse, Richard Davis, Sherry Lewis, Jack Six, and The Jazz Lobster Orchestra. John teaches instrumental music at the Samuel E Shull School in Perth Amboy, NJ.

Email jim_mcilvain@yahoo.com

Call John Luckenbill (732) 530-7817