The Brass Quintet of Tara Winds is comprised of members from the Tara Winds Ensemble which has over 25 years of excellence in musical performance. The founders of Tara Winds envisioned this ensemble as a medium for local musicians to continue performance after completion of their music education.
Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Strauss, Tara Winds continues to be recognized as one of the finest adult ensembles of its kind. It has presented invitational performances for numerous regional and national music conferences. With this solid foundation in place, the Brass Quintet of Tara Winds formed with the vision of providing a distinct, exceptional sound.
D. Alan Fowler is the Director of Bands at Eastside High School in Covington, Georgia and Secondary Fine Arts Specialist for the Newton County School System as well as Music Director for the Newton County Band. Having played tuba since the Carter Administration, Mr. Fowler is a low bass specialist and throughout Georgia he is respected as a band consultant, instructor, and adjudicator. He has performed with Tara Winds since 1995 and he is the co-founder of Tuba Christmas Porterdale.
George Blevins has been playing in worship settings in Atlanta, Georgia for 30 years. He has a degree in Music Performance from Kennesaw State University. For 18 years he was a member of the orchestra for the Atlanta Passion Play. He is also a musician with Tara Winds as well as being the principle trombone for Johnson Ferry Baptist Church’s Orchestra and Jazz Band.
Lawton Willingham plays the French Horn and received his degree in Music Education from Florida State University's College of Music. Presently, he teaches new Sound Engineering and Music Technology at Dickerson Middle School in Marietta, Georgia. He is a member of Tara Winds and performs with brass quintets and chamber ensembles in the Metro Atlanta area.
Alex Yaden plays the French Horn and graduated from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Presently, he is the music teacher at Lyndon Academy in Woodstock, Georgia. He is the principal horn player with Tara Winds and he enjoy composing new music and marching bands.
Scott Jones has a degree in Music Education from Columbus State University and is the Elementary Band Director for the Dekalb County School District. Mr. Jones plays with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, the Georgia Perimeter Jazz Ensemble, the Modernaires Big Band, Tara Winds, the Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church and Mt. Piscah Methodist Church Orchestras.
Ashley Godbee graduated from Mercer University with a degree in Music Education, where she was the principal trumpet for the wind, brass quintet, trumpet, and brass ensembles. Presently, Ms. Godbee is the Assistant Band Director at Perry High School in Perry, Georgia. She also performs with Tara Winds, the Middle Georgia Concert and Big Band, the Wellston Winds, and the Winds of Ocmulgee Brass.
Judge Strauss is a professional trumpet player and has been principal trumpet for Tara Winds for over 25 years. As the principal trumpet with the Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church Orchestra for over 30 years, John continues to perform at various events in the Atlanta area and is a regular performer at the Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta.
John J. Strauss
D. Adam Fowler
Dr. Thomas Cremer
Dr. Cremer earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts, a Masters of Music Performance from the University of Kentucky and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University fo South Carolina. Euphonium, trombone and tuba are his instruments and enjoys performing in a wide variety of styles and ensembles. He is a member of Tara Winds as well as having played in the National Symphonies of Peru and Columbia, Georgia African American Philharmonic Jazz and Southern Crescent Orchestras.