Mark Baldin, trumpet, joined the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in 1980 and has held the position of Principal Trumpet since 1984, One of the RSO’s most visible and popular players, he has frequently soloed with the orchestra and served as narrator and Master of Ceremonies for many of their special events. He also plays principal trumpet with the Wheaton Symphony, the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra and the Rockford Wind Ensemble. He has also performed with the Lyric Opera in Chicago, and with the Grant Park Symphony. Besides his work in symphonic venues, Mr. Baldin also performs in other musical genres such as Dixieland, Big Band, brass ensembles and musical theater. In 2009, he premiered A Concerto for Trumpet by Illinois composer Mark Lathan with the Rockford Symphony, and also performed it with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. Mr. Baldin’s teachers include Stuart Lichte, Bette Eilers, Ron Modell, and Arnold Jacobs.
In addition to his performing schedule, he also maintains a teaching studio of 30 to 40 students, with ages ranging from nine to seventy-two. He lives in DeKalb with his wife and their two Jack Russell Terriers.
Jon Warfel, piano, is an active piano soloist as well as an accompanist. He earned his M.M. in piano performance from NIU, studying with Donald Walker, then continued his studies at Northwestern University, participating in Master Classes at the Ravinia Music Festival. Mr. Warfel has appeared as soloist with Grant Park Symphony, Orchestra of Illinois, Fox Valley Symphony and the Illinois Chamber Symphony. He performs regularly with flutist Carlyn Lloyd, and can be heard with her on their most recent CD, American Made. From 1977 to 2008, Mr. Warfel directed the choral program at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, Illinois, also teaching classes in music and humanities, and in 1995 received the Faculty of the Year Award. He currently serves as organist and choirmaster at First Congregational Church of Elgin, accompanist for the Naperville Chorus, and is the staff accompanist at North Central College in Naperville. He presently resides in Naperville, Illinois.