1st International Women’s Brass Conference
St. Louis, Missouri May 1993


Betty S. Glover, retired in 1992 after 40 years as a faculty member of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She had been Conductor of the Brass Choir from 1969-1992. Ms. Glover was Bass Trombone and Tenor Tuba player with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Opera (1952-1985). She was Conductor of the Brighton Brass Band, a group of professional musicians sponsored by Local #11, A.F. of M (1987-1992), and Instructor of Brass and Conductor of the Band and the Brass Choir at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio (1950-1952). Previously, Ms. Glover served for five years as Principal Trombone with both the Kansas City Philharmonic and the Columbus (Ohio) Philharmonic orchestras.


Melba Liston, 73, a pioneering jazz trombonist, composer and arranger, died April 23, 1999. She was universally known as the first female brass player to make an impact in jazz, playing in the bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones. A stroke in 1985 partially paralyzed her, ending her performing career. But she continued to arrange and compose for musician Randy Weston, with the help of a computer.
Born in Kansas City, Mo., Liston met the trombone at age seven. By age eight, she was playing on a local radio station.
In 1937, Liston’s family moved to Los Angeles. At 16, she joined the musicians’ local and was writing and playing in the pit orchestra of the Lincoln Theater and later joining the band of trumpeter Gerald Wilson.
In 1949, she went on tour with Billie Holiday in the Southern United States. But it disillusioned Liston. She quit music, working for the Los Angeles Board of Education for three years, and was a movie extra plucking a harp in “The Prodigal” and “The Ten Commandments.”
In 1955, Gillespie asked her to join his big band touring the Middle East and Asia for the State Department. A few years later, Quincy Jones formed a band to tour Europe with “Free and Easy” and asked Liston to be his musical director and trombonist.
In the ‘60s Liston freelanced as a player, but gigs were few. She began arranging music for MoTown performers, the Buffalo Symphony and was encouraged by Weston to compose.
In the ‘70s she taught at the University of West Indies and the Jamaica Institute of Music, and in 1987, two years after her first stroke, she was awarded a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, she shared billing and the cover photo with Weston on their CD, “Volcano Blues.”


Leona May Smith made her first public trumpet performance at the age of nine on WNAC radio in Boston. At 11 she appeared as a soloist with Goldman’s Band, and at 14 played First Trumpet with the Boston Women’s Symphony. Ms. Smith went on to perform with numerous bands, including Fred Waring’s, and was the first woman trumpet soloist ever to play at Radio City Music Hall. Her frequent performances as a soloist throughout the northeastern US and Canada included appearances with the National Orchestral society and the Chautauqua Festival Symphony.
In the late 1940’s, Ms. Smith and her husband, composer and conductor George w. Seuffert, founded a summer “Music for Youth” program in Newport, Vermont. Known for its teaching excellence, the music center drew talented young performers from all parts of the US and abroad. Reflecting her lifelong interest in providing musical opportunities for children, Ms. Smith has taught trumpet privately and in the Schenectady, New York, public schools. With her husband, she founded, funded, managed and promoted the Seuffert Band in New York City, which offered free concerts to the public, and she performed as its soloist and assistant conductor. Ms. Smith has played First Trumpet with the Brooklyn Symphony under Sir Thomas Beecham, and for 17 years was Extra Trumpet for the Metropolitan Opera. She was also featured in an NBC music education series narrated by Olin Downes.

2nd International Women’s Brass Conference
St. Louis, Missouri May 1997


”Clora Bryant gave an excellent account (in the book Central Avenue Sounds by by Clora Bryant, William Green, Buddy Collette) as one female working in the male dominated music arena. She praised her father for encouraging her musical career, who sacrificed by relocating his family to Los Angeles for that purpose. Especially memorable was her frequenting the jam sessions at the Downbeat. Cherokee was the musicians’ favorite, and when Bryant performed it, colleagues were impressed, one of them being Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie, too, was a mentor to Bryant, even allowing her to use his horn. Despite the fierce competition, she wanted equal treatment from her colleagues, without losing her femininity. On stage she made it clear her sexuality, as she said, ‘People thought you were playing trumpet because you had male tendencies, which I didn’t have.’ She would let the audience know as she puts it, ‘never forget I was a female . . . I always dressed as a female.’ Because she had big legs she’d wear mesh stockings with a seam up the back to look sexy. Sometimes the problems were with jealous wives and girlfriends of the male musicians and she had to prove she was there to play music.”



Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Ms. Sager started playing violin at the age of six. By the time she was ten, she was appearing on a radio show playing Mendelssohn, and as a reward, her father bought her a bicycle. She was hit by a car and the back wheel ran over her left hand and ended her violin career. In high school, Ms. Sager went down to the Moose (Lodge) Hall and picked up a Tonk horn, took it home and practiced until she literally “fell over.” One of the most outspoken and active women in jazz, Ms. Sager played major trumpet roles in the all-women bands of Rita Rio and Ada Leonard. She has also held Bobby Hackett’s chair in Katherine Dunham’s band, and played with the bands of Charlie Barnet and Johnny Richards.


Born and raised in Winter Haven, Florida, Constance Weldon started playing drums in the fourth grade. She then picked up the trumpet, later playing horn, valve trombone, baritone horn…all on the way to her final destination, the tuba! From that day on, Connie’s life was never the same as it constantly revolved around playing the tuba. As valedictorian of Miami Jackson High School, she was offered scholarships to all of Florida’s universities. She decided to accept an academic scholarship to the University of Miami.
While studying with Bower Murphy, the trumpet playing teacher of all brass at the University of Miami, Connie auditioned for and was accepted to the Tanglewood Music Festival in the summer of 1951. There she played under the baton of a young Leonard Bernstein as well as other promising and established professional conductors. At summer’s end, she turned down a position in the Rio de Janeiro Symphony to finish her education.
Connie completed a Bachelor of Music degree in 1952 and a Master of Education in 1953 from the University of Miami. Returning to Tanglewood in 1954, she auditioned for Arthur Fiedler and joined the Boston Pops Touring Orchestra. Connie next joined the North Carolina Symphony. In 1957 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship Award to study in Amsterdam with the Concertgebouw tubist, Adrian Boorsma. During that time she joined the Netherlands Ballet Orkest and was acting principal tuba of the great Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Upon returning to the U.S., Connie joined the Kansas City Philharmonic for two seasons, after which she returned to Florida to join the Miami Philharmonic and teach at the University of Miami. Connie quickly established a reputation as an expert teacher, known for her prescriptive and thorough approach. In Connie’s studio, musicianship and technical teaching received equal time. As a result of her successful studio building, Connie formed the University of Miami Tuba Ensemble in 1960, the first credited group of its type at any university. In this ensemble, Connie taught a higher awareness of intonation, balance, rhythm, accompaniment skills, and solo playing with musical opinion. Her success with the University of Miami Tuba Ensemble led to interest from other universities and a proliferation of this type of ensemble throughout the tuba world. Connie’s success as a teacher also led to her becoming the conductor of the University of Miami Brass Choir, one of that school’s flagship ensembles.
From 1972 until her retirement in 1991, Connie was the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Miami. In this position she provided guidance to thousands of future musicians and teachers. Since then, she has been honored with the University of Miami Distinguished Alumna Award, the University of Miami Distinguished Woman of the Year, the World Who’s Who of Women in Education, and the Pioneer Award of the International Women’s Brass Conference.


Nadine Jansen is a multi-talented musician and performer who is as proficient on the fluegelhorn as she is on piano and vocals. She was an all-star on the trumpet and fluegelhorn in the Women’s Jazz Festival in 1983 in Kansas City and has received rave reviews in The New York Times, The Daily News, The San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, and Downbeat.
Ms. Jansen considers herself a Vaudevillian entertainer, having broken into the business with Horace Heidt’s amateur show and appearing in theaters between movies. She shared the spotlight with acts like The Clooney Sisters (Rosemary and Betty), Dick Contino, Skitch Henderson and Tony Pastor.
A native of Sacramento, California, she now calls Scottsdale, Arizona her home where she has worked with a trio for many years, and has organized and performed in many jazz concerts. Her career includes playing the Capitol Theatre in New York and the Blue Note Club in Chicago opposite Charlie Parker.
In 1987 Jansen appeared with jazz pianists Marion McPartland and Judy Roberts performing a concert at Phoenix Symphony Hall entitled “Women in Jazz”. She was also featured with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra guest conducted by Tania Leon. Critics, loyal fans and first-timers can attest that Jansen’s Gershwin medley has consistently inspired and delighted audiences.
Nadine Jansen is now semi-retired but performs solo acts and enjoys a weekly jam session in Scottsdale at the popular J. Chew & Company. Wynton and Ellis Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Pete Jolly, Billy Taylor and the Modern Jazz Quartet have been known to stop in and join in the impromptu jam sessions
Ms. Jansen has two recordings available; A-Little-Taste and Ala Mood.


“My specialty, I think,” horn legend Ethel Merker reflects, “is trying to expose young players to all kinds of music, so they will be flexible in their playing, instead of stodgy and rigid.”
In her own career, which spans five decades, Ms. Merker has followed that credo to the letter. A precocious music student who, as a sixth grader played in the high school orchestra, she took her first full-time job at age 18 with the NBC Radio Orchestra. She concurrently carried a full course load at Northwestern University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Ms. Merker went on to play assistant first horn with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, impeccably blending and dovetailing with the phrasing of her friend, the late Phil Farkas. Numerous other symphonic, opera and ballet orchestras have benefitted from Merker’s virtuosity.
As a recording artist, she has backed such artists as the Jackson Five, Diana Ross and John Denver, and her horn could be heard on countless commercials for Marlboro, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and many others. She has also performed with Peggy Lee and Pearl Bailey.
As a valued educator, Ms. Merker has taught at many prestigious schools, including Indiana University, DePaul University and VanderCook College of Music.
Recently, she has turned her talents to horn design. Phil Farkas often brought her along to Elkhorn as an impartial judge of the famous models he helped create. In 1995, she collaborated with the Frank Holton Company on her own innovative Holton “Merker-Matic” French horn line, which enjoys growing popularity and acclaim.
The wide diversity of her playing and teaching experience, along with her quick wit and irrepressible personality, provide Ethel Merker with a unique ability to communicate and inspire young people as a clinician for G. LeBlanc Corporation.


Betty O’Hara, termed herself as a “mostly self-taught trumpet player.” After high school she went on the road with a girl band led by Freddie Shafer, playing the USO circuit, hotels, clubs, theaters and ballrooms around the Midwest. In 1947 Ms. O’Hara joined Al Gentile’s big band in Connecticut, playing trumpet, valve trombone, and writing arrangements and singing. Then, in 1955, she accepted the trumpet chair with the Hartford Symphony, where she stayed for five years.
She moved to California in 1960, married bass trombonist Barrett O’Hara and raised a family. Betty O’Hara co-led the female jazz quintet, The Jazzbirds, playing trombone, cornet and double-belled euphonium as well as writing original material, arranging and singing. As a founding member of the big band, Maiden Voyage, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Ms. O’Hara was a guest artist at many of the Los Angeles Classic Jazz Festivals where she also took part in judging young jazz musicians for scholarships offered by the festival.
Betty O’Hara passed away on April 18, 2000. She will be missed by many but her legacy as a great musician will live on.


Dr. Betty Scott is a full professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she gives brass instruction, teaches Music Appreciation and World Music and conducts the MU Brass Choir and MU Trumpet Ensemble. For the Honors College, she teaches a class entitled The Creative Process, among the most popular on campus, as well as other classes. She is the winner of several academic honors, including the University of Missouri Alumni Teaching Award, Alumnae Anniversary Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, Honors Professor of the Year, and Faculty Honors Tap for Mortar Board. She plays “extra” with The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the MU Faculty Brass Quintet and the Clarion Brass Quintet in St. Louis. She also performs regularly and gives workshops for the International Trumpet Guild and has performed frequently with The Classical Music Seminar in Eisenstadt, Austria.


Carole Dawn Reinhart graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts. A Fulbright scholarship took her to Vienna, Austria, where she was the first woman on a brass instrument to achieve the coveted “Reifezeugnis” with honors at the Academy of Music. Ms. Reinhart completed her education at the Juilliard School. She has made concert tours throughout Europe, the Orient, Australia, Africa, the U.S. and Canada. Since 1983, Carole Reinhart has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Vienna.