The Florida Brass EnsembleThe Florida Brass Ensemble is a collection of like-minded brass players who enjoy brass ensemble music. We believe that no matter whether it is secular or sacred, swing or “legit,” it deserves our best effort.
Dr. Bill Prince, professor emeritus at the University of North Florida has been able to maintain two career paths, one as a performer and the other as a teacher. As a performer he has recorded on over 70 albums and has worked with a wide range of luminaries from the big bands of Buddy Rich, Harry James and Les Brown, vocalists Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney, jazz legends Dave Brubeck and Billy Taylor to the orchestral sounds of Henry Mancini, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra and the Warsaw National Philharmonic. On the teaching side Bill has taught at five universities in three countries and has guest lectured on over 70 campuses. Music has taken Bill to all 50 states and to 81 countries.
William McNeiland was Principal Bass and Associate Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony from 1970-1995, and Professor of Music at Jacksonville University, where he directed the orchestra. He was also orchestra director at Lee University in Tennessee for three years. He is currently Music Director of the St. Augustine Orchestra.
Jeff Keller currently serves as Tuba Instrumentalist and Low Brass Section Leader with the United States Navy Band Southeast in Jacksonville, FL. He has toured nationally as a soloist and clinician while maintaining a very active private lesson studio. He has also been associated with the Louisville Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Lexington Brass Band, Saxton’s Cornet Band, Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, and is a founding member of The Blue Ribbon Tuba Quartet. He and his wife Liz currently reside in St. Johns, FL with their two children, Maddie and Charley.
Susan McGee has been playing the French horn professionally for 34 years. For the past 19 years, she has been a member of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Brevard Symphony Brass Quintet. Susan was a member of the Southwest Florida Symphony and the Sarasota Symphony and has performed with numerous other groups throughout Florida. She is also the handbell choir director at Memorial Presbyterian Church of St. Augustine.
Bob Gauger started playing trombone at the age of ten, and since then has played in numerous professional orchestras and bands. He is a founding member of the Ancient City Brass, and is the chaplain at Baptist South Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.
Cliff Newton is probably the greatest professional musician to come from St. Cloud, Florida. In fact, he is probably the only professional musician to come from St. Cloud, Florida. Like many professional musicians, Cliff began his musical study in a public school band. Growing up in tiny St. Cloud, where few people could aspire toward a musical career, his early motivation was simply the enjoyment of music and the participation in a musical group.