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Robert K. Mueller

Robert Mueller is Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas, where he teaches music composition and music theory and conducts the University Symphony Orchestra. He is also Chair of the Composition/Theory Area.


Dr. Mueller has been composer-in-residence three times for the Fort Smith Symphony, and his music has been performed nationwide by several orchestra including the Cincinnati, Omaha, Fort Smith, Lansing, Arkansas, Missoula, Helena, Jackson, and North Arkansas Symphonies. He has received numerous commissions, has been widely published, and has produced a chamber music CD entitled “Time Labyrinths.” A number of music festivals have programmed his music, including the Bowling Green New Music and Art Festival, the Music Festival of Arkansas, the Southwest Contemporary Music Festival, and conferences of the Society of Composers, International Double Reed Society, National Flute Association, and College Music Society. He was selected to be composer-in-residence for Missouri State University’s Annual Composition Festival in March 2009. Dr. Mueller has been the recipient of over 25 consecutive awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. He has also been awarded an American Music Center grant, an individual artist grant from the Arkansas Arts Council, prizes from the Omaha, Lansing, Jackson and Cincinnati Symphonies, and numerous other awards.


Dr. Mueller grew up in Michigan and attended Northern Michigan University, where he received the Outstanding Pianist Award upon graduation. He has also received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from NMU, and was invited back to be composer-in-residence in the spring of 2004. He earned the Master of Music in Composition degree from Bowling Green State University, where he studied composition with Marilyn Shrude. At Bowling Green, he also did extensive studies in orchestral conducting.  Dr. Mueller received a DMA in Composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where his teachers were Joel Hoffman, Allan Sapp, Jonathan Kramer, Frederic Rzewski, and Earle Brown.

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Bradley A. Bombardier is a native of Duluth, Minnesota, where he has resided since 1960. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Superior (Bachelor of Music in Saxophone and Bassoon Performance, 1982), and Bowling Green State University (Master of Music as a Woodwind Specialist, 1984). He is currently instructor of saxophone at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. 

Brad has held the second bassoon chair with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra since 1980, and is principal bassoonist and librarian for the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra. He is also a founding member of the Bigtime Jazz Orchestra, and appears with the Lyric Opera of the North orchestra, the Itasca Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Lights Summer Music Festival Orchestra.

In addition, he has appeared as saxophone soloist with the DSSO, performing the Creston Concerto twice during the summer of 1997 (with the 1st movement of Darius Milhaud's "Scaramouche" as an encore), and the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Itasca Symphony Orchestra. He has also played his arrangement of the Mozart Concerto on saxophone with the UW-S orchestra. Both performances of the Mozart were followed by encore arrangements of Brad's - Rudy Weidoeft's "Saxophobia" and "Tico Tico" (on alto sax, with Randy Lee on tenor) with the ISO. Most recently, he played tenor and baritone sax in numerous appearances with The Temptations and the Four Tops, with a return engagement with The Temptations slated for August 2018 at Big Top Chatauqua. Brad also plays saxophone in "A Band Called Truman".

As a composer, Brad was a recipient of the prestigious Bush Artist Fellowship in 1989, and has also received grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the American Composers Forum. Many of his choral works are published Moon of Hope Publishing, and two settings of Finnish folk songs for voice and orchestra (commissioned and performed by the DSSO at FinnFest 1992) have been published by MMB, Inc.. Brad has had two of his compositions for jazz ensemble recorded on CD, one on each of the Bigtime Jazz Orchestra's two releases, the most recent of which was named after his tune "Fanfare From Some Flounder?". To date, he has had over 500 performances of 150 different works, over 125 of which have been commissioned and performed by ensembles that include the DSSO (6 times), the LSCO (21 times), the UW-S Music Department (10 times), the Itasca Sympony Orchestra, the Duluth-Superior Sinfonia (5 times), Strikepoint Handbell Ensemble, the Indiana Brass Quintet, the Quapaw (AK) String Quartet, and numerous local and region-wide high school and middle school music departments. Recent commissions include a suite arranged for 2016 MPR Tiny Desk Competition winner Gaelynn Lea, with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (funded by grants from the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council), a piece for the Silver Bay Middle School band, through an appropriation from the Perpich Center for the Arts, and a cooperative work for the Winona High School band for spring of 2018, through a grant from the Dare to Dream Foundation. In the spring of 2018, Dr. Jefferson Campbell will be releasing a CD of works for bassoon that includes Brad's "Bassoon Rawk", on which Dr. Campbell plays the solo part as well as the eight overdubbed bassoon accompaniment parts.

Brad lives on eight acres of land in Lakewood Township, just northeast of Duluth, surrounded by the boreal forests of northern Minnesota. Taking a cue from Thoreau, he moved out of the city of Duluth in 2015 to a location that enables him to live closer to the land. You will not find Brad on social media, and although he is a social person, solitude and silence are key to his creative muse.


When not teaching, performing, or writing music, Brad's interests include (but are not limited to) single malts, motorcycles, and antebellum millinery.

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Brad Bombardier
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