Kevin Mills formed
KCGO Big Band in the summer of 1995.
The group, which
has been swinging the Twin Cities since the summer of
1995, consists of a variety of accomplished
musicians who love to perform.
Music Educators Association
Minnesota Choral Directors Association
Orchestra Hall (with the North Central University
for Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
Founder Kevin Mills
Kevin, KCGO Big
Band founder and leader, has
written and/or arranged most of the material in the
band's repertoire, and has at various times played alto
sax, tenor sax, guitar, and drums in the band.
In Spring of 2008, Kevin completed
his coursework toward a Ph.D. in Music Education at the
University of Minnesota. Kevin is in the process
of returning to his first professional love: teaching.
Depending on the occasion, Kevin is joined by
thirteen to seventeen of these beautiful and talented
Rasmussen (Saxaphone) graduated with a degree
in Saxophone Performance from the University of
Wisconsin Eau Claire. He spent the 80’s in Seattle
Washington, and while there was a member of the Fred
Radke Orchestra. While in Seattle Doug played with
Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Four Tops, the
Temptations and many of the swing era greats including
Steve Allen, Helen Forest, Frankie Lane and Frank
Sinatra Jr. Doug was a founding member of, and a
principal writer for the Jazz Police Big Band, with whom
he recorded two CDs. Doug is
member of the
Stan Bann Big Band and is in
demand writing Big Band charts for many local high
schools. He is on the Church Council of Gethsemane
Lutheran Church and has had the honor of serving as
President for the year 2007. Doug says, "Praising the
Lord and blowing down the walls with KCGO is one of the
great joys in my life!"
Kraft (alto sax, flute) has been with KCGO since
2006. Tim’s musical interest flourished under the
training of Brian Grivna while Tim grew up in
Bloomington, MN. Tim went on to the University of
Wisconsin-Eau Claire pursuing saxophone performance.
Tim has served as a board member for the Medalist, and
Bloomington Fine Arts Councils, having served as
Vice-President and President of the Medalist Band.
the principal alto saxophone position with the
Bloomington Medalist Concert Band and plays with several
other Twin Cities big bands. He also enjoys his music
ministry at his family’s home church, Grace Church in
Eden Prairie where he is a featured soloist, leads their
contemporary service horn line, and their big band’s sax
section. Tim is most proud of his whole family’s
personal commitments to Christ and their life’s choices
as they pursue His goals for their lives.
Mark Jordheim (Tenor Sax) is a
veteran of the saxophone section, joining KCGO in
mid-1996. He attended MSUM for Music Education and
during his senior year he was awarded the Theodore
Presser Award, given to the top music student of the
department. Mr. Jordheim attained his first band
directing position at St. Michael-Albertville Middle
School—a position which he still holds today.
Mark has continued his musical training, and
has earned a
Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University
of Minnesota. As
a performer he has enjoyed tenures with the Century
College Jazz Ensemble, the Good News Big Band, Stir Fry,
and KCGO. Mark can also be found performing in his home
church, Maple Grove Evangelical Free Church. He feels
blessed that God has given him a wonderful family, dear
friends and a musical talent to use for expressing his
Steve Olsen (Trumpet) has been a member of the KC
Gospel Orchestra since 1996. He works as a Band
Rosemount High School.
Steve is a graduate of
Concordia College - Moorhead, MN and has a Masters
Degree in Music Education from the University of
Pete Davis (Trumpet) graduated
with a degree in Music Education from Northwestern
University. While there, he studied trumpet with
Vincent Cichowicz and Luther Didrickson, and performed
in bands under John P. Paynter. After college, he
performed in a variety of jazz, Latin and commercial
groups in the Chicago area. After an eight-year break
from playing trumpet while living in Florida, Pete moved
to the Twin Cities 12 years ago where he began
performing again. In addition to KCGO, Pete performs
with a variety of jazz, R&B, and classical groups in the
Dan Kuch -Daniel
Anthony - (Trumpet), at the University of Minnesota, he
played in jazz ensemble, wind ensemble, concert, and
marching band, and was the Big-Ten Drum Major for the
“Pride of Gold Country, The University of Minnesota
Marching Band.” He earned the distinct honor of
being awarded the Michael Jalma Memorial Music
Scholarship in 1983.
performed with the Whitesidewalls, played a
year long stint with Power of 10, and has
entertained on trumpet and vocals under the name
Daniel Anthony at various night clubs, such as
Konrad’s Bistro, Sophia’s, and Keys.
He is currently the director of the Roseville
Community Band. He considers it an honor to play
with the fine members in KCGO, and is very pleased to be
playing in a group which proclaims Jesus as their Lord
Eric Songer (Trombone)
attended college at the University of Wisconsin – Eau
Claire where he earned his degree in music and math
Highlights of his college days
included going to England with the jazz ensemble,
organizing the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival, forming the
nation’s largest collegiate chapter of International
Association of Jazz Educators, performing officer duties
in MENC and Phi Mu Alpha, and even DJ-ing on the
collegiate radio station. Eric completed his Masters in
Education at St. Thomas in 2004. Eric is a band
Chaska Middle School, and was
named Teacher of the Year in District 112 in 2007.
plays in the Calhoun Brass; subs in the rock cover band
Power of 10; plays in the BellaGala Big Band and The
Skyway Jazz Orchestra.
Tom Sherbet - Tommy
T-bone- (Trombone) started playing his trombone when he
was in the 4th grade and never stopped. He started
playing occasionally for Kev’s big band in early 2003
and became a regular member a few years later...which he
Michael Scott (Bass Trombone) has
earned a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of
Minnesota, a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from Indiana
University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education
from S.U.N.Y. at Potsdam. During the summer of 2007, he
was invited to participate in the Summer Fellowship
program at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He
is currently Director of Bands at Como Park High School
in St. Paul.
In addition to serving as
Resident Guest Conductor with the Shoreview Northern
Lights Variety (community) Band, Dr. Scott has appeared
as a guest conductor with a variety of ensembles,
including the St. Paul All-High School Honor Band,
Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and the Concertino North East
Orchestra of GTCYS. In August of 2006, he began serving
as trombone coach for the Minnesota All-State Concert
Band and currently coaches wind, brass, and percussion
sections for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS).
Gratz (Piano) is the Chair of Music Studies, and
Head of the Keyboard Department at
McNally Smith College of Music
in St. Paul. He has been a professional musician for 30+
years, working throughout the industry as a performer,
composer, arranger and programmer. He studied with Lorna
Michelson, Herb Wigley, Manfredo Fest and Jill Dawe.
Gary has performed with Tony Sandler, Marilyn McCoo, and
Othello Molineaux, Brian Duncan and the Minnesota
Vikings Band. He continues to perform regularly with
Marv Dahlgren, Yolanda Bruce, the Sevilles and others.
As a composer/synthesist with Herb Pilhofer Music, Gary
composed music and designed sounds for numerous national
TV ads including spots for Coca Cola, Discover Card,
Target, and Porsche. He also performed on the soundtrack
for the movie "Beautiful Girls" and coached the lead
actor, Timothy Hutton, in piano technique.
Pete Karstad (Bass)
started trombone in 5th grade: bass guitar in 11th.
Graduated from Gustavus Adolphus with a B.A. in Music.
Studied trombone under Dr. Mark Lammers and Scott
Bentall. Played both instruments in the 24th Infantry
Division band and the 4th Army band while in the service
from 86-92. Pete has played for such dignitaries as
(first) President Bush, Chicago Mayor Daley, and General
Colin Powell. He's performed with such notable artists
as Connie Evingson, Kurt Elling, and Frank Mantooth.
Pete is currently active on the local Cities scene with
various groups of many styles including Pandemic, the
Bend in the River Big Band, Humbled by Grace, and KCGO.