The Trumpet Players

Richard KesslerRichard Kessler - Trumpet

Richard was born in Washington, DC, raised in Silver Spring, MD, and started his musical career at a very young age playing the piano.

While attending a fourth grade elementary school assembly, he became interested in the trumpet which he decided to make his major instrument. Richard studied under Dr. Donald S. Reinhardt one of the nation's finest brass instructors..

Richard graduated from the University of Maryland where he had the privilege of studying under Dr. George Ross. While attending college, he played in the jazz band, the marching band, the concert band and the pep band. Richard’s first professional experience was playing on the streets of Georgetown in a Dixieland band called the M Street Band.

In addition to his school bands, he played with several local big bands and worked for many shows at Toby’s and Harlequin Dinner Theatres. Immediately upon his college graduation, Richard began playing with local Pop-Rock groups and has been seen performing at many political functions including three Presidential Inaugurations. He also spent time in France touring the country and playing at some of the local hot spots with one of the areas finest jazz orchestras.

Recently Richard has been spotted on the stages of the 9:30 Club, The Carlyle Club, The Clarendon Ballroom, The Spanish Ballroom, The Strathmore Music Center and Rams Head Live, in addition to many of the finest hotel establishments throughout the Greater Washington, DC, Metropolitan area as well as Baltimore.

Prior to starting his own band, Richard was the trumpeter of choice for some of the most recognized pop-rock bands in the area and quickly became THE trumpeter for most video/audio productions. While performing, Richard’s energy is second to none, he hits high notes with clarity, and his love of music is evident.

Bruce MorrisBruce Morris - Trumpet

Bruce began his musical journey playing trumpet in elementary school. Born in Washington, D. C., he was fortunate enough to study with players from the President’s Own, Marine Corps Band; and to this day continues studying with well known professionals in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and the metropolitan D.C. area.

While in high school Bruce performed in both concert and symphonic bands and was selected to perform with the Maryland State Band. It was also while in high school that Bruce began playing with a local rock and roll band, “Lawrence and the Arabians” and subsequently “The New Breed”. For the next decade Bruce played in night clubs from Massachusetts to North Carolina and on several records and albums when the band was signed to recording contracts by both Mercury and Dot Records. During his time off from club dates with the “Arabians” Bruce played a number of shows for the American Light Opera Company and other local theatre productions including Guys and Dolls and The Producers. He also has played with orchestras backing up artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and others at D.C.’s, “Summer in the Parks” concerts series which was held at the original Watergate Band Shell. Also, while with the “Arabians” Bruce played for a number of popular groups that included the Isley Brothers, the Drifters, Dee Dee Sharp, the Marvelettes, the Platters and others famous Rock and Roll stars in concerts and club dates up and down the East Coast.

In addition to The Olney Big Band, Bruce also performs with The Swing Time Big Band, the Rockville Concert Band, The Olney Concert Band and many other groups on a free lance basis.

Rich SonnenscheinRich Sonnenschein - Trumpet

Rich was born in New York City, grew up in the North Miami, FL, area, and began studying piano at age 8. Back in the 1960s, seventh grade marked a pivotal point in his musical career: picking an instrument. Had his name fallen earlier in the alphabet, the school oboe might have been the instrument destined for him, but he had to resort to Plan B: the Trumpet!

A fond memory from his youth is his mother’s playing the music of her day (before Dad got home from work!), thus introducing him to the styles of Bunny Berrigan, Harry James, and Billy Butterfield.

Many years later, in 1985, Rich got wind of a new concert band – the Olney Concert Band – that had formed, and met at his neighborhood high school. He dusted off his horn, and hasn’t put it down since.

In the intervening years, while continuing to play with the concert band, Rich branched out with a few different Big (swing) Bands. For him, playing with the Olney Big Band has been a most gratifying experience, bringing Big Band music to his community and beyond.