Jen Tiede - Alto Saxophone
Jen Tiede was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is currently in her 12th year of teaching as co-director of bands at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa where she teaches Symphony Band, Colton Center Jazz Ensemble, Lab Jazz Band, and co-directs the Marching Lions. Bands under the direction of Mrs. Tiede have consistently earned Division I ratings. Previously, Jen taught instrumental music at Lisbon Community Schools for four years where her concert band performed at the Iowa Bandmasters Association conference and her jazz band finished in the top three for three years in a row at the Iowa Jazz Championships. She has also taught at Faithful Shepherd Catholic School in Eagan, MN, and Fort Madison Community Schools. Jen studied jazz and classical saxophone at the University of Northern Iowa and received her BME in Music Education and Jazz Studies in 2007. She earned a Masters of Arts in Instrumental Music Education from the University of St. Thomas in 2012. Mrs. Tiede remains active as a clinician and adjudicator in Northeast Iowa as well as performing on saxophone and has played with the Colossus Big Band, subs regularly for the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band and has been a guest artist with KCCK’s Corridor Jazz Project. She is passionate about jazz education and enjoys helping promote women in jazz through participation in the Iowa Women’s Jazz Orchestra. Jen currently serves as Secretary on the Jazz Educators of Iowa executive board and is a member of NEIBA and IBA. While Jen carries a busy schedule of band activities, her most cherished time is spent with her husband, Dave, and young children Isla (4) and Jack (1).
Lynne Hart - Tenor Saxophone
Lynne Postudensek Hart teaches music at Luther College in Decorah, IA. She has performed and recorded with the jazz trio “Roots of Rhythm”, whose Winter Jazz CD was selected as KCCK's radio album of the month in December 2018. Lynne has also performed with The Temptations, the Four Tops, Natalie Cole, Roberta Flack, Ray Charles, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Buddy DeFranco, and in pit orchestras for numerous touring Broadway productions including Hello Dolly, Motown, Kinky Boots, Book of Mormon, Chicago, My Fair Lady, and many others.
Toni LeFebvre - Trumpet, Founder, & Co-Manager
Toni LeFebvre, originally from Bettendorf, IA, is an active trumpet player and music educator. She completed her undergraduate degree in Music Education at the University of Northern Iowa in 2014. She was most recently the Band Director at Okoboji High School from 2015 to 2017 before moving to Iowa City to pursue a Master's degree in Music Education at the University of Iowa, which she will complete in May, 2019. In addition to her graduate studies and leadership of the Iowa Women's Jazz Orchestra, Toni directs the Iowa City New Horizon's jazz ensemble called "Silver Swing". Toni has performed with many big bands, pit orchestras, and other musical ensembles throughout the state and has also recently had the incredible opportunity to play trumpet with Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra for performances in Ohio, Texas, Missouri, and Philadelphia.
Kelli Swehla - Trumpet & Co-Manager
Kelli Swehla has spent 14 years as a music educator in eastern Iowa. The first four years were at North-Linn Community Schools in Troy Mills, IA, as Director of Bands to students in grades 6-12. Swehla has been Director of Bands at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids, IA, for the past ten years where she teaches marching band, concert band, two jazz bands, pit orchestra, lessons and music theory. Students under her direction have earned several Division I ratings at area festivals, been top-3 finishers at many area contests, have been selected to the prestigious All-State Honor Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band. Jazz Band One regularly finishes at the top in area contests and in the top 3 at the Iowa Jazz Championships. Kelli Swehla completed her Bachelor of Music with trumpet emphasis in 2005 at the University of Northern Iowa. Upon acceptance of her thesis entitled, “An Examination of a Competition Set for Your Active High School Jazz Band: “Hay Burner” by Sammy Nestico, “A Child Is Born” by Thad Jones, “The Next Chapter” by Patty Darling, “Uchibeng Wow-Wow” by Michael Philip Mossman,” Swehla earned her Master of Music Degree in Music Education and Conducting from Kansas State University in 2015. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Jazz Championships and is serving her first term as the NEIBA District Jazz Chair. In addition to teaching, Kelli Swehla is an active musician in the Cedar Rapids area performing regularly on trumpet with the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band and the Theatre Cedar Rapids and Revival Theatre Company pit orchestras in addition to Iowa Women’s Jazz Orchestra. She is also a member of the Heartland Brass Quintet, an ensemble that has been active in the Cedar Rapids community for over 30 years.
Leah Schmidt - Trumpet
Currently in her first year of teaching at Williamsburg High School, Leah Schmidt oversees direction of the Williamsburg High School Concert Band, 6th Grade Concert Band, Raider Marching Band and Jazz Outlet. Leah enjoys collaborating with colleague Tom Landeros on lesson instruction, music curriculum and all things teaching related! Prior to Williamsburg, Leah taught at Chariton High School in Chariton, Iowa and East Ascension High School in Gonzales, Louisiana. In her time in Louisiana, Leah team taught with Ms. Patti Roussel and Ms. Mimi Webb; during this time all concert bands received superior ratings at contest and the Pride of EA Marching Band placed as a top 10 finalist at the Louisiana Showcase at UIL. Leah graduated from UNI in 2014 and remains an avid Panther fan. She enjoys playing her trumpet with the Iowa Women’s Jazz Orchestra and has participated in multiple conducting symposiums in both Iowa and Louisiana.
Kayla Crann - Trombone
Kayla Crann, originally from Ankeny, IA, is currently teaching 5th grade beginning band in the Johnston Community School District. She is a graduate of University of Northern Iowa, receiving her undergraduate degree in 2007 and her masters degree in 2017 both in music education. Prior to teaching in Johnston, she has taught all levels of instrument music in both North Tama Community School District and Shenandoah Community School District. Kayla is married to her husband Steve, and has two young children, Joseph and Marie. When not teaching and being mom, she is busy performing with the Iowa Women's Jazz Orchestra on trombone, subs on trombone and keyboard with Faculty Lounge, helps her husband with his brewery (Fenders Brewing), and runs as many miles as she can.
Kiersten Truax - Trombone
Kiersten Truax is originally from Parkersburg, Iowa. She just finished her junior year at the University of Iowa. She is a Trombone Performance and Music Education major. Kiersten has participated in the Univeristy of Iowa Symphony Band, the Jazz Repetory Ensemble, Johnson County Landmark, the UI Symphony Orchestra, and the Trombone Choir. She is also part of a brass band at Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City and plays at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts and City Circle. Kiersten is also a member of Sigma Alpha Iota.
Farren Johnson - Drums
Farren Johnson, from Belle Plaine, IA, is a K-4 art teacher in the Grinnell-Newburg Community school district. Originally from Harlan, IA, she grew up being very active in various music programs, especially in jazz. Farren graduated from Iowa Western Community College and then finished her undergraduate degree in Art Education at the University of Northern Iowa, participating in several music groups along the way. Farren is currently active in different jazz groups in Southeast Iowa and is ecstatic to be taking part in the Iowa Women’s Jazz Orchestra.