We are so thankful to our Hartt School Alumni trumpeters who inspire us with their creativity and excellence. They show us what is possible--and that nothing is impossible
Dennis Najoom is Co-Principal and Pops Principal Trumpet Emeritus of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, his mother was a singer and schoolteacher, his first trumpet teacher was his uncle George Fulginiti. He spent four summers at the Tanglewood Institute, then after graduating from the Hartt School of Music, he served in National Guard Bands. In 1970 Najoom won the position and joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal trumpet, and in 1991 was appointed co-principal. He has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra and teaches at area universities. After visiting and observing the legendary brass craftsman William Tottle, Najoom began tinkering with his own trumpets and eventually began a lifetime of producing his own brand of leadpipes, trumpets and mouthpieces, forming Najoom Music Products in 1994. His daughter is a prominent clarinetist and educator in Chicago and his wife is a playwright.
Jeffrey Kaye, received both a Bachelors of Arts in performance and a Bachelors of Science in Music Management from the Hartt School. He was then awarded a talent scholarship by the Manhattan School of Music in New York where he earned a Masters Degree in Music Performance. Jeff is an internationally acclaimed orchestral and chamber musician, soloist and teacher, is a founding board member of the Symphonia. In addition to playing Principal Trumpet, Jeff is the Symphonia's Artistic Director. He is founder and leader of the Florida Brass, Jeff Kaye & Friends and Jeff Kaye Music. He was Principal Trumpet of the Florida Philharmonic for fourteen seasons and was a featured soloist numerous times. Jeff performs with all the elite performing ensembles in South Florida and many throughout the country such as the IRIS Orchestra where he has been featured soloist. He has been on the Eastern Music Festival faculty since 2009 and summer stints have included: The Santa Fe Opera, as well as the Aspen, Tanglewood, Norfolk (Yale), Tainan Taiwan and Waterloo Music Festivals. In 2017 Jeff was "artist in residence" at the Dreyfoos School for the Arts, playing Lead Trumpet for the Theatre Department's production of Kiss Me Kate.
Jeff’s music can be heard on several recordings. Most notably is the award winning Florida Philharmonic CD recording of Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony which received critical acclaim, notably for the Blumine movement: “The Blumine is especially welcome for the ineffably cool, poised tones of principal trumpeter Jeffrey Kaye.” - Orchestral Reviews BBC music magazine.