Matt is currently a Junior double majoring in Environmental Sustainability and Psychology. He is an avid foodie and enjoys listening to many styles of music. Matt is a part of the Marching Illini Tenor Saxophone section and also plays in the Fighting Illini Athletic Band and Campus Band at Illinois. When he is not immersed in music, he can be found at the gym lifting or somewhere eating copious amounts of food.
Christian Arkin is a senior majoring in Music Education, hailing from Arlington Heights, Illinois. When he is not volunteering his time to local music programs, he enjoys watching baseball, playing disc-golf, and eating Taco Bell. Sinfonia has been a huge part of his life, and his time in the chapter has bettered him as a person. The bonds he has made through sinfonia are truly incomparable.
Joseph Leon is a sophomore within the Division of General Studies. Little did he know, his journey to become a Sinfonian began in Plainfield, Illinois, where he started his lifelong journey of seeking the best in music and brotherhood. As a collegiate member today, he shares his love of music by creating complicated, filthy beats with just his mouth – as well as participating in multiple ensembles throughout the University as a saxophonist.
Matt Woytek is a junior in Mechanical Engineering. When not studying at the library until 3 a.m. or living and breathing Marching Illini, Matt enjoys attending Fighting Illini sporting events, hanging out with other musicians, and gaming. As an Eagle Scout, Matt has found Sinfonia to be another way for him to help both his peers and the community.
Mason is a small town kid, who's high school is smaller in number than the University of Illinois Marching Illini, a band composed of over 400 students and faculty. He is in his junior year of school, double majoring in jazz studies and music education with the goal of playing with a world premiere jazz ensemble or teaching jazz collegiately. His primary job is to make "dog whistle-esque" noises on the trumpet as well as take burning solos, just like his buddy Wayne Bergeron. Mason had the honor of performing with Wayne during the summer of 2015 at the Phi Mu Alpha 2015 Convention in New Orleans during his stint as lead trumpet in the "1898 Jazz Orchestra", a jazz ensemble comprised of members of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Outside of the Marching Illini, you can catch Mason performing with Sixth Street Brass, the Fighting Illini Basketball Band, and many other jazz groups in the Champaign-Urbana area.
Fraternity Education Officer
Austin was initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter in the fall of 2015. He is a sophomore in Music Education with a primary focus in instrumental education. Austin performs in numerous ensembles at the university including The University of Illinoise Marching Illini, the Fighting Illini Basketball Band, the Hindsley Symphonic Band, the Illinois Wind Orchestra, and the Tuba-Euphonium Brass Ensemble. Austin is constantly trying to advance music in America by teaching private lessons and volunteering at music programs in the Champaign-Urbana area. Outside of music Austin is an avid basketball fan. Sinfonia has taught him many of the values and ideals that he holds closest.
Brian Weis is a junior majoring in Music Education from Libertyville, Illinois. He has performed with many groups at the University of Illinois, including the Marching Illini, Illinois Wind Orchestra, Hindsley Symphonic Band, and Bassoon Studio Ensemble. In the rare moments when doing things not related to band or music, he is frequently playing video games, reading about landmarks on campus, or spending time with his Sinfonian brothers.
William Ernst is currently a third-year student in Music Education at the University of Illinois, and is serving as the Music Director of the Alpha Xi Chapter. In addition to studying trumpet with Professor Charles Daval, Will is a Marching Illini section leader and a member of the Wind Symphony. He loves listening to film/video game scores and classical music, reading, and playing video games. Will also enjoys root beer.
Alumni Relations Officer
Scott Eriksen is a sophomore in Music Education from Aurora, Illinois. You can catch him playing horn in the University of Illinois Wind Symphony as well as mellophone in the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands. He joined Sinfonia the spring of his freshman year and couldn't be happier with his decision! When not doing things related to music Scott enjoys spending time with friends and rooting for the Cubs, even in the off-season.
Dr. Barrington Coleman
Varsity Men's Glee Club, Director Prior to his appointment at the University of Illinois, Professor Coleman was assistant professor of voice at Illinois Wesleyan University and conductor of the Limited Edition Jazz Choral Ensemble. He has performed and recorded as a tenor soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Music of the Baroque Ensemble, Royal Opera House of Covent Garden, La Fenice (Venice, Italy), Glyndebourne Opera, London Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras, and the Sunday Evening Club of WTTW-TV in Chicago. He has collaborated with such prominent composers as Coleridge Taylor Perkinson and Doug McConnell on various premiere and standard works for voice, as well as performing as jazz pianist with many prominent jazz artists, including Christian McBride, Lonnie Plaxico, and Sam Rivers. Professor Coleman is presently director, arranger, pianist, and vocalist of The Barrington Coleman Trio and a frequent freelance solo jazz artist. In 1990, he and his wife, internationally acclaimed lyric soprano and assistant professor of voice at the University of Illinois, Cynthia Haymon, performed in the world premiere of Richard Blackford's King. Professors Coleman and Haymon also performed in an EMI-label recording and film of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. In January 1999, Professor Coleman was guest conductor and clinician for the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State High School Chorus, as well as guest conductor for the American Association of Choral Conductors Central Region Male Chorus Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Professor Coleman has served as a guest lecturer and performer for the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts Jazz Immersion concert series and also directed an ensemble at the nationally recognized arts education endeavor, Black Sacred Music Symposium of Illinois, held on the University of Illinois campus in 1999 and 2003. In addition to directing and performing, Professor Coleman has served as an adjudicator for arts programs of universities, high schools, community arts organizations, churches, and an array of professional music associations in America as a classical, jazz, and gospel artist. Teaching Philosophy The gift of singing is rooted in the foundation of God-given components of individual anatomy. The most vital aspect of singing is the ability to develop a healthy, expressive tone and physical approach to singing, which enables aspiring artists to sing comfortably and for a long time. In my teaching I strive to share the vast influences that have enriched my life musically and personally. I help my students focus on the thorough study, analysis, and application of such sensory principles as the coordination and even distribution of breath, the maintenance and discipline of building muscular strength, flexibility, and vitality through the daily application of vocal exercises and assimilation of articulation, and the aural identification of healthy, quality vocal sound. I strive to encourage artistic self-discipline, zeal for research and exploration of diverse styles, periods, and practices, and provide a secure foundation for vocal technique according to the expressive capacity of each individual.
Prof. Barry L. Houser
Barry L. Houser is the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands where his responsibilities include conducting the Wind Orchestra, the Athletic Bands, and the Marching Illini in addition to teaching marching band procedures and other courses. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences. A native of Indiana, Professor Houser served as Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation for great musicianship which in turn earned the program state and national recognition. Prior to his position at NorthWood, Mr. Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida. Bands under Houser have performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the IMEA State Convention. Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, the Target Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Outback Bowl Parade and Half-Time Show, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Washington DC National Memorial Parade, Chicago Bears Game, and performances with Maynard Ferguson and the Dallas Brass. Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, MENC, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives. He is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, as well as being listed in various “Who’s Who” publications throughout his career. Professor Houser is active nationally as a guest conductor and clinician in both the marching and concert mediums. He is one of the directors of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band and has served as Co-Director of the National Events Mass Band, which performs annually at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a recent contributing author for the popular marching band textbook "The System" by Gary Smith. Recently appointed, Houser is starting his first term as Governor of the North Central District of Kappa Kappa Psi. Houser is also the Director and Head Clinician for the renowned Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the largest marching band / leadership camps of its type in the country.