The Moonlight Serenaders

Travel back in time…. By the end of the 1920’s, the New-Music phenomenon was forming in America’s big cities – New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City... In the 1930s, it was the Swing Era that prepared the world for the music and culture surrounding World War Two.

In 1951, just six years after the end of “the war”, a 17-piece orchestra formed in Akron, Ohio in hopes of keeping the Big Band Sound alive in the hearts and memories of thousands of servicemen and their families - The Moonlight Serenaders.

Today, The Moonlight Serenaders provide the musical memories of earlier times to multi-generations while re-introducing a whole new generation to original Big Band music, orchestrations and the highest performance professionalism.

Comprised of talented musicians and vocalists, the twenty-plus member band brings to life the sound of the original Big Band era with the rich full-sound and tunes of the world’s most popular music performed live in theaters, dance halls, society events and corporate celebrations. Appearances include sold out In-Concert performances at Gervasi Winery in Canton,.. to the Lincoln Theater in Massillon.

The band provides a perfect mixture of recognizable music composed and recorded by Glenn Miller, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harry James, The Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw, Bennie Goodman and sing along favorites from Frank Sinatra to Dean Martin...

Our vocalists bring an exciting stage presence to the band complimenting the style and musical arrangements associated with Big Band music. From sentimental ballads and dancing favorites to lightening-speed movie music features, there is something for everyone.

The Moonlight Serenaders prides itself on surpassing the musical needs for every occasion, matching the music to the audience, special requests and event celebration. From corporate private functions and public festival events to weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and theme styled celebrations. The band becomes the center piece for one of the most enjoyable evenings guests are guaranteed to enjoy.

Meet the Band

The instrumentalists and vocalist musicians of the Moonlight Serenaders Big Band come from a variety of music making backgrounds and development of their artistry and expertise. Each member of the band brings a talent and gift to the organization founded on experience, education and training in perfecting their craft. The band is considered “a family” of like-minded individuals that love the music and performing it in professional venues  for appreciative audiences through Northeast Ohio.


Brian Ewart, Section leader

Dan Flowers

John Smith

Matt Gajkowski



Rich Lindemeyer, Section leader

Kevin Wallick

Scott Ganyard

Sue Koeberle



Carl Newyear, Section leader

Al Mothersbaugh

Jeff Shearl

Uriah T. Calhoun


Jackson Boling, Guitar/Section Leader

Lee Zacharias, String & Electric Bass

Bridget Jankowski, Keyboard




Cathy Jenrette, Section Leader

Donald Howdyshell

Miranda Rose

Laura Perry



Greg Gerber

Alexa McCleaster



John Smith, Band Manager/Producer

Carl Newyear, Music-Artistic Director

Brian Ewart, Treasurer/Accountant

Sue Koeberle, Recording Secretary

Dan Flowers, Librarian

Marketing Team-Promotion: Dan Flowers, Scott Ganyard, Jackson Boling, and Joey Dunn

Band Member Profiles

Saxophone Section

Brian Ewart, Alto Saxophone and Clarinet

BRIAN EWART, Alto Saxophone and Clarinet

Brian started his journey in woodwinds with clarinet in elementary school and then switching to saxophone. Through the instrumental music program in Cuyahoga Falls High School he became a member of the Goldtones “Stage Band” under the direction of Robert Feldbush and the Akron Jazz Workshop under the direction of Roland Paolucci. There he met Milt Guthrie as the saxophone section leader who became the single most influence on how Brian approaches his performance.  He continued his woodwind studies at Princeton University under the direction of Paul Jeffrey.

Brian joined the Moonlight Serenaders in 2009 concentrating his efforts on the saxophone greats of Cannonball Adderley and Paul Desmond. Brian’s favorite tune is “Shiny Stockings” and the music of the 1930’s and 40’s.

Dan Flowers, Tenor Saxophone

DAN FLOWERS, Tenor Saxophone

As a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, Dan was a dedicated fan of classic rock and roll but always had a favorite spot for big band music.
Dan starting playing saxophone at a very early age while attending Champion Schools in Warren, Ohio. There he joined the legendary Don Burns Big Band Orchestra in his junior year playing first-chair tenor sax. It is through this experience that he embarked on his appreciation for the big band music. Significant influences on his music during the formative years include Dr. James Saker and Phil Trimbath.

Returning to music and joining the Moonlight Serenaders in 2021, Dan is thrilled to be playing once again and thoroughly enjoys the big band music which he defines as the era of the greatest generation.

John R. Smith, Alto and Baritone Saxophone

JOHN R. SMITH, Alto and Baritone Saxophone

John began playing clarinet in fourth-grade and quickly moved on to alto sax by the sixth-grade. His musical passion continued through high school, taking on the baritone sax for Cuyahoga Falls High School under director Robert Feldbush. As a member of the US Coast Guard John performed with various groups but never pursued music-making as a profession until 2001, then joining the Moonlight Serenaders in 2004. He grew up in a musical family that was immersed in the music of all the big bands and the vocal artistry of popular ensembles like the McGuire Sisters.

John serves as Band Manager, dedicated to maintaining the professional performance standards of the entire group and bringing the big band music to audiences of all ages.

Matt Gajkowski, Alto Saxophone

MATT GAJKOWSKI, Alto Saxophone


Trumpet Section

Rich Lindemeyer, Trumpet

RICH LINDEMEYER, Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Rich has been performing with The Moonlight Serenaders as Trumpet Section Leader for the past seven years.

His trumpet artistry was recognized early on during his years at Nordonia High School immediately followed by the lead trumpet position with the Chris Spencer Orchestra. Landing a scholarship to Berklee School of Music in Boston, he was well on his way to a professional performance career that included the Lima Symphony Orchestra, the Western Ohio Big Band, Akron Big Band, Shawshank Big Band of Galion, Ohio and a variety of bands and ensembles over the years.

His love of music and performance is shared with his many private students.

Kevin Wallick, Trumpet


Kevin brings his musical virtuosity to the band founded on playing trumpet for   over fifty years. A life-long resident of Ohio residing in Canton, he serves as Business Manager for Wadsworth-based City Link.\

He is immersed in all forms of musical performance, performing with the Medina Community Band, Akron Big Band and DJ’s Rock’n Rock Big Band.

Kevin joined the Moonlight Serenaders in 2022 serving the all-important position of   2nd Trumpet.

Scott Ganyard, Trumpet


Scott started playing trumpet in the fifth grade and continued his training through high school performing with the marching band, symphonic-concert band and stage band. It was in Cuyahoga Falls High School that he became part of the Gold Tones Big Band and immediately gravitated to the big band swing sound. His musical tastes were founded on listening to the recordings his parents played at home, always hearing the tunes of Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra.

The Count Basie sound is his favorite, with Shiny Stockings and Sunny Side of the Street being his favorite tunes. Scott has been with the Moonlight Serenaders for over ten years.

Sue Koeberle, Trumpet


Sue grew up in a musical family starting to play trumpet when attending second grade at Worden Road Elementary School in Wickliffe, Ohio. It was natural that she gravitated to trumpet as her father played trumpet professionally also starting at the early age of seven. He continued his teaching of the instrument into his 80’s.

Sue grew up with the sounds of big band music in her home and thoroughly enjoys performing in the Moonlight Serenaders with her husband, John Smith in the Saxophone section.

Additional musical expression and enjoyment comes from her direction of the Handbell Choir and singing in the Chancel Choir at Grandview United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls. Sue also serves at the Moonlight Serenaders Recording Secretary.

Trombone Section


CARL NEWYEAR, Trombone, Music Director

Carl’s passion for music was planted and nurtured as a member of the Willoughby South High School band program. He took that passion with him to Youngstown State University where he earned his Bachelors’ Degree in Music Education. He performed with a variety of music ensembles including Wind Ensemble, Marching Pride, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble. He served as Director of Bands for Beaver, Pennsylvania area School District for six years and now combines his talents in music and business, serving as a performer, private teacher, and marching band staff member. He has been an active member of the Moonlight Serenaders since 2015.

“The music of the big band era is truly timeless. It’s a joy to listen to and even more fun to perform.”

Al Mothersbaugh, Trombone


Al brings a tremendous diverse musical ability to the band, with professional proficiency on trombone, keyboard and as a vocalist.
Early connection to big band music began in Cuyahoga Falls high school performing with the Gold Tones under the direction of Robert Feldbush. After high school his music lead to some local touring with the Twistoffs, playing over two-hundred shows a year.

Musical opportunities expanded further performing with Massive Hot Dog Recall, Extra Crispy, Point of No Return Improv/Comedy. Joining the Moonlight Serenaders in 2015, this vast musical experience contributes to the many different performance needs of the band.
Al serves as a Board member for the Independence of Portage County.

Jeff Shearl, Trombone


Jeff started playing trombone in the fifth grade and continued his studies under Linda Hodges in high school and then Ed Zadrozny in college.

He joined the Moonlight Serenaders in 2013. His favorite piece to perform is Brazil.


URIAH T. CALHOUN, Bass Trombone

Uriah started his life-long journey playing trombone at the age of eleven, continuing his studies through his high school years and performing on bass trombone with the Cuyahoga Falls High School Gold Tones. Currently studying trombone at Kent State University under the guidance of David Mitchell. Uriah performs 2nd trombone in the Kent State Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bobby Selvaggio. His dedication to his instrument and love of swing dance music is evident, fashioning his artistry and style from Bill Watrous and Frank Rosolino.

Uriah joined the Moonlight Serenaders in January of 2023.

His favorite tune is Satin Doll.

Rhythm Section

Jackson Boling, Guitar

JACKSON BOLING, Guitar/Section Leader

Jackson was born a guitarist. He has been performing in various musical ensembles including Raw Sugar, In Like Flinn and Good Boogie, Inc. Influenced by Chuck Berry, Todd Rundgren and Steve Cropper, he joined the Moonlight Serenaders in 2008 and considers big band music some of the greatest tunes ever written.

Favorite tunes he performs with the band include Begin The Beguine and Don’t Be That Way.

Jackson brings a rock-solid foundation to the Rhythm Section.

DSCN9684 Lee Zacharias (1)

LEE ZACHARIAS, String & Electric Bass

Lee Zacharias comes to the Moonlight Serenaders with a life-long career in performance, an accomplished Music Educator and Church Music Director. He has created and conducted multiple liturgical Cantatas that engage and motivate orchestra musicians and choir members from throughout Northeast Ohio. He can be seen and heard performing on String or Electric Bass in many different performance settings.

His leadership as a church choir director has served multiple area Lutheran Churches, growing church membership and their music ministry program.

He enjoys all types of music and big band styles.

Lee joined the Moonlight Serenaders in June of 2023.


Cathy Jenrette

CATHY JENRETTE, Vocal Director/Section Leader

Cathy brings her years of vocal experience and teaching to the band. Starting on piano and gravitating to formal voice instruction as a teenager, she pursued a major in voice at the University of Akron studying under Dr. John Mac Donald and Vocal Coach, Jean Blair. Her love of music lead to a thirty-three year teaching career in choral and general music in the Springfield Public School System.

“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is her favorite band tune, as she gets to perform this with two of her foremost vocal students, Hannah and Miranda, who are also within the band.

Passionate about music and education, she brings all of her vocal artistry and enthusiasm to the Moonlight Serenaders and her church choir.

Donald E. Howdyshell, Vocalist


Don grew up singing in choirs and musicals throughout his childhood. This continued through high school, soloing with the dance band and flourished even further during his college years with a variety of rock, pop and soul music. His tenure in the Army opened further opportunities singing in the USO club as a soloist and was featured for a USO performance in Venice, Italy. His experience runs the gamut from performing at weddings, receptions, the Cleveland Orchestra Blossom Festival Chorus, Summit County Choral Society performing classic and modern choral music in Latin, Italian, German and English to Country, Blue-Grass and Folk songs from the American Civil War.

Don’s favorite tune is “In the Mood” as it exemplifies the classic East Coast Swing, which he and his wife love to dance to.

Miranda Rose, Vocalist


Miranda received her earliest singing encouragement from her mother starting at four years of age and singing in their church. Her grade school years developed her love for singing and at age thirteen started her singing studies with Cathy Jenrette.

College brought further vocal development, singing in an all-female acapella group. This experience opened her mind and heart to a life of vocal artistry and ambition. Enjoying all types of music it was natural that she gravitated to big band music through her vocal coach, singing with the Moonlight Serenaders since 2018.

Music has been a continuous part of her life instilled from her parents and grandmother. Her favorite tune is Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

Laura Perry


Laura grew up in a very musical family, constantly singing as a youngster, playing the piano and studied Oboe during her college years at Bowling Green State University. Big band recordings were always being played in her home and have therefore developed a strong affinity for the sounds and arrangements of the big band era and the vocal artistry these bands required. She joined the band in 2021. Chattanooga Choo Choo is among her favorites to perform.

Sound Engineers

Greg Gerber, Sound Engineer

GREG GERBER, Sound Engineer

Greg has been involved with music his entire life, beginning in the fifth grade school music program all the way through college, playing coronet, baritone and tuba. Intrigued with the guitar at age 15, this continues today which lead to his experience with sound-audio mixing. That talent developed further volunteering as a sound engineer for his church.

Joining the Moonlight Serenaders in 2019, his expertise beautifully showcases the instrumental and vocal talent of each member and the entire band. Greg brings a tremendous essential gift to the sound of every Moonlight Serenaders performance...from his front-row-seat.

Alexa McCleaster

ALEXA McCLEASTER, Sound Engineer