Meet Our Staff

Tristann Rieck

Store Owner

Tristann

I started my career for my dad’s music Store Brass Bell at the tender age of three, when I starred in a Brass Bell TV ad for Brass Bell. At fourteen, my Dad gave me my first real job (I am not sure cleaning the bathrooms when I was 7 years old really counts). I came to the store eagerly, and Dad took me to a door in the back of the store. He said ”Your job will be to file this’” and grandly opened the door on a closet awash in piles of unorganized invoices. I actually enjoyed that job quite a bit. My natural shyness and love of organizing things led to me working as the administrative backbone of the company. After a little too much calculus while pursuing a degree to teach math and on the recommendation of our accountant, I pursued a degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance.

My instrument of choice, the french horn, did not come naturally to me. In fact I know I was quite bad, but I just couldn't tell my dad that I wanted to quit. My passion for playing horn and working hard to get better was sparked when the cute trumpet player behind me commented to his buddy after I filled in for our missing principal horn player that it was the best he had ever heard that solo. So thank you Bryan for being sick that day.

Asked by an interviewee about what I love about playing my french horn, my answer was that I have a beautiful image in my head of what I would like my music to sound like and on the rare occasion that I actually play like that, I feel so perfectly connected that there truly are no words to really describe the feeling (all musicians know them as the “shiver moments”). That is what I continue to play for, those precious glimpses.

During college I had the opportunity to study with Barry Benjamin on the horn and play with the Symphonic Band for the duration. After graduating and putting my horn down for a year I REALLY missed it. That reminded me that my work at Brass Bell has a bigger meaning than just any job. I have always loved music and the many benefits it has for people and the community. I myself have received valuable mentorship from other music store owners and professionals. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I have accumulated over my career. My first NAMM Fly-In in 2014 has kindled that love into a passion for connecting with people through music education advocacy and giving back to the community, fellow store owners, and my staff. I push myself and my staff to be the best version of themselves and achieve success in their pursuits.

At home, I enjoy spending time relaxing with my husband, Zachary, my three kitties, Pip, Braveheart and D’Artagnan, and doing anything that gets me outside in the sun and warmth of Summer, like gardening and, yes, even mowing the lawn.

Our love at Brass Bell is to help our customers find the right instrument, accessories and supplies to optimize their music experience!

Nick Gaulke

Nick

Nick has been working at Brass Bell for over 10 years! He started here with us the moment he could work at the age of 14. He is now one of the store managers in addition to running the Brass Bell IT Department. In addition to the IT and Network he has worked in every department of the store. While he may be a tech wizard, he also is a multi-instrumentalist and plays Guitar, Violin, and Viola.

Luke Jacoby

Luke

Hello! I have been at Brass Bell for over a year now in the Education dept. My main task here is to broker music lessons for our 50+ teachers. I play bass (upright and electric) and have a Bachelor's degree in Music from UW-Milwaukee. I have played in a number of orchestras, chamber groups, and bands that all have been great experiences, but have decided to slow down on performing. Right now I am focusing on being an Alexander Technique teacher (AMSAT certified), and establishing a studio of my own! I have an extensive background in food prep and catering as well, so I sweat every detail :)

Veronica Thomas

Veronica

Veronica has been working at Brass Bell as a Print specialist and a Musical Gifts buyer since September of 2013. As Musical Gifts buyer, she loves finding new and exciting products to keep in the store (which is perfect, since outside of Brass Bell she is very much an "impulse shopper"). As a Print specialist, she enjoys doing detective work to find the perfect piece of sheet music you may be looking for.

Veronica graduated from Cardinal Stritch University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music degree, and her emphasis was music composition. Over the course of her college career, she has presented over 20 new compositions for a variety of instruments including piano, cello, clarinet, flute, and voice. Veronica has also been singing in choral ensembles for over 10 years, and is currently in her third season singing soprano with Bel Canto Chorus.

When she is not working at the store or making beautiful music with Bel Canto, Veronica loves watching football and baseball (she is a very loyal Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers fan), cooking, gardening, and making jewelry.

Andrew Slembarski

Andrew

Andrew holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education degree from UW-Stevens Point and a Masters degree in French Horn Performance from UW-Milwaukee. Andrew was also a Trumpet and Trombone Bell Maker at Getzen Musical Instruments in Elkhorn, WI and is a freelance musician and teacher, holding the position of Adjunct Professor of Applied French Horn at Maranatha Baptist University of Watertown, WI.

Zach Spiegler

Zach

Zach is a a part of our combo department and education department here at Brass Bell. He has been playing guitar for half of his life and picked up other instruments such as drums, bass, piano, and most recently harp and recorder. After moving to Milwaukee from Janesville in 2016, he immediately started working for the Brass Bell and has been loving it ever since. His musical endeavors take up most of his time but he also enjoys long-boarding around the city, attending social gatherings, and intense culinary adventures. Zach's greatest achievement is the guarantee of a superbly crisp high five.

Julian Singh

Julian

Julian works at Brass Bell Music Store as a product specialist. He has been playing drums for about eight years, as well as trombone for about four. Julian plays drums in a hard rock band called Lokke, and both trombone and drums in the conservatory honors jazz program. He attends Whitefish Bay high school and plays in the Jazz Ensemble there. Furthermore, he enjoys listening to music, creating it, and hanging outside.

Alex Fisher

Alex

Alex is a product specialist at Brass Bell and a student at Brookfield East High School. He has been a serious violinist for eight years. Alex has participated in the local Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra for seven years, and is in the Senior Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orhcestra ensembles, through which he will be playing in Ireland. He has also been a part of various string ensembles, such the Rosewood String Quartet and Dream City Strings with whom he plays at weddings and other events. Alex also has teaching experience, and currently has five violin students. Outside of school and performance, Alex enjoys video games, reading books, and composing his own music.

Lizzy Cichowski

Lizzy

"An Illinois native, Lizzy ventured up to Wisconsin in 2015 for an internship at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, and never quite made it all the way back. Lizzy is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in Music Business, emphasizing in bassoon and voice. Aside from the amazing community and staff, Lizzy's favorite part of working at Brass Bell is that she learns something new and exciting about the musical world each time she enters the store. When she is not at Brass Bell, Lizzy can be found running along Lake Michigan, baking festive treats, or playing with the Milwaukee Manatees underwater hockey team".

Nick Miller

Nick

Graduate of Band Instrument Repair and Guitar Construction/Repair at MSC-SE (Red Wing) and Graduate of Amplifier Construct at Roberto Venn Luthiery in Phoenix, AZ. Nick is a NAPBIRT member who specializes in woodwind repairs, builds guitar effects units, and plays guitar, brass, and woodwind instruments.

Mark Pierret

Mark

Repairing instruments since ‘99. Mark specializes in stringed instruments and drums. He is also proficient with brass and woodwind instruments, guitars, electronics/amplifiers, and keyboards. Mark is a drummer, vocalist, guitarist and bass guitarist.

Amanda Malloy

Amanda

Graduate of the band instrument repair program at MSC-ST in 2003 in Red Wing, MN. She is also a NAPBIRT member. Specializes in brass and woodwind repairs. Amanda is a trumpet player and vocalist who also plays all brass, woodwind, and piano.

Glenn Schumann

Glenn

Glenn started renting his first saxophone and took lessons at Brass Bell with Julie Wood back in the early 80’s. He repairs woodwinds and brass instruments after spending 12 years working in the architectural industry on large hospitals.

Diane Giaccobassi

Diane

I am a wannabe musician who loves classical, jazz, big band, swing, and some rock (in no particular order). I may be the senior-most associate at Brass Bell, but I can say something that I don’t think anyone else here can: I heard both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin live in concert. Bucket list of instruments is full. Bag Pipes anyone?

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