Meet Our Staff

Tristann Rieck

Store Owner


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!

Luke Jacoby


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 :)

Nick Gaulke


Nick splits his time between working full time at Brass Bell and being a student in UW-Milwaukee's School of Engineering and Math Sciences. Using skills as a Computer Science Major, he runs our website and internal network. Along with his knack for technology, he is also an avid guitar player and has been for over 10 years! This makes him a valued member of our Combo Department. He also happens to be Alan Gaulke's (Brass Bell's founder) eldest grandson.

Veronica Thomas


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.

Brendan Demet


Brendan is the head of the Combo Department here at Brass Bell. He has been active member of the Milwaukee music scene for his entire life, and Brass Bell has been there since the beginning - from buying his first electric guitar to taking lessons (with the great Gary Williams) through high school. Brendan graduated from Lawrence University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Improvisation, a self-designed major, where he studied with Milwaukee's own guitar guru Steve Peplin, and Matt Turner, an amazing improvising cellist and educator. Though the guitar is Brendan's true love and primary instrument, he auditioned for colleges as a voice major - he also plays bass guitar, keyboards, ukulele, and recently, drums, and pedal keyboard, like bass pedals on an organ.

Brendan's current musical projects include playing guitar in a jazz fusion trio (Brendan Demet Trio) and working double duty with bass pedals in a free jazz/rock duo (AGNI), both featuring Combo teammate Joe Creer on drums. Brendan also performs improvised scores to silent films, has a monthly solo residency, and plays bass in a jam band called VB's Jeebies. Check out Brendan's website to see what he's got coming up...

Joe Creer


Joe is a member of our combo department and IT/Support team. He is a drummer/ percussionist who frequently plays throughout Milwaukee. Joe graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a Bachelors of Science in Architecture, and worked with the City of Milwaukee's Home Gr/Own Organization. Apart from music, Joes' other interests include (but are not limited to) biking, gaming, and various artistic hobbies.

Tomas Goldsmith


Multi-instrumentalist Tomás Goldsmith has been teaching at Brass Bell Music for over two years. Although his main instrument is tenor saxophone, he has years of experience performing on clarinet and flute. He has put his skills to use as a leader, soloist, and sideman while performing with artists and groups such as Curt Hanrahan, Perspective Heights, Arturo O’Farrill, Jon Faddis, David Bixler, the UW-Milwaukee Symphony Band and Jazz Ensemble, various UW-Milwaukee jazz combos, and for several musical theater productions.

As a private lesson instructor, Tomás cares deeply about sharing the joy of music with his students. Therefore, his lesson style balances what the student is interested in with striving for great technique and fundamentals, a beautiful sound, and always taking a musical approach to practicing and playing. Tomás’ experience in a wide variety of fields, such as classical solo, chamber music, wind ensemble, jazz, latin, funk, rock, musical theater, and theory and composition, means he can teach any style while emphasizing a well-rounded approach, offering complete musicianship.

Tomás Goldsmith holds a degree in Multiple Woodwinds Performance (BFA) and a degree in Jazz Studies with a focus on Tenor Saxophone Performance (BFA), both from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

Tomás Goldsmith also works as the Inventory Manager for Brass Bell Music Store. Outside of music, Tomás is an excellent volleyball player, having won multiple national championships, professional tournaments, and having played across the US and in Serbia.

Austin Wagenknecht


Austin grew up in Yorba Linda, CA and moved to Milwaukee to attend Wisconsin Lutheran College. During his college years, he developed a love for various musical styles. He participated in orchestras, chamber ensembles, choral groups, a percussion ensemble, and a mariachi band. His favorite project during college was producing and directing performances of a short opera intermezzo titled The Perfect Wife, an English retelling of La Serva Padrona.

Austin graduated from WLC in 2017 with a B.A. in Music and Mathematics, with emphases in viola performance and music theory/composition. He is able to combine his love for music and his abilities in math to serve the mission of Brass Bell. Austin's focus at Brass Bell is school services.

Apart from his musical and academic interests, Austin pursues tennis, frisbee, travel, and hiking. He plans to return to southern California to hike Mt. Whitney in the summer of 2017.

Diane Giaccobassi


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?

Amanda Malloy


Starting at Brass Bell in 2003, Amanda is one of the repair technicians here who is passionate about musical instruments. She specializes working on brass and woodwind instruments also playing them. A 2003 MSC-ST Red Wing, MN graduated of the Band Instrument Repair program, Amanda is experienced in her trade. She is a member of NAPBIRT (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians).

Amanda is mainly a Trumpet player and vocalist. Playing Trumpet with the Manitowoc Lakeshore Wind Ensemble, Port Washington City Band, and playing Trumpet and singing for events like weddings.

Aside from music, Amanda loves spending time with family and friends, camping, biking, baking, arts & crafts, and animals.

Alex Fisher


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.