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!

Sarah Pulfer


Sarah is Store Manager, a Shift Leader, and a School Services representatives. She plays the the horn, or French Horn, as it's known in the US. Sarah loves working here at Brass Bell because the job helps her learn about instruments other than her own, and the staff makes it a fun environment to work in. She belies her secret talent consists of hitting softballs, playing air hockey and OWNING at Mario Kart. Her dream concert would be any performance of Carlos Kleiber conducting a Brahms or Beethoven Symphony, especially Beethoven's Seventh.

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 part time at Brass Bell and being a full time student in UW-Milwaukee's School of Engineering and Math Sciences. Using skills learned in high school and as a Computer Science Major, he runs our website. Along with his knack for technology, he is also an avid guitar player and has been since 8th grade! This makes him a valued member of our Combo Department. He also happens to be Alan Gaulke's (Brass Bell's founder) eldest grandson.

Bob Lick


Bob Lick is a team leader, shift manager and the head of our sheet music department. He has had a lifelong association with learning and performing music from an early age (he has specific recollections of singing when he was 4), piano lessons, and playing low brass instruments (tuba, baritone, trombone), starting in grade school and playing in other groups like the Elks Band, HS Jazz Band, a dixieland band (Heine's Happy Five), and a "garage band" (October's Children) through high school. He began his professional career at the age of 16 when he began directing the High School and Adult Choirs at his church. Bob did his undergraduate and graduate work at UWM and has taught and directed at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. He has directed Community Choirs and a professional jazz choir (the Cream City Singers).

50 years after he began his church choir career, he is still involved in church work as a director and performer.

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.

John Rose


A Milwaukee native, John's previous work experience includes music retail and music publishing (Hal Leonard). He is also a private lesson instructor and successful professional trumpet player. Educated at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Applied Trumpet, 1985) he has performed with many of the big bands, theatrical groups, orchestras and chamber groups in Southeast Wisconsin. He has performed with such outstanding national acts as The Temptations, Diane Schuur, Joel Grey, Frankie Valli, The Spinners and The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Milwaukee area groups John has performed with include The Waukesha Symphony, The Wilson Center Orchestra and The AllStar SuperBand.

Brendan Demet


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

My 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. I also perform improvised scores to silent films, have a monthly solo residency, and play bass in a jam band called VB's Jeebies. Check out my website to see what I've 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.

Laura Lemanski


Laura Lemanski has just begun working at Brass Bell, primarily in the Print Department and School Services. Laura has been involved in music for most of her life. She has sang in many choirs throughout middle school, high school, and college. Laura played mellophone with the Colt Cadets Drum Corps from 2006-2009. She has participated in many different types of instrumental ensembles as well, playing oboe, cello, tenor saxophone, and mellophone.

Laura recently graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a B.F.A. in Vocal Performance. During college, Laura participated in many performances with UWM Opera Theatre. Most recently she portrayed Périchole in UWM Opera Theatre's production of La Périchole. At UW-Milwaukee, Laura was a member of the Women's Chorus and Concert Chorale.

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.

Glenn Schumann


Glenn is the latest adult addition to our shop, but not new to Brass Bell. He started renting his first saxophone and took lessons here with Julie Wood back in the early 80's. He is now excited to be part of the repair staff repairing woodwinds and brass instruments after a dozen years working in the architectural industry on large hospitals.

"Sure, a trumpet is simpler than a $475M hospital, but the appreciation of a satisfied musician, be they pro or student, is more meaningful than a happy building code inspector." - Glenn!

Meagan Stettnisch


Meagan is a Projects Specialist at Brass Bell. She helps organize Make Music Day Milwaukee, sets up instrument petting zoos, and assists Tristann with any other projects that might be going on. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2013 with a BS in Geology, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Freshwater Science from UWM. Her musical interests include playing bassoon, trombone, and piano, and during the summer she tries to help out as a visual technician for her high school's marching band program. When she isn't racing sailboats on Lake Michigan in summer, you can find her cooking food, salsa dancing, or reading up on the latest water-related issues in the Great Lakes region.