Meet the Staff

All-City Jazz Director ROB TAPPER is Associate Professor of Trombone and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Montana where he coordinates the UM Jazz Festival, the UM Jazz Artist Series, four big bands, seven small groups, an undergraduate Jazz Degree and the trombone studio. A relentless advocate for music education, Rob initiated the Spokane All-City Jazz Program for middle school and high school musicians in 2001 and is still thriving. Rob was awarded a Washington State “2008 Teacher of the Year Award” and was inducted into the Washington Music Education Association (WMEA) Hall of Fame. As an active performer and teacher in both classical and jazz idioms he has been featured as performer, adjudicator and guest artist at many festivals, concert halls and conferences in orchestral, jazz and commercial settings around the United States, Europe and Canada. Rob is currently Principal Trombone in the Missoula Symphony. Rob has degrees in Music Education (UNH) and Jazz and Commercial Media (Eastman) and is a Getzen clinician and plays Getzen trombones exclusively.

All-City Jazz Administrator ARIELLE NACHTIGAL is a Missoula-native with a diverse background in performing and outreach.  A former Big Sky High School student, she attended the University of Montana to major in Vocal Performance.  After receiving her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, she moved back to Missoula and dove into Arts Administration for a variety of organizations.  She teaches voice lessons and music directs in Missoula and Bigfork Summer Playhouse while also competing in national opera competitions.  She has spent summers in Austria, Italy, and as a performer and an administrator with the Ohio Light Opera.