Jurgen Schweitering, Violin: Originally from South Africa, Jurgen received his first violin lessons at the age of 13 from Pierre DeGroote at the S.A. College of Music. He went on to study in Vienna and then the Juilliard School of Music in New York City where he became a student of Dorothy DeLay. While attending Juilliard, Jurgen moved into a brownstone apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. From the apartment above, he heard Mike Joseph and Burt Strompf playing vibe and tuba duets. It didn't take long for a walk upstairs!
Mike Joseph, Vibraphone: Growing up Buffalo, NY, Mike had the opportunity to play many styles of music as a drummer and percussionist. While in high school, he studied percussion with George Dana of the Buffalo Philharmonic and with Jan Williams at the University of Buffalo. He attended college at the Manhattan School of Music where he studied percussion with Morris Arnold Lang of the NY Philharmonic. While in MSM, he began to focus exclusively on the vibraphone while studying with David Friedman and Gary Burton. "Gary was a wonderful teacher, always playing the piano during lessons. He wanted to encourage his students to develop their own style and not have them mimic his approach." Mike is the arranger and transcriber for the Mockingbird Chamber Ensemble.
Burt Strompf, Lyric Tuba: Born in New York City, Burt attended the renowned High School of Music & Arts on a full scholarship where he studied with Don Butterfield. He attended college at the Manhattan School of Music where he met Mike Joseph. Burt and Mike became good friends which led to hours of vibe & tuba duets, which ultimately became the foundation of the Mockingbird Chamber Ensemble. Always rising to the challenge of whatever arrangements Mike placed before him, Burt's style became known as the Lyric Tuba.