The LGBTubenQuintet

The Lawrence Graduate Bayreuth Tuben Quintet is a tuben horn quintet that, fluid by design and inclination, is comprised of at least six members who identify as, know, or would like to know, someone who is LGBTQ+.

Informed by our decidedly un-Wagnerian values of inclusivity, diversity, and visibility, the LGBTuben Quintet aims to build and expand the cannon for our flexible ensemble and advance a non-hierarchical agenda that includes affecting positive social change and creating broader representation for the historically underrepresented. 

Meet some of the members who make up the LGBTuben Quintet!


Ann Ellsworth was raised in California but grew up in New York. She identifies as a complex human, curious horn player, monogamous partner and mother of five. Her super-power is rhyming and she wishes someone would invent a kind of spanks for brains. She teaches horn at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, the birthplace of our greatest ever acronym.


John Gattis, originally from Tennessee, is a horn player and educator based in New York City. Fluent in a variety of musical styles, John is active as a orchestral and chamber musician. He has performed with groups such as Tilt Brass, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Argento Chamber Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, and Contemporaneous.

As an advocate of new music he has given dozens of world premieres by composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, John Zorn, and Olga Neuwirth. In 2016 he performed the solo horn movement in the American premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klang.

John attended the Cleveland Institute of Music (BM) as well as SUNY Stony Brook (MM and DMA) where he studied with Ann Ellsworth, who turned him onto, among other things, the value of ensembles with homoflexible instrumentation. He tries his very best.


From a very young age, Lee Cyphers knew he was different. He had trouble fitting in and could never quite figure out why. In his junior or senior year of high school, he began to admit to himself that he might identify as a horn player. But he only did so in secret, or to people he knew he would never see again. He grew up in a small town where there weren’t very many musicians at all, and he couldn’t predict how everyone would take the news. He was so excited to move to a big city, where it was totally normal to be a horn player. But after starting music school and meeting other horn players, Lee realized that maybe this wasn’t the whole story of his identity. In college, he learned a little bit about the Wagner tuba; at first, he thought, “No way! That’s absurd, nobody actually plays the Wagner tuba. It’s probably just some weird trend. Or, maybe there are a few real Wagner tuba players, but I’m certainly not one of them.” But these feelings of wanting to try the Wagner tuba didn’t go away. Now, Lee is proud to be a Wagner tuba player, although playing the horn is still a huge part of his identity. Playing in the Lawrence Graduate Bayreuth Tuben Quintet (+) has been immensely rewarding for Lee along his journey of discovering his musical identity. In other ensembles or horn sections, he is sometimes the only Wagner tuba player, and this can lead to feeling out of place, or trying to change his playing in order to match and blend with the other musicians. With the LGBTQ(+), he is free to be himself and play exactly how he wants to play.


Kyra Sims is a collaborative musician, writer, and actress residing in NYC. She earned her Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music and has freelanced in NYC ever since, supporting notable artists such as Lizzo, Jon Batiste, Carole King, and Frank Ocean. She works actively in the Broadway industry, having held chairs on Ratatouille: a Tik Tok Musical, the Grammy-Nominated Off-Broadway show Soft Power, and the Drama Desk-Nominated shows Carmen Jones and Superhero. She has also worked regularly as a substitute musician on the hit Broadway shows The Lion King and Anastasia. Kyra has appeared as a backing musician in Taylor Mac’s Pulitzer-finalist show A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and has made television appearances on Mozart in the Jungle and VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live. She debuted in 2015 as a writer, director, and performer with The New York Neo-Futurists, an experimental theatre company in NYC, and was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for her Sound Design work with the company.


Lydia Van Dreel hails from the great state of Wisconsin and is very fond of cheese. They also like playing the horn and the tuba horn, especially Stevie Wonder tunes. Lydia teaches horn at the University of Oregon and tries to cultivate a studio environment that is creative and kind.


Leander Star is a human working on having at least nine lives. So far, lives include: plucky Tom Sawyer-esque youth in Portland, Oregon, bassist and singer-songwriter for west coast punk rock girl band, traveling drag king, monkish music student and bedroom recording artist in San Francisco, a person too colourful for Chicago living in Chicago, horn player with mind-bending (and award-winning) woodwind quintet, downtown pit orchestra regular and horn mentor extraordinaire, volunteer of the year at LGBTQ community center in the city of Elvis and Stax Records, and, most importantly, the a member of the Lawrence Graduate Bayreuth Tuben Quintet.


Maddy Tarantelli is the Instructor of Horn at University of Northern Iowa. Tarantelli has performed extensively with Utah Symphony and has performed with Ballet West, the Boise Philharmonic, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and Fountain City Brass Band. She has previously held positions at Interlochen Arts Camp and Utah Valley University.

Tarantelli is a founding member of Trilogy Brass with Dr. JoDee Davis (UMKC) and Dr. Jennifer Oliverio (Missouri Western SU). Trilogy has performed recitals across the Midwest and at the International Women’s Brass Conferences.

Tarantelli is an active contributor to the International Horn Society’s publication The Horn Call, International Symposiums, and regional workshops. She has received grants from the American Scandinavian Foundation and UMKC Women’s Council. She is currently working on a book to be published by Mountain Peak Music. Since 2017, Tarantelli has served on the board of directors for Audition Mode Horn Seminar alongside Denise Tryon and Karl Pituch.

She spent her summers teaching theory and performing with faculty ensembles at Interlochen Arts Camp from 2015-2017. She aged out of DCI in 2011 playing mellophone with the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps.

Tarantelli completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a Master’s at the University of Miami, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. She formally studied with Marty Hackleman, Sam Pilafian, and Kirsten Bendixen-Mahoney. Additional major fluences include Julie Landsman, Denise Tryon, and Frøydis Ree Wekre.


Connor Parr is a senior undergraduate French Horn Performance major at Lawrence Conservatory of Music. Connor identifies musically not only as a performer, but also as an educator, a composer/arranger, and an activist: in 2022 Connor was a co-founder of the Brass Repertorial Diversity Initiative, a project dedicated to highlighting works written by underrepresented composers’ for brass instrumentation. Connor’s debut performance with the LGBTuben was at the 55th International Horn Symposium in Montreal, and he is very grateful to be a part of this group! 


Justin Stanley loves to present music that leaves audiences saying “huh?” in a variety of positive inflections. Justin is a founding member of American Prize-finalist Some Assembly Required, and he is delighted to play with LGBTuben.

Outside of chamber performing, Justin has played with orchestras across the country and worked to present multiple regional and international horn symposia. Justin is Assistant Professor of Horn at Tennessee Tech’s School of Music.