Groove Merchant Bios


Dave Mueller, fluegelhorn, trumpet, bass: a graduate of UW-Eau Claire with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education and a Master Degree in Education from Winona State University. As an instrumental music instructor, he has taught for thirty eight years on the secondary and collegiate levels. He serves as a clinician and adjudicator for the WSMA and has served as a trumpet coach and coordinator in the Wisconsin Honors Program. As a professional trumpet player, he has shared the stage with such names as Clark Terry, Bud Brisboi, Dominic Spera, Ricky Nelson, and Myron Floren.

Patrick Binfordclarinet/saxes, began his musical career as a teen playing clubs in the L.A. area and conducting his first musical. He has studied with many fine players, has played in countless orchestras and bands, is doing studio work for recordings, commercials, television and radio broadcasts including Voice of America. He performs with nationally recognized performers and has been a Producer/Musical Director/Conductor/Pit Musician for over 60 musical events/productions.  Besides freelancing and being a sideman, he is the leader of the Sylvan Springs Jazz Groups working mostly with three to eight musicians doing the varying styles of jazz, blues and beyond with different instrument combinations.

Ken Rogers, guitar, banjo and vocals: Former music director (orchestra, band and choir) and school administrator; Master Degrees in Music and School Administration, Specialist Degree and Doctoral Degrees in School Administration; has regularly performed in professional string orchestras, Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, classical guitar concerts, blues combos and ethnic ensembles; performed in US and Europe; certified music adjudicator with Wisconsin School Music Association.

Brad Stoughton, percussion, vocals:  Head of the Instrumental Music Department at Fall Creek (WI) High School and Middle School, holds BA-Music, BME-Instrumental, and Masters (MEd-PD) degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Mr. Stoughton has performed with concert and combo groups throughout the Midwest as a percussionist, conductor, and clinician. He has performed with artists such as Tom Politzer, Byron Stripling, Carl Allen, Debbie Duncan, Clyde Stubblefield, Michael Sweeney, and members of the John Hiatt Band.  In addition to his teaching and performing duties, Mr. Stoughton is both the Musical Director and Conductor of both the Eau Claire (WI) Municipal Band, as well as the Mondovi (WI) Community Band.

Bill Halgren, trombone is an Eau Claire native and 1980 graduate of Memorial High under the direction of Howard Lehman, Marv Kuehn and John Mills, Bill has kept on playing aside his day-job as an Electrical Designer all these years.  Additionally studies with Dominic Spera, Dave Pavolka and Ron Keezer. Performed professionally starting in high school with Conrad Johns and Prime Time, NUTO and other groups. Has performed from the Twin Cities to Chicago, Wausau to Ashland, La Crosse to Shell Lake.

Barry Wells, bass guitar and vocals:  Barry is an active jazz and popular music performer in the Valley; has played with Ella May and the Drysdales, Other Brothers and other groups.