Steve Brecker (Trumpet): Steve began playing trumpet in the elementary school program in Vineland, NJ.   By age 14 he was playing in a Dixieland Jazz band with other teen enthusiasts.  This jazz group of youngsters performed throughout South Jersey including summer gigs at the Mayflower Hotel in Atlantic City. As high schoolers, they were invited to perform on stage at the New Jersey Jazz Festival with many surviving Dixieland Jazz legends of the 1930s and 1940s.

Steve attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree.  After a brief stint as a touring musician, he shifted career gears from music performance to focus on the business of music, working for a major record label in NYC.  Steve went on to spend the bulk of his professional career working in various entertainment business endeavors.  Over the years he has continued to perform in jazz, blues, and funk bands, as well as a soloist in churches.  In addition to Sentimental Journey, Steve currently performs with the swing combo Acme Swing Manufacturing Company.

Ray Hoaster (Trumpet/Flugelhorn):  Playing both trumpet and flugelhorn, Ray is principal music arranger for SJ as well as musical director.  He holds a BS in music from West Chester College in PA where he was leader of the college dance band, the Criterions.   Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington as an arranger.   During a 30-year career with the AF Band, he served as music copyist/autographer, orchestrator, arranger, and editor and retired as Chief of the Music Production staff.  He has continued as autographer/editor to several publishers, including the Carl Fischer and Theodore Presser contemporary music divisions. After retiring to Staunton, he obtained a master’s degree in conducting from JMU and co-founded the Ovation Singers, which he directs.   He also writes and plays with several other Virginia area bands including The Stonewall Brigade Band where he is senior assistant conductor.

Dick Stageberg (Trumpet):  Dick grew up in Pierre, SD and married his local sweetheart, Maggie, who, all these 55 years later, is still a good clarinet player.  After college at South Dakota State, Dick took a commission in the army and served in Okinawa, Vietnam, Crete (Greece), Saudi Arabia, Texas, and the Washington, D.C. area among other places.  Army duty caused him to put his trumpet away although he did play when he found rare opportunities.  He says he played some in churches and found a group to play with in Saudi Arabia.  All in all, however, he probably didn’t play much for nearly 35 years.   After completing his career in the army, he first worked in northern VA and in 1990 began a four-year teaching stint at Orange High School as Jr. ROTC instructor.  During this period he joined Sentimental Journey.  He loves playing Dixieland which he has done with several groups and he also plays with Leo Mallek’s big band.  He is a member of the Orange Community Band along with several other SJ members.

Aric Flor (Trumpet/Flugelhorn): Aric has been playing trumpet since he began Middle School, where he was taught by Sentimental Journey’s Bobby Gregg. Since then, Aric has been fortunate to have had many local Virginia jazz influences, such as: Greg Thomas, John D’Earth, Bob Hallahan, and Chuck Dotas. Aric recently graduated from James Madison University in 2022 where he was involved in the Jazz Studies program throughout his 4 years at JMU, playing with Chuck Dotas’ JMU Jazz Ensemble for 6 semesters and even appearing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade with JMU’s Marching Royal Dukes in 2018. Aric has also had the pleasure of playing with the Desert Swing Orchestra for a summer in Sierra Vista, AZ. Now, Aric works remotely in Charlottesville and plays trumpet with both the Sentimental Journey Big Band, and the Albemarle County Concert Band. He can also be heard with the Virtual Video Game Orchestra, and has even had the pleasure of playing with Big Ray and the Kool Kats’ sister band, Elegance.