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Staff

Drum Major Instructors

Shannon Black is the third female to hold the role of Drum Major for the Spartan Marching Band.  She is a 2016 Michigan State University graduate of the College of Education. Hailing from Livonia, Michigan, Shannon was a four-year member of the Spartan Marching Band, serving for two years in the Big Ten Flag Corps and two years as the Michigan State Drum Major.  She is a fourth-grade classroom teacher in Grand Ledge, bringing pedagogical and marching expertise to our PAC students for five years.

Nikki Sanford is serving as the fourth female Drum Major at MSU. She is in the College of Music studying education. Before receiving the role of Drum Major, she marched mellophone in the SMB. She is from Traverse City, MI and attended the PAC camp for multiple years in high school. She performs in various ensembles and quintets at MSU and currently works at the Community Music School.

Evan Bahm graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Music Education in 2018. He was a member of the mellophone section for two years before being appointed Drum Major of the Spartan Marching Band from 2015-17. A two-time attendee of PAC and originally from Walled Lake, Michigan, he is currently a Band Director at Rockford High School in Rockford, MI. His primary responsibilities include directing two of the four concert ensembles, one jazz band, and assisting at Rockford’s two middle schools while team teaching the 280-member high school marching band. During his first year as band director, Rockford was MCBA Flight I State Champions, and also placed 14th at Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. Although he is proud of the accomplishments of his students on the field, he is far more encouraged by how caring and devoted his students are off the field. He currently resides in Grand Rapids.

Jaren Scoggins served as the Drum Major of the Spartan Marching Band in 2018 and 2019. He also served as the Alumni Relations
Officer of the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha and prior to being Drum Major was a trombone player in the Spartan Marching Band.

Lisa Lachowski serves as the newest, and fifth female Drum Major of the Spartan Marching Band. Originally from Rochester Hills, MI, she attended PAC multiple times as a high school Drum Major. She is now pursuing degrees in Music Education and Clarinet Performance at MSU’s College of Music. Before being selected as a Drum Major, she served as an Alto Saxophone Section and Squad Leader in the SMB. Lisa’s conducting experience includes class instruction with Dr. Arris Golden and Dr. David Thornton, as well as private study with Dr. Travis Higa. She now studies with graduate Wind Conducting student and former SMB Drum Major, Simon Holoweiko. Recently, she was a participant at the University of Colorado at Boulder Conducting Symposium, learning under the batons of Dr. Donald McKinney, Dr. Matthew Dockendorf, and Professor H. Robert Reynolds. Over the summers, Lisa loves triathlons and working as a substitute teacher, lifeguard, and band camp instructor. 

Samantha Barringer is serving as the sixth female Drum Major of the Spartan Marching Band. Originally from Wixom, MI, she attended PAC in high school and is now in the College of Music studying voice/flute music education. She marched as a Big Ten Flag (Minnesota) before receiving the role of Drum Major. Samantha performs in several choirs and ensembles and enjoys running in her free time. Over the summer, she enjoys traveling and being a band camp instructor.

Taylor LaPrairie Taylor LaPrairie currently serves as Assistant Director of Bands at Westlake High School in Austin, TX. Mr. LaPrairie instructs the Westlake Chaparral Marching Band, directs the Symphonic Band and Concert Band, and teaches beginning guitar classes. Mr. LaPrairie started teaching in Eanes ISD in 2019 as the Assistant Director of Bands at West Ridge Middle School before joining the high school staff in 2020. Taylor graduated from Michigan State University where he received his bachelor's degree in Music Education. While at Michigan State, Mr. LaPrairie performed with numerous concert ensembles, including the MSU Wind Symphony. He can be heard on 3 professional recordings by the Wind Symphony and was a part of the ensemble’s 2017 performance at the CBDNA National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. He was also a member of the Spartan Marching Band, MSU Trombone Choir, and the MSU Chamber Winds. Taylor has served as a brass instructor for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps since 2018. Prior to joining the brass staff, Mr. LaPrairie marched baritone with Carolina Crown from 2014 to 2017. During his time with the corps, Mr. LaPrairie was the featured trombone soloist in 2016, baritone section leader in 2016 and 2017, was awarded the “Brass Member of the Year” in 2017, and served as the Horn Sergeant for the 2017 season.

Marissa Weller graduated from Michigan State in January 2019. While at Michigan State, Ms. Weller actively pursued supplemental coursework in advanced conducting and was a Big Ten Flag in the Spartan Marching Band. As a conductor, Marissa has been invited to participate in conducting symposiums at Northwestern University, UCLA, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, and Michigan State University. 


Color Guard Instructors

Emily Rogers has marched with MSU’s Winterguard, State of Art, for three years and was selected as Flag Captain for her final year. As a member of the Spartan Marching Band from 2011-2015, she served as a squad leader for three years and as baritone section leader in her final year. Emily was voted band vice-president in 2015. Emily participated in individual flag competitions for the Michigan Colorguard Circuit from 2005-2011, earning one bronze, one silver, and three gold medals. During the summers of 2011-2015, she was also an instructor at Smith-Walbridge Drum Major Clinics in Illinois. Rogers does project management for the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN). Emily has a bachelor’s degree from MSU in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on health and society.

Jenna Craven is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Spartan Marching Band. She was in the Spartan Marching Band Color Guard from 2016-2020 serving as a squad leader for two years and a section leader for one. Outside of MSU Jenna has participated in many competitive organizations in the Michigan Color Guard Circuit and Drum Corps International. These include State of Art Winterguard, Interplay Winterguard, The Blue Stars, Phantom Regiment, and The Cadets. In 2018 at The Cadets she was named Color Guard Rookie of The Year for displaying leadership qualities as a first-year member.

Bailey Hardigan is a dance teacher in the greater central Michigan area, teaching dance techniques and choreography to students aged 4-17. Bailey specializes in helping students learn body awareness and care, confidence, and teamwork. She has experience coaching competitive dance teams and helping plan dance concepts and costuming. 

 

Twirling Instructors

Sarah (Bennett) Cordeiro is a Michigan State University and Spartan Marching Band Alumna. She graduated in 2014 with a degree in dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at Michigan State in 2015. She continued her education at Central Michigan University, graduating with a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2017. Sarah was a Spartan Marching Band Feature Twirler from 2010-2014. She was also a member of State of Art Winterguard in 2012.Sarah was a competitive baton twirler from the ages of 7-18 and won three advanced national titles. She was the Feature Twirler for the Romeo High School Marching Band. Sarah has also been a guest teacher at several baton camps across America.

Kristen (Scali) Smith Kristen began taking baton twirling lessons at age two and won multiple international titles during her competitive career. She was also the feature twirler for the Spartan Marching Band during her time at Michigan State. 

 

Percussion Instructors

Jon Weber has taught the Spartan Marching Band Drumline for the past 20 years. Dr. Weber also teaches applied percussion in the MSU College of Music. He has presented at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention on creating a model drumline in the university setting and using rudimental drumming as part of the overall percussion curriculum. University marching bands across the country have performed his arrangements. Dr. Weber has also taught at Oklahoma State University and for the Detroit Pistons Drumline. His students have performed in Phantom Regiment, Santa Clara Vanguard, The Cavaliers, Carolina Crown, The Cadets, Bluecoats, Madison Scouts, Blue Stars, Blue Knights, Rhythm X, Northcoast Academy, East Side Fury, Redline, and many other ensembles. He received his DMA from Michigan State in 2008. Jon Weber is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and a member of the Vic Firth Education Team.

Wayne Bovenschen has been the Associate Professor in Percussion at Oklahoma State University for 30 years.  The OSU Concert Percussion Ensemble has been invited to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) twice in 1996 and 2014.  The OSU Drumline has also competed in the PASIC Marching Percussion Competition seven times finishing as high as second in 2001 and 2012.  Mr. Bovenschen has been active in Drum Corps International as a percussion instructor and arranger with Northern Aurora, Phantom Regiment, Suncoast Sound and Black Gold.  Northern Aurora finished 1st in percussion at the 1988 DCI World Championships in Division II Finals.  Mr. Bovenschen also performed as a snare drummer with the Cavaliers in 1982 and Phantom Regiment in 1983.  Wayne is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelors of Music Education in 1985 and Master of Music Performance in 1987 and served as section leader/teaching assistant for the Spartan Marching Band Drumline from 1983-1986.  He is currently a member of the Vic Firth Education team and OSU is a proud sponsor of Yamaha Percussion, Remo Drumheads and Zildjian Cymbals.

Cody Edgerton spent four years as a member of Spartan Marching Band Drumline, and served as drumline section leader in 2013.  A 2015 MSU graduate in Music Education, Cody was in the percussion ensemble for four years, and was a founding member of the percussion group Los Banditos. Cody spent two summers marching with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. Cody has instructed the Winter Guard International group Redline, and has held Percussion Instructing positions at Charlotte, East Lansing, Grand Ledge and Williamston High Schools. Cody began his career as the 6-12 Band Director in Elk Rapids, MI before spending two more years as the High School Assistant Band Director in Grandville, MI. Cody is originally from Charlotte, MI.

Darrien Spicak is a music educator, performer, and composer who is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance at Texas Christian University. He completed a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education at Michigan State University in May 2019.  He is originally from Corpus Christi,TX and has numerous experiences in teaching drumline in the South Texas area. Darrien was a member of the Spartan Marching Band Drumline for three years, spending every year performing on top bass. In 2017, Darrien was the section leader of the Spartan Bassline and was able to compose a bass drum ensemble that was performed at the Percussive Arts Society Marching Festival, earning a placement of 3rd. He also had the honor of receiving the Merritt Lutz award for leadership at the end of the 2017 season. In addition to the MSU ensembles, Darrien spent one summer marching with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps as well as performing with Matrix World Percussion Ensemble in the OIPA and WGI curcuits. He has served as the percussion instructor for numerous schools in Michigan and Texas, and currently serves as the Percussion Graduate Assistant at Texas Christian University. While being an avid performer and educator, Darrien also enjoys composing music. He has written the drum book for numerous high schools as well as for the MSU drumline.  He is currently working on various projects involving marching band arrangements, percussion ensemble, and percussion solos.

Alex Smith is Assistant Professor of Percussion at University of Central Missouri (August 2017). He received a DMA from Michigan State University (2019) along with an MM in percussion performance and an MA in musicology/ethnomusicology (2015). Alex earned his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University (2010).

Steve Wulff is an active performer and educator in the Lansing area. He started his career at MSU, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance. As a member of the MSU Percussion Ensemble, Dr. Wulff was often a featured soloist. During his undergrad, he played snare drum on the MSU Drumline, the WGI group Northcoast Academy, and the Detroit Pistons Drumline. Dr. Wulff received a Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of South Carolina. While there, he directed and arranged music for the USC Drumline, and served as a snare tech for Palmetto Percussion in WGI. Dr. Wulff earned his DMA degree from MSU. During that time, he assisted Dr. Jon Weber in teaching and arranging music for the MSU Drumline. Currently, Steven directs the percussion programs at both DeWitt and Grand Ledge high schools. He also teaches privately in the mid-Michigan area. You can often hear him play at the Wharton Center for musicals and other performances. Steven is a Vic Firth Artist/Educator and you can find his published music at Tapspace.com.