DIRECTOR OF BANDS - Barry Spanier
BM Music Education - University of Southern California
MA - New York University
Barry Spanier has directed and produced music for two Olympic Ceremonies and a World Exposition, plus numerous festivals and concerts. Establishing new musical ensembles and programs has highlighted his career. For World Expo 88, he designed and directed a marching band program in an environment that previously had no such tradition. For the Sydney Olympics he directed 2,000 young musicians from 23 nations, the largest marching band in history. As leader of the New York University Orchestra Mr. Spanier built it from a 19-piece string group to an 85-piece symphony.
Mr. Spanier was Associate conductor of the USC Trojan Bands, Venue Band Coordinator for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, and Founder and Executive Producer of the Gallatin Arts Festival in New York. As a trumpet player and percussionist he performed with artists Don Ellis, Lalo Schiffrin and Maynard Ferguson, amongst others. He has served as music director for dozens of musical theatre productions and recording sessions in commercial and academic settings.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF BANDS - Mendel Lee
BM Composition - West Chester University
MM Composition - University of Oregon
Mendel Lee is a composer and music performer/educator originally from King of Prussia, PA. In addition to his duties with the TUMB, he is the director of the Green Wave Brass Band and the founder and co-director of the nienteForte Contemporary Music Festival.
Mendel is an Innovative Percussion Educational Artist whose experience as a member of the West Chester University Marching Band and the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps and as an instructor with the WGI independent group Elite Percussion and the World Class Drum and Bugle Corps Jersey Surf and Glassmen has helped him build success as an award-winning marching band and drumline arranger. His creative designs have been performed by numerous high schools, colleges, and independent marching organizations based throughout the United States. In his debut year as the creative designer for the Hermiston High School Marching Band based out of Hermiston, OR, his show design helped them earn placement in their circuit finals for the first time in their program’s decades-long history. During his tenure with the TUMB, he has helped coordinate logistics for their performances in high-profile national events and television coverage including the 2009 New Orleans Saints Superbowl Victory Parade, the 2011 Wheel of Fortune College Week, the 2013 Fox and Friends Super Bowl Week broadcast, and CBS’s critically-acclaimed NCIS: New Orleans during the 2015 Mardi Gras season. Mendel has also served as an adjudicator and clinician for the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Programs as a part of their festivals in New Orleans, LA, and Nashville, TN, as well as for the Louisiana Marching Band Circuit and the Louisiana-Mississippi Color Guard and Percussion Circuit.
Mendel’s music has been commissioned by internationally renowned timpanist David Constantine of the President’s Own Marine Band, The Concert Singers (Los Angeles), the Xavier University Symphonic Winds, Liminal Space Contemporary Ensemble (Houston), the Portland Percussion Group, the nienteForte Collective (New Orleans) and ECCE (New York). Additionally, his works have been performed by the Greater Portland Flute Society, the San Francisco Festival of Contemporary Music, Future Music Oregon (Eugene), Hundredth Monkey Ensemble (Eugene), and the Versipel New Music Collective (New Orleans), amongst others. As a contemporary music performer, Mendel has performed as a pianist, percussionist, vocalist, and conductor for the Hundredeth Monkey Ensemble, the Versipel New Music Collective, and the nienteForte Collective, and he has served as a guest performer/conductor for the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, the Oregon Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble 504, and Ensemble Pamplemousse.
DRUMLINE INSTRUCTOR/OPERATIONS COORDINATOR - Andrew Szypula
BM Music Education - West Chester University
BM Percussion Performance - West Chester University
MM Percussion Performance - Temple University
Andrew Szypula is a percussionist, designer, and educator from Philadelphia. After graduating summa cum laude with dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Percussion Performance from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, he obtained a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Temple University where he studied with Alan Abel and Christopher Deviney.
Mr. Szypula began his percussive career in the Egg Harbor Township Marching Band in New Jersey. Membership in the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps, the West Chester University Marching Band, and Carolina Crown led to great success as a percussionist. In 2013, Andrew joined the cast of Gallant Entertainment, Inc., a New York City-based entertainment company that provides high-energy and cutting-edge marching percussion shows for clients such as the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Super Bowl XLVIII.
Andrew is also an avid orchestral percussionist. He has played with professional orchestras in the Philadelphia area including the Reading Symphony, The Pennsylvania Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Academy Chamber Society, The Brandywine Singers, and the Philadelphia Camerata Orchestra’s 2011-12 New Year’s tour of China.
Experience in the marching arts landed Andrew in high demand as an educator and show designer in the greater Philadelphia/NYC area. During his time as Director of Marching Percussion at Downingtown West High School the group won three straight championships in the Mid-Atlantic Percussion Society circuit and became an annual competitor in WGI World Championships including a Semi-Finals appearance in 2013 and a Finals appearance in 2012. Design and Educational contributions at Downingtown, Bayonne High School, Sun Valley High School, Rustin High School, Cheltenham High School, Greencastle-Antrim High School, Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps, Temple University, and many other programs across the Delaware Valley brought him high regards in the east coast percussion community.
Andrew is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and the Vic Firth Education Team.
DANCE TEAM INSTRUCTOR - Ashley Iserman
BS Respiratory Therapy - Our Lady of Holly Cross College
Ashley Iserman was a four year member of the New Orleans Saintsations, serving as Captain in 2009, where she has assisted in choreographing many New Orleans Saints Pre-game and quarter break features. Ms. Iserman also helped with the choreography and visual design of the Half-Time Performance at Super Bowl XLII and the Pre-Game Show for the Saints vs. Chargers London Series which featured Ne-Yo and Jordan Sparks. She has also traveled to Mexico City, Mexico to perform and represent the Saints and the NFL.
Ashley is the former coach and choreographer of the Jesuit High School Jayettes Dance Team, winning two National Titles in 2010, along with being the Director of the St. Francis Xavier Star Steppers Dance Team, also winning a National Title in 2011. Ashley is currently the head choreographger/principal teacher at Martha Mayer School of Dance in Metairie, LA.
COLOR GUARD INSTRUCTOR - Nikki Kelly
BS Dental Hygiene - LSU School of Dentistry
Nikki started out twirling at the age of eleven when she joined a local baton twirling and dance company. There she learned the art of twirling batons, sabres, riffles, fire batons, knives, and flags. She stayed with the company for over seven years, where she won many state and national titles. Her highest achievement was winning her division at the Twirl Mania- International Championship, at the Walt Disney World, Wide World of Sports by ESPN in 2002. During this time, she was also a member of her junior high and high school color guard.
Nikki was also a four year member of the LSU Color Guard, serving as Captain from 2005-2007. As part of a proud tradition, all student leaders in the band are responsible for choreographing and teaching all routines. As Captain, Nikki was responsible for teaching the 26-32 members of the color guard, five to seven new shows per semester, often teaching a completely new show in as little as four days. Over her time with the LSU Color Guard, Nikki choreographed and taught over 36 halftime routines, taught over 500 local students at the annual LSU Auxiliary Clinic yearly, and had many opportunities to represent the school that she adored. She had the honor of performing for all home games, away games, SEC Championships, and National Championship games. She is also featured in two published baby books, representing the LSU Color Guard.
Nikki graduated from the LSU School of Dentistry in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Dental Hygiene. She is currently employed by the United States Coast Guard, as their sole Dental Hygienist, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is responsible for treating over 3000 active duty Coast Guard members that are based in/near the New Orleans area, making sure that each member's readiness for battle is in good standing at all times.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR - Patricia McWhorter-Broussard
BA Humanities - Michigan State University
Ms. McWhorter-Broussard, a native of Metairie, La., joined the Marching Band staff in May 2006, continuing her career at Tulane. Formerly in Alumni Affairs, she produced there seven annual Educational Conferences, and a decade of 50-year ‘Second Commencements,’ plus other reunions, luncheons and theatre events, while staffing the Emeritus Club. Prior to that, for three years she coordinated TU Alumni events and Associates in eight cities around the US, including Puerto Rico. Earlier, she raised funds for the School of Law her first three years on staff at Tulane, which began in 1989.
Before Tulane, she worked for the International Association for Financial Planning as local Chapter Administrator, programming continuing education sessions at meetings, and recruiting exhibitors for their annual Mardi Gras Symposium. Prior to IAFP, she was for seven years in the Curatorial or picture research, department of The Historic New Orleans Collection, assisting an average 4,000 researchers a year working on books, movies, television shows and historic preservation.
As a free-lancer, she wrote labels and script, and designed & installed exhibits for the Louisiana Maritime Museum and for the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition, curated the exhibit on local radio broadcast history for the Amateur Radio Operators booth and arranged for a Viking ship replica circumnavigating the globe and a Norwegian jazz band to participate in LWE closing ceremonies.
As a parent volunteer (and alumna of the system), she spent a decade working to improve public education, serving on the Jefferson Parish Public School System’s East Bank Parents Advisory Council, and initiating and producing three Annual Parent Participation and Leadership in Education (A.P.P.L.E.) Expos, to help parents become more effective volunteers within schools.
Ms. Broussard speaks Spanish, and has a background in advertising, theatre and arts Administration. She is a Girl Scout alumna and was for several years a GS leader, has been a substitute teacher and worked for Boys Club as a Cultural Arts Coordinator with disadvantaged inner city youth.