TUMB Staff

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

Mark D Lighthiser

MM Percussion Performance – University of Oregon

Mark Lighthiser, an Innovative Percussion and Evans/D’addario sponsored artist/educator, student of Charles Dowd and Gary Hobbs, is an accomplished conductor, teacher, composer, arranger and percussionist. He has performed with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, Emerald City Jazz Kings, Tommy Tune, nienteForte New Music Ensemble, the Oregon Percussion Ensemble, and was a member of the world champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. As an arranger, drill writer and teacher he has worked and continues to work with many award winning ensembles.

Currently, Mr. Lighthiser serves as the Assistant Director of Bands at Tulane University where he assists in all aspects of the band program and leads the creative and instructional team for the Tulane Ubiversity Marching Band (TUMB). He also founded and directs the Green Wave Brass Band which plays numerous on and off campus performances every semester. His most recent project is a score reduction and staging of Lou Harrison's "Labyrinth" for the spring of 2014.

OPERATIONS MANAGER/INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF

Mendel Lee

MM Composition - University of Oregon

Mendel Lee is an Innovative Percussion Educational Artist originally from King of Prussia, PA.  His education and marching experience as a member of the West Chester University Marching Band and the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps has helped him build success as a percussion and music ensemble instructor and arranger for various high school and collegiate marching organizations across the nation as well as an instructor with World Class Drum and Bugle Corps including the Jersey Surf and the Glassmen.  In addition to his duties with the TUMB, he is the founder and director of the contemporary music ensemble nienteForte and a freelance composer.

Mr. Lee has received high acclaim for his creative vision as a composer and artist.  In his debut year as the creative designer of Hermiston High School Marching Band, his show earned them placement in finals for the first time in their program's history.  Timpani Forces for solo timpani (2011), published by Tapspace, was accepted into the 2011 Festival of Contemporary Music in San Francisco and was praised by composers and performers alike as "…pushing the envelope… doing something that no other piece of solo timpani literature has ever done.”  His current projects include Moon of Eris commissioned by the Portland Percussion Group to be performed in their 2014 season, and Remnants of The Sunken Cathedral commissioned by the Liminal Space Contemporary Ensemble to be premiered in March of 2014.

DANCE TEAM INSTRUCTOR

Ashley Iserman

BS Respiratory Therapy- Our Lady of Holy 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 A. 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. 

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