Tulane University Bands

The Spirit of the Green Wave

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 - Mendel Lee

BM Composition - West Chester University

MM Composition - University of Oregon

Mendel Lee is a composer, musician, 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, the founder and co-director of the nienteForte Contemporary Music, and a composer/performer with the Versipel New Music.


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, CBS’s critically-acclaimed NCIS: New Orleans during the 2015 Mardi Gras season. He has also coordinated high profile gigs for the Green Wave Brass Band including an appearance on the second season of MTV International's “Brothers Green - Eats!” and their appearance as the opening act for the 2016 and 2018 New Kids on the Block Mardi Gras World Block Party.

As a performer, Mendel was the snare drummer for the “Shakespeare 400” Jazz Funeral Brass Band in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He has also performed as a pianist, percussionist, vocalist, and conductor for the Hundredth Monkey Ensemble, Versipel New Music, and the nienteForte collective, and he has also served as a guest performer/conductor for the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, the Oregon Percussion Ensemble, Ensemble 504, and Ensemble Pamplemousse.

Mendel’s music has been commissioned by internationally renowned timpanist David Constantine of the President’s Own Marine Band, The Concert Singers (Los Angeles, LA), The Xavier University Symphonic Winds, Liminal Space (Houston, TX), Byrne:Kozar:Duo, the Portland Percussion Group, the West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, and the nienteForte Collective (New Orleans, LA). Additionally, his works have been performed by Andy Kozar, the Greater Portland Flute Society, the San Francisco Festival of Contemporary Music, Future Music Oregon (Eugene, OR), Hundredth Monkey (Eugene, OR), and Versipel New Music (New Orleans, LA), amongst others.

 

Assistant Director of Bands - 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 orchestral percussion legends 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 2009 DCI Silver Medalist Carolina Crown gave incredible amounts of experience that 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, New England Patriots and Super Bowl XLVIII.

Andrew is also an avid orchestral percussionist. He has played with professional orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Reading Symphony Orchestra, The Pennsylvania Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Academy Chamber Society, and the Philadelphia Camerata Orchestra’s 2011-12 New Year’s tour of China. He is a freelance percussionist in the New Orleans area and plays drum set with the N'awlins Johnnys and has a regular gig at Tickler's Dueling Piano Bar on Bourbon Street.

Experience in the marching arts landed Andrew in high demand as an educator and show designer. 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 Semi-Finals appearances in 2013 and 2017; and  Finals appearances in 2012 and 2016. Design and educational contributions at programs across the Deleware Valley including Downingtown, Temple University, and the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps brought him high regards in the east coast percussion community. In 2016 Andrew expanded his design work internationally to several groups in Colombia including Grand Banda Medellin, Banda Show Ciudad de Medellin, and the new Banda Musical Femenina Clemencia de Colombia. Andrew is proud to bring his experience to students in Colombia and help to grow the marching arts community in South America.

Andrew is a Beetle Percussion Artist, a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, and an active member of the Percussive Arts Society. 

 

Dance Team Instructor - Ashley Iserman

BS Respiratory Therapy - Holy Cross University

BS Health Sciences - Holy Cross University

BS Early Childhood Education - Holy Cross University

Ashley Iserman is entering her 7th year with the Tulane University Marching Band and as Director of Tulane's Shockwave Dance Team.  A native of New Orleans, she is a graduate of St. Mary's Dominican High School and Holy Cross University, triple majoring with degrees in Health Sciences, Respiratory Therapy, and most recently Early Childhood Education.  Ashley is a former four year member of the New Orleans Saintsations, serving as Line Captain her fourth year.  During her time as a Saintsation, Ashley was able to perform in and choreograph the halftime show in the NFL London Series Saint vs. Chargers game featuring Ne-Yo, assist in choreography for the Super Bowl XLI halftime show in Arizona, as well as travel and represent the Saints organization and the NFL in Mexico City.  After completing her tenure on the Saintsations, Ashley went on to serve as a member of the former New Orleans Hornets Honeybees Dance Team for two years, also traveling to Mexico City to represent the Hornets and the NBA in an NBA matchup game.  Ashley teaches at her mother's dance studio, The Martha Mayer School of Dance, in Metairie ,where she is also the MMSOD Company Competition team Director, with her team winning Regional and National awards for her choreography and routines.  She is an active woman in the dance circuit of New Orleans, using her experience of dancing for national crowds and bringing her fresh and innovative ideas to Shockwave Dance Team.  Ashley is currently a Kindergarten teacher in Metairie, where she also resides with her fiancé Bret and her dog Fritz.  

 

Color Guard Instructor - BRETT MCSWAIN

Brett Mcswain knew at the age of four that he was destined to be a performer, believing even then that he had something to say with his body that was bigger than himself.  Initially joining marching band as a baritone player in high school, he craved a bigger challenge and a more resonant means of personal expression, which led him to join the Cadets of NYC Drum and Bugle Corps to be a color guard/dancer in 2002. After a few years of developing his skills and his drive for excellence, he eventually marched with multiple competitive ensembles in WGI, DCI, and DCA, including the East Coast Drum and Bugle Corps (winning DCI Championships in 2005) and the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps (winning "Best Color Guard" for three consecutive years), and two WGI World Class Finalists: the Light Brigade Buffalo Soldiers Winter Guard in 2006 and the Emanon Color Guard from 2012-2014.

Brett's competitive spirit as a performer carried over to his career as a teacher, helping the 2009 and 2010 Haddon Heights High School Color Guard in New Jersey to go undefeated through their competitive seasons. Additionally, he taught color guards in the highly competitive state of Texas including East Central High School in San Antonio, B.F Terry High School in Houston, and Port Isabel High School in southern Texas, for which he was instrumental in all of their success in their State Finals from 2015-2018.

Brett is a self-identified drifter having lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Texas before moving to New Orleans in 2018. His passion for new experiences is paralleled by his strive for perfection in performance and his desire to share his talents and gifts to aspiring dancers and color guards of all skill levels. As the Tulane University Marching Band Color Guard Instructor, Brett's goal is to push and inspire his students in the same way he was inspired through his varied and well-travelled career.

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 freelancer, 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.