Lakota East Band Directors & Staff
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Robert Tanis holds a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music and a master’s degree from the Schwob School of Music in conducting and music education, where he studied with Dr. Robert Rumbelow. Mr. Tanis is in his 19th year of teaching and was the associate director of bands at Lakota East High School from 1997-2011. Before coming to Lakota, he was the director of bands for two years at a high school in Brownsville, TX. Mr. Tanis’s current teaching responsibilities include directing the three Main Campus bands; Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Symphonic Winds. Mr. Tanis also assists with the two East Freshman concert bands and is the director of the Marching Thunderhawks. He directs all brass ensembles, conducts the pit orchestra and oversees the Pep Band. Mr. Tanis’s students have consistently received superior ratings and numerous other awards at the district and state level in small ensemble, concert band and marching band competitions. Mr. Tanis has performed with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Castle Festival Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany, the Southwest Ohio Symphonic Band, the Ohio Valley British Brass Band, the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble and the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
Sherri Voytek, Assistant Director
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Sherri Voytek is in her 16th year of instruction and her 11th year in the Lakota Local School District. At Lakota East, Mrs. Voytek directs the two concert bands at the Freshman Campus and assists with Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Symphonic Winds at the Main Campus. She is also the assistant director for the Lakota East High School Marching Thunderhawks, co-director of the Pep Band, and oversees all of the woodwind ensembles at Lakota East. Before teaching at Lakota East, Mrs. Voytek was the band director at Lakota Ridge Junior School, the director of bands at Fort Frye Local Schools, an assistant band director at Buckeye Local Schools (Ashtabula, OH), and the director of bands at West Carrollton City Schools.
Mrs. Voytek graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University with a bachelor of music degree in Music Education. She continued her master’s coursework at Ohio University. Throughout her career, Mrs. Voytek has been an active member of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) and the National Association for Music Education, hosting both Large Group and Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Events. She resides in Centerville, OH, with her husband, Mike Voytek, who is a band director in the Centerville City Schools.
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Alan Nordyke is jazz band director at both the Lakota East Main and Freshman Campuses, as well as Lakota West Main Campus. Before this assignment, Mr. Nordyke was a band teacher at Liberty Junior School from 1990 to 2012, after graduating summa cum laude from The Ohio State University in 1989.
A graduate of Wilmington High School, where he received the John Philip Sousa Award, Mr. Nordyke was greatly influenced by his junior high/high school band director and private trumpet teacher, Mr. Charles Carothers. It was Mr. Carothers’ enthusiasm and positive approach to teaching that gave Mr. Nordyke the desire to want to pursue a career in music education. In addition to Mr. Carothers, Mr. Raymond Wolford and Mr. Dennis Ling were important influences in Mr. Nordyke’s high school band career.
As a student at The Ohio State University, Mr. Nordyke furthered his musical skills under the baton of Professor Craig Kirchoff, and during his sophomore year, Mr. Nordyke performed on a two-week tour of Japan with The Ohio State University Concert Band (now known as The Ohio State University Wind Symphony). Professor Kirchoff’s respectful, non-threatening rehearsal style was a very important influence on Mr. Nordyke’s teaching style. During Mr. Nordyke’s senior year, he enjoyed the experience of being principal euphonium in The Ohio State University Concert Band.
During his time at The Ohio State University, Mr. Nordyke was privileged to study euphonium with Dr. Paul Droste, former director of The Ohio State University Marching Band. Dr. Droste’s expertise in teaching musicianship is something for which Mr. Nordyke will be forever grateful, and Dr. Droste’s ability to build lifelong connections with his students made a lasting impression on Mr. Nordyke. Mr. Nordyke is also greatly appreciates all he learned from Dr. Judith Delzell. Dr. Delzell’s excitement about band at the middle school level was a huge factor in Mr. Nordyke choosing to teach junior high school musicians for 22 years.
Mr. Nordyke is thankful to his Lakota mentors, Mr. William Biven and Mr. Michael Peters, both retired Lakota band directors. Mr. Biven and Mr. Peters continue to be an inspiration to Mr. Nordyke. Mr. Nordyke believes their confidence and faith in him helped him to become the teacher that he is today, and Mr. Nordyke continues to learn from both of these outstanding educators.
Mr. Nordyke’s biography is published in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th editions of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
Mr. Nordyke has continued his education through courses at Walden University, Andrews University, University of Dayton, University of Miami, Drake University, College of Mount St. Joseph, and Xavier University. His professional affiliations include the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), Music Educators National Conference, Lakota Education Association, Ohio Education Association, National Education Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He resides in Mason, OH, where he enjoys running, spending time at Kings Island, and watching The Ohio State University football and basketball games.
William Thomas retired in 2012 after 30 years of service to the Waynesfield-Goshen, Minster and Lakota Local Schools. Under his direction, the concert and marching bands earned over 78 superior ratings at the state and national levels. He has served on the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Adjudicated Events Committee in roles as Marching Band Adjudications Chair, Band Affairs Chair, Instrumental Advisor, Committee Chair and Rules and Procedures Chair. Mr. Thomas is also a member of OMEA, American School Band Directors Association and Phi Beta Mu. In 2004, he was named the Lakota East High School Teacher of the Year. Mr. Thomas has also been a solo/ensemble, large group and marching band adjudicator for more than 20 years. He thanks his children Christopher and Brittany, former students and parents, colleagues and administrators for their support throughout the years. Special thanks go to his wife, Katherine, for putting up with him for the past 29 years!
Kathryn Knueven, Liberty Junior School
(513) 777-4420 Voice Mail: 16924
Kathy Kneuven directs the concert bands and jazz ensembles for Liberty and Hopewell Junior Schools. Mrs. Knueven started teaching at Lakota Local Schools in 2001 and has been at Liberty Junior School since 2003. She received a bachelor of music degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and she received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Knueven is an active member of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), Music Educators National Conference, Jazz Education Network and Jazz Education Connection of Ohio. Before coming to Lakota, Mrs. Knueven taught middle school band at Fairfield City Schools; elementary, junior high and high school band at Mt. Healthy City Schools and Covington Exempted Village Schools; and junior high and high school band at Covington Independent Schools. Mrs. Knueven served as District Music Department Coordinator, grades 5 through 8, while teaching in the Fairfield City Schools, and District Music Department Chair while teaching in the Mt. Healthy City Schools. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Knueven has worked in private industry. She resides in Liberty Township, OH, with her husband, Tom, also a band director, and their children: Rob, a student at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and Marie, a Lakota East High School student. Mrs. Knueven and her family are active members of St. John Church in West Chester, OH.
Julie Fuqua, Hopewell Junior School
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Julie Fuqua has been director of bands at Hopewell Junior School, Lakota Local School District, since 1990. There Ms. Fuqua directs the seventh and eighth grade concert bands and the seventh and eighth grade jazz bands. Both Hopewell Junior High School Eighth Grade Band and Eighth Grade Jazz Band performed at the 2010 Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Conference. Previously, the Hopewell Junior Eighth Grade Concert Band and Eighth Grade Jazz Band performed at the 1999 and 2002 OMEA conferences, respectively. Ms. Fuqua is the unified arts department chairperson. In addition to teaching at Hopewell Junior, Ms. Fuqua is active as a private oboe teacher and performer. She maintains an active private oboe studio of 25 to 30 students. Her students are leaders in their school music programs and receive superior and excellent ratings at yearly solo and ensemble competitions. Many of Ms. Fuqua’s oboe students have been selected, through audition, to participate in the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Greater Miami Youth Orchestra, OMEA District XIII Honor Bands and in the OMEA All-State Band and Orchestra. Throughout her years of teaching, Ms. Fuqua has had several students pursue degrees in music and receive scholarships for their oboe playing. Ms. Fuqua’s biography is published in the fifth, sixth and eighth editions of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Ms. Fuqua is principal oboist of the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra and Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra. She also serves as secretary on the Board of Directors for the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Fuqua is active as a freelance performer in the Greater Cincinnati area. She has hosted OMEA Solo and Ensemble contests, judged OMEA District XIII Honor Band auditions, and served both on the OMEA Junior High Music Selection Committee and as an All-State oboe judge. Ms. Fuqua holds a master of music degree in oboe performance from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and a bachelor of science degree in music education from Tennessee Technological University. She is a member of Ohio MusicEducation Association (OMEA), National Education Association, Music Educators’ National Association, International Double Reed Society, and the Cincinnati Musicians’ Association Local No. 1 A.F. of M.
Justin Cordero, guard director
Justin Cordero currently resides in Highland Heights, Kentucky and attends Northern Kentucky University. Justin graduated in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelors in Vocal Performance. His color guard career started off in a small high school in west Pittsburgh called West Allegheny. Justin then went on to march Glassmen from 2009-2012. After graduating, Justin went on to perform with Onyx in 2011 and with O2 in 2012. He was the captain of the Glassmen Color Guard in 2012 and also of O2 2012. Justin’s teaching career started immediately out of high school with Colerain JV in 2011, then he went on to teach Conner HS in 2012. In 2013, Justin began teaching and choreographing O2 and O3, located in Dayton, OH. He still continues to teach O2 and O3 along with Lakota East Varsity and Junior-Varsity. Justin started teaching at Lakota East in the fall of 2013 and is very excited to start building a successful program.
Justin Turner, assistant guard director
Justin began his marching career at O2 winter guard, also marching 2 season with the Blue Stars drum and bugle corps under Michael Shapiro. He continues to march in Onyx from Dayton, Ohio. Justin has taught at many Cincinnati schools and continues to do so. During the summer of 2014 he will be on tour with The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps as a technician. Justin is currently attending Northern Kentucky University with a major in English education, and currently resides in Alexandria, Kentucky. He is very excited to be returning for his third season with the Lakota East Color Guard.