High School Bands

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Bachelor of Music Education and Performance (Trumpet), Eastman School of Music
Master of Music Education and Conducting, Schwob School of Music

Robert Tanis has been at Lakota East High School since 1997, initially serving as the Associate Band Director (1997-2011). As the Director of Bands, Mr. Tanis directs the following ensembles: Lakota East High School Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, and the Lakota East Marching Thunderhawks. He also assists with the Lakota East Freshman Concert Bands and directs all Brass Ensembles.

Mr. Tanis has continued the Lakota East Bands Tradition of Excellence by leading his students to consistently scoring Superior ratings at OMEA adjudicated events and national recognition for the Lakota East Marching Thunderhawks at the Bands of America competitions.

Mr. Tanis has performed with the Southwest Ohio Symphonic Band, the Ohio Valley British Brass Band, the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and the Castle Festival Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany.

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EDUCATION: Bachelor of Music Education, Ohio State University

Andrew Desmond has been at Lakota East High School since 2022. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Mr. Desmond received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Ohio State where he was a member of the Wind Symphony and Marching Band. After graduating from OSU, Mr. Desmond moved to Oregon where he was the Director of Bands at Lake Oswego High School from 2015-2018. In 2018, Mr. Desmond returned to Ohio to join the band staff in Milford Exempted Village Schools where he taught all aspects of the band program (grades 6-12).

Mr. Desmond has an extensive background in the marching arts. He performed as a member of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps on both tuba and baritone. From 2015-2018, he was a visual instructor with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, acting as the assistant visual caption head in 2018. In 2019, he was the visual caption head of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also served on the instructional staffs of the Crossmen Drum Corps, the Oregon Crusaders Drum Corps and the WGI Independent World group Cap City Indoor Percussion. In addition, Mr. Desmond has worked as a marching band judge for the Northwest Association for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Desmond is currently completing his Masters Degree in Education at Clemson University.

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EDUCATION: Bachelor of Music Education With Specialization in Jazz, University of Cincinnati CCM

An alumnus of Lakota East High School, Aaron Todahl is the Jazz Band Director for both Lakota East and Lakota West High Schools. He also assists with Symphonic Winds, Pep Band, and Pit Orchestra at East. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from CCM, Mr. Todahl was the K-8 Music Director for Cardinal Pacelli School in Mt. Lookout during the 2017-18 school year. He is proud to return to Lakota East and be part of such an excellent band program.

Mr. Todahl's notable performances include Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz Education Network Conference in Louisville, and he continues to perform regularly as a trumpet player and guitarist in the Greater Cincinnati area. During his time at CCM, he performed with the CCM Jazz Orchestra, John Von Ohlen, Fareed Haque, Steve Allee, and many others.

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William Thomas retired in 2012 after thirty years of service to Waynesfield-Goshen, Minster, and Lakota Local Schools. Under his direction, Lakota East High School Concert and Marching Bands earned more than 78 Superior ratings at the state and national levels. Mr. Thomas has served on the OMEA Adjudicated Events Committee in roles such 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 and ensemble, large group, and marching band adjudicator for more than twenty years.

Mr. Thomas is grateful for his children, Christopher and Brittany, for their support and understanding through the years. Special thanks go to his wife, Katherine, for weathering the demands of the job with incredible grace and patience! His former students, parents, colleagues, and administrators will always hold a place in his heart and in his memories.

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Junior High School Bands

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Bachelor of Music Performance (Bassoon), University of Illinois
Bachelor of Music Education, Wright State University
Master of Music Performance (Bassoon), University of Cincinnati CCM

Kevin Engel has been at Lakota East High School since 2015. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Bands for the Madeira School District for eleven years, where his students ranged from grades 5-12. While at Madeira, Mr. Engel built and maintained a quality band program that received Superior and Excellent ratings at OMEA adjudicated events, both at high school and junior high levels. As an active member of OMEA, Mr. Engel has served as District 14 Secretary Treasurer and hosted Adjudicated Events at junior high and high school levels for the past eight years.

Being part of the Lakota East Bands program has allowed Mr. Engel to continue contributing to the musical excellence of his students.

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Liberty Junior School: Maggie whaley

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Music Education (Trombone), University of Cincinnati CCM

Maggie Whaley has been at Liberty Junior School since 2018 and directs the following ensembles: Concert Bands (7th and 8th Grade), Jazz Bands (7th and 8th Grade), and Clarinet Choir (7th and 8th Grade). Mrs. Whaley is also the Brass Caption Head for the Lakota East High School Marching Band. Prior to teaching in Lakota, Mrs. Whaley taught K-4 general music at Madeira Elementary School (2016-17) and 5-8 band at Sycamore Community Schools (2017-18).

Mrs. Whaley is a member of the National Education Association, the National Association for Music Educators, and the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA). She has adjudicated OMEA District 13 and 14 Honor Band auditions and has taught with multiple marching bands in the greater Cincinnati area, including Kings, Anderson, Deer Park, Sycamore, and Lakota East.

Mrs. Whaley has performed with the CCM Philharmonia, the CCM Wind Symphony, and is an Alumnus of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2012, 2013, 2015). Currently, she enjoys performing freelance throughout the area.