Robert Tanis, Director of Bands

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Robert Tanis earned 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 has been at Lakota East High School since 1997. Mr. Tanis was associate band director from 1997-2011. Before coming to Lakota, he was the director of bands for two years at a Brownsville, Texas high school. Mr. Tanis’s current teaching responsibilities include directing the three Lakota East High School Main Campus bands: Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Symphonic Winds. Mr. Tanis also assists with the two Lakota East Freshman Campus concert bands and is the director of the Lakota East Marching Thunderhawks. Mr. Tanis 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.

Kevin Engel, Assistant Director of Bands

(513) 755-7211 Voice Mail: 15456

Kevin Engel joined the Lakota Local Schools music department in 2015. During the previous 11 years, Mr. Engel served as Director of Bands for the Madeira City School District, where he was responsible for all bands, grades 5–12. Mr. Engel holds degrees in music performance from the University of Illinois, music education from Wright State University and master’s work in bassoon performance from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM). While at Madeira, Mr. Engel built and maintained a quality band program, receiving superior and excellent ratings in all OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) venues at both the high school and junior high levels. Mr. Engel also engaged the band program in events throughout the school year, highlighting the importance of band as being vital of the local community. As an active member of OMEA, Mr. Engel has served as District 14 Secretary Treasurer and hosted Adjudicated Events at both the junior high and high school levels for the past eight years. The opportunity to be involved in the program at Lakota East High School has been a long-term goal for Mr. Engel. He is thrilled to be part of the continuing traditions of joy and musical excellence.

Alan Nordyke, Director of Jazz Studies

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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 very fortunate 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 North Dakota State University, 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, National Association for Music Education, Lakota Education Association, Ohio Education Association, National Education Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He resides in Mason, Ohio, where he enjoys walking, running, spending time at Kings Island, and watching The Ohio State University football and basketball games.

William Thomas, Director of Bands Emeritus

William Thomas retired in 2012 after 30 years of service to Waynesfield-Goshen, Minster and Lakota Local Schools. Under Mr. Thomas’s 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 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. Mr. Thomas thanks his children Christopher and Brittany, former students, parents, colleagues and administrators for their support throughout the years. Special thanks go to his wife, Katherine, for putting up with him all of these years!