Lakota East Band Directors & Staff


Robert Tanis, Director of BandsTanis Program Picutre

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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 has been as Lakota East since 1997.  He was associate director 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.



Alan Nordyke, Director of Jazz Studies2013-2014 medium

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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, Director of Bands EmeritusBill Mug Sot


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

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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.