Director of Bands

Mark Lortz
Mark Lortz has earned accolades in every facet of his music career as a composer, performer and educator. In the fall of 2011, he was appointed as the Director of Bands at Stevenson University (Stevenson, MD). Prior to his appointment Mr. Lortz was the Fine Arts Department Chair and Band and Orchestra director at Westminster high school (Westminster, Maryland) from 1996-2011. In addition to his Stevenson University appointment, he is an adjunct music education professor at McDaniel and Carroll Community Colleges. Under his leadership, the Westminster high school music department received awards from the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and the Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) for exemplary music programs. The Westminster high school marching band won several Bands of America (BOA) Regional Marching Band Championship titles and the music department was selected as a national semi finalist Grammy Signature School.

Mr. Lortz earned degrees from The Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, majoring in percussion performance, music education and composition. Versed in all styles of music, he served as Associate Music Director and Principal Percussionist for the North American tour of “Phantom of the Opera,” and was the Principal Percussionist with The Dallas Brass. He has performed and recorded both as a member and soloist with many of the country’s preeminent orchestras and frequently performs with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Lortz’s original music has been premiered at the prestigious Mid West Band and Orchestra Clinic, Bands of America National Percussion Festival, College Band Directors National Association, universities, music schools, conservatories and high schools throughout the nation. His music is published by the FJH Music Publisher, Northeastern Music Publisher and TRN Music Publisher. His compositions have appeared on Bandworld magazine’s Top 100 list of band compositions, The Instrumentalist magazine has printed favorable reviews of his band music and the sheet music company JW Pepper has selected his music for their prestigious Editor’s Choice list. Currently, he is the brass arranger for the world champion Drum Corps Associates Drum & Bugle Corps, The Reading Buccaneers, and has arranged marching band music for high schools and colleges throughout the country. Mr. Lortz is a Marching Percussion Specialist and Scholastic Educator for the Vic Firth Percussion Education Program, has been recognized as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” by School Band & Orchestra magazine and has received composition awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Assistant Marching Band Director

Terrell Smith

Terrell Smith of Gaithersburg, MD, is a graduate of Kutztown University (BS Music Education) and has enjoyed tremendous success as a music educator, adjudicator and clinician for many band programs and judging circuits along the East Coast. He also serves as a music arranger, show designer and program coordinator for middle, high school, college band programs and drum and bugle corps. Over the course of his career, he has been on the staffs of several world class drum and bugle corps in DCI and DCA. Currently the Executive Director of Mighty Sound Productions, Assistant Marching Band Director at Stevenson University, and Marching Percussion Coordinator at University of Maryland, Tee also maintains a very active private lesson studio, where he specializes in teaching beginning brass, marching percussion and drum set. Before moving to Maryland, Terrell was the Director of Bands at Royal Palm Beach Community High School, Royal Palm Beach, FL. While there, he taught jazz, concert, marching and beginning band. Additionally, he taught brass, woodwind and percussion technique and Music Appreciation classes.

Drill Designer

Bio Pic

Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones is a freelance Visual Designer and Program Consultant for a number of marching bands, winterguards, indoor percussion ensembles and drum and bugle corps across the country. For more than 20 years he has designed shows for an extensive number of groups throughout the country, many of them earning championship awards.

Currently, Bobby is the Visual Designer for the Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps (Mount Holly, NJ) and High Country Brass (Denver, CO). He is also the Visual Designer and Program Coordinator for the World Champion Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps (Reading, PA). He began his work there in 2005 as the Visual Designer and Caption Head and stayed with the corps from 2008 to the present. In the past, Bobby has been the Visual Designer and Caption Head for the 2006 Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps (Allentown, PA) and the 2007 Hawthorne Caballeros (Hawthorne, NJ). Bobby is also an adjudicator for the USBands marching band circuit.

Visual Choreographer and Music Consultant/Arranger

 Jeremy Thompson

Jeremy is a full-time music composer/arranger and electronics producer for the marching arts.  He has worked with and arranged for numerous high school bands, drumlines and winterguards.  Thompson also serves as a choreographer and visual performance instructor.  He has also composed original music for visual media and radio and is currently working on T.V. commercials for William King Museum in Abington, V.A.

He lives in Denver Colorado with his beautiful wife Kristanne and their two dogs Ava and Cinnamon.  You can listen to some of his more recent and past work at

Colorguard Staff

Michael Zablocki – Colorguard Coordinator

After growing up in Westminster Maryland, Michael went off to Towson University to earn a BS in Early Childhood Education. He is currently teaching kindergarten at Logan Elementary in Dundalk Maryland where he is in his third year of teaching.

Michael’s colorguard experience started when he was a senor at Westminser High School in 2002. He went off to march Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from 2004-2006 and Blackwatch Winterguard in 2008. His teaching career consist of many high schools in the local area. Governor Thomas Johnson High School, 2005-2006 (Frederick, Maryland) Westminster High School 2003, 2008-2010 (Westminster, Maryland) Colts Drum and Bugle Corps 2008 (Dubuque, Iowa) Glassman Drum and Bugle Corps 2009-2010 (Toledo, Ohio). He is currently working with Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) and has been since 2009.

Nichole Grapes– Colorguard Staff

After growing up in Carroll County, Nichole earned a BS in Elementary Education from Towson University.  Her colorguard marching experience includes Westminster High School,Towson University, and Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps.  In addition to teaching at Stevenson, she has also taught Century High School in Sykesville, MD.

Currently, Nichole teaches fifth grade at St. Stephen’s Classical Christian Academy.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading and hiking with her husband and their dog, Benji.

Dance Line Staff

IMG19115-EditAlexandra Katzoff-Dance Line Coordinator

Alex grew up in Howard County, and earned a B.S. in Communication, with a focus in Public Relations, from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2012. She began dancing when she was 3 years old.  She started dancing competitively at the age of 7, and continued through her high school years. In addition, Alex was a part of her high school’s Senior Dance Company, while also playing basketball and lacrosse.

As a freshman, Alex was selected to the University of Maryland Dance Team.  She went on to be a member all 4 years of her college career, and was chosen captain of the team her senior year. After graduating from Maryland, she continued to be involved with the Maryland Dance Team – performing duties as assistant coach. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, traveling, and watching the NFL and college basketball.

Percussion Staff

Reginald Alignay – Battery Technician

Reginald Alignay graduated from Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland and is currently attending at the University of Maryland, College Park. He began marching at a band camp sponsored by Hampton University and continued through high school. He joined the Mighty Sound of Maryland in 2008 and became section leader of the drumline in 2011.

Along with being a percussion instructor at Stevenson University for the marching band, Reginald also serves as the Director of Events and Membership for Mighty Sound Productions and as a percussion instructor at Northwest High School for the marching band and indoor percussion ensemble. He currently resides in Southern Maryland and enjoys photography, videography and tennis in his spare time.

Charlie Dolar – Battery Technician

Charlie Dolar has dedicated his life to the art of music. His primary focus however has been that of the marching percussion idiom. He has been a performer and educator is some of the best ensembles the world of marching percussion has to offer. Charlie went to Rutgers University where he received his BA in Music in 2000. Charlie also marched and taught for 10 years with the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps, from New Jersey. As a member of the Bushwackers, Charlie won 3 DCA World Championships including an undefeated season, as well as two High Percussion awards. Also during his time with the Bushwackers, Charlie was a member of the 1994 Bass Drum Ensemble Champions, as well as being the Bass Drum Individual Champion in 1998.

In 1999 Charles became the Bass Drum Tech for the NY Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps. During his time there the Skyliners became the DCA Class A World Champion, as well as taking the High Percussion Award for that season. In 1999 Charlie became the percussion caption head for the Bridgewater Raritan H.S. Marching Band. Charlie Spent 9 years with Bridgewater. During his tenure there Bridgewater was State Champions AND State Percussion Champion for numerous years. Then in 2000 Charlie became the percussion caption head of the Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps. Later in 2002 Charlie landed his first Junior Corps level percussion caption head position for Phoenix, a Division 3 corps from southern New Jersey a position he held until 2004. Then in 2007 Charlie became the Bass Drum Tech and Assistant Caption Head for Teal Sound Drum & Bugle Corps, helping them to a Bronze Medal at the 2007 DCI World Championships.

Charlie has written for many ensembles around the country, and most recently the Philippines. Charlies ensembles have competed in DCI, WGI, DCA, USBANDS, FFCC, Drum Corps Philippines and FMBC circuits respectively. In 2012 he had the honor to work with the band of Stevenson University, and is looking forward to doing it again this year! Charlie is proudly endorsed by Vic Firth Inc. as a member of the Scholastic Education Program, and as a Marching Percussion Specialist.

headshot.drumset.1Alex Crowley – Front Ensemble Technician

Alex Crowley has more than 20 years of experience in music, including performance, education, arranging, and production.  Originally a cello player focusing on orchestral music, he discovered the marching arts in high school and went on to play percussion in the front ensemble for the Cadets of Bergen County for five years from 1994 through 1999, including 1998 when the corps won its 7th DCI World Championship.  In addition to his duties with Stevenson University, Alex currently serves as the Director of Operations for Mighty Sound Productions, a non-profit entity in the state of Maryland, as well as front ensemble lead for the New Oxford High School Marching Band in New Oxford, Pennsylvania.  In the past, Alex has served as Staff and Ensemble Coordinator for Chesapeake Indoor Percussion, and as Front Ensemble Arranger for the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in 1999, and 2005 through 2010.  Alex currently resides in Baltimore and can occasionally be seen at gigs on the east coast as the drummer for Mid-Atlantic recording artists “Can’t Hang.”

Wind and Marching Staff

James Kranz

James has been an active clinician, educator, and freelance trumpet player in the Baltimore area since graduating from Westminster High School in 2006.  After high school he attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Wind Conducting.

In addition to being an adjunct faculty member at Stevenson, Jimmy is the Instrumental Music Director at Atholton Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland and the assistant marching band director at Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland.

BIO PIC 2Brandon Rivera

Brandon Rivera embodies the versatility required of the modern trombonist.  An active performer and teacher/clinician throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Mr. Rivera was originally trained in the arts of Chamber Music and Orchestral Performance, yet also possesses a high level of technical knowledge and practical experience in the areas of Jazz and Improvisation.

Currently a member of the Lyric Brass Quintet, Mr. Rivera also serves as the Principal Trombone for both the American Studio Orchestra and the Soulful Symphony.  In addition, he has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the Washington Summer Opera.  As an active freelance artist, Mr. Rivera has had the pleasure of working alongside musical icons such as the great Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Wynton Marsalis, and Johnny Mathis, among others.  Predictably, his resourcefulness has allowed him to contribute to musical theatre, having worked on such Broadway hits as Chicago, Spamalot, and A Chorus Line, to name but a few.  This flexibility allows Mr. Rivera to engage virtually without limitations, providing a world class level of comfort in a variety of musical settings including solo & chamber performance, symphonic settings, jazz, gospel, pop and contemporary, film and commercial recordings.  Mr. Rivera is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and performs exclusively on S.E. Shires Custom Brass Instruments.

Kristen Trumpler

Kristen is a native of Maryland and is a graduate of Towson University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education (K-12). She is finishing classes at Loyola University for her Masters Degree in Educational Administration.

In addition to working with the Stevenson Marching Band, Kristen has also worked with Governor Thomas Johnson High School, River Hill High School, North Carroll High School, Perry Hall High School and the Towson University Marching Band. Currently Kristen teaches Band and Strings at Westchester Elementary School in Catonsville, MD and Halethorpe Elementary School in Halethorpe, MD. She teaches private flute lessons and performs with various area community groups. In her very valuable (and rare) free time Kristen is an avid Orioles fan and loves to run!

Support Staff

Mike Hoff – Webmaster

A 21st century web technology and graphics handyman, Mike works with a variety of clients to produce websites, promotional video, marketing materials, product packaging, social media campaign management and more.

Having done his time as a project & data processing manager (BMA, Inc), in-house graphic designer (Vic Firth Inc) and digital media director (Hudson Music) – he now serves his own diverse client group that ranges from music instructional media, gourmet cooking tools, world-class drummers, fashion magazines and beyond. Recent project highlights include a website redesign for über drummer Tommy Igoe (; project and technical management, design and promotional video for the educational iPad app Drum Guru (; website design, social media management and graphics support for Vic Firth Gourmet ( and website redesign and digital products delivery development for Mark Wessels Publications (

Also active in the world of percussion education, Mike served as percussion instructor and/or arranger for many schools, dating back to 1990, including Liberty HS (1991-1995) and Westminster HS (1997-2003, 2008-2012), and also served as a percussion instructor for the SUMB during the inaugural 2011 season. He was the Assistant Director of Education for Vic Firth Inc from 2001-2005, acting as the liaison to many world-class drum corps, indoor percussion ensembles, marching bands and educators, worldwide.

Student Leadership

Drum Major
Katie Baumgart

Flute – Sierra Waul
Clarinet – Jahlani Harris
Sax – Mason Buchanan

Trumpet – Annie Vital
Mellophone – Regina Sealey
Low Brass – Matt Staud

Ian Hughes

Front Ensemble
Kari Norquist
Trevor Rill


Dance Line

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