Director of Bands
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.
Visual Choreographer and Music Consultant/Arranger
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 www.visionthroughmusic.com.
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.
Terrell Smith– Percussion Coordinator
Terrell Smith, a graduate of Kutztown University (BS Music Education), has enjoyed great success as a program coordinator, music arranger, adjudicator and clinician for high school and college bands, indoor percussion ensembles and drum & bugle corps. Tee has worked on the staffs of the Santa Clara Vanguard, the Cadets, the Reading Buccaneers and Fusion Core in addition to many other championship-level drum & bugle corps programs.
Currently the Marching Percussion Coordinator at the University Of Maryland (College Park, MD), Stevenson University (Stevenson, MD), and the owner of Drum Studio AWESOME!, Mr. Smith now resides in Gaithersburg, MD. Before living in Maryland, he was the Director of Bands and Music Arranger at Royal Palm Beach Community HS (Palm Beach County, FL), Percussion Arranger for West Boca HS (Palm Beach County, FL), and Gateway HS (Osceola County, FL).
Terrell is currently a music adjudicator for US Bands and Cavalcade of Bands and is excited to join the the Stevenson University adjunct faculty.
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.
Brooks Edman – Battery Technician
Cameron Willey – Battery Technician
Cameron Willey is a graduate of Salisbury University (MD), with a B.A. in Music Performance, Percussion and has become known as an educator and designer through his work with many programs in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Among those programs are James M. Bennett High School, Spring Grove Area High School, Milton Hershey School, Hershey PA; Woodbridge High School, ; Boonsboro High School; and Parkside High School in Salisbury, MD. He is also active as an adjudicator with the National Judges’ Association.
In 2010, Cameron co-founded Chesapeake Percussion, an Independent Indoor Percussion Ensemble, which competes locally in Tournament Indoor Association events and on the national stage with Winter Guard International (WGI). Outside of the music arena, Cameron works in the IT field for the Lutheran Center in Baltimore.
Alex Crowley – Front Ensemble Technician
Wind and Marching Staff
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.
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!
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 (tommyigoe.com); project and technical management, design and promotional video for the educational iPad app Drum Guru (drumguru.com); website design, social media management and graphics support for Vic Firth Gourmet (vicfirthgourmet.com) and website redesign and digital products delivery development for Mark Wessels Publications (mwpublications.com).
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 Staff Information
Flute – Sierra Waul
Clarinet – Katie Baumgart
Sax – Mason Buchanan
Trumpet – Emily Godlewski
Mellophone – Regina Sealey
Low Brass – Drew Lane
Dance Captain/Choreographer - Diamond Spedden