Andrew Carr, Director of Bands
Mr. Carr is a graduate of Lakota West High School and has been teaching since 2002. Mr. Carr holds music degrees in music education from Miami University of Ohio. Mr. Carr’s teaching responsibilities include directing the nationally recognized Lakota West Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band. He assists with two freshman bands, as well as being the director of the Marching Firebirds.
The Lakota West Marching Band has continued its tradition of excellence under Mr. Carr’s leadership. In addition to competitive success with their field shows they also performed at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and were the featured performers at the 2017 Disney Magic New Year’s Eve Parade. The Marching Firebirds have been finalists at Bands of America Regionals and have performed at Grand Nationals. The Marching Firebirds consistently qualify and have been subsequently awarded superior ratings in OMEA State Level Competition.
The concert bands have been awarded superior ratings at district and state level festivals since the schools opening in 1997. They have performed at the Music for All Regional Concert Band Festival and at OMEA State Convention. The Lakota West Symphonic Winds have maintained a tradition of excellence, performing great masterworks for concert band, as well as hosting a large group of distinguished guest conductors and composers with the band each year. This group also has multiple students selected from the ensemble each year for the Ohio All-State Ensembles.
Prior to his appointment to Lakota West High School Mr. Carr has been the Director of Bands at New Richmond High School, Associate Director of Bands at Kettering Fairmont High School, as well as the Director of Jazz Studies at Lakota West High School.
Mr. Carr marched with Lakota West, Miami University, and he has a DCI world championship ring earned with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps during the 2000 season. He has traveled extensively throughout the world singing and playing throughout his career. Mr. Carr remains an active trumpet player and trumpet teacher. He is an active member and judge in the Ohio Music Education Association, regularly attending OMEA contests and conventions. He hosts several local music events for area music students, and has acted as the chair of All-State ensembles. In addition to OMEA, he is an active member of NAfME, a Conn-Selmer VIP, MSBA, ITG, and JECO. Mr. Carr resides in West Chester with his wife Alyssa and two sons, Chandler and Maddox.
Colin Celek, Freshman Director, Assistant Director of Bands
Mr. Celek holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ohio University and is pursuing an MME from Miami(OH) University. While at Ohio, he studied clarinet with Rebecca Rischin and conducting with Richard Suk and Andrew Trachsel. Mr. Celek’s responsibilities at West include conducting the two freshman concert bands, directing the freshman jazz ensemble, and assisting with three high school concert bands. Mr. Celek is also a Co-Director of the Marching Fire birds. Prior to Lakota West, Mr. Celek was an Assistant Band Director at Fairfield High School/Freshman School and at Eaton High School. Bands under Mr. Celek’s leadership have earned consistent Superior ratings at OMEA events and at the Louisville Jazz Festival. On the field, Mr.Celek’s ensembles have garnered numerous Grand Champion awards and are consistent finalists at Bands of America regional events. In 2018, the Fairfield music department was honored as a 2018 National Association of Music Merchants “Best Community for Music”. Mr. Celek has served for six years as the District XIII Honor Band Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association. He is an active member in OMEA and NAfME.
Aaron Todahl, Jazz Band Director at Lakota West Main, Lakota East Main, and East Freshman Campuses
Mr. Todahl earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a Specialization in Jazz from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). During his time at CCM, he had the opportunity to perform with the CCM Jazz Orchestra, John Von Ohlen, Fareed Haque, Steve Allee, and many others including performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and at the Jazz Education Network Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Todahl still continues to perform regularly as a trumpet player and guitarist in the Greater Cincinnati area.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from CCM, Mr. Todahl was the K-8 Music Director for Cardinal Pacelli School in Mt. Lookout, OH for the 2017-2018 school year. Mr. Todahl’s current responsibilities at Lakota include directing the jazz ensembles at Lakota West Main Campus and Lakota East Main Campus. He also assists with Symphonic Winds, works with the pep band, and will be conducting the pit orchestra at East. Mr. Todahl is a Lakota East alum and is proud to be involved in the continued excellence of the programs at Lakota East and West.
Emily Brinkman, Director of Bands at Plains Junior School
Mrs. Brinkman is a graduate of Lakota East High School where she was a member of Symphonic Winds, Eastside Jazz, Marching Thunderhawks and also selected to be in the OMEA District XIII Honor Band and All-State Band.
Mrs. Brinkman earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she studied clarinet with Michele Gingras. After graduating cum laude from Miami University, Mrs. Brinkman taught general music in the Bethel-Tate Local Schools for one year. She then taught in the Tri-Village Local School District for three years, teaching general music, marching band and concert band. While at Tri-Village, the size of the band program increased significantly. Most recently, Mrs. Brinkman taught junior high and high school concert band and marching band for four years in the Tipp City Exempted Village School District. The Tipp City marching band proudly participated in OMEA competitions and BOA Grand Nationals each year. At Lakota Plains, Mrs. Brinkman’s responsibilities include teaching 7th grade and 8th grade band classes as well as the 7th and 8th grade jazz band after school program.
Mrs. Brinkman is an active member of the Ohio Music Education Association and the National Association for Music Education. Mrs. Brinkman lives in West Chester with her husband, Luke, their daughter, Eleanor, and their dog, Max.
Sherri Voytek, Director of Bands at Lakota Ridge Junior School
Mrs. Voytek served for several years in the Lakota East band program before coming to Lakota Ridge. She leads all seventh and eighth grade bands as well as the after-school Jazz band program.
Brittany Jackson, Colorguard & Winterguard Director