Andrew Carr, Director of Bands, 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, 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 Campus as well as Lakota East Main and Freshman Campuses, 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, is a graduate of Lakota East High School. During her time at Lakota, Mrs. Brinkman was a member of Symphonic Winds, Eastside Jazz, Marching Thunderhawks and the pit orchestra. She was also a member of the OMEA District XIII Honor Band and All-State Band. Throughout her junior high and high school career, Mrs. Brinkman studied clarinet, piano, and harp privately.
Mrs. Brinkman earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she studied clarinet with Michele Gingras. At Miami, she was a member of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Steel Band and accompanied various instrumental juries. She was also a proud member and student manager of the Miami University Wind Ensemble.
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. She is extremely excited to be a part of the amazing staff in the Lakota Local School District! Her responsibilities at Lakota Plains 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, 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.
Chris Considine , Marching Band Visual Instructor
Abby Hinson, Marching Band Woodwind Instructor, is in her fourth year on the staff at Lakota West. Mrs. Hinson is a 2013 graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. While at Bowling Green, she studied saxophone with Dr. John Sampen. Mrs. Hinson is a Band Director at E.H. Greene Intermediate in the Sycamore Community School District and maintains an active private lessons studio.
Evan Sasowsky, Marching Band Front Ensemble, is a front ensemble fanatic, having begun his career as a marching mallet player at the University of Cincinnati, in the Bearcat Marching Bands, under Percussion Director Nick Angelis. His experience there quickly inspired him to seek independent marching activities, landing him on a marimba at the Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble (PIA/PIO) in the 2014 WGI season. Evan followed his first season of indoor with a season at Tates Creek Indoor Ensemble (PIW), where he was the center marimba player and section leader of the front ensemble in the 2015 season. For his final two seasons as a performer in WGI, Evan chose to march at Rhythm X (PIW), where he played marimba for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, marching for his age-out DCI season in 2016 at the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, TX.
Evan currently lives in Cincinnati, OH, where he is a front ensemble instructor at Cincinnati Tradition (DCA A Class Champions and High Percussion Winner, 2017), Tates Creek Indoor (WGI, PIO), Colerain High School, and Elder High School. In his free time he likes to play and stream video games, go to the Ohio Renaissance Festival, quote The Office, and play board games with his roommates. This is Evan’s second season teaching at Lakota West and he is excited to be back working with the talented staff and wonderful students of West!
Tim Coady, Color Guard Director, was born and raised in the St. Louis area. While living in Missouri, Tim performed with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps and the Pride of Missouri State winter guard. After moving to Ohio, Tim broadened his horizons at Zydeco Colorguard, where he was honored with being the 2014 Member of the Year, and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, where he served as colorguard captain for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Tim has a passion for inspiring students through colorguard, and has worked with programs across the United States. He has been involved with instructing other awarded programs such as Centerville HS, La Salle High School, Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, Miami University, and Juxtaposition Winter Guard. Tim currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, serving as a colorguard educator in the Miami Valley.
Shelby Adkins, Color Guard Director, began her color guard career at Centerville High School with the Centerville Jazz Band (Marching Band) and the Centerville World Winter Guard. Prior to joining color guard, she trained in ballet, pointe, modern, and jazz at BalletMet Columbus, and then as a member of the Dayton Ballet Pre-Professional Company. Shelby continued her passion for performance after high school by performing with The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps (World Champion 2011), Pride of Cincinnati Winter Guard (World Champion 2013), Zydeco World Winter Guard, and the Pride of Cincinnati Dance Ensemble. Additionally, she toured Japan in 2014 with the cast of the Emmy and Tony Award winning show, Blast!, as the female Visual Ensemble Swing. Some of Shelby’s teaching and choreography experience includes Bellbrook High School, Archbishop Alter High School, and Cincinnati Tradition Drum & Bugle Corps. In addition to teaching, Shelby works full-time in supply chain and operations for a Dayton-area manufacturing company.
Kayla DiLorenzo, Color Guard Staff