Aaron Kavelman is a percussion educator, clinician, performer and composer who grew up listening and performing jazz alongside his father, an accomplished jazz pianist. Growing up in a musical family, Aaron watched his four older sisters in the high school band program. Inspired by the local marching bands, Aaron would tape a set of bongos onto a chair and choreograph drill in the backyard, thus the beginning for his love with the marching arts.

With twenty-two years’ experience teaching private lessons and twenty years teaching drumlines throughout Illinois, Aaron brings a wealth of experience and passion to whomever he teaches. Regardless if it is on a competitive field or in support of athletics, he demands top effort from each group. Aaron also has numerous compositional and arranging credits throughout the Midwest from a variety of percussion programs.

Aaron has a bachelor of music and a master of music in percussion performance from Illinois State University where he studied with Dr. Tom Marko, director of jazz, and served as the teaching assistant to Dr. David Collier, head of percussion. Aaron is currently working on his doctor of musical arts in jazz performance with professor Joel Spencer, along with a cognate in North Indian classical music under Dr. Christopher Macklin at the University of Illinois. He currently serves as the drumline instructor for the Marching Illini and continues an active writing, playing and independent clinician schedule.




Michelle Bell is excited to become a doctoral candidate in wind band conducting and serve as a graduate teaching assistant with the University of Illinois Bands. Michelle earned her master of music in wind band conducting from the University of Minnesota where she studied with Dr. Emily Threinen. While at UMN, she assisted with the Marching Band, University Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble.

In 2018, Michelle was appointed Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA where she assisted with the Marching Band and Concert Band, and directed the Pep Band and various chamber woodwind ensembles. She also taught courses in theory, conducting, instrumental methods, and woodwind methods. Prior to her time at E&H, Michelle taught at St. Cloud State University, where she directed the Sports Band.

Michelle graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011, earning her bachelor of music education degree as well as a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. Since then, she has served in the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota Army National Guards. Currently, she holds the rank of Captain and is deployed as a Company Commander in support of the Southwest Border Mission, where she leads a company of over 100 Soldiers.




Isaac Brinberg is currently a doctoral candidate in wind band conducting and serves as a graduate teaching assistant with the University of Illinois Bands. Isaac received his master of music in wind conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, studying conducting with Steven D. Davis and Dr. Joseph Parisi, and tuba with Thomas Stein.
While at the UMKC Conservatory, Isaac served as a graduate teaching assistant for the bands at the conservatory and appeared as a guest conductor with the Conservatory Wind Symphony and Conservatory Wind Ensemble. He also was the conductor for the UMKC Saxophone Ensemble.Isaac is an active writer with varied interests, including research on West Side Story and innovative concert presentation. He also has research interests in the wind band music of Charles Ives, chamber opera and musical theater for winds, developing repertoire resources for directors, and conducting pedagogy.Isaac earned his bachelor of music education degree with a minor in wind conducting from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, graduating with High Distinction. At Indiana, Isaac studied tuba with Daniel Perantoni, and conducting with Dr. Jeff Gershman and Dr. Eric Smedley. Isaac then served as assistant band director at Discovery Middle School in Granger, Indiana, where he team-taught four concert bands, two extra-curricular jazz bands, and was on the marching band staff with Penn High School. Isaac also served as an ISSMA Solo and Ensemble and High School Organizational Contest adjudicator and the IBA All-State Tuba adjudicator.



Jeremy Sison is a candidate for the master of music in wind band conducting and serves as a graduate teaching assistant with the University of Illinois Bands. Previously, Jeremy taught eight years at Bowling Green Middle School and High School in Bowling Green, Ohio. He taught 6th beginning band, 7th grade band, 8th grade band, high school concert band, marching band, pep band, middle school jazz band, and high school jazz band. He conducted the pit orchestra for Bowling Green High School’s Footloose, Shrek, Newsies, High School Musical, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Jeremy received his bachelor of music education degree with a minor in wind conducting from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he also studied trombone with Professor M. Dee Stewart. While at Indiana, Jeremy was a trombone section leader with the IU Marching Hundred, treasurer of the collegiate chapter of NAfME, played in symphonic band and trombone choir, and was a counselor for the IU Summer Music Clinic and College Audition Prep Program.

A native of the Chicago Suburbs, Jeremy attended Glenbard East High School and was a drum major of the marching band. In addition, Jeremy has played trombone and various reed books in many pit orchestras, and also played clarinet in the Bowling Green Community Band, Wheaton Municipal Band, and the Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble.



Jacob Arche is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education with Licensure from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will serve as a graduate teaching assistant for the Illinois Athletic Bands. Originally from Sterling Heights, Michigan, Jacob earned his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Minor in Music from the University of Michigan in 2018. While at Michigan, Jacob was involved in the University Band, Michigan Basketball Band, and Michigan Marching Band where he was a pregame and halftime rank leader of the Horn section for three years. After graduating, Jacob worked at Michigan Medicine as a technician in the Dlugosz Lab, a research lab studying skin cancers, until 2022. Jacob worked on the Merkel Cell Carcinoma project under the supervision of Dr. Monique Verhaegen. He continued playing music as a member of the Michigan Alumni Pep Band and Concert Band.

Jacob has spent the last decade teaching athletic bands and leadership. Since 2014, Jacob has been an instructional staff member at Smith Walbridge Clinics under the supervision of Professor Barry Houser. There, Jacob directs 500+ high school and college drum majors over the course of two weeks in the areas of pedagogy, conducting, marching band fundamentals, and showmanship. As senior staff, he supervises a team of instructors by refining their lesson planning, time management, teaching fundamentals, and teaching styles. Jacob also works for his alma mater at Sterling Heights High School where he established and leads the all-day student leadership retreat for the marching band and served on its band camp staff as a visual coordinator. 

Jacob is excited to be pursuing his passion in music education at UIUC. He believes that educators not only have the important task of teaching their respective subject matter, but also intangible life lessons, and wants to provide that for the next generation of students. In addition to playing Horn under the guidance of Bernhard Scully, he is eager to work with the Marching Illini and the rest of the athletic bands. Many of the music educators that inspire him most are products of UIUC, so he is thrilled to be following in their footsteps.


Saxophonist Nathan Maher is currently pursuing a Masters of Music from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Debra Richtmeyer while also serving as a graduate teaching assistant for the Illinois Athletic Bands. He has earned his bachelor of Music Education from the University of Illinois where he also acted as a teaching assistant to the award winning University of Illinois Saxophone Ensemble.

As a performer, Maher has been a part of many ensembles at UIUC including the Marching Illini, Hindsley Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Saxophone Ensemble, and the Wind Orchestra in which he was Principal Saxophonist for several years.  He has also traveled around the country performing as a member of various saxophone quartets such as the Alto Saxophonist in the Elements Quartet and the Tenor Saxophonist in the Fidelis Quartet, both of which were invited to perform at the 2019 NASA Regional Conference and 2020 NASA Biennial Conference, respectively.  

Maher is actively teaching throughout the Chicagoland Area as a clinician for high school marching bands, an adjudicator for solo and ensemble competitions, and as a guest instructor for various high school concert bands.  He also maintains a private studio of many young saxophonists of all levels.  Maher has performed in masterclasses with Timothy McAllister, Nathan Nabb, Dale Underwood, Heidi Ratke, and the Fuego Quartet.  


Andrew McGowan is a contemporary performing artist, originally from Macomb Illinois, who primarily works in the medium of Western Art Music. Across his portfolio career he has spent time curating wardrobes for doctors and lawyers and repairing instruments for major symphony musicians, but now spends his time composing, performing, and teaching.

In his solo projects he strives to curate stirring, contemplative performances favoring works by living artists and his own works for tuba and euphonium—which often involve fixed media, live electronic processing, atypical extended techniques, and omni-idiomatic improvisation.

His compositions feature works for ensembles of all sizes and styles but favor a neo-impressionist and post-minimalist flavor influenced by Bjork, Queen, Muse, Daft Punk, and Dubstep. This fusion of contemporary and ancient techniques utilizes sounds foreign to the concert hall in order to explore how the instrumentarium interacts with irregular rhythmic patterns, nature, and processed sounds.

In his down time Andrew enjoys yoga, comedy, reading, sports, exploring visual art, and being outdoors.



Lorraine Montana is currently a candidate for a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois where she is studying with Douglas Yeo and is a member of the Illinois Wind Symphony. Lorraine is also a graduate assistant with the University of Illinois Bands/Marching Illini & Athletic Bands. Lorraine received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Maryland where she studied trombone with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Trombone Aaron LaVere. While at the University of Maryland, Lorraine played with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Pep Band, The Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band, and was named to the 2020 CBDNA Eastern Intercollegiate Band.