The development of the new Titan Thunder Marching Band at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has reached a new milestone with the assembly of its staff.
The launch of the marching band program was spearheaded by Joseph Scheivert, who was hired last year as director of sports bands. Now joining him in this effort are two educators from the music department and three members of the northeast Wisconsin music community.
▶︎ Leigh-Ann Lethco, professor of music education, was appointed deputy director of the athletic orchestras. Lethco conducts the UW Oshkosh Handbell Choir, has served as acting band director, and teaches music from early childhood through secondary instrumental music, music theory, and conducting, among others. Previously, she worked as a public school orchestra director and music teacher and led marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands and chamber ensembles. She continues to be active in public school music, being involved in various band camps, ensemble events, festivals and more.
Lethco holds a doctorate in music education from Louisiana State University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in music education from Ohio University.
▶︎Hakeem Davidson, a lecturer in the music department who teaches clarinet and music business, will serve as color guard instructor. In addition to teaching music, Davidson has many years of experience performing and teaching the arts of marching and color guarding. The Texas native was a color guard at the University of Texas at Arlington and spent two summers with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps. He also found success as a member of the Black Gold Organization for five years, including a world championship bronze medal with White Gold Independent and a trip to the IW Finals in 2015.
As an undergraduate, he served as director of the color guard at Mansfield Legacy High School. The group has won several accolades under his leadership, including a bronze medal at the North Texas Colorguard Association Championships in 2014.
Davidson earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in clarinet performance from Michigan State University.
▶︎ Benjamin Baertschy joins the Titan Thunder team as percussion coordinator. A lifelong drummer, Baertschy’s first of nine seasons in the Drum and Bugle Corps came at age 12. He continued to march with the University of Louisiana in Lafayette Marching Band and Indoor Drumline, and participated in Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble and Percussive Arts. Soloist competitions of the Society’s International Convention on Tenors.
He taught several drum lines in high school and college and is currently a performer and arranger for the Green Bay Packers Tundraline.
▶︎ With over 20 years of experience in twirling and dancing, Whittney Seckar-Anderson joined as a twirling instructor. Seckar-Anderson teaches and co-directs Julie’s Touch of Silver Dance Studio in Oshkosh. She is a former national and world baton twirler champion and was the Golden Girl star twirler at the University of Iowa, where she earned a degree in communications and political science and performed with the Hawkeye Marching Band. for five seasons.
▶︎Lisa Lewisgraduated from UWO in 2008 with a degree in English, will work with the marching band staff as an administrative assistant.
The momentum is building
The Titan Thunder’s historic debut is set for the first home football game of the 2022 season, when the Titans host East Texas Baptist University on September 3.
Applications for students to join the marching band are now open. Students from all three UWO campuses are eligible. Registration is also open to any student enrolled in a post-secondary institution, which means current students at Ripon College, Lawrence University, Fox Valley Technical College and beyond can join the group through an application process. special admission.
Open positions include piccolo, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, trumpet, mellophone, trombone, baritone, sousaphone, marching percussion, color guard and baton.
Those who participate in the inaugural year of Titan Thunder will not only have the chance to make new friends, play great music and cheer on the Titans, but they will also lay the groundwork for the program, including developing new traditions, cheers and social events that will make the band outstanding for years to come.
Virtual Titan Thunder information sessions are held every other Thursday in the spring and summer. These Zoom meetings include audition and membership information, a chance to meet staff and student leadership, sharing ideas for fall, and more. Sessions are at 8 p.m. on May 12 and 26, June 9 and 23, July 7 and 21, and August 4 and 18.
Thunder Titan News: