meet the cnx22 staff

jack boulis

executive director

Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Jack is a music educator and percussionist from Delaware, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Toledo in 1993. Jack was a member of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps from 1986-1990 where he served as drum line captain 1988-1990.

Over the past 27 years Jack has taught music in all grade levels, K-12, in Ohio public schools. Other teaching experience includes the University of Toledo Marching Band and the University of Cincinnati Athletic Bands.

Jack serves on the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors and has been with ConneXus since their first season in 2013.

drew brown

ensemble director, program coordinator, & music coordinator

Vice President, CPAA Board of Directors

Drew Brown has been involved with the marching and percussive arts since 2001 as a performer, educator, and designer. He is currently Ensemble Director at ConneXus Percussion where he also serves as Program Coordinator and Music Coordinator and as Vice President of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors.

Since 2015, Drew has worked with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps where he is a front ensemble technician and electronics coordinator.

Drew studied music education, composition, and percussion performance at Bowling Green State University, Wright State University, and the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.

Drew is proud to be endorsed by Innovative Percussion and Evans Drumheads.

nick riley

Ensemble Director, program coordinator, development coordinator, & front ensemble technician

President, CPAA Board of Directors

Nick Riley is thrilled to return to ConneXus for his tenth season in 2022.

Currently, Nick serves as the Ensemble Director, Program Coordinator, Development Coordinator, and Front Ensemble Technician for ConneXus and has previously held numerous administrative, creative, and instructional roles since co-founding the ensemble in the summer of 2012. Nick has also served as President of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors since 2016.

Nick has been involved in the pageantry arts as a performer, instructor, composer/arranger, ensemble administrator, and adjudicator since 2003.  He is currently a graduate student at The Ohio State University where he is pursuing his Master of Arts degree in Music Education.  Prior to pursuing graduate studies full-time, Nick was the Director of Bands for Liberty Center Local Schools in northwest Ohio from 2012 to 2021.  Under his direction, the band program at Liberty Center doubled in size and boasted highly successful marching, concert, and chamber ensembles.  Nick holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Capital University.  Some of Nick’s notable former teachers include: James Swearingen, Bob Breithaupt, Nate Anders, Eric Paton, Tony Zilincik, Dr. Dina Lentsner, Dr. Barry E. Kopetz, Jim Leslie, Wayne Markworth, Andrew Markworth, Ross Williams, Allen Justus, and Tim Fairbanks.

Nick is the founder of the web-based pageantry arts music design business NPR Marching Concepts where has has composed nearly 600 works for over 60 ensembles since beginning his writing career in 2007. A prolific composer for marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles, drum corps, and winter winds, Nick’s compositions can be heard across the United States and South America. In addition to publishing his own work, Nick’s compositions for indoor percussion are published by Gary P. Gilroy Publications and Marching Show Concepts.

Nick is an accomplished adjudicator for the pageantry arts, judging actively for the Central States Judges Association since 2013 and the Ohio Music Education Association since 2012. Specializing in music general effect, music performance, and percussion performance, he has judged in seven states and has been included on local and championship-level adjudication panels. He has been selected to adjudicate the Mid-States Band Association Circuit Championships annually since 2017.

Nick’s previous staff assignments reflect a diverse background in the pageantry arts. He has served as the Assistant Visual Supervisor for Legends Drum & Bugle Corps (2011-2013), a Percussion Consultant for The Ohio State University Marching Band (2011-2014), Front Ensemble Instructor for Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps (2014), and Visual Technician for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps (2016). Nick is currently the Percussion Composer/Arranger for the Gran Banda Drum & Bugle Corps of Medellin, Colombia, South America, where he has served on both the percussion and visual staffs since 2014. The “GB” is the 2014 DCI SoundSport Champion, runner up in 2017, and the first ensemble from South America to perform in DCI events.

Nick is a member of OMEA, CSJA, PFCJ, NAfME, and PAS. Nick holds endorsements from Vic Firth and Black Swamp Percussion.

A native of Centerville, Ohio, Nick currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Michael Reese

Ensemble Director & front ensemble coordinator

Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Educational Director, ConneXion

Michael Reese is in his fifth year as the Assistant Director of Bands for the Elida Local School District in Elida, Ohio. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Marietta College and is currently working on his Master’s Degree from Ohio University.

During his marching career, Michael performed with Cap City Percussion, Legends Drum and Bugle Corps, Rhythm X, and the Madison Scouts.

Michael also serves as a front ensemble technician for the Madison Scouts. He has been part of the ConneXus staff since the 2018 season.

andrew markworth

front ensemble composer/arranger

Andrew Markworth is a composer, arranger and consultant writing wind, front ensemble and battery percussion for marching bands, indoor drumlines and drum corps.

He is currently the music arranger and coordinator for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, TX and The Company Performance Ensemble of Great Britain. He also is the music director for Rhythm X; both the 3 time gold medalist percussion group (2008, 2009, 2013) and the 2 time gold medalist winds group (2015, 2017). Andrew was the Front Ensemble Arranger/Coordinator for Carolina Crown from 2007-2014.

Andrew currently resides in Centerville, Ohio with his wife Kara, daughter Natalie, and son Brady.

ryan ellis

battery composer/arranger & visual designer/coordinator

Ryan Ellis is an active battery arranger, visual designer, and drill writer for marching bands, indoor drumlines, and drum corps. He has performed with Rhythm X, Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.

Ryan currently serves as both the Percussion Caption Head and Battery Arranger for the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. 

Ryan currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Kayla.

brandon smith

choreographer & movement designer

Originally from Lexington, KY, Brandon’s career in the performing arts includes musical theater professional and studio dance, and the marching arts. He began drum corps and color guard with the Madison Scouts, performing in the color guard from 2003-2006. Afterwards, he was a member of the Pride of Cincinnati and Juxtaposition Winter Guard. Brandon has an extensive stage performance resume that includes regional musical theater and professional dance. Highlights include Hair, RENT, Hairspray, The Nutcracker Ballet, and the world premiere cast of the Pride of Cincinnati Dance Ensemble.

A 2007 graduate of Miami University of Ohio, he was a four year member of their student dance company, Vision Dance Company, and led them as Artistic Director for the 2005-06 season. After graduating, he served as a musical theater dance instructor for Kentucky Conservatory Theatre (KCT). He continued his teaching at Olmsted Performing Arts (OPA) in Cleveland, OH, while pursuing his M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of Akron. He also served as the Director of Dance Education at OPA and instructed students in jazz, contemporary and ballet. Brandon was also a founding member of the North Pointe Ballet company.

Brandon has been a designer and choreographer for color guards in the Kentucky and Ohio region including include Paul Laurence Dunbar HS, North Hardin HS, Madison Central HS, and Phoenix Independent Winter Guard. Brandon is entering his 5th season as a Designer and Movement Choreographer for Juxtaposition Winter Guard, the 2016 WGI Independent Open Class Champion and 2017 World Class Finalist. From 2012-2017, Brandon was the Color Guard Caption Head and Designer for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. Currently, he is the Movement Designer and Choreographer for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

Brandon lives in Columbus, Ohio where he choreographs for the Central Crossing and Worthington Kilbourne bands. Brandon is looking forward to his third season with ConneXus!

molly favret

artistic, set, & uniform designer

nick marquardt

snare technician

Nick began his marching percussion career at William Mason High School in 2009. After graduating high school, he attended the University of North Texas to study Music Education. While at North Texas, Nick studied under several professors including Christopher Deane and Paul Rennick. He also went on to play snare drum with the Santa Clara Vanguard for the 2015 and 2016 DCI seasons.

Nick now lives in Cincinnati where he is finishing his undergraduate studies in Computer Science and teaching at William Mason High School in the fall.

 

Danny Groh

Snare Technician

Bio coming soon.

Sean Girvin

Snare technician

Sean began his marching career with Westerville North High School in 2012.  He then went on to march his first season with ConneXus in 2016.  He continued with the group through their transition to World Class in 2019 and marched his final season in 2020.  Sean also spent one summer with the Crossmen in 2016 and one summer with Carolina Crown in 2018.

He has spent time teaching at a few high schools in the Cincinnati area, including Oak Hills High School, Forest Hills High School, and Milford High School where he now serves as the Battery Caption Head.

Sean lives in Cincinnati, Ohio where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati and is looking to continue his education in the field of physical therapy.

Jordan Kracus

Snare technician

Jordan started his marching career in 2011 at Xenia High School and moved to Bellbrook High School in 2014.

After graduating, he spent the summer of 2016 on tour in Crossmen’s snareline and spent the next 3 winters in ConneXus where he aged out during their first year in PIW.

He has taught at several schools in the Dayton area including Bellbrook High School, Kettering Fairmont High School, Milford High School, and finally Northmont High School, where he was the battery arranger/coordinator.

colby mcclellan

Tenor Technician

Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Colby McClellan has been part of the marching activity since 2005. He began his marching career at Hickory High School in North Carolina. During his undergraduate studies, he was a section leader for the Marching Mountaineers of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

He performed as tenor section leader with Carolina Gold from 2010 to 2012, during which time the corps received high percussion all three years and became the DCA Class A World Champions. During the summer of 2013, he was privileged to age out as a member of the 75th anniversary corps of the DCI Finalist Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

Colby marched three seasons of WGI with Wake Forest Independent, based out Winston Salem, NC and served as the tenor section leader. Colby finished his WGI marching career with the MQ at Matrix during the 2014 season.

Colby has been an educator and designer for various schools throughout North Carolina. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where he works as a Sales and Marketing Representative, Battery Coordinator at Milford High School and Battery Instructor at Forest Hills Marching Arts.

2022 is Colby’s eighth season with ConneXus and he couldn’t be more excited to see where this family is headed!

Christian Rozanek

Tenor Technician

Christian began his marching career back in 2010 at Westland High School out of Columbus, OH playing tenors.

In 2012, he began his independent marching career with Cap City Percussion in their inaugural season. He marched with Cap City playing tenors for the 2012-2015 and 2017 seasons, being the section leader for 4 of those 5 seasons.

Christian then returned to Cap City in 2018 as one of the tenor instructors for the ensemble.

He currently resides in the Grove City area, and has spent time teaching at multiple high schools in the central Ohio area over the last few years.

After now taking some time away from the activity, he is excited and ready to dive back in with ConneXus for the season!

Dylan sammons

tenor technician

Dylan Sammons began his marching career in 2011 with Milford High School in Cincinnati, OH. He began his time in the independent scene marching tenors with ConneXus in 2018, and stayed until his age out in 2020. He was also a member of the 2018 Madison Scouts.

His instructional experience includes teaching the battery at multiple schools around the Cincinnati/Dayton area. Currently, he resides in Cincinnati where he is the tenor technician at Milford High School.

zach strong

bass drum technician

This will be Zach’s thirteenth season involved in the marching arts, starting back in 2010 at La Salle High School in Cincinnati.

His experience with the independent side of the marching activity began in 2014, marching snare at ConneXus during their first year in PIO. He then went on to start his bass drumming career with Tates Creek out of Lexington, KY. For the 2016 season, he traveled up to Indianapolis and began his three-year marching career with Legacy Indoor Percussion, aging out in 2018. During this time, he also spent the 2017 DCI season as a member of the Phantom Regiment.

In 2019, he transitioned from marching to teaching bass drum as a staff member of Veritas in their inaugural season in PIW. Zach was also a member of the 2020 Crossmen percussion staff, whose season transitioned to an online platform after being cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be Zach’s second season on staff with ConneXus teaching the battery and taking photos.

He currently works as a Testing and Development Engineer in Milford, Ohio and resides in Newport, Kentucky.

James Nelson

bass drum technician

James Nelson began his marching career in in 2006 with Lexington High School in Lexington, South Carolina. Later, he transitioned to Beavercreek High School in Beavercreek, OH. After graduation he continued his marching career with Spirit of Atlanta in the 2011 and 2013 seasons.

His instructional period starts in 2012 as a bass drum tech for Beavercreek. He has since moved on to being one of the battery techs for the ensemble. James was one of the key inspirations for bringing back Beavercreek’s Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2015.

He is excited to bring his knowledge and experiences to ConneXus team.

 

Ethan Wright

bass drum technician

An Indianapolis native, Ethan got his start as a performer with the Center Grove High School band and indoor percussion programs and has been an active member of the community ever since. After graduating, he went on to perform with Legacy Indoor Percussion, Matrix Open, Matrix World, and Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps.

Since his days as a member, Ethan has served as an instructor for many local high school programs such as Franklin Community, Ben Davis, Fishers, and Southport. He has also been a staff member at Veritas Independent and Music City Drum & Bugle Corps.

He currently resides in Indianapolis, IN where he works as a Software Engineer and UI Designer while studying Visual Communication.

Ethan is excited to bring his passion and knowledge to ConneXus for the 2022 season.

 

kristin smith

cymbal technician & alumni relations coordinator

Member, CPAA Board of Directors

Kristin Smith has been involved in the marching arts since 2004, performing with many ensembles including Pickerington North HS Marching Band, the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band at Ball State University, the Falcon Marching Band at Bowling Green State University, Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps, and Matrix. 

Her past instructional experience has included percussion and visual instruction for high school and university marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles, and drum corps. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bowling Green State University and works for OhioHealth Learning in Columbus, Ohio. 

Kristin is excited to start her eighth season with ConneXus!

bryce hopwood

cymbal technician

Bryce began his involvement with the marching arts in 2011 with the Waynesville High School marching band. In 2014 he joined Cincinnati Tradition Drum & Bugle corps where he played bass drum until 2018. Bryce joined ConneXus as a member of the cymbal line in 2018 and returned on bass drum for his age-out season in 2019.

As an instructor, Bryce has held multiple positions with several marching programs across the Dayton area. 2022 will be his second season on staff at ConneXus.

Bryce holds a BA in Music Education from Wright State University. He currently resides in Lima, Ohio, where he teaches middle school band and orchestra at Liberty Arts Magnet School.

Dr. brandon dodge

front ensemble technician

Dr. Brandon Dodge is a freelance percussionist, music educator, and composer/arranger currently based out of Cincinnati, Ohio.

As a performer, Brandon has presented several solo recitals and maintains an active involvement in several contemporary chamber groups. A dedicated and enthusiastic music educator, Brandon currently works as the front ensemble tech and arranger for the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Marching Band, and joined the percussion staff at Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016. He also spent several years as a front ensemble tech with Atlanta Quest Independent Indoor Drumline.

In the past, Brandon was a four-time DCI finalist, performing in the front ensemble with Spirit of Atlanta (2003, 2005, 2006) and Phantom Regiment (2007). Brandon recently completed a D.M.A. in percussion performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and holds an M.M. from Georgia State University, and a B.A. from Jacksonville State University, where he studied percussion and composition.

 

John Newcomb

Front ensemble Technician

John Newcomb is an active music educator based in Centerville, Ohio.

Currently, John is in his second year of teaching General Music at St. Luke Catholic School in Beavercreek as well as teaching several Dayton area high school marching bands and indoor percussion ensembles.

John holds a BM in Music Education from the University of Dayton. While at UD, John performed in a variety of ensembles and advanced his solo and duo percussion repertoire; recognized as an Honors Recital Award Winner (2018, 2019 and 2020).

In the marching arts, John has performed with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps (2016-2019), Cap City Percussion (2021) and was a Drum Major for the Pride of Dayton (2018 and 2019).

This will be John’s first season teaching with ConneXus and he is very excited to join this fantastic team of educators!

Rob Stuckert

Front Ensemble Technician

Rob Stuckert is a musician who plays the bass guitar. He has been playing professionally for nearly twenty years. Rob has shared the stage with a wide variety of local, regional, and national songwriters and musicians in a wide variety of musical settings including rock, blues, jazz, funk, R&B, Celtic, and folk. He is equally comfortable on a stage, in the studio, or in an orchestra pit. An avid student, Rob has studied with several bass legends including Victor Wooten, Chuck Rainey, and Carol Kaye.

Rob uniquely combines a classically academic approach with an organic, linguistic approach to studying music.  He has been teaching both in public schools and private lessons for nearly twenty years.  Rob holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Ohio Dominican University and is currently working towards a second Masters in IT from the University of Cincinnati.

When he’s not performing, recording, or practicing, Rob loves spending time with his wife Amanda and their seven kids.  Rob resides with his family in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Danielle Marquardt

Visual Technician

Danielle has been involved in the WGI and DCI community for over a decade, establishing herself in the Kentucky and Ohio area. She performed with Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, Lexis Winterguard, Zydeco Colorguard, Juxtaposition Winterguard, and Pride of Cincinnati’s Dance Ensemble. Danielle has taught indoor programs including Kettering Fairmont, Centerville, Bellbrook, Lafayette, ConneXus, Rhythm X, Allegoria WG, and Juxtaposition WG. Her DCI background consists of teaching for the Colts, Crossmen, Troopers, and most recently, the 2021 Cadets.

In her time outside of all-things-band, Danielle enjoys working at a local florist, teaching her high school program, geeking out over corgis, and many other things. She is more than thrilled to be rejoining the ConneXus Family for the 2022 season!