meet the CPAA, Inc. Board of directors

The ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that oversees the operations of the ConneXus ensembles and is comprised of several of the founding staff members of the indoor percussion and winter guard programs. The CPAA, Inc. Board of Directors is committed to providing its members with an outstanding educational experience in the field of the pageantry arts.

nick riley


Nick Riley is thrilled to return to ConneXus for his 12th season in 2024.

Currently, Nick serves as the Ensemble Director, Program Coordinator, Ensemble Specialist, and Front Ensemble Technician for ConneXus and has previously held numerous other 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 led both the ensemble and design teams each time ConneXus made WGI World Championships Finals for the first time: PIO in 2015 and PIW in 2023.

Nick has been involved in the pageantry arts as a performer, instructor, composer/arranger, ensemble administrator, and adjudicator for 20 years. Currently, Nick is pursuing a PhD in Music Education at The Ohio State University where he is a fully-funded graduate teaching associate for the School of Music. At OSU, he instructs undergraduate courses in music education, instrumental techniques, and supervises student teachers. A classically trained percussionist, Nick earned a Master of Arts in Music Education from The Ohio State University in 2023 and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Capital University in 2011. Prior to pursuing his graduate studies full-time, Nick was the Director of Bands for Liberty Center Local Schools in rural northwest Ohio from 2012 to 2021 where he successfully led all aspects of the band program to prominence.

Nick is the founder of the web-based pageantry arts music design business NPR Marching Concepts: The Music of Nick Riley where he 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, he has judged in eight 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.

drew brown

Vice President

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

From 2015-2019, Drew worked with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps as a front ensemble
technician, front ensemble coordinator, and electronics coordinator. In 2020 and 2021, Drew
worked with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps as a front ensemble technician.

Currently, Drew is the Percussion Director for Beavercreek City Schools, where he teaches
marching band, indoor percussion ensemble, and classroom percussion to high school and
middle school students in the district.

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, Evans Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and

He currently resides in Dayton, OH with his wife, Cierra, and their dogs, Bobo and Duke.

Cierra Carr-Brown


Cierra Carr-Brown’s current work involves women’s health education and community
outreach in Southwest Ohio. She has a strong background in healthcare and public
health and holds BS in Exercise Physiology and Master of Public Health degrees from
West Virginia University. Additionally, she is in her final year of study to become a
Registered Nurse.

Cierra’s love of music began with her involvement in marching, concert, and jazz bands
at her high school. Since meeting her husband, Drew, she has experienced a rekindled
love of music performance and the pageantry arts, and she can be found loudly cheering
in the stands during indoor drumline and marching band shows.

2022 is her first year serving on the ConneXus Board of Directors, and she is so excited to
be involved with ConneXus in a professional capacity this year!.

angel boulis


Angel Boulis returns for her eighth year as Treasurer of the ConneXus Performing Arts Association, Inc. Board of Directors in 2022. She has been involved with the ConneXus Percussion organization since the inaugural 2013 season.

Angel’s involvement in and passion for the pageantry arts activity is rooted in a background of extensive performance experience. She began her winter guard career at the age of 7 as a member of the Wranglers and continued to march for an additional ten seasons as a member of the Rangerettes. In 1990, Angel was a member of the WGI Independent Open Bronze Medalist Pride of Cincinnati.

Angel earned her B.S. in Accounting from the University of Cincinnati and is a Certified Public Accountant. Outside of her duties with the CPAA, Inc., she is treasurer for three other organizations and is a Manager for Maloney + Novotny LLC.

She resides in Delaware, Ohio with her husband Jack and their two children.

jack boulis

Board Member

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 is executive director of ConneXus Percussion and has been with ConneXus since their first season in 2013

john espy

Board member

John Espy is current a financial software specialist in the Cincinnati area. Prior to his position in school finance, Mr. Espy was a Band Director in the Milford Exempted Village School District located on the east-side of the Cincinnati, OH area. At Milford, Mr. Espy’s concert ensembles consistently received Superior ratings at Ohio Music Education Association events; the Marching Band is a consistent Bands of America Semi-Finalist; and the Winter Percussion Ensemble has been WGI Scholastic A class World Finalists. Mr. Espy earned his undergraduate degree in music education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting. Before coming to Milford, Mr. Espy was the Director of Bands for the Mt. Healthy City School District, as well as percussion arranger and caption head at Cabell Midland High School located in Ona, WV.

Mr. Espy’s performance credits include the front ensemble for the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Columbus, Ohio, as well as the 18-time World Champion Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from Concord, California. John was a member of the Marching Thunder (MU) snare line serving two years as drumline captain. Mr. Espy has also served as percussion arranger and instructor for the Marshall University Marching Thunder. During his time playing drums in the Marshall 12 O’clock Jazz Ensemble, John performed with Arturo Sandoval, Kathy Kosins, Byron Stripling, Paquito D’Rivera just to name a few. He was a recognized award winner at the prestigious Notre Dame Jazz Festival having been awarded honors by legendary drummer Peter Erskine. Currently, Mr. Espy a member of the Cincinnati-based Fillmore Wind Band that performed at 2017 Midwest Band Clinic.

Mr. Espy is an active adjudicator as well as a member of the Vic Firth Education Team in the capacity of marching percussion specialist (MPS) and Scholastic Educator (SEP).

Michael Reese

Board Member

Michael Reese is an active music educator and the current Middle School Band Director for the Elida Local School District near Lima, OH.

Michael received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Marietta College in the Spring of 2017, along with a minor in Political Science and Certificate of Teacher Leadership. He is a proud member of NAfME and OMEA.

During his marching career, Michael performed with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps (2014), Cap City Percussion (2014-2015), Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2016), and Rhythm X (2016-2017).

Michael is excited to spend his fifth season with ConneXus!

kristin smith

Board Member

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 BS in Biology from Bowling Green State University and is a Learning Business Consultant in Columbus, Ohio.

Kristin is excited to start her 10th season with ConneXus in 2024!



2022 marks Pam Miranda’s tenth season of involvement with the ConneXus organization.  Pam is a founding staff member of the ConneXus organization, having served in administrative roles for both the indoor drumline and winter guard since its inception.  Pam served as the Secretary for the CPAA, Inc. Board of Directors from 2014 until her retirement in 2021.

Pam’s love for the pageantry arts began as a member of her high school band program. From there, she has served as a board member for high school music booster programs and is an enthusiastic supporter of performers of all ages.

Professionally, Pam is a registered nurse with nearly 40 years of experience in the healthcare field. She received her formal education from Marion Technical College and The Ohio State University and worked in the Morrow County Hospital, Riverside Methodist Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital until her retirement. Pam merged her love for the pageantry arts with her nursing career as the Medical Specialist for the Legends Drum & Bugle Corps (MI) during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Currently, Pam is the STNA clinical instructor and CPR/First Aid instructor at the Tri-Rivers Career Center in Marion, Ohio. Originally from Cardington, Ohio, she currently resides in Mt. Gilead, Ohio.