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For audition info fill out the 2023-2024 Gator Marching Band Application

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Dr. David Waybright, Director of Bands

Prof. Jay Watkins, Associate Director of Bands

Dr. Chip Birkner, Assistant Director of Bands

 

Administrative Assistant Elise Kashmiry, 

Phone: 352-273-3146

E-Mail: ekashmiry@arts.ufl.edu

Upcoming Events

September 28th, 2023, 7:20pm

Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band Concert

October 26th, 2023, 7:20pm

Symphonic Band Concert

November 3rd, 2023, 7:20pm

Wind Symphony Concert

"Beyond the Mountains"

November 30th, 2023, 7:20pm

Symphonic Band Concert

December 5th, 7:20pm

Wind Symphony Concert

Gator Band Graduate Assistants

Ms. Gassman is currently pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Conducting. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Performer's Certificate at the University of Florida. She enjoyed playing with the Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and Clarinet Ensemble, as well as visiting local schools as a woodwind instructor.

After graduating, Ms. Gassman assisted the Director of Bands at Fort Clarke Middle School, substitute taught in Alachua County, and accompanied middle school students for Solo and Ensemble. She participated in Gainesville community ensembles playing flute, clarinet, and conducting. This year, she looks forward to working with the Gator Band, Volleyball Band, Concert Bands, and her undergraduate conducting mentees!

A native of Puerto Rico, Ana V. Mattos-Lebron began taking piano lessons with her father at age three and began playing the clarinet at age eight. Ana holds a B.M. in Music Performance from Florida Atlantic University where she studied with Prof. Stojo Miserlioski. Ana is a past winner of the Concerto and Aria Competition at Florida Atlantic University and was awarded second place in the 2018 Palm Beach Post Pathfinder Scholarship in the instrumental music category. Most recently, Ana participated in the recording of Moldovan composer, Natalia Rojcovscaia-Tumaha’s debut album: Philosophy of Miracle, produced by Donemus Records. She is also a part of the MusiCaribe Project Chamber Orchestra, a professional group established in South Florida. In addition to being a Graduate Assistant with UF Bands, Ana is currently pursuing a Master of Music in clarinet performance at the University of Florida, and actively performs with the UF Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Clarinet Ensemble, and New Music Ensemble. 

Mr. Joseph McFarland is pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Conducting with a cognate in Clarinet Performance.

Mr. McFarland received his undergraduate degree in Instrumental Music Education in  from the University of Florida. During his time there, he studied clarinet with Professor Mitchell Estrin and performed with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and Clarinet Ensemble. He was also a member of the Fightin’ Gators Marching Band for four years, serving as section leader for his last three. He has worked with many band programs in the state of Florida, including Howard Bishop Middle School, Forest High School, Buchholz High School, Union County High School, Ponte Vedra High School, and most recently King High School in Tampa. Mr. McFarland also spends his summers working with several music camps, including Smith Walbridge Clinics and Gatorland Band Camps.

Originally from St. Petersburg, Florida, Mr. Avi Kohan-Shohet is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting at UF, studying under Dr. David Waybright. His graduate assistant roles include working with the Gator athletic bands, indoor ensembles, and mentoring undergraduate conducting students.

 

Mr. Kohan-Shohet received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Performer’s Certificate from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. He studied under Dale Underwood, former principal saxophonist of the U.S Navy Band, among other virtuosic faculty. Mr. Kohan-Shohet performed with the Frost Symphonic Winds, Frost Saxophone Ensemble, and the Frost Band of the Hour, where he was awarded with leadership positions and conducting opportunities. In addition, he volunteered at multiple Miami-Dade public schools as marching band staff and worked as a private woodwind instructor.

Hailing from Port Orange, FL, Carli is in her second year of the DMA program in Trombone Performance. She is pursuing a cognate in Women’s Studies and is passionate about the programming of pieces by underrepresented composers.

 

Though this is her second year teaching the marching band, her love for the group goes way back to 2016 when she was a member of the band. Also in the marching arts, Carli is a low brass technician at the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps based in Dubuque, IA.

 

Carli currently serves as the Adjunct Professor of Low Brass at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. Carli received her Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance at Colorado State University and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Florida. She is looking forward to another exciting year working with the Gator Band!

Will Ely was born in Ohio and moved to Utah in grade school. He studied trumpet performance at the University of Utah under Dr. Peyden Shelton and Professor Travis Peterson. After graduating in 2022, Will was accepted at the University of Florida as a master's student, studying trumpet performance and working as a band assistant. In his spare time, Will freelances in Florida and Georgia. 

Hailing from south-central Pennsylvania, Ethan Spencer is a sought-after trombonist and music educator who recently relocated to Florida. Ethan earned his B.M.E. in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University where he studied trombone and spent a semester at IES Vienna, where he was mentored by William McElheny of the Vienna Philharmonic. Ethan then earned a M.M. in Trombone Performance and Graduate Certificate in University Teaching at West Virginia University where he studied with Hakeem Bilal. He is currently pursuing a DMA in Trombone Performance at UF.

 

Ethan can be found playing in Big Bands, Musicals, Orchestras, Chamber Ensembles, and more. He formerly served as Associate Instructor of Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba for the WVU Community Music Program and Instructor of Trombone at Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts.

Abraham Sulin received his Bachelor’s of Music in Horn Performance from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2022. Currently, he is a graduate student in the brass area studying Horn under Dr. Paul Basler at UF, where he is a graduate assistant as well as a teaching assistant for the online Experiencing Music course. In addition, Mr. Sulin also assists the Gator Marching Band and coaches the mellophone section.

 

Abraham is an active member of the UF Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony. He has an extensive background performing in woodwind and brass quintets, leading masterclasses, and has participated in many celebrated extracurriculars such as Kendall Betts Horn Camp and the Southeast Horn Workshop. His previous mentors have included Kim McCann, Van Parker, Dr. Antoine Clark, and Dr. Timothy Roden.

Morgan Skelley is a low brass student, performer, and educator in the Gainesville area. Currently serving as a Graduate Assistant for UF Bands, Morgan assists with teaching the marching band, concert bands, and undergraduate lessons in the Tuba/Euphonium Studio.

 

In 2020, Morgan graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Euphonium Performance. After leaving USC, Morgan worked as a freelancer in the NC Triangle area and as an Instrument Repair Tech at SWEENEYBRASS.  

 

In the years following her graduation from USC, Morgan was privileged to perform as a soloist at the International Women’s Brass Conference.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, tubist Casey Wood is currently a doctoral student at the University of Florida studying tuba performance. Prior to this engagement, he graduated from Appalachian State University with a Master’s in Tuba Performance and spent the past four years in Camp Lejeune as the principal tubist for “The Division’s Own” 2D Marine Division Band.

 

Casey also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Western Carolina University. As an educator, Casey has a passion for the marching arts and has worked as a brass and visual technician for Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, the Western Carolina “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band, and several North Carolina high school marching bands. He currently works as a teaching with the University of Florida Gator Band and School of Music

Jared Potter was born and raised in Kosciusko, MS. He earned his Associate of Arts degree in Electrical Engineering from Holmes Comm. College and earned his Bachelors in Music Ed. with a concentration in percussion at Mississippi State, studying under Dr. Jason Baker.

While there, he performed two seasons at Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps.

 

Jared completed his Masters in Percussion Performance at UF in 2020 and he is currently pursuing his Doctor of Music Arts degree. At UF, Jared teaches classes to undergraduate music education students as well as instructs and arranges for the University of Florida Drumline. Jared is an active educator, arranger, and designer for high schools in both MS and FL. He serves as a battery technician for Southwind, and Battery Coordinator for Infinity 3.

Josh Pace is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting at the University of Florida. His responsibilities include fulfilling the graduate assistantship roles of working alongside University bands, professors, and students. Mr. Pace has been awarded the Van Horn Award for Conducting and Graduate Student Teaching Award during his time at the University of Florida.

 

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Pace received his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Grace University. He became the Band and Orchestra Director at Omaha Northwest High School in 2017, where he was the recipient of the CHI Health Top Teacher Award and the Nebraska State Band Masters Outstanding Young Band Director Award. From 2017-2021, Mr. Pace attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln, earning a Masters in Music Education.

Colby Vasquez is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting at the UF.  Prior to attending UF, Colby was the Associate Director of Instrumental Music at Clovis West High School in Fresno, California from 2020-2023 where he directed the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and Marching Band. Before that, he was the Director of Instrumental Music at William C. Overfelt High School in San Jose, CA from 2016-2019. In 2018, Colby was voted Teacher of the Year by his fellow WCOHS teachers and awarded the Crown Award: Medal of Merit by the school site administration.

 

Colby graduated from California State University Fresno in 2013 with a B.A. in Music Ed. He then attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he earned a Masters of Music Education with a focus in Wind Conducting in 2016. He now serves as the Drill Writer for the 400-member University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band. Colby marched in the Santa Clara Vanguard for 3 years, then worked as a staff member for both the Vanguard organization in several roles, including Visual Caption Manager for both the Vanguard & Vanguard Cadets. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Santa Clara Vanguard. 

June Stoeber is the founder and head coach of the AllStars Twirling Academy. She has been teaching baton for 39 years and twirling for longer than that. She began baton classes when she was 9 years old and earned many accolades over her years as a competitive twirler, including World open Two-Baton Champion 1987. She became a UF Gatorette in 1988 and twirled for 6 football seasons. She has coached the Gatorettes for the past 27 football seasons and has led them to 10 national titles. Mrs. June specializes in halftime routines, show twirls and 2 baton.  She has coached many State, Regional and National champions.  She has even had one student win the preliminary talent award at the 2014 Miss America Pageant.  She is very excited for the upcoming baton season and can’t wait to meet lots of new and excited students!

Ms. Elise Kashmiry serves the University of Florida as Administrative Specialist to the University Band Department and assistant to its Director, Dr. David Waybright.  Ms. Kashmiry is an alumnus of the University of Florida receiving both her Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in Communication Studies degree and Master of Business Administration specializing in Entrepreneurship degree.  During her time at UF, she was a Gatorette and member of the Gator Band serving in a leadership role three of her four years with the program.  Ms. Kashmiry has a background in finance, administration and event planning/production bringing 10 years of business and admin experience to the department.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, tubist Casey Wood is currently a doctoral student at the University of Florida studying tuba performance. Prior to this engagement, he graduated from Appalachian State University with a Master’s in Tuba Performance and spent the past four years in Camp Lejeune as the principal tubist for “The Division’s Own” 2D Marine Division Band.

 

Casey also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Western Carolina University. As an educator, Casey has a passion for the marching arts and has worked as a brass and visual technician for Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, the Western Carolina “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band, and several North Carolina high school marching bands. He currently works as a teaching with the University of Florida Gator Band and School of Music

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