Staff

Staff

Travis Higa – Graduate Assistant

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Travis Higa is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University. Prior to attending MSU, Higa was the Director of Bands at Williams & Glenbrook Middle Schools in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Music Director and founder of the Youth Wind Ensemble of Springfield, and taught applied trumpet lessons at the Community Music School of Springfield.

Higa is originally from Kaneohe, Hawaii. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2011) and his Master of Music degree from the University of Montana (2013). His primary conducting teachers include Kevin Sedatole, James Smart, and Takayoshi “Tad” Suzuki.

Hunter Kopczynski – Graduate Assistant

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Hunter Kopczynski is currently pursuing a masters degree in wind conducting at Michigan State University, where he is active in all aspects of teaching and administration of the band program in the College of Music. Prior to graduate study at MSU, Kopczynski taught in the public schools of Virginia, most recently serving as Director of Bands at Warhill High School in Williamsburg.

A native of Yorktown, Virginia, Kopczynski graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech with a bachelors degree in music and a masters in education. His primary musical mentors at Virginia Tech include Dr. Allen Bachelder and Dr. John Adler (trumpet) and David McKee and Dr. Travis J. Cross (conducting). At MSU, Kopczynski is a conducting student of Dr. Kevin Sedatole.

Branden Steinmetz – Graduate Assistant

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Branden Steinmetz is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University. Previously, he served for 4 years as a band director at Woodbury High School in Woodbury, MN where he taught band, marching band, percussion ensemble, and 2 winter drumlines, while maintaining an active performance career with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra (WI).

Steinmetz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (2011) and a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Minnesota (2013). His primary mentors include Dr. Kevin Sedatole and Dr. Christopher Werner (conducting), Professor Fernando Meza and Dr. Tammy Fisher (percussion), and Dr. Jack Stamp (composition).

Simon Holoweiko – Graduate Assistant

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Simon Holoweiko is the Interim Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Director of the Spartan Marching Band at Michigan State University. In addition to his position with the marching band, Holoweiko conducts the MSU Concert Band, co-directs the Spartan Youth Wind Symphony, assists with Spartan Brass, and teaches courses in the College of Music.

Simon recently completed his Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting at Columbus State University as a student of Dr. Jamie L. Nix where he guest conducted the CSU Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, directed the CSU Cougar Pep Band, and administrated the annual CSU Conductors Workshop. Prior to his Master’s degree, Holoweiko received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Michigan State University and taught in the Florida public schools where was the Director of Bands at Martin County High School (Stuart).