December 4, 2016

Graduate Assistants


Tyler Austin

Tyler Austin is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University. He previously served as Director of Bands and Music Teacher at St. John’s Catholic Prep in Frederick, MD, taught applied lessons and music coursework at Hagerstown Community College, and maintained an active freelancing career as a bassoonist and conductor.

Austin received his Bachelor of Music Education at Susquehanna University (2012) and his Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance at the University of North Texas (2014). His primary teachers have included conductors Kevin Sedatole, Andrew Yozviak, and Eric Hinton, and bassoonists Kathleen Reynolds, and Anna Claire Ballard-Ayoub. Austin has professional affiliations with the College Band Directors National Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

email Tyler Austin


Connor Fetting

Connor Fetting is a native of Ada, MI currently pursuing a masters degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University, where he assists with the teaching and administration of the university bands. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Fetting earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Tuba Performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from MSU.

His primary mentors include MSU conducting faculty Kevin Sedatole, Dustin Barr, and David Thornton, MSU professor of tuba Philip Sinder, and former Grand Rapids Symphony Principal Tubist Dwight Burch.

email Connor Fetting


Brandon Hults

Brandon Hults is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University. His responsibilities include teaching and assisting in every facet of the MSU Band program. Prior to attending graduate school, Hults served as the Associate Director of Bands at Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Hults is a native of Morehead City, North Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Music in Education with a double concentration in Piano and Trombone from East Carolina University (2008) and a double Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting and Piano Performance from the University of Arkansas (2011). Hults’ primary mentors have included Dr. Henry Doskey and Dr. Jura Margulis on piano, and Kevin Sedatole, W. Dale Warren, Dr. Christopher Knighten, and Dr. Scott Carter for conducting.

email Brandon Hults


Daniel Kirk

Daniel Kirk is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University, where he is actively involved in teaching and assisting all aspects of the band program in the College of Music. Before returning for graduate study in conducting, Kirk served as Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

A native of Emporia, Kansas, Kirk received his Bachelor of Music Education and Piano Performance degrees at Missouri Western State University (2007) and his Master of Music degree in wind conducting from Northwestern University (2015). He credits mentors Dr. Mallory Thompson (conducting), Dr. David Bennett (piano), and Jane Wheat (piano). Kirk has professional affiliations with the College Band Directors National Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

email Daniel Kirk


Devon Koning

Originally from San Jose, California, Devon Koning has been surrounded by percussion since early childhood. After several years of private lessons, percussion ensembles, and concert bands, Devon decided to venture out into the realm of marching percussion and began studying under the world renowned percussionist and arranger Murray Gusseck. Upon moving to Okemos, Michigan before high school, he met and started studying with Dr. Jon Weber.

Devon has marched four consecutive seasons in drum corps, starting in 2012 with The Glassmen. In 2013 & 2014, Devon marched in the Phantom Regiment, both years as the center snare and battery section leader. He marched his final age-out season in 2015 with The Bluecoats, in which he received a bronze medal. Devon has also marched one season in 2015 with the Winter Guard International group Rhythm X, and received a silver medal.

Devon is a senior at MSU studying Supply Chain Management with an expected graduation of December 2016.

email Devon Koning


Alex Smith

Alex Smith is currently pursuing the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance and the Master of Arts degree in Musicology/Ethnomusicology at Michigan State University. He is a teaching assistant for the percussion department, percussion methods, and non-major lessons. Prior to coming to Michigan State, Smith received his undergraduate degree in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University.

A native of Winston-Salem, NC, Smith is heavily involved as an educator in the marching activity as he currently works with both Okemos High School and Olivet High School; he has also instructed Craven Indoor, the Eastside Fury, and the East Carolina University Drumline. Along with his continuing studies at MSU, Alex is also interested in the music of the world having studied in both Brazil and Ghana.

email Alex Smith


Steven Wulff

Steven Wulff is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance at Michigan State University. He is a teaching assistant with the percussion department, helping to teach percussion ensemble and non-major lessons. His previous degrees are from Michigan State University (BM) and the University of South Carolina (MM), both in Percussion Performance.

A native of Holt, Michigan, Steven is an active music educator and performer. He currently works with Holt High School and Grand Ledge High School and is adjunct faculty at Albion College, where he instructs the British Eighth Drumline and the Albion Percussion Ensemble. Steven has also worked with Legends Drum & Bugle Corps and Palmetto Percussion.

email Steven Wulff