Our music faculty is always here to talk with you and your child. If you ever have a question or concern for us, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an e-mail. We will get back with you at our first opportunity. Working together, we can accomplish great things!
Joel Boss is currently an active freelance musician in the greater Atlanta area as well as an artist in residence at Emory University, and percussion instructor at Lassiter High School. He is also co-founder of the Atlanta Percussion Group, an honor percussion ensemble for local students, and tours regularly with his own percussion trio, North Star Percussion.
Mr. Boss holds a Master of Music degree in percussion performance from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance from the Florida State University. His primary instructors include Dr. John Parks, Joseph Gramley, Michael Udow, Michael Gould, Ian Ding, Brian Jones, Cary Kocher, Bill Wilder, and Beth Gotlieb.
Michael Lynch holds the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Simpson Middle School and Director of Percussion Studies at Lassiter High School, both Cobb County schools located in Marietta, Georgia. The Simpson bands consists of approximately 325 students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The Bands at Simpson consistently earn Superior ratings at GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations. The Symphonic Band, which is comprised of advanced 7th and 8th grade students, was a featured band in performance for the Southeastern United States Middle School Band Clinic at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, in December of 2007. The Simpson Middle School Percussion Ensemble performed at the Bands of America National Percussion Ensemble Festival in 2010. The ensemble is one of only two middle school percussion ensembles to ever perform at the event.
Mr. Lynch’s high school drumlines and percussion ensembles have performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference on six different occasions in 1992, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2008, and 2009. Under his leadership, the Lassiter High School Percussion Ensemble has performed at the Bands of America National Percussion Ensemble Festival in 2000 and 2002, the Midwest Clinic in 2005 and 2011 and won the Percussive Arts Society “Call for Tapes” in 2007. They also performed a “Showcase Concert” at the 2007 Percussive Arts Society Convention in Columbus, Ohio.
During Mr. Lynch’s tenure as percussion instructor, the Lassiter “Trojan” Marching Band won the 1998 and 2002 Bands of America Grand National Championships, and seven Bands of America Regional Championships. The band also participated in the 1999, 2004, and 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and the 2001 and 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
Mike Lynch is co-author of the instructional works “Rudimental Cookbook”, “Just Desserts” and “Field Level”, all published by Row-Loff Publications. He has had numerous articles published in the Georgia Percussive Arts Society Newsletter, Percussive Notes Magazine, and Halftime Magazine. Mr. Lynch is the co-founder of Percussion Workshop, a company established to provide band directors, percussion instructors, and students with services and resources to realize the most educational and rewarding percussion experience possible.
As an adjudicator, Mr. Lynch has judged throughout the U.S for the following percussion circuits: CIPA, GCGC, IPA, LCGPC, MIA, SAPA, and SCGC. Mr. Lynch is on the staff for the NFL Atlanta Falcons Drumline, which performs at home games and other public functions. He is an educational artist for Mapex, Majestic, Remo, Row-Loff Productions, Vic Firth, and Zildjian. His is affiliated with GMEA, MENC, NBA, PAGE, and PAS, for whom he has served as a past president of the Georgia Chapter.
Kelly Crotts is an active educator and has been teaching flute in the Atlanta area since 2002. Mrs. Crotts received her Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Central Florida and Masters of Music in Education at Southern Methodist University, studying with teachers such as Nora Lee Garcia, Susan McQuinn and Claire Johnson. Kelly has been involved in master classes with Mary Karen Clardy, Amy Rice Blumenthal and Bernard Goldberg and as a featured performer at the College Music Society Southern Chapter Conference and Alabama Music Educators Association Annual Conference.
As a university instructor, Mrs. Crotts spent eight years as professor of flute at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, serving a strong flute studio and successful music education program. A champion of technology in education, Kelly is currently the flute advisor for Pro Series Guided Practice System, a revolutionary practice tool for interactive teaching and learning. Teaching flute for almost twenty years, Mrs. Crotts is dedicated and passionate about her students and is thrilled to be joining the esteemed faculty and program at Lassiter High School and the LMI.
Emily O’Shea is a recent master of music graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Kenneth Grant, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra principal clarinetist. Emily has performed in master classes for Robert Woolfrey, D. Ray McClellan, and Robert DiLutis, and has appeared internationally in recitals in Bolivia and with the European American Musical Alliance in Paris. She also has been invited to perform at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival and with the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer chamber music festival, Kent/Blossom.
Emily earned a bachelor of music degree in performance from Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory in 2012, graduating summa cum laude. A student of Daniel McKelway, assistant principal clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra, Emily was a concerto competition finalist as a young undergraduate. Additional teachers who played an important role in her artistic education include Ted Gurch, associate principal of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Robert Listokin, formerly of the North Carolina School of the Arts.
When not practicing her clarinets, this Marietta, Georgia native enjoys running, practicing yoga, gardening, and spending time with her collies.
Andrea DeRenzis Strauss, Conductor of Tara Winds has taught elementary, middle, high school, college, and adult-community bands, and has taught at both public and private schools in Georgia.
A native of Clarence, New York Dr. Strauss earned both the bachelor and master degrees in music education from the University of South Carolina and attained a Ph.D. in music education with a minor in conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi.
In addition, Dr. Strauss completed the Educational Leadership Certificate Program at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Strauss served as director of bands and associate professor of music at Shorter University where she made significant contributions to the development of the instrumental music education degree program. At Shorter, Dr. Strauss taught conducting, various instrumental music education methods and pedagogy courses, and directed the marching band, wind ensemble, and chamber orchestra. As former director of bands at the Georgia Institute of Technology, ensembles under her leadership performed in Australia, Ireland, and China for such events as the Shanghai International Arts Festival.
While serving Georgia Tech for sixteen years, the Symphonic Band commissioned numerous works and performed for Southern Division College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association Conferences, and Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conferences. In addition to sustaining a teaching career at Georgia Tech, Dr. Strauss served as Associate Director of the 1992 - 1996 Atlanta Olympic Band.
Dr. Strauss retired in 2013 from the Cobb County School District. Dr. Strauss is an active clinician and adjudicator, and has conducted All-State Bands in California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Dakota, and South Carolina. She has conducted in Italy, adjudicated in Canada, and presented clinics on various aspects of teaching and conducting for the Eastern and Northwestern Division NAfME In-Service Conferences, the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention, and numerous GMEA In-Service Conferences and university symposiums. Dr. Strauss has had articles published in the Music Educators Journal and the National Band Association’s Journal. As a member of the National Band Association’s Board of Directors, Dr. Strauss has served as the Music Education Research Chair, Mentor Director, and State Chair.
In addition, she has served as a National Representative for Tau Beta Sigma, State Chair for the CBDNA, Board of Directors Representative for the Georgia Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, and Ninth District Officer for GMEA.
Gary is a graduate of Indiana University where he received a BM in saxophone performance while studying with Eugene Rousseau. Since 2010, he has been an Artist Affiliate at Emory University and was also the adjunct saxophone instructor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham during the 2004-2005 school year. Gary has performed for many great audiences with national and international touring acts, spanning a variety of styles of music. His performance credits include Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, The Temptations, The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, The Zac Brown Band and Jazz Orchestra Atlanta.
In addition, his full time band, the AJ Ghent Band, is an international touring group that has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, and the Southern Ground Music Festival in Nashville and Charleston, as well as performances at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Gary also performs in "the horn band of Atlanta - Bumpin' the Mango" and the Cobb Wind Symphony. In 2008 he completed a Masters in Music Performance from Georgia State University.
Dr. Douglas Lindsey joined the faculty at Kennesaw State University in the fall of 2012, and is already very active all over the Atlanta area. Recently as a soloist, he has been a featured artist with the Kennesaw State Wind Ensemble, the Georgia Brass Band, at the Atlanta Trumpet Festival, and at the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast. Alongside pianist, Judy Cole, he has performed solo recitals all over the southeast as a founding member of Duo Trompiano. In addition to solo work, Dr. Lindsey enjoys an active chamber music career as first trumpet with the Premiere Brass, as founding member of the Atlanta Trumpet League, and as a member of the Isthmus Brass. As an orchestral musician, he regularly performs as the principal trumpet of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra and spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival where he played under the baton of some of the world’s finest conductors. As an educator, he maintains a vibrant studio of young trumpeters at KSU and at various high schools in the area. Most recently, the KSU trumpet ensemble garnered praise at the 2014 Trumpet Festival of the Southeast where they performed a world premiere by Michael Terry. Other studio accomplishments include a winner from the International Trumpet Guild scholarship contest and successful graduate school placements. Dr. Lindsey’s duties as music history lecturer at KSU as well as his many experiences on the cornetto and the baroque trumpet reflect his keen interest in the fields of early music and musicology. As an avid composer and arranger, he enjoys creating work for trumpet ensemble, brass quintet, and brass ensembles. His published dissertation, “Beyond the Galant,” is an arrangement of four Haydn symphonies for trumpet with historical information about Haydn, performance practice, and the history behind many of the works. This work is distributed by Hickey’s music and available at www.hickeys.com. His many other arrangements and compositions are available on his website.
Julie Gerhardt holds positions with the symphony orchestras of Valdosta and Albany, Georgia and has served as a substitute or extra hornist with the
Julie has also filled a wide variety of roles as a music educator, serving as a middle school band director, marching band technician, horn instructor, brass techniques teacher, and college professor. Having taught private horn lessons since 1996, her horn students have traditionally experienced high degrees of success within their own band programs and at District Honor Band, All-State Band, and Solo/Ensemble Festival. Julie is currently the horn instructor at the University of West Georgia and is the horn instructor for the conservatory programs at Lassiter, Kell, Pope, and Hillgrove High Schools.
Hollie graduated with her B.M. in music performance from Georgia State University and did graduate studies at the acclaimed Cleveland Institute of Music. As a performer, Hollie has played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, as well as the Savannah Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony, Johns Creek Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Macon Symphony, and the Augusta Symphony, among others. She has been principal trombonist with the Carla Rosa Opera Company United States Tour, the Sigmund Romberg Tour, and has performed on several occasions with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, including a four-week tour to Taiwan. Hollie is a founding member and trombonist with the Midtown Brass and also plays principal trombone with the Georgia Brass Band. In 2014 she played solo trombone with the DIVA big band in the show "Maurice Hines is Tappn' thru life" in a five week run, presented by the Alliance Theatre.
In 2017, Hollie performed at the International Women's Brass Conference with the Athena Brass Band.
Hollie is adjunct instructor of trombone at Mercer University and maintains a private studio of trombone at Lassiter High School in Cobb County, as well as a studio in her home in Marietta, Georgia.
Jason Casanova is a native of San Antonio, Texas where he studied at St. Mary's University and acquired his Bachelor of Arts degree with emphasis in euphonium performance. After completing his B.A., he moved to Atlanta, GA where he attended Georgia State University and obtained his Master of Music in euphonium performance. Jason is in high demand as a teacher and teaches master classes/sectionals at many of Atlanta's (as well as the country's) finer middle school and high school music programs. In addition to teaching at many schools, Jason also finds time to keep a large private studio. Many of his private students have made district honor bands as well as All-State Bands in both Texas and Georgia.
As a performer, Jason has won, placed, and made finals in many regional, national, and international musical competitions. Currently he holds the "Solo Euphonium" spot with the Georgia Brass Band and performs with them on a regular basis. Along with being a soloist with the Georgia Brass Band, Jason is asked to perform and solo with various ensembles in the Greater Metropolitan Atlanta area. Jason's most influential musical instructors include Adam Frey, Lee Hipp, Demondrae Thurman, Peter Kline, and Abel Cortinas.
For more information, please visit his website.
Nathan’s presence the past 17 years in the world of pageantry arts has lead him to a great appreciation and understanding for colorguard and music. Nathan has performed with many world-class units such as The Cadets drum and Bugle corps, and the Pride of Cincinnati Winter Guard, Onyx Winter Guard and Aimachi Winter Guard from Nagoya, Japan.
He has lent his knowledge of choreography, technique, design, and hands-on experience to many high schools, drum corps, and independent units with an interest in pageantry arts. This is Nathan's second year on staff with the Lassiter High School color guard and national champion band programs. Nathan looks forward to sharing his views and personal experiences with those who also have a passion for the activity and music.
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