Instructors & Staff: Stevenson Instrumental Music Program
|Director of Instrumental Music|
Mr. Michael D. Sekich
Mr. Sekich has been teaching actively at Stevenson High School for 33 1/2 years as of 2022. He attended Stevenson High School as a student and graduated in 1984.
Mr. Sekich attended Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education with Trumpet Performance with a Master’s Degree in Arts Humanities and Human Resources.
Mr. Sekich has served on the Executive Board of MSBOA as 3rd Vice Chair and is an active MSBOA Adjudicator in the State of Michigan.
Mr. Sekich still plays his Trumpet almost every day in Band!
Mr. Sekich is married to Amy Sekich and has five children, and one grandchild. In his spare time, (haha) Mr. Sekich enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing golf, going to the movies and eating popcorn and motorcycle riding.
|Marching Band / Color Guard / Winter Guard|
Nathan Belloli - Percussion Instruction
Nathan is a Stevenson graduate and band program alumni where he performed as a member of the drumline from 1998-2001. Upon graduation, Nathan started teaching marching drumlines in 2001.
He has worked with several competitive and show band programs including, Utica High School, Henry Ford II High School, Lakeview High School, Dakota High School, and Roseville High School.
During that time, Nathan has enjoyed performing and learning new skills on the bass drum line of the Western Michigan University Marching Drumline, as a percussionist with the Warren Concert Band, and in the pit as a drum set player of various high school musicals. He is also a regularly performing musician since 1995 with the Healing for the Nations Christian Church worship team as a drum set player along with his father who plays bass guitar.
Nathan enjoys a successful percussion program at Stevenson High School with multiple award-winning marching drumlines and percussion ensembles. He sees joy in creating music, teaching new skills, and developing leadership abilities within the students he has worked with.
Nathan works within the Information Technology field as a Solutions Architect for OneStream Software.
In his spare time, he enjoys building and experimenting with various technology projects and homelabbing. He also enjoys exploring the wide-open spaces on his motorcycles and the great outdoors along with his wife, Kristen.
Deanna Dutts - Color Guard Instruction
Deanna is a Stevenson graduate and was a part of the color guard from 1994-1997. It was during this time that she began to choreograph and teach as a student in the program. Once Deanna graduated, she officially began coaching the color guard in 1997.
Deanna then attended Western Michigan University. It was here that she furthered her craft with Western Michigan University’s Color Guard. During her 5 years as a part of this team, she took a leadership position as a drill instructor. Each summer, Deanna continued to bring the knowledge she obtained into her coaching.
Once she graduated college, she not only continued coaching the color guard during marching band seasons, but she began Chimera Essence, the Stevenson High School’s winter guard team. She continued coaching winter guard for 3 seasons before taking a break to begin her family.
Deanna is married to Thomas Dutts and has 3 kids, Nolan, Casey, and Ryan. She is currently a 5th grade teacher at Barnard Elementary School in Troy.
Other past experiences Deanna had coaching were at Rochester Adams High School, Dakota High School, Lakeview High School, and Utica High School.
Being able to share the same joy and passion for color guard that she experiences, with her students, is what brings her back every year.
Deanna’s favorite moments as a coach are watching her team bring the music alive through movement, color, and emotion each time they take the field.
Jenna Podgorski - Color Guard & Winter Guard Instruction
Jenna is a Stevenson graduate and band program alumni where she performed as a color guard member from 2007-2011.
After graduating from SHS, Jenna attended Oakland to study Elementary Education. It was at Oakland she continued her love of spinning on the award-winning Oakland University Winter Guard. She was one of the original members of the team which formed in 2014 and performed with them until she graduated in 2017.
Being a part of OU's team helped her to hone her skills which she brought to the Stevenson color guard when she began coaching in 2011.
After years of coaching at Stevenson, she decided to resurrect the Chimera Essence Winter Guard that Deanna Dutts had started years before. Since bringing the team back in 2017, she has helped countless students advance their skills within the art, including guiding them to a 1st place championship at MCGC State Championships in 2022.
Jenna is married to Jacob Podgorski whom she met while in the Stevenson Marching Band. They have a black lab fur baby named Korra who they love more than anything and spoil to death.
Jenna is a Building Substitute at Barnard Elementary in Troy. She loves being able to help students each and every day.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and going on hikes with Jacob and Korra. While she misses performing, she is so ecstatic she is able to share this wonderful sport with students. Her favorite thing about coaching is watching students achieve new skills and falling more in love with the sport. Seeing their excitement makes her feel like she’s learning it all over again.
Marques White - Percussion Instruction
Marques is a Stevenson graduate and a band program alumni where he performed as a member of the drumline from 2013-2015. After graduating, he attended Central Michigan University. During his time at CMU, he was a member of the Marching Chips Drumline, the 6th Man Basketball Band, and a brother of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity.
Marques is currently the HR Manager at the Emagine Palladium in Birmingham, and also teaches percussion lessons in his spare time.
While he is no longer in any marching groups, music continues to be a passion of his, and he is currently working on putting together an album with a trio he formed back in 2020.
Some of Marques's favorite hobbies include biking, watching movies and sports, and playing video games.
One fun fact about Marques is that he used to be a semi-professional Call of Duty player, and even though he has stopped competing, continues to stream casually.
Marques loves working with the SHS Drumline every year. Being able to help these students develop their skills and hopefully inspire them to continue to pursue their musical passions is one of his favorite things about being an instructor.
Brandon Thibault - Low Brass Technician
Brandon has been working as a Low Brass Instructor with Stevenson since 2016. As an educator, Brandon has provided instruction and master classes at various schools throughout Michigan including a brass quintet master class at Central Michigan University. In addition to teaching low brass, Brandon is a College Reading & Learning Association qualified music theory tutor.
As a performer, Brandon was a national finalist for the 2019 Music Teachers National Associations Young Artist Performance Competition. That same year, he won the Oakland Symphony Orchestra’s concerto competition, allowing him to perform Martin Ellerby’s Tuba Concerto with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra.
Brandon has served as the principal tubist for the Bowling Green State University Philharmonia, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, Oakland University Wind Symphony, and Oakland University Brass Band.
As a freelance musician, Brandon has performed with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Warren Symphony Orchestra, and many regional brass quintets.
A graduate of Oakland University, Brandon earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Tuba Performance in 2019. After graduating, he then completed his Master of Music in Tuba Performance at Bowling Green State University.
Currently, Brandon is working on a second undergraduate degree in Music Technology at Oakland University. In his free time, Brandon enjoys playing video games with friends and spending time with his dog.
Jackie Wilson - Cymbal & Visual Technician
2022 will be Jackie's 4th season as an instructor for the SHS Marching Band. She is also a cymbal tech for Utica High School marching band.
Jackie is an alumni of Stevenson High School and marched in the band for two years.
After high school, she marched with multiple independent percussion groups including with Divergent Performing Arts for two years on cymbals, one year at CC2 on cymbals, and a year at Cap City Percussion on cymbals.
Outside of band she is a student at Wayne State University with majors in Environmental Science/Geology and Philosophy.
Rob Meier - High Brass Technician
Rob, who assists with the SHS trumpet section, attended Stevenson from 1992-1995, and was in the very first class Mr. Sekich taught at Stevenson.
After Stevenson, he attended Michigan State University. Rob was part of many ensembles there including the Spartan Marching Band, Jazz Band I, Wind Symphony, and Spartan Brass. He earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Instrumental Music Education and has been teaching Marching Bands since 1997.
Rob has been the Trumpet instructor and Marching Basics instructor for many schools, including all 4 of the High Schools in UCS, and currently teaches private trumpet lessons to many area students.
As a performer, Rob has played in many places after college including Solo Cornet with the Motor City Brass band and currently is a member of the Dodworth Saxhorn Band as an Eb Cornetist.
In addition to his many musical accomplishments, Rob also holds a Masters Degree in Educational Technology and currently teaches Computer Science for Fitzgerald Public schools where he also serves as the district Data Coach.
However, the thing Rob is the most proud of is his two amazing children (Noah and Elizabeth) who are part of the SHS Trumpet Section this year, as well as his youngest daughter Sarah who will be a SHS band member in about 4 years!
Jacob Podgorski - Low Brass Technician
Jacob is a Stevenson graduate and band program alumnus, performing in the front line and low brass from 2010-2012.
Jacob then attended Wayne State University to study Biomedical Engineering and performed in the Warrior Marching Band for 3 years and was a section leader for the low brass in his 3rd year.
While his days of performing are behind him, Jacob loves to teach both the music and marching sides of marching band, and was brought to the Stevenson Marching Band staff in 2019. He is very excited for what this year of marching holds.
Outside of marching band, Jacob works as a Technical Lead for Super Cruse at General Motors, and is currently working for his Master’s degree online at Carnegie Mellon University. He is married to Jenna Podgorski, and they have a lovely dog, Korra.
In his spare time, Jacob likes to hike, cross country ski, and play ice hockey.
Andrea Foerster - Flute Technician
Profile info coming soon
Everett Austerman - Drill Writer
Everett is a Stevenson High School Class of 2018 graduate and marched four years with the Titans marching band, playing trumpet and was a section leader. Everett was a Stafferone for the marching band in 2019 and assisted with home camp in 2021. He is proud to return in 2022 to assist the band by writing the drill, as well as assisting with home and away camps.
Everett recently graduated from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Theatre Design and Production where he also marched Mellophone for the Bronco Marching Band for 2 years.
Mary Kate Pardington - Mallet Percussion Technician
Mary Kate started in the Stevenson High School marching band when she was in 8th grade, in 2015. The youngest of four sisters to go through the program, she was a drumline section leader and a part of Stevenson's percussion ensemble.
This past year, she participated in Lake effect percussion as a cymbal. She was also a member of Stevenson's concert chorale and is currently in two choral ensembles at Oakland University.
Mary Kate is pursuing a major in theatre and a minor in music, and is very excited to continue her second year coaching frontline!
Krystal Davis - High Brass Technician
Krystal Davis (Stefani for those of you who remember!) is a Central Michigan University Alumni who student taught with Mr. Sekich in 2018.
As a trumpet player at CMU she marched and performed with the Chippewa Marching band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Central, and trumpet ensemble. After graduation she worked as an elementary music teacher in Armada, MI for one year before moving down to Odessa, Texas.
While in Texas, Mrs. Davis taught elementary music for 3 years and established a children’s honor choir. In addition to teaching, she also played trumpet for two seasons with the Odessa College wind symphony.
Davis recently moved back up to Niles, MI with her husband Kenny Davis where they will both serve as music teachers in the Brandywine School District.
In her spare time Davis enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and painting. She is looking forward to being back up in the Mitten and working with the best band in the land again! (Stevenson of course!!)
Joe Haynes - Percussion Technician
Beginning in the Waterford Kettering Marching Band (2013-2017), Joe Haynes began his independent marching career with Huron Valley Percussion in 2015 marching snare drum.
In 2016 Joe also marched quads at Farmington United Percussion Ensemble. In 2017, post high school graduation, Joe accepted a spot on the snare line at Central Michigan University, where he would march snare drum in 2017, and 2019-2021, and quads in 2018, serving his last 3 years in the Chippewa Marching Band as center snare and final year as Drumline section leader.
While in college, Joe continued his independent marching career with Eclipse Percussion (2018), Divergent Performing Arts (2019/2020), and Cap City 2 (2021/2022).
Meaghan Holland - Mallet Percussion Technician
Meaghan is the front ensemble tech for Stevenson High School. She has previously taught at South Lyon High School as their front ensemble tech for both their marching band and winter percussion ensemble.
Ms. Holland graduated from Southgate Anderson High School where she began playing mallet percussion her sophomore year in 2014 for their marching band and winter percussion line.
In addition to her high school band program, Meaghan was a member of the Dearborn Youth Symphony for 7 years (2010-2016) and the DSO Civic Youth ensembles for 3 years (2011-2014) as a clarinetist.
After high school Meaghan attended the University of Michigan and marched with multiple independent WGI ensembles including Ferndale Independent Percussion 2017, Eclipse Percussion in 2018, Divergent Percussion in 2019-2020, and Cap City 2 in 2022.
With almost 10 years of percussion experience, Meaghan is grateful for the opportunity to teach the future of the marching arts.
Mike Austerman - Administrative Assistant
Mr. Austerman is a graduate of Fraser High School where he was a proud member of the Ramblers Marching Band that played clarinet, alto clarinet, and then bass clarinet under the tutelage of Mr. Lance Vechinski.
Mike then received a bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems from Oakland University.
Prior to contributing with the Stevenson Bands, Mike was an IT professional with Pulte Homes and is currently working part time as a substitute teacher for Utica Community Schools. Mike has served the Stevenson Band Boosters as president, treasurer, and vice president while his two adult sons were Stevenson band students (Everett, Class of 2018 & Daniel, Class of 2020) and is currently the band's webmaster in addition to other duties.
Married to Janet, Mike’s hobbies include playing golf (rather poorly), following the local college and professional sports teams, exploring ice cream shops across Michigan, and watching Drum Corps International competitions each summer.
Mr. Austerman is privileged to be able to give back to the Stevenson Band community by following the example set by those that did the same when he was a high school band student.