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Kansas State Bands

Staff

Call the Band Office at (785) 532-3816 to connect with any of our staff.

Sara HeptigClassy Cat Coordinator saraheptig@gmail.com  
sara heptig

Sara (Evans) Heptig is an Olathe, Kansas native and began dancing at the age of three. Growing up, she trained with many different dance educators at studios, conventions, camps, and workshops. In high school, she was a member of the Olathe North Eaglette Dance Team where she served as captain for two years. She went on to be a Kansas State University Classy Cat for four years and was an Assistant Section Leader her junior year and Section Leader her senior year. She graduated from K-State with a degree in Secondary Education in the area of Family and Consumer Science. She then returned to Olathe North and was the head coach of the Eaglettes for fourteen years. In her time there, she helped lead the team to many honors, including two National Champion titles in the Large Pom Division at NDA and DTU.

She began teaching dance and choreographing at age fifteen and has been hired by many schools and studios over the years. She continues to teach dance camps for high school and middle school teams in the midwest. She is the founder and director of the O.N.E. Love Movement which brings dancers together in a non- competitive environment. The O.N.E. Love Movements hosts master classes and the biggest event is the annual Dance Showcase. Community focus is something that is very important to Sara. Through Olathe North and the O.N.E. Love Movement she has been able to spread service through dance. She helped create the Project Access Teen Group, where students with special needs have the opportunity to dance and perform with peers. She also created dance classes for elementary schools in the Olathe community where students might not otherwise have much exposure to the art of dance.

She is currently the manager of Camp and Competition Sales for Dance Team Union and has the honor of working with coaches and dancers across the country. She is married to Mike Heptig, who is also a K-State Alumni, and has one daughter, Brooklyn. Their family bleeds purple and Sara is grateful for the opportunity to give back to this amazing University and Program.

Education              

B.S. Secondary Education in Family and Consumer Science, Kansas State University, 2004

Spencer SmithColor Guard Coordinator  spence5@k-state.edu 
Spencer

Spencer is originally from Overland Park, KS. She graduated from Kansas State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Animal Science. During her time at K-State, she was very involved with the Pride of Wildcat Land and was a member of the Color Guard for 4 years. During her senior year, she served as both head section leader and coordinator of the team. She considers her time in the Pride to be the most influential part of her college experience.

After graduation, Spencer moved to Topeka, KS for an 8 month internship. She is now working on her Masters in Grain Science where her research focuses on pet food nutrition and production. She also serves the university as an ambassador for the Graduate School and enjoys volunteering with animals at Sunset Zoo in her free time.

Education

B.S. Animal Science, Kansas State University, 2016

Brett ButlerGraduate Assistant  
 Brett

Brett Butler is originally from Lenexa, KS. He graduated from Kansas State University in 2017 with a B.M. in Music Education. During his time at Kansas State, he was involved with the Pride of Wildcat Land as an assistant and head section leader of the snare line. Also at K-State, Brett played in the Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, Cat Band, Pub Crawl Band and Percussion Ensemble.

Brett is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. After graduating at K-State, Brett has served as an Assistant Band Director in Louisburg, KS. Brett has been teaching in Louisburg, KS for two years. He assists the Head Band Director, John Cisetti with the high school, middle school and elementary bands. Brett has had the opportunity to march in the 129th Annual Rose Parade with the Louisburg Wildcat High School Marching Band in 2018. Brett instructs the high school drumline, jazz band and substitutes in the Louisburg 416 District.

Brett has also taught at R.E.W. Music as a private percussion studio instructor since the Summer of 2018. Brett is a member of the Kansas City Wind Symphony as a percussionist since the Fall of 2018. Brett has been an active percussionist in the Shawnee MIssion Theatre in the Park musicals and for the Leawood Stage Company. Brett also has performed with Topeka Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist since 2016. Brett has assisted with Leadership and Auxiliary camps for K-State in the summer of 2017 instructing drumlines with the percussion GTA.

Education

B.M. Music Education, Kansas State ​University​, 2017

 
Allegra FisherGraduate Assistantanfishe@ksu.edu 
Allegra Fisher

Allegra Fisher is a native of Wichita, Kansas. She graduated Cum Laude from Kansas State University with a degree in Music in 2016. During her time at Kansas State University, she was heavily involved in the marching band including one year as assistant drum major and one as head drum major in 2015 when the band was awarded the Sudler Trophy. Allegra also performed with the Wind Ensemble, Pub Crawl band, Cat Band, and bassoon ensemble.

After graduation, she moved to Dublin, Ireland to pursue a Masters in Musicology with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology. She graduated with second-class honors from University College Dublin. During her time there, she held the position of principal bassoon in the University Symphony and traveled to Belgium to perform with the ensemble. Her ethnomusicological research focused on collegiate marching bands, analyzing how rituals effect students’ individual and collective identities, and how the group uses the concepts enveloped in nationalism to create an overall marching band culture.

Education

B.A. Music, Kansas State University, 2016
MMus Musicology, University College Dublin, 2017

Rachel PossGraduate Assistant  
 Rachel

Rachel is a native of Sibley, Iowa.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of South Dakota where she graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors.  During her four years at USD she performed with the wind ensemble, concert band, marching band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, brass choir, and concert choir.  Rachel just finished her third year of teaching in the Des Moines Public School District where she was the Assistant Director of Bands at Abraham Lincoln High School.  She co-directed the marching band, pep band, and wind ensemble, and directs the concert band.  She also taught beginning band lessons at feeder elementary schools. In her spare time she enjoys playing percussion with area colleges and the Central Iowa Wind Ensemble.  

 Education

B.M. Music Education and B.A. Music Performance, University of South Dakota, 2013

Evan RickerGraduate Assistant  

 Evan

M. Evan Ricker, Jr. is the Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Cowley College where he directs both the Concert Band and The Tiger Beat Pep Band and teaches applied instrumental lessons, seminar, and music appreciation. Before his appointment at Cowley, Mr. Ricker taught classes in music appreciation and public speaking at Butler Community College and worked with the City of Wichita's Arts and Cultural Services Division. Active in the marching band activity, Mr. Ricker assists as the Drum Major Instructor at Valley Center High School, and also served as the Associate Director of the Kansas International Lions Band on their trip to Chicago in the summer of 2017. Mr. Ricker holds both a B.M. in Wind Conducting and Music Journalism and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from Wichita State University. While at WSU, Mr. Ricker was active serving as an Undergraduate Conducting Assistant to Dr. Victor Markovich and a Graduate Assistant Conductor to Dr. Mark Laycock.

Mr. Ricker's professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Kansas Music Educators Association, the Kansas Band Masters Association, and the National Educators Association. Mr. Ricker is a member of the Epsilon Pi Chapter and Past President of the Beta Tau Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, and an honorary member of the Alpha Mu Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma.

Education

B.M. Wind Conducting and Music Journalism, Wichita State University

M.M. Orchestral Conducting, Wichita State University

 

Eric ThompsonGraduate Assistant  

Eric

Eric Thompson received his Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Georgia. While at UGA, Eric performed as principal trumpet of the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, trumpet soloist with the Redcoat Marching Band,and as a  featured trumpet soloist at Midfest. Additionally, he traveled abroad to China for a 15-day performance tour and studied under the world-renowned trumpet player, Fred Mills. Eric has nine years of teaching experience in the Georgia Public Schools, specifically at Treutlen High School and, most recently, at Mary Persons High School. Bands under his direction have experienced a dramatic increase in enrollment, and have consistently received superior evaluations and best in class awards. Eric is an active member of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), National Band Association (NBA), International Trumpet Guild, and Phi Mu Alpha, the men’s national music fraternity. Eric married his best friend Dory in June of 2018, and they are both excited about moving their new family to become a part of the Kansas State family.

Education

B.M. Music Education, University of Georgia