Director of the Towson University Marching Band
Mr. John J. Miliauskas III has a lifetime of experiences in instrumental music and marching activities. His father was the band director at Lake-Lehman High School (Lehman, PA) for thirty-six years. After graduating from Lake-Lehman himself in 1981, John played mellophone in the Penn State Blue Band (University Park, PA) in 1981 and 1982, as well as in the Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (Garfield, NJ) in 1982 and 1983. John continued his marching experiences at West Chester University (West Chester, PA) as drum major for three years, from 1984-1987. He also was drum major for the Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps (Reading, PA) in 1986.
Following his marching experiences, John moved on to gain many accomplishments as a drill designer. He started with his father at Lake-Lehman High School, where he was a member of the instructional staff from 1982-1988, performing various duties including marching and music instruction, programming, drill design, and assistant director. During these years, the band won the Cavalcade of Bands American Class State Championships in 1984 and 1987, as well as the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships in 1984, 1986, 1987, and 1988.
After his father’s retirement, John expanded his high school drill writing to numerous programs including the 1989-2000 Red Land High School Marching Bands (Lewisberry, PA). During this time, the program achieved three Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Championships, six Chapter VI Championships, and a Macy’s Parade appearance in 1998. John also for the 2001-2003 Quakertown High School Marching Bands (Quakertown, PA), as well as the Cypress Creek High School Marching Band (Orlando, FL), which won its division and made finals at the 1994 Bands of America Southeast Regional, placing fourth overall. In addition to these advanced level programs, John has written dozens of shows at the basic and intermediate levels for bands having anywhere from forty total members to over 250 total members.
In his twenty years of writing since his start at Lake-Lehman, some of the more notable programs he has designed drill for beyond the high school level include the 1992 and 1993 Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps (Philadelphia, PA). Crossmen were Drum Corps International World Finalists during both seasons. In 1992, the corps placed sixth in the DCI Finals Championship, earning their highest finish ever to that point. John has also written for the West Chester University Golden Rams Marching Band from 1984-1987 and 2000-present, the 1991 Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps (Orlando, FL), the 1988 and 1989 Reading Buccaneers Senior Drum and Bugle Corps, and the 2001-2003 Govenaires Senior Drum and Bugle Corps (St. Peter, MN).
As a well-rounded drill designer, John has written for many indoor color guard and indoor drumline ensembles, including the 1987 and 1988 Threshold Indoor Color Guards (West Chester, PA), the 1996-2000 Red Land High School Indoor Color Guards (Lewisberry, PA), the 2002 Penn State Eclipse Indoor Color Guard (University Park, PA), the 2002-2003 Huntingdon High School Indoor Drumlines (Huntingdon, PA), which was the 2002 TIA All-Chapter Scholastic A Champion, and the 2002-present Bpex Winter Guards (Wilmington, DE). Several of these groups have achieved such accomplishments as Winter Guard International semi-finalists and finalists on both the regional and national levels, along with regional circuit champions.
Mr. John Miliauskas was the Director of Bands at Crossroads Middle School in the West Shore School District (Lewisberry, PA) from its opening in 1993 until 2002. During his tenure, the Crossroads Band Program commissioned Robert W. Smith to compose At The Crossroads, A Dedicatory Fanfare, which was published through Belwin Publications and is widely performed. From 1994-2000, the Crossroads Bands received consistent superior ratings at PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Concert Band Adjudication Festivals. This culminated with a performance at the PMEA State Conference in April of 2001 by the Crossroads Wind Ensemble. In addition to this honor, the Crossroads Bands have performed with guest soloists including Dr. Brian Bowman on euphonium from the University of North Texas, Mr. Matt Niess on trombone from the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble and Capitol Bones of Washington, DC, and Mr. Seneca Black on trumpet from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra of New York, NY.
A brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, Mr. John Miliauskas completed his Masters of Music in Music Education with a performance option in conducting at West Chester University in May 2004. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). John resides in Glen Rock, PA with his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters Ava and Ella.
Assistant Director of the Towson University Marching Band
Taylor Yozwiak is an active percussion performer, educator, arranger, and clinician based out of Baltimore, Maryland. Taylor has established a unique perspective on the percussive arts that combines his background as a jazz drummer with his passion for solo/chamber performance and marching/rudimental technique. Taylor is currently entering his sixth year as the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands and Director of Marching Percussion at Towson University.
Taylor received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Massachusetts in 2013. While at UMass, Taylor had the privilege of studying with professors Ayano Kataoka and Thomas Hannum, and was a proud member of the UMass Minuteman Marching Band. Taylor then completed his Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. During this time, Taylor studied with world-renowned percussionist Svet Stoyanov, directed the Miami “Frost Band of the Hour” Drumline, and performed throughout the rich musical scene in Miami.
After graduating from The University of Miami, Taylor moved to Orlando, Florida to work as the Assistant Director of Bands/Director of Percussion Studies at William R. Boone High School. During this time, Taylor maintained an active performance schedule throughout central and southern Florida while appearing with groups such as the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout his performing career, Taylor has won numerous awards for outstanding musicianship. These awards include the 2012 Vic Firth Scholarship, the Chancellor’s Talent in the Arts Scholarship from the University of Massachusetts, and the “Semper Fidelis” award for Musical Excellence presented by the Marine Corps League. During his two years as the Timpanist for the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, Taylor won a World Championship with the Corps in 2011 and was awarded the Cadets Distinguished Service Award in 2012. Most recently, Taylor was a prize-winning soloist in the 2015 Atlanta Modern Snare Drum Competition and was honored to be featured as a Vic Firth artist and educator.
Alongside his performing career, Taylor has led and arranged for marching percussion programs at the high school and collegiate level all across the country. These programs include the University of New Haven Chargers Marching Band, Atholton High School, Mount Holyoke College, and The University of Miami. Taylor also spent four years as a percussion staff member with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. During Taylor’s first year as a Cadet staff member, the Cadets percussion section won the Fred Sanford trophy for high percussion performance. Currently, Taylor works as a percussion instructor for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, a position that he has held since 2017.
Having worked as a musician, educator, and arranger throughout the country, Taylor originally grew up in Columbia, Maryland. Towson University played an important role in Taylor’s music education at that time. In addition to his role with the Towson University Marching Band, Taylor is also the faculty advisor for the Sigma Tau Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Taylor is endorsed by and proudly supports Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, and Remo Drum Heads.
Administrative Assistant/Director of Color Guard
Jalen Swain is an avid performer and educator currently residing in Columbia, MD. He has involved himself in many aspects of the performance arts including concert choir, show choir, pop vocals, drama, musical theatre, marching band, dance, drum corps, and color guard.
An alum of Towson University, Jalen earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Theatre. He is a former Educational Assistant, Child Care Program Director, and MCPS and HCPSS educator. He also served on the LGBTQAI+ Advisory Committee for HCPSS.
Jalen’s marching career began during his senior year at Paint Branch High School in Montgomery County, MD playing the trombone. He then joined the The World Famous Towson University Marching Band and marched in the Low Brass section for four years, serving the last two as Marching SMAC. During this time, he became a sister of the Eta Sigma chapter of Tau Beta Sigma, Honorary Band Sorority, operating as the Sisterhood Chair, Treasurer, and Vice President of Membership.
Jalen began his color guard journey in 2016 with the Towson University Winter Guard. Utilizing many spin clinics and mentorship from numerous instructors, to whom he is forever grateful, he continued this path to become a cast member of many guard ensembles including Emanon Winterguard, Virtual Arts’ Virtual Marching Band, Fusion Winterguard, and Fusion Drum & Bugle Core. As a guard educator, Jalen served as a volunteer instructor for the Loch Raven High School Marching Band in 2018 before returning to the TUMB in 2019 as a Flag Technician. He is currently the guard caption head for the Howard High School Marching Band and Mt Hebron High School Marching Unit in Ellicott City, MD and is a Flag Technician for Fusion Drum & Bugle Core.
Jalen hopes to expand access and resources to the performing arts and color guards in Maryland to provide an inclusive, educational and eclectic experience. Through the arts, he believes members can discover their true authentic selves and learn to live as such. He is blessed and honored to be home with the TUMB in a position to develop the next generation of artists, innovators, educators, and performers.
Head Drum Major Clinician
Carol Cox currently teaches elementary band and orchestra at George T. Cromwell Elementary and Brooklyn Park Elementary in Anne Arundel County where she doubled the enrollment in their instrumental music programs in the last ten years. She’s a proud graduate of Towson University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education.
Ms. Cox is passionate about the marching arts, having served as a drum major of the Towson University Marching Band, a member of the band service fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, and a baritone horn player in the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2006. She currently has the pleasure of being a drum major & leadership consultant for the Urbana High School Marching Band in Frederick, MD, and the Stevenson University Marching Band. In the past, she’s enjoyed working with the marching band students and/or leadership of Towson University, Patuxent High School, in Lusby, MD, Spring Creek High School in Goldsboro, NC, and Williamsport High School in Williamsport, MD. In 2013, Ms. Cox completed her Masters degree from Gratz College with a concentration in Classroom Climate and Management and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2015. In 2014, she had the honor of being nominated for Teacher of the Year in AACo.