John Miliauskas

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-LehmanJohn Miliauskas 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, 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 following professional organizations: The National Association for Music Education (MENC), National Band Association (NBA), and College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA).

Interim Director

Taylor Yozwiak

Interim Director of Athletic Bands/Director of Marching Percussion

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 drumset player with his passion for solo performance and rudimental technique. Taylor is currently entering his eighth year at Towson. This fall he will be working as the Interim 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. Taylor was a prize-winning soloist in the 2015 Atlanta Modern Snare Drum Competition and has been featured as a Vic Firth artist and educator.

Alongside his performing career, Taylor serves regularly as a percussion clinician, adjudicator, and educator throughout the country. Taylor has led and arranged for marching percussion programs at the high school and collegiate level, and is actively involved with Drum Corps International. Starting in 2013, Taylor 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. Taylor is currently in his eighth year on staff with the Boston Crusaders where he serves as the Front Ensemble Manager.

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.

Interim Assistant Director

Tim Mason

Interim Assistant Director of Athletic Bands/Director of Marching Winds

Tim Mason is the Interim Assistant Director of Athletic Bands and an Adjunct Instructor of Music Education at Towson University. Director of Marching Winds for the 150+ member World Famous Towson University Marching Band, he also teaches courses in marching band techniques and co-leads the Pep Band program for Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball. Prior to his arrival at Towson, Mason earned a Master of Music in Wind Conducting Degree from the University of Delaware, where he was a teaching assistant for the University of Delaware Marching Band and was a student of Lauren Reynolds and Heidi Sarver.
As a new wind conductor in the Maryland area, Mason has been invited to conduct the The Towson University High School Honor Band, clinic various high school ensembles and recently made his European conducting debut in 2023 with the American Music Abroad Gold Tour. Mason is actively involved with and is an advocate for music performance travel, leading various programs as a Tour Specialist, including a selected performing ensemble tour for the 2023 Midwest Clinic, Two Rose Parade tours, and many additional tours to Florida, California, and New York. He is also on staff at American Music Abroad, an organization facilitating over a dozen annual performance tours of Europe, where he coordinates the DAI Staff Program, and is a conductor for the Collegiate Tour.
Previously, Mason completed a Bachelors of Science Degree in Music Education from Towson University, where he held the role of Student Director for the World Famous Towson University Marching band, and served as the administrative assistant to the Towson University Wind Band programs. His teachers include Dr. Christopher Cicconi, James Hicks, John Miliauskas, and Noel Kunkle.
Mason has worked for various high school marching band programs in Maryland and Pennsylvania and has accumulated professional experience in live and recorded audio as well as professional photography and videography in worship, outdoor, and concert hall settings. He is an active member of the Maryland Music Education Association, the Delaware Music Education Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the College Band Directors National Association.


Color Guard Staff

Jessica Dunkley

Interim Color Guard Director

Jessica Dunkley has been a lover of dance until her discovery of colorguard her freshman year at Broadneck High School in 2010. She found a passion for the activity and since then has performed over 13 seasons between both marching band and WGI. Jessica has performed with In Theory Youth Services as well as Main Line Independent. She has had formal training in modern dance and is well versed in jazz and ballet. Jessica performed with her high school’s dance company and continued her education in the arts throughout her time in college. In 2016, she had her first DCI audition at Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Jessica was offered a contract however prior to leaving for spring training suffered a back injury prohibiting her from performing. She took two years away from performing to recover but has been actively teaching as the Colorguard Caption Head at her former high school and is now supporting as movement specialist for the Towson Colorguard.

Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing/Project Management and a Master’s in Marketing, now working in the private sector. Jessica loves all of the ways we can manipulate the body to explore emotion and music, and believes in the value of the arts.

Layne Thompson

Weapon Specialist

Layne Thompson is from Oakville, MD where he participated in many aspects of the performing arts. As of 2021, Layne has participated in 36 seasons of color guard!

He began his color guard career in 8th grade in 2009 with Chopticon High School in St. Mary’s County. He spent 5 years with the program and was captain of the color guard in 2012 & 2013.  After graduating, Layne has had the opportunity to work with Chopticon High School and Great Mills High School, during their outdoor season and Great Mills High School during their indoor & outdoor seasons. Layne is currently the Caption Head of the Leonardtown High School Color guard.

Aside from high school color guard, Layne has marched with numerous other winter guard and drum corps units. In 2011, he began his DCA career  with Shenandoah Sound Drum & Bugle Corps from Manassas, VA. In 2013, he began marching with the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps from Reading, PA. Layne has been a member of the RBCG for the past 7 consecutive seasons & has been the Captain of the Color guard since 2018. 

In 2010, Layne began his indoor career with Leonardtown High School’s Scholastic A winter guard. Since then, he has spun with 4 other indoor units including: In Theory Youth Services Independent A winter guard from Baltimore, MD (2013 & 2015), The Classics Independent A winter guard from Allentown, PA (2017), and Field of View Independent World winter guard from West Chester, PA (2018). In 2019, Layne aged out of the Independent Open class with George Mason University winter guard from Fairfax, VA, placing First in WGI finals in Dayton, OH. 

Outside of the activity, Layne is an Elementary School Special Education Paraeducator in Great Mills, MD, where he assists students on the Autism Spectrum. He is now a fifth year Para in St. Mary’s. 

Layne brings high quality design and technique to our program and he is ecstatic to be back with the TUCG. He hopes to challenge all members of the TUCG to improve their knowledge and abilities in the all areas of the marching arts. 


Greg Swank

Choreographer/Weapon Educator

Greg Swank

Greg Swank is a dedicated and passionate color guard performer and instructor with a remarkable journey that spans over a decade. He embarked on his color guard journey at the end of his eighth-grade year in 2008 at Templeton High School, where his talent and dedication quickly became evident.
In his senior year, Greg realized the importance of honing his technique and decided to enroll in dance classes. This commitment to self-improvement demonstrated his unwavering dedication to the art of color guard.
Greg‘s commitment and talent led to him taking over the high school program at Templeton in the fall of 2012. As the leader of the program, he demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a deep understanding of the art form. Under his guidance, the color guard program flourished, captivating audiences with their mesmerizing performances.
In 2013, Greg‘s passion for color guard took him further as he had the opportunity to perform in and work as a weapon technician with Elysium Independent. Alongside his high school coach, he showcased his talent on a larger stage and gained invaluable experience working with top-tier performers and instructors. Additionally, Greg generously shared his knowledge by assisting local groups in the central coast area of California, helping them develop their technique and grow as performers.
The 2016 WGI season marked another significant milestone in Greg‘s color guard journey when he marched with Imbue. His dedication to the art form and his exceptional skills shone brightly as he contributed to the success of the group, leaving a lasting impression on all who witnessed their performances.
In 2017, Greg made a geographical move to Maryland, where he found a new home as the Color Guard Director at Thomas S. Wootton High School. Bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience, Greg continued to nurture young talent and foster a thriving color guard program at the school. His commitment to his students’ growth and his ability to inspire and motivate them has made him an invaluable asset to the program and the community.
Greg Swank’s journey as a color guard performer and instructor is a testament to his unwavering passion, commitment, and talent. His years of experience, from his humble beginnings at Templeton High School to his involvement with renowned groups like Elysium Independent and Imbue, have shaped him into a remarkable artist and mentor. Today, as the Color Guard Director at Thomas S. Wootton High School, Greg continues to inspire and shape the next generation of performers, leaving an indelible mark on the world of color guard.
In the fall of 2023, Greg Swank joined the staff of the Towson Color Guard as their weapon technician. Alongside his role as the Color Guard Director at Thomas S. Wootton High School, Greg now brings his expertise and passion to further enhance the performance of the Towson Color Guard.

Percussion Staff

Jayson Hart-Smith

Battery Coordinator/Bass Drum Technician

Jayson Hart-Smith is excited to be in his first season as Bass Drum Instructor for the Towson University Marching Band. His drumline experience started at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, Maryland but after his sophmore year, he joined the Bushwackers Drum & Bugle Corps.  There he completed ten seasons over the next twelve years, serving the majority of his time with the bassline, and becoming Percussion Manager in 2016. During those 12 seasons, bass was truly a passion for Jayson and took advantage of the opportunities in other groups. He was honored to play for world class organizations such as  United Percussion, Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps, and The Reading Buccaneers. With these organizations, he earned the honors of three-time WGI Finalist, DCI Semi-Finalist, and DCA World Champions with Best Percussion. Recently, Jayson was a member of the Baltimore Ravens Drumline for the past 5 seasons, serving in roles ranging from Bass Section Leader to Percussion Director.

When Jayson is not spreading his love and knowledge on the marching activity, he loves to play softball and is the Production Coordinator for Parker Flavors in Baltimore.

Jordan Brooks

Snare Drum Technician

Biography coming soon!

Adam Seymour

Biography coming soon!

David Bailer

Bass Drum Technician

David Bailer is coming to us from Baltimore, Maryland where he just finished studying Chemistry Secondary Education at Towson University. He currently is teaching high school chemistry in Baltimore County Public Schools at Franklin High School. David has performed in various organizations outside of his high school marching band and indoor program. Throughout his marching career he has marched at the Towson University Marching Band, 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, United Percussion, and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. David has also taught at various high school programs and at The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. David is extremely excited and humbled to be back with the TUMB for his second season teaching bass drum!

Kaleb Stateler

Cymbal Technician

A recent Towson University graduate and TUMB alumni, Kaleb spent the 2019-2023 seasons marching cymbals in the Towson band and led the section as a member of the Student Marching Advisory Council (SMAC) of the band for the latter 3 seasons. Kaleb started his music career in 4th grade band and began marching in high school on cymbals, bass, and tenor drums at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts. Kaleb has returned to instruct the Patapsco high school marching band drumline and front ensemble for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

While attending Towson University Kaleb joined Old Line Independent Percussion marching cymbals with the ensemble in its KIDA and WGI competitions for the 2022 and 2023 seasons where he aged out. By the end of 2023 Kaleb has marched 7 consecutive seasons on cymbals and 8 in total from high school to college band and WGI.

Kaleb is excited to begin his new journey not only as a member of the TUMB percussion staff but also as a new member of the Baltimore Marching Ravens for the 2024 season.

Andrew Pretzello

Front Ensemble Co-Coordinator/Technician

Andrew began his marching career at St. Stanislaus High School in Bay St. Louis, MS in 1998, playing in the front ensemble for 6 seasons (7th through Andrew12th grade). Andrew was also a member of the Fusion Indoor Percussion Ensemble from Bay St. Louis, MS in 2003 and 2004. After high school, Andrew became a member of the University of Southern Mississippi marching band, The Pride of Mississippi, where he was in the front ensemble and the cymbal line.

Andrew began marching drum corps in 2004 with Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps and after a two year hiatus, finished his DCI career with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007 and aged-out in 2008. He received the Crossmen Percussion Distinguished Service Award for the 2008 season.

Andrew has been the front ensemble arranger and instructor for Atholton High School from Columbia, MD since 2008 and Marriotts Ridge High School from Marriottsville, MD since 2011. He was a front ensemble instructor for the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016 and has been a member of the Towson University Marching Band staff since 2017.  He currently works as a Senior Advisor for Deloitte & Touche, LLP.

Natalie Pretzello

Front Ensemble Co-Coordinator/Technician

Natalie Hogg Pretzello is a music educator and percussionist from Laurel, Maryland. She has worked with the front ensemble of the Towson University Marching Band since 2017.
Natalie graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education. At University of Maryland, Natalie was privileged to study with Tony Ames, Principal Percussionist of the National Symphony Orchestra, and Dr. Lee Hinkle. The Washington Post wrote about her choreographed performance with the UMD Symphony Orchestra of Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of A Faun and Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony: “[Pretzello kept] leaving to play passages offstage, and once the bombshell percussionist had established her physical authority… in the Debussy, she held attention even as one of a team of percussionis
In addition to her work as a band director in the Howard County Public School System at Gorman Crossing Elementary School, Natalie is a frequent consultant and clinician for award-winning concert and marching ensembles around the Mid-Atlantic region. She is the percussion coordinator for the HCPSS High School Honor Band, HCPSS Elementary School GT Band, and HCPSS Elementary School Honor Band. Since 2011, Natalie has instructed the front ensemble of the four-time state champion Marriotts Ridge High School Marching Band. She was also a front ensemble instructor for the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016. Natalie is an alumna of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps of San Antonio, Texas.

Deandre Dill

Front Ensemble Technician

Biography coming soon!


Nick Gingerich

Head of Audio

Nick Gingerich is a professional audio engineer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been working with the Towson University Marching Band as part of the audio staff since 2021.
Nick’s passion with audio and event production began in high school, where he worked as a student audio tech, operating sound for school assemblies, student events, concerts, theatre productions, and many other events.  Since then, he has immersed himself in the world of live and recorded audio, earning a degree in Electronic Media and Film: Audio Concentration at Towson University.  In his professional career, Nick has worked with professional production companies such as Maryland Sound International and AMPro Audio.  He has also worked with Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD, the Unionville High School Marching Band, York Catholic High School, Towson University Events and Conference Services, and many others. Nick also acts as a freelance audio engineer in the Baltimore area.


Music Arranger

Scott Boerma

Music Arranger

Scott Boerma (b. 1964) was the music arranger for the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps from 1989-2006 and from 2015-2018. From 2008-2014, he was the arranger for the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps. In addition to several other corps in the United States, Boerma has arranged for marching bands and drum corps from Japan, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Thailand. Competitive high school bands around the world have enjoyed great success with Boerma’s charts. Other credits include marching band arrangements for the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Texas (both Austin and Arlington), the University of Illinois, Purdue University, Towson University, Texas Tech University, Baylor University, and Jacksonville State University, to name just a few. Most of the Big Ten University marching bands have performed Boerma’s arrangements. Boerma has also written arrangements for the Detroit Chamber Winds Brass and the Boston Pops.

Boerma’s original concert band works have been performed by many outstanding ensembles, including “The President’s Own” Marine Band, the Dallas Wind Symphony, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, the University of Illinois Wind Symphony, the University of Michigan Symphony & Concert Bands, the Interlochen Arts Camp High School Bands, and the Music For All Honor Band of America, to name just a few. His works have been heard in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Hill Auditorium, the Myerson Symphony Center, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and at the Chicago Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Boerma’s works have been featured in the popular GIA series, “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.” Most of his concert band works are published by the Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Boosey & Hawkes, Arrangers’ Publishing Company, and Carl Fischer Music. He is commissioned each year by high school, university, and community bands to write new works for the repertoire.

Scott Boerma is the Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, where he conducts the University Wind Symphony and Western Winds. Prior to this appointment, he was Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Michigan Marching Band, and the Donald R. Shepherd Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan. Before those positions, Boerma was the Director of Bands at Eastern Michigan University, and he began his career teaching music in the Michigan public schools at Lamphere and Novi High Schools. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in wind conducting at Michigan State University and his Master of Music degree in music education from the University of Michigan, where he studied composition with Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in music education from Western Michigan University, where he studied composition with Ramon Zupko. Scott has also studied composition with Anthony Iannaccone.

Madison Music Works

Photographer Emeritus

Kanji Takeno


For the past 23 years, if you had your picture taken on Towson University’s campus, you’ve probably heard this countdown right before the flash of light comes from the top of a camera.

And if you don’t remember the countdown, then you definitely remember the smile that would come afterwards from the man behind the camera — Towson University’s Director of Photographic Services, Kanji Takeno.

Since starting at TU in 1996, Kanji has taken millions of photos, and has captured so many memories and moments of Towson University’s storied history. And while those 23 years have seen our campus go through an abundance of changes — new campus buildings, five university presidents, and even a name change from Towson State University to Towson University — there has only been one Kanji.

The Fall 2019 academic term is Kanji’s last as the university’s beloved director of photographic services. During these past 23 years, Kanji’s photographs have been Towson University’s public image, with generations of students being attracted to campus because of his efforts.

Media Production Specialist

Kendall Appleby

Kendall Appleby is a recent graduate of Towson University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media and Film in spring of 2018. She was a member of the flute/piccolo section of the TUMB for all four years of her college education, and is an alumna sister of the National Honorary Band Sorority Tau Beta Sigma.

While at Towson, she was a crew member of the WMJF studio; she helped direct, shoot, and edit videos for Towson University’s own television station.

In 2017, Kendall produced an award-winning PSA for the Maryland State Police Vehicle Theft Prevention Council and the Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee that is currently playing on WBAL Radio 1090 AM. She has also produced several documentaries, promotional videos, and parody sketches.

Despite being a recent TUMB alumna who is no longer marching, Kendall is excited to remain a part of the TUMB by doing what she loves with who she loves.

Volunteer Coordinator

Olivia Evans

Biography coming soon!