John Miliauskas

Director of the Towson University Marching Band

John Miliauskas

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.

Taylor Yozwiak

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 drumset player with his passion for solo performance and rudimental technique. Taylor is currently entering his eighth 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. 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.

 

Christina Donall – Lebovitz

Drum Major Clinician

Christina is an educator and clinician currently residing in Baltimore County. Also an Alum fromTowson University, she earned her Bachelor of Science inMusic Education in 2019 and earned her Masters in Instructional Technology, Education Concentration in 2022.

She is originally from Northfield, NJ where her musical and marching arts career started at Mainland Regional High School.  Her band director, Keith Hodgson, set the standards high of the positive impact a teacher can have towards their students. Throughout high school, she had many memorable experiences including participating in jazz band festivals, pit orchestra, marching band competitions, and the NJ State Gala with the wind ensemble. She was also an active participant in NHS and Tri-M Honor Societies. The summer after she graduated, Christina spent three weeks with theAmerican Music Abroad Gold tour performing across 5 different countries. Outside of music, she was alsoa track and field athlete, setting the school discus record and competing in the NJ Meet of Champions in 2013.

Throughout college, she was very involved with the marching arts and the Towson University MusicDepartment.  She was an employee under the athletic band director, Mr. John Miliauskas, for four years as well as serving as one of the Towson University Marching Bands’s Drum Major for two years. She also was a flag and dance member of the TU Winter Guard in 2017. During this time, Christina became a brother of the Iota Delta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, Honorary Band Fraternity, operating as the Treasurer, President, Convention Chair, and Parliamentarian. Christina was involved in the Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps as a mellophone player (2015) and as a drum major (2018) for their final season.

After graduating, Christina spent three years teaching middle school band and orchestra in Washington County and Baltimore County. The 2022-23 school year started her journey as a high school director at two locations. At Parkville High School, Christina directs the wind ensemble, concert band, orchestra, and steel pan ensemble. At Dulaney High School, she directs the concert band and teaches music tech and piano courses. Christina is co-director of the Dulaney Lions Roar Marching Band and a marching and drum major tech of the Westminster Owls Marching Band. She is also Secretary of the Maryland Marching Band Association. This will be Christina’s fifth year being a Drum Major Clinician at the TU Marching Arts Camp.

 

Scott Engel

Drum Major Clinician

Scott Engel is the band director and general music teacher at Boonsboro High School in Washington County (‘20-present), and formerly of Perry Hall High School in Baltimore County (‘06-‘20). Under his direction both school’s marching bands won state championships (’12 and ’22). Selected as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” in the December 2015 issue of School Band & Orchestra Magazine, Scott hopes to spend the rest of his career making a difference in the lives of his students and colleagues. Scott earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education from Towson University, and while at TU, he wasa member and drum major of the marching band. Scott currently serves as President-Elect of the Maryland Band Directors Association.

 

 

Jayson Hart-Smith

Percussion Instructor

Jayson has been a Drumline instructor for the past 16 years helping numerous programs across Maryland and Pennsylvania. These programs include The Bushwacker’s Drum & Bugle Corps, The Baltimore Marching Ravens, as well as the World Famous Towson Marching Band where he is entering his 4th year on staff. As a performer, Jayson played bass drum for the Bushwacker’s, Reading Buccaneers, Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps, and United Percussion. During that time, Jayson also gained a wealth of knowledge about the entire percussion section from the incredible people he had the pleasure of marching, learning, and teaching with over the years. His goal is to pass down the knowledge he’s gained, so the next generation of drummers are provided with the tools they need to succeed at the next level.

 

James McGarvey

Percussion Instructor

James McGarvey is a band director and percussion teacher,  and has 28 years of teaching experience. Originally from Pennsylvania, James received his Bachelor of Music Education fromIndiana University of Pennsylvania, studying under Gary Olmstead and Jack Stamp. He has served as band director for Moriarty High School (NM), Carver Center for the Arts (Towson, MD), Hereford High School (MD), and Susquehannock High School (Glen Rock, PA). In 2013, he received his Master of Music Education from Lebanon Valley College.

While at Susquehannock High School, James created a percussion program, which developed into a championship indoor percussion ensemble, receiving many awards in the KIDA and WGI circuits. Under his direction, the high school marching band has achieved success in the Tournament of Bands and Cavalcade of Bands.

In 2008, James took over as elementary band director for Southern York County Schools, and directs bands in grades 4 through 6. He also created a youth jazz band program called the Warrior Cadets. In addition, he continues to serve the Susquehannock High School Band, as percussion director for the Susquehannock marching band and indoor percussion programs, winning numerous championships and high percussion awards.

James also teaches privately in his studio in Glen Rock. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and the Percussive Arts Society.

 

Layne Thompson

Color Guard Instructor

Layne Thompson is from Oakville, MD where he participated in many aspects of the performing arts. As of 2023, Layne has participated in 40 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 seventh year Paraeducator in St. Mary’s County. 

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.