The newly appointed board of directors of Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) today reaffirmed its commitment to the USBands program by launching the “Forward March!” initiative geared to reconnect with everyone who has a vested interest in the success of USBands and include that community in identifying what changes should be made.
As part of this initiative, YEA! is building a new advisory board to be comprised of six to 12 band directors, adjudicators and volunteers who represent the three main stakeholders in the program.
"USBands is a spectacular program. We are committed to providing the best experience for everyone, most importantly the students participating in the bands.” said Doug Rutherford, board chairman of YEA!. “We want feedback and input from the entire band community, and we believe this newly-formed advisory board is a great step forward in achieving our goal.”
Rutherford also noted that the number of bands registered is on track with previous years and more events are scheduled for 2018 than last year. USBands Premier and Showcase events remain open for bands to sign up. “We are excited to see new bands registering that have not participated in USBands events in the past,” Rutherford added.
The following individuals have agreed to join the USBands Advisory Board:
Mike Harrison, Director of Bands at Urbana High School (Ijamsville, MD). During Mike Harrison’s six-year tenure, the marching band has nearly doubled in size and competes actively in USBands and Bands of America. Urbana’s indoor guard and percussion ensembles have a combined ten Winter Guard International (WGI) Regional finals appearances in the last five years. Urbana has hosted indoor, marching band, and drum corps competitions for USBands, Frederick County Public Schools, Keystone Indoor Drill Association (KIDA), and Drum Corps Associates (DCA), and has even hosted rehearsals for The Cadets and Cadets2. They have also hosted educational events and clinics featuring members of their own instructional staff as well as national leaders in the marching arts. In addition to his work at Urbana, Mr. Harrison has been a percussion instructor with The United States Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps since 2009 and a judge in the KIDA circuit, where he was elected to the position of Percussion Representative in 2016.
Judy (Tomko) Ulchinsky - Adjudicator. Judy Ulchinsky is an accomplished professional in both the educational and musical arts arena. She earned a master’s degree in Learning Disabilities and holds certification in School Administration (Principal/Supervisor), Learning Disability Teacher/Consultant, and Health and Physical Education/Recreation working for many years in schools and teaching at the high school and college level. She continues to work in schools as an educational consultant. Ms. Ulchinsky began her musical arts performance background joining drum corps at age six and continuing on to become the first female guard captain of The Garfield Cadets. She taught the two-time National Championship color guard, Scarlet Cadets, and went on to teach, and continues to consult with many bands and color guards. Her adjudication career began in DCI and includes WGI, Bands of America, DCA and many band and guard circuits. She currently adjudicates in four guard circuits on an annual basis, band shows throughout the country, and drum corps in the summer. Ms. Ulchinsky is a member of the New Jersey Network of Judges.
John Devlin, Volunteer/Staff. John Devlin moved from a marching career with junior, senior and alumni corps, to a volunteer for USBands (as well as The Cadets, Crossmen and Jersey Surf) throughout its long history, beginning with The Cadets Marching Band Cooperative and a handful of events in 1995. He is a familiar face on the sidelines in New Jersey and national events. Mr. Devlin also serves as a Timing and Penalties Judge for the New Jersey Network of Judges and the Mid Atlantic Indoor Network, color guard circuit.
US Bands is looking to add two to three individuals in each area (director, adjudicator, staff/volunteer) to join the USBands advisory board. Anyone interested should send a cover note and brief biography to Ben Regalado (). USBands will be accepting submissions until Monday, April 30, 2018.