Ms. Kathleen McGrady
Kathleen McGrady is presently in her 14th year of teaching instrumental music with the Springfield Local Schools in Holland, Ohio, as Director of Bands. Previous to Springfield, Ms. McGrady taught in the Northwood Local School District as the Band Director for 17 years, where she had the honor of being Northwood High School’s 1996 Teacher of the Year. She is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds a Masters Degree in Music Education from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. In April 1992, Ms. McGrady had the distinct honor of being one of ten Band Directors from the United States selected to be on Staff for the All-American Marching Band that performed for the Grand Opening of the new EuroDisney Park in Paris, France.
Ms. McGrady participates on Staff at the College of Wooster Music Camp every summer along with maintaining an active schedule as a Guest Conductor/Clinician. Ms. McGrady is a member of MENC: The National Association for Music Education, Ohio Music Education Association, National Band Association, and the American School Band Director’s Association. She is a past OMEA State Secretary, past Co-Chair of Performances for the 2007 OMEA State Conference, past President of OMEA District 1, and past Co-Chair of the OMEA District 1 Honors Music Festival. She currently serves as the Band Chair for the 2012 OMEA Professional Development Conference as well as an Adjudicator in the state of Ohio. Ms. McGrady is listed in the 24th edition of Who’s Who of American Women (2004-2005), in the 2005-2006 Edition of Who’s Who of American Teacher’s, and in the 2006 edition of the National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teachers. In February 2008, she was honored by being inducted into the International Bandmasters Fraternity – Phi Beta Mu.
Mr. Travis Pennell
Travis Pennell currently serves as the Assistant Band Director for Springfield Local Schools. His responsibilities include conducting the Springfield HS Concert band as well as assisting with the SHS Blue Devil Marching Band and the SHS Symphonic Band as well as teaching General Music and Guitar method classes at SHS. A native of Bakersfield, California, Travis is a graduate of The Ohio State University, holding the degrees of Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music (Music Theory), magna cum laude. While at Ohio State, Mr. Pennell studied Horn with Charles Waddell and Bruce Henniss while performing and recording with some of the nation’s top ensembles including the Wind Symphony, the Symphonic Band, and the Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his concert playing, Mr. Pennell spent five years as a member in the famed Ohio State University Marching Band (TBDBITL). His performance experience has taken him across Ohio, the Midwest, the U.S., and internationally.
From the beginning of his studies, his teaching was considered to be “representative of a master teacher” while showing “a keen sense of patience and compassion for all students.” Dr. Russel Mikkelson, Director of Bands at The Ohio State University, says, “his love for teaching, his passion for music, and his knowledge of the subject create a perfect blend of musician, teacher, and human being.” Mr. Pennell is currently is a member of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), MENC: The National Association for Music Education, Kappa Kappa Psi National Band Honorary Fraternity, Technology Institute for Music Education (TI:ME), and The Delta Chi Fraternity. He currently serves OMEA as the District 1 Technology Chair & Webmaster and is a 2010 OMEA Leadership Academy Graduate.
Ms. Bernice Schwartz
Bernice Schwartz currently serves as the Elementary Band Director for Springfield Local Schools. Her duties include teaching 5th Beginning Band at Crissy, Dorr, Holland, & Holloway elementary schools and teaching 6th Grade Band at Springfield Middle School. She joined the Springfield Music Department in 1984 and has served as its chairperson since 1994. Before coming to Springfield, she taught at Findlay College and in 2000 she served as interim Associate Professor of Horn at Bowling Green State University.
Ms. Schwartz received combined Bachelor of Music Education and Performance degrees from Ithaca College (NY) and she also holds a Master of Music degree in Performance from Bowling Green State University. As a member of the Ohio Music Education Association, Ms. Schwartz has taught students of all levels and regularly serves as a mentor to other music teachers in the district. In 1993, Ms. Schwartz was honored to receive the Springfield Local Schools Educator of the Year Award.
Additionally active as a performer, Ms. Schwartz is a member of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and can frequently be seen in the Toledo Symphony horn section. She is a founding member of the Tower Brass Quintet - a nationally recognized chamber ensemble with whom she has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. This year the quintet will begin its 32nd season.
Ms. Jacquelyn Sartor
Jacquelyn Sartor is presently in her 14th year as Director of the Color Guard and Winter Guards at Springfield High School where she also writes the marching band drills for the Blue Devil Marching Band. Ms. Sartor has instructed many high school Color Guards in Northwest Ohio the past twenty years including Ada, Northwood, Swanton, Clay, and Defiance. She is a native of Sandusky, Ohio and is employed by Mercy Health Partners in the Financial Operations Department in Toledo, Ohio.
Ms. Sartor is a past member of the MidEast Performance Association (MEPA) where she served as a Color Guard Representative in 2006. While a member of MEPA, the Springfield Winter Guard won the Gold Medal in 2006 in the Scholastic Regional A Class. Ms. Sartor’s Winter Guards currently participate in the Ohio Indoor Performance Association (OIPA) where they were the 2009 Gold Medalist in Scholastic Regional A and the 2008 Silver Medalist in Scholastic Regional A. She served OIPA from 2008-2012 on the Executive Board as Regional Director of Color Guards as well as Vice-President. Ms. Sartor was honored as the OIPA “Director of the Year” in March 2008.
Mr. Mark Swaile
Mark Swaile is in his fourth year with the Springfield Band program as the Percussion Instructor for the Blue Devil Marching Band. He currently runs a private teaching studio at The Toledo Drum School located at The Drum Depot in Toledo. Mr Swaile is a custom drum builder and performs instrument restorations. His current full time occupation is being a dad to his two children.
Mr. Swaile began his performance career at the age of 12 when he began participating in the drum and bugle corps activity. Over the course of his eligibility he was offered opportunities with such groups as The Glassmen, Phantom Regiment, Blue Devils and The Caviliers. Mr Swaile has had the opportunity to perform with many styles of musical groups including concert/community bands, big bands, and in various music venues around the area. Mr Swaile has had the opportunity to share the stage with such artists as Blind Bobby Smith, Roomful of Blues, and Buddy Rich & his big band.
Mr. Swaile has been a staple in the NW Ohio/ SE Michigan percussion scene for several years. He has spent time working with Eastwood, Whitmer, Summerfield, and Jefferson Schools, has been a clinician, and was a founder and board member of N.O.I.P.A. While teaching at the University of Toledo, Mr. Swaile assisted the Rocket drum line in organizing a competitive indoor program and was a finalist in the WGI World Percussion Championships. Mr Swaile served on the WGI percussion advisory board for 2 years.