Meet the Staff

Connor Challey

Director, Gold Star Athletic Bands

M.M., Colorado State University
B.M., University of Miami

Connor Challey is the Director of Athletic Bands at North Dakota State University, where he instructs brass chamber ensembles, teaches private tuba lessons, and manages instrumental rentals. Challey recently performed as a soloist with the NDSU Wind Symphony on the 2018 concert tour. Prior to his time at NDSU, he instructed Breathing Gym at The University of Miami and with System Blue, a division of Blue Devils Performing arts on their Blue Devils International Tour. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Tuba Performance from Colorado State University. His teachers include Samuel Pilafian, Patrick Sheridan, Aaron Tindall, Stephen Dombrowski, and Velvet Brown.

Growing up in California, Challey was involved in a range of musical activities. While living in the Bay Area, he instructed Guitar, Bass, and Drum Set lessons while also playing in multiple Rock, Metal, and Punk Bands. Challey is a chartering member of the Beta Psi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and a member of The International Tuba Euphonium Association. He currently resides in Fargo, North Dakota.

Matthew Winarski

Assistant Director, Gold Star Athletic Bands

D.M.A., M.M., North Dakota State University
B.M.E., University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Matthew Winarski will be joining the NDSU Gold Star Marching Band as the new Assistant Director of Athletic Bands for the Fall 2022 season. Matt has worked with the Gold Star Marching Band in various capacities since 2017, when he started as a graduate assistant at NDSU. With over a decade of marching band leadership, Matt will bring a wide depth of experience and knowledge to the GSMB staff. He has worked with both high school and collegiate marching bands across the United States, including Alexandria Area High School Marching Band (MN), the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Blugold Marching Band and Athletic Band, and the University of Memphis "Mighty Sound of the South" Marching Band. Matt has also worked with marching ensembles internationally, including the Colegio De Bagaces Marching Band in Bagaces, Costa Rica, and the Stabekk Skoles Musikkorps Smågardistene in Stabekk, Norway. Outside his marching band work, he also works as the Instrumental Ensembles Manager at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Matt has completed all coursework and comprehensive exams for his D.M.A. in Instrumental Conducting degree from North Dakota State University, where he also earned his Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting and Music Education. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from UW - Eau Claire.

Matt is a member of several music organizations on the regional and national level, including the College Music Society, National Association for Music Educators, Minnesota Band Directors Association, the Minnesota Music Educators Associations, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Tau Beta Sigma. Matt lives in Fargo with his husband and their dogs; Colby and Cheddar. The four enjoy traveling around the Upper Midwest and visiting various state and national parks.

Lindsay Poock

Color Guard Instructor

Lindsay is a Gold Star Marching Band Alumni from 2006-2009. She graduated from MSUM in 2010. She was able to be a part of the band through the Tri-College program. She grew up in Wadena MN, that had a small marching band. It was through that experience that she grew her passion for Color Guard. She has been back as an instructor for the Color Guard at NDSU since 2016. She has been the instructor for the guard at Moorhead High School as well since 2014. Her passion is teaching and instructing everyone no matter what their experience level. She strives to create an environment of support and collaboration within the team. Along with creating a unified visual effect for the band.

Her roles within the band include choreographing routines for the shows, instructing/teaching basics to match all individual skill levels. She ensures that every student feels comfortable with the routines and ensure that they are challenging but fun. She also helps out where ever else she can for the band.

Lindsay lives in Moorhead with her husband, 2 busy boys, Charlie (6) and Barrett(3), and her dog, Jack. She tends to bring the boys to practice to make sure that they develop the love for the band that she has, and Bison football too. Often times you will find her busy chasing her boys and camping with her family.