Dr. Sigurd Johnson

Director, Gold Star Athletic Bands

D.M.A., University of Memphis
M.M., Northwestern University
B.A., Concordia College

Since 2008, Dr. Sigurd Johnson has been an Associate Professor of Music and Director of Athletic Bands and Percussion Studies at North Dakota State University. Prior to his appointment at NDSU, he served as Director of Bands and Percussion at Valley City State University in Valley City, ND; Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Rust College in Holly Springs, MS; and as a percussion arranger and instructor on the staff of the University of Memphis Marching Band.

While living in the mid-south, Dr. Johnson was a member of the percussion section of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, an active jazz and theater freelance performer and a clinician/adjudicator. He also spent four years teaching and performing in Norway. Currently, Dr. Johnson spends a portion of his summer teaching percussion at the International Music Camp, where he is also an executive member of the IMC board and President of the IMC US Corporation.

He has served as the East Region Band Representative for the North Dakota Music Education Association, is a past president of the North Dakota National Band Association; and has served as North Dakota State Chair for the collegiate chapters of the Music Educators National Conference (NAFME). Johnson has also served as Chapter President of the North Dakota Percussive Arts Society.

He is active in the upper Midwest as a percussion, jazz ensemble and marching/concert band clinician and adjudicator, as well as a guest conductor of Festival and Honor bands. Dr. Johnson is a Yamaha Percussion Instruments, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets artist as well as a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Instruments Education Team.

Connor Challey

Assistant Director, Gold Star Athletic Bands

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

Connor Challey is the Assistant 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 their 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 The University of Miami and a Master 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

Graduate Assistant Director, Gold Star Athletic Bands

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

Matthew Winarski is the Graduate Assistant Director of the GSMB and is pursuing a D.M.A of Instrumental Conducting degree at North Dakota State University, where he also earned his Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting. Some of Matthews duties with the GSMB include; drill writing and teaching, arranging music, rehearsal and game day logistics, and bus captain extraordinaire. Before arriving at NDSU in the Fall of 2017, Matthew taught for five years in the public schools in Alexandria, Minnesota; Forman and Gwinner, North Dakota; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. During his time in Alexandria, Matthew was the Director of Bands and Head Marching Director at Alexandria Area High School. While there, his marching band earned multiple Grand Champion awards at marching competitions, and regularly ranked towards the top of their division.

Matthew received his Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin  Eau Claire. While at UWEC, he was a Section Leader, Drum Major, and Band Staff member of the Blugold Marching Band, the largest Div. III college marching band in the country. Outside of the BMB, Matthew was the founding Director of the Blugold Athletic Band, a student-led pep band which performed at UWEC Basketball and Hockey games. Before attending UWEC, Matthew was a member of the Mighty Sound of the South Marching Band at the University of Memphis. During the summer months, Matthew has traveled abroad to work with marching band programs, including the Colegio De Bagaces Marching Band in Bagaces, Costa Rica, and the Stabekk Skoles Musikkorps Smgardistene in Stabekk, Norway.

Matthew is an active member of several organizations on the regional and national level, including the National Association for Music Educators, Minnesota Band Directors Association, both the Minnesota and North Dakota Music Educators Associations, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Tau Beta Sigma. Mr. Winarski lives in downtown Fargo with his fianc and their dog, Colby. The three enjoy traveling around the country 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.

She 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 the 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.  

José Romero

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Gold Star Athletic Bands

D.M.A., Candidate, North Dakota State University
M.M., University of Montana
B.M., Idaho State University

José Romero an Idaho native is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree student at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Saxophone Performance. He is currently a teaching assistant for NDSU music program. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from Idaho State University (ISU) and a Master of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Montana. Romeros primary instructors include Dr. John Masserini and Dr. Shandra Helman at ISU in Pocatello Idaho, Dr. Johan Eriksson at the UM, and Dr. Matthew Patnode at NDSU.

During his time at ISU, Romero had the privilege to work with the Idaho State Civic-Symphony performing Prokofievs Romeo & Juliet in 2013. During his time in the ISU Marching Band Romero was a section leader, and Drum Major. While Romero was at UM, Romero held a GA position with the UM Grizzly Marching Band, he also toured with UMs Symphonic Orchestra playing Bizets L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 in 2016. Romero was presented the David Missal Award at ISU (2013), and received the Spirit of ISU Award (2012, 2013).

Romero has been a founding father and member of ISUs chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi (2013), a service-oriented music fraternity, and a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance (2013). He recently was made an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma (2018), a service music sorority. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his cat Liam.

Andrew Nicholson

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Gold Star Athletic Bands

B.M.E., University of Wisconson, Eau Claire

Andrew Nicholson is a Graduate Student at North Dakota State University, pursuing a Masters of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting. He currently is a Teaching Assistant for several undergraduate courses at NDSU, and recently finished a semester of teaching at Northwood School District in Minong, Wisconsin.

Andrew enjoys a busy conducting schedule that led to him winning the University of Wisconsin  Eau Claire (UWEC) conducting competition in the spring of 2015. He was also selected to be one of four Drum Majors for the Blugold Marching Band at UWEC in the fall of 2015. Andrews conducting allowed him to do several world premieres, including a Tuba/Euphonium arrangement of the music from the video game Halo 3 called, Never Forget Halo by Matthew Strom.

Andrew also enjoys his time as a successful Euphonium Soloist. He was the Drum Corps International World Champion Euphonium Soloist in the summer of 2015. Andrew was also a featured soloist for several groups, including the Ladysmith Community Band, Bassically Brass at UWEC, and several NDSU sponsored events.

Andrew holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin  Eau Claire. Some of his mentors in conducting include John Stewart, Warren Olfert, Russell Mikkelson, and Rodney Dorsey. He also received lessons on Euphonium from several notable performers such as ystein Baadsvik, Jerry Young, David Werden, Neal Corwell, and Gail Robertson.

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