Michelle Lewis is very passionate about music education, empowering students to create, and strengthening community through Community Drum Circles. She has recently accepted a teaching position with Bloom Elementary School where she teaches Music and the Performing Arts. In the fall of 2018, Michelle will begin her appointment on the Music Education Faculty at Indiana University Southeast. She is currently the Director of the Louisville Leopard Percussionists Middle School Percussion Ensembles that focus on creating music, music literacy and performance practices of traditional, cultural, popular, and esoteric percussion music. In addition to these responsibilities, Michelle maintains an active private percussion studio in which her students have achieved many honors.
Michelle received her Bachelor of Music Education from Morehead State University, a Masters in Percussion Performance from Rutgers University, a Rank I in Orff-Schulwerk from the University of Kentucky, and an administration certificate from the University of Louisville. She has studied percussion extensively with Frank Oddis, She-E Wu, and Dennis DeLucia.
Ms. Lewis has performed with a variety of ensembles including, but not limited to the The Athena Brass Band, Rutgers Wind Ensemble (Mark Custom Recordings), Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba Seminar, Percussive Arts Society International Indoor Drumline Champions of Morehead State University, Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Victoria Symphony in Victoria, Texas and toured with a Texas Country-Rock Band in the Dallas and Houston area. In 1996, she place 2nd in the Percussive Arts Society International Marimba Competition. She currently performs with the Voices of Kentuckiana, The Brass Band of Louisville, Centerstage, and is a snare drummer with the Louisville Pipe Band.
Ms. Lewis is published in the GIA Publication, “Orff Schulwerk-Reflections and Directions” for her implementation of Orff in Band. Michelle has written articles for the KMEA Bluegrass Music News and is a pioneer of creativity in the performing ensemble classroom using Orff inspired methods.
She is a member of the Kentucky Music Educator's Association, National Association for Music Education, Kentucky Orff-Schulwerk Association, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, The Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, Percussive Arts Society, and the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild.
In addition to these memberships, Ms. Lewis serves on the Executive Advisory Board for Composers and Schools in Concert, is a volunteer outreach member for the Jazz Education Network, is an education endorser for Salyers Percussion in Sugarland, Texas.
Tanner Leonardo currently studies under Dr. Greg Byrne at the University of Louisville. His studies seek a degree in Music Performance with a focus in percussion, graduating in the Spring of 2018. Previously, Leonardo has served as Section Principal in the University of Louisville Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra. Other performing ensembles he has achieved include the Commonwealth Brass Band, Louisville Philharmonia, Orchestra Enigmatic, Music City Drum & Bugle Corps, Walden Theater Opera Co., and the Kentucky Intercollegiate Band. He has performed within ensembles at both the World Association of Symphonic Bands & Ensembles Conference in San Jose, California and the Sandy Feldstein Percussion Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. Leonardo also currently serves as the Head Percussion Instructor at North Oldham High School in Goshen, Kentucky and Grayson County High School in Leitchfield, Kentucky, having individual students place in All District and All State Ensembles. With this, multiple groups under his direction have received distinguished and first-place accolades within different events. Leonardo also is an Educational Endorser of Salyers Percussion, which will support his efforts to conduct the KMEA District 5 All-District Percussion Ensemble.
CHARLES AMEWUDAH originally from GHANA, is a professional certificate and first degree holder in education from the University of Education in Winneba, Kumasi-Ghana. He was a leader and instructor of Borborbor music of a student group between 2011-2012 at the University of Education in Winneba.
Charles was a member of a blessed cultural troupe in Accra Ghana and has also been part of a church choir playing drums and teaching songs since 1995. In addition to these teaching and performing experiences, he is a regular participant of the Louisville Community Drum Circle at DrumSmart.
Brittany Franks has lived in Louisville all of her life. She is one of the original members of the Fabulous Leopard Percussionists when it was formed in 1993. While in the Leopards, Brittany had the honor of performing at the Governor's Mansion in Frankfort, the Kentucky and Indiana Music Educator's Association Conferences, the Atlanta Band and Orchestra Convention, and the Percussive Art's Society International Convention in Orlando, Florida.
After her time with the Leopards, Brittany continued to hone her percussion skills performing in ensembles at the Youth Performing Arts School and Bellarmine University. During her high school years, Brittany was a member of all-county and all-state bands and performed with the YPAS Percussion Ensemble at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference.
Beginning in 2004, Brittany served as assistant director for the Louisville Leopard Percussionists until 2017. In the fall of 2009, she helped create the experienced group, Leopard Lite. Since its inception, Leopard Lite has doubled in size and is comprised of children from approximately 20 different elementary schools in the Louisville-Metro area.
Since leaving the Louisville Leopard Percussionists, Brittany has started performing again. She can be seen playing percussion and drum-set in musicals in the Kentuckiana area. She is excited to be joining the DrumSmart LLC family and begin this new chapter of her life.
Nate Dobas is a drummer of many interests and tastes. By day he educates the young minds as a choir/general music teacher at the middle school level. By night, he runs Dobas Music Studios. This is an academy of private teaching studio, specializing in drums, recording and video production.
Whether it’s with a jazz combo, a theatre pit, and funk band or a rock band, Nate has played with countless regional acts opening for such bands as Dick Dale, The Breakfast, and John Fogerty to name a few. Nate also holds drum chairs for Leila and smooth jazz artist Funkee Boy (both Billboard artists). Nate also plays with Unchained and Halen…2 of the premier Van Halen Tribute bands in the northeast. Nate was 1 of 2 finalists from CT for the 2006 Drum Off. He also placed 3rd at the New Hampshire Drum Festival in 2015.
Forever a student of the instrument, Nate has studied with Dom Famularo, John Riley, Fran Merante and currently studies with Gary Chaffee. “All these experiences have given me a sound that is ever evolving”.
In addition to these performance experiences, Nate is also involved in the world of live sound mixing. He has won “Best Sound Design” at Broadway world.com 3 years in a row for his work with Pantochino Productions.