Meet The Band

Larry Detwiler

Trumpet/Piccolo Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Larry Detwiler is Music Department Chairman for Altoona Area School District, and Director of Bands at Altoona Area Senior High School. Before this, he directed bands at Roosevelt Junior High School in the AASD, as well as at several other area schools. Mr. Detwiler studied music education at Penn State University, where he was a member of the “Blue Band” and other ensembles. An active freelance trumpeter, Larry frequently appears with the Altoona Symphony, in the Mishler Theatre “pit,” at the Cathedral in Altoona, and with several regional jazz ensembles and big bands. He maintains leadership roles with the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association at the district and state levels.

Jeremy Hetrick

Trumpet/Flugelhorn

 Jeremy Hetrick was born and raised in the Altoona area. He graduated from high school in 2007 and immediately enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Jeremy served as a member of the 28th Infantry Division Band until his separation from the military in 2019 after serving twelve years. While serving in the Guard, Jeremy also earned a B.S. in Music Education (2011) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (2016) from Saint Francis University (PA). In addition to performing with various ensembles within the 28th ID Band, Jeremy has performed with other local ensembles, including the Hollidaysburg Community Band, pit orchestras for area schools, the Mishler Theatre “pit”, and is active musically in his church as well as other area churches. He was an employee of the Veeder-Root Company from 2011-2022, where he most recently held the role of NPI Project Engineer at their Duncansville facility. He is currently employed as a Carpenter with Lawruk Builders, and he also maintains a freelance woodworking business. Jeremy and his wife, Alyssa, reside in Altoona with their two sons, Jonah and Oliver. He enjoys coaching his sons in basketball and baseball.”

Alexander Schwind

Trumpet/Flugelhorn

New York native Alex Schwind earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and his graduate degree in Trumpet Performance from Penn State. Alex’s former teachers include Herb Smith, Wes Nance, Frank Campos, and Dr. Langston Fitzgerald III. Alex performs frequently as a freelance trumpet player with various ensembles in the Central Pennsylvania area. Alex maintains a private brass studio of students from surrounding communities. Alex resides in Hollidaysburg, PA, with his wife Janey and dog Riff.

Scott Sheehan

Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Scott Sheehan is Director of Bands (Senior High) and Chair of the Music Department at Hollidaysburg Area School District. Scott earned B.S. degrees in Music Education and in Music Marketing from Clarion University and a M.M.E. from Penn State University. As a leader and advocate for music education, Mr. Sheehan has served as the Eastern Division President of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and State President of PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association). Mr. Sheehan is an educational clinician for Conn-Selmer’s Division of Education, was a finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award in 2019,  He was elected as the National President for NAfME in February of 2020 and will conclude his term in June 2026. He is the associate conductor for the Hollidaysburg Community Band and also appears as a guest clinician and guest conductor throughout the United States. Scott performs frequently as a freelance trumpet player with various ensembles in the central Pennsylvania region, and is Altoona Brass Collective’s flugelhorn specialist. 

Jordan Canner

Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Jordan Canner has been the Director of Bands at Huntingdon Area High School in Huntingdon, PA since 2008. He directs the Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, and teaches a variety of courses including Music Theory, Music Appreciation, Piano and Ukulele. Mr. Canner holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree and a Master of Arts in Music Performance degree for Conducting, both from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He currently serves as the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 4 Vice President and Jazz Coordinator. He also serves as the director of the Juniata College Jazz Ensemble. Under his direction, the Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble of Huntingdon Area High School have consistently been awarded Superior Ratings at Festivals of Music adjudications. The Huntingdon Area High School Music Department was named a Semifinalist for the 2015 Grammy Signature School Award and Mr. Canner was a Quarter-finalist for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award. He was named the Huntingdon County “Educator of the Year” in 2014 and 2022 and has been a  guest director for various PMEA District Jazz and County Band festivals. A frequent performer, Jordan can be heard playing trumpet with the Altoona Brass Collective, Raystown Wind Orchestra, the Big Band Sound, No Filter Jazz, and co-directing the Huntingdon Community Summer Band. He has also played with the Altoona Symphony Orchestra,  Zeropoint Big Band, and the Gill Street Band. Outside of music, he likes to camp, woodwork, and go on vacations with his wife Emily, and sons Philip and Timothy.

Brandon Kunder

Trumpet/Flugelhorn

Brandon Kunder serves as an Elementary Music Teacher at the Altoona Area School District. He teaches Orchestra, Chorus and General Music. Originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, he moved to Central Pennsylvania to pursue his degree in Music Education at The Pennsylvania State University where he studied trumpet under Langston Fitzgerald, III.  As a student at Penn State, he performed in the Penn State Marching “Blue Band”, and numerous other ensembles. In addition to performing with the Altoona Brass Collective, Brandon freelances around Central and Eastern Pennsylvania.

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Jayson Monroe

Horn

Jayson Monroe is a music teacher and middle school band director in the West Mifflin Area School District, located in West Mifflin, PA. Mr. Monroe earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Penn State University, where he studied under Lisa Bontrager, professor emeritus of horn. During his time at Penn State, he participated in various ensembles, including the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and several chamber ensembles.

Apart from his role in the Altoona Brass Collective, Mr. Monroe freelances and performs with multiple groups in the Southwestern PA region. Notably, he serves as an assistant director and section hornist in the Scottdale Concert Band, and he is also a member of his own brass quintet. In addition to his ensemble work, Jayson teaches private brass students.

Recently, he was appointed as the head marching band director at West Mifflin, and he will assume the role of Director of Bands and Wind Band Studies starting the 2024-2025 school year.

Kelly Myers

Horn

Kelly Myers earned her B.S. in Music Education from Duquesne University where she studied horn under Zachary Smith and Joseph Rounds of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She also holds an M.M. in Music Education from the University of Nebraska and an M.M in Wind Conducting from Messiah University. In addition to the Altoona Brass Collective, Kelly freelances with several area organizations including the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, at the Mishler Theatre, and serves as a brass/chamber music coach for the Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra. Formerly the choral director for the Portage Area Junior/Senior High School, Kelly is now Director of Bands at Altoona Area Junior High School and maintains a private horn studio in the area. 

Scott Pappal

Horn/Arranger/Keyboards

Scott Pappal is an instrumental/general music teacher in the Altoona Area School District. Currently a hornist/keyboardist in the Mishler Theatre “pit,” Scott was associate principal horn of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra for eleven years, and was also a hornist with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra from 1996 – 2007. With both orchestras, he appeared as a featured soloist. Mr. Pappal has served as principal organist at Logan Valley Presbyterian Church and the Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren, and worked as a staff accompanist at Penn State (Altoona Campus.) Scott is a proud “dad” member of Hollidaysburg Area School District’s athletic band staff, where he a brass coach and arranger. For over twenty-five years, Scott has maintained a successful private horn studio: His students have been accepted to Peabody College Conservatory, Northwestern University, Carnegie-Mellon, Duquesne, Penn State, Syracuse, and many other music schools. Scott’s B.S. and M.M. degrees in Music are from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where he studied horn with Zachary Smith and William Caballero of the Pittsburgh Symphony. An active freelance arranger/composer/orchestrator, he is ABC’s principal arranger. Scott also enjoys creating custom-commissioned marching/competition band shows, choral works, arrangements and compositions for developing bands and string ensembles, and chamber works for
recitals. In 2023, he co-founded Performance Keyboard Solutions, a company specializing in keyboard programming / performance primarily within the MainStage operating environment. Scott lives in Hollidaysburg with his wife, Jennifer (a string specialist in the Hollidaysburg Area School District), his three musician-dancer daughters, Kristen, Kara, and Kayla, and Snowball, a house-trained mini-lop rabbit.

Joshua Fickes

Trombone

Joshua Fickes is the Assistant Director of Military Marketing Strategy at Penn State World Campus, a freelance trombonist, and native of Hollidaysburg, PA. Prior to graduating from Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School in 1998, Josh enlisted in the 553rd Air Force Band in Middletown, PA. He graduated from Temple University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music degree. While at Temple he studied with Tyrone Breuninger and was co-principal of the wind symphony, lead trombone in the Temple Jazz Band under the direction of Terell Stafford, and trombone section leader of the Diamond Marching Band. Josh has been working in higher education for 15 years and retired from the Air National Guard Band of the Northeast in 2018 as bass trombonist and Section Chief for Operations for the band. He earned his MBA in 2020 and moved back to the area after 23 years away to continue his career at Penn State and be near family.

Mike Loewen

Bass Trombone

Mike Loewen is a State College native with a BS in Music Education from Penn State, who turned to the dark arts and became a computer programmer. He retired in 2016 after 21 years at PSU. He remained active on the Central PA music scene, performing with concert bands, jazz ensembles, orchestras, small groups and pit orchestras. Besides ABC, Mike currently performs with the Zeropoint Big Band, Deacons of Dixieland, State College Area Municipal Band, Raystown Wind Orchestra, Little German Band, and the Below Centre tuba/euphonium quartet. He also subs with other groups as needed. Bass trombone is his favorite instrument, but he also plays tenor trombone, euphonium and tuba.

Patrick Sachse

Trombone

Patrick Sachse has been Band Director at Bellwood-Antis School District since 2008. He currently teaches fourth through twelfth grade Concert, Jazz, and Marching Bands. He studied Trombone with Mark Lusk at The Pennsylvania State University and is currently studying Wind Conducting through Messiah University. He is active as a trombonist with ABC, local pit orchestras, and local churches. He volunteers with the High School Cross County Team and Elementary Running Club, and is an active trail runner, backpacker, and kayaker.

Jack Sears

Trombone/Arranger

Jack Sears earned his B.A. and M.A. in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before he retired, he served as Director of Bands at Claysburg-Kimmel School District and at Roosevelt Junior High School (in the Altoona Area School District) as well as a Music Specialist in the Altoona Area School District. Jack has performed with various local organizations ranging from symphony orchestras to concert bands, and has often conducted local bands, “pit” orchestras for ACT Productions and P&J Productions, and PMEA band festivals. Over the winter months he performs with three organizations in Mississippi, including the “Gulf Coast Dance Band” from Gulfport, Mississippi. An active composer and arranger, Jack frequently crafts arrangements for ABC.

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Drew Yingling

Bass Trombone

Drew Yingling is a school counselor with the Altoona Area School District, and a 1992 graduate of Penn State University where he marched with the “Blue Band” and played with several other groups. Drew earned his Master’s In Education degree from Penn State in 1997, and has been an assistant instructor in the AAHS music department since joining the AASD. He married Lynn in 2010, and the couple enjoys supporting Penn State athletic events, especially the PSU football program through “tailgating” with friends and family.

Jacob Green

Trombone

Jacob Green is currently completing his music education degree through Penn State. He has studied trombone with Mark Lusk at Penn State, and Greg Strohman within his hometown of Lebanon PA. Jacob is an active pit orchestra musician on both trombone and viola in the Central PA area. His work experience includes; the Lebanon Music Store Loser’s Music, Inc., and an apprenticeship with a local general home contractor. As an Eagle Scout (2020), he loves to be surrounded by nature and travel.

Kris Laird

Euphonium/Tuba

Kris Laird earned B.S. (Penn State University) and M.M. (Duquesne University) degrees in Music Education. He was Director of Bands at Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School for over eleven years, and served in a similar capacity before that at Tyrone Area Junior-Senior High School. Currently, Kris is the Director of Business Development for a Virginia Beach-based software company where he manages a team of sales reps. In addition, he is on the board of directors for the Tyrone Area School District and Altoona Symphony Orchestra, and is an active sales strategy consultant. He has performed with many area organizations including the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, and has enjoyed serving in various leadership roles and as a guest clinician and conference presenter with PMEA. He resides in Warriors Mark with his wife, Tabitha, their four kids, and their golden retriever.

Brad Scherden

Euphonium

Brad Scherden is a Special Education teacher in the Altoona Area School District. Since November 2021, he has provided Learning Support as an English co-teacher at Altoona Area High School. Prior to working at AASD, Brad was a music teacher and band director in Catholic schools in Blair and Cambria Counties, including Bishop Carroll, Bishop Guilfoyle, Northern Cambria Catholic School, Saint Michael School, and Holy Trinity Catholic School. Brad is a 2013 graduate of Altoona Area High School and a 2018 graduate of Penn State University. At Penn State, Brad was a member of the Tuba-Euphonium Studio and graduated with a degree in Music Education. He student taught in Central Dauphin School District in Harrisburg. While at Penn State, he performed with the Symphonic Band, Marching Blue Band, Tuba Euphonium Ensemble, Glee Club, and chamber groups. When not teaching or playing with ABC, Brad enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and relaxing at home with his wife and two sweet cats.

Dylan Albright

Tuba

Dylan Albright currently serves as director of bands at Everett Area High School in Everett, PA. He is a proud graduate of Penn State where he studied tuba with professor Velvet Brown and performed in various ensembles including the Blue Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In addition to his musical endeavors, Dylan is an avid “Jeopardy!” watcher and hopes to one day appear on America’s favorite quiz show.

Jerry Berry

Tuba

Jerry Berry graduated from Pickerington High School (OH) in 1983, received his Bachelor in Music Education from Otterbein College (Westerville, OH) in 1987 and received postgraduate credits in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music (Chicago) and The University for the Arts (Philadelphia). He has performed with the Guy Lombardo Orchestra and Henry Mancini. He plays bass guitar for “Jazz in Your Face” based in Johnstown. Jerry taught instrumental music for the Berlin Brothersvalley School District from 1987-1999 and the Northern Bedford County School District from 1999 until his retirement in 2020. Jerry plans to spend more time with his family, practicing and arranging music. Jerry lives in Hopewell (PA) with his wife, Jeannette, and his two younger children, Ebbie and Adam. His older sons, Caleb and James, are both pursuing careers related to music.

Doug Stephens

Conductor/Percussion

Doug Stephens is the Owner and Lead Repair Technician of BANDMAN Rental & Repair, LLC, in Altoona, PA. He holds B.S. (music education) and M.M. (wind conducting) degrees from Penn State University, and is a graduate of the internship program at Badger State Repair. Prior to establishing BANDMAN, Doug was the Director of Bands at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School from 1995 – 2005. A strong advocate of lifelong musical arts involvement, Mr. Stephens currently serves as Music Director/Conductor for the Hollidaysburg Community Band. He is a member of the percussion section of the Altoona Symphony, and performs with many other orchestras, jazz ensembles, and rock bands throughout the Western PA region. Additionally, Mr. Stephens frequently appears conducting “pit” orchestras for Altoona Community Theatre, Altitude Entertainment, Sapphire Sky Productions, and other theatre companies. “Doug would like to thank God, for his amazing wife Lori, and their four greatest blessings; Jacob, Marian, Ruth and Simon.”