Department of Bands Business Manager
Kara Duplantier serves as Business Manager for the LSU Department of Bands and has
been with the organization since 2016. She takes care of back office operations for
Tiger Band, Bengal Brass, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, and Symphonic Band, and
she is the contact person in representing the organizations. Kara served on the steering
committee for The Four Notes Club and works closely with the Board of Directors in
their operations. Recently, Kara was inducted as an honorary member of Kappa Kappa
Psi Beta Gamma.
As a former Tiger Band (1993-1996) and Symphonic Band member, Kara understands the needs of the exciting world of LSU music. She served as piccolo section leader during her fourth year and even married her Tiger Band sweetheart. Kara still lives for the roar of the crowd on Saturday nights in Death Valley. She attends all home football games and is known to plan family vacations around LSU away games. Kara holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Biology Education and has served in various teaching and support roles within the West Feliciana and Zachary school systems. With a background in customer service and management, Kara is using her skills and knowledge to serve an organization she loves so much.
Instrument Repair Technician
Stephen Koivisto, instrument repair technician, has been repairing musical instruments since his apprenticeship with the King Band Instrument Repair Service in Atlanta in 1985. Since then, he has served as shop manager for several companies, including Mississippi Music, Musician Supply, and various music and arts centers before opening Palmetto Musical Instrument Repair. This shop worked in close association with Pecknel Music, South Carolina’s oldest and largest music company. Through Palmetto Repair, he established a professional custom instrument shop and maintained exclusive repair contracts with several school systems in South Carolina and Georgia, including University of South Carolina, Newberry College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Augusta State University, Presbyterian College, Lander University.
Since 1994, he has been an active member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and has served as a clinician for band directors learning instrument repair throughout South Carolina. Not only is he a Straubinger Certified flute technician, he has been cited by the Vermont Guild of Flute-Making for outstanding work.
An avid performer, he has played with a variety of groups including the Charlotte Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Long Bay Symphony, Savannah Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Tupelo Symphony, Meridian Symphony, Augusta Opera, Keith Brion and the New Sousa Band, Mobile Opera, the Caroline Master Chorale.
He performs on several instruments including clarinet, Eb clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and Native American flute. He has also performed with a variety of touring Broadway shows including Wicked, Drowsy Chaperone, White Christmas,A Chorus Line, South Pacific, Young Frankensteinin, Spamalot, and others on flute, alto flute, clarinet, Eb clarinet, bass clarinet, contra alto clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone.
Koivisto holds a bachelors in music from Georgia Southern University and a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1989 he attended the Swanee Summer Music Center and won the Award of Merit. In 1991, he received the Outstanding Performer Award from the Georgia Music Teachers’ Association. He has served on faculties at Claflin University and Columbia College, and he holds membership in the International Clarinet Society and the Zeta Omnicron chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Leadership & Outreach Coordinator
Rob Dowie joined the Band Department staff in June 2016. In his role, he serves as chair of Tigerama, the major fundraising event for Tiger Band and Department of Bands. Additionally, Mr. Dowie is the Director for the LSU Tigerland Auxiliary and Leadership Camp (TALC), which attracts talented student leaders from high school bands around the country to LSU's campus each summer. In addition to coordinating these major events for Tiger Band, Mr. Dowie works closely with the Tiger Band student leadership team.
During his time as a student at LSU, Mr. Dowie served as Drum Major of the Tiger Band for three years. He served as Chapter President of Kappa Kappa Psi in 2007 and was a founding member of the Tiger Tenors. In 2007, he was awarded the Outstanding Student Leader Award by the LSU Office of the Dean of Students to recognize his involvement with Kappa Kappa Psi, Tiger Band, and Phi Mu Alpha.
Color Guard Instructor
Johnette Folse is this year's LSU Color Guard instructor. A graduate of Denham Springs High School, she worked with Denham Springs High School's Color Guard since 2005 and has additional experience with Denham springs Junior High, Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana starts, and an independent guard called Denham Springs Independent.
Blair Buras Guillaume
Golden Girls Instructor
Blair began her dance training at Creative Dance Center in Covington, Louisiana, where she was a member of a modern dance company, The Dance Players. She continued her dance education at Northshore Academy of Dance and Tari’s School of Dance. While at LSU, she performed with the LSU Dance Ensemble and was an LSU Golden Girl for five years serving as captain and choreographer from 2002-2004. In 2007 Blair moved to Houston where she danced with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and worked as a nutrition coach for Life Time Fitness. Blair has taught dance in Louisiana (Tari’s School of Dance) and Houston (Connolly Dance Arts) and has choreographed for various groups most recently the New Orleans Saintsations. She is an instructor for the LSU dance program. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University where she received a B.S. in Dietetics, a minor in dance, and a MS in Human Nutrition. She is a Registered Dietitian.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Nick Doshier received his undergraduate degree in Music and Human Learning from The University of Texas at Austin. During his time at The University of Texas, he studied tuba under professors Steven Bryant and Charles Villarrubia, music education under Dr. Bob Duke, and took independent studies in wind literature and conducting from Dr. Anthony Marinello and Dr. Robert Carnochan. Starting in the Fall of 2016 he became the Associate Director of Bands at Akins High School in Austin, Texas, where he stayed for two years before traveling to Louisiana State University to pursue a Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Mr. Doshier assists with all ensembles within the LSU Band Department including Bengal Brass, the LSU concert bands, and The Golden Band from Tiger Land. His professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Mu Phi Epsilon.
Gabriela Gomez Estevez
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Gabriela Gómez Estévez is a Dominican flutist and conductor. Native of Santiago de los Caballeros, Gómez Estévez holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and Orchestral Conducting from Berklee College of Music in Boston, United States, and a Master of Music in Flute Performance at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting at Louisiana State University.
Gabriela has studied flute with Wendy Rolfe, Fernando Brandao, and Katherine Kemler, and has been a member of multiple orchestras, including the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, the LSU Symphony Orchestra, and the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, with which she went on tour across the United States in 2017. She served as the president of the Flute Society at Berklee for two terms.
She has studied conducting with maestros Kenneth Kiesler, Francisco Noya, and Dr. Damon Talley. Gabriela has received numerous awards, including the Tibor Pusztai Orchestral Conducting Award and the Bill Pierce Woodwind Award, both in recognition of her musicianship and leadership at Berklee College of Music.
Ms. Gómez Estévez is committed to the growth of the communities she is part of. In May of 2018, she directed the second edition of the “Flute Project: Santo Domingo,” a week-long festival in the Dominican Republic that offered free music lessons and workshops with international faculty to young Dominican musicians.
Gabriela currently serves as substitute flutist for the Rapides, Acadiana, and Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestras.
Hello everyone, my area of studies will be the Doctor of Musical Arts for Percussion Performance. My masters was completed this past spring at Stephen F. Austin in Percussion performance as well, and my Bachelors was in Music Education from Northwestern State University. My performing experience ranges from professional marching to new contemporary percussion studies. Teaching is my true passion, and I have spent time working with every age group from grade school through college students. I look forward to experiencing the daily challenges and academic studies offered here at LSU as well as having the pleasure of working with the Tiger Band.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
I was born and raised in the Houston area and studied music education at the University of Houston. After my undergraduate studies I taught high school band in Klein ISD at Klein Oak High School. As a member of the staff at Klein Oak, I was able to teach the marching band, concert ensembles, jazz band, small chamber groups, beginner classes, and was able to teach a general music course as part of our International Baccalaureate program. Through these teaching experiences, I found joy in watching students thrive and grow as members of our program. I was thankful to see that not only can students produce meaningful musical moments, but that meaningful musical moments can produce dedicated students and life-long learners. I am unbelievably excited to begin working toward my master's degree in wind conducting here at LSU. The history and rich tradition of LSU is known nationwide, and I am honored to learn and grow from the team here. Geaux Tigers!
Instrument Repair Assistant
Sean McLean is an active performer of solo and chamber works for percussion. He was also involved in the Jacksonville Jaguar D-Line where he performed at all sport events in the Jacksonville area; he traveled with the NFL team and drumline to London to perform at Wembley Stadium. Sean was in the 2015 All-American College Band where he worked with musicians such as Jiggs Whigham, Sal Lozano, and John Clayton. During his time with the band, they recorded an album at Capital City Records in Los Angeles.
As an educator, Sean had a private studio and was a drumline instructor at various schools in the Jacksonville area where he helped the fundamentals of the students and even composed music for the drumline. In the Baton Rouge area, Sean is a teaching assistant for the LSU Tiger Band where he teaches and composes music for the drumline.
Sean McLean is an SJC Custom Drum Artist and a One Beat Better Artist. He recently completed his Bachelor of Percussion Performance at the University of North Florida where he studied with Kevin Garry and Charlotte Mabrey. He is currently attending Louisiana State University pursuing his Masters of Music studying under Dr. Brett Dietz.
Band Dept Graduate Assistant
Annalea Milligan joined the LSU Department of Bands in the fall of 2018 assisting
Kara Duplantier in the business office with Tiger Band, Bengal Brass, Wind Ensemble,
Symphonic Winds, and Symphonic Band operations. She is currently pursuing a Doctor
of Musical Arts degree in bassoon performance at LSU and performs with the Wind Ensemble,
Symphony Orchestra, and Philharmonia. She currently serves as second bassoon for the
Monroe Symphony Orchestra and as Instructor of Bassoon at the University of Louisiana
Prior to coming to Baton Rouge, she earned her M.M. from the University of Northern Iowa where she coached undergraduate chamber ensembles and B.M. from the University of the Pacific.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Lisa Tatum is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Wind Conducting at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA where she serves as a graduate teaching assistant for the band department. She holds a Master of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Alabama.
During her time at Alabama, she served as a section leader and then later a teaching assistant for the “Million Dollar Band.” At Utah, she served as a graduate teaching assistant for the “Marching Utes.” Lisa taught junior high and high school band in the greater Houston area at Galena Park ISD from 2012-2015, and La Porte ISD from 2015-2018.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
I’m from Virginia Beach, VA where my family still resides. A recent graduate from LSU, I received bachelors' degrees in Music Education and Music Performance on horn. I was an enthusiastic member of Tiger Band for my four years and continue to enjoy the Louisiana joie de vivre. After completing my undergraduate career, I taught at East Ascension High School in Gonzales, LA for two years. Now I am returning to LSU for my Masters in Music Education, and am a Graduate Assistant for TGBFTL. Not only has LSU provided so many amazing opportunities for me, it also challenges me to further my musicianship and overall character. I hope to reach out to others the way so many faculty, staff, and fellow students have reached out to me and built me up over the years. It is an understatement to say I am excited to be back at LSU! Geaux Tigers!
Band Dept Graduate Assistant
Jana Žílová joined the LSU Department of Bands in the fall of 2018 as an assistant to the administrative office. She is currently pursuing DMA in oboe performance at Louisiana State University. Originally from the Czech Republic, she earned her M.M. from Bowling Green State University, where she also served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for oboe, and her B.M. from Grand Valley State University. During her studies, she was an active participant at several festivals and competitions such as Ameropa International Concertante Competition, where she won a second prize. She has also been an active chamber music player, performing with variety of ensembles including Whirlwinds Woodwind Quintet, New Music Ensemble or Early Music Ensemble where she played on Baroque Oboe. During her studies at Bowling Green, she was a part of a semi-professional contemporary ensemble called Noise-To-Signal, with which she has toured across the Midwest and performed works by several living composers, including the premieres of 7 new works in the 2016-2017 season.