Big Red Marching Machine july newsletter - 2021

Get to know the Bands' Faculty and Staff

Welcome! from the Director of the Big Red Marching Machine - Dr. F. Mack Wood

Looking back at the last year, I cannot remember a marching season I have been more excited for than this one! We have great shows and music selected for this upcoming season and I am very much looking forward to all of you being a part of it!

In this newsletter you will be introduced to our faculty, staff, and drum majors. Over the next couple weeks our section leaders will be reaching out to you for introductions as well. I want all of you to feel comfortable about being a part of the Big Red Marching Machine! You will also find the complete summer and fall rehearsal and performance schedules. There are always events that pop up at the last minute, but the schedule is as complete as possible right now.

Returning and Incoming members, please make sure you have completed the Online Membership Form - this must be completed no later than July 22 so we can provide the most accurate information for on-campus housing move-in. Filling this form will also expedite us inputting everyone's updated information into Charms. Further down in this newsletter there is a list of items to purchase for the fall semester. Some of these items need to be purchased online but others will be available for purchase on Monday, August 9, so please read carefully.

I hope you all had a safe and relaxing summer and are ready to get things up and running. I cannot wait for a great season of music making with all of you - Go Birds!

Dr. F. Mack Wood - Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Big Red Marching Machine

BRMM Dorm Move-In

At this time, the 8:00 am Monday move-in time is marked as ‘full’ (this is in anticipation of BRMM filling up this time). Students who KNOW they will enroll in BRMM should NOT sign-up for a time outside of Monday, August 9th at 8:00 a.m. Students who are enrolled should REMOVE their move-in time outside of Monday at 8:00 a.m.

Students will automatically be signed-up for the Monday, August 9th at 8:00 a.m. move-in time slot if:

  1. They enroll in BRMM by July 22nd.
  2. They complete the BRMM survey telling us where they are living by July 22nd. (Linked below if needed)
  3. Dr. Wood sends an updated list to housing weekly - so it is imperative that we have this information in a timely manner to avoid any issues with early move-in.
  4. If you have completed the Online Membership Form then are good - there is no need to fill it out multiple times.

Virtual Registration

On Sunday, August 8 - section leaders will be contacting members of their section to answer any potential last minute questions and to get each student's contact information entered into Charms. Charms is a program that we use within the Big Red Marching Machine to communicate and to database our uniforms and inventory. Each student will be contacted virtually and this should not take any longer than 5 minutes per student.

There will be a full BRMM Virtual Meeting at 2:00 PM on Sunday, August 8 and that meeting can be accessed using this link: https://illinoisstate.zoom.us/j/94623763405. We will do some staff introductions and outline the camp for the week. Since this meeting is being held virtually, please plan on being in attendance. I promise to keep it short and sweet!

Assistant Director of Bands, Professor TJ Mack

TJ Mack previously served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at The Ohio State University while completing a Master of Music Degree in Wind Conducting. While at Ohio State, he worked with the Concert Bands, Marching and Athletic Bands, as well as the undergraduate conducting classes. TJ grew up in Illinois, having graduated from John Hersey High School and receiving his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Wheaton College. Prior to attending Ohio State, he taught 5th through 12th grade band for six years in Northwest Illinois, where he was also an active guest conductor, clinician, and saxophonist.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the BRMM family this upcoming year to serve the students and community of Illinois State University. BRMM has a long tradition of excellence and has provided an extraordinary community to so many of my friends and former students. I'm grateful to be joining such a dedicated group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to carry on the many traditions and experiences that make BRMM so special. We have much to look forward to in this upcoming year! Go Redbirds!"

Director of Bands, Dr. Anthony C. Marinello

Dr. Anthony C. Marinello, III serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Illinois State University where he is the conductor and music director of the Illinois State University Wind Symphony. In addition to overseeing all aspects of the wind band program, he leads the graduate program in wind conducting and teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental conducting.

As conductor of the Illinois State University Wind Symphony, Dr. Marinello has collaborated with numerous esteemed colleagues and composers including William Bolcom, Steven Bryant, Donald Grantham, and Chen Yi. He is also active in the commissioning and performing new works for wind band including a recent commission, world premiere, and subsequent recording of Come Sunday for wind ensemble by composer Omar Thomas.

He joined the faculty at Illinois State University after serving at The University of Texas at Austin as the Assistant Director of the Longhorn Band and Director of the Longhorn Pep Band. Prior to his appointment at The University of Texas, Marinello served on the faculty of Virginia Tech as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands. Marinello has previously taught in the public schools of Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas and remains committed to serving the music education community as an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator.

Dr. Marinello has been inducted into Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Illinois State University College of Fine Arts Service Initiative Award, the Illinois State University College of Fine Arts Research Initiative Award, the Illinois State University New Faculty Start-up Award, The Eyes of Texas Excellence Award, and the Delta Omicron Music Professor of the Year Award at Virginia Tech. He has received invitations to participate in the National Band Association’s International Conductor’s Symposium in Rome, Italy, the West Point Conducting Workshop, and the National Band Association’s Young Conductor Mentor Project.

Dr. Marinello holds memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Marinello holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University, the Master of Music Degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The University of Texas at Austin.

Lydia Sheehan - Office Administrator


Lydia Sheehan is currently the Office Administrator for the School of Music – Bands at Illinois State University. Lydia supports all band activities which includes concert bands, marching band and jazz bands. Lydia is an Illinois native and a graduate from Boise State University in Boise, ID. Her degrees are in Accounting and Information Science. After college, Lydia played women’s soccer for nine years. Lydia has two sons, one adorable granddaughter and two equally adorable grandsons.

Amanda Heyden - Twirler Instructor


Amanda Heyden is the twirling coach for the Big Red Marching Machine. During her four years at Illinois State, Amanda was one of the feature twirlers for the Big Red. Right before graduation, she transitioned from feature twirler to twirling coach. This upcoming season will be her tenth season as the twirling coach and fourteenth season with the band overall.

Amanda started twirling at the age of seven and has been involved with the twirling community ever since. A couple years after she started twirling, she decided to twirl competitively through NBTA and competed at the national level for over ten years. While twirling competitively has always been a huge part of her life, she also loved performing during halftime as it provided her the opportunity to showcase not only multiple batons, but fire batons as well. Prior to her time at ISU, Amanda coached girls of all ages that also competed at the national level through NBTA and still coaches individual twirlers today.

Jessica Riss-Waltrip - Instructor, Redline Express Dance Team


Coordinator/Choreographer for the Redline Express Dance Team, is entering her 10th season with the BRMM. Having experienced nearly every aspect of marching band, Jessica feels very lucky to be working within an organization that has brought her many memories and experiences both from a Staff and an Alum perspective.

Currently, Jessica is Adjunct Dance Faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University; teaching primarily Tap and Jazz within the Department of Music Theatre. Additionally she is Dance Faculty at McLean County Dance Center in Bloomington and J’s Dance Studio in Heyworth, IL.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking & baking, sewing, and hiding out in her craft room. She may have a slight obsession with Mermaids as well!

Jessica is very blessed and humbled by the talented students she so very proudly gets to work with each semester. She would like to thank her husband Eric, son Lucas, and family for all their support and inspiration.

Jessi Rogers - Instructor, Color Guard


Jessi Rogers joined the staff of the Big Red Marching Machine in 2019. Along with instructing at ISU, she also coaches her own color guard at East Peoria Community High School. She spent two summers marching with Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corp growing and learning more about the art of color guard. During her summers in DCI, she was awarded the title of “Best Flag Performer.” Since then, she has worked her way up and has been the color guard tech, choreographer, and head coach for four separate groups.

Jessi enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. Jessi has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and loves working with her oncology patients.

Chuck Willard - Instructor, Drum Line


This will be Chuck’s first year working with the Big Red Marching Machines “Pulse” Drumline.

Chuck Willard is a music educator and percussionist from Plainfield, IL. He is a recent graduate from Illinois State University and an alumni of the Big Red Marching Machine. While attending Illinois State he received a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance. Chuck was a seasoned performer in DCI and WGI. He spent a combined 14 seasons in the Drumline performing with groups such as Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps, Spirit of Atlanta and Cavaliers Indoor Percussion.

In addition to teaching the Drumline he also instructs the percussion section for Bloomington High School Marching Band as well as the Co-Caption head of the battery for Pi Percussion.

Having been introduced to the marching arts as early as he can recall it truly is a part of who he is. Chuck feels incredibly blessed to have been given this opportunity as an alumni and looks forward to a great fall! Go Redbirds!!!

Welcome Letter from Drum Major Kaitlyn Bauman

Hello BRMM! I am Kaitlyn Bauman and I will be serving as one of your drum majors for this season. I am a fifth year senior here at ISU and I am studying music education. My main instrument is the euphonium, but I marched trombone for my first season of BRMM in 2017. This will be my fifth year of BRMM and my fourth year as drum major. Outside of band I like to read, go on walks, work out, crochet, and spend time with my guinea pigs! BRMM has become my second home throughout my time in college and I am so excited to be reunited with this family. The more you put into the ensemble, the more you get out of it. I encourage you all to try to get to know as many people as you can. My favorite thing about this group is that because it gets so large, there are endless people to get to know. Each member brings something unique and important to the group, and there are so many cool people with different experiences to learn from. I cannot wait to make music with you all! Come say hello if you see me around.

Welcome Letter from Drum Major Cara Fletcher

Hello! My name is Cara Fletcher and I’m a third-year Special Education major. I play oboe and English horn for the ISU concert bands and I marched baritone for my first season in BRMM. I’m so excited to work and perform with the band this fall for my third season in the Big Red Marching Machine and my second season as a drum major. Outside of BRMM, I’m involved in the Deaf Redbirds Association, Studio Teach student staff, and I teach cello lessons through Hip Cat Music School in Bloomington. I can’t wait to see both new and familiar faces this season and make music with you all! Please don’t hesitate to say hey if you see me around campus!

Welcome Letter from Drum Major Alex Widomska

Hello, my name is Alex Widomska and, I am one of your Drum Majors for this Fall. I am a junior at ISU and, my major is music education. My primary instrument is the oboe and an ensemble I've been in since my freshman year at ISU is the Wind Symphony. My hometown is Mount Prospect, Illinois and, I went to John Hersey High School. I was a drum major there for 2 years, my junior and senior years. The other Drum Majors and I are super psyched for this upcoming season as it feels like it's been a while since we got the whole band back together. Once you join BRMM, you realize that we aren't so different from one another. We all have the same common goal and, that's to create beautiful music with each other. I cannot wait for band camp and to hear that first note we play as an ensemble. BRMM brings people closer together and, I cannot wait to meet all of you as BRMM means to me like a second family.

Welcome Letter from Drum Major Hailey Woock

Hi BRMM! My name is Hailey Woock and I am one of the Drum Majors for the 2021 season. I am heading into my junior year as a music education major here at Illinois State and am beyond excited for what the fall has to offer! Outside of being a drum major, you can find me working in the band library, practicing saxophone at Cook Hall, and working out at the campus recreation center. If you see me, don’t be afraid to say hi! I can’t wait to meet everyone and start this year off strong!

Items to Purchase:

Digital Music Needs (Drum Line does not need an E-flip)

  • E-flip from Tonal Innovation (The Music Shoppe is selling these online at the button below and will have a limited supply on hand August 9. Everyone is encouraged to order online ahead of time).
  • Flutes/Piccolos - order the Model F.
  • Trumpets and Trombones order the Model T.
  • All other winds order the Original Model
  • Students will need a Lyre as well to attach the E-flip to the instrument. These will be available to purchase on Monday, August 9 but can also be purchased anytime.
  • Ultimate Drill Book Subscription ($15)
  • These items need to be in hand by Monday, August 9.
  • The UNISON subscription ($6) will be billed to each student - they will not have access to the music until the subscription has been paid. The bill will be sent directly to their ISU email address.

Apparel Items for Winds and Drum Line:

  • Color Guard and Redline Express members should already have a list from their instructors.
  • BRMM Shirt - $11.50 each (I recommend purchasing 2)
  • BRMM Hat - $20 (if you are returning from the Spring 2021 season this will be the same hat - so you will not need to purchase another).

Uniform Items for Winds and Drum Line:

  • Color Guard and Redline Express members should already have a list from their instructors.
  • Black DSI MTX Marching Shoe - these will be available to try on and purchase on Monday, August 9. If you already own a pair of this specific shoe then you do not need to purchase a new pair. Shoes can also be pre-purchased through the Music Shoppe using the button below. Pre-paid orders can still try on August 9th and then have delivered later that week.
  • Gloves - these will be available to try on and purchase on Monday, August 9. We will provide you with the first pair for the season.

*Finances should not impede a student from participating with the Big Red Marching Machine. Any student needing assistance with any of these items should email Dr. Wood - fmwood@ilstu.edu.

Color Guard members - please email Jessi Rogers with any questions about items for purchase for the fall - jflags93@gmail.com.

Redline Express members - please email Jessica Riss-Waltrip with any questions about items for purchase for the fall - jjriss@ilstu.edu.


Fall Rehearsal and Performance Schedule

Concluding Remarks

Please do not hesitate to email BRMM director with any questions - fmwood@ilstu.edu

This fall marks a much anticipated return to normal marching band. We look forward to working with all of you to make this fall as rewarding and enriching as possible - Go Redbirds!