Founding Partners

The Intercollegiate Marching Band could not be possible without our key founding partners!

Dr. Mark J. Spede

Dr. Mark J. Spede is Professor, Director of Bands, Director of Tiger Band, and Conductor of the Symphonic Band at Clemson University, where he administrates the band program (symphonic, athletic, and jazz bands). Dr. Spede is the recipient of the Clemson University 2009 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities) and three Clemson University Board of Trustees Awards for Faculty Excellence (2008, 2009, and 2012). He teaches a number of courses, including two for the Calhoun Honors College: aesthetics of music and science of music. In 2012, Dr. Spede conducted the Clemson University Symphonic Band at venues in London, England, for the Summer Olympic Games. Also in 2012, he founded the Clemson Faculty Jazz Quintet for which he plays drums.

Dr. Spede earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan (1984), a Master of Music from Ball State University (1988), and a Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Texas at Austin (1998).

He has served the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) in a number of capacities. From 2003 to 2005, Dr. Spede served as state chair for South Carolina. He also served on the CBDNA “New Era Think Tank” from 2005 to 2007 and served as chair of the “Athletic Band Task Force” from 2005 to 2009. He served as President of the Southern Division of CBDNA (encompassing 11 southern states) and currently serves as National President. He is Co-Chair of the International Performing Arts Aerosol Study in response to COVID-19 that has allowed thousands of music students to continue to play this school year. He is also currently on the team producing the first-ever virtual college marching band involving 1,500 performers from 200 college bands. It will premier on YouTube on January 11, 2021.

In addition, he has served as president of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Band Directors Association. Dr. Spede previously served on the faculties at The University of Texas at Austin (1998-1999) and the University of Florida in Gainesville (1989-1995) as Assistant Director of Bands. At Florida, he also taught studio percussion.

As a freelance arranger, Dr. Spede has written extensively for high school and college marching bands (over 200 arrangements). His wind band arrangements and transcriptions are published by Peer Music, Schirmer, Boosey and Hawkes, and Carl Fischer, including “D.C. Fanfare” by John Corigliano, “Red Cape Tango” by Michael Daugherty, “Wedding Dances from Bandanna” by Daron Hagen, “Acrostic Song” by David Del Tredici, and “Millennium Canons” by Kevin Puts. He served as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony, where he also helped produce two of their recordings. His professional performing experience includes orchestra (principal percussion in the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Flint Symphony Orchestra), jazz (performing with such artists as Randy Brecker, Ray Brown, Pete Christlieb, Dennis DiBlasio, Duffy Jackson, Dave Pell, Bobby Shew, Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Ernie Watts and Phil Wilson), as well as at Walt Disney World.

Barry L Houser

Barry L. Houser is Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His responsibilities include conducting a variety of concert ensembles, the overall administration of the Athletic Bands consisting of the Volleyball Band, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Bands, and serving as the Director of the Nation’s Premiere College Marching Band – the 375-member Marching Illini. He teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental conducting, marching band procedures, and other courses within the School of Music. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences. 

Previously, Houser served as Acting Director of Bands, Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands at Eastern Illinois University. A native of Indiana, he was Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School, NorthWood Middle School and three elementary schools in Nappanee, Indiana, where his bands developed a reputation of fine musicianship with state and national recognition. Prior to NorthWood, Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida. 

Bands under Houser’s direction have performed throughout the world including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on eight occasions, the NBC Today Show, a variety of NFL halftime shows, Music for All events, two tours of Ireland and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Gregg Potter of the Buddy Rich Band, the Canadian Brass, and Douglas Yeo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other performances include the ISSMA State Marching Finals, the Indiana Music Educators Association State Convention, the Indianapolis 500 Parade, Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, Outback Bowl, Hollywood Christmas Parade, and the Washington, D.C. National Memorial Day Parade.

Houser is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, and has presented clinics throughout the United States in both the marching and concert band mediums. He has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Mass Band, and currently serves as the Artistic Director for the Bob Rogers Travel Thanksgiving Parade of Bands as part of Walt Disney World. Houser is a contributing author for the marching band textbook “The System” as well as several editions of the “Teaching Music through Performance in Band” series. Professor Houser served on the Board of Directors for the National Band Association serving as state chair, North Central Division chair, and College/University representative. He currently serves as chair of the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee, as well as President and Head Clinician of the Smith Walbridge Clinics, one of the pioneer marching band & leadership camps in the country established in 1949.

Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, NAfME, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu, the international bandmasters fraternity. Professor Houser has been recognized by the Indiana General Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives, is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, Urbana Rotary Vocational Achievement Award, Outstanding Philanthropy Award from the East Central Illinois Association of Fundraising Professionals, and was recently honored as one of Chicagoland’s Outstanding Music Educator Awards by Quinlan and Fabish.

Barry L. Houser is a Yamaha Master Educator and an educational consultant for Ultimate Drill Book!

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman is founder and chief executive officer of Muse Media, LLC, creator of books, magazines, and additional content highlighting performing arts and youth activities. Magazine assets include Halftime Magazine for marching arts participants and fans as well as Yamaha SupportED Magazine for K through 12 music educators.

Previously, she was a writer and editor at Crain Communications and Imagination Publishing and a marketing manager at Chatsworth Products, Inc. Christine also worked for Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division.

As a child, Christine learned five instruments, with flute being primary. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl.

Christine graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997 and earned an MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in 2007.

Jeremy Williams

Jeremy is a graduate of West Chester University and a former member of the Field of View World Class Colorguard.  He went on to work on large parades and events.  After many years of selling costumes, flags, and accessories he decided to expand his reach.  Jeremy and his husband Chris purchased Guard Closet in hopes of bringing together a place where all groups, regardless of budget, can have amazing products.

Guard Closet will continue to bring the great consignment items to the groups that need it.  Guard Closet will also expand its new product offerings including custom shows and educational programming. Unlimited Orange, the parent company to Guard Closet, will continue its work providing marketing and social media services to the Marching Arts.

Michael Barasch

Michael Barasch is the co-founder of and Executive Producer of the hit digital documentary series Take The Field.

He started playing trumpet at the age of 6 and was accepted into the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts summer program at age 10, where he would perform for the next 7 years through high school. He continued his trumpet education under Anthony Pasquarelli, artist-lecturer emeritus in trumpet at Carnegie Mellon University.

After high school, Michael began his education as a journalism student at Penn State. He marched all four years as a member of the trumpet section and performed in the Orange Bowl, Outback Bowl, Alamo Bowl and Rose Bowl. His senior year Michael was honored as a section leader of the trumpet section and was elected as Vice President of the Blue Band. After college Michael performed one season with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic.

Michael comes from a family of marchers with his father and brother having also marched at Penn State while his sister marched at the University of Pittsburgh. He now resides in Austin, Texas, where he moved to in 2012, after merging his education in journalism with his love for marching band to create