kara duplantier

Kara Duplantier

Department of Bands Business Manager
P: 225-578-2384

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.

steve koivisto

Steve Koivisto

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.

rob dowie

Rob Dowie

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.

johnette folse

Johnette Folse

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. 

Trevor ButtsTrevor Butts

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Native of Tampa, FL, Trevor Butts joins the LSU Band Department pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Band Conducting.

Trevor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from the University of South Florida as a fall 2014 graduate. While at USF Trevor was a member of the Herd of Thunder Marching Band from 2010 to 2014, the first year marching trumpet and his final three as Drum Major. After graduation, Trevor was appointed as the interim director of instrumental music at East Bay High School for the 2015 spring semester. Then spent the next three years as director of instrumental music at Riverview High School in Hillsborough County.

In the fall of 2018, Trevor returned to the University of South Florida and earned his Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting in 2020. Throughout his masters, Trevor assisted with the teaching of the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, the Herd of Thunder marching band and music education classes. He was also a clinician with different high school programs as well as an active marching band judge in the state.

Trevor brings an array of drum corps experience: in 2008 he marched with the Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2012 he marched with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and aged out with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013. He is also a member of two ensembles throughout the Tampa Bay area: the Fanfare Concert Winds and the Florida Wind Band.

Trevor is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and is apart of the Pi Kappa Lambda national band honor society.

ty ellenderTy Ellender

Drumline Technician

Ty Ellender is currently studying to complete his Master's degree in Percussion Performance from the LSU School of Music. Ty is originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana where he received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education from McNeese State University; he served as Drum Captain for the MSU Drumline and principal percussionist for the Wind Symphony. Ty was also involved in Drum Corps International (DCI) and marched with groups such as Genesis Drum & Bugle Corps (2015) and state. Ty is looking forward to a great 2021 season with TGBFTL. Geaux Tigers!


patrick forresterPatrick Forrester

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Patrick Forrester comes to LSU from Savannah, GA and is currently pursuing his Masters of Music in Wind Conducting. After graduating with his Bachelors of Music Education from LSU in 2014, Patrick moved to Georgia and began his teaching career at Richmond Hill High School. After serving as the Assistant Director at Richmond Hill for three years, Patrick took over as the Director of Bands at Bryan County High School where he served until returning to LSU to continue his education. 

Patrick also brings with him a wide range of experience as a teacher, designer, and adjudicator in the pageantry arts. From 2010-2013, Patrick marched with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. After aging out, he began teaching drum corps, joining the visual faculty at Carolina Crown in 2014. Currently, Patrick serves as the Visual Caption Coordinator of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. Patrick also maintains an active schedule as a drill designer and choreographer throughout the country, and he is a highly sought-after visual clinician for marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles, and winter guards. 

Patrick is incredibly grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow and be a part of the great music-making here at LSU! Furthermore, he would like to thank his beautiful wife, Angelle, for her endless support and her willingness to go on this adventure by his side.

Patrick and Angelle live in Baton Rouge with their dog, Caffrey.

gabriela gomez estevezGabriela 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.

spencer jonesSpencer Jones

Drumline Technician

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. 

weston lewisWeston Lewis

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! 

Carlye Latas McGregorCarlye Latas McGregor

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Carlye Latas McGregor is a first-year Graduate Student at LSU in Music Education. She spent the last six years as a band director at Denham Springs High School in Denham Springs, Louisiana, where she oversaw the marching band, concert ensembles, jazz band, and taught music theory. Before her time at Denham Springs, she graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a degree in Music Education. She is thrilled to join the tiger family! Mrs. McGregor lives in Baton Rouge with her husband Tim and their dog Magnolia.





annalea milligan

Annalea Milligan

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 at Lafayette. 

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.

mimi webbMimi Webb

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Mimi is originally from Virginia Beach, VA. She completed bachelors' degrees in Music Education and Music Performance on horn at LSU. An enthusiastic member of Tiger Band for her four years, she continues to enjoy the Louisiana joie de vivre. After completing her undergraduate career, she was the Assistant Band Director at East Ascension High School in Gonzales, LA for two years. Now she is in the second year of her Master's degree in Music Education and is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Tiger Band and the Music Education Department. A goal of Mimi's is to reach out to others the way faculty, staff, and colleagues reached out and continue to support her over the years.

jana zilová

Jana Žílová

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.