Staff

Our staff are an integral part of the Orange Park Raider Band, without them we wouldn’t be where we are today!

Remaining bios will be added soon!

Brett Pikuritz

Director of Bands

A short bio with personal history, key achievements, or an interesting fact.

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Isabell Shiver

Treasurer & Band Parent Coordinator

Isabell Shiver, a former Orange Park Raider Band Parent of 2 daughters, Stephanie and Katie, has been working with the Raider Band for 13 years. Throughout this time, she has volunteered, chaperoned, acted as the Band Treasurer, and more! Isabell has been working with the band through 5 different directors and many other changes. Isabell shared her passion for music with her daughters as she was a clarinet player throughout her high school career at Umatilla High School in central Florida. She continued her clarinet education at Jacksonville University where she earned a Bachelors degree in Biology and a Bachelors degree in German. Isabell also works at Orange Park High School as the payroll secretary and administrative secretary for Mr. Bradley, Mr. Boyer, and Ms. Mayberry. Formerly, Isabell was a crossing guard at S. Bryan Jennings Elementary School and OPHS for 20 years!

Louie Laborde

Graphic Designer

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Katie Lebow

Web Coordinator

Katie Lebow, an alumna of the Orange Park Raider Band, has been volunteering with the band since the 6th grade as her older sister, Stephanie, was a freshman member of the Raider Band. An alto and soprano saxophone player, Katie participated in the symphonic, all county, and jazz bands. She also participated in the district solo and ensemble competitions both individually and as a member of a group. Katie has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Florida State University and will graduate in December 2020 with her master’s in Aquatic Environmental Science. Though not her chosen career path, music holds a special place in her heart, as does the Raider Band. Katie serves as the band’s social media and website coordinator, as well as the photographer and videographer. Katie intends to work as an environmental protection specialist within the Orange Park/Jacksonville area, focused on saving the St. Johns River. Katie is the youngest daughter of Isabell Shiver, the band’s Treasurer and Band Parent Coordinator, and as such, is often seen working competitions, football games, gift wrapping, and more. 

Austin Merrill

Low Brass

Austin Merrill is a staff member for the Low brass section and helps with all of the electronics for the band. Austin graduated from Orange Park High School in 2013 and was a member of the Raider Band for all 4 years. He played trombone and baritone and was part of marching, symphonic, jazz and All County band. He then decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science at FSU where he was part of the FSU Marching Chiefs and Seminole Sound for 2 years. While a Marching Chief, he went with the band to the Rose bowl and marched in the Rose Bowl parade, went to Disneyland and marched in a parade, and finally performed at the Rose Bowl in a halftime performance. This is Austin’s 4th year as a staff member for the band and we are glad to have him part of the team!

Gabe Gekoskie

Brass

Gabriel Gekoskie is a freelance trumpeter and composer based in Gainesville, FL. Pursuing his Bachelor of Music in Music Theory from the University of Florida, Gabriel derives his influence from the classical, orchestral, and jazz situations in which he performed. As a freelancer, his background in music theory accentuates his mixing, mastering, producing, arranging, and composing to stay on the innovative edge of music today. As an educator, he brings to life a clear connection between theoretical practice and musical performance. As a marching instructor, Gekoskie defines the visual appearance of a performer from the ground up, leaving a minimal margin of discrepancy across the ensembles he works with.

Gabriel’s performance credits include the UF Wind Symphony, the Gator Jazz Band, Santa Fe Brass, and numerous classical solo works.

James Rivera

Percussion Head

In undergrad, James Rivera studied with Brian Slawson at Brevard Community college, then transferred and received a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from the University of North Florida, where he studied with Charlotte Mabrey. After graduating he attended the Pennsylvania State University where I studied with Dan Armstrong, Gifford Howarth, and Marko Marcinko. I was involved with the Nittany Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, and the Penn’s Woods Music Festival while in Penn State. James graduated with a Master’s in Percussion Performance. 

For the last 6 years he has been teaching percussion as a contractor in Northeast Florida between Duval, St.Johns, and Clay county. James currently teaches Orange Park percussion, Middleburg High School percussion, and is the K-6 music teacher at Coppergate Elementary School.

Jenna Carey

Front Ensemble

This is Jenna’s first season with the Orange Park Raider Band. She graduated from Ponte Vedra High School and has been playing percussion for over 7 years. Jenna plans to do marching band upon transferring to a university.

Neeraja Chandrasekharan

Woodwinds

Neeraja is a senior at the University of North Florida School of Music. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education, and this is her second season with the OPHS Raider Band. She has been playing clarinet for 13 years, and flute for 7. Her aspirations lie in teaching middle school band and teaching English online. She has played in multiple ensembles such as the UNF Wind Symphony, Clarinet Choir, Concert Band, and has done a myriad of work with chamber groups, and period instrument ensembles. Some of her most rewarding masterclasses have been with Richard Stoltzman, the Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and the USAF Heritage Winds Quintet. She has also had the incredible opportunity of playing abroad in Belgium and Spain. She is the current president of UNF’s chapter of the Collegiate National Association of Music Education and is also the Assistant Director of the UNF Osprey Pep Band. She has studied with Dr. Sunshine Simmons in her time at UNF and is currently pursuing teaching opportunities in Greece and Spain. In her off time, she likes to spend time at the beach, road trip, and cook.

Seth Jenks

Drumline

Seth Jenks is another alumnus of the Orange Park Raider Band. Seth was a member of the Orange Park Raider drum line throughout his high school career. He has marched with the Racine Scouts in the Drum Corps International circuit, as well as participated in Conflux Indoor Percussion. Seth continued his passion for percussion by teaching at Ridgeview High School from 2018-2019 and Conflux Percussion in 2019.

Amelia Beaver

Colorguard

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Ciara Jordan

Colorguard

Ciara Jordan has been performing since the age of three years old. Either in dance recitals, singing, acting, or putting on shows in her living room, performance has always been a passion of hers. She started playing the piano at age seven and has since picked up the violin as well as the tenor saxophone. In the eighth grade, she discovered Winterguard and fell in love with every part of it. She has competed in nine seasons, planning to march DCI and WGI until her age out, earning a multitude of first place trophies and medals at the state championship. She is so passionate about the sport and so excited to be able to share her love and knowledge of performance with the Orange Park students. 


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