The SRU Marching Pride is the largest and most visible student organization at Slippery Rock University. Annual membership ranges from 165 to 200 members. The band is comprised of musicians, drum majors, color guard (flag/rifle team), Rocklettes (dance team) and student managers. The Marching Pride represents students from across campus regardless of major – music majors, education majors, physical therapy, psychology, you name it!
Instrumentalists do not have to audition to join the Marching Pride. Auditions may be held during band camp to assign parts, but nobody is cut from participating as a musician. The drum line is auditioned during the first day of drum camp. However, our auxiliary groups, the Rocklettes and color guard, must audition and be selected as a member of the squad. Audition times for auxiliary groups will be announced. If you are interested in joining the SRU Marching Pride contact Dr. Jonathan Helmick (Jonathan.Helmick@sru.edu).
Dr. Jonathan Helmick
Director of Bands
Assistant Professor of Music
Slippery Rock University
Dr. Jonathan Helmick serves as Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Slippery Rock University. Part of his responsibilities include directing the Slippery Rock University “Marching Pride”, the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and the Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, and teaching assigned courses in Instrumental Conducting, Brass Methods, Marching Band Field Charting and Design, Secondary Methods, and Applied Euphonium.
Dr. Helmick holds the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting from The University of Southern Mississippi. Jonathan earned a Master in Music degree in Euphonium Performance with a cognate area in Music Theory from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Both his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree and Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Communications degrees were received from the University of Akron, with honors. Prior to his college teaching career, Dr. Helmick taught in the public schools of Ohio and Mississippi, most recently the All-Superior Sweepstakes Award winning Oak Grove Band program. He has also served as Assistant Conductor and member of the Board of Trustees for the Freedom Brass Band of Northeast Ohio and performed as a member of the Brass Band of the Western Reserve on both euphonium and baritone. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the competitive, Michigan based Mountain Top Brass Band.
Prior to his position at Slippery Rock University, Dr. Helmick served as the Director of Bands and Low Brass Instructor at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, MS. At Jones, he conducted the Jones County Junior College Symphonic Band and was the Director of the “Maroon Typhoon” Marching Band. Courses he taught included Applied Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba in addition to Music Fundamentals and Music Appreciation. During his time at Jones, the marching band gained national attention when invited to perform in the 2015 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, IL. Under his direction, students have had the opportunity to work in both performance and masterclass settings with national and international performing artists such as Tucker Jolly, Dr. Richard Perry, the Maniacal 4 Quartet, and Travis Scott. Most recently, he served as co-founder and site coordinator of the “Roger Bobo Festival of Brass,” a summer brass symposium featuring international brass pedagogue and tubist Roger Bobo as clinician.
Active as a musician and educator, Dr. Helmick has served as a guest clinician, artist, and adjudicator in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, Sicily, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Dr. Helmick continues to pursue research and creative interests in wind band pedagogy. This research, applied to his work with Slippery Rock University Bands, has twice earned him the nomination for Slippery Rock University’s Excellence in Teaching Award during the 2015 and 2016 years.
Primary teachers of conducting and music education include Dr. Thomas Fraschillo, Dr. Mohamad Schuman, Professor Robert D. Jorgensen, Dr. Galen S. Karriker, and Dr. Jody Besse. Principal euphonium teachers include Dr. Richard Perry and Professor Tucker Jolly.
THE BAND STAFF
Mr. Bruno Zuccala – Color Guard, Dance
Mr. Mike Blazer – Percussion
Ms. Kelly Sullivan – Graduate Assistant