Mr. Emmons hails from Southern California where he received his undergraduate degree in music performance from Cal State University Long Beach and a Masters degree in Musicology for the University of California at Santa Barbara. Mr. Emmons has taught music at the college and high school levels and guest conducted, coached, and managed various instrumental ensembles in California and Colorado.
As the Instrumental Music Director at Littleton High School, Mr. Emmons has enjoyed building and teaching a comprehensive music program. He conducts Concert Band, Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz ensembles, Jazz combo, Basketball Band, Pit Orchestra chamber music ensembles, and “The Pride of Littleton Marching Band.”
The Littleton HS Bands and Orchestra have traveled and performed under his direction in Ireland, England, Japan, Southern California, Hawaii, Austria, Germany, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Boston, New York and through the southwest United States.
For many years, Mr. Emmons was also the Music coordinator for the Continental League Honor Band, Orchestra, and Choir Music Festival at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, Colorado. He is an accomplished pianist, bassoonist, woodwind performer, and thoroughly enjoys teaching instrumental music performance history, music appreciation, music theory and IB Music.
Mr. Emmons has won numerous awards for education and teaching: the National Band Association, Denver’s Bobby G Awards for Best Musical Direction, and an award from the Instrumentalist Magazine as one of Denver’s 100 Band directors who make a difference.
Mr. Emmons enjoys traveling with his lovely wife Cindy, and they make their home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He is a sports fan, and enjoys MLB Baseball, The Denver Broncos, The North Dakota State Bison Football team, Family Time with his daughters Julia and Alyssa and their husbands Chris and Phil. He currently has two grand kittens and two grand puppies.
Julia is the assistant band director for the Pride of Littleton Marching Band. She teaches band and orchestra at Newton Middle School and has a masters degree in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado.
Julia was a drum major at Littleton High School and for the “Pride of the Rockies” Marching Band at UNC. Julia has been teaching marching band for the last 8 years and enjoys working with the students throughout their musical journey.
Julia is married to Chris Bransgrove and has two cats and a dog at home. She enjoys cooking and reading when she is not at marching band rehearsal.
Danny does a little bit of everything for the Pride of Littleton. He assists with Brass sectionals, Leadership, Electronics and Sound, Marching Blocks, and Instruction.
Danny was born, raised, and then finally escaped from El Paso, TX in 2005. While in high school in Texas, he marched in the Eastwood High School Marching Band, which provided the fondest memories of his time in secondary education. He vividly remembers the extensive work he put in and the indescribable feelings of accomplishment as he finished up each season.
When Danny’s child joined (and graduated from) the Pride of Littleton Marching Band in 2015, Danny fell in love with marching band all over again. He has been involved and volunteering ever since and is delighted and honored to be part of the staff as we provide students with opportunities to grow, improve, experience the wonders of marching band and create awesome memories. He is an amazing cheerleader and helps the students work towards the goal of being a part of the reason that our students walk away from high school with similarly cherished experiences.
When he is not working with the band, Danny owns and operates an Audio/Video and Smart Home firm where he gets to play with all kinds of fun technology. His loves being able to give clients the joy of high quality and immersive music experiences in their homes.
Jeremy Oaster is returning for his sixth year on staff! He works with the band leadership and high brass.
Jeremy loves working with our Students, bringing out the best in them, and teaching them the skills to compete at the highest level. His unique skill set brings a lot to our table, and we could not ask for a better role model for your students!
Jeremy holds a BA in Psychology form the University of Northern Colorado, and an MA in Theology from the Denver Seminary. He is also a a graduate of Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs where the Kadet Band was a top three finalist every year during his attendance. Both of Jeremy and Megan's daughters have been members of The Pride of Littleton program.
When he is not with us, Jeremy is a Realtor in the Littleton area. He and his wife Megan have lived in Denver since 2008 and in Colorado since the mid-1990’s. If he doesn’t answer his phone, he is surely upholding his Nacho Eating Title at an undisclosed nearby establishment and defending the idea that Han shot first.
Chris is our marching band Sound Design Engineer. With the Pride of Littleton, Chris oversees all the audio equipment and sound mixing for every band performance. At competitions, this means ensuring that the band sounds perfect with only a two-minute setup before each performance. To do this accurately every time, Chris puts in a lot of time behind the scenes testing our sound system and ensuring that everything works correctly regardless of the temperature, location, or other noise factors that come in during a competition!
Chris is a Colorado native who enjoys performing music, hiking, and volunteering around town. Chris has experience running and designing live sound systems for numerous non-profit and for-profit organizations over a 20 year period. Among those projects, he served as Project Manager for a six-figure overhaul of an organization’s audio/video/lighting system. Chris completed his Jazz Studies degree at the University of Northern Colorado, with an emphasis in music performance. His core instruments are upright and electric bass and also has experience with drum set performance.
He is married to his wife, Julia. Together they enjoy exploring the Colorado Rocky Mountains with their golden retriever puppy, Jasmine.
Jess is responsible for Outdoor Percussion Activities at POL including curriculum, recruiting, equipment, managing our interns and techs, and music arranging. Jess is committed to providing the best experience possible for your students, and believes that a band kid will cure cancer.
Jess has a B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado where he studied Music Education, Vocal Jazz, Marketing, and Psychology. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Scholastic Marching Arts LLC, and the www.thedrumguys.com.
In May 2022, he is taking over as Percussion Caption Head for the Air Academy High School “Kadet” Marching Band, one of the most awarded bands in Colorado, and has recently been a finalist band at BOA Grand Nationals.
Jess is an in-demand adjudicator, performer, educator and clinician. His marching band ensembles have placed in the top three in Colorado seventeen times, including seven Gold Medals with six different programs. He has a thriving private percussion studio, and for twelve years, his students have dominated Colorado All State Band Percussion auditions with over sixty chairs. His students have earned millions of dollars in music scholarships at places like UNC, CSU, CU, DU, Baylor, ASU, Virginia Tech, UMASS Amherst, North Texas, Nebraska, and many others. Several of his students are, currently performing or have aged out of WGI and DCI ensembles.
As a Performer, Jess has appeared with Doc Severinsen, Bette Midler, John Denver, and others. He studied drum set with with Joe Morello, Ed Shaughnessy, Henrique de Almeida, and Stanton Moore. He has been a three-time guest of Yamaha Percussion at the Music For All Summer Symposium Percussion Specialist Academy. He loved working and collaborating new methods and performance ideas with 35 of the best of the best instructors from across America, and was immersed with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps all tree years.
Jess keeps Diet Coke in business, is a SAVAGE punster, bleeds publicly and does his own stunts.He leaps short buildings in a single bound! He loves High End Audio and Ridiculous Home theater, BBQ, The gym, and spending time with his friends. He likes old people and dogs. He has been a rabid Alabama Football fan since he was 6. #rolltide Jess currently makes his home in Palmer Lake, CO.
Jess performs on Noble and Cooley Drums, Yamaha Percussion, Dunnett Snare Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Heads, Axis Pedals and Hardware, and Vic Firth Drum Sticks and mallets. As Ton Loc once said, “LET’S DO THIS!” You can hear that intro now, right?
Whitnea McDonnell is a highly sought-after Color Guard Caption Head in Colorado.
Since 2017, her expertise has won her and her guards awards across multiple classes up and down Colorado’s Front Range. From The Classical Academy (2A) to Pine Creek (4A) and Littleton (4A), Whitnea’s innovative concepts have garnered the praise of judges and peers here in Colorado.
During her time at The Classical Academy, her guard helped the program earn a Silver Medal, and Two Gold Medals.
Whitnea graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the Art Institute San Diego, with a focus in Business Management and Culinary Arts. She participated in the Colorado competitive circuit of WGI until she aged out and continues to study music and dance today.With her music and color guard background, Whitnea is able to put together color guard books that have a great harmony with on-field Music.
She has a huge heart and cares about our students more than you can imagine. She takes care of them, is an incredible role model, and encourages them through a tough physical activity, after doing an hour of dance block. She gets results, and gives the students a fabulous experience they will remember for a lifetime.
She is efficient, highly organized, gives clear instructions and keeps the team on their toes. And that’s just for the staff! 😂
The kids get the same level of efficiency too and demand for excellence as well.
Whitnea spends her days working for the United States Department of the Interior.
Outside of running multiple Guard programs, her job, spending time with her family, and being a cat Mom to her Orange Mini-Tiger “Murphy”, Whitnea enjoys fishing, wain
We are SO proud to have you as our caption head! Welcome back for year 7!
We have an Intern!
Allow us to introduce you to Thomas Osborne.
Thomas is one of the most gifted young percussionists Jess has ever instructed. He had his pick of where to attend College for Music Education, and it appears that he has settled on Baylor University with a rather hefty scholarship. Baylor is one of the most prestigious music schools in the United States, and we are beyond excited for him!
Thomas is beginning his first season as a Percussion Intern at The Pride of Littleton. Thomas is a 2022 Liberty High School graduate in Colorado Springs where he was on the battery for four years and section leader for his senior year. Do not be swayed by Thomas’s age and boyish good looks! HA! His methods are sound, it’s what we do, and he already has more performance experience now than many college graduates do.
Thomas has an extensive performance background, both as a marching and concert percussionist. He won a silver medal with Liberty HS at 2018 State Championships, and has marched both the Independent World and Open Class WGI groups at Rise Percussion. Thomas has also performed in several honor ensembles, including the Honor Band of America, Colorado All-State Band, All-State Orchestra, All-State Choir, CU Honor Band, and Colorado Springs All-City Wind Ensemble. He has performed in several national events, such as New Years’ at Disneyland, The 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade with the Bands of America Honor Band, and the Bands of America Grand National Marching Band Championships. He was also a finalist with the Casper Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, but decided to take the summer off before college.
In the few hours Thomas does not spend performing or practicing, he enjoys writing and recording music of his own. He is incredibly excited to join POL this year and is looking forward to meeting all of you!
We have ANOTHER Intern! Allow us to introduce you to Kayla Kitch.
Kayla is from Colorado Springs, and she is a Double major Music Education Major and Psychology at Northern Arizona University. She studies Music as a Double Bass performer. Her favorite courses are Physiological Psychology and Music Theory. She is a Pine Creek High School Alumni.
Kayla, is an accomplished musician, and another of the best students Jess has ever encountered. He has known her since she was a child, and started her on Percussion in 2012. Kayla usually auditioned on percussion and bass for honor bands, and always had to make a decision on what instrument to play. CU, CSU, Colorado Springs All City Band, Altitude Percussion, and a fantastic ten years with the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Orchestra that has allowed her the opportunity to perform all over the world. She is a pretty amazing Pianist too.
She was the front ensemble section leader at The Classical Academy for her first two years of high school, and then moved to Pine Creek where she studied with our dear friend Miranda Garzaniti her senior year.
Kayla is a voracious reader, and loves to learn. She loves exploring Flagstaff and Sedona, and loves road trips. She enjoys paddle boarding, her Sorority where she is leadership.
She demands the very best from her minions, and she reads ANYTHING. Kayla is really excited to be here, and we can’t wait to see what she does with y’all!
Melinda Wedding serves on the board as our President. She moved to Littleton with her family from McKinney, TX in 2018. She has volunteer experience with three different high school bands. She has additional band mom experience with Anesidora, an independent winter guard, and Drum Corps International group Phantom Regiment. Her professional background is in recruiting. Wife to James and mom to Carson and Milo, she is good at offering opinions and occasionally at gardening.
Leigh is mom to a 10th grade percussionist and no stranger to the wonderful world of marching bands, having been on drumline herself in LPS about a million years ago. Her wonderful husband (of 20 years!) Zach, was also in marching band, and she loves him a lot even though he played the saxophone. Leigh achieved both a Bachelors and Masters degree in bassoon performance as well as a Masters in World History and Culture before deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up and now works as an RN at Littleton Hospital taking care of new mammas and babies. Leigh performed in the Colorado Wind Ensemble and Denver Philharmonic for many seasons, as well as served on the board for CWE. Leigh’s favorite hobbies include travel, reading, being outside, playing board games, and petting other people’s dogs.
Kris Green is Mom to 4 Boys: Lawson 11th grader at LHS, Dominic 8th grader at early HS at LHS, Connor 8th grader at Euclid and James 1st grader at Highland. Her family recently moved into the district from SW Denver. She has been involved with the band at LHS for the past 3 years, and 3 years ago she was completely new to this. Even with 2 years of uncertainty through a pandemic, it has been amazing. Prior to this she had over 10 years experience serving as treasurer and/or chair on multiple PTO's and a Twin Support Group for moms. She works full-time as VP Operations for Rocky Mountain Insulation. Kris was born in Boston (Go Patriots!!), grew up on Long Island, NY, moved to Denver in 1996, and has been married to her husband Lawrence since 2003. Kris earned her 15 minutes claim to fame five years ago as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. She look forward to a great year and meeting all the new faces.
Julie Tombari and her husband Chris love being band parents! Julie is happy to serve as secretary for the Band Wagon. Their family includes Emily, a LHS graduate in 2021, and Logan, a senior, who plays trombone in the marching band. Julie has worked in Littleton Public Schools for 11 years as a Kindergarten Paraprofessional, and is so proud of her former students who she now gets to cheer on in the POL Marching Band. On Friday nights in the fall, Julie can be heard asking, “Why is the football team on the marching band field?,” but some of her former students are also on the LHS football team, and she is proud of them too. Go Lions!