Erin Holmes launched her career at the beginning of the millennium by attaining a teaching position for Farmington Area Public Schools, District 192. As the Director of Bands at Farmington High School, Ms. Holmes conducts the Wind Ensemble, Varsity Band, Jazz I, Birdland Jazz, and is the head director of the Farmington Tiger Marching Band. Her ensembles have made appearances on the Dave Ryan in the Morning show on KDWB, and as KSTP’s High School Band on Sports Wrap. She has a host of responsibilities at Farmington High School that range from planning tours for her bands, hosting band festivals attending jazz festivals with her ensembles, to being a devoted staff and team member of several building leadership positions such as a Mentor for new teachers, and the FHS Music Department Chair. Ms. Holmes’s jazz ensembles have appeared in many prestigious festivals and honor bands.
In 2017, School Band and Orchestra Magazine named Holmes one of the nation’s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.” When asked what is your proudest moment as an educator? She responds, “My proudest moment as an educator has yet to come. Each day brings a new experience that challenges my mindset, intellect, and emotions on such a wide-ranging scale. Each year has also brought my own expertise to new levels. To try and define my pride of what we have created here in Farmington to one moment just isn’t possible.” Her favorite phrase she lives by and attempts to instill in her students is “every day is a good day to get better.”
Most notably to her career, she has been appointed as the Jazz Chair for Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) in 2018, she is the first woman in the organization’s history to be chosen for this position.
Erin is also active as a director for honor bands, clinician for band and jazz festivals, an adjudicator for small and large group contest, solo & ensemble contest, and teaches master classes for saxophones for jazz and classical saxophone in the metro and surrounding areas. Ms. Holmes loves to teach private lessons, has performed in several jazz ensembles such as Southern Minnesota’s REAL Big Band, Swing Sisterhood Big Band, and the Caprice Saxophone Quartet.
Ms. Holmes is originally from Faribault, MN. She attended high school at Bethlehem Academy and continued her education graduating from Minnesota State University, Mankato with the Honors of Magna Cum Laude in Music Education with an emphasis on saxophone. While at school, she had numerous tours with the concert bands and an unforgettable experience in Europe with the MSUM Saxophone Quartet. Ms. Holmes also attended Saint Mary's University achieving her Master of Arts in Education with the honors of Summa Cum Laude. Erin and her husband, Jon, have three sons, William, Henry, & Duke that keep them extra busy!
Bradley Mariska has been the Associate Director of Bands at Farmington High School since 2016. At FHS, he conducts the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz II, Jazz III, and is the Assistant Director of the Farmington Tiger Marching Band. Prior to his appointment at FHS, Mariska taught at Austin High School, Pine City Public Schools, and Ventura (IA) Community Schools.
He and his ensembles have received numerous awards. The AHS Wind Ensemble appeared at the MMEA Midwinter Clinic in 2013 and Pine City was named to the list of “Best Communities for Music Education in America” three times during his tenure. In 2012, School Band and Orchestra Magazine named Mariska one of the nation’s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference.” Mariska was named Educator of the Year by the Austin Rotary Club in 2013 and KAAL-TV named him as an Excellent Educator in 2014.
Mariska has served as an All-State Band Section Coach and has held the position of Director on the boards of several arts organizations including the Austin Area Commission for the Arts, Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Pine Center for the Arts. He also taught at the MacPhail Center for Music at both their Apple Valley and Austin locations.
Mariska currently serves as the State Membership Chair of the Minnesota Band Directors Association and maintains a studio of private low brass students.
A native of Waterville, Minnesota, Mariska earned a B.A. in Music Education from Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, IA) and an M.A. in Musicology from the University of Maryland. While at Maryland, Mariska was the Manager of the American Bandmasters Association Archives and Research Center. His work at the Research Center spawned an interest in the history of early American bands and his scholarly paper “Opera Music as Repertoire for Band,” was accepted by the Society for American Music for presentation at their National Convention.
Mariska’s favorite band-related memory is convincing Senator Al Franken to play cowbell with his band during a school visit. Mariska repeatedly stopped the rehearsal, reminding the former SNL writer and cast member, “I’ve got a fever… and the only prescription is more cowbell.”
Matt Clark is an educator, percussionist, and sound engineer. As Assistant Director of Bands, he is the newest addition to the Farmington Band program. Clark has worked with the Farmington Tiger Marching Band since 2016 and with the Winter Percussion Ensemble starting in 2017-2018. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at FHS, he also teaches steel pan through the Pan-handlers’ Education Outreach Program.
His past teaching experience includes Indoor Drumline Instructor at Buffalo High School, assistant Band Director at St. Francis High School, Summer Drumline Instructor at several south metro high schools, as well as teaching private and group percussion lessons since 2010 at various institutions including Brooklyn Center for the Arts, Wausau Conservatory of Music, and Stevens Point Music Academy.
Matt Clark received his undergrad in music education and percussion performance from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2015. He went on to study at the University of Minnesota, receiving a masters degree in percussion performance. Clark has performed internationally with the UMN Percussion Ensemble, with Dame Evelyn Glennie, played in the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, and for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He has conducted and performed in many musical productions including Little Women, West Side Story, The Wiz, The Phantom of the Opera and many more.
Currently he plays with The Renegade Ensemble, a contemporary music ensemble, and with the Pan-handlers Steel Drum Band. He also gigs regularly with various Minneapolis metro orchestras as well as a freelancing percussionist.
In addition to teaching and performing, Clark is also a recording technician and sound engineer. He works as a recording technician at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the UMN School of Music and for as an A/V Technician at AVEX, a corporate audio company. He also freelances as an audio editor and composer for both spoken word and instrumental music recordings. According to Clark, this other side of music creation and performance has drastically altered his view of music’s creation and he is excited to share his ideas to further expand types of music literacy at Farmington High School.