Marching Band, Concert Band, and Pit Orchestra Director

Nicholas Gasemy

Nicholas Gasemy was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland where he attended and graduated from Governor Thomas Johnson High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. While attending WVU, he was a member of various ensembles including The Pride of West Virginia Mountaineer Marching Band, Wind Symphony, and Symphonic Orchestra. He studied Horn with Dr. Virginia Thompson, Jennifer Presar, and Robert Lauver.

Nicholas has a strong Marching Arts background in both performance and education. He performed with the Jersey Surf (2010-2013) and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (2014-2016) on Mellophone and has taught the Visual Programs of The Cavaliers (2017-2018) and Music City Drum and Bugle Corps (2020-2022). He currently serves as the Visual Caption Head for Old Line Independent Percussion (2021-present) and is on the Visual Staff with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.
Under Nicholas' time as Band Director at TJ, the Marching Band has received many awards and recognitions including being the only group from the state of Maryland to become a Bands of America Regional Finalist in 2018 and being named State Champions at the 2022 Maryland Marching Band Association’s State Championships while receiving awards for Best Visual, Best Color Guard, and Best Percussion. The school’s Indoor Percussion and Color Guard programs have also competed at the WGI Richmond Regional, where they were both finalists in 2019 and in 2020 the Percussion was titled Scholastic Open Champions. The school’s concert band also regularly receives high ratings at Festivals and Adjudications.

Jazz Band, String Orchestra, and Symphonic Orchestra Director

Jonathan Kurtz

Mr. Kurtz has taught all levels of music from Kindergarten to high school and has extensive experience directing ensembles, composing, and arranging.  He earned his Bachelor of Music at Taylor University in Upland, IN his Master of Arts at the University of Maryland, College Park, and holds a Certificate of Educational Leadership from Hood College.  He has experience teaching concert band, general music, piano, music technology, jazz band, pit orchestra, orchestra, and chorus.  Most recently, Mr. Kurtz was the band director at Urbana Middle School where he started the program and grew it to be one of the largest in Frederick County.  Mr. Kurtz regularly writes and arranges for his ensembles as well as for the piano.   He also has served as a guest clinician and adjudicator for various instrumental ensembles in the area, and his ensembles regularly receive superior ratings at festivals and competitions.  His articles regarding music education have been published in Teaching Music, The Instrumentalist, and The Maryland Music Educator.  Mr. Kurtz was the FCPS 2022 Teacher of the Year, a Maryland State Teacher of the Year Finalist, and was also nominated for the Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014 and FCPS Teacher of the Year in 2015.  Aside from music, Jonathan enjoys cooking, traveling,  hiking, reading history, gardening, and spending time with his family.  He lives in Middletown with his wife, young son, and dog, Maggie.  

Marching Band Instructional Staff

Mattigan Dill - Color Guard

Hi! My name is Mattigan, I also go by Mattie. I have been spinning for 7 years and have been teaching for 3. Previously, I spun with Chrome City Color Guard/Glen Burnie High School for 4 years and recently finished my second season with Old Line Performing Arts. I am currently in school full time as a Student Physical Therapist Assistant and am very excited to help performers grow this season!

Deandre Dill - Front Ensemble

Deandre lives in Pasadena, Maryland. He began his marching career in his sophomore year of high school where he participated in marching band on vibraphone and ended his senior year as drum major, along with 4 seasons of indoor percussion on marimba mixed in between. Deandre's drum corps career began with the Reading Buccaneers in 2019, followed by two seasons with George Mason University Indoor Percussion (2020 and 2022) and was capped off with another season with the Buccaneers in 2022. In addition to teaching at TJ, he also serves as a Front Ensemble Technician for Old Line Independent Percussion. Deandre holds a Bachelor's Degree in Cybersecurity from Western Governor's University and works as a Linux System Engineer in his spare time.

Jake Carder - Drumline

Jake is currently a student at Towson University and is a History Secondary Education Major. He started his marching band career with Governor Thomas Johnson Highschool from 2017 to when he graduated in 2021. Jake now plays snare for the Towson University Marching Band, and recently a part of Old Line Performing Arts playing snare for the 2023 season. He started teaching for the TJ marching band in 2022 and hopes to continue to help students achieve greatness in this activity.

Doug Putt - Brass

Doug discovered his love for music and began playing horn at the age of 8. He started private lessons and won his first audition that same year. His plan was always to join the Marine Corps after high school, and in talking to a recruiter he learned that he could audition to be a Marine Corps bandsmen. After winning the audition, he set out for boot camp at age 17, and once all combat training was completed, he attended the Navy School of Music. During his Marine Corps career, Doug participated in hundreds of performances in numerous ensemble types. Ensembles and performance types included: concert band, brass quintet, marching and parades, military ceremonies, party band, and more. Within the platoon, Doug was given his first opportunity to try his hand in private instruction.  He completed weekly lessons with each section member where he created practice plans and completed progress evaluations.

After completing his enlistment in 2016, Doug wanted to continue teaching and took a part time job as a horn and trumpet instructor at Mike’s Music. Doug moved to Frederick in March of 2020, shortly before the pandemic. He patiently waited for things to open back up and immediately sought out to find opportunities to continue playing. During the summer of 2022 he performed with the Lyric Band of Hanover in Pennsylvania. He has played with the FCC Wind Ensemble since spring 2022. Doug currently teaches at Sloan School of Music where he gives private lessons in horn, trumpet, and beginner trombone. He loves teaching students of all ages and skill levels while personalizing instruction for each student based on their goals. Whether the goal is college, All-State, or simply just to improve, learn and have fun, Doug gets tremendous satisfaction from helping students reach their goals and having fun during the process.

Samantha Vaughn-Barrett - Woodwinds

Samantha Vaughn-Barrett is from Frederick, MD., where she attended Governor Thomas Johnson High School and participated in many years of marching band, jazz band, concert band, pit orchestra, and Advanced Music Studies in the Arts and Communications Academy (now known as the Academy for the Fine Arts) playing the saxophone. She served as saxophone section leader for both marching band and concert band, and was involved in the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

After graduating high school, she attended Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. While at Shepherd University, Samantha participated in a variety of ensembles such as the RAM Band, Wind Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, Chamber Singers, Masterworks Choir, Women's Camerata, Community Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Pit Orchestra, and number of student-led ensembles for new compositions. Samantha served as the President of Shepherd's Society of Composers, Inc. and Woodwind Captain in the RAM Band. Through private lessons, she studied saxophone under former principal saxophonist of the U.S. Air Force Band, Jeremy Koch, as well as composition with Dr. Mark Cook and conducting with both Dr. Scott Hippensteel and Dr. Rachel Carlson.

By the Spring of 2020, she earned both a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Composition. Since then, Samantha has substitute taught in Frederick, MD, as well as taught Middle School General Music in Berkeley County, WV. Currently, she works with the TJ Band as a Windline Staff Member and is excited to help the TJ Band learn and grow this season.