2023 AOSFB Staff.
Meet the team that makes the AOSFB experience possible!
Brian W. Dodd
Brian W. Dodd enters his 17th year on the staff and 8th year as Director of the All-Ohio State Fair Band. Previously, he served as Assistant Director in charge of Percussion. He received his Bachelor Degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University and just retired from teaching after completing his 38th year as an Ohio music educator and 24th year as Director of Bands at West Holmes High School in Millersburg. Mr. Dodd directed the schools two concert bands, as well as jazz, pep and marching bands and percussion ensemble. The ensembles are active year-round having performed throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Florida and recently in Nashville while also playing regularly for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Annual Holiday Parade in Pittsburgh. He is a Certified Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor, former National Honor Society Adviser, was OMEA District 10 Large Group Adjudicated Event Chairman for 8 years. He recently received his 25 Year Plus recognition from the OMEA, has been a recipient of the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics & Integrity Award and this spring, and he has also received the Honorary State FFA Degree from the Ohio Future Farmers of America - its highest honor for a non-FFA member. Prior to teaching at West Holmes, Mr. Dodd was a High School Band and Choir Director for 14 years in Knox County. He is an active performer, is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local #159, an Adjunct Music Faculty member at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and has had members in the AOSFB for 39 years! He, his wife Lori and currently reside in Bladensburg, Ohio and are proud parents of 4 children and several grandchildren.
Edward P. Gallagher
Director of Operations
Edward P. Gallagher (French Horn, ‘84-’87) is in his 36th year as a staff member and 8th year serving as Director of Operations for both the AOSFB and All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir. Mr. Gallagher previously served as an equipment manager, counselor and camp manager. He received his degree in music therapy from Cleveland State University and received his Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently, he is Director of Education at Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, serves on the Board of Directors for CreativeOhio, is Past President of the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium as well as the Ohio Association for Music Therapy, and Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the AOSFB Alumni Association. He is on the Leadership Team of the Ohio Music Therapy Task which just reached its goal of a music therapy licensure law in the State of Ohio. He received the 2015 Director’s Service Award from the AOSFYC, 2007 Service Award from the Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association and was inducted into The Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 2007. He and his wife Lisa are parents of Megan who serves on the staff of the AOSFB and AOSFYC.
Drum Major Coordinator
Konner (Drum Major, '13) returns for a 3rd year as Drum Major Coordinator. Konner attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a degree in Strategic Communication. He currently works at Ohio State as a Digital Communications Coordinator. While at Ohio State, Konner was a 5-year member of the Ohio State University Marching Band where he served as head drum major for the 2018 and 2019 seasons and assistant drum major for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Gregory Digman (Percussion, '21-'22) enters his first year on staff serving as on the Equipment Staff. He Graduated from Newton Falls High School in 2022, and was lead snare for all 4 years of his high school career. He is currently exploring restaurant management and is involved in the opening of 2 new restaurants in his area. He is also studying ballroom dancing as a way to add a new perspective to his lifelong passion for music.
Lori L. Dodd
Operations - Non-Fair Assistant
Lori Dodd returns for a 8th year on the Operations Staff as the Non-Fair Assistant. Lori has a degree in Cosmetology and a Management License from The Ohio School of Cosmetology. Lori worked sixteen years for the Regis Corporation in Zanesville before deciding to become a stay-at-home mother and grandmother. She is very active behind the scenes supporting and assisting our director with AOSFB and for the past thirty-eight years with his high school bands. Lori was very active with competitive twirling throughout her youth and as a clarinetist and majorette during her years at Philo High School. She and her husband Brian live in Bladensburg and are parents to four wonderful children and several grandchildren.
James R. "Tank" Esswein
Operations Associate & Librarian
James R. "Tank” Esswein celebrates his 54th year on the Operations Staff and also as Librarian, a post he has held for 24 years. He has served as Assistant Camp Manager and Equipment Manager for the Band and Youth Symphony. He received his music degree from The Ohio State University and dotted the "I” twice in the 1967 season and at the 1969 Rose Bowl. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha music fraternities and is a Past President of the TBDBITL OSU Alumni Band. Mr. Esswein was a music educator for the Columbus Public Schools and retired in 2004 after 35 years of service. He performs in numerous groups including the OSU Alumni Band and Mendelssohn Liedertafel to name a few. He is a Past Master of Goodale Lodge #372 Free and Accepted Masons. He was Teacher of the Year at Wedgewood Middle School in 1994, and Historic Columbus Crew Stadium Employee of the Year in 2000. He continues working at HC Stadium and Lower.com Field in Columbus. He was Commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the US Army in 1969 serving in numerous capacities until he stepped away from service in the Inactive & Active Reserves in the early 1980s. He was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 2006.
Dr. Lisa M. Gallagher
Dr. Lisa M. Gallagher returns for her 24th year on the staff and will be serving as Administrative Assistant. Dr. Gallagher received her undergraduate degree in music therapy from Ohio University, Master's in Counseling from Walsh University, and her PhD in Health Psychology from Northcentral University. She is the Research Program Manager for the Arts & Medicine Department at the Cleveland Clinic and serves as an adjunct professor at Ohio University, Baldwin Wallace University and Alverno College teaching a variety of music therapy courses. She is a Past President of the Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association and the Association of Ohio Music Therapists. Dr. Gallagher received the 2020 Achievement in Music Award from Ohio University, 2013 Association of Ohio Music Therapists Past Presidents Club Award for service to the profession, the 2008 Blair L. Sadler International Healing Arts Award, and the 2007 Scholarly Activities Award from the Great Lakes Region of the American Music Therapy Association for her research, presentations, and service. She and her husband Ed are parents to AOSFB Alum and staff member, Megan.
Megan M. Gallagher
Operations Associate & Social Media Coordinator
Megan M. Gallagher (Flag, '11-'12, Trumpet, '13-'16) returns for her 7th year on the Operations Staff. She also serves as the Social Media Coordinator for AOSFB and the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir. She is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship while also minoring in Dance. She owns her own social media agency, MMCGStudios, where she works with a variety of organizations and brands. In addition, she is also a Freelance Photographer and works at Francesca's. Megan is a graduate of Magnificat High School where she was presented with the John Philip Sousa Award.
Robert Gardner, D.D.S.
Operations Associate Volunteer
Robert Gardner, DDS (Clarinet, ’84-‘86) returns for an 11th year as a volunteer member of the Operations Staff. He graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in dental hygiene and later with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery. He is a clinical instructor at the OSU College of Dentistry and recently sold his private practice that was located in Clintonville, not too far from the State Fair. Through the years he has provided emergency services to members of the AOSFB and AOSFYC at his office. Dr. Gardner is the proud father of Hanna and Lilly (AOSFB, ’13). He is a Past President of the AOSFB Alumni Association.
Mendell R. Hibbard
Assistant Director (Percussion)
Mendell R. Hibbard enters his 8th year as Assistant Director in charge of percussion. He is the band director at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, a position he took after teaching in public schools for 34 years. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Ohio University and his Master of Arts degree from Ohio State University. He is an active member of the Ohio Music Education Association, serving as an adjudicator and a past district president. He is involved in several local theater productions as music director, pit orchestra conductor and player.
Assistant Director (Upper Woodwinds)
Susan Keserich (Oboe, ’99-’02) is in her 8th year as an Assistant Director in charge of Upper Woodwinds. As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where she received a Bachelor of Music degree and Cleveland State University where she received a Master of Music degree, she is entering her 6th year as Director of Bands for Green Local School District in Wayne County. She previously taught for 10 years in the Barberton City School District. Mrs. Keserich has performed in various ensembles on oboe and English Horn in the Northeast Ohio Area, such as the Mansfield Symphony, Cleveland Winds, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic, and Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few. An avid vocalist, pianist, and organist, she serves as the Minister of Music for the West Park United Church of Christ in Cleveland. Mrs. Keserich lives in Medina with her husband (whom she met at the AOSFB) and their two children.
Jennifer C. McDowell
Jennifer C. McDowell (Clarinet, '89-'92) returns for her 30th year on the staff as an Operations Associate. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. As a member of the Band of the Fightin' Irish, Jennifer was selected as the recipient of the Robert F. O’Brien award, named in honor of the past Director of Bands (1952-1986). Mrs. McDowell, a Past President of the AOSFB Alumni Association, is the Director of Education at Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation and recipient of the NAI Great Lakes Region Meritorious Service Award, recently completing an extensive term on the Region’s Executive Board as Deputy Director. Mrs. McDowell is an Organizational Leader in the 4-H youth development program in Lorain County. She and her husband, Andrew, are proud parents their son, Duncan, and AOSFB Member, Ashley.
Dr. Brian D. Meyers
Assistant Director (Lower Woodwinds)
Dr. Brian D. Meyers (Tenor Sax, ‘90) s back for his 8th year as the Assistant Director in charge of Lower Woodwinds. Dr. Meyers received his undergraduate degree from Capital University, where he studied with James Swearingen and Dr. Timothy Swinehart. He also received his MM and DMA degrees in music education from Arizona State University. He is currently an adjunct professor of music education at Kent State University, Eastern Illinois University, and Adams State University in Colorado. Dr. Meyers previously served on the faculty of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and Adelphi University in New York as well as 14 years as a high school band director in Ohio and Arizona. He also currently serves as Editor of Contributions to Music Education, a national research journal published by the Ohio Music Education Association.
Operations Associate - Volunteer
Courtney Mullins, SHRM-CP is now in her 4th year as a member of the Operations Staff. She is a graduate of Capital University with a Bachelor's Degree in Leadership and Management. Mrs. Mullins currently serves as the Benefits & Human Resources Director for Kaman & Cusimano, LLC. She has served the Ohio State Fair in various capacities including working in the Finance Office for one year, serving Camp Fire for 8 years and finally serving on the Ohio State Fair as a member of the Junior Fair Board representing Camp Fire. She and her husband, Ryan, along with their daughter Addilyn, live in the Columbus area.
Assistant Director (Upper Brass)
Van Parker (French Horn, ’98-‘01) returns for a 7th year as an Assistant Director working with the Upper Brass Section – French Horns and Trumpets. Mr. Parker received his Bachelor of Music in French horn performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music from Northwestern University. Based in Cleveland, he is a member of the Firelands Symphony in Sandusky, Cleveland Winds, and Principal horn of the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra in Charleston, SC which is a unique ensemble showcasing the talents of black musicians from around the country. He has appeared with the Akron, Ashland, Lima, Mansfield, and Youngstown Symphonies. Highly sought after as a clinician and private lesson instructor, he has guided students to success at several elite performing ensembles and institutions, Mr. Parker is also the French horn coach for the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony and the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra while also teaching at Beck Center for the Arts. He previously served as Vice President of the AOSFB Alumni Association.
Dakota Parrish (Tuba, ’10-12) is returning for his 11th year on the staff as Equipment Manager. He graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts in Music Educator for Goal Digital Academy, a public K-12 online school serving North Central Ohio students across 8 Ohio Counties. Previously, he served as Assistant Manager of Music and Arts in Worthington, an instructor for the Northland Summer Music Camp with Columbus City Schools and, as Principal Tubist for the National Honors Orchestra of America in 2012. In his spare time, he teaches Tuba and Violin privately and plays with the Grove City Community Winds and various other ensembles around the Central Ohio area.
Melissa L. Spangler
Melissa L. Spangler (Flute/Piccolo, ‘89-’91) is returning for her 26th year with the AOSFB as a member of the Operations Staff. Ms. Spangler is a Certified Academic Language Therapist with a Master of Arts in Education degree from Baldwin Wallace University. She completed her undergraduate work in Elementary Education at John Carroll University. Ms. Spangler has worked for the Rocky River City School District since 2000. During that time, she has worked as a Reading Tutor at the high school, intermediate and middle schools. She is currently a Reading Teacher at Rocky River Middle School and the district’s Literacy Coordinator. Prior to teaching in the Rocky River City School District, Ms. Spangler taught Kindergarten and first grade at private schools in the Cleveland area. Presently, she serves on the Ohio Dyslexia Committee. She is a member for the International Dyslexia Association and the Academic Language Therapy Association. Ms. Spangler is also Auxiliary Sergeant at Arms for the American Legion 610 in Brookpark.