Shawnee Mission South Rompin' Stompin' Raider Band - Mr. Steve Adams, Director

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Meet the Teachers

Head Director: Steve Adams, SM South High School

Staff: Paul Schapker, Megan Hoelscher, Cynthia Hartwell, Evan Maslak

Courses: Marching Band, Symphonic/Concert/Freshman Bands, Jazz Band, Music Theory

SCHOOL PHONE: 913-993-7572

Meet the Teachers

     I have been the director of the SM South band since 1986-87.  Previous 
to that, I was the band director in Baldwin, Kansas, grades 5-12.  My 
undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of Kansas.
     I graduated from Shawnee Mission South in 1979.  Playing trombone in 
the South bands was the foundation for a great high school experience.  I 
learned, at that time, how important great music, student leadership 
opportunities, and the team work that is essential for a quality band were 
to my development.  I knew that they would be the central emphasis of my 
teaching.  I dreamed of working at a school like South someday.  Dreams do 
come true.
     I still absolutely love to play my trombone.  My regular performing 
outlet is the Philharmonia of Kansas City where I have been the principal 
trombonist since 1983.  This is a semi-professional orchestra that includes 
some of the finest musicians in KC.  Every rehearsal is an education for me.
     I am proud of the accomplishments of our program and the many successful 
graduates who follow their life's journey with the influence of their time 
with the band.  During my tenure, the band has had three decades of exchanges with our 
sister band from Bietigheim-Bissingen.  They visit us and we travel there.  
The marching band and a "mutt" concert band made up of members of all three concert 
bands has performed in the Orlando Disney parks on many different trips to 
Florida.  There have been many successful marching contest appearances 
highlighted by a win at Warrensburg's Festival of Champions.  Our concert groups share a 
long string of First Division ratings for our Symphonic Band and many for our Concert Band.  
Many years, the band has had the top number of students in District and State Band.  We are 
always near the top.  It never ceases to amaze me the level of artistry and 
technical excellence some of our students achieve.  Yes, I am very proud of 
the accomplishments of our band and our wonderful students.
     My top priority in life is my family.  My wife, Shari, is also a SMS 
graduate from 1979. She has always been so supportive and helpful with my 
band addiction.  She is the greatest band trip chaperone on the planet.  
Shari is an IT problem solver for HCA hospitals after more than two decades 
as a medical technologist.  
     We are so proud of our two kids, Megan and Tom.  Megan graduated 
with Honors from KU with degrees in Political Science and Global 
Studies with an emphasis on China.  She did all of this in just three and a 
half years.  After an exciting internship with The Clinton Foundation in 
NYC, she landed a position with the Center for American Progress in 
Washington DC,  a top think tank just a block away from the White 
House.  After spending some time with Martin O'Malley's Presidential Campaign and working 
for Grameen America  which supports micro-loans for women back in NYC, Megan is now in 
law school at Brooklyn Law.  Megan married Ken Sofer this summer-an amazing guy who I 
heartily approve of!  He has a new position with IRC (International Rescue Committee) and 
organization that provides aid and resources to refugees in some of the most difficult 
locations around the world.
     Tom has a passion soccer (well, really all sports), which he played at the Division I level at 
Oral Roberts University.  This was preceded by playing for Sporting KC's Academy team 
and setting the all time and single season scoring records at Blue Valley High School
He graduated with an Engineering degree and is in now one of the engineers for Paradigm 
Construction, a bridge building company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Very unlike his dad, Tom has 
always been a whiz at all things mathematical.  He was honored while in college as having 
one of the highest GPAs among athletes at ORU.  Quite an accomplishment to be a D1 
athlete and earn an Engineering degree!  Tom may be in Oklahoma but he is passionate 
about the Jayhawks, Chiefs, Royals, Sporting KC...and Game of Thrones!

     Additional staff working with the South bands are Paul Schapker, Megan 
Hoelscher, Cynthia Hartwell, and Evan Maslak.  
     Megan Hoelscher, a UMKC graduate, is the director of the Indian Woods Middle School 
band which is the only middle school to feed SMS.  Under Megan's teaching, the 
IW's band is considered one of the top middle school programs in the 
region.  The ties continue. after being hired while in college to work with 
the marching band for two years, Megan student taught at SMS and IW and was 
hired upon graduation as the director at IW.  Besides being an excellent 
teacher, Mrs. Hoelscher is a top competitive distance runner and a fine trumpet 
player. She has won both the Kansas City and St. Louis marathons! Megan's 
commitment to her training should serve as a model of what setting a goal 
and working to earn it is all about.  Besides her work at IW, Megan helps out with the 
marching band, spearheads the band's 5K with band parent, Kathy Hance, and assists on all 
of our trips.  Megan's husband found his career in finance but he is a former "scream' 
trumpet player in high school and UMKC.  He gets and supports his wife's dedication to her 
students.  Yep, the rest of the staff are all fans of Doug.
     Cynthia Hartwell teaches Spanish at South and works with the band during 1st 
hour.  Cynthia is a 2009 SMS graduate, former band president and was an all state trumpet 
player.  Throughout her college career at William Jewell College, she was very active in 
music and now plays all over town in professional and top-flight amateur ensembles.  She 
was the Megan Taylor soloist with the band in 2014.  Her knowledge, enthusiasm, and high 
standards have been very helpful to recent successes in the band.  In addition to her Spanish 
classes and her role with the band, Miss Hartwell is the SMS Stuco sponsor.  She IS the Ever-
ready Bunny!
      Mr. Schapker is the newest member of the staff, joining us in 2016.   Paul is a KU grad 
and earned a graduate degree in conducting at Oklahoma State University.  While at KU, he 
was hired as our percussion instructor with the marching band.  Paul has taught band in the 
Goddard, KS schools and was the assistant director and elementary band instructor in the 
SM North area.  He now has this role in the South area.  Besides teaching in the South area, 
Mr. Schapker plays with the KC Chiefs' "Thunder" drum line and plays in The Hamelins, a 
busylocal rock band that also includes his brother.  Mr. Schapker influence has already been 
seen in the training of the marching band.  He will be our drill writer for next year and has 
been very busy with the planning of the entire 2017 show.
       Evan Maslak is our percussion instructor working with the marching band percussion and 
our percussion ensembles during concert season.  Evan is a highly respected studio teacher 
at The Kevin Clarke Percussion Studios (formerly Keith Larson Percussion Studios) and is a 
very active freelance musician.  Evan is the drummer with popular regional band, The Mikey 
Needleman Band.  In his first year at South, Evan and our percussion students received first 
division ratings with both the symphonic and concert band ensembles.  The symphonic 
group earned 79 out of 80 possible points!

Mission For The Class

     The mission of all South band classes is to foster a love of music 
through understanding and performance.  There will be a strong emphasis on 
quality literature and high expectations of students in regards to 
preparation, performance, and working as a team.  Students will be given 
many significant leadership and decision making opportunities, and thus much 
responsibility toward the success of the program.

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