Director of Operations / COO
Melinda has been teaching with LSM since 2015 and also performed as a clarinetist in LSM ensembles from 2014 to 2018. She currently teaches music at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Preparatory High School and is the Woodwind Caption Head and a visual instructor for the Southgate Anderson High School Marching Band.
In addition to music and marching, her performing arts background also includes equestrian vaulting, the sport of gymnastics and dance on horseback.
Melinda graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Music Education and loves sharing the power and joy of music making with her students.
When she is not teaching, she enjoys making music, exercising, cooking, and learning at every possible opportunity.
Our Board of Directors
A Determined Team of Creative Minds
Executive Director / CEO
Zack Novicki found his love for pageantry arts in 2006 as a member of the Woodhaven Warrior Marching Band. Three years later, Zack began his first season as a member of the LakeShoremen Drum & Bugle Corps. He is currently the Associate Director of Bands for the Southgate Community School District, where he oversees the district’s marching band, winter guards, and jazz bands.
Zack has served as a member of the WGI Winds Advisory Board since the inception of the winds division in 2015, and has played a role shaping the Winds activity into what it is today. He has also served as a member of the WGI Winds Steering Committee, where he was responsible for evaluation scoring systems, philosophies, and ongoing instructor education for the Winds activity.
Zack also works as an “Expert Clinician” for WGI 1-on-1, a web service where some of WGI’s most experienced instructors and designers provide virtual consultations.
When he’s not spending all of his time in “Band Land”, Zack likes to play video games, read comic books, and spend time with his family.
Doug iggi Courter
iggi has been marching, spinning, dancing and doing theater since the age of 7. He grew up in farm country in the middle of Michigan before moving to the Detroit Metro area during 6th grade. He attended Lakeland High School and helped take the marching band to their first Flight II gold medal at State Championships in 1991. He went on to march with the Northern Aurora Drum and Bugle corp for two summers playing the contrabass (Tuba). He then attended college and graduated with degrees in music and sociology.
He brings a wealth of knowledge from the marching band and colorguard worlds as well as the non-profit sector.
His favorite color is orange. He loves playing with and collecting Legos. He currently works in the field of housing managing a Section 8 waitlist for a host of properties in Taylor, MI. In his free time he loves spending time with his friends, exploring new locals with his boyfriend, hiking, binge watching TV and napping!!!
Martha enjoys volunteering and for the last 17 years has served on multiple boards in several capacities. The most recent being the President of her children’s band program.
She has four children and a loving (and very understanding) husband.
She is super excited to be a small part of such a wonderful organization.
My name is Courtney Merkey (almost Walsh, the current pandemic has really intensified the difficulties of changing your name). I recently married the love of my life, and my high school pal, Grant Walsh. My life has always been heavily influenced and structured by music. Grant and I met through marching band. During which; I was introduced to lifelong relationships (most notably with my husband), I was taught discipline, I learned about mutual respect and loyalty. I was able to find an escape through music performance (oboe and alto saxophone, most notably).
I also witnessed some quality pranks. While my progression in my musical journey did not proceed into my collegiate years, I was grateful for how the experience shaped me.
Once I entered college, I began to pursue social work and fostered my passion for working with older adults and those with disabilities. Following an internship, I began working at The Senior Alliance in Wayne, Michigan, where I have remained the past two years.
Outside of professional life, I am a bibliophile and am always seeking a new novel to sink my teeth into. I have two fur children, Flora (a six-year-old kitty) and Kevin (a four and a half month old German Shepard).
Eric Bottorff is new to the LSM Performing Arts Board of Directors in 2020. He comes to this position with a wealth of music education and performance experience. From 2014-2016, he served as band, orchestra, and choir director for the Korea International School in Jeju-do, South Korea. During that time, he also performed as principal tuba with the Jeju Symphony Orchestra and was director of the KIMEA National Honors Orchestra. Eric currently resides in Livonia, Michigan where he teaches kindergarten through fourth grade music in the public schools. He runs an active private lesson studio and performs clinics regularly.
Director at Large
Paul Keiser is a life-long music educator with a strong background in the marching arts. Having marched 4 years of MCBA seasons with Royal Oak Dondero High School, 5 years with Northern Aurora Drum & Bugle Corps, he developed a love for the marching arts that has continued throughout his life. He attended Wayne State for music education. He has also been a DCM and MCBA judge, drill designer, and wind and visual instructor for bands and drum corps for over 20 years. He has also been active with the Barbershop Harmony Society as a member of competing quartets and choruses, as well as a chorus director. He's a husband, father of 5, and currently a stay-at-home dad, and gives private lessons in voice, brass, and piano.
Paul has made spreading the joy of music his life work and looks forward to the new opportunity to share his experience and passion with LSM!
Director at Large
Paxton McCartney has been a part of the colorguard/marching band community, as both a performer and an instructor for nearly a decade. She is passionate about working with children and young adults by helping them grow as a performer, relationally and achieve their goals.
Paxton holds a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She is a Youth Specialist working with teens who have substance abuse issues in the Grand Rapids area. She loves to travel and explore, at the same time. Paxton also loves to crochet and watch Netflix. She is excited to be a part of the Board of Directors and can't wait to see this organization grow!
Chuck Semarjian has been involved in the marching arts activity since 2006. Chuck has performed in several different ensembles during this time, including LSM from 2013 - present as a member of the Ensemble. Chuck Semarjian graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in
Secondary Education. Chuck currently works as a substitute teacher in Ferndale and Troy school districts. He also has worked with several high school marching band programs, working with percussion throughout Michigan over the past 10 years.
Director at Large
Devin Scicluna has been passionately involved with LSM Performing Arts for over four years. During this time, he served as a brass/music instructor for LSM Winds. In 2019, Devin received his Bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education from Eastern Michigan University. He specializes in brass instrument pedagogy and his primary instruments are trombone and euphonium. Over the years, Devin has gained quality experience in both teaching and performing music. He has worked with numerous high school music programs across Southeast Michigan and has developed a large private lesson studio. Like the LSM organization, Devin shares a passion for the performing arts and is dedicated to providing quality educational opportunities to its members!
Director at Large
Aryka Thomson is a new board member of LSM from Livonia, Michigan. She went to Michigan State University from 2014-2018, where she marched tenor saxophone in the Spartan Marching Band and worked as the Instrument Manager on the Physical Operations Team. She now works as a Mechanical EIT at HDR (an engineering consulting firm)
in Ann Arbor.
Aryka is excited to continue in her involvement in music and help LSM’s members experience the world that performing arts has to offer.