Directors Drill Music Color Guard


Scot Ciesla - Director

Scott R. Ciesla received his Bachelor’s and  Master’s Degrees in Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia.  For five years he was the Director of Bands at Dansville High School where he taught the concert band, all lessons (WW, Brass, Percussion), History of Rock , and was the Marching Band Director. He also taught for a year and a half in the Buffalo City  School District as a general music teacher. He has marched with the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps as a lead soprano soloist and mellophone soloist from 2006 through 2010.  Mr. Ciesla  studied trumpet under Dr. Wade Weast, Alex Jokipii, and Peter Linblom and studied conducting with Dr. Paula Holcomb, Dr. David Rudge, and Dr. Patrick Jones. In 2009, he served as  a Long-Term Substitute teacher in the Red Creek CSD and that experience helped bring me to the wonderful district of Oswego. This is his second year in Oswego where he is now the Director of the Marching Band, the Wind Ensemble and the Concert Band. He is looking forward  to enjoying many more years of making great music in the Oswego community!  


Stephen Defren - Assistant Director - Woodwind instruction

Mr. Defren received a  Bachelors in Music Education with Performance Honors and a Masters in Music Education from Syracuse University.  While at Syracuse University he performed in the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble, the “Pride of the Orange” marching band, “Sour Sitrus Society” basketball pep band, Syracuse University Saxophone Ensemble and several saxophone quartets.  His other performing experience includes, the Long Island Pops concert band, the Phoenix Community Band, the Jazz Kats Big Band and various high school musical pit orchestras.  He teaches at Oswego High School where he teaches woodwind lessons, directs the symphonic band and jazz ensembles.  He resides in Oswego with his wife Cayla and their two sons, Joah and Tanner. 

James Peer - Assistant Director - Brass instruction
Jim is a graduate of Jordan-Elbridge High School where he studied trombone with Bill Palange.  He earned an Associates Degree in Music from Onondaga Community College, Bachelor Degree in Music Education and Masters Degree in Bass Trombone Performance from Ithaca College.  Jim marched with the world champion drum and bugle corps “Star of Indiana” in 1991.  Before joining Oswego’s faculty, he taught public school bands for nine years at General Brown and Jordan-Elbridge Central School districts.  He had the unique opportunity to travel around the US, Canada and Japan for two years with the Broadway show, “Blast!” and its sequel show, “Shockwave.”  Jim is thrilled to be teaching 7th and 8th grade bands at Oswego Middle School.  He lives in town with his wife, Allison.e-mail:

Heather Sweeting - Assistant  Director and Percussion Coordinator
Ms. Sweeting, a graduate of Oswego High School. received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Vic Firth and studied conducting with Frank Battisti and Dr. Michael Walters. She received her Masters from the St. Louis Conservatory, and did Doctoral coursework at Boston University. While in Boston she was  percussion coach, manager and assistant conductor of the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble (MYWE) during which time MYWE toured Germany and the Soviet Union, hosted 300 Dutch musicians in concert at Symphony hall Boston, and provided music for several gallery openings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.  She has performed under some of the world's most renowned musicians and conductors including: Piero Bellugi,  Donald Erb, Frederick Fennell,  Donald Hunsberger, Karel Husa, Leon Kirchner, Raymond Leppard, Kurt Masur, Peter Maxwell-Davies, Oliver Messiaen, Carl St. Clair, Gunther Schuller, and Benjamin Zander. Currently she is a music teacher at Minetto School, Kingsford Park School and the Oswego High School. e-mail:



Tom Norton - Percussion instructor

Tom Norton is a graduate of ESM high school. He has an associates degree from Onondaga Community College and a degree in commercial music with an emphasis in Music Technology from Belmont University. He marched with the Patriots drum and bugle corp for several years and now works as an instructor for the Patriots, the Empire Statesmen and the ESM percussion line. Tom is also employed as an instrument repair technician with Midstate Music. Tom is married to Brandi Noyes Norton, an OHS band alumni, and they have two children, Ben and Leah.

Bryan Kern - Percussion/Drill instructor
This is Bryan Kern's fourth year of being a Percussion Technician for the OHS Bucs. He is a graduate of Oswego High school and  recently  graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelors in Cognitive Science. BK, as is he known to kids and staff is currently a graduate student at SUNY Oswego studying computer/human interaction.




Paul McPherson - Assistant Band Director Visual Coordinator
Mr. McPherson, a School Counselor at Mexico High School, has been working with the Oswego Marching Band Program for several years. He also volunteers his time with the Winter Guard programs and other youth organizations in the City of Oswego as well. After Marching in high school, Mr. McPherson spent six years marching with the Rochester Crusaders and three years working with the Liverpool Marching Band. Mr.McPherson received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from S.U.N.Y Potsdam and a Masters of Education and Counseling and Development from St. Lawrence University He lives in Oswego with his wife Lisa, a teacher at OHS,  and two children, Abby and Ben. 

Mike Tierney - Drill Instructor/Winter Guard Director/ Mr. Tierney graduated from Liverpool High School where he was a proud member of the 1988 New York State National Class Champions. He attended Buffalo State College majoring in Political Science. In the past, Mr. Tierney has worked with the award winning Liverpool High School Marching Warriors as well as the Rochester Patriots, a Drum Corp International Division II drum corp.

Mr. Tierney is currently a drill instructor and assistant band director for the Marching Buccaneers, as well as the winter guard director and show designer for the Oswego Visual Ensemble. He is also the drill designer and program consultant for the Mohonasen Marching Band program, the 2006 Governer Cup recipient for the top band in small school 2 division in the New York State Field Band Conference.Mr. Tierney resides in Liverpool, N.Y. with his wife Susan,  daughter Allison, and his golden retriever, Jasper.

Mr. Brian Walls

Ms. Ali Sivers
Ali Sivers is beginning her sixth year with the Band. Ms. Sivers is a graduate of Liverpool High School, where she was a member of the marching band for 4 years. She continued her studies at SUNY Oneonta, where she obtained a degree in Music Industry.  In addition to working with the marching band, Ms. Sivers also works with the Oswego Visual Ensemble.  Ms. Sivers resides in Liverpool and is an Account Manager for Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc.


Mr. Andy Buchman

This will be Andy Buchmann's third season working with the Oswego marching band. A graduate of Liverpool High School, Andy currently attends SUNY Oswego majoring in Philosophy-Psychology and Cognitive Science. Andy is also an avid fan of the pageantry arts, having marched in the NYSFB, the NYS percussion circuit, and DCA.

Color Guard


Ryan Bronner

Shannon O'Mara

Shannon graduated in 2007 from Cicero-North Syracuse High School where she marched in the marching band for four years and the winter guard for five years. She finished her Bachelor's Degree at SUNY Oswego in May 2011, and is currently enrolled in the Literacy Education Graduate Program at SUNY Oswego. She has been working with the Oswego Marching Band and Oswego Visual Ensemble since 2008. 

Alumni Directors

William J. Palange - Consultant, Mentor Extraordinaire
Former Director of Oswego High School Marching Band
Mr. Palange is a graduate of West Genesee High School. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Miami. His graduate studies include Ithaca College, SUNY Potsdam, and Syracuse University. Others duties include OHS Wind Ensemble and the OHS Concert Band. Mr. Palange retired from the OHS district in 2010 but continues to assist our program!
"I will assume that anyone interested enough to read this will also appreciate the depth of commitment people involved with marching bands make. To that end, I would like to sincerely thank the families of our staff members. I can't say that I have ever enjoyed working with a group of people more than I have working with our staff. It is a most-dedicated group of people who put the kids in the band first. It is a pleasure for me to have worked side-by-side with them, and I respect their talents as well as their tremendous dedication to our program and our community. Their families have given up just as much, as I know the endless hours away from home can get "old" very quickly. I thank you for your support, your encouragement and your enthusiasm. B. Palange

Other Alumni directors include Mr. Anthony Joseph and Mr. Edward S. Lisk


Mr. Joseph and Mr. Bill Martin -Voices of the "Pageant of Champions"