JavaScript is disabled. This site works best with JavaScript enabled


YEA! Office Staff Reorganization: Part 2

Hopkins announces further staff changes effective immediately

On Monday, November 13, Youth Education in the Arts announced the return of Marie O'Rourke to the finance department, and with sadness, the decision of Iris Heady to pursue love and life in Massachusetts after December 21 of this year.

Today, after a midafternoon closed-door kitchen meeting, George Hopkins, the CEO of Youth Education in the Arts has announced the following changes in positions and responsibilities.

Beginning immediately, former USBands Director Rich Hammond will serve YEA! as the Director of Drum Corps and Performing Ensemble Operations.

Rich's responsibilities will be the management and direction of The Cadets, Cadets2, the soon-to-come Percussion Center, and any other ensembles created under the umbrella of YEA! Rich will also specifically serve in the role of director of Cadets2. Rich can be reached at

Completing the Department of Performing Ensembles’ personnel, Melissa Babalonis Barlow will serve in the role of Assistant Director of Drum Corps and Performing Ensemble Operations.

Patrick Duncan will serve as the assistant director of The Cadets, working with Rich and Melissa to prepare The Cadets for the summer of 2013.

On the USBands side, with Rich's relocation to the performing ensembles, Jonathan Swengler will serve as the acting director of USBands for the coming months, after which the intention and expectation is that Jon will be the lead manager on the Band Relations team. Jon is off this weekend to Virginia for the VA Music Educators Convention, and in future weeks he and others will be at many locations including NY State, the Midwest, GA, NJ, PA, CT, AZ and TN.

Melissa Reese begins her second-round as a member of the Band Relations Department, where she has been fabulous, and Nic Broussard remains as a key member of the Event Management team for USBands. Matt Hinchcliff is the USBands fiscal liaison, and as part of this re-allotment of duties, Hopkins announced that he will be taking an active role over the coming months in advising and supporting the development of USBands.

Positions within USBands will be advertised shortly, including:

Regional, State and National Event Manager and Team Leader 

Additional Member to the Band Relations team

For more information on Youth Education in the Arts, go to


All active news articles