Brass Instructor and Front Ensemble
Rossi DiBenedetto is the Director of Bands for Mandeville High School. Prior to Mandeville, Mr. DiBenedetto received his master’s degree in Percussion Performance at Southeastern Louisiana University. While attending Southeastern, Mr. DiBenedetto was the graduate assistant. His duties included Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Basketball Band, Percussion Methods, and World Music. Prior to Southeastern, Mr. DiBenedetto taught instrumental music for four years in Ohio at Newark High School and Mount Gilead Schools. In Newark, Mr. DiBenedetto’s bands went to state in all areas and received a superior rating in the state marching band finals. Prior to Newark, Mr. DiBenedetto was the Band Director for Mount Gilead Schools and taught grades 6th-12th. While at Mount Gilead his marching and concert band programs reached the state level. The marching band won Best Overall and Grand Champion awards many times during those years.
Mr. DiBenedetto received his Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Akron. While at Akron, Mr. DiBenedetto was the percussion instructor for three “AA” bands in the area. All percussion sections won best percussion awards throughout these years.
Mr. DiBenedetto is in charge of the Mandeville High School Skipper Marching Band and Concert Programs. He also teaches Jazz Band and Percussion Class. Mr. DiBenedetto was selected by fellow teachers as the 2017-2018 Mandeville High Teacher of the Year.
Mandeville High School Band
Presented by: Mandeville High School Band Boosters, Inc.
Joshua Stearman is the Assistant Director of Bands at Mandeville High School. Prior to Mandeville, Mr. Stearman served as the Director of Bands at Delcambre High School teaching grades 6-12. At Delcambre, his marching band frequently earned Sweepstakes awards, and the Symphonic Band earned sweepstakes awards at the District and State Concert Assessments. Mr. Stearman is a recipient of the Louisiana Music Educators Association Outstanding Young Music Educator award. Mr. Stearman earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree at Louisiana State University where he studied percussion under Brett Dietz and conducting under Dennis Llinás. Mr. Stearman is a graduate of Slidell High School, and has performed with the LSU Wind Ensemble, LSU Symphony Orchestra, Hamiruge: the LSU Percussion Group, the Acadian Wind Symphony, and the National Community Band. Mr. Stearman currently serves at secretary of the District IX Band Directors Association.
Jakki Kalogridis began her dance training at the age of three at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. She discovered her passion for colorguard in high school and began teaching and choreographing colorguard for stage, field, and floor in 1999. She trained and performed with Tarheel Sun Drum and Bugle Corps, Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps (DCI 7th place finalists in 2001), Aria Winterguard, and First Flight Winterguard (WGI World Class finalists in 2010). After receiving her BFA in Design with a minor in Dance from UNC Greensboro, she returned as a graduate student to continue her studies in Dance.
Jakki taught, choreographed and designed for colorguard and winterguard programs of all levels around North Carolina, including Trinity High School, Chapel Hill High School, West Forsyth High School, High Point Central High School, Eastern Alamance High School, Western Alamance High School, McMichael High School, Williams High School, CE Jordan High School, and Cedar Ridge High School. She taught colorguard clinics for various other programs around North Carolina, including Duke University Band Day, and co-founded and directed an independent winterguard, The Proposition.
Jakki relocated to New Orleans in 2013, and has since had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing for the Denham Springs High School Winterguard and the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps Colorguard. She founded the New Orleans Spin Club parading Krewe in 2015, which strives to make colorguard fun and accessible for all ages and skill levels. Jakki currently teaches colorguard classes and workshops, and performs colorguard arts choreography professionally on stages around New Orleans.
A graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, I have been spinning since 2005 through High School, College, and multiple Independent Groups. I have been teaching at Mandeville since our "Evil in the Mirror" winterguard show in 2014. I am also an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and Albany High School. Whenever I am not doing Colorguard I am a Mom of a little toddler named Leif!
Colorguard is an amazing sport I am very proud to be a part of. After graduating College with a Bachelors in Social Work, it has been a wonderful surprise in my life to be able to be a full time Colorguard instructor.
My favorite part of being involved with Colorguard is the constant ability to meet new people and build new friendships, all while performing and expressing yourself through spinning!
A Northshore native, Justin Dardenne is a graduate of St. Paul’s High School. He is an Honors graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. While at Southeastern, Justin performed with various groups including the Southeastern Wind symphony, Jazz Band, Saxophone Quartet, the Opera, and various other ensembles. He is a professional musician who plays in the Covington, Mandeville area. Justin student taught at Mandeville Junior High and is currently teaching at Carolyn Park Middle School and Lake Harbor Middle School.