Our Staff

The Harvard Band is entirely student-run, from the writing of halftime shows to the arrangements of music to administrative work and financial planning. The five members of the Band’s Student Leadership (aka “Senior Staff”) make sure the Band is in the right place at the right time—all the time. All inquiries should be addressed to the Band’s Leadership Team.

Senior Staff


Ja’Karri Pierre, ’25

Ja’Karri is a junior from Boston, MA concentrating in History of Science with a secondary in Educational Studies. Throughout the year you’ll find him hopping between the Percussion section (on bass drum) and the Low Brass section (on baritone). Some say he’ll even pick up a trumpet every now and then! Outside of the Band Ja’Karri helps lead the Harvard College Events Board where he organizes campus wide events like Yardfest.

Drill Master

Sylvia Traw, ‘26

Sylvia is a sophomore from northeast Ohio concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies. In the band, Sylvia plays the flute but enjoys helping paint props for prop crew whenever possible. She is currently involved in a neuroscience lab studying sex/gender differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder over at the Navy Yard in Boston. Some of her hobbies include reading, lifting weights, and playing with her cat, Aslan.

Student Conductor

Oziel Flores, ‘25

Hailing from Santa Ana, CA, Oziel is a junior in Winthrop House concentrating in Mechanical Engineering with a secondary in Astrophysics. He has played the clarinet for 12 years and enjoys playing soccer and exploring the outdoors in his free time.

Drum Major

Blake Bernhardt, ‘26

Blake is a sophomore concentrating in anthropology with a secondary in film/video production. Though he joined the band on mellophone, these days it’s anybody’s best guess what instrument he’ll be playing at the next band performance. In his free time, you can find Blake making late-night CVS trips, stressing about discussion posts, and obsessing over obscure indie-folk music.


Nora Penni, ‘26

Nora is a sophomore from Barnstable, MA concentrating in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology with a citation in Russian. In the band, you can find her either playing cymbals with Percussion or playing clarinet with the Flutinet section. Aside from band responsibilities, Nora can usually be found looking at fish in the Biolabs or getting meals with her friends!

Junior Staff

Besides the five Senior Staff positions, there are over 20 other staff positions to make sure that the finer details of the Band’s operations don’t slip through any cracks. New members are eligible to run for a staff position after their first football season—in fact, most of the positions are held by first-years and sophomores—and it is a great way to serve as a leader in an organization very early in your Harvard career.

Manager’s Committee

  • Assistant Manager – Ameera Rahman
  • Treasurer – Dani Kobrick
  • Communications – OIivia Pan
  • Historian – Émilie Blondin 

Drill Master’s Committee

  • Assistant Drill Master – Alden Codding
  • Photographer – Olivia Pan
  • Cinematographer – Erick Contreras Rodriguez
  • Merchandise Coordinators – Daniel Wilentz

Student Conductor’s Committee

  • Assistant Student Conductor – Ameera Rahman
  • Music Managers – Olivia Pan, Alden Codding
  • Arranging & Licensing Coordinator – Camden Eyre
  • Instruments Managers – Daniel Wilentz

Drum Major’s Committee

  • Trips Manager – Joshua España Lopez
  • Flutinet Section Leader – Ameera Rahman
  • Saxophone Section Leader – Émilie Blondin
  • Trumpet Section Leader – Daniel Villani
  • Low Brass Section Leader – Mei Fujimura
  • Percussion Section Leader – Joshua España Lopez

Schneider’s Committee

  • Social Committee Members – Daniel Wilentz, Dani Kobrick, Erick Contreras Rodriguez
Schneider's Committee

Our Schneider’s Committee (left to right): Daniel Wilentz, Dani Kobrick, Nora Penni (Schneider), and Erick Contreras Rodriguez


The Band fields all types of instruments—from tiny piccolos to huge sousaphones—with each instrument group making up a section. These sections work together musically in weekly sectionals and become close-knit families away from home.

If you don’t see an instrument you play, don’t worry—you can find a home in our illustrious prop crew.

Flutinets Section

Trumpet Section

Saxophone Section

Saxophone Section

Low Brass Section

Low Brass Section

Percussion Section

Percussion Section

Prop Crew

The Band wouldn’t be able to function without our Prop Crew. Clad in white jumpsuits, Prop Crew takes care of a huge number of miscellaneous tasks such as playing Bertha, driving the prop crew van, and, most importantly, making props to wield during the Band’s field shows. Best of all, you don’t need to play an instrument to be in Prop Crew!


Our Director

Mark Olson, Director of Bands at Harvard, served as Interim Conductor of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, guest conductor of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony, and currently is Director of the Middlesex Concert Band.

Olson received his BM degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and an MA degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota. His conducting teachers have included Craig Kirchhoff and J. Robert Hanson. An active trumpet performer and soloist, he is currently the Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Wind Symphony and performs with the New Sousa Band. He is a former member of the Charles River Wind Ensemble, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, and Winona Brass Band. He has studied trumpet with David Baldwin, Gary Bordner and J. Robert Hanson.


Bassoonist Jensen Ling is an active orchestral and chamber musician in the New England area. Originally from Boca Raton, Florida, he is a keen interpreter of a broad expanse of repertoire, from the Bach canon and standard repertory to Gubaidulina and Sciarrino. In addition to holding the position of principal bassoon with the Marsh Chapel Collegium, Jensen frequently appears in and around Boston with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, Cantata Singers, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Odyssey Opera, Back Bay Chorale, New Bedford Symphony, Albany Symphony, Symphony New Hampshire, Boston Philharmonic, and Sound Icon. He has also appeared at the Rockport Chamber Festival and was named a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow for the 2016-2017 Season at Emmanuel Music. He has played under the baton of Ludovic Morlot, Joseph Silverstein, Robert Spano, Gunther Schuller, Maxim Shostakovich, and John Harbison, among others.

Jensen studied at The New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University with Boston Symphony bassoonists Gregg Henegar and Richard Ranti, and with Palm Beach Opera bassoonist, Michael Ellert, prior to moving to Boston. Additional studies include chamber music with John Heiss. For the past several summers, Jensen has served as the Young Artists Orchestra Program Manager and as a member of the chamber music faculty at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Currently, Jensen makes his home in the great neighborhood of Lower Allston, where he lives with his girlfriend Anna, a violist, and their cat, Pig.

Director Emeritus

When Brown bandies came to steal the drum, both future-manager Sam Coppersmith and newly-appointed director Thomas G. Everett unwittingly helped the thieves load Bertha onto their truck. Despite this inauspicious beginning, Sam went on to become a congressman, and Tom has become well-known for his outstanding contributions to the Harvard Band’s past and present.

Since his appointment to the Harvard faculty in 1971 until his retirement in 2013, Thomas G. Everett directed the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Harvard Summer Pops Band, the Marching Band and the Harvard Jazz Bands, which he founded. His musicality has brought the Harvard wind groups to a high pitch of excellence, leading to international tours for both the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band.

Tom is a graduate of the Ithaca College Conservatory of Music. He has held teaching positions at Brown University, the New England Conservatory, the International Trombone Workshop, and the Indiana University Summer School, in addition to Harvard. As a noted bass trombonist, he has performed with the Bolshoi Ballet, the Boston Pops, the Portland (Maine) Symphony, and the jazz bands of Tommy Dorsey, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Ray Charles Orchestra. He is the founder and first president of the International Trombone Association and has premiered in recital over thirty new works for bass trombone.

In 1989 the Hungarian government presented him with their Artijus for outstanding performance of Hungarian music. He also conducted a live program of American Wind music on Hungarian radio.

Tom and Alice “Mom” Tondel have been the spirit of the Band for the past twenty years. In the tradition of Mal Holmes, Tom has always trusted students to run the band. His musical direction and invaluable historical perspective have supported the Band through its lively years to the current band. As director for 30 years, he has befriended and guided generations of crimson-clad bandies and continues to lead the Band in the spirit of excellence and fun. After 40 years of music, Tom retired as director of the Harvard Bands on February 15, 2013.