Andrew S. Erb is the Director of Bands and a Professor of Music at Thiel College. Mr. Erb conducts the Thiel Concert Band and directs the Thiel "Tomcat Marching Pride" and Thiel "Tomcat Pep Band." Additionally, he teaches private brass lessons to Thiel students and instructs first and second semester music theory classes. Mr. Erb is an active Guest Conductor, Adjudicator, and Clinician throughout the area, and remains active within PMEA. He has presented lectures and workshops on topics including teaching jazz improvisation, use of "smart music" technology in elementary through college level instrumental lessons, building middle school band programs while meeting state standards and preparing concerts, as well as "things about teaching music that you didn't learn in college but should have."
As an active performer, Mr. Erb has played trumpet with acts such as Marie Osmond, Wayne Newton, Lena Prima, and Ben Vereen. In addition, he serves as the lead trumpeter for Sugarfuzz Orchestra and 2nd Avenue Project, two regional horn-rock bands performing the music of such bands as Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, and Tower of Power. Mr. Erb has had performed with opening acts for Foreigner, Kansas, the Commodores, and Average White Band. He has also performed with the Youngstown Playhouse Pit Orchestra, Warren Packard Concert Band and Big Band, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, the Butler Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Savoyard Pit Orchestra, and the Youngstown Fine Arts Brass Quintet.
Prior to his appointment at Thiel College, Mr. Erb directed bands and taught music in public schools in Allegheny and Mercer counties for 14 years. Mr. Erb also directed the Jazz Ensemble, taught the trumpet studio, and performed with the faculty brass quintet at Westminster College for 6 years prior to his appointment at Thiel.
Mr. Erb holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Westminster College, a Masters Degree in Trumpet Performance from Youngstown State University, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Music. He has studied conducting with Dr. R. Tad Greig and Dr. Stephen Gage. His trumpet teachers include Dr. Stephen Hawk, Susan Sexton, Dr. Christopher Krummel, and Dr. John Winkler. Mr. Erb is a member of PMEA, MENC, ITG, and the Pennsylvania Collegiate Bandmasters Association.
Andrew Erb joined the faculty at Thiel in 2010.
Sonya Lapikas (Majorette and Colorguard Advisor)
Native of Greenville, PA, Sonya grew up with majorettes and marching band as a huge part of her life. Twirling since the age of 3, she was a member of the Centurions Baton & Drum Corp., and competed annually at Nationals in South Bend, Indiana each summer.
Sonya was a majorette and feature twirler at Reynolds High School from 1987-1991. After high school, she attended Clarion University, where she was a majorette in the band for 3 years. She graduated from Clarion University in 1995.
Sonya is currently the Associate Director of Admissions at Thiel College, where she has been employed for 15 years.
Sonya currently resides in Sharon, PA with her husband, Jon and daughter, Katie.