Faculty and Staff

Bona Opatich, Director

Bona Opatich has been teaching musicians in public and private schools for over 30 years.  The subjects she has taught include high school, middle school and elementary band and choir, advanced-placement music theory, piano class and studies of jazz. She became the director of the Motor City Youth Brass Band in January 2011.

Miss Opatich received her Bachelor of Music Education from Michigan State University and was the baritone section leader in the Spartan Marching Band. She received a full scholarship for her Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, where she was the conductor of the tuba and euphonium ensemble and a graduate assistant.

During her first three years of teaching, Miss Opatich was the K-12 Director of Music in De Tour Village, which is in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Following her Master of Music degree, she became Director of Music at Wayne Trace High School in Paulding, OH.  She returned to Michigan in 1996 to teach band in the Waterford School District in the middle school and high school. Miss Opatich also recently directed the Saints Band which is a combination of students from two Catholic Schools in St. Clair Shores.

Throughout her teaching career, Miss Opatich has always been an active performer in many ensembles.  Significant are her performances in Europe with the Michigan State Alumni Band, 1995 and with the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps from Rochester, New York, 2001, in the United Kingdom, 1997 and in China, 2013. In 1997, she joined Motor City Brass Band to play English Baritone and has been a member of the board of directors as Secretary, Treasurer, Artistic Committee Chair and is currently the Education Outreach Chair.

MCBB is active in the Metropolitan Detroit area as well as elsewhere in the United States.  In January of 2001, MCBB performed at the Midwestern Band and Orchestra Clinic in Ann Arbor and in October of 2001 in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  For several summers MCBB was the guest performing ensemble at the Greenfield Village July 4th celebration with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Miss Opatich currently plays Euphonium in Motor City Brass Band and in Detroit Community Concert Band under the direction of Damien Crutcher. She also teaches private euphonium lessons, tutors computers at Oakland Community College, is very active in her church and loves to travel.

Andrew Cicchelli

Andrew Cicchelli has played trumpet since age 11, when he started taking private lessons from Ray Oset. While in high school, he performed with the Youth Brass Band of Battle Creek in 2014 and 2015, as well as the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Honors Band for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in 2014 and 2015. He also received the John Philip Sousa Award in his final year of high school.

Andrew was introduced to the cornet in his first year of attending Oakland University by playing in the Oakland University Brass Band. During this time, he participated in two award-winning performances in the Dublin Festival of Brass and was principal cornet in the 2019 summer semester. While attending Oakland, he also played with the Symphonic Band, sitting principal trumpet for a year, Wind Symphony, and Pep Band. Currently Andrew is sitting second chair in the solo cornet row of Five Lakes Silver Band. He is also finishing his bachelor’s degree in computer science at Oakland University, planning to graduate in April, 2021.




Colin Holstein

Colin Holstein graduated in 2020 from Oakland University with a Bachelor degree in Tuba Performance. During his time there, he was a part of many groups including the Oakland University Brass Band, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, Oakland University Wind Symphony, and the Golden Grizzlies Athletic Band.

Colin began his brass band journey in the Motor City Youth Brass Band in 2011, where he spent 5 years as a Bb tuba player.

Colin has placed in multiple international competitions, and won the NABBA Tuba Slow Melody Competition in 2019. At Oakland University, Colin was awarded multiple Matilda Awards, both for Outstanding Student in Instrumental Performance (2020) and for winning the OU Chamber Music competition (2017). He has also won the MTNA Brass Young Artist Competition at the State Level in 2019.




Jennifer Kmet

Jennifer Kmet is a tenor horn player with Motor City Brass Band.  She has played Horn for 35 years, tenor horn for 22 years.  Jennifer has two wonderful children and an amazing husband, all who are musical.  Jennifer graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Music Therapy, and now is a paraprofessional in a special needs classroom in Wyandotte Schools.  She performs regularly with Motor City Brass Band and on the praise and worship teams at Wyandotte First United Methodist Church (vocal).









Conor McKinney

Conor McKinney is a student at Michigan State University studying materials science and engineering. From 2014 to 2016, Conor performed with the Motor City Youth Brass Band as principal trombone. Today, Conor performs with the Michigan State Campus Band and Spartan Brass. Conor is part of the MCABB administrative team.







Kyle Paoletti

Kyle Paoletti is an award-winning percussionist studying percussion performance and music education at Oakland University. His achievements include Best Percussion at Dublin Festival of Brass, winner of the 2018 Detroit Area Percussion Ensemble Competition, percussion soloist award, performer at Percussive Arts Society International Convention, president of the Oakland University Percussion Studio, published percussion composer, winner of the 2017 Adams Hight School percussive scholarship and is currently competing for the Dora Dawson scholarship. Kyle currently teaches drumset, concert percussion, world percussion, and piano at Red Piano Music Studio. 









Scott Voytush

Scott Voytush graduated in 2020 from Oakland University with Bachelor degrees in Trombone Performance and Music Education. During his time there, he was a part of many groups including the Oakland University Brass Band, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, Oakland University Wind Symphony, and Oakland University Big Band.

In his final year at Oakland University, Scott was awarded the Matilda Award for Outstanding Student in Instrumental Performance. He has also placed second in the MTNA Brass Young Artist Competition at the State Level in 2019.

Scott is currently the principal trombonist of the Five Lakes Silver Band. He also is teaching privately to multiple students, has been instructing the Lamphere Brass Line since 2018, and was the trombone and euphonium private teacher for the Oakland University Music Preparatory Division.






Jaleel Williams

Jaleel was born in Flint, Michigan where he grew up with his mom and brother. Jaleel started taking cornet lessons at the Salvation Army Flint Citadel Corps at age 15. One year later, he decided to switch to euphonium. He studied music at Oakland University then changed his major and earned a degree in business. Jaleel has been a member of the Five Lakes Silver Brass Band for one year and his favorite pieces are: Brussels Requiem (major work), Montreal Citadel (march), and In His Hands (slow melody). His favorite composer is Peter Graham. Jaleel works as a Party Rental Deliverer, loves to play recreational basketball, and he likes to learn about and work on cars.