Denise Sheehe is an alumnus of the Findlay City Schools Music program graduating in 1996. She has had a wide-ranging music career that includes running her own church choirs, hand bell choir, Concert Percussion Ensemble (Aftershock), Field Commander Tech for the Findlay Trojan Marching Band, and the Cymbal and Marching Tech for SHOCKWAVE. She was an intern at Walt Disney World where she performed in the Campfire Sing-A-Long Show at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. She obtained her Undergraduate degree from The University of Findlay and a Master’s degree from Walden University. Currently, Denise teaches reading intervention at Chamberlin Hill and directs the Findlay Trojan Marching Band Alumni Band. Denise is married to Brian and they have two sons Jack and Joey.

Pantasia -- How It All Started:
Mr. Mattis was in his freshman year at Bluffton College (Ohio) when he saw his first steelband at the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Professional Conference in Cleveland. It was 1981 and the ensemble was the University of Akron Steel Drum Band directed by Larry Snyder. They were only one of only a handful of steelbands in this country at the time. From that moment he was hooked!  He knew that someday, somewhere he would have his own steelband.

When he began graduate studies at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) he already knew what his performance document topic was:  The Steel Drums of Trinidad and Tobago.  In September 1995, as Mr. Mattis was beginning his second year as an assistant band director in the Findlay City Schools, and had a meeting with parents of high school percussion students to share some ideas I had for the percussion department, including the concept of a steelband. Almost one year later he was contacted by one of the parents, a local attorney, who had attended that meeting.  He said that two of his clients, life-long Findlay residents Joe and Westelle Browne, had expressed an interest in helping to nurture the musical arts at Findlay High School and asked him if he had any suggestions. After meeting with the couple and their attorney, they made a donation of $10,000.00 toward the start-up costs of a new steelband. With an additional $6,000.00 from various other donors we were able to purchase two of each “voice” (lead, seconds, cellos, and bass) from Panyard, Inc. of Akron, Ohio. This also included all stands, cases, mallets, 12 music arrangements, and a variety of miscellaneous percussion instruments.

As of January 2003, the band had expanded to 35 pans covering 14 voices, a new drum set, and an estimated value of over $70,000.00. We are very thankful to our community for its support of the arts in public education. Without it this dream of a steelband would have remained just that.

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