Instructional & Design Staff

VIPE 2021

Instructional & Design Staff

Biographies are below. Updates on the way.

Mark Gowman, director & battery instructor

Elizabeth Gowman, assistant director & cymbal instructor

Dennis Slater, front ensemble instructor

Rachel Hucko, choreography & more

Visual design by Michael Neubert


Now in his 10th year with the program, MARK GOWMAN, known simply as "G" to the kids, is director of both the Victor Indoor Percussion Ensemble and the Victor Marching Blue Devils. Since becoming percussion caption head and VIPE director in 2014, Victor Percussion has won 5 of the last 8 New York State Percussion Circuit championships, the WGI World Championships bronze medal (PSA, 2017), been a 4-time WGI regional and 2-time world finalist, won two WGI regional championships (PSA), and was the silver medalist for the WGI Virtual competition. In this time, Victor Percussion has also won the NYS field band championship (2016) and two Bands of America regional Class AA championships with the Victor Marching Blue Devils.

Mr. Gowman is the instrumental music director at East Rochester High School, where he has led the instrumental program since 2001 and serves as Fine Arts Team Leader. At East Rochester, he directs the award-winning ER Jazz, the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, 7th & 8th Grade Jazz Band, and Róisín Dubh, the school's nationally-recognized Irish music program. His East Rochester ensembles have been featured at the New York State School Music Assocation's annual winter conference 3 times in the past 8 years. He is honored to have received a yearbook dedication from the students, the Distinguished Service Award from the PTA, and to have been nominated for the Grammy Award for Music Education by HS & district administration.

Mr. Gowman holds degrees in music education and performance from the University of Michigan and the Eastman School of Music. At Michigan, he played in the snare line of the Michigan Marching Band, while simultaneuosly pursuing a degree as a trumpet major and studying with the legendary Armando Ghitalla. He regularly presents professional workshops on music education, Irish music, and marching percussion. These include numerous sessions at the Eastman School of Music, Boston University, and other collegiate music schools; five workshops and one featured performance at the NYS state music education conferences; and the Music Educators National Conference.

Mr. Gowman is an endorser for Salyers Percussion and is a member of their education team, and he has served as a member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board and as president of the New York State Percussion Circuit. When not teaching or making music, he loves spending time in the outdoors, traveling with his family, and hiking, kayaking, and riding his mountain bike.


ELIZABETH GOWMAN has been the cymbal instructor for Victor High School since 2017. A classical pianist, Elizabeth was a member of the cymbal line at the University of Michigan, and has served as cymbal tech and percussion instructor for numerous high school programs. She holds degrees in music education and music therapy from the University of Michigan and Immaculata University, and has been active as a music educator for nearly 25 years.

Elizabeth is a former adjunct professor at the University of Rochester and Finger Lakes Community College, and created the music program for an early childhood curriculum that was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. She has also worked as a music consultant, training classroom teachers in the greater Rochester area, and presenting workshops and mentoring teachers as far away as Wisconsin and Florida.

A Victor graduate who was part of the Marching Blue Devils’ first-ever state championship, she also serves as an assistant director and front ensemble instructor with the marching band.

In her spare time, Elizabeth loves cooking and baking, and time with her family. She is the proud mom of three current and former Victor percussionists, and “Mama G” of all the rest.


In her work with VIPE, RACHEL HUCKO has fulfilled roles in choreography, front ensemble, and dramatic coaching. Rachel is an award-winning choreographer, having choreographed 20+ musicals, show choirs, and movement for drama. She trained in a variety of dance disciplines for 15 years before moving to choreography. As a dancer and musician, Rachel strives to integrate musical elements through movement. All of her choreography supports and contributes to the musical design creating a cohesive picture.

A graduate of Victor and the field band program, Rachel has worked as a music educator for a dozen years. Her choirs have performed around the country, winning top awards in competition, including first place in mixed and treble ensembles at Festival Disney. She is currently enrolled as a full-time doctoral student, earning an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Rachel lives in Victor with her husband and daughter.


MICHAEL NEUBERT was a member of the visual educational team for the 7-time DCI World Champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps ( 2000-2009 ) primarily working with the marching percussion. Michael returned to The Cavaliers in 2014 serving as an assistant visual caption head. Michael has also served as a clinician for Yamaha Sounds of Summer and Music For All. From 2000-2017 Michael also served as the visual coordinator and drill designer for The Miami University Marching Band in Oxford, OH, and taught a methods course for music education majors covering the marching arts.

Michael designs drill for marching bands competing in BOA, UIL, KMEA, ISSMA, Mid-States and OMEA. Michael's clients span from Virginia to Arizona and has designed drill for groups abroad. He also designs shows for indoor percussion, and indoor winds groups competing in WGI, IPA, and MEPA. Michael’s indoor groups have consistently placed among the top scoring groups in all classes. In 2015, Michael designed drill for for Her Majesty's Royal Marine Band, that was performed during their military tattoo tour that year.