Marching Band Staff

Nick Zahler, Director

Mr. Nick Zahler serves as the Director of Bands at LILA. During the school day, he teaches five concert band classes, teaches lessons, and instructs Diploma Program Music. Mr. Zahler graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and has taught marching arts extensively with the Osseo High School Marching Bands, Willow River/East Central High Schools Cooperative Marching Bands, and the LILA Marching Band. For more information about Mr. Zahler, see bands.mylila.org/staff.


nzahler@mylila.org --- (651) 464 - 8989 x315

Kiersten Sloneker, Assistant Director

Ms. Kiersten Sloneker is a native of Forest Lake, MN and an honors graduate of the University of St. Thomas with degrees in Instrumental Music Education and Flute Performance. She teaches beginning band, piano, and high school choir in St. Paul. Ms. Sloneker has devoted a great deal of her life to teaching marching band and color guard, and has taught for many years at Forest Lake High School, Osseo High School, and LILA.

Ms. Sloneker serves as the Assistant Director and Color Guard Instructor for the LILA Marching Band. In addition to instructing the Color Guard, she coordinates full-ensemble rehearsal and assists in instructing the music.

Dana Flickinger, Percussion Instructor

Dana Flickinger is native of Forest Lake, MN and a lifelong musician and marching arts participant. Dana has taught percussion for LILA and neighboring schools, and has toured for several years with the Chops, Inc. Drum and Bugle Corps. Outside of music, Dana works for the Forest Lake Area School District as a program aide for their school-age care program. She is currently studying Information Technology at Anoka Technical College.

Dana serves the percussion instructor for the LILA Marching Band, helping the drum line improve their technical skills, musicianship, and marching technique.

Alex Grey, Visual Instructor

Alex Grey is currently a student at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Alex has spent many years honing his marching skills, marching with the Minnesota Brass Inc, Drum and Bugle Corps as a mellophone, trumpet, and euphonium player.

At the LILA Marching Band, Alex serves as the visual instructor, devoting his skills to improving the quality of marching, drill, and body movement of the band.

Emma Grams, Music Instructor

Ms. Emma Grams is currently in her senior year as an Instrumental Music Education student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She has played clarinet for over a decade, and has toured nationally and internationally. She also performed on the world premier performances of multiple new works for wind ensemble and orchestra. Ms. Grams is currently the principal clarinet for the St. Thomas Wind Ensemble and President of the St. Thomas Band Club.

Ms. Grams serves as a music instructor for the LILA Marching Band, helping the horn line improve their overall ensemble sound and individual musicianship.