Mr. Todd Shafer – Director of Instrumental Music

Todd Shafer was hired into the Instrumental Music Department staff in the fall of 2001, after finishing his degree at the University of Michigan in Tuba Performance/ Music Education. From his hiring, he spent 13 years under the mentorship of the past Director of Fine Arts, the highly awarded/recognized Ronald “Buddy” Bibeault. After Mr. Bibeault’s retirement in 2014, Todd was named the Director of Instrumental Music.

During his tenure, Todd has received numerous gold medals for his middle school jazz band and 7th and 8th grade concert bands, and high school wind ensemble at state festivals which have included performances in historic Symphony Hall in Boston and Mechanics Hall in Worcester as part of the “Gold Medal Showcase”. Each year, numerous students from his 7th and 8th grade band were chosen, as well as his current high school students, to participate in the Central District Concert Festival, which consists of ensembles made up of select musicians from all over central MA. Starting in 2011, Todd took over as the High School Marching Band Director and has continued the strong tradition of excellence receiving gold medals in his first three years at both the Massachusetts Instrumental, Choral Conductor’s Association (MICCA) Festival, and at the New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA) Festival, where the band was crowned Division 5 Champions in 2013, winning all caption awards. Also in the 2013 season the Charger marching band won Division A at the Towson University “Bands of America” Regional Championship. In 2015, the BMR Marching Band won Division IV Open National Championships.

Nicholas Marcotte - Instrumental Music

Nicholas Marcotte started his musical career in the Blackstone Millville school district in 2000 as a trumpet student. His passion for music has led him to become a professional trumpet player and an instrumental music teacher in the same school system from which he began.

As a student in Blackstone Millville music program, Nicholas studied and performed under the direction of Thomas Hessney, Russ Arnold, Todd Shafer, and Ronald “Buddy” Bibeault. He also performed in the Central District and Massachusetts All-State ensembles.

Nicholas received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Rhode Island College in 2014. He studied conducting and playing with Joseph Foley, Dr. Robert Franzblau, and Dr. Edward Markward. Nicholas performed in the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz Band, New Music Ensemble, Early Music Ensemble, Chorus, and Brass Quintet. As a member of RIC’s ensembles, Nicholas performed with Byron Stripling, Wycliffe Gordon, Ronald Barron, and Doc Severinson. While studying at Rhode Island College, he also performed in the New England Intercollegiate band, and was seated first chair in 2012. Nicholas is a recipient of the John Pellegrino Scholarship for Brass Students.

One of Nicholas’ most recent achievements with the Blackstone Millville school district was assisting in the success of the Chargers Marching Band in their 2016 season. Along with receiving 1st place in many competitions around New England, the Band also received 1st place in Division 4 Open at the U S Bands National Championship.

Mrs. Paula Ryan – 8th Grade Chorus

Paula Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Rhode Island Collage and a Master’s degree in Music Education from Boston University. Her primary instruments are flute and piano.

Paula directs the Hartnett Middle School Chorus. The chorus travels yearly to the State House in Boston, Ma where they perform a concert for the general public. They perform a holiday concert and a spring cabaret concert. The chorus also enjoys singing at various celebrations throughout the towns of Blackstone and Millville.

Paula assists the 6th grade band and teaches elementary flute lessons. She is also a general music teacher at the elementary level. She has been teaching private flute and piano lessons since high school. She has taught at BMR, Mt St. Charles Academy and Woonsocket High School.

Paula is organist/Pianist and music director at St Theresa’s Church in Blackstone, Ma. She has held the position since 1986. She is director of the adult and children’s choir at the church.

Paula is a lifelong Blackstone Resident. She graduated from Blackstone-Millville Regional in 1985. She and her husband Christopher have a son Oliver who is a student at BMR.