Patrick McCarty, Director of Bands

Jason Reznicek, Assistant Director of Bands

Charlie Betzelberger, Percussion Director

Luke Martin, Percussion Assistant

Amanda Sipes, Colorguard Director

Sarah Babkin, Colorguard Assistant

Joel Wagoner, Overland Trail Middle School

Kim Balsinger, Leawood Middle School

[email protected]
Patrick M. McCarty, Head of BVN Bands

Mr. McCarty joined BVN as Associate Director in the fall of 2022 and was appointed BVN Director of Bands beginning in 2024. While at Olathe North, Mr. McCarty conducted the Wind Ensemble and directed the award-winning Screamin’ Eagle Marching Band. He also co-directed the Concert Band, Basketball Pep Band, Percussion Ensembles, and assisted with the Symphonic Band and Jazz Bands. During his time, the ensembles received numerous high rating awards and honors and finalist placements, including the school’s first ever marching band appearance in a Bands of America Super Regional in St. Louis in 2018, and a first-place finish at the Ozark Mountain Marching Festival (Reed’s Springs, MO) in 2021. Mr. McCarty was also involved with teaching AP Music Theory, assisting with musicals, and the full orchestra winds and percussion.

Prior to going to Olathe, Patrick served as Director of Bands at Bellevue East High School in Bellevue, NE from 2014-2017. During his time at Bellevue East, Mr. McCarty directed and oversaw a very active band program, which included the award-winning marching band, concert band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble. The band program also boasted a thriving jazz program, basketball pep band, colorguard and winterguard program, and many other performance and educational opportunities for students. Under Mr. McCarty’s leadership, the band program grew substantially in musical quality, received superior ratings, and the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform the capstone concert at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association 2017 Convention.

Mr. McCarty has also served as the Director of Athletic Bands and Instrumental Studies at Avila University in Kansas City, MO, from 2011 to 2014. There he directed the athletic bands and musical pit orchestra, taught music appreciation, music education courses, and private studio lessons. Prior to Avila University, Patrick was the Assistant Director of Bands at Lawrence High School from 2005-2010, where he conducted the LHS Concert Band, assisted with other ensembles, guided the percussion program, instructed beginning band classes, and helped assist the award winning LHS Marching Lions in several very successful years. He was also the permanent percussion instructor at Lawrence High School from 2003-2014.

A native of Lawrence, KS and Emporia, KS, Mr. McCarty has been an active participant in all mediums of instrumental music, including concert band, marching band, pep band, jazz band, orchestra, and percussion. Patrick is a graduate of The University of Kansas, where he earned his Bachelors of Music Education and Masters of Music Education and was a very active member of the KU Band Department. He enjoyed his membership in the KU Marching Jayhawks, KU Wind Ensemble, and back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances with the KU Basketball Band in 2002 and 2003. Patrick was also a member of the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps in the summer of 1999.

Mr. McCarty has been a band and percussion clinician and adjudicator throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Illinois for several years. He has served as a staff member of Dojo Percussion Independent WGI Indoor Drumline from Omaha, NE since from 2013-2017. He has also become well-known throughout the Midwest for his marching band and pep band arrangements, which have been performed by various high school and college bands around the country, including the Arizona State Sun Devil Athletic Bands and University of Kansas Athletic Bands.

Jason Reznicek, Assistant Director of Bands

Mr. Reznicek has been the Assistant Director of Bands at Blue Valley North high school since Fall 2024. He is a Graduate Assistant at the University of Arkansas studying instrumental conducting. He holds a bachelors degree in Music Education and masters degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Arkansas. During his undergraduate tenure, he was nominated as both the Instrumental Representative and the Vice President of the National Association for Music Education- Collegiate chapter at the University of Arkansas. Upon the conclusion of his student teaching with the Broken Arrow (OK) Band Program in 2017, and spent 4 years as a band director at Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

His experience as a performing member includes, the University of Arkansas Wind Ensemble, the University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Music Works Brass Band, the Ozark Mountain British Brass Band, the South City Winds, and Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014 and 2016 earning the Jim Ott High Brass award and the John Brazale high visual awards in 2016.

With nearly a decade of experience as an educator in the marching arts, Reznicek freelances as a visual clinician, consultant, and instructor, where is clients have earned success at a regional, state, and national level. Previously working for Resistance Indoor Percussion, and the Zephyrus Drum and Bugle Corps, Jason is currently on visual staff with Music City Drum Corps.

Reznicek works as a judge in all venues of the pageantry arts. With regional judging experience in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas, he has judged fall marching band, winter guard, and indoor drumline events that span from local shows to state championships.

In his free time, Jason enjoys time spent outdoors- camping, canoeing, and gardening with his wife, son, and two border collies.

Charlie Betzelberger

Percussion Director

Charlie Betzelberger joined the Blue Valley North Band Staff as the Percussion Director for the 2021-2022 school year. “Mr. B” combines remarkable and empowering teaching with world class percussion knowledge and performance.  At BVN, he teaches, leads and coordinates all aspects of the percussion program, and assists with Middle School Percussion at both LMS and OTMS.  He is an Overland Park native and alumni of Blue Valley North High School.  After high school, he earned a Bachelor’s of Music in Percussion Performance from the the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  At Berklee, he was an active performer, performing with the Berklee Percussion Ensemble, Berklee Marching Percussion Ensemble, the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, and many other ensembles. He has studied with many distinguished musicians and professors including Nancy Zeltsman, Richard Flannagan and Ed Saindon.  While in Boston, Charlie founded his own percussion quartet that focused on contemporary percussion music while incorporating the influences of modern pop, rock, and jazz music.  Since returning to Kansas City in 2019, Charlie has played percussion in many local musicals and performed with groups such as the FMO Big Band and Crossroads Wind Symphony. He is an in demand percussion clinician for schools and groups around the Kansas City metro area.

Learn more about the BVN Percussion Program and Percussion Staff

Amanda Sipes

[email protected]
Color Guard Director

Originally from Wichita, KS, Ms. Sipes has been participating in Color Guard teams for a little over 10 years including her time on the Maize High Color Guard and the K-State Color Guard team. While on the K-State Color Guard, she served as a section leader for two years and performed at the Pinstripe Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Fiesta Bowl. She began coaching the Blue Valley North Color Guard Team during the 2015-2016 school year and has loved every minute! Ms. Sipes holds a Bachelor in Music Education and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Kansas State University, and recently earned her  Masters Degree in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas. In the Fall of 2017, she completed a Music Therapy internship at the Children’s Mercy Hospital, and is currently a practicing Music Therapist in the Greater Kansas City Area. She is always looking forward to the Marching Mustangs season!

Learn more about the Colorguard!

Kim Balsinger

Kim Balsinger, Leawood Middle School

Kim Balsinger join the Leawood Middle School band staff in the Fall of 2024. Prior to this role, she was a middle school band director in the Shawnee Mission School District for 18 years. In that time, Mrs. Balsinger established a culture that allowed students to feel welcome and supported. Her students identify the band room as a safe place to learn, take risks, make mistakes, and grow, because she focuses on building relationships with students and creating an environment of belonging.

During her career, Mrs. Balsinger has been honored to receive a building nomination for Kansas Teacher of the Year in 2018-2019, a nomination for KMEA East Central District middle level band director of the year in 2019, and the Shawnee Mission School District All Star Award for the 2020-2021 school year.

Mrs. Balsinger earned both her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Kansas. Her thesis was based on research involving students’ study of instrumental music and the relationship to standardized test scores. While in college, she marched with the Division 1 DCI group called Southward, which was based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Mrs. Balsinger has adjudicated solo and ensemble festivals as well as honor group auditions throughout the Kansas City area. She also teaches a private clarinet and saxophone studio. She lives with her husband, Dan, who is an audio engineer. Her professional affiliations include Kansas Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity for Women, and Kansas Bandmasters Association.