Sebastian Bonaiuto is the first full-time Director of Bands at Boston College. Appointed in 1989 to create performing opportunities for both accomplished student musicians and developing players, Mr. Bonaiuto designed and implemented a comprehensive Bands Program. Over 200 student performers currently participate in wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, athletic ensembles, and classes. In addition to serving as the principal administrator of the Boston College Bands Program, Mr. Bonaiuto conducts the University Wind Ensemble and BC bOp!
Under Mr. Bonaiuto's leadership, BC bOp! has developed into an elite, award-winning, nationally recognized ensemble. During his tenure as Marching Band Director, the "Screaming Eagles" Marching Band gained national recognition in the 1995 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and through various nationally televised football games. The success of the Bands Program at Boston College is the result of a program-wide philosophy of setting high musical standards, programming high-quality literature, a focus on individual student growth and improvement, a commitment to nurturing strong student leadership, and maintaining organizational efficiency.
Mr. Bonaiuto received his Bachelor's of Music degree from Boston University, where he studied trumpet performance with Roger Voisin, Andre Come, and Peter Chapman and wind conducting with Robert A. Winslow. He later studied Music Theory at the graduate level at the New England Conservatory of Music. Since then, he has earned a Master's in Business Administration degree from Boston College. Most recently Mr. Bonaiuto has studied wind conducting with Frank Battisti.
Prior to his appointment at Boston College, Mr. Bonaiuto taught music in the Westwood, MA public schools.
David Healey has been serving as Director of the Boston College Marching Band since 1999 and Director of the Boston College Symphonic Band since 2003. As a sophomore chemistry major at Boston College, he founded the jazz ensemble “BC bOp!” and served as its president for two years before being honored with the Creativity Award from the Office of the Dean for Student Development for “outstanding innovation and leadership.” Dr. Healey later served as president of the BC Marching Band, where he played a key role in securing a full-time Director of Bands position at Boston College.
Upon graduation from BC in 1990, Dr. Healey worked as an applications chemist at Orion Research for three years before pursuing a masters degree in Music Education from the New England Conservatory and serving as a brass instructor with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps. While at NEC, Dr. Healey studied with Dr. Richard Colwell and Frank Battisti. Following his graduation from NEC in 1995, Dr. Healey designed and coordinated the Boston College Marching Band performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and later served as Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL. He also served as a music education consultant for the Midori Foundation and the New York City Ballet.
Under Dr. Healey’s leadership, the Boston College Marching Band has revitalized the college game day experience and been invited to perform for the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, ESPN College GameDay, and the Heisman Trophy Dinner in New York City. The Marching Band has also performed Stars & Stripes Forever with the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart and joined the Dropkick Murphys onstage for multiple concert performances of Shipping Up to Boston. In 2013, Dr. Healey guided the Boston College Marching Band through its first appearance in the Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington DC. In addition to his work with the Eagles Marching Band, Dr. Healey conducts an annual concert of the Boston College Symphonic Band at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade.
Dr. Healey received his doctor of philosophy degree from Boston College in 2016, and he remains active as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor. He is an avid cyclist and runner and has bicycled across the United States from Seattle to Boston, run to the top of Mount Washington, and completed the Boston, Chicago, and New York Marathons. Dr. Healey and his wife, Joy (BC ’92), reside in Hull, MA with their five children: Daria, Max, Alyssa, Troy, and Victor.
Tim Leonelli is a Boston-based composer, arranger, conductor, and educator. He currently serves the Boston College Band's Program as the marching band music composer and arrranger, pep band director, and low brass coordinator and instructor.
Previously, Tim was on the faculty of Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas, servicing as lead technician and low brass coordinator, and the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corp from Boston, Massachusetts, as brass instructor and interim caption head.
In 2013, the Boston Crusaders were selected to perform at the 57th presidential inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., and the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention. As a member of the Concord Blue Devils, Leonelli has won three Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship titles (2007, 2009, 2010) and two Jim Ott Memorial Brass Performance titles (2007, 2008, 2010)
Tim holds degress in music composition from the Boston Conservatory (MM) and Berklee College of Music (BM). At Berklee, he was the assistant conductor and principal trombonist of the Berklee Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. At the Boston Conservatory, he was the winner of the 2014–2015 Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble Composition Contest and premiered an original work, "Uprising," at Harvard University's Sanders Theater.
Originally from San Diego County, Tim resides in Boston, Massachusetts, where he has served on the staff of Boston College bands program since 2009. He is a member of CBDNA, ASCAP, and a music adjudicator for USBands.
Karen Sayward earned her Bachelor of Music Education and Masters in Music Performance at the University of Massacusetts, studying classical piano with Estela Olevsky and voice with Dorothy Ornest. Graduate studies included choral conducting with Robert White. Upon completion, she began jazz piano studies with Mike Marra at the Berklee School of Music and the IAJE Teacher Training Institute in Miami, Florida. She has studied theory and improvisation with noted jazz artists Michelle Wier ad Darmon Meader at the Mount San Antonio College in Walnut California.
Karen has had a distinguished career in music education since 1979 as a choral director and arts administrator for various school districts throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Her ensembles have garnered first-place honors at festivals in Toronto, New York, and Florida. In her most recent tenure as dean of fine arts for Windham High School in New Hampshire, she served on a planning team involved in new facilities construction, as well as the design and implementation of a program of studies and curriculum for music, art, theatre, and family consumer services.
Karen has served as guest conductor for the New Hampshire Music Educator's Association Jazz All-State Festival Choir in 2000 and 2015. Prior to this she served as vocal manager, responsible for hiring nationally acclaimed conductors. Karen has been invited to conduct the Nashua and Monadnock Valley Music Festivals. She remains active as adjudicator for the UNH Clark Terry Festival and various state auditions. She is the vocal jazz repertoire and standards chairperson for NH Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Additional professional credentials include keyboardist for area big bands, the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly and Palace Theatre in Manchester, New Hampshire. She is a founding member of the DeCadence Vocal Jazz Quartet. She serves on the music faculty at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Brookline, while maintaining a clientele of piano, voice, and guitar students in her Windham, New Hampshire residence.
Brian Shanbrun is the band, chorus, and music teacher at the Ford Middle School in Acushnet, Massachusetts, by day and a musician who plays the clarinet and sax in pit orchestras, concert bands, jazz bands, and rock bands around the state by night. Highlights from his performing career include playing the clarinet with Guster, performing in the inaugural BSO Onstage@Symphony and his current project as saxophonist in Boston-based DMB tribute act "Crush."
Brian holds degrees in music education from UNH and Gordon College. He was Bristol County "Rookie of the Year" teacher in 2006 and was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award. He has previously served as assistant band director at New Bedford High School and director of the Whaling City Middle School Band. He lives in Easton with his wife and son.
Andre Sonner serves as a percussion instructor for the Boston College Bands program. He works with the BC Marching Band's front ensemble as instructor and arranger, and teaches jazz drum set lessons for BC bOp! Other positions include co-pricipal percussion of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, adjunct professor of percussion at Stonehill College, and percussion specialist for the Newton Public Schools.
Recent engagements include performances with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Jacksonville, Springfield, Detroit, Boston Pro Arte, New Bedford and Traverse Symphony Orchestras. Additional performance highlights include the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Interlochen Arts Academy Violin Institute, Chicago Jazz Festival, and performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has been invited as a fellow to the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen, and Chautauqua Music Festivals. Chamber music experience includes collaborations and premieres by composers including Elliott Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Steve Reich, Gunther Schuller, John Harbison, and Mason Bates.
While completing both a master's degree and a graduate performance diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music, he was the Zildjian Scholarship recipient and served as a graduate teaching assistant. Andre received his bachelor's degree in music at Central Michigan State University, graduating cum laude. Primary instructors include J. William Hudgins, Frank Epstein, Dr. Andrew Spencer, and Guy Leslie.