Meet the Staff

Jeremy Kunkel

Jeremy Kunkel

Director

Jeremy Kunkel has over 30 years of percussion experience and is the founder of the Pan Outreach program and Pan-handlers Steel Drum Band. Jeremy developed a passion for steel pan while completing the Bachelor of Music Education Degree program at The University of Memphis on full scholarship, and is thrilled to be leading a program that combines music education and pan. Jeremy has a long history of involvement with many renowned performance ensembles including The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Tony and Emmy award-winning Broadway production, Blast!. As an active educator, arranger, and clinician Jeremy has numerous championships and professional accolades to his credit. He is most proud of the many students he’s taught that have gone on to pursue successful music careers of their own.

Jeremy Kunkel is a native of Minnesota, and currently resides in Northfield with his wife and 2 children.

Matt Clarke

Matt Clarke

Educator

Matt Clark is a Performer, Music Educator, and Sound Technician. He received his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2017, and an undergraduate in performance and education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He performs with the Pan-handlers steel drum band and the Renegade Ensemble which performs contemporary music. He is currently the assistant band director at St. Francis High School and percussion instructor at Farmington High, Buffalo High, and Brooklyn Park Schools. Matt is also very excited to be directing Tin Cups, the newest ensemble to Pan-handlers.

Christopher Belich

Christopher Belich

Educator

Christopher Belich is a native of Duluth, MN, and graduated from The College of St. Scholastica with a B.A. in Percussion Performance focusing largely on steel pan performance and composition. Working as a freelance percussionist, Chris has experience both in performing professionally and teaching privately. He has also traveled to Trinidad on several occasions, resulting in firsthand experience of steel pan in its original soca and calypso styles, as well as a greater understanding of the culture it was born out of.  Through his teaching, he strives to not only educate students on the fundamental techniques of the pan, but to also familiarize them with the rich culture of Trinidad. Chris has been performing with the Pan-handlers Steel Drum Band since 2014.

Sarah Mathias

Sarah Mathias

Educator

A flute and piccolo performer of 22 years, Sarah studied flute under Dr. Melissa Krause at St. Cloud State University, MN. Her past performance experiences included tours with the SCSU Wind Ensemble, world premieres with SCSU, solo festival competitions, Drum Corps with Chops Inc., wedding performances, as well as school and community ensembles. She was a youth supervisor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan, where she encouraged young adults to excel at their art for 12 weeks.

Her range of instruments include flute/piccolo (22 years), trumpet, mellophone (3 years), and piano (15 years). Recently, she has been playing lead pan with the Tin Cups group with Chops Inc. Sarah completed her B. S. in Music Education from St. Cloud State University. She taught at Zimmerman Elementary School (K, 1st, & 2nd graders) along with subbing in that district.

She lives in Ramsey with her husband, Jaydon, son, Levi and dogs – Sadie and Toby. Her interests other than music are: hanging out with her family along with biking, swimming, camping, card making, and scrapbooking.

Jeremy Harvey

Jeremy Harvey

Educator

Jeremy Harvey is a graduate of McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN where he earned a B.A. in music business and a minor in percussion performance. Jeremy is an active percussionist, performer, and educator in the Twin Cities. He currently works with Cloud Cult, an independent rock band based out of Minneapolis, MN. Jeremy has over 10 years of experience teaching private percussion lessons and is thrilled to be a part of the Pan Outreach program.