Dr. Anthony messina

Executive producer

Dr. Anthony M. Messina serves as Assistant Director of Bands, Assistant Director of the Marching Illini, and Assistant Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where his responsibilities include assisting with the 375-member Marching Illini, and conducting the Hindsley Symphonic Band, Women’s Basketball Band, and Volleyball Band. For a complete bio, visit his faculty page.


Stephen Cohn

Co- executive Producer & Co-HOST

Stephen graduated from the University of Illinois in 2019 with a major in broadcast journalism, and he is from Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He now works as a news producer at WISC-TV News 3 Now in Madison, Wisconsin. While in college, Stephen was active in the Marching Illini and Fighting Illini Athletic Bands as a trumpeter; managed the Fighting Illini fan site, The Champaign Room; announced Illinois hockey games on WPGU 107.1 FM; and did sports broadcasting work for the Big Ten Network’s Student U program.


James Rhyne is a junior studying instrumental music education. James is from Homewood, IL and attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School. He currently studies clarinet with Professor Janice Minor and served as a clarinet member in the Marching Illini during 2017 and 2018 seasons. He is also a member of the Men’s Basketball and Volleyball bands. Currently, he serves as a student librarian for the University of Illinois Bands and plays clarinet with the Illinois Wind Symphony and Modern Ensemble. Within the Modern Ensemble, he has played in world premiers such as “Surrogate” and was part of the recording of “LeadSheet.” James is also the president of Group for New music. Outside of music, he is currently one of the Illinois Student Admissions Representatives for the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

James Rhyne

story Producer 


Jake Burrows

story producer


Marcelo Champion

recording & mixing


kaitlyn nelson

story producer

Kaitlyn Nelson is a senior in Instrumental Music Education and pursuing an Art Minor at the University of Illinois. Kaitlyn hails from Plainwell, MI and attended Plainwell High School. She studies Saxophone with the Professor Debra Richtmeyer. She is a section leader for the Tenor
Saxophone section of The Marching Illini and is also part of other athletic
bands, such as volleyball band and Men’s basketball band. She plays
saxophone for Hindsley Symphonic Band. Kaitlyn has been President of
the MI Saxophone Club, is the Editor of SAI, and is a member of KKPsi.
She studied art and Italian in Verona, Italy her junior year and in her free
time enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with friends.


Emmett O’Brien

story producer

Emmett O'Brien is currently a Junior studying Music Education from Elmhurst, Illinois. He currently studies trumpet with Professor Charles Daval. Outside of the Podcast, Emmett is active in the Marching Illini, Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Band Association, and NafME. In his free time, he enjoys running, cooking,
and watching any popular TV show six months after it goes viral.