Director of Bands — Mr. Tom Thorpe 

Mr. Thorpe began teaching at Lincoln East in 2008.  Prior to that, he taught seven years in the Sedalia, Missouri school district.  Mr. Thorpe has taught numerous classes and ensembles at East, currently 10-12 Marching Band, 9th Grade Marching Band, Music Theory, 9th Grade Orchestra, Percussion Class, and combines with Ms. Shively to teach four concert bands.  He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Arkansas and a Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Under the direction of Mr. Thorpe, the East Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association State Convention twice, in 2012 and 2016.  From 2013-2016, Mr. Thorpe served as Chair of Band Activities for the Nebraska Music Educators Association. The Marching Band has grown to be one of the largest in the state, with 250+ members. His wife Amy teaches vocal music at Lincoln Northeast High School and they have two boys, Tommy and Myles.


Assistant Director of Bands – Ms. Nicole Shively

Ms. Shively received her Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in May 2018 with an emphasis in horn. While at UNL, she was an active member of the Cornhusker Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra, along with many other performing and service groups across campus.

At East, Ms. Shively teaches Wind Symphony, Guitar 1, and Music Technology. In addition to assisting with the marching and concert bands, she also directs the Brass Choir and Prep Jazz Band. Ms. Shively is the sponsor for the East Chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.




Del Whitman

Music Department Chair — Mr. Del Whitman

Mr. Whitman is in his twenty-something year with Lincoln Public Schools, teaching orchestras at Lincoln East High School and Lux Middle School and assisting bands at East. As department chair, he also orders pencils, post-its, and piccolos.

Mr. Whitman received B.M. degrees in cello performance and music education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1986, and his M.M. degree in instrumental conducting from the UNL in 1991. He is also an active member of the First Evangelical Free Church in Lincoln, and enjoys being home with his wife, Julie and their three kids, Mallory, Isaac, and Jayne. He loves pineapple, basketball, can moonwalk, and once almost poked his eye out with the baton.