Our Outriders Staff

Jay Michalak Director

Jay Michalak


Jay was born in Chicago, Illinois, and began his musical studies at age 6 with piano and voice lessons. He started trumpet in grade 5, and his marching career began in the dynamic music program at Marian Catholic High School, in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  He attended Northwestern University (B.Mus. Performance, Education) and was an associate member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  During his collegiate years he was a member of the Northwestern University Marching Band and spent two summers as soprano soloist with the Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps.  He completed his Master’s degree in May 2000, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

On the West Coast, Jay was part of the Lyric Brass Quintet (faculty ensemble at Pacific Lutheran University, WA), the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cascade Symphony, and the Vancouver Island Symphony.  In the Fall of 2001, he moved to Calgary to join the Foothills Brass Quintet, a full-time touring brass ensemble, performing hundreds of concerts every year all across North America. As a trumpet soloist, Jay has been featured with Ensemble Noir (Toronto,) Altius Brass and Kensington Sinfonia. He has also been a finalist in major brass competitions including Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition and the Jeju International Brass Competition.

In 2004, Jay began his association with the Calgary Stampede Showband as the Brass Coordinator, and currently is the Summer Program Coordinator. Jay has also worked with the Calgary Stetson Show Band as brass coordinator, Music Director and Band Director and is also the Director of A Band of Outriders. During his tenure, he has completed many arrangements and transcriptions for field show, concert band, and parade for each of the bands.

Tanis Fioritti Assistant Director

Tanis Fioritti

Assistant Director

Tanis Fioritti was first introduced to the marching band world when she was invited to the Bands of Calgary Spring Concert when she was in grade nine. Instantly she was hooked and decided to attend Bishop Grandin HIgh school so she could be a part of this wonderful community. She began her marching band career as a member of the Bishop Grandin Marching Ghosts where she played mellophone and was a Drum Major for two years. After graduating Grandin she moved on to the Stampede Showband where she spent four amazing years as a mellophone player and as a Head Drum Major for three years. With the Showband she was grateful to have such opportunities to travel to the United States, German and Austria, and to learn and grow as a musician and as a person. 

Now that she is too old to be in the band herself, Tanis enjoys teaching with marching bands around the city. She has taught with the Grandin Ghosts for six years, the Calgary Round Up band, at clinics around the city on the french horn and she is thrilled to once again be on staff with the Stampede Showband as the leadership team co-ordinator. 

Tanis graduated from the University of Calgary with her second degree in Education last May and is delighted to be the new music teacher at a school in south Calgary teaching Kindergarten to Grade Nine Music.