* denotes Colts Alumni
Don Click is an accomplished designer, adjudicator, and instructor within the marching arts activity and has a career spanning several decades. His drum corps affiliation is diverse and goes back many years, including marching with The Bayonne Bridgemen Drum & Bugle Corps, Suncoast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps, and the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, as well as serving on the design team with the Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps.
Don Click is a co-founder of the Percussion Independent World Class ensemble Music City Mystique. He served as the executive director for over 10 years and remains active on the board of directors and the design team. Touching all WGI percussion divisions, Don has had numerous finalists and medal recipients in his 25 year history. He is a sought-after designer and program coordinator for marching band and winter percussion programs nationwide and continues to actively judge in all areas of the performing arts.
With Winter Guard International, Don has held the responsibilities of being a member of the Percussion Advisory Board, Percussion Steering Committee, and the board of directors. He was inducted into the Winter Guard International Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit Hall of Fame in 2013. Don currently serves on the WGI Board of Directors, as well as on the executive committee as treasurer.
Don’s experience in the music business spans two decades. He began his career leading the way in product development, marketing, and artist relations for Pearl/Adams, then continued with ProMark/D’Addario for an additional 10 years, where he held roles in product management, director of marketing, and education and artist relations. Don currently serves at the vice president of marketing for System Blue.
Don resides in Katy, Texas, with his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Avery and Piper.
Michael J. Miller is a composer, conductor, and educator living in Horse Cave, KY.
His many works for concert band, orchestra, and chamber ensembles are available from Alfred Music, Carl Fischer Music, F.J.H. Music, Excelcia Music, Murphy Music, and R.W.S. Music. They regularly receive critical acclaim including J.W. Pepper and Son's Editors' Choice, Bandworld's Top 100 New Works for Band, and Highly Recommended status by the National Band Association's magazine, The Instrumentalist. Michael's music is performed nationally and abroad, including recent performances at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensemble’s summer conference, and the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s composer initiative.
Before dedicating himself to composition full time, Michael was a public-school band director. From 2013-2018 he served as the Director of Bands at Joe E. Newsome High School in Lithia, FL. Under his leadership, Newsome earned the Florida Bandmasters Association’s Otto Kraushaar award, was named B.O.A. Regional Grand Champions, qualified for W.G.I. World Championships Finals, and performed in theMacy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Before his appointment at Newsome, he was Assistant Director of Bands at Robert Vela High School in Edinburg, TX, and the Director of Bands at Weeki Wachee High School in Weeki Wachee, FL. While at W.W.H.S., he was awarded the School Board of Hernando County’s Hernando H.E.R.O.E.S. Award, and the Superintendent’s Excellence Award. Additionally, he received the National Band Association's Certificate of Merit for outstanding contributions to marching bands.
Michael adjudicates and designs for pageantry ensembles across the United States. He currently serves as an adjudicator for Bands of America, is the brass arranger for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps, and music arranger for Virtual Arts, Inc. His music for college marching band has been performed during halftime at Superbowl XLVIII, as well as during numerous B.C.S. Bowl games. Prior to joining Colts’ educational staff, Michael was a visual technician for the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle corps, a conducting drum major and trumpeter for the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, and played mellophone for the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum & Bugle Corps.
Michael holds a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Syracuse University. As a graduate teaching assistant for the University of Florida bands he guest conducted the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band, taught undergraduate conducting lessons, and was a staff member and music designer for Florida's Marching Band.
Michael is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the National Band Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He is happily married to his wife and best friend, Vivian. When he isn’t writing music or working with a musical ensemble, he enjoys traveling the world and experiencing the food culture wherever he goes.
Mark is a well rounded and accomplished percussionist, composer, and educator that excels in the marching arts. A native of Chicago, he began his percussion education under Bret Kuhn at the age of 12. Mark is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where he studied under James Campbell. Outside of his college studies, he marched snare drum with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from 1997 – 2000, during which time the group was awarded two high percussion awards and a World Championship. Upon graduation, Mark won an audition with the Tony and Emmy Award-winning show, Blast!, and toured Japan as the show’s marimba soloist.
He has had the opportunity to work with many different drum corps and indoor percussion groups, including Music City Mystique from 2012 – 2016. Mark is currently the lead designer and battery arranger for Triple Crown Indoor Percussion.
Now residing in Atlanta, Georgia, he is the percussion director at McEachern High School. In addition, he arranges for several groups across the country and has also arranged internationally. Mark’s writing has been published by Tapspace Publications in The Blue Book Volume(s) 1 and 2, with a new arrangement for percussion quartet.
Sean Womack is a freelance percussion educator, clinican, and arranger based in Atlanta, Georgia. He currenlty teaches at Mill Creek High School, McEachern High School, Tapp Middle School, and Jacksonville State University. Sean received his Bachelor of Science in music education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of Georgia. He is the co-founder and former partner of DoubleStop Percussion L.L.C., a percussion education company in Birmingham, Alabama. He is an active arranger and designer in the marching arts and and is in demand as an adjudicator throughout the country. Sean holds membership in the Percussive Arts Society, the National Association for Music Education, and the Georgia Music Educators Association. He is proudly endorsed by Innovative Percussion and Remo Drumheads.
Dr. Matthew Jordan is currently the visiting assistant professor of percussion at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He is also currently the front ensemble arranger for Music City Mystique, the music coordinator and sound designer for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, and also serves as music advisor for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. Prior to starting at JSU, Matt was the concert percussion marketing manager for Pearl Corporation/Adams Musical Instruments and assistant director of bands and adjunct professor of percussion at Middle Tennessee State University.
Matt has worked as a percussion instructor and arranger with a number of DCI and WGI groups, including the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps (2011 – 2014), Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps (2015), and Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps (2007 – 2010, 2018). He is also very involved at the scholastic level as an arranger for indoor drumlines and marching bands, having written for groups such as Max Percussion (Bangkok, Thailand), Bangkok Society Drumline, Franklin High School, Science Hill High School, McGavock High School, Dobyns-Bennett High School, and Father Ryan High School, among others.
As a performer, Matt plays regularly with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed with Intersection Contemporary Music Ensemble, Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony, Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tennessee Philharmonic. While at North Texas, Matt performed with the world-renowned UNT Wind Symphony, as well as the One o'Clock and Two o'Clock Lab Bands. Matt was the timpanist of The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps (2003 – 2004) and Music City Mystique (2000 – 2005) and in 2004, he received 1st place in both the DCI and PAS Timpani Individuals competitions. Matt has also been involved in commissioning or premiering works from numerous composers, including Nathan Daughtrey, Evan Chapman, Bill Hickok, and Greg Harrison.
Matt also travels abroad frequently, having performed in Mexico, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan. In the summer of 2010, he traveled to Ghana in West Africa to study Ewe drumming. Matt's major influences include Dr. John W. Parks IV, Dr. Robert Schietroma, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford, Paul Rennick, Lalo Davila, Erik Johnson, Leigh Howard Stevens, Christopher Norton, John Feddersen, and Bill Wiggins.
Matt has completed a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, and Bachelor of Music degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Matt is a proud artist and clinician for Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets.
Richard Hinshaw is a visual designer and music educator with 25 years of experience in the marching arts. After growing up in central Indiana, Richard studied trumpet at the Indiana University School of Music, while also performing in the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Since his performing career, he has crafted visual composition and show design skills under the mentorship of Daniel Wiles, Leon May, Michael Raiford, Michael McIntosh, Don Click, and Jay Webb.
Richard is currently the drill designer and lead visual instructor for the Avon High School Marching Black & Gold, who are three-time BOA Grand National Champions (2008, 2009, 2010), with eleven straight top three placements at BOA Grand Nationals (2007 – 2017). He serves in the same roles for the Avon Indoor Winter Percussion, perennial WGI Scholastic World Finalists (2002 – 2018). Richard is enjoying his 17th year working with the nationally acclaimed bands, percussion ensembles, and color guards at Avon.
On the Drum Corps International tour, Richard designs for The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from Rosemont, Illinois (2012, 2016 – present), and the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps from Dubuque, Iowa (2017 – present). He has also designed for The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps from Tempe, Arizona (2009 – 2013).
As a freelance designer, Hinshaw has worked with several high achieving ensembles. From 2012 – 2016, he designed for Gateway Indoor Percussion, WGI PIW Finalists in each of those years. Currently, Hinshaw is the visual designer for Monarch Independent Percussion, WGI PIO Finalists in 2016 and WGI PIW Finalists in 2017 and 2018. Since 2014, he has been the staging designer for the Colerain High School Winter Guard, who have been multiple WGI Regional Finalists, and were a 2017 WGI SA Finalist. Some of Richard’s other top clients include Owasso High School in Oklahoma, Vista Ridge High School in Texas, and Kickapoo High School in Missouri.
Since 2011, Richard has served on the esteemed WGI Percussion Advisory Board, where he collaborates with top designers and instructors from around the country to help shape the future of indoor marching percussion. Hinshaw also enjoys being a freelance adjudicator for marching band, winter guard, and indoor percussion competitions around the country.
Richard resides in Avon, Indiana, with his amazing wife, Jennifer, and their beautiful children McKinley, Coleman, and Annalise. Samples of Hinshaw’s work can be found at his website, www.richardhinshaw.com.
Daniel Wiles has been teaching for over 30 years in the world of pageantry, and has been involved in drum corps and color guard since as early as he can remember. He resides in Avon, Indiana, with his wife Sarah, and their beautiful children Olivia, Aidan, and Brennan. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary english education from Indiana University. Daniel was a member of the Cavalier Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps from 1980 – 1984, and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps from 1985 – 1989.
For the last 20 years, he has been the Visual and Program Coordinator and Color Guard Director for Avon High School. Avon is the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Bands of America Grand National Champion and has been in the Top Three since 2007! Avon High School is also the 2009, 2018, and 2019 WGI Scholastic World Champion and has been in the Scholastic World Top Five since 2002!
Daniel Wiles is the artistic director for The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps and has been for the past four years. He helped orchestrate the ascension of the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps as their visual coordinator from 2003 – 2008, and assisted in putting The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps back in finals as their visual coordinator from 2008 – 2010. In 2012, Daniel was the visual coordinator and drill designer for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps. From 2002 – 2004, Daniel served as a member of the WGI instructor task force. He has been a member of the WGI Advisory board for over 25 years! In 2019, Daniel was honored to be elected into the WGI Hall of Fame!
Tony Lemonds joins the team with the expertise of electronic sound design. With a variety of marching percussion and sound design knowledge, he has taught, composed, and designed as a freelance instructor for various groups at all levels and continues to do so in his free time now. Tony has worked with Atlanta Quest (2017 – 2019), Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps (2016), Forsyth Central High School, and many more.
During Tony's career as a performer, he was a member of the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps (2009 – 2010), Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps (2012), and Music City Mystique (2011 – 2014).
He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, working with Cisco WebEx at ServiceSource, while still designing for various marching groups in his off time.
Chad Miller is a tuba player/multi-instrumentalist and brass instructor from Northwestern Indiana and has worked with several successful Indiana high school music programs throughout the past 14 years, including Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana, and Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana. He also teaches a full private studio and serves as a clinician for area middle and high school bands.
Chad graduated from Indiana University South Bend with a Bachelor of Arts in music composition with a focus on tuba performance. He began his drum corps career as a performing member with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps in 1997 – 1999 and served on brass educational staffs at The Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps and Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, as well as the 2001 Division 3 World Champion Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps, where he served as the brass caption head and arranger.
Chad has composed and arranged for many genres of music and continues performing on a regular basis with multiple groups in the Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan areas. His experience performing in diverse settings from symphonic bands to New Orleans Funk and Blues bands continues to inform his approach to brass playing and music in general.
Chad is passionate about teaching and mentoring musicians of all levels, from beginners to professionals. He takes a hands-on approach to fostering success in each individual while also emphasizing technical proficiency and performance quality.
Justin Diaz currently resides in the Orlando, Florida metro area and works as a freelance trumpeter and educator. Having studied under John Almeida at the University of Central Florida, he regularly performs with local jazz, latin, rock, and pop groups, including the Main Street Philharmonic at Walt Disney World. He began playing the trumpet in 1999 and has been involved in the marching arts since 2002, beginning with high school band and extending through college marching band, as well as drum corps.
Justin is an alumnus of the Magic of Orlando Drum & Bugle Corps (2005), The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps (2007), and the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps (2009). He has been instructing local high school bands for the last ten seasons, including University High School, Winter Park High School, and Freedom High School. At the collegiate level, Justin served on the instructional staff for the University of Central Florida Marching Knights for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He also serves as a guest clinician and private lessons teacher for middle and high schools in the area. Currently, he instructs the brass section at Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Florida.
Matthew Lagarde received his Bachelor of Arts of music education from the University of Southern Maine and received his Master of Music in trumpet performance from Boston University. His main teachers included Betty Rines, Trent Austin, and Terry Everson.
Matthew is a high school and middle school band director, and middle school chorus director, with the Somersworth School District in Somersworth, New Hampshire. The music program has grown to now include multiple jazz ensembles in the middle and high school, select choir in the middle school, and a young and flourishing high school marching band. Outside of school, Matthew has taught in several summer programs. He spent a number of summers with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps and 7th Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps. He was assistant to Terry Everson at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and has been the trumpet instructor at the Southern Maine Music Academy for a number of years. He has also spent two summers in Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Days in the Arts, a weekly summer program focused on bringing Massachusetts students to the arts of Tanglewood.
Along with university ensembles at University of Southern Maine and Boston University, Matthew has performed with groups such as the Portland Jazz Orchestra, Maine State Music Theatre, the New England Brass Band, the Ogunquit Playhouse, and the Tanglewood Music Center. He is currently performing as a freelance trumpet player, mostly around Portland, Maine. You can also see him perform frequently with the the Fogcutters.
Performer and educator Stephen Lyons hails from Connecticut and is excited to return to the Colts for a seventh season on their brass staff. He was introduced to the marching activity in the band at East Lyme High School and through the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps. During his marching tenure with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, which began in 2001, Steve won back to back gold medals at I&E solo mellophone competitions in Denver and Providence. He aged out as the 2005 "Crusader of the Year." Since then, Steve has worked as a marching and/or music instructor with the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps, 7th Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps, the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, and the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. He currently teaches marching ensembles at King Philip Regional High School and Norwalk High School. During the day, he is an instrumental music teacher at Chase Collegiate School (Waterbury, Connecticut) and the Rectory School (Pomfret, Connecticut).
Steve earned his Master of Music in trumpet performance and artist's certificate in chamber music at UCONN under the guidance of Louis Hanzlik. While completing his graduate work, he earned distinctions as semifinalist in both solo and ensemble divisions of the 2010 National Trumpet Competition, semifinalist in the 8th Concours International de musique de chambre de Lyon, and prizewinner in the 2013 Plowman Chamber Music Competition. He plays trumpet with a variety of groups, including the New Bedford Symphony, the Glens Falls Symphony, the Chelsea Symphony, and the Fiddlehead Theatre Company. He has also toured around the East Coast and Rust Belt with reggae-rock group Echo Movement (Asbury Park, New Jersey) and now plays in the horn section of soul/funk group Bank Street Groove (New London, Connecticut).
David is excited to be returning to the Colts for his third season. Before joining the Colts brass staff, he taught and marched for nine years in DCA with the Long Island Sunrisers Drum & Bugle Corps. During that time, he held many different positions, including executive director, drum major, contra/baritone tech, and marching member. David received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music, with a focus on euphonium performance, from the University of Connecticut and his Master of Music degree in music education from Hofstra University.
David maintains a busy teaching schedule as a full-time low brass teacher and marching band instructor. He works and consults with several competitive and non-competitive bands on Long Island and in Connecticut.
An expert in the Breathing Gym, David has spent time with Sam Pilafian, as well as other Breathing Gym experts. He is excited to bring his knowledge base in this area, as well as euphonium and tuba, to the Colts team.
Kara Metzger is currently a graduate student at University of Minnesota Duluth. She is a graduate assistant within the band department. Her responsibilities include assisting with the marching band, pep band, concert band, and honors band festivals. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in music education degree. Kara studies in the low brass studio, primarily on tenor/bass trombone, but also performs other low brass instruments. She currently performs in the UMD Wind Ensemble and UMD Trombone Quartet. In addition to graduate school, Kara currently is on the board of directors and is the business manager for the Milwaukee Festival Brass Band in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Formerly, Kara was the director of bands at Whitman Middle School and associate director of bands at West High School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and was responsible for middle school concert bands, jazz ensembles, and assisted with all high school ensembles. Kara is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with an instrumental/general music education degree and an adaptive music certification.
In the marching arts, Kara is an alumna of the Colts and marched from 2011 - 2015. She spent three years in the baritone/euphonium section and two years as a drum major. Since aging out in 2015, she has spent four years on Colt Cadets staff and two years with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. Kara's first year with Colt Cadets was spent as a brass and visual technician. Since 2017, she has been in the role of Colt Cadets brass caption head. Kara is excited to take on her new role as a brass technician with the Colts for the 2020 season!
Josh Nelson has been involved in DCI and WGI for the last 20 years. An active teacher, arranger, adjudicator, and clinician, Josh is the driving force behind Music City Mystique, eight time WGI World Champion percussion ensemble based out of Nashville, Tennessee. He has been involved with McM since 2000 and held the role of executive director since 2006. In addition to his role at McM, he also serves as percussion director at Stewart's Creek Middle and High School in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Josh holds a music education degree from East Tennessee State University, where he studied under Dr. Rande Sanderbeck. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Meagan, and their two, dogs Obi and Porkchop.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Matthew Howell has been an active percussionist since 1997. His performance credentials include membership within world class organizations in both WGI and DCI, including Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps and Gateway Indoor. Matthew also performed in the University of Memphis PASIC marching ensembles in 2004 and 2006, and was a charter member of the Nation Basketball Associations’ (NBA) Memphis Grizzlies Drumline. Matthew has worked with multiple world class organizations, including Gateway Indoor, Tyler Junior College, Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, and the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. Matthew was most recently the percussion director at North Shore Senior High School in Houston, Texas.
Matthew is currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is the percussion director at Alpharetta High School. He is an active percussion arranger, clinician, and visual designer for multiple marching bands, winter guards, and indoor percussion ensembles across the country.
Ben is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and has been active in the marching arts since 2012. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in music industry studies. Ben’s member experience includes Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps, Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, and Music City Mystique. He earned his first DCI World Championship in 2013 and his second championship in 2016, while also earning the Bluecoats visual performer of the year award. He won a WGI World Championship as the battery section leader of Music City Mystique in 2017. Ben was a snare tech for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps from 2017 – 2018.
After earning his degree, Ben relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, and currently works for the customer service team at Pearl Drums. Ben is a snare technician for Mystique and a member of the Tennessee Titans Blue Crew Quad line.
Pierson Gilreath is originally from Robertsdale, Alabama, and currently lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he is finishing a degree in music education at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has performed in numerous collegiate ensembles, including the wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, steel band, and was section leader for the Pride of Mississippi Drum Line for several years. Pierson's marching experience includes two seasons with Music City Drum & Bugle Corps and aging out with the 2017 Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. He has taught many ensembles over the years, including two years at South Jones High School, three years at ELITE Independent, and two years at Music City Drum & Bugle Corp. Pierson is extremely excited to join the percussion staff at the Colts for the 2020 season!
Austen White is a percussion educator and designer based in Katy, Texas. He recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in May of 2020. Austen is currently involved on percussion staff at Seven Lakes High School, as well as Cinco Ranch High School and is teaching private lessons around the area. Austen's member experience includes Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, Colts Drum & Bugle Corps, Guardians Drum & Bugle Corps, and Monarch Independent Percussion. His most intensive studies came under the direction of Mike Jackson, Veronica Wicks, Taha Ahmed, Brad Meyer, and Benjamin Pyles.
Raised in Carrollton, Georgia, Daniel is currently a graduate assistant at Boise State University, pursuing a Master’s in Music Education. While at BSU, he assists Dr. Joe Tornello with the athletic band programs. Daniel earned his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. While at Jacksonville State, he marched with the Marching Southerners and participated in the university's chamber winds, wind ensemble, steel drum ensemble, percussion ensemble, latin ensemble, and was also the principal player for their symphonic band. Daniel, most recently, was the battery coordinator at Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps. This will be his first summer on staff at the Colts. Daniel is an active, educator of percussion, having taught at many scholastic and independent ensembles in Georgia, Alabama, and Idaho.
Daniel started his formal marching career in 2012 where he played cymbals at Jacksonville State, then moved to be section leader of the bassline from 2013 – 2016. He marched in the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps bassline in 2013, later earning the Percussion Rookie of the Year award. Thereafter, Daniel performed with the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps during the summers of 2014 and 2015. During the winters of 2013, 2014, and 2015 he had the experience of marching in the bassline at Atlanta Quest. Daniel served as the bass drum section leader during his final seasons with both The Cavaliers and Atlanta Quest. While marching, Daniel has had the privilege of studying under some of the percussion community’s foremost experts, such as Josh Robichaux, Clint Gillespie, Dr. John Cypert, Will Campbell, Dr. Thomas McCutchen, Tim Greene, Joe Hobbs, Eric Ridenour, Russell Wharton, Alan Sears, Lee Beddis and Michael Mcintosh.
Taylor Ransom has spent over a decade in the marching arts as a performer, educator, arranger, and designer. Residing near Athens, Georgia, he currently serves as program coordinator and battery arranger for Equinox Percussion. He has also worked with Flowery Branch High School in Hall County, Georgia, since 2012 as a percussion instructor and program coordinator.
Taylor's previous teaching experience includes teaching visual and bass drum at Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps and at Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps. As a marching member, he performed with The University of Georgia, Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps, and Music City Mystique.
Taylor is a graduate of the University of Georgia, earning a bachelor's degree in music composition and a music business certificate. Taylor studied percussion under Mr. Timothy K. Adams, Jr., composition under Dr. Adrian Childs, and music business under Mr. David Barbe.
Danielle began her marching career in 2009 at George Mason University Indoor as a charter member. She continued to march with the organization until 2012. In 2013 and 2014, Danielle marched Gateway Indoor, based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Her DCI experience includes Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012. Danielle’s teaching career includes Gateway Indoor from 2015 – 2017, Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps 2015, George Mason University Indoor 2018 – present, and Colts Drum & Bugle Corps 2019 – present.
Danielle is excited for the opportunity to continually grow the cymbal community with the Colts, while highlighting their unique contributions to this activity.
Meagan Nelson currently lives in Old Hickory, Tennessee, where she is starting her first year as director of bands at Bellevue Middle School. From 2010 – 2019, Meagan served as director of bands at Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, Tennessee. She currently arranges for Stewarts Creek High School.
Meagan is the front ensemble supervisor for Music City Mystique. Previously, she served as front ensemble caption head from 2010 – 2015, front ensemble tech staff from 2006 – 2009, and as a marching member and section leader from 2002 – 2005.
Meagan worked with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from 2011 – 2014 and the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps from 2017 – 2018. She has also worked with and arranged for several front ensembles in the Middle Tennessee area, including (but not limited to) Independence High School, Centennial High School, and Brentwood High School.
Meagan attended the University of Northern Colorado, East Tennessee State University, and she received her bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she studied percussion with Rande Sanderbeck, Lalo Davila, and Andy Smith.
Konstantine Vlasis holds a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Music in musicology from the University of Tennessee. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at New York University. In addition to his writings on Icelandic music and the Anthropocene, Konstantine continues to perform and teach music. As a past DCI performer, Konstantine served as timpanist for the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps (2012). Additionally, he has worked with marching arts organizations including the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps, and Triple Crown Indoor Percussion. Konstantine is excited to be part of the 2020 Colts percussion team and hopes to steward the community's mission of using "music and excellence to teach each other about success in life."
John Gaal is a percussion specialist originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and now residing in Fort Worth, Texas. He holds a Master of Music in percussion performance from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Music in orchestral performance from Bob Jones University.
John is very active in the marching arts. Having played with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps (2013, 2014, 2015) and Music City Mystique (2015 & 2016), John had the opportunity to help Music City Mystique secure their eighth Independent World championship win in 2017. Since his time on the East Coast, John has moved to Dallas, Texas where he teaches Vigilantes Indoor Percussion and other groups within the area.
Currently John is an educator in the Dallas area: teaching as the assistant percussion director at Southwest High School, teaching private lessons at three pyramid schools around the community, and freelancing. This will be John’s first year with the Colts.
Kyle Hammack began his percussion career in his hometown of Round Rock in Austin, Texas. He became a member of the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014 and performed with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps from 2015 – 2019, winning the organizations first championship title in 2016.
After graduating high school, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work for Innovative Percussion in manufacturing and was a member of the Music City Mystique for the 2016, 2017, 2019. Kyle will also return for the 2020 season with McM. In 2017, McM won their eighth gold medal. Kyle is currently pursuing a music education degree at Middle Tennessee State University, with his most notable instructors being Lalo and Julie Davila, Dr. Brian Mueller, Dr. Matt Jordan, Brad Palmer, Dr. Ryan Kilgore, Allen Justus, Craig Loeffler, Meagan Nelson, and Rob Pastor.
Fernando Rodriguez began his color guard career as a member of the North Shore High School Color Guard in Houston, Texas, from 2008 – 2011. In 2011, he continued to pursue his love for color guard as a member of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps and was a captain in 2013. After those short 3 years, he then went on to march with the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps for their 2014 season. Apart from drum corps, Fernando also performed during the winter guard season with Cypress Independent in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
In 2015, he decided to begin to share his love for the activity as an educator for several high school, independent, and drum corps color guard programs throughout the country. Also in 2015, he became, and is currently, the color guard director at Clear Brook High School where he is a three time Texas Color Guard Circuit State Champion, a UIL State Marching contest qualifier, and a BOA Regional finalist. During the winter seasons of 2015 - 2019, Fernando also served on the staff for his alma mater and 8 time world class WGI finalist, Cypress Independent. Most recently, he has served in the role as the flag technician for the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle corps in 2018 and 2019.
Fernando is now looking forward to being the color guard caption head for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. He hopes to assist today’s performers in the refinement of their craft through true love and passion for this activity.
Ryan Page is currently the director of color guard at Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas. In the school’s brief history, the color guard has established itself as a consistent caption award winner at local marching contest and as a TCGC medalist and class champion.
Ryan started her color guard career at Cy Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, in 2004. She began her drum corps journey with Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps from 2007 – 2008. For the 2009 and 2010 season, she was a member of Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, and in 2011 she aged out with Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps.
Ryan has also performed with Code Black Winter Guard in 2009 and Cypress Independent Winter Guard from their inaugural season in 2010 through the 2014 season. Ryan was captain of the eight time world class WGI finalist, Cypress Independent, from 2013 – 2014.
Ryan received her Bachelor's degree in English and education from Sam Houston State University in 2013. After graduation, Ryan was named assistant color guard director at Cypress Ranch High School and became the color guard director in 2016. In her first year as director, both winter guard teams were able to medal in their respective classes. In 2017, she was given the opportunity to open Bridgeland High School, where she is an English teacher and current color guard director.
Ryan is extremely excited to work with the Colts this season, and can’t wait to share her love for color guard with its members.
Jocelyn began her color guard career in 2010 as a member of the Westfield High School Color Guard in Houston, Texas, under the direction of KC Michel. Following her high school career, she went on to perform with WGI World Class Finalist, Cypress Independent, in 2015 and 2017. Additionally, she was selected to perform with a group of Cypress Independent alumni at the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show with Lady Gaga. For the 2020 season, Jocelyn is looking forward to being out on the floor once more with CGT Dallas World.
The fall of 2014 marked the beginning of Jocelyn's instructional career. She served as the assistant director of the Westfield High School Color Guard until spring of 2017, mentored by KC Michel and Tom Harrington. Since May of 2017, Jocelyn has been the color guard director at William B. Travis High School in Richmond, Texas. Under her direction, the Travis Color Guard achieved a second place finish at the Texas Color Guard Circuit State Championships. In addition, she has led the program to their inaugural debut as a WGI Regional Finalist. Her latest role includes serving as a color guard technician for the Guardians Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2019 season.
Jocelyn is so excited to continue sharing her passion for the marching arts as a technician for the Colts this upcoming season!
Bryan Ayala was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and started his color guard career at Godwin Heights High School. While in high school, he performed with Interplay winter Guard (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013). After graduating, he marched with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps (2012 and 2013), Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps (2014), and Onyx (2014, 2015, 2015).
Bryan began teaching in 2012 and has worked as a technician and choreographer with multiple programs, including Newaygo High School, Exit 52, Jenison High School, Reeths-Puffer High School, Ovation Open, State of Art Open, Michigan State University, Lake Orion High School, Enso Open, Legends Drum & Bugle Corps, and Plymouth Canton World. Bryan has also been a clinician for MCGC, OIPA, and Onyx.
Bryan currently resides in Vero Beach, Florida, and is the color guard director at Sebastian River High School. While he spends a majority of his time working with the color guard program, he also enjoys playing video games, working out, visiting theme parks, or relaxing at the beach. He is very excited to join the Colts color guard team this summer!
Trace Brown began his color guard career as a member of the Clear Brook High School Color Guard in Friendswood, Texas, in 2012. After graduating high school, he continued his marching career with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps in 2017 and Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps in 2018. Aside from drum corps, Trace performed with Cypress Independent during the winter guard season in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
After graduating, Trace also began his teaching career as a color guard technician for his Alma Mater (Clear Brook High School) from 2016 – 2019. In 2018, he became a technician for Friendswood High School, where he currently still works. This year, he took on the role as the color guard director for Grand Oaks High School in Spring, Texas. Trace is super excited to come on board at the Colts this summer, and give back to an activity that has given him so much!
Alex Serrano is originally from Odessa, Texas, and is a 2013 graduate of Odessa High School. After graduating, Alex joined the staff at Odessa and taught through the winter of 2018. During Alex's time at Odessa High School, the guard received two gold medals in the NTCA Circuit. In 2018, Alex became the color guard director at Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas.
Alex began his drum corps career with the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in the 2013 season. Alex continued to march until 2016, aging out as a member of the leadership team. In 2018, Alex became a performer with CGT Denton for the group's inaugural season, placing second in Independent Open Class Finals at the WGI World Championships. In 2019, the group was moved up to World Class, and Alex one of the captains. Alex will return again to CGT Denton as a captain for the 2020 season.
Alex is very excited to be able to be a part of the Colts color guard staff for 2020!
Jaime Hernandez was born and raised in a familiar city we all call “The Edge of Texas.” Growing up in the sun city of El Paso originally as a percussionist, he discovered the marching arts in 2010 as a color guard member for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. Pursuing his newfound color guard career, he performed with the corps from 2010 – 2013. In 2015, he aged out with Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps. During the winter season, he has been involved with many performances at the WGI Dayton Arena, including Cypress Independent 2013, America's Independent 2014 and 2015, and Pride of Cincinnati in 2016, 2017, and 2018, placing first in WGI Independent World Class Finals in 2016 and 2017.
He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, and works as a full-time agent for Amazon. Jaime has taught high schools in both El Paso and in the Houston area, and is now excited to begin his first year teaching with the Colts for the 2020 season!
Abdul Zamora began his color guard career in 2014 as part of the North Shore Senior High Color Guard in Houston, Texas. In 2018, he continued his passion for color guard as a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps. Abdul aged out with the corps in 2019. Aside from drum corps, Abdul also performed with Cypress Independent for the winter guard seasons of 2017, 2018, and 2019.
In the fall of 2017, Abdul decided to expand on his love for color guard as a technician for the Pearland High School Color Guard from Pearland, Texas, where he currently resides.
Abdul is super excited to begin working with Colts this summer and share his love for the activity!
Kevin Monteiro has been active in the performing arts since 2011. His performing career started with Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a mellophone and French horn player. As a high school student, Kevin was given the opportunity to perform with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014. Following that summer, Kevin fell in love with the arts and decided to pursue his performing career as a marching member. Since then, he has been part of many organizations, including WGI Scholastic A Gold Medalist Nova Winds as a featured soloist (2015) and the Jim Ott Award winning Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps (2017).
After graduating high school, Kevin continued playing mellophone and also decided to take a leap of faith and marched his first season of winter guard with Premonition (2016). After experiencing WGI Independent Open Class Finals, he realized that color guard was his passion. From there, Kevin was able to participate with Braddock Independent World (2017), Cypress Independent (2018, 2019), and Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps (2018). With these organizations, he was able to experience WGI World Class Finals and DCI World Championship Finals as a color guard performer.
Kevin moved to Houston, Texas, in 2018 and was given the opportunity to become the assistant director of the Klein Oak High School Color Guard, where he still resides as a full time Instructor and choreographer. He also helps and instructs at The Woodlands College Park Color Guard. Kevin continues to be active as a performing member and is now part of Black Gold World (2020).
Derek Vereen started his life training at the age of four as a competitive gymnast. He continued with gymnastics for eight years and was also a high level performance swimmer for fourteen years. His color guard career started in 2011 with Music City Drum & Bugle Corps. The next year, he was inspired to join Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps and performed with their color guard during the 2012, 2014, and 2016 seasons. Derek has also dedicated six seasons of winter guard to several organizations. In 2013, he enjoyed his first WGI World Class Finals performance with First Flight Winterguard. In 2014 and 2015, he performed with Etude, placing in Open Class Finals both seasons. The next season, Derek decided to move to the Midwest to become a part of Pride of Cincinnati. He performed with this organization during 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons. During this time, he also was given the opportunity to perform in Japan with "Blast! The Music of Disney," for their 2017 and 2019 tours. He has performed twice in Italy for Staib Dance, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, Derek has trained and performed in the aerial arts with Caroline Calouche & Co and Maya Movement Arts. Throughout all of his color guard background, Derek also studied dance education at Winthrop University from 2011 – 2015.
As a teacher, Derek has worked with multiple high school and independent groups across all competitive classes of WGI, including Scholastic A Class Finalist Kettering Fairmont High School and World Class Finalist Miamisburg High School. He also has worked with Independent Open Finalist Phoenix Independent, from Toledo, Ohio, and Independent World Finalist Etude. Currently, he is teaching with Leander High School, West Lake High School, and Cedar Park High School in the Austin, Texas area.
Derek is very excited to experience his first time on staff with the Colts. He is eager to share his passion and knowledge for the activity. His focus is on the education of today's performers, having an enjoyable experience, and teaching students to be the best performers they can be.
Leah Marsh was raised in Spring, Texas, and began her dancing career at the age of six. She performed with North Harris Performing Arts in Spring, Texas, from 1995 – 2004. Leah was on the competitive team and won many national titles during her time at NHPA. She also began training as a teacher by assisting in classes. When Leah entered high school in 2004, she was introduced to colorguard at Oak Ridge High School. She was a part of both winter guard and marching season all four years of her high school career. Leah was fortunate enough to be able to experience her first WGI experience in 2007 as a junior in high school and become a WGI finalist with her teammates in 2007 and 2008. After graduation, Leah went on to become a part of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corp in 2009, 2010, and aging out in 2011. Leah was fortunate to be able to return as staff for the Blue Knights in 2012 as the dance technician for the colorguard. Leah also marched winterguard with Code Black Winterguard in 2009 and Cypress Independent Winterguard 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2019. She also was provided the opportunity to be a movement choreographer for Cypress Independent and the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps in 2018 and 2019.
In the midst of drum corps and winter guard, Leah was also able to maintain a college career and graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in dance. Leah extended her knowledge in different styles of dance when she began to work for Fred Astaire Dance Studios in 2013 as a ballroom dance professional. Leah is a national finalist in the Closed Smooth and Mixed Novice divisions and a regional champion of Texas in Open Smooth, Closed Smooth, Closed Rhythm, and Mixed Novice divisions. She also gained many Top Female Teacher awards at almost every regional competition and Runner Up Top Circuit Teacher for 2015 during her time at Fred Astaire.
Leah recently left her career at Fred Astaire when her color guard heart was re-opened early in 2017 as she was able to perform in Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI Halftime Show with Cypress Independent. Leah is currently the director of the Klein Oak High School Color Guard and is marching with Black Gold Winter Guard for the 2020 winter season.
Jack has been working as a visual instructor and choreographer for over a decade in DCI and WGI. He began his instructional career in DCI with the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in 2008, and has since gone on to work with Music City Mystique, Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps, and the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. He most recently returned to work at Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2019 season as assistant visual caption head. During his time as an instructor, he has been charged with largely overseeing the visual instruction of the battery percussion, and also with creating and choreographing the movement packages for the full ensembles.
As a performer, Jack was a member of the Colts cymbal line from 2005 to 2007.
Jack is also in demand as a visual adjudicator, working for some of the most elite circuits nationwide. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Sarah Rodgers is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University, with a Bachelor of Arts in music. Her experience includes serving as head visual caption teaching assistant with the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band (2017 – 2018) during her time at Western Carolina. Sarah has marched with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps (2017), as well as worked on the visual staff for Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps (2019). She is also a visual technician with Palmetto Indoor Theatre, a WGI Independent A group based out of South Carolina. Sarah currently resides in western North Carolina with her giant cat, Desi.
Conner currently lives just outside of Nashville, but is originally from Portland, Oregon. Conner began his marching career with the Oregon Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps cymbal line in 2012. He continued with OC through 2016 and aged out with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps in 2018. Conner also marched a total of seven seasons of WGI cymbals starting with Oregon Crusaders Indoor and finishing the last four with Music City Mystique.
Conner has taught multiple high schools in the Portland metro area, teaching both cymbals and visual. Most recently, he was the visual caption head of Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Washington, before moving to Tennessee. Conner is extremely excited to be joining the Colts team this summer and can’t wait to get things going!
This will be Ben's first year on staff with the Colts, and he could not be more excited to be joining the visual team for the 2020 season! Growing up in Oregon, Ben marched three seasons with the Oregon Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps. While living there, he also spent two years with Oregon Crusaders Indoor. Ben went on to finish his DCI marching career at the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps in 2018, and will be marching his fifth and final season with Music City Mystique this winter.
Ben has taught schools in both Oregon and Tennessee, most recently working with Middle Tennessee State University.
Jeff Duffy is excited to be returning the Colts visual team this year. This will be Jeff’s fourth season on the visual staff with the Colts. His marching career was spent with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps.
Jeff was born and raised in Quincy, Illinois. After finishing his Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in education at Truman State University, Jeff returned home to Quincy with his wife, Christina, and his dog, Rosie. He is now a middle school and high school band director in Hannibal, Missouri. During his time at Truman, Jeff performed with all of Truman's top music ensembles and had teaching experience as drum major for the Statesmen Marching Band, as a theory and aural skills mentor, and as vice president and choreographer of the University Swingers Swing Dance Team.
Outside of school, Jeff enjoys performing with the Quincy Concert band as the principal trombone, performing chamber music with the Quincy Concert Band Low Brass Ensemble, and teaching private studio lessons. If he isn’t teaching or playing music, you can most likely find him out on the disc golf course. Having been president of his chapter of Phi Mu Alpha, Jeff is excited for the opportunity to continue promoting music in America through the activity of drum corps.
Bridget has acted as an instructor, consultant, and adjudicator for numerous ensembles across the greater Chicagoland area. Prior to beginning her teaching career, she marched baritone for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps in 2012 and 2013 and aged out on euphonium with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014. Currently, Bridget serves as visual caption head and choreographer for the Plainfield North High School Marching Band and Pi Percussion. In the past, she has served as caption head, visual instructor, and choreographer for Crystal Lake Thunder and Minooka Indoor Percussion. Outside of teaching, Bridget holds a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology and works in a middle school and private practice in the Chicago suburbs. She is very excited to return to the Colts visual team for the 2020 season!
David has been involved with the drum corps and WGI activities since 2011. David marched four seasons with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps, aging out as a drum major and a two-time Spirit Award recipient. He has also performed with Atlanta Quest Independent Indoor Drumline (2013 – 2015) on the cymbal line and has continued teaching cymbals and visual there since the 2016 season. Residing in Atlanta, Georgia, David has had the privilege of working with numerous high school marching band and indoor programs across the metro-Atlanta area, including Forsyth Central High School, West Forsyth High School, Lambert High School, and currently Roswell High School. This is David’s first season with the Colts organization and he is very excited to be working with such a talented group of educators and performers. Outside of the marching arts, David also enjoys studying film and videography. He toured with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps as a member of the media team in 2015 and 2016, and had the honor of being a marching arts content creator on YouTube.
Ben is very excited to be returning for his third season with the Colts visual team! Currently, he is the assistant band director at Forte Jr. High in Azle Independent School District, where he directs two ensembles and the beginner brass program. Ben’s DCI experience includes marching trumpet with the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps (2011) and Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps (2013). He has worked with numerous marching bands in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and served two seasons on the marching band staff at Truman State University as a visual instructor.
Ben has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Truman State University with a minor in jazz studies. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife, Laura, and three pets, Ettie, Henry, and May.
As an instructor, Justin Draper has been teaching kids and adults for 15+ years in many performance genres/ages including early childhood (shapes & sounds, creative movement), youth / teens (music & marching, vocal training, musical theatre, technical movement), and adults (technical movement, improv). He has previously worked with Dance 411 Competition & Performance Company as well as Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps. Justin currently serves as Color Guard Director at Fayette County High School, Color Guard Caption Head at Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps, and Lead Administrative Coordinator at Paramount World winterguard.
Being the child of a band director, Justin’s love for music and performing sprouted at a very early age. Originally from Heflin, AL, he adopted the alto saxophone as his first instrument of choice and attended various local and regional honor bands throughout high school, receiving top placements. Justin went on to attend Jacksonville State University and join The Marching Southerners colorguard ('06, '07). Afterwards, he performed with Eastern Shore Independent winterguard ('10) based in Pensacola, FL. Justin was then a feature member of the Atlanta-based Paramount World winterguard ('14, '15, '16, '17, '18) and was honored to receive the gold medal in world-class competition at Winter Guard International World Championships in 2018.
His passion for education and coaching has led him to work in many diverse areas including: Drum Corps International, Bands of America, Winter Guard International, Southern Association for Performance Arts, Southeastern Color Guard Circuit, Gulfcoast Colorguard & Percussion Circuit, Mississippi Indoor Association, StarQuest Dance Competition, Revolution Talent Competition, and Fusion National Dance Competition.
Mike is entering his 15th year of driving for the Colts.
His first year was 2000. In his second year, he began leading the Colts convoy, preparing routes, planning rest/fuel stops, and working closely with tour managers and staff coordinators to ensure a safe and efficient travel plan.
Mike grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. His love for drum corps started in 1976 when he joined the Colt Cadets and played soprano. After an accident in 1977 left him with paralysis to one side of his face, Mike switched to percussion his third year in Colt Cadets and played tenors. The following year he was a proud member of the Colts Cymbal Line.
After high school, Mike joined the United States Marine Corps. His four years of drum corps experience made marching in the Marines a breeze. Mike spent 12 years as an active duty Marine.
Mike's love for drum corps never faded over the years. He finally made it back to the Colts in the summer of 2000 and has loved every year of travel with the Colts since.
Mike has been married to his beautiful wife, Dawn, for over 15 years. They live in Chandler, Arizona, with their two dogs, Colonel and Binky. When not working they enjoy going to movies, riding bikes, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
Parker Thomson is a senior engineering physics student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. After college, he plans to become a test or design engineer for a large company. There, he would help test or design new products for production machines.
In his time at the university, Parker spent four years in the marching band and three years as an active member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. He started playing baritone in elementary school, and he still plays today. His love of marching developed while attending Dunlap High School in Dunlap, Illinois, with the help of his band directors, Jason and Jill Shea. He marched one year (his age out) with the Colts in 2019.
Outside the realm of music, Parker enjoys cooking, programming, physics and mathematics. Currently, he is working on a math research project which involves complex equations.