FREE & Exclusive 2021 Performance
COMPLETE THE TOGETHER AS ONE INTEREST FORM
National Federation of State High School Associations
The NFHS is the national leader and advocate for high school activity programs. Within our 51 member state associations, we serve 19,500 high schools and over 12 million young people. The NFHS writes playing rules for high school sports and provides guidance on a multitude of national issues. We offer online education for high school coaches, officials, speech and music leaders, students, and parents through the NFHS Learning Center. We showcase high school sports and performing arts through the NFHS Network. Our goal is to ensure that all students have an opportunity to enjoy healthy participation, achievement, and good sportsmanship in education-based activities.
United Sound, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship. Through our own experiences, we know that the joy of learning in and performing with an ensemble can be life-changing for a child. We believe that all children, especially in the public school setting, should have this opportunity. Our goal is to support individual music educators in creating their own United Sound ensembles through training, support, and organizational resources so that all children have access to meaningful and authentic music education and musical experiences.
SmartMusic is an award-winning web-based suite of music education tools that provide solutions for every learning situation, offering an unrivaled repertoire library, game-changing practice tools, a Sight Reading Builder, the Compose music notation tool, Print on Demand, and teaching tools that include assessment support, a gradebook, custom rubrics, and student practice analytics.
Varsity Performing Arts
Varsity Performing Arts is a division of Varsity Spirit, the leader in cheer, dance, and scholastic band with a mission to elevate the performing experience for all students through camps, education, and events. Through educational initiatives, Varsity Performing Arts works with coaches, leaders, and participants across campuses to develop opportunities for collaborative spirit in school and the surrounding community.
“Together as One” was designed as an opportunity for collaborative performance between cheer teams, dance teams, sports teams, music programs, and entire communities and crowds. This fully arranged, designed, and choreographed performance is available for FREE to any school and coach exploring halftime performances or community performances for 2021, and wanting the opportunity to involve other school or community groups into a larger production.
This program has the flexibility to be performed at halftime for athletic events throughout the school year, as the program is meant to be transferable from field to court.
If 2 opposing teams have participating programs, we invite those 2 schools to perform together at halftime at a game
Groups can work this program into their homecoming festivities as well, pep rallies and community parades
All participants will be invited to a showcase event in the fall where groups can perform Together as One: One Nation
Open signup – No invitations, bids or submission requirements necessary.
The materials are now available! Please complete the form at the top of the page to receive the materials for Together As One.
Cheer Choreography Lead
Hank is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. He has been with Varsity Spirit for 20 years and counting. He was an apparel rep from 1998-2006 before becoming one of the original National Directors of V!Roc Choreography which is still one of his job titles to date. Hank became the State Director for Kentucky in 2012. In addition to these responsibilities he has choreographed routines for high school, college, all-star and the US National Team. He has choreographed over 100 national championship routines for the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship, NCA High School Nationals, and Varsity All-Star over the last 20+ years.
Dance Choreography Lead
Stacy Paydo just completed her 15th season kicking up her heels as a world-famous “Radio City Rockette”. As a Rockette, she has had the opportunity to perform on “The TONY Awards”, “The Rockefeller Center Holiday Christmas Tree Lighting”, the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”, “The Today Show”, “The Chew”, “The Wendy Williams Show”, “The Meredith Vieria Show”, “Michael Bubble’s Christmas Special”, and the stages of both Radio City Music Hall and The Grand Ole Opry.
Director of Performing Arts & Sports NFHS
Dr. James Weaver is the Director of Performing Arts and Sports for the National Federation of High School State Associations. He has been a teacher and administrator at the district, state, and national level. As the director of performing arts and sports Dr. Weaver oversees student participation, professional development, and awareness of performing arts activities throughout the nation’s 19,500+ high schools. Dr. Weaver, earned a bachelor of music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and his doctorate in school district administration and educational leadership from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Mr. David Starnes joined the School of Music faculty at Western Carolina University in the spring of 2011, when he was named Assistant Professor in The School of Music and appointed the Director of Athletic Bands. During his tenure at Western Carolina University, The “Pride of the Mountains” Marching Band has performed as halftime entertainment for the Carolina Panthers (2011), the exhibition band at The Bands of America Southeast Regional in Atlanta, Georgia (2011), the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana (2012, 2015) and the 88th and 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (2014 and 2019). In 2017, he was awarded the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts Service Award. In 2013, he was selected by the WCU School of Music faculty and students as the recipient of the James E. Dooley “Excellence in Music Teaching” Award.
Prior to his appointment at WCU, he served as the Director of Bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Georgia for ten years. As the founding Director of Bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School (2000), the band program grew from its initial 85 students to over 250 members. Under his direction, Kennesaw Mountain High School was recognized in all areas of performance for their achievements at local, state, and national levels including concert band, jazz band, marching band, winter guard and winter percussion. They are a six-time national finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, being named the 2004 Bands of America “AAA National Champion” and a four-time Regional Champion in Bands of America events. In December of 2003, the John Philip Sousa Foundation presented the Kennesaw Mountain High School Band the prestigious “Sudler Shield of Excellence” for outstanding achievement in marching band. In 2005, the band appeared in the 79th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The Kennesaw Mountain High School Wind Symphony performed at the 60th Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic held in Chicago, Illinois in December of 2006.
Mr. Starnes is sought out nationally and internationally as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, and creative designer. In 2016, he was appointed a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Shield Jury. From 2013-2018, he served as Design Advisor for Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, during which time the corps won the DCI World Championship and received the silver and bronze medals four times. Mr. Starnes served as Board Chairman for United Sound, a nationally recognized special needs music education program from 2014-2017. Throughout his career, he has adjudicated for several state, national, and international organizations including Bands of America, Winter Guard International, and Drum Corps International from 1994-2012. In addition to his position at Western Carolina University, he serves as an Education Consultant at Music for All in Indianapolis, Indiana. While fulfilling this role, he serves as the program director for The Honor Band of America, who appeared in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, and will again in 2021. Mr. Starnes was recently inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.
Robert W. Smith
Robert W. Smith (b. 1958) is one of the most popular and prolific composers in America today. He has over 600 publications in print with the majority composed and arranged through his long association with Warner Bros. Publications and the Belwin catalog.
Mr. Smith’s credits include many compositions and productions in all areas of the music field. His original works for winds and percussion have been programmed by countless military, university, high school, and middle school bands throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, South America and Asia. His Symphony #1 (The Divine Comedy), Symphony #2 (The Odyssey), Symphony #3 (Don Quixote), Inchon and Africa: Ceremony, Song and Ritual have received worldwide critical acclaim. His educational compositions such as The Tempest, Encanto, and The Great Locomotive Chase have become standards for developing bands throughout the world.
Mr. Smith’s music has received extensive airplay on major network television as well as inclusion in multiple motion pictures. From professional ensembles such as the United States Navy Band, United States Air Force Band, Boston Pops and the Atlanta Symphony to school bands and orchestras throughout the world, his music speaks to audiences in any concert setting. As a conductor, clinician and keynote speaker, Mr. Smith has performed throughout North America, Asia, South America, Europe and Australia. His music has been recorded by various ensembles and is available on CD and download through iTunes, Amazon, and other recorded music outlets.
Mr. Smith is the President/CEO of RWS Music Company, exclusively distributed through C. L. Barnhouse. In addition, he is currently teaching in the Music Industry program at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. His teaching responsibilities are focused in music composition, production, publishing and business.
Executive Director of United Sound
Julie Duty completed her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. She then taught high school and middle school band and served as a mentor teacher for nine years in Arizona. Julie founded United Sound, Inc. in 2014 and currently serves as the Executive Director, working with teachers, parents, and administrators to bring meaningful participation and inclusivity to the instrumental music classroom. Julie is still an active musician, performing as a member of the Tempe Winds for 22 years, and serves as a member of the Tempe Winds Board of Directors, Music for All’s Advocacy in Action Committee, The Institute for Composer Diversity Advisory Council, and the Midwest Clinic Advisory Board.
Arranger - United Sound
Emily is a flutist and composer residing Kings Mountain, NC. Emily graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.M. in Commercial and Electronic Music with a concentration in film composition. During her time at WCU, Emily composed music for the Concert Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and various student films. Emily's music is reflective of the programmatic style, utilizing emotional aspects of music and sound to create powerful and moving musical narratives.
Emily began volunteering for the WCU Chapter of United Sound in 2017 as a Mentor. As she became increasingly involved in the program, Emily began assisting in writing parts for the New Musicians as well as arranging and composing etudes and pieces for the full ensemble. In 2018, she began writing parts for various United Sound projects, including those performed at the Bands of America Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, IN.
In August of 2019, Emily began serving as a Co-President of the WCU Chapter of United Sound. She continued writing individualized pieces for New Musicians and for the full ensemble using the new UnitedSound font developed by MakeMusic. She continues to assist with writing parts for national United Sound projects.
Starting this fall, Emily will begin graduate school at Appalachian State University with the Equivalency in Music Therapy program in pursuit of her Masters in Music Therapy. In addition to her work with United Sound, Emily embraces opportunities to engage in other composition and musical projects.
Jay Bocook is internationally recognized as a composer, arranger, conductor, and educator. His works have been performed at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2003, Bocook was a contributing arranger to the musical CyberJam, which opened to rave reviews at London's Queen's Theatre. Currently he is working as the arranger for Blast! The Music of Disney, which will open in Tokyo, Japan in the summer of 2017.
In 2003, the U.S. Marine Band premiered Jay's transcriptions of the film music of John Williams at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An encore performance with Williams and ``The President's Own`` took place in 2008. Jay's transcription of Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Suite from ``On the Waterfront`` can be heard on the 2015 Marine Band CD Elements.
In 1982, Bocook was appointed director of bands at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. In 1989, he left to pursue other opportunities as an arranger for Jenson Publications, but returned to Furman in 2000 as Director of Athletic Bands. He remains a principal composer and arranger for Hal Leonard, where he has published over 600 arrangements and original compositions.
Bocook served as arranger for the ten-time world champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from 1993-2016, and currently serves in the same capacity for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps of Denver, CO. In 2009, he was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame, and in 2011 he was elected into the American Bandmasters Association.
Michael Klesch is an arranger, program consultant and clinician for numerous marching bands across the country. In addition to being Musical Director and Brass Arranger for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps (2013 DCI World Champion) he is the wind arranger for the Calgary Stampede Show Band (2012, 2013, and 2014 World Association of Marching Show Bands World Champion), brass arranger for the Arizona Academy (2016 DCI Finalast) and wind arranger for the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band and the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band. Michael was the wind arranger for the Bands of America Honor Band at the 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Michael has a long and successful career in the Drum Corps activity as a performer, arranger, and program consultant. He was a performer with the Garfield Cadets and finished out his time there as drum major of the 1983 DCI World Champions. After aging-out in 1983, he then served on the Cadets brass staff in 1984 and as the brass arranger from 1985 to 1992 (World Champions in 1984, ’85, ’87, and ’90). Michael has served as an arranger and consultant with the Troopers, Colts, Crossmen, Phantom Regiment, and was inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in the summer of 2012.
Michael’s degrees come from West Chester University, a B.S. in Music Education, and from the University of Massachusetts, a Masters in Music Education. He was a founding brother of the West Chester University Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi and is an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma. Michael resides in Hadley, Massachusetts with his wife, Heather, and their son, Bobby.
Richard L. Saucedo is currently Director of Bands, Emeritus after retiring from the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. During his 31-year tenure, Carmel bands received numerous state and national honors in the areas of concert band, jazz band and marching band. The CHS Wind Symphony performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival three times (1992, 1999, and 2004) and was named the Indiana State Champion Concert Band most recently in 2013. The group also performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago during December of 2005. The Carmel Marching Greyhounds have finished in the top ten at the Bands of America Grand National Championship for the past 15 years and were named BOA National Champions in the fall of 2005 and again in 2012. The Indiana Bandmasters Association named Mr. Saucedo Indiana’s “Bandmaster of the Year” for 1998-99, and the Indiana Music Educators Association named him the “Outstanding Music Educator” in the state of Indiana for 2010. HALFTIME, SCHOOL BAND AND ORCHESTRA and BRASSWIND/WOODWIND Magazines have highlighted his accomplishments in recent articles. Mr. Saucedo was inducted into the Music for All Hall of Fame in March of 2015.
Mr. Saucedo is a freelance arranger and composer, having released over 300 marching band arrangements, concert band, and orchestral works as well as many choral compositions. He is currently on the writing staff for the Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. His concert band works have been performed all over the world by middle school and high school bands as well as by college and university groups. He is a member of the Conn-Selmer Division of Education and currently serves as assistant chief judge for Bands of America Marching Band Competitions.
Thom Hannum has been teaching at UMass Amherst since 1984; he serves as the Coordinator of the Marimba Band/Marimba Ensemble program as well as Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band. His contributions were acknowledged when he received the Distinguished Service to the University Award.
Mr. Hannum has long been regarded as one of the nation's foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians having presented numerous seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. He is known internationally for his work with the DCI World Champion Cadets of Bergen County and Star of Indiana. Thom is also a charter member of the design team for the Tony Award-winning show Blast!
In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hannum was selected for induction into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame for the Cadets of Bergen County, and the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Thom is a product consultant and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company, Evans Drum Heads, the Pearl Corporation, and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets where he has developed several Signature Series drumsticks and keyboard mallets. He is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society where he has served on the Marching Percussion Committee for 12 years.
Through the Hal Leonard Corporation, Mr. Hannum has published a Textbook and corresponding Student Workbook, Championship Concepts For Marching Percussion, which provide many band programs with a comprehensive foundation for percussion education. His instructional video, produced by Alfred's Publishing, Fundamental Techniques For Marching Percussion, demonstrates many of the concepts outlined in the books. Thom has published percussion arrangements and solos with Warner Brothers, Rowloff Productions, and Drop6 Media, Inc. He is currently working on two new book projects with Alfred's Publishing.
As one of the leading authorities in marching percussion up to date,Ralph Hardimon’s experiences started in the late sixties with the Los Angeles Police Band as a marching member, and on to drum and bugle corps,the Velvet Knights, and the Anaheim Kingsmen (1st DCI Champions 1972).
The early seventies with Anaheim launched a career in composition and arranging up to date. Ralph became Director of percussion for the famed Santa Clara Vanguard from 1976 through1990, during that time his achievements were honored with five high percussion awards and four world champion titles.
Ralph has scored music for many other corps as well as college percussion ensembles and marching bands, with prestigeous awards and recognitions throughout his career. Besides marching percussion achievements, Ralph has been succesful in the record industry with Gramy nominations for jazz and rhythm and blues. While working in the enternainment business Ralph has worked for Disney, and bowl games such as the Citris bowl, Orange bowl,and Super bowl.
Ralph traveled to japan and about 7 to 9 times a year to work percussion ensembles, marching bands, and for Drum Corp Japan. Ralph is a world renown educator in percussion,and was percussion coordinator,and arranger for the Blue Kinghts D&B corps from 1990 -2001, and the Capital Regiment D&B corps in 2006, and also a percussion consultant for Santa Clara Vanguard D&B Corps, Arizona Academy D&B Corps and many other’s. Ralph was also the music director for the Casper Trooper D&B Corps. Ralph is an endorcer and clinician for Pearl Drums and percussion, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth Inc., and Evans drum heads.
Ralph was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in Y2k, Santa Clara Vanguard D&B Corps HOF 2014, Blue Knights D&B Corps HOF 2018, The World Drum Corps HOF 2017, and the most prestigeous Percussion Arts Society HOF 2019, and received a life time achievement award from Sabian Cymbals.
Michael McIntosh is a graduate of Butler University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in Composition.
In addition to designing, coordinating, consulting and composing for many pageantry groups throughout the United States, Michael is the Percussion Coordinator for the Music For All Summer Symposium, as well as, the Percussion Caption Manager, Music Coordinator and one of two Percussion Designers for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. From 1997-2011, Mr. McIntosh was the percussion specialist at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana.
Michael is an active clinician, giving clinics throughout the US, Europe, having also performed clinics in Japan and Beijing, China. He is currently an adjudicator for WGI Sport of the Arts and Bands of America.
Mr. McIntosh has had works commissioned for the Midwest Band Directors Convention as well as the West Point HellCats. and the US Army Old Guard and Fife and Drum Corps. In 2018, Michael was commissioned to write an original orchestral work for the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. Entitled “MESH”, this work premiered at the Cleveland Rock n Roll Hall of Fame! Currently, he has works published by SmartMusic, Row-Loff Publications, Yamaha Sounds of Summer, Tap Space Publications, Key Poulan Music, Drop 6 Media, The Hal Leonard Corporation, Innovative Percussion, Marching Show Concepts and JKS Music. He has created content for commercial projects across different digital mediums including video games, startups and digital advertising. Recently Mr. McIntosh was named the percussion designer for the Music For All 2021 Rose Bowl Honor Band.
Michael is a Yamaha artist/clinician.
Paul Rennick is Associate Professor in Percussion at the University of North Texas where he has served on the faculty since 1991. A leading figure in the world of marching percussion and percussion education, Paul has a long history of successful students and renowned performing ensembles, and has been a featured clinician and guest artist worldwide. In 2017, he was elected to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities at the University, applied lessons, percussion ensembles, percussion arranging, Paul is currently the music coordinator, percussion director and arranger for the 2018 World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, recently winning the DCI Fred Sanford Award for Percussion Performance four years in a row, five times in the last six years (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), achieving the rare feat of winning the DCI drum trophy multiple times with two different organizations. Since 2103, Paul has also been the percussion coordinator and arranger for the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps.
Paul served as the director of percussion for the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from 2003-2010, winning the Drum Corps International Fred Sanford Award for Percussion Performance three times (2006, 2008, 2010), and the DCI Championship in 2008.
Paul was a design team member, music composer/arranger, instructor, and percussion manager for the Tony & Emmy Award-winning Broadway production “Blast!”
He is also an active performer, appearing as a featured soloist across the United States and Asia, most recently on the UNT Wind Symphony recording “Contact” (2018), the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble recording “Vespertine Formations” (2009), and the UNT Wind Symphony DVD recording “Percussive Palooza,” with a related showcase concert at PASIC 2006. He is also an active composer with many popular works for percussion published by Innovative Percussion, Musicon Publications, and Drop6 Music.
Recording artist, performer, producer, inventor, Emmy Award-winning composer and Juilliard trained music education advocate, Mark Wood has spent the past four decades electrifying the orchestra industry – literally.
Wood is a world-renowned performer who rose to fame as string master and founding member of the internationally acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra. Selling over 10 million records. A successful solo artist in his own right, Wood writes and records original music for film and television, has released six solo albums, and tours with his band The Mark Wood Experience (MWE) which features his wife, vocalist Laura Kaye. His commission credits include The Juilliard School and extensive TV broadcast music including The Winter Olympics and The Tour de France (for which he won an Emmy).
Also, has toured and performed with Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Kenya West, Celine Dion and many others. He innovated the entire electric strings world for over 40 years!
But his true passion is music education. His program Electrify Your Symphony (EYS) – celebrating its 20th year in 2020 – is an intensive rock and roll workshop for school music education departments that boosts student self-esteem and motivation and helps raise money for music education. Today EYS visits upwards of 60 schools per year and there is a waiting list of schools wanting to participate. The organization has been featured on The Today Show and CBS Evening News and in countless local media outlets.
But for Wood, it’s all about the kids. He’s dedicated to providing educators with the opportunity to ignite their students’ passions and to inspire students to open their minds and unlock their potential. His book “Electrify Your Strings: The Mark Wood Improvisational Violin Method” (published by Hal Leonard) and “Rockin Strings” partnered with Dr. Bob Gillespie for all strings is regarded as the definitive electric violin method book. The first in a series of forthcoming educational books, Wood is passionate about providing educators and students with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
From 1998 to 2011, Michael was the drill designer and Visual Coordinator for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps and served on the design team for all 7 of their Drum Corps International World Championship titles. He is currently the Creative Director for Vanguard Music and Performing Arts, as well as Visual Designer for the 2018 Drum Corps International World Champion, Santa Clara Vanguard.
In addition to his work with Vanguard, Michael also designs for marching bands, theatrical stage shows, winter guards, indoor percussion, and indoor winds. His designs have been featured by several high school Bands of America National Champions, with the most recent being Carmel HS from Indiana. His work can also be seen at WGI with Pride of Cincinnati, Aimachi, and Carmel High School.
In April of 2007, Michael was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame, and in August of 2011 he was inducted into to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame.
Michael currently resides in San Francisco, CA.
Colorguard Choreography Lead
MICHAEL ROSALES, born in Manila, Philippines, moved to San Francisco at the age of 9 where he trained and danced with several local groups within the San Francisco Bay Area. His training in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, Latin Jazz and Color Guard makes him one of the most sought after Choreographers in the country. He has danced for recording artists such as Ricky Martin, Deborah Cox, Luis Fonsi, Brooke Hogan, Wisin y Yandel, Ivy Queen, Gloria Trevy, and Macy Gray. Michael was on a National and International Tour of the Tony and Emmy award winning show BLAST! as a lead and was a feature performer in a new show called CYBERJAM in London where he was also the Choreographer Assistant. Michael has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and has appeared in the Blockbuster movie RENT, Latin Billboard Awards, Latin Grammy’s Celebration and the Latin Teen Choice Awards. He has produced and choreographed shows for Busch Gardens in Tampa, Sea World in San Antonio, the FED EX Orange Bowl Halftime Show and was the Head coach of the University of Miami Hurricanettes Dance Line. In Miami, Michael is the co-founder of TAE Talent Agency which cast dancers for the recent blockbuster films Step Up 4 and Rock of Ages. He is also on Faculty with the MODAS Dance Workshop and Intensives and was the Choreographer for the new show BLAST! The Music of Disney which toured Japan in 2017.
Michael was a former member of the Concord Blue Devils, Fantasia of Riverside and San Jose Raiders. He has worked with The Carolina Crown, Bluecoats, Cadets Color Guard and the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum Corps and Colorguards. In the Winterguard season, Michael has been involved with Braddock Independent World, Paramount World and West Broward High School World among a handful of other programs. Michael is currently the Lead Choreographer for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum Corp and Choreographed the 2019 Production of “BLAST! The Music of Disney” which toured Japan. Recently, Michael started The Breakdown Camp and Choreographed the Orange Bowl Halftime show with Singer/Songwriter Gavin Degraw. He is extremely honored and excited to part of the Together As One program.
Daniel is a world class instructor that has worked with top groups in the pageantry arts industry. Several competing in DCI, WGI, and BOA. He currently works with Santa Clara Vanguard, Paramount World Winter Guard, and Castle H.S. Daniel also keeps himself busy year round, with helping groups and circuits around the country. Daniel loves to help out organizations wanting to learn and grow. His years of experience has allowed him to work as a designer, choreographer, adjudicator, and clinician.
Mr. Riley has had the honor of working with several successful high school and independent organizations competing nationally in WGI, DCI, and BOA. Groups include: Northmont H.S., Ooltehwah H.S., Owasso H.S., Stoneman Douglas H.S., Park Vista H.S., James Bowie H.S., Blues Springs H.S., West Broward H.S., Castle H.S., Alliance of Miami, Braddock Independent, Paramount World Winter Guard, The Cadets, and the Santa Clara Vanguard.
Riley spent more than a decade with Northmont H.S. from 1998-2011. During his time with the organization, Northmont was a BOA Grand National Finalist, the 2001 WGI Scholastic Open Silver Medalist, and won WGI Scholastic Open Class in 2008. Daniel has been a part of winning 2 DCI World Championships with the Cadets Drum Corps, in 2000 and 2011. Mr. Riley was the Director for Braddock Independent World Guard from 2010 - 2015. In 2011 Braddock was able to capture the WGI Independent World Bronze medal. From 2008-2015, West Broward H.S. competed in WGI, after the school's 1st year in existence, which soon became the 2010 Scholastic A Bronze Medalist, 2011 Scholastic Open Medalist, and winners of the WGI Fans Favorite award 2010-2013. Daniel joined the educational team at Paramount World Winter Guard in 2017. Paramount won the WGI Independent World Class Championship in 2018 and were the 2019 WGI Independent World Class Silver Medalist. Daniel has been the Color Guard Caption Head for the Santa Clara Vanguard since 2013. In 2017 Santa Clara won the George Zingali Color Guard Award and awarded the DCI Silver medal. In 2018 Vanguard became the DCI World Champions and captured the bronze 2019.
Daniel’s personal marching experiences include; Frankton H.S., Adagio Winter Guard, the Cadets of Bergen County, and was a Visual Ensemble performer in the cast of Blast! U.S. National Tour. Daniel currently resides in Newburgh, IN., where he is the Director of Color Guards and one of the designers at Castle H.S
Kaysey Leigh Thompson is an active choreographer and color guard instructor hailing originally from from Boston, MA. Clients have included The Crossmen, The Madison Scouts, The Blue Knights, McNeil High School, Claudia Taylor Johnson High School, Origins Winterguard, Eklipse Winterguard, Paramount Winterguard, Westlake High School , and Cedar Ridge High School, among others.
Kaysey began her dance and color guard training at 5 years old, performing with a local winterguard directed by her parents. In the years since, she has performed with several WGI and DCI groups including St. Ann’s World, SCV Winterguard, The Cadets and The Crossmen. Along with color guard, Kaysey has an extensive background in stage and film. Kaysey spent 15 years touring and performing with Blast!, Shockwave, and Blast: MIX, Blast: The Music of Disney and has appeared in projects with Walt Disney Studios, NBC, and Fox Television.
Kaysey currently resides in Austin, TX. Since transitioning from a stage performer role, she holds a position on the choreographic and instructional team for Blast: The Music of Disney, in addition to acting as the Visual Ensemble supervisor.
Rick is the co-founder, co-director, and creative designer for Paramount Winterguard. He is also the Artistic Director and Program Coordinator for Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, from Fort Mill, South Carolina. In addition, Rick has designed and choreographed for many independent and scholastic colorguard programs including Paramount A and Open Winterguards, Georgia State University, Emerald Marquis, Blessed Sacrament Winterguard, Juxtaposition Winterguard, The Academy Winterguard (from the UK), Chimeras Winterguard, The Knights Winterguard, Phantom Regiment Winterguard, Seminole High School, Miamisburg High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School, Kell High School, Greater Johnstown High School, Lassiter High School, Westfield High School, Harrison High School, South Forsyth High School, and River Ridge High School. Rick has also designed and choreographed for many drum corps including the East Coast Jazz, The Cadets, Magic of Orlando, the Crossmen, the Bluecoats, Phantom Regiment, and Santa Clara Vanguard.
With over 20 years of marching band, drum corps, and winterguard experience, Rick is constantly inspired by the creative process and designing, researching, and working with eager and talented creative teams. It is the joy of sharing—through adjudication, consulting, mentoring, and workshopping—that continues to fuel his love and passion for the pageantry arts. Rick is most inspired by student performers and their willingness to be authentic, present, and fully involved in the creative process. Rick is honored to continue to grow, learn, teach, and share the joy of design and performance.
Ben Contreras is one of the premier color guard choreographers and instructors in the Southwestern United States having held positions with dozens of elite guards throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. As an instructor at the High School, Drum Corps and Indepdendent Winterguard levels his groups have been awarded dozens of top honors in a variety of circuits. His groups have won Sweepstakes Honors at Fall Marching Band Competitions & Parades, Medaled and Made Finals at WGI, WGASC & WGAZ Winterguard Competitions and consistently performed at the top of their division in DCI competition.
Ben has served on the staff of several top Division II Drum Corps such as the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets and Gold Drum and Bugle Corps as well as Division I Corps Pacific Crest, Academy and Colts. In 2012 Ben founded his own Independent Winterguard Vox Artium. They have Been WGASCIndependent open class Champions multiple years. and a WGI Finalist Since 2016.
Often Ben's guards are recognized for their expressive performances owing in part to the musician perspective he brings to his choreography and teaching. Ben was a talented trumpet player in high school earning the John Phillip Sousa and Semper Fidelis Awards with his high school band. California High School groups Ben has taught include: Rancho Buena Vista, Mission Hills, Chino, Ayala, Rancho Bernardo, Valley View, Rubidoux, Riverside King, Mt. Carmel, Eastlake, Montgomery, Mar Vista, Monte Vista, Rancho Del Rey, Great Oak, Chaparall, Riverside Poly and Point Loma. Arizona and Nevada High School groups he has taught include: Williams Field, Corona del Sol, Gilbert, Basha, Reno, Sparks, Mesquite, Desert Vista, and Highland. Drum Corps Ben has taught include: Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, Pacific Crest, Academy, Gold, and Colts.
Matthew & Kirsten Wendling
Matthew & Kirsten Wendling have been involved in the Junior ROTC drill team activity for many years first as cadets and later as coaches and highly-sought after clinicians. Their organization, Drill-Team Dynamics Inc., has worked with thousands of students across the United States since its inception in 2013 and has provided expertise in close-order drill in both Asia and Africa.
Both began their careers as competitors at regionally and nationally competitive programs before continuing on to obtain notable top finishes as coaches/trainers of programs at the high school, middle school, and collegiate levels of the activity. Amongst these accomplishments include back-to-back National Championship titles at the National High School Drill Team Championships held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida as well as top event finishes with a middle school program within the high school Masters Level of the same competition.
As competitors, Matt & Kirsten were crowned World Champions in 2018 and were instrumental in pioneering “hybrid drill” which is a combination of both the armed and unarmed disciplines of drill team. As such, Kirsten was the first unarmed competitor to compete in this traditionally armed arena and the only active unarmed World Drill Champion. Additionally, Matt holds two additional World Championship titles in solo armed exhibition drill. In 2019, Matt was inducted in the Military Drill Hall of Fame for his contributions as a competitor, coach, and clinician.
Matt & Kirsten are excited to bring interesting and attainable drill team sequencing to JROTC units looking to partner in a meaningful way with other performing activities in their communities and schools leveraging their combined 30 years of experience in the military drill team activity.
Co-Founder of Sound Sport
John DeNovi is the co-founder of SoundSport and DrumLine Battle, two new exciting programs from Drum Corps International designed to grow the marching band activity globally by maximizing student involvement at all ages and skill levels.
John’s love of music led him to the Toledo Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps where he played soprano bugle in 1986. In 1987, he joined the Anaheim Velvet Knights until aging out in 1990. He went on to instruct the Denver Blue Knights (1991), Velvet Knights (1992-1994), and Pacific Crest (1995).
For nearly 30 years, he’s traveled the world as an instructor, designer and clinician for several high school marching bands, drum lines and color guards in China, Japan, Guatemala, England, Ireland and throughout the United States. He also serves as a business consultant to several performing arts organizations and music education associations worldwide.
John is the founder and president of DSM Sports Marketing, an international sports marketing agency specializing in event sponsorship and advertising sales, business development consultation, strategic marketing, talent representation, and athlete career management services. He’s worked with top brands including Sony Pictures Television, Columbia Pictures, Disney Consumer Electronics, Memorex, Tecmo Video Games, MTV, Motown Records and Theatre LA. John earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton.
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