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Mary Duerkop

Brass Caption Manager READ BIO

Jeremy Basso

Assistant Brass Caption Manager READ BIO

Richard Tuomi

Brass Staff READ BIO

Christopher Hines

Brass Staff READ BIO

Andrew Reader

Brass Staff READ BIO

Gabe Gallegos

Brass Staff READ BIO

Ethan Wilkinson

Brass Staff READ BIO

Blake Hyman

Brass Staff READ BIO

Braden Barrentine

Brass Staff READ BIO

Aaron Martin

Brass Staff READ BIO

Joshua Gardner

Brass Staff READ BIO

Samuel Elmore

Brass Staff READ BIO

Carol Weirich

Brass Staff READ BIO

Matthew Vaadi

Brass Staff READ BIO

Celia Colter

Brass Staff READ BIO

Matthew Soderberg

Brass Staff READ BIO

Albert Ortiz

Brass Staff READ BIO

Sean McKay

Brass Staff READ BIO

 

MARY DUERKOP

Brass Caption Manager

Mary Duerkop is currently an Assistant Band Director for Nixa Public Schools where she teaches the high school marching band, high school jazz band, 8th grade band, and 7th grade brass.  She lives in Republic, Missouri with her husband Gabriel and their dog and cat, Avacyn and Truman.  

 

Before becoming a band director, Mary was a K-5 General Music teacher for 4 years.  In 2013 she graduated with her Bachelors of Arts in Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas, studying tuba under Mr. Christian Carichner.  During her time at UCA she was a member of many ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band II, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, Bear Marching Band, and Bearly Contained, an indoor performing ensemble, in which she performed in and wrote drill for.  Mary’s previous drum corps experience was with The Academy from 2007 - 2009.  She also had the opportunity to travel to Japan with the production “Odyssey” in 2008.  Mary won an audition for Odyssey, which was an all-female cast that toured Japan, while performing 40+ shows over the course of 2 months.  Mary was a feature tuba performer in the 2 hour, on-stage show that utilized brass, percussion and guard.  

 

After aging out from The Academy, Mary began working with the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps.  She worked with the Mandarins from 2010 - 2012 and 2015 - 2020.  This will be Mary’s 1st year with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps.  She’s absolutely thrilled to be joining a corps with such a rich culture and history.  Mary will serve as the Brass Caption Head for the 2021 season. 

JEREMY BASSO

Assistant Caption Manager

Jeremy Basso is a graduate of Indiana State University where he studied bass trombone with Dr.Randy Mitchell.  While at Indiana State, he participated in the Jazz Ensembles, University Symphony, The Pride of Indiana Marching Band, multiple chamber ensembles, as well as the Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. John Boyd.

 

Jeremy lives in Greenfield, Indiana with his wife Brooke and their two children Brady (10) and Olivia (4).  Jeremy is currently the assistant band director at Greenfield Central High School and Junior High where he teaches or co-teaches three high school concert bands, three junior high concert bands, and four jazz ensembles.  

 

In Jeremy's four years at Greenfield Central, the school has twice been the Indiana State School Music Association Class B State Runner-Up in marching band and is the defending State Champion from 2019.  The school has also twice been a Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalist, the Indiana Percussion Association Winter Winds State Champion, and the Winter Guard International Scholastic World Class Winds Silver Medalist.  

 

Jeremy serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Percussion Association and has been a timing and penalty judge for Indiana Percussion and Winter Guard International.  

 

Jeremy is thrilled to be back with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps.  His drum corps career began in 2000 with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps where he marched baritone for two seasons. He has previously served on the brass staff of the Mandarins, Crossmen, Troopers, Blue Stars, and Southwind.

RICHARD TUOMI

Brass Staff

Richard Tuomi is a trumpet player from Portage, Indiana. Richard is 2014 graduate of Portage High School and a 2020 graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University with a degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies. This is Richard's first season with the Troopers serving as a Brass Intern. 

 

While at Indiana University, Richard performed in Tom Walsh's Jazz Ensemble for three years. Richard was also a performer in the Rhythm X Winds 2017 production "Jumping Through Loops" which received the WGI gold medal. 

Richard has taught at several Indiana public schools as a trumpet instructor, including Portage High School, Center Grove High School, and Greenfield Central High School. During his time teaching in Greenfield, he assisted in creating their 2019 ISSMA Class B State Championship program "Music of the Night" providing trumpet instruction and composition. Richard is currently a freelance trumpet player and teacher in Indiana.

CHRIS HINES

Brass Staff

Chris Hines is a Columbus-based educator, performer and arranger.  Most recently serving as director for Marysville High School, Chris has taught band, choir and Advanced Placement music theory.  In addition to working with several marching bands in the Columbus area, Chris enjoys an exciting performing career.  As a jazz trombonist Chris has shared the stage with such players as Jiggs Whigham, Bill Watrous and Paul Ferguson and has been an arranger for Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra.  As a Euphonium player, Chris is a member of the first section NABBA champions, the Dublin Silver Band. 

Chris is a graduate of Capital University where he attained a degree in Music Education. A firm believer in Kodály pedagogy, he has studied at the Kodály School of the Franz Liszt Academy of music in Kesckemét, Hungary.  After doing extensive research on the positive effects the Kodály philosophy has on brass players, his research was selected to be presented at the Nation Conference on Undergraduate Research in 2015.  Highly engaged in the realm of drum corps and marching band from an early age, Hines’ marching experience include one year with the Glassmen and three years with the world champion Bluecoats. 

ANDREW READER

Brass Staff

Andrew was born and raised in St. Charles, Missouri. He attended Francis Howell High School where he was an active member of the band program, and graduated in 2014. Wanting to pursue a degree in Music Education, Andrew attended Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. During his time at MSU he participated in multiple ensembles including the PRIDE Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and various chamber ensembles. Andrew’s DCI experience started at The Colts from 2013 - 2014 and went on to march with Carolina Crown in 2016 - 2017, where he aged out. During his time with Crown, the corps was awarded the Jim Ott Award for Best Brass Performance in both 2016 and 2017, as well as the John Brazale Award for Best Visual Performance in 2016. Andrew has had the opportunity to work with multiple bands in Southwest Missouri, most extensively the Kickapoo High School Band. After graduating from MSU with his Bachelor’s of Music Education in 2019, Andrew began his teaching career in Neosho, Missouri. Andrew is an Assistant Director of Bands for Neosho School District, and serves primarily as a brass and visual instructor as well as the Junior High Band Director.

GABE GALLEGOS

Brass Staff

Gabe Gallegos is a Western Colorado native. Born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado, Gallegos is a graduate of Colorado Mesa University, where he earned his Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in Business. In his time at CMU, he held the principal chair in both the Jazz Ensemble and Wind Symphony and was a founding member of the CMU Rowdy Brass Band. Along with performing, Gallegos also helped arrange music for the marching band and the Rowdy Brass Band. In 2018, he had the honor of arranging the field shows for the Maverick Stampede with Dr. Jonathan Hinkle. 

 

From 2011 to 2018, Gallegos was a loyal and dedicated member of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2014, Gallegos served as the corps Horn Sergeant and from 2015 - 2018, Gallegos served as Drum Major. Throughout his time with the corps, he was honored to receive the Troopers “Brass Member of the Year” (2014) and the Jim Jones Leadership Award (2017), awarded by DCI.

 

In 2019 and early 2020, Gallegos taught low brass for the Sacramento Mandarins under Caption Manager Tim Snyder. Gallegos is excited to join the team in Casper as an educator and give back to the corps in which he grew up.

ETHAN WILKINSON

Brass Staff

Ethan Wilkinson is a band director at his alma mater, Castle High School, in Newburgh, In. Previously, Ethan served as the Associate Director of Bands at Scottsburg High School in Scottsburg, In. He attended Ball State University where he studied horn and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. 

 

As a mellophone player, Ethan began his Drum Corps career with the Troopers in 2015. He also marched with the Phantom Regiment for the 2016 and 2018 seasons. During his time at Ball State, Ethan played in the BSU Wind Ensemble and had the privilege of preforming at the 2017 CBDNA conference. Ethan student taught at Carmel High School and has served on their marching band staff since 2018.

 

Ethan is extremely excited to return to the Troopers as a brass staff member and is looking forward to a great season!

BLAKE HYMAN

Brass Staff

Blake Hyman is an elementary school general music teacher in Atlanta, GA. Blake is excited to be working with a corps with such tradition this summer. He marched in 2016, 2017, and 2018 with Carolina Crown winning two Jim Ott High Brass awards.

Blake holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia. His primary instrument is Euphonium and his teachers have included David Zerkel and Jason Casanova. 

 

Blake spent 6 semesters playing first baritone in Phil Smith’s British Brass Band at UGA. He also played in many Tuba Euphonium quartets, one of which was chosen to compete at the 2019 International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Iowa City, Iowa.

BRADEN BARRENTINE

Brass Staff

Braden is coming to The Troopers team from Tampa, Florida where he is pursuing his masters degree in jazz trombone at University of South Florida. Braden began his drum corps career with The Troopers in 2016 where he aged out the following year, and he is eager to give back to a corps which has given him so many profound memories and lessons!

AARON MARTIN

Brass Staff

Aaron Martin is currently the assistant band director at Tioga High School in Pineville, LA. In this role, he assists both the High School and the Jr. High respectively. 

 

Aaron graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Northwestern State University in December 2018. While earning his degree, he participated in numerous ensembles such as the NSU Wind Ensemble, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, Trombone Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Men's Chorus. Some of Aaron's hobbies that were further developed while at NSU, consist of drill writing during marching season as well as audio and video recording. 

 

While in highschool and prior to graduating college, Aaron participated in Drum Corps International under the Troopers (2013-2015) and Bluecoats (2016) corps for 4 consecutive years. At the end of his final season, Aaron walked away with a national title in the marching arts and hopes to bring this experience in his refined pedagogy to continue competitive marching programs wherever he is.

 

Aaron is excited to face any challenge presented as he continues to better himself in his profession. Aaron hopes that his profession in teaching and passion for music will uplift his students to challenge, motivate, and educate themselves each and every day.

JOSHUA GARDNER

Brass Staff

Joshua Gardner currently serves as Associate Director of Bands at Bentonville West High School, located in Bentonville, Arkansas. There he teaches the Symphonic Winds, Wolverine Marching Band, Jazz Band, and instructs AP Music Theory.

 

Before his appointment in the Bentonville School District, Mr. Gardner was the Assistant Director of Bands at Bryant High School and a Teaching Assistant at the University of Georgia's Hugh Hodgson School of Music. 

During his tenure at Bryant, the ensembles consistently received the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association's Sweepstakes Award for musical excellence on the stage and field. The marching band was a three-time bronze medalist at the state marching contest and received first-division ratings at the school's first Bands of America appearances in over a decade. 

 

In addition to concert and marching band, Mr. Gardner oversaw the high school winter guard who earned two Scholastic Regional A Championships at Winter Guard International events. He also directed the orchestra for Bryant's spring musicals—receiving "Honorable Mention" for Best Orchestra by the Dallas Summer Musical Theatre Awards in 2018.  

 

Most recently, Mr. Gardner was named a Quarterfinalist for the 2020 Grammy Music Educator Award.

 

​As a musician, he has had the privilege of performing with the Conway Symphony Orchestra, the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the acclaimed Hodgson Wind Ensemble. Notable performances were at the 2015 American Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C., and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble's International Concert Tour in 2016. He continues to be involved in several chamber groups in the Central Arkansas area, including the Little Rock Winds, the Stardust Big Band, and the Quapaw Brass Quintet. 

 

Mr. Gardner holds a Masters of Music Education from the University of Georgia and earned both his Graduate Certificate in Instrumental Performance and Bachelors of Music Education with honors from the University of Central Arkansas. He has studied with Dr. Joshua Bynum, Dr. Justin Cook, and Nathan Zgonc and Brian Hecht of the Atlanta Symphony. 

 

He is an avid supporter of the marching arts, having marched with The Cadets and The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps' and was on the brass staff for The Phantom Regiment. 

 

He is a professional member of the Arkansas Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, International Trombone Association, and Phi Mu Alpha National Music Fraternity.

SAMUEL ELMORE

Brass Staff

Samuel Elmore is currently pursuing a career in music education while furthering his education at California State University, Sacramento. He has taught at five different high schools in the area, and was most recently employed as the Florence Markofer Elementary School band director and is currently teaching trumpet to elementary schoolers in his county. In 2014, Samuel started his drum corps career as a member of the Sacramento Mandarins, where he marched 2014-2016, and aged out in 2018. During Samuel’s time at the Mandarins, he served as section leader in 2016, where they broke 80 for the first time in 15 years and scored their highest score at the time. In 2018, he served as their horn sergeant, where the Mandarins broke into finals for the first time ever. 

 

After aging out, Samuel focused predominantly on finishing his Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, but soon switched over to Music Education to follow his passion for teaching. Samuel lives in Elk Grove, CA and enjoys visiting his family and friends and being able to help out with the local K-12 band programs. Samuel is very excited to start a great season with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps!

CAROL WEIRICH

Brass Staff

Carol Weirich is the assistant band and orchestra director at Discovery Middle School, part of the Penn-Harris-Madison school corporation in Mishawaka, Indiana. Her responsibilities include conducting the Symphonic Band, Intermediate Jazz Band, beginning band classes, and assisting with several other band and orchestra ensembles. At Penn High School, she conducts the After School Jazz Orchestra and assists with the marching band. 

 

Carol studied instrumental music education at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, graduating cum laude in May 2018. Carol also spent a semester abroad at the Piteå Musikhögskolan in northern Sweden studying piano and conducting. Her drum corps experience includes marching mellophone with the Troopers (2015-2017), serving on brass staff with Pioneer (2018), and brass staff with the Mandarins (2019, 2020). Carol is incredibly excited for the opportunity to teach at her home corps.

MATTHEW VAADI

Brass Staff

Matthew grew up in Bradenton, FL and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. During his time at UF, he studied Euphonium with James Jenkins and performed in the University of Florida Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, and Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble. Matthew started his drum corps experience with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps where he marched baritone for both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In 2015 and 2016, Matthew played Baritone and Trombone for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, contributing to the Bluecoats' first DCI World Championship in 2016.

 

He relocated to Orlando, FL in 2017 after graduating, and began working as a music teacher at Wyndham Lakes Elementary School. During the 2017 drum corps season, he worked with Music City Drum Corps as a member of their visual staff. After taking a hiatus from teaching drum corps, Matthew has since been appointed Director of Bands at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, FL, where he has been since 2018. Matt is incredibly excited to join the Troopers brass staff as a Low Brass Technician, and looks forward to being a part of this fantastic team of students and educators. When he is not teaching, he spends time cooking with his wife, Kirstin, visiting Disney World, and taking their dogs, Lincoln and Penny, to the dog park.

CELIA COLTER

Brass Staff

Miss Celia Colter currently serves as the band director at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Terre Haute, Indiana. Colter graduated from Indiana State University in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Instrumental/General Music Education, and is currently within her third year as a music educator. 

 

Colter’s drum corps career began in 2013 when she joined the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps on euphonium. She stayed with the Blue Stars through 2015, during which she served as a baritone/euphonium section leader. In 2016, Celia joined the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, performing in a featured trombone octet throughout the corps’ championship production, “Down Side Up.” Colter aged out with the Bluecoats in 2017, and served as a baritone/euphonium staff member with Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps in 2019.

MATTHEW SODERBERG

Brass Staff

Matt currently lives in New Braunfels, Texas where he works as a private contractor while beginning courses towards teaching licensure. 

  

While a senior in high school he was selected as 1 of 16 trumpets from a national pool of applicants to march in the 2012 US Army All-American Marching Band. After graduating high school, he went on to attend James Madison University where he was a part of the Marching Royal Dukes in 2012 and 2014 as a lead trumpet and soloist. In 2013, he marched lead trumpet with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps where Tim Snyder was Brass Caption Head at the time.  

  

Matt later transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi to begin a music degree and will be graduating at the end of fall semester 2020. While studying at USM, he was in the studio of Dr. TJ Tesh and performed in the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz Lab Band, and Pride of Mississippi Marching Band. He was also a part of the Advanced Trumpet Ensemble all three years, competing at the National Trumpet Competition in 2019. 

 

In 2018, Matt was on brass staff with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps where he taught the trumpet section.   

 

Since 2013, Matt have been an active brass instructor, visual instructor, and clinician with a variety of high school and college marching programs in both Virginia and Mississippi.  

  

Being an alumnus of this corps, Matt is very excited to be a part of this chapter of the Troopers. His experience with Troopers was life changing and he looks forward to giving back to an organization that shaped who he is today in so many ways.

ALBERT ORTIZ

Brass Staff

Albert Ortiz is currently the Director of Bands at the new Bentonville West High School in Bentonville, Arkansas. In its inaugural year, the marching band received 4th place at the Arkansas State Marching Contest in Class AAAA and all concert bands earned superior ratings. The band has quickly risen to be one of the top competitors in the state, earning 5th place at the 2019 Arkansas State Marching Contest in class 7A. Prior to Bentonville West HS, Albert was assistant director with the BOA Grand National Semi-Finalist band, Bentonville High School, and Texas 6A State Qualifying Band, Edinburg North High School. Albert was a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007 and the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012. He was also Brass Caption Head for the Guardians Drum and Bugle corps in 2014 and on staff with the Legends Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2017, he was named one of Celebrate Arkansas Magazine’s “Ones to Watch”. Albert holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from the University of Texas at Brownsville, and a Masters in Educational Theory and Practice from Arkansas State University. He is a native of Edinburg, Texas and loves spending time with his wife and three dogs, riding his jet ski, and wakeboarding on Beaver Lake. This will be Albert’s first year with the Troopers.

SEAN McKAY

Brass Staff

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Sean has spent much of his time in the Rocky Mountain region. He graduated from the University of Wyoming (UW) in 2018 with a degree in Music Education. Sean is a recent graduate from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati, where he recieved a master’s degree in Trumpet Performance as a member of the Graduate Brass Quintet Fellowship program.

Throughout his Undergraduate Degree, Sean served as a member, and eventually principal/lead trumpet, of the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble, and the UW Wind Symphony. He has toured the state of Wyoming with both the UW Symphony and the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble.

During the Summers of 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sean worked for the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, in Bigfork, Montana, as the trumpet player in the pit orchestra. He has been in numerous pit orchestras for various school and professional musical productions.

Sean has been part of two major recording projects, one with the Wyoming Jazz Ensemble on their album Winds of the Snowys. The other with the CCM Wind Symphony on their most recent recording, to be released 2020.

Sean was a member of the 2013 and 2014 Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps hornline under the direction of Tim Snyder, as brass caption head, and Fred Morris as corps director. Sean joined the Troopers mid-tour in 2013 after attending the Denver Drum Along the Rockies. Sean is extremely pleased and excited to return to the Troopers as a staff member for the 2021 season!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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