Mary Duerkop
Brass Caption Head READ BIO

Jeremy Basso
Low Brass Coordinator READ BIO

Patrick Keeley
High Brass Coordinator READ BIO

Will Lovan
Trumpet Tech READ BIO

Samuel Elmore
Trumpet Tech READ BIO

Carol Weirich
Mellophone Tech READ BIO

Richard Tuomi
Mellophone Tech READ BIO

Celia Solano
Bari/Euph Tech READ BIO

Braden Barrentine
Bari/Euph Tech READ BIO

Christopher Hines
Bari/Euph Tech READ BIO

Andrew Reader
Tuba Tech READ BIO

Gabe Gallegos
Tuba Tech READ BIO

Matthew Vaadi
Tuba Tech READ BIO

Jacob Picht
High Brass Intern READ BIO

Dajia Simmons
Brass Staff READ BIO

 
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MARY DUERKOP

Brass Caption Head

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.

 

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 as a visual and brass instructor.  In 2021, Mary was hired as the Brass Caption Head for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps.  She is beyond excited to be with the Troopers for her second year, alongside an incredible team of individuals committed to making the Troopers great.

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JEREMY BASSO

Low Brass Coordinator

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.  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 five 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 will once again be the Assistant Brass Caption Head for the Troopers as well as taking on the role of Low Brass Coordinator. Jeremy's 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.

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PATRICK KEELEY

High Brass Coordinator

Patrick is currently the Assistant Band Director at Jasper High School in Jasper, Indiana.  He graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a Bachelor of Music Education, studying trumpet with renowned trumpet teacher Bill Adam, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Masters in Wind Conducting from Southern Oregon University.

In addition to assisting with the marching and symphonic bands, Patrick directs the concert and jazz band as well as the Jasper brass program.  The Jasper Marching Band has been an Indiana State Finalist for 30 consecutive years, had 11 top three finishes and one state championship.  The symphonic band has been a concert band state finalist 22 times, and Patrick’s jazz band was one of eight bands in the state selected as an Indiana State Jazz Finalist in 2017. 

Patrick maintains an extensive private studio where he teaches all of the brass instruments.  He has had over 100 of his private brass students selected to the Indiana All State Band, All State Orchestra, All State Jazz Band, Jr. All State Jazz Band and Jr. All State Band as well as the US Army All American Marching Band, with many of those selected to multiple groups, multiple times.  Many of Pat’s former students are now band directors and professional musicians.

Patrick got his start in DCI as a member of the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps and was excited to march with his wife in the Star Alumni Corps.  Patrick spent the past four years on the brass staff of the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps and served as the Brass Caption Head in 2021.  Prior to that, he was on the Troopers Brass Staff from 2015-2017.

Patrick lives in Jasper, IN with his wife Buffy and has two adult daughters.  He enjoys going on adventures with friends and family, watching sports, driving his Jeep, and playing Madden.  

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WILL LOVAN

Trumpet Tech

Will Lovan is a native of Lexington, KY and has taught marching band for 5 years in Kentucky, California and Texas. Will is a graduate of the University of Kentucky; holding a degree in Trumpet Performance with a certificate in Baroque Trumpet Performance. Will previously served as a Teaching Assistant for the UCLA Solid Gold Sound Bruin Marching Band in 2019. Will’s DCI experiences include being an alumnus of Carolina Crown (2015 & 2017) and a featured trumpet soloist with the Cadets (2016). Most recently Will was on the brass staff at the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps, and is very excited to be joining the Brass Staff of the 2022 Troopers.

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SAMUEL ELMORE

Trumpet Tech

Samuel is a recent graduate of California State University, Sacramento. With a degree in Music Education,  he is pursuing a masters in music performance to round out his own musical education. Most recently, Samuel has been active as an Elementary Music Teacher in the Greater Sacramento Area and teaches trumpet to his own private students. 

 

Samuel’s drum corps career began in 2014 with the Sacramento Mandarins, where he stayed until 2016 serving as the trumpet section leader. After a brief hiatus, Samuel returned to the Mandarins for his age out where he served as the horn sergeant for their historical 2018 show.

 

Samuel continued his drum corps journey in 2021 with the Troopers as their trumpet tech and looks forward to another pivotal 2022 season!

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CAROL WEIRICH

Mellophone Tech

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 is a graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, where she studied piano with Dr. Kate Boyd and horn with Dr. Gail Lewis. While at Butler, Carol participated in the Butler University Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Orchestra, Jazz Combo, Marching Band, Basketball Band, student brass ensembles, and was an active accompanist. Carol worked as a teaching fellow for the Butler Community Arts School, teaching a studio of 15 private piano students and assisting with Music for Little Bulldogs, a beginner group piano class. Carol also spent a semester abroad at the Piteå Musikhögskolan in northern Sweden studying piano and conducting, while actively performing in several ensembles, including the inaugural Arctic Brass Quintet.

Carol marched mellophone with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons. After aging out, she has served on brass staff with Pioneer (2018), Mandarins (2019, 2020), and the Troopers (2021). She is incredibly excited to be back with the Troopers for the 2022 season. 

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RICHARD TUOMI

Mellophone Tech

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 second year serving as a mellophone technician. 

 

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. Richard is currently a music teacher in Greenfield, Indiana teaching 6-8th grade band. 

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CELIA SOLANO

Bari/Euph Tech

Celia Solano is currently the band director at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she teaches beginning band, middle school band, and beginning jazz band. She lives in Greencastle, Indiana, with her husband, Adam, and her three cats.

 

Before beginning her teaching career, Celia attended Indiana State University for Music Education, studied trombone and piano, and earned her bachelor’s degree in May of 2018. During her time at Indiana State University, she was a member of many ensembles, including the Indiana State Wind Orchestra, the Indiana State Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana State Jazz Ensemble, the Marching Sycamores, and the Indiana State Basketball Band. 

 

Celia has an extensive marching background. She began marching drum corps at age 17, with the 2013 Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps on Euphonium. She stayed with the Blue Stars for two more years, then auditioned for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2016 season. She was a featured trombonist in the Bluecoats 2016 production “Down Side Up,” which won the title of Drum Corps International Champions. She aged out with the Bluecoats the next summer, where she was featured on bass trombone in the 2017 production “Jagged Line.” Celia continues to be involved with Drum Corps International on an instructional level. In 2019, Celia was on brass staff with Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps, and in 2021, she worked under Mary Duerkop with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps brass staff.

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BRADEN BARRENTINE

Bari/Euph Tech

Braden Barrentine is a trombonist/multi-instrumentalist from Dahlonega, GA. He is a graduate of Jacksonville State University where he studied music. While in Jacksonville, Braden sat principal chair in the wind ensemble, was a soloist for the Downbeat Award-winning Jazz Ensemble 1, and was section leader for the Marching Southerners Trombone Line. Braden continued his education at The University of South Florida where he received his masters degree in jazz trombone performance. He has had the chance to play with artists such as Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge, and Marshall Gilkes. Most recently, Braden was in the final round of auditions for the Air Force Academy Band. Braden currently lives in Colorado Springs, CO, where he plays in groups around town, teaches lessons, and enjoys time outdoors. 

 

 

Braden began his drum corps career marching baritone with The Troopers in 2016 and aging out the following year. A featured soloist both years, Braden is a proud alum of the Long Blue Line; which is why he is ecstatic to be back with the corps for their 2022 season!

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CHRIS HINES

Bari/Euph Tech

Chris Hines is a Columbus-based educator, performer and arranger.  A versatile educator, he has taught band, choir and Advanced Placement music theory. He is also on the brass education team at the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in Casper, Wyoming.  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. Chris is also a member of the Largemouth Brass Band and the Brooklyn Ludlow Future Jazz Project. 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 experiences include one year with the Glassmen and three years with the world champion Bluecoats.

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GABE GALLEGOS

Tuba Tech

Gabe Gallegos is a Western Colorado native. Born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado, Gallegos is a graduate ofColorado 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. During 2021, he had joined the Troopers brass team as a baritone tech. Gallegos is excited to return to the Troopers brass team as a tuba tech for the 2022 season!

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ANDREW READER

Tuba Tech

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 where he marched tuba. He went on to march tuba and age out with Carolina Crown in 2016 - 2017. 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. He served as an Assistant Director of Bands for Neosho School District for two years, primarily as a brass and visual instructor as well as the Junior High Band Director. 

 

Currently Andrew is in his first year as a Graduate Assistant at Missouri State University and pursuing a Master's in Wind Conducting. As a Graduate Assistant he helps teach the Missouri State PRIDE Marching Band and conducts the university's concert ensembles. This will be Andrew's second year teaching the Troopers' Tubas, and he is looking forward to an exciting 2022 season!

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MATTHEW VAADI

Tuba Tech

Matthew grew up in Florida 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. This is Matthew's second year as a member of the Troopers Brass Staff.
 

Outside of Drum corps, Matthew is the Director of Bands at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Waco, TX. Prior to his appointment at CCMS, he was the Director of Bands at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, FL from 2018-2021, and the Music Teacher at Wyndham Lakes Elementary in 2017-2018. When he is not teaching, he spends time cooking with his wife, Kirstin, exploring the outdoors, and taking their dogs, Lincoln and Penny, to the dog park.

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JACOB PICHT

High Brass Intern

Jacob Picht is excited to be joining the Troopers brass staff in 2022! Jacob currently resides in Flower Mound, Texas where he is an active educator in the Dallas area. He is currently finishing his music education degree from the University of North Texas where he will graduate in December. While at UNT he was an active member of the trumpet studio, studying with Raquel Samayoa.

 

While in college Jacob was fortunate to work with incredible groups such as Flower Mound High School, Marcus High School, Lake Dallas High School, and the University of North Texas Green Brigade. 

 

Throughout his time at UNT, Jacob was also an active participant in Drum Corps International, and was a member of the Troopers (2018, 2019), the Blue Knights (2020), and aging out with Carolina Crown (2021).

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DAJIA SIMMONS

Low Brass Intern

Dajia grew up in Kennedale, Texas, and attended Kennedale High School, where she was a member of the Wildcat Band and served as Drum Major her senior year. She recently graduated Magna cum laude from East Texas Baptist University with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. While at ETBU, she participated in the Tiger Marching Band, ETBU Jazz Band, and the ETBU Symphonic Band. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. 

Dajia's drum corps experience began in 2019 with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps where she marched baritone, earning the "Most Improved Brass Player" award, and from 2020-2021 as Assistant Drum Major, earning the "Jim Jones Leadership" award in 2021, as awarded by the Troopers. 

She is thrilled to be joining the team as an intern for the 2022 season!