Announcing New Corps Director and Caption Heads

September 7, 2018

 

 

The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to introduce Kristy Jackson as the new Corps Director of the Troopers. Kristy has years of involvement working for the Troopers and played an instrumental role in the success of the 2018 season as Assistant Director.

 

Former Corps Director Fred Morris, who oversaw the resurgence of the Troopers from 2007 through 2018 remains on the team as Senior Executive Advisor.

 

Anthony Cruddas has been elevated to the role of Educational Director and is tasked with overseeing the quality standards of the overall educational experience for the members. He will continue to lead the brass caption as well.

 

Lauren Teel will continue her long standing role as Percussion Caption Head, building upon the success of the last several seasons.

 

Robert Blake has been named Visual Caption Head. Robert will draw from his experience not only as a former member of the long blue line but from his time at the Santa Clara Vanguard.

 

Returning to lead the Troopers Colorguard is Danielle Schweiger. Danielle's work with the Troopers in 2013 and 2014 led to some of the most stunning visual moments for the Troopers within the last decade.

 

This team has been assembled to reflect our desire to establish a member experience that is second to none. It is our belief that by upholding the values of our mission, success will be achieved. Our mission is simple and powerful. To provide a youth activity with positive educational experiences that promote the growth and development of specific life skills consistent with the Trooper Tradition of Excellence. Each of these individuals are committed to this mission.

 

Below you will find the full biographies of these outstanding individuals.

 

Kristy Jackson

Corps Director

 

Kristy Jackson is a Wyoming native with a deep-rooted passion for youth education and community development. Upon graduating from Kelly Walsh High School in 1987, Kristy channeled her energies in the field of nursing, spending many years working with disabled adults & children. Her work within the field allowed her to gain a key understanding of specialized needs assessment, scheduling and project management, and afforded her the opportunity to develop essential community relationships.

 

Always a Troopers fan from the sidelines, Kristy’s direct involvement with the Troopers began during the 2011 season when she became a volunteer in the Bingo Hall. Soon after, she realized that her passion for the Troopers, and the youth it served, had created a new purpose in her life. She was hired as an administrator in 2012 and worked her way through the ranks. In the fall of 2017 she was named Assistant Director and spent a considerable amount of time leading the drum corps through the 2018 season.

 

Kristy enjoys traveling in her off time and spending quality time with her three children and seven grandchildren, all whom reside in Casper and have already become the next generation of Troopers fans!

 

 

Fred Morris

Senior Executive Advisor

 

 

Enamored with the Troopers since childhood, Fred Morris fulfilled his lifelong dream as corps director of the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps. Unable to march because his parents said the corps was too far from home, Fred hasn’t missed a show since 1966.

 

Fred is originally from Youngstown, Ohio, and attended Austintown Fitch High School in nearby Austintown. He graduated from Youngstown State University in 1973 with a degree in accounting and data processing. Fred lived in Hermitage, Pa., and Buffalo and Chicago running steel businesses. He has owned three businesses and has sold two, and now lives in Casper.

 

In 1966 Fred marched in the Warren Junior Military Band and Junior Drum Corps; in the snare line with a senior corps, the Erie Thunderbirds, from 1973-1976; and with the Reading Buccaneers from 1979-1980, winning DCA championships. From 1986 to 1992, he was busy as a bass drum and cymbal tech for the Canton Bluecoats.

 

In 1992, he left teaching to serve on the Bluecoats board of directors for nine years, and in 2003 began working with Troopers Promotions. He was named volunteer of the year in 2004, and was an Honorary Trooper for 11 years. In 2007, Fred was part of leading the largest Troopers corps in corps history.

 

As corps director, he stabilized the Troopers finances, and was responsible for assembling a world-class team of musical instruction and administrative staff. In 2009, Fred was elected Director of The Year by his corps-director peers, and led the Troopers to the DCI World Championship finals for the first time in 23 years.

 

Fred now serves as senior executive advisor, assisting the new corps director as she transitions into her new role.

 

Anthony Cruddas

Educational Director

 

 

Anthony Cruddas is a Texas-based Designer, Arranger, Instructor, Adjudicator & Clinician of high school, college, and world class marching bands, drum corps, and indoor percussion ensembles.

 

Anthony currently holds the position of Educational Director for the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming. He started with the Troopers in 2016 as a low brass instructor and served as Brass Caption Head for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

 

From 2014 – 2015, Anthony held the position of Brass Caption Head for the 25-time DCI World Class Finalist Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas. While on the Crossmen faculty, the corps returned to DCI Finals competition for two consecutive years, earning the highest 12th place score in DCI history in 2014 and an 11th place finish in brass performance in 2015.

 

From 2011 – 2013, Anthony served as Lead Technician and Low Brass Instructor on the Brass Staff of the 15-time DCI Finalist Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps from Boston, Massachusetts. In 2013, the Boston Crusaders were selected to perform at both the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC and the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

 

Additionally, Anthony taught the brass section of the DCI Open Class Finalist Revolution Drum & Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas in 2010, and has been on the Instructional Staff of Imperial Percussion Theater, a WGI Independent World indoor percussion ensemble from Houston, Texas.

 

As an adjudicator, Anthony has served as an Ensemble and Individual music judge for marching bands in all classifications throughout the United States. Since 2014, Anthony has been named to the adjudication panels for the US Bands National Championship events.

 

Anthony resides in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area where he works as a Project Manager and also maintains an active designing and teaching schedule. He holds an Associate of Arts in Music from Blinn College, has completed additional studies at Stephen F. Austin State University and is a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, the Texas Music Educators Association, the International Tuba-Euphonium Association and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren Teel

Percussion Caption Head

 

 

Lauren Teel is currently the Instructor of Percussion for the University of Alabama, Adjunct Percussion Faculty for the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band and the Percussion Caption Head for the DCI World Class Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps.

 

Lauren earned her Masters of Music in Percussion Performance at Indiana University and her B.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas. Her studies have allowed her to train with renowned percussionists including Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, Paul Rennick, John Tafoya, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, She-E Wu, Robert Schietroma and Ed Smith.

 

During her time at Indiana University she was a member of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music New Music Ensemble, principal percussionist of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Wind Ensemble and a member of the University’s Percussion Ensemble. She competed as a semi-finalist in the 2015 Great Plains Marimba Competition in Oklahoma City, OK. In 2012, Lauren had the privilege of traveling to Chennai, India to perform for an audience of over 75,000 people with Oscar winning composer, A.R. Rahman.

 

Lauren also appeared in the 2013 blockbuster, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as a timpanist. While living in Atlanta, Lauren performed as a member of the NFL Atlanta Falcons Drum Line. Most recently, Lauren was selected to perform for the 2018 PASIC Focus Day Events. 

 

While attending the University of North Texas, Lauren was a member of the 17-time PAS National Champion University of North Texas Indoor Drum Line. In 2008, the group won first place at PASIC and in 2011 they traveled to Europe for a special guest performance at the 2011 IPE Championships. She was a four year member of the renowned 2’Oclock Steel Pan Band as a lead player, a member of the UNT Percussion Ensemble, and a member of the UNT Symphonic Band under the director of Dennis Fisher.

 

Lauren has extensive DCI experience as a member of two top twelve drum corps. She was a member of the 2009 and 2010 DCI World Class Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, which received the 2010 Fred Stanford Award for high percussion, and of the 2011 Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps. Both drum corps were under the instruction of Paul Rennick.

 

Lauren is a proud endorser of Marimba One, Innovative Percussion, and Remo Drum Heads. In her spare time Lauren pursues her other passion of working with animals by volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium and Indianapolis Zoo, and with ICAN as a certified service dog trainer. She is also an avid swimmer, trained lifeguard and certified scuba diver.

 

 

Robert Blake

Visual Caption Head

 

 

Robert Blake is a designer, instructor, and clinician from Boise, Idaho working with High School and Independent programs throughout the country.

 

Robert attended Boise State University for Music Education. While at Boise State, he studied Saxophone under Dr. Kurtis Adams and Dr. Marcus Wolfe, as well as Tuba under Dr. Bill Winkle.

 

In 2009 he began his Drum Corps career as a member of the Casper Troopers, when the corps made DCI Finals for the first time in 23 years. He then continued his marching career at the Santa Clara Vanguard, where he aged out after 4 years with the corps. After aging out, He relocated to Houston, Texas and began working programs all over the state, most notably with the 2013 BOA Grand National Champions, The Woodlands High School. In 2014 and 2015 he was a part of Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps visual team that helped bring the corps back into DCI Finals consecutively.

 

Last season Robert returned to the Troopers as a member of the visual staff. He is extremely excited to be back with the corps for 2019 season as the Visual Caption Head.

 

Robert is back to calling Boise his home, and in his free time enjoys painting and ballroom dancing.

 

Danielle Schweiger

Color Guard Caption Head

 

 

Danielle Schweiger grew up in Carmel, Indiana where she started her color guard journey as a member of Carmel High School’s fall and winter guards, beginning in 2003. After high school she went on to march the Carolina Crown (Fort Mill, SC) drum corps color guard and then later, Zydeco Colorguard IW (Dayton, OH) until retiring her marching career in 2014.

 

As a color guard instructor, she has worked as a technician, choreographer, consultant, or director for a variety of high school groups throughout the country, including Carmel High School (IN), Brentwood High School (TN), Lake Hamilton High School (AR), Center Grove High School (IN), Greenfield Central High School (IN), and Brownsburg High School (IN).

 

Her involvement with drum corps on the instructional side includes work as a caption head or choreographer with such groups as Music City Drum Corps (TN), the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps (WY), and the Crossmen (TX).

 

Outside the pageantry arts, Danielle works as an Employee Benefit Consultant/Producer in Indianapolis, IN, with Gregory & Appel Insurance. She also holds her Health Care Reform Specialist designation from the National Association of Health Underwriters and consults frequently on the topic of the Affordable Care Act. She has also worked with multiple drum corps in the realm of member health, nutrition, and access to care.

 

Danielle is elated to return to the Troopers family serving again as the color guard Caption Head in 2019 and looks forward to working with the membership and staff.

 

 

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