John Strada, executive director
michelle solla, assistant director, electronics coordinator
chad moore, esq., director, design and program coordinator
william woodward, design
paul nalesnik, battery caption head, arranger
ian hale, front ensemble arranger
Jaime Holly, visual design
tom gasparrini, visual choreography design, program consultant
micah kasman, design consultant
dave osworth, front ensemble caption head, staff coordinator
brad schoener, snare technician
omi batan, snare technician
alex beltran, tenor technician, battery instructor
mark monaghan, bass technician
rachel boatwright, cymbal technician
stephenie sofield, cymbal technician
nicole barnes, cymbal consultant
audrey griffin, front ensemble technician
andrew monteiro, front ensemble technician
DR. Iain moyer, front ensemble consultant
ANDREA HRYCYSHYN, body/MOVEMENT DESIGN
Lauryn Heller, Body/Movement Design
Scroll below for staff biography information
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF UNITED PERCUSSION AND ARTS
John has served as Executive Director for United since its inception in 2003. He is currently the percussion caption head and arranger for Buena Regional High School. John served as the director for Eagle Percussion from 1999-2002. John's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science-Accounting; Bachelor of Science-Finance; and a Bachelor of Science-Marketing from Drexel University. John also attended Rowan University and received a Post-Bachelor Certification for Secondary Education. John's other teaching experience includes Haddon Heights High School from 1999-2001 and Collingswood High School from 1996-2000.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF UNITED PERCUSSION
Michelle Solla has been on the United staff since the 2012 season. Michelle was a 4 year member with United from 2008-2011 and played Keyboards, Vibraphone and sampler. In the fall of 2011, she joined the marching band staff at Quakertown High School teaching their front ensemble. Her marching career started in 2002 as a member of the Wissahickon High School marching band and indoor percussion ensemble. While there, she was drum major and awarded the John Philip Sousa Band Award and the Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence. She then continued her education at Drexel University, earning her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She currently works in retail merchandising and inventory control for a leading technology company.
CHAD MOORE, ESQ.
DIRECTOR OF UNITED PERCUSSION
DESIGN AND PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Chad began his marching career with the 15-time Atlantic Coast Champion Middle Township High School Marching Band. In 1993, Chad marched snare with the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps. Chad currently teaches and arranges for Middle Township High School. During his span with MTHS, they won 15 Atlantic Coast Championship titles including 7 straight seasons, 4 percussion titles and 8 top three percussion placements. MTHS also won 3 TIA titles during that span, including 2 undefeated seasons. In 2001, Chad joined the two time WGI PIO finalist Riptide Indoor Percussion Ensemble as the battery instructor. From 2002-2003, Chad served as the percussion caption head and arranger for the 2002 WGI Mid-Atlantic Regional finalist and 2003 TIA PSO bronze medalist Archbishop Ryan. Chad has been with United since its inception. In that span, United has won 3 World Championship medals, including the 2007 Independent Open World Championship. Chad has been a member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board since 2003 and is a current member of the Vic Firth Education team. Chad's educational background includes a B.A. and J.D. from Rutgers University. He practices civil law in New Jersey and is an equity partner in the law firm Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas.
Woody is currently the acting Band Director and Instrumental Music Teacher for Winslow Township High School. His recent achievements include: 2006 Marching Unit Director, Hatboro- Horsham High School- Cavalcade of Bands American Division Champions; 2006-07 Music & Percussion Arranger, Spring-Ford HS, Royersford, PA- Atlantic Coast Championship Group IV, 2004-07 Indoor Percussion Director, Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS- Cavalcade of Bands Indoor Percussion Champions, 2004-06 Arranger & Percussion Instructor, Hammonton HS, USSBA Group I State Champions. Woody has been a performer, Caption Head, composer and arranger for the Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps, Bushwhackers Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps, United Percussion, and Riptide Indoor Percussion. Woody has also taught percussion and drum lines for Upper Moreland HS, West Chester University, Southern Regional HS, Highland HS, and Pennsauken HS. He is also an independent composer for marching bands and indoor percussion ensembles in PA, NJ, GA, TN , FL & CA.
battery caption head and arranger
Paul Nalesnik is a freelance percussionist and educator based out of central New Jersey. As an educator, he is currently the Caption Head and Arranger for the Rutgers University Drumline. Since the beginning of his involvement, the Rutgers University Drumline has appeared on numerous nationally televised events, including the 2013 Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Paul is also Director of Percussion Studies at Immaculata High School, and is a consultant for the Arlington (NY) High School Marching Band.
His marching career began as a tenor player for United Percussion in 2009 and 2010. He later went on to march tenors for the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2011 and 2012. He served as Battery Coordinator for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014, and is currently on staff with The Cadets. As a performer, he has held Principal positions in all ensembles at Rutgers, and plays with numerous orchestras around the New Jersey and New York area. He was a featured performer at PASIC in 2012 with the Santa Clara Vanguard. In 2013, he received second place at the Atlanta Modern Snare Drum Competition, and went on to publish a snare drum solo book through Bachovich publications, entitled “The Rutgers Solos”.
FRONT ENSEMBLE ARRANGER
Ian Hale received degrees in percussion performance from the University of Calgary and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where his teachers included Dr. Glenn Price, Eduardo Leandro and DCI Hall of Fame member Thom Hannum. He was a member of the music faculty at UMass from 2007-2008 and served as the Assistant Director of Bands for the Calgary Stampede Showband from 2009-2011. He is currently the Percussion Director and Arranger for Spirit of America from Orleans, Massachusetts.
Ian has worked with and arranged for many fine ensembles including the Calgary Stampede Showband, Spirit of America, Thomas Jefferson High School Band, Dartmouth Indoor Percussion, United Percussion, Boston University and the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. He was a member of the percussion staff for the Glassmen, the Magic of Orlando and the Madison Scouts and spent 9 years on the percussion staff for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. He is currently on the percussion staff for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.
Ian is endorsed by Vic Firth Inc., Remo Inc. and Zildjian Corporation.
Jaime Holly is a full time drill designer and visual instructor living in Long Beach, CA with his wife Rebekah and daughter Parker. He began his marching career in the soprano line of the Concord Blue Devil B Corps in 1989, moving to the World Champion A Corps in 1991 through 1993. He returned to the Blue Team in 1997 where he is currently a visual instructor and drill writer. His affinity for mathematical problems can be traced through his BS from Fresno State in Math. Jaime earned a teaching credential from Cal State Hayward and was a math teacher at James Logan High School before he decided to give it up for the fame and fortune of drill writing. Jaime is the visual caption head and designer for several award winning high schools in BOA and WBA, as well as independent non-profit organizations in DCI and WGI. He has also served on the DCI Task Force. Currently, he has the pleasure of working with the Soka Renaissance Vanguard from Tokyo, Japan. Some of the groups he has had the opportunity to work with are: Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Mystikal Drum and Bugle Corps, Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps, Upland High School, Fountain Valley High School, Legacy High School, Haltom High School, Colleyville Heritage High School, Desert Vista High School, Winston Churchill High School, Clovis West High School, James Logan High School, Freelancers Indoor Drumline, Black Knights Indoor Drumline, and the El Diamonte Indoor Colorguard.
visual choreography design and program consultant
Tom Gasparrini is an in-demand instructor, consultant, and arranger in the marching percussion world. Currently he serves as the Battery Coordinator at The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps of Canton, Ohio, and as the Director of Percussion for Bellbrook High School. Additionally, Tom is the Program Coordinator and Battery Arranger at European X of Hilversum, The Netherlands.
He frequently teaches internationally, having traveled to destinations such as Costa Rica, Lithuania, Canada, and The Netherlands. Recently, Tom has also travelled to Seoul, South Korea and San Francisco to perform with the Tony© and Emmy© award-winning production Blast!. Tom exclusively uses Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, and Evans Drumheads.
Micah's experience in the marching genre has included time as a marching member and a cymbal instructor with the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps. Micah became percussion caption head and percussion arranger for the 2001 and 2002 marching band and indoor percussion seasons at Washington Township High School in New Jersey. His accomplishments as caption head there include 5th place Scholastic A at the 2003 WGI Championships in Dayton, OH. Micah's other teaching experience includes two TIA Championships as a cymbal instructor with Bensalem High School Indoor (PA). Micah's educational background includes a B.S. in Graphic Design Communications from Philadelphia University. His profession as a graphic designer is at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. Micah was recently featured on the new hit TV show "The Taste."
FRONT ENSEMBLE CAPTION HEAD
Dave is excited to be moving into the role of front ensemble coordinator for United Percussion. Dave’s marching career began in high school with the Hunterdon Central Regional High School Marching Band. While in high school, Dave became a member of United Percussion’s front ensemble. Dave marched with the ensemble in 2007-2010, winning the WGI PIO Championship in 2007. Dave went on to march with the Boston Crusaders in 2009 and 2011, serving as the center marimba and section leader of the front ensemble. While with Boston in 2009, Dave was a member of the DCI I&E gold medalist Percussion Ensemble, playing “Affirmation” composed by Andrew Beall.
During his time in the marching activity, Dave had the great fortune to study under: Andrew Beall, Omar Carmenates, Jerry Carpenter, Steve Ballard, Brian Nozny, Mike Nevin, Tyler Sammons and Ellis Hampton. Dave has his B.S. and M.Ed. from Rutgers University. Dave currently lives in Providence, RI where he works for Brown University. Dave has previously worked with the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps, Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps and the Edison High School Marching Eagles. Dave is a proud member of the Vic Firth education team.
Brad is a former member of United Percussion having played snare drum in 2012. After periodically instructing United over the past few years, this will be Brad’s first season as full-time snare technician. He began his marching experience in 2005 with the Bayard Rustin High School marching band. As a senior, Brad auditioned and was selected to represent the state of Pennsylvania nationally in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Snareline. Brad continued on in college to perform from 2009 to 2011, two of these as section leader and center snare, with the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band of West Chester University.
Brad was also a member of the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008 and 2009, Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010, followed by the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012. Brad has had the good fortune to work with renowned marching percussion educators such as Tom Aungst and Neil Larrivee. After aging-out of DCI, Brad served in the role of snare technician for the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013. During the summers of 2014 and 2015, Brad served as percussionist/stage manager of the internationally award-winning “Cocoa Rhythm Factory” at Hersheypark. Brad recently received a dual Bachelor of Arts Degree from West Chester University in Music Education and Percussion Performance.
Brad is currently preparing for his fourth year as percussion coordinator and arranger for the award-winning Marple Newtown High School Tiger Marching Band in Newtown Square, PA. He has served as percussion coordinator and snare technician with many groups in the surrounding area such as Bayard Rustin High School, Spring-Ford High School, Coatesville Area Senior High School, Downingtown West High School, and East Pennsboro High School.
Omi is excited to join the United Percussion staff as a snare tech this coming season. Omi's background includes marching with The University of Connecticut, The Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps, The Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps and aging out with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011. Omi also marched with United Percussion in 2012 on snare drum. He has taught at various organizations including Fusion Core Drum and Bugle Corps in the DCA circuit, and with various high school and college percussion programs including Norwalk High School, Stamford High School and the University of New Haven Marching Band where he was the Assistant Director and Battery arranger. Most recently, Omi was the snare tech for Cadets Winter Percussion in 2015 and 2016. He looks forward to working with United Percussion and cannot wait to see what is in store for WGI in 2017.
Tenor Technician/Battery Instructor
A current graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Alex is quickly making a name for himself in the world of marching percussion. After spending a third of his life as a member of drum and bugle corps and marching bands, he is making the transition into educator and arranger; holding teaching positions at both The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps and the UMass Minuteman Marching Band.
As a member, Alex showed both his drumming and leadership capabilities by serving as section leader of The Cadets battery from 2012 to 2014, helping lead the group to the prestigious Fred Sanford High Percussion award in the 2013 season. Alex began his career in percussion as a drumset player in Stamford, Connecticut, gaining local attention and playing gigs in prestigious New York City clubs including The Bitterend and Crash Mansion. He began his path in Drum and Bugle Corps with the Connecticut Hurricanes from 2008-2010, and marched in The Cadets from 2011-2014 serving as both quad-line and battery section leader for the last three years. While at UMass, Alex has also been able to grow as an arranger, working with both the UMass drumline and the UMass Marimba bands and ensembles. Alex looks forward to bringing both his marching and concert experience to United Percussion, providing a positive musical experience for the members and audience.
Mark began his marching career at Cumberland Regional High School in Cumberland County, New Jersey. After graduating, he went on to march bass at United Percussion in 2012 and 2013. During the 2012 season, he was given the opportunity to march for The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps where he remained until 2014. Mark then went on to become a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2014 and aged out with the corps in 2015. Mark has also participated in the Rutgers University Drumline for multiple years. Currently, Mark teaches the percussion section at Edison High School and the Rutgers University Drumline.
Rachel’s marching career started with the Daniel Boone High School Marching Band (2006-2009) playing flute and saxophone and the Daniel Boone Indoor Percussion Ensemble (2008-2010) on cymbals. Rachel also marched cymbals with the Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps, in 2009, 2011, and 2012. 2009 and 2012 were record-breaking World Championship seasons for the drum corps. Rachel also had the honor of marching with United Percussion in 2013.
In addition to her cymbal technician role at United since 2016, Rachel has taught and consulted for numerous high school programs in Pennsylvania. She was the cymbal technician for the Hempfield High School Marching Knights and indoor percussion ensemble (2011-2016) and Ridley High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble (2016). She is currently the cymbal technician at Downingtown West High School.
Rachel graduated from Millersville University in 2014 with a degree in secondary education social studies and is certified to teach social studies, English, and library science in Pennsylvania. She is currently a middle school librarian in Lower Moreland Township School District.
Stephenie has extensive performance experience in the community, university, drum corps, and winter guard settings. Her marching career began at the University of North Texas in 2008. She began her WGI career with Tyler Junior College, World Class finalists, in 2011. She then marched with Imperial Percussion Theater in 2012 and United Percussion in 2013. She also marched in Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012.
Stephenie has taught, as both a cymbal and visual instructor, at Azle (TX) High School Marching Band and Indoor Drumline (2011-2015), Lakeview Centennial High School (2012-2015), Highland Regional High School (2013), McKinney Boyd High School (2014-2015), Tyler Junior College (2015), and Capital City Percussion (2014-2015). She has also been a guest instructor at Capital University, where she taught a marching cymbal masterclass for percussion majors.
Stephenie is a Board-Certified Music Therapist at the Atlantic County Women’s Center. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor's of Music in Music Theory, flute concentration and is currently completing her Master’s in Music Therapy at Ohio University. She is actively involved in music therapy advocacy and field research.
Nicole is a former member of United Percussion who spent 4 seasons (2011-2014) with the group. During her age-out in 2014, Nicole was helping out as a part-time instructor for the cymbal line until she eventually joined as a visual performer in the show. She graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in 2010. That summer, she marched her first season of drum corps with the Jersey Surf. After taking a hiatus, Nicole marched with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and was the cymbal instructor in 2014 and 2015. Nicole was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles Drumline for 4 seasons.
Nicole has taught and consulted at a variety of high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, both as a visual and cymbal instructor, most recently at Ridley and Rancocas Valley Regional High Schools. Nicole attends the University of North Texas, studying Speech Language Pathology.
FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Audrey has been a part of United Percussion and our Front Ensemble since her sophomore year of high school. She started in 2009, rejoined in 2011 and continued through to 2016. Audrey began her percussion training in 2007 with Rancocas Valley Regional High School. Under the direction of David Britton, her school took home the national championship title in USBands group 3 open, in 2010 and 2011. She also marched in the Raiders Drum and Bugle corps in 2011 through 2013. Audrey has worked her way to becoming center marimba in every ensemble she has marched. She volunteers to teach high schools all over the tri-state area as a performance consultant, the Front Ensembles of J.P. Stevens High School and Westfield High School, and is very excited to work with UP in 2017.
front ensemble technician
Andrew Monteiro began his marching career in 2009 when he joined the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps Front Ensemble. He went on to become a member of The Cadets in 2010 and stayed with the corps through his age-out in 2011, winning the corps' tenth DCI World Championship. Andrew has taught and arranged for several high school marching bands and indoor drumlines in the Mid-Atlantic region including the award-winning South Brunswick Marching Band and more recently Old Bridge High School Marching Band and Indoor Drumline.
He has been the Front Ensemble Caption Supervisor for Cadets2 since the corps' establishment in 2012. He has been the Front Ensemble Arranger, Coordinator and Sound Designer for Cadets Winter Percussion since 2014, where they won the Independent Open World Championship in their inaugural year. He has also been on staff with The Cadets Front Ensemble since 2014. He has studied under many accomplished instructors including Iain Moyer, Jason Inhat, Mike Zellers, Jim Ancona and Tom Aungst. In addition, Andrew studied at New York University under Jonathan Haas, Simon Boyar and Josh Quillen and is a graduate from NYU with a degree in Economics. 2017 will be Andrew's first year with United Percussion and he is looking forward to the upcoming year.
dr. iain moyer
front ensemble consultant
Dr. Iain Moyer joins the United Percussion team as a Front Ensemble consultant. He brings to the UP team a diverse set of pageantry experiences, including arranging and instructing for some of the finest marching bands, drum corps, and indoor percussion ensembles in the country.
Moyer’s previous indoor arranging/teaching/consulting credits include Cadets Winter Percussion, Upper Darby High School, and Muscle Shoals High School. He has also written for prestigious college and high school marching bands across the United States. He also arranged for DCA’s The Cadets2 from 2012-2016.
Iain will serve as the Boston Crusaders Front Ensemble arranger for the 2017 season. Iain has served on the Percussion Staff of The Cadets since 2007, where he served as Front Ensemble Arranger from 2009 through 2016. During his time with The Cadets, the corps won their 10th DCI World Championship in 2011 and The Cadets Percussion section received the Fred Sanford Award for Best Percussion Performance in 2013.
Moyer currently serves as the Director of Athletic Bands and Percussion at Widener University. Prior to that appointment, Iain served as the Director of Percussion Studies/Assistant Director of Bands at The University of North Alabama for ten years.
Iain is a proud endorser of Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Avedis Zildjian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, and Yamaha Percussion.
“Annie” has been in the colorguard activity since 1999. Andrea started marching with Boonton HS Marching Band and has competed 10 years in a multitude of prestigious Drum and Bugle Corps, including The Boston Crusaders (2005-2007). In 2002, Andrea started her winter guard career with Pegasus Winter guard in the Independent A Class. She then went on to compete with several other Independent groups including The Black Watch World Guard (2007-2010). In 2013, Andrea was a cast member of The Pride of Cincinnati who earned both a gold medal and Fan's Favorite in the WGI Independent World Class. Recently, Andrea was presented with the opportunity to perform with the Pride of Cincinnati Dance Ensemble in their first year of establishment .
Andrea started teaching in 2002, with Pegasus Too and Pegasus Too Jr. Since 2003 she has taught at numerous high schools in New Jersey and New York including Monsieur Farrell, West Milford, Edison, Waldwick, Audubon (Caption Head 2009-2010) and Deptford where she is currently on staff. While living in Ohio, Andrea was fortunate enough to work with the Centerville High School Jazz Band and Northmont Winter guard where she was director for the 2014 winter season. Andrea was also on staff for Co-motion in 2011 when they won the silver medal in the WGI Independent A Class. Andrea also was on staff in 2015 at the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Professionally, Andrea is a middle school Special Education Teacher at a school located in Philadelphia.
Lauryn Heller joins the United Percussion staff for the first time in 2017. Lauryn has experienced the world of the marching arts from a very young age, particularly because of her mother’s influence. She attributes much of her success to her 8 years performing with the WGI A class finalist Haddon Heights HS “High Voltage” color guard program and its exceptional staff (2002-2009). After high school, Lauryn marched indoor color guard with The Light Brigade (2010), Alter Ego (2011, 2012), and The Black Watch (2014, 2016). Additionally Lauryn marched 6 years in The Cadets Color Guard (2008-2013). Lauryn’s instructional experience includes Haddon Heights HS, Washington Township HS, Surge Independent, The Cadets (2014, 2015), Bushwackers (2016, 2017), Blue Knights (2016, 2017), The Black Watch (2017), and other programs in the New Jersey area. In almost every aspect of her life, Lauryn chooses to dedicate her time and efforts to the growth and support of the youth around her. She has earned an Associate’s degree in social services from Gloucester County College (2012) and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rowan University (2015). By day, Lauryn is a kindergarten aftercare teacher at an elementary school in New Jersey. On nights and weekends, she is working with multiple marching arts organizations. Lauryn does hope to continue her education in psychology so that she may follow her passion of helping others. Lauryn is happy to be joining the UP team.
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