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Ross Weckesser is the Director of Percussion and Associate Director of Bands at Victoria West High School in Victoria, Texas. Previously he held the same position at Memorial High School in Victoria and at Marshall High School in Marshall, Texas. Originally from Illinois, he holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, where he studied with Mr. Kevin Lepper, Dr. Charles Menghini, and Dr. Robert Sinclair. He also holds a Master of Percussion Performance degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale where he studied with Mr. Ron Coulter, Dr. Christopher Morehouse, and Dr. Andrew Tucker.
Based in the Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska area, Aftershock Percussion was founded in 2009 by Tim Nutting and Steve Moore. Aftershock grew out of a desire to provide an outlet for members to enhance their skills in the marching and musical arts, as well as developing life skills that can be applied in their school music programs and personal lives. It is our desire to provide members with an environment that challenges them while giving them the opportunity to achieve and succeed through teamwork, dedication and perseverance.
Mark Zerafa was influenced by the sounds of rock and jazz in his childhood. These unique styles of music gave him the inspiration to become a musician and drummer. Mark is an extremely versatile drummer and is known for being able to perform comfortably in many styles of music from symphonic to jazz, rock, funk and electronic. He has had the opportunity to teach and perform in the USA and Europe. During these travels, he directed various bands and large ensembles and conducted private lessons. Mark is also a composer and expert in electronic percussion, often supplying drum and percussion tracks for compositions worldwide. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia where he performs on a regular basis with many leading artists and maintains a busy teaching schedule. His formal study background includes Drummer’s Collective NYC, Bachelor of Music and Graduate Diploma of Education.
Shock Wave is a 12 man marching percussion section created to support the WNBA's Tulsa Shock women's basketball team. Comprised of percussionists from the Tulsa area, Shock Wave performs regularly at home games during pregame and quarter breaks. Local band director and Vic Firth Education Team member Chris Harris instructs the group and designs performance routines.
The Salem Blue Devils Percussion Ensemble is an elite, after-school program designed for high school musicians interested in learning, practicing, performing, and competing at the highest levels. We are an organization dedicated to quality music education enabling a tradition of excellence and pride among our members in the form of competitive percussion theatre. Every year, we perform and compete at a variety of events locally and nationally, including the WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH. The Salem Blue Devils Percussion Ensemble was formed in 2002 and has since won several awards. As a two-time silver medalist at the WGI National Championships and gold medalist at the New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA), the group is proud to be performing for its 11th straight year in the 2011-2012 season.
The San Diego State University Marching Aztecs is one of the premiere marching bands in the nation. Renowned for its musicality and commitment to excellence, this highly respected campus organization performs at all SDSU home football games, as well as National Football League games, high school band tournaments, and other on and off campus events. The Marching Aztecs enter the public arena as ambassadors of SDSU’s standards of excellence; the sights and sounds identifying an obvious focal point of Aztec pride and spirit. Members of the Marching Aztecs represent over 30 academic majors and hail from a wide variety of locales. The Marching Aztecs are Directed by Bryan K. Ransom.
Brandon Cruz has been involved in a variety of musical settings. As a classical percussionist, he has performed with the New World Symphony, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Miami Master Chorale, Greater Miami Symphonic Band, Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, and the Brockton Symphony Orchestra. He recently performed as timpanist of the Fundacion Sinfonica Orchestra in Santo Domingo for their biannual National Festival of the Arts. He was also timpanist and Latin percussionist for the World Champion Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps in 1995 and 1997. Mr. Cruz has also performed for over a dozen musicals including productions of “Cabaret”, “Mack & Mabel”, “Baby”, “Leader of the Pack”, & “Anything Goes” among many others and has performed in the “Show Band” on multiple ships for Norweigian Cruise Lines. As a jazz musician, Brandon has performed with several groups including the big bands of Sam Lussier and Barry Mann, the FIU Jazz Lab Band, and NEC Jazz Orchestra. He has shared the stage with Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Bob Moses, and Dave Liebman. He began the Brandon Cruz piano trio in 2002 and co founded the Fowlmouth Trio, a fusion ensemble focused primarily on group improvisation. His current trio, Big Fun 3, continues in the direction that FM began. Their debut album was released in April, 2010 on the Ropeadope record label. BF3 performs throughout the South Florida area and recently presented a masterclass on group improvisation at John A. Ferguson high school. They’ve also performed live on WDNA and been featured on WLRN. In addition to BF3, Mr. Cruz also regularly performs at private functions and corporate events through music entertainment companies. These companies include Suman Entertainment Group, Shajar Music Inc, Grooveline, and Music by Varon, which Brandon has been performing with for over 17 years. Mr. Cruz has taken part in several recording projects for television advertisements and local artists, which include the Ascension R&B Group, Liz Kelly, The James Garner Blues Band, The Push-ups, and acclaimed Boston Rock Band, Five of One. He has completed two albums for California-based band Stratosphere and adds his talents to live performances by internationally acclaimed electro-rock group Fallz. He also took part in the soundtrack to the independent film “Easy Listening” which has been recognized at several film festivals internationally. In 2008, Brandon performed with Peter Cetera for a charity event held at Donald Trump’s Mar Lago resort.
Lindsey Parker is originally from Seminole, FL. She currently lives in Oviedo, FL a soon to be UCF student. Education and Experience Lindsey started playing when she began 5th grade at Oakhurst Elementary. She started taking lessons and continued her playing throughout middle school. She was in the Seminole High School front ensemble for 4 years and co-section leader for 3. After graduating in 2007, she stayed in South Florida to teach the Seminole High School front ensemble for 3 years, including 2 indoor seasons. She accompanied Seminole to BOA Atlanta Regional Championships and BOA Grand National Championships. In November 2007 she accepted the role of Timpanist for The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps for 3 seasons, 2008-2010. In the fall of 2010 Lindsey moved to Central Florida where she began teaching Oviedo High School and Lake Howell High School. Lake Howell percussion went on to win the 2010 FMBC State High Percussion award for the first time in school history. Personal Notes In her spare time, Lindsey still enjoys playing and learning more about the instruments she loves, as well as instruments outside of the percussion roster. Always looking for new musical opportunities to excel and expand her percussion knowledge and skills, she is in the process of beginning to arrange music for high school front ensembles. Lindsey also enjoys being a photographer and paint
Benjamin Berry, originally from Buffalo, NY is currently an Assistant Band Director as well as a Percussion Director for the Hidalgo Independent School District in Hidalgo, TX. There, he teaches percussion to junior high and high school students. He received his Bachelor in Music Education Degree from Ithaca College where he studied percussion with Gordon Stout and Conrad Alexander. After marching tenors for one year with DCA’s Empire Statesmen from Rochester, NY in 2007 he became a member of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008. He was a member of the front ensemble (CPit) for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Eric Nix is a respected band instructor at Grantsville High School (GHS) in Grantsville, Utah. As such , he is responsible for the high school band, drum line and color guard in competition band as well as in jazz band. He is a perfectionist and gets the most out of his students because of his passion for his job, enthusiasm for music and because he really cares about his students.