Program Designers, Arrangers, and Caption Managers

Program Director

Creative Director

Key Poulan

Key Poulan

Brass Arranger

Key Poulan is a composer and arranger primarily for the marching arts and has written for the world’s most famous drum corps including the Santa Clara Vanguard, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Mandarins, Caballeros, Spartans, Millennium, and the Star United Mini Corps. As the owner of Key Poulan Music, he has been recognized as one of the country’s top arrangers and composers in the area of contemporary marching band, has several concert band works to his credit, and recently scored the film “On The Starting Line”. His marching band arrangements have won several national titles at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships. His works have won many state titles throughout the United States and have been performed around the world. His transcription of “The Promise of Living” from Copland’s “Tender Land” was extremely well received at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival and his original works “Carnegie Fanfare and Dance” and “A Fortune in Steel” were premiered at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.Formal Education: Key Poulan graduated from Marshall High School in Marshall, Texas in 1980 after starting band in Lindale Texas. Key received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from East Texas State University (currently Texas A & M – Commerce) in 1985 and had the opportunity of studying under many fine educators including: Gary Hill, Dave Ward, Dr. Robert Houston, and Dr. Gene Lockhart. Key studied trombone under the late Dr. Neill Humfeld and composition with Dr. Ronald Yates and Dr. Margaret Wheat at ETSU. Key also credits his success to his mentors: Philip Geiger, Bill Watson, Eddie Green, Dr. Lawrence Sutherland, Dr. Gary Gilroy, Dr. Jerry Payne, Melvin Reddic, Hubert “Butch” Almany and the person who started him on trombone in the 5th grade – Jasper Huff.Drum Corps Experience: Key was fortunate enough to audition for the Concord Blue Devils and be selected to the baritone line in 1983. As a fan of Wayne Downey’s electrifying writing style, Key spent time studying Wayne’s work and assisted him in lifting tunes during the 1983 Blue Devils’ season. Since 1985, Key has become an integral part of the Drum Corps International and Drum Corps Associates community.

Benjamin Pyles

Battery Arranger / Percussion Caption Manager

Benjamin Pyles is currently the Director of Athletic Percussion at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Previously, Ben majored in music education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Lamar University, with a primary focus in Percussion. His most intensive studies came under the direction of Chris Hestin, Mike Macintosh, Travis Fife, and Michael Kingan.Ben has several years of World Class performing, design, and instructional experience, including the Glassmen from Toledo, OH; Bluecoats from Canton, OH; The Crossmen from San Antonio, TX; Spirit of Atlanta from Atlanta, GA; Colts from Dubuque, IA; and Monarch Independent from Houston, TX. Ben currently serves as the Percussion Caption Head and Designer for the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps from Sacramento, CA.Ben is endorsed by Sabian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion Inc. and Pearl and Adams Percussion.

Bryan Harmsen

Front Ensemble Arranger

Bryan is the owner of Visaudio Designs, a company specializing in design for the pageantry arts. He has designed for a number of ensembles in the United States, East Asia, and Europe, and his arrangements and compositions have helped ensembles earn numerous gold medals in their local circuits as well as 13 WGI Percussion medals and many more finalists. Some of his more notable current and past clients are Monarch Independent, Burleson Centennial HS, Clear Brook HS, Pioneer Indoor, and ED White HS. Most recently, he was the front ensemble arranger and electronics designer for The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, and was a marching member of Spirit of Atlanta, Southwind, and The Cavaliers. Bryan is also the voice and instructor behind Virtual Drumline Demystified, a tutorial series for the Virtual Drumline sound library from Tapspace Publications. While not working on music, Bryan also dabbles in graphic design, photography, enjoys spending time outdoors, and has an affinity for all things on the leading edge of technology. He proudly endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Innovative Percussion, and Remo Drumheads, and currently resides in Carrollton, Georgia with his wife Emily and their pack of dogs and cats.

Peter Beckhart

Drill Writer

Peter Beckhart has performed, instructed, and designed many competitive shows in the marching arts. His performing experience includes six years of DCI, aging out with the Concord Blue Devils. Peter also performed with the Riverside Community College winter drum line in 2011 and 2012.As a visual designer for fall marching bands and spring productions, Peter has had the opportunity to work with many ensembles since 2009. He currently designs drill for Ayala High School, Coronado High School (El Paso, TX), James Martin High School (Arlington, TX) and many other fall programs across the country. Peter is also a sought after choreographer for some of the most established marching bands and winter drumlines in the country including Leander High School (Austin, TX), North Shore H.S. (Houston, TX), Ayala H.S. (Chino Hills, CA), Mt. Carmel H.S. (San Diego, CA), RCC winter percussion, and Dark Sky Percussion.In the drum corps world, Peter taught the Blue Devils 'B' in 2012 and has been on visual staff of the 18-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps since 2013. He is also the visual designer for the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps from Sacramento, CA.Peter is humbled to have opportunities to work with some of the best programs and students in the world and is always striving to be a better instructor and designer. He lives in Anaheim, CA.

Edward "Beno" Morris

Edward "Beno" Morris

Sound Consultant / Coordinator

Beno has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has been consulting for Drum Corps since 1987 with Velvet Knights, Impulse, Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets and with The Academy from 2013-2018. He has also consulted with numerous marching bands in Indiana, Michigan, Texas, and Florida. Also, the Winter Percussion groups North Coast Academy and Cavalier Indoor.His experience with sound design started with Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, where he was part of the sound crew for concerts, park shows (Bugs Bunny) and special events. From there he joined he joined Swank Audio Visual in Palm Springs, here he worked with named artists such as Lionel Richie, Patti Labelle, Madonna, Henry Connick Jr., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Styx, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, WWF, Miss Teen USA and Coachella Music Festival and numerous other artists.During his teen years and early 20’s he was a member of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps playing bass drum from 1978-1984.In November 2012, Beno was lucky to be the recipient of a new heart, he attributes his return to Drum Corps to Ike Jackson, Mark Eichenberger and Cisco Hance and thanks them for their confidence.Beno is excited to join the staff of the Mandarins, hoping he can bring new ideas and use his extensive knowledge to enhance their sound.

Brass Caption Manager

Joseph Hayes

Visual Caption Manager

Joseph is a San Diego native that has been teaching the marching arts in Southern California since 2008 ranging from divisions 1A-6A. He has helped many schools achieve success in the marching activity. Joseph is currently the Visual Caption Head at Chula Vista and Mira Mesa High School and the Visual Consultant for Dickinson ISD in Houston, Texas. Aside from the 3 schools he currently works with, he also enjoys being a consultant for many programs needing assistance with any and all aspects of the activity. His drum corps performance experience includes The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011. During his rare moments of free time, Joseph enjoys dogs, mixed martial arts, baseball and ice cream. This is Joseph's 7th year with The Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps and he is incredibly excited for what the future holds.

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