Brass Staff

Tim Snyder

Tim Snyder

Brass Caption Manager

Tim is a freelance arranger/composer, educator & adjudicator. His music has been performed on concert stages and football fields all across America. Tim is in-demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the country in brass pedagogy.In 2018, Tim will be taking over the Mandarins brass program. "I'm very excited to be joining the Mandarins in 2018", says Tim. The Mandarins finished 2017 with a 13th place finish just missing finals by less than a point.Most recently Tim was the brass caption manager of the Oregon Crusaders. In 2017, Oregon had the largest brass turnout in corps history. While at Oregon Tim was instrumental in setting new standards for the Oregon Crusader organization.As the former brass caption manager of America's Corps, The Troopers. Tim oversaw the resurgence of the Troopers to national prominence just missing Drum Corps International Finals by a mere .15 points in 2013 and saw the Troopers brass program to a top 12 finish in 2014 & 2015. The Troopers continued to grow as a brass team through the 2016 season, which some have said, this is the finest Troopers hornline in history.Tim has learned from some of the best educators in the world; Arnold Jacobs, Donnie VanDoren, Marc Whitlock, Jon Vanderkoff, Thom Hannum, Nick Angelis, Matt Harloff, Ben Harloff, Dennis Johnson, Earle Louder, Ray Conklin, Richard Miles, Nick Williams and many more.Tim is currently writing for a DCA Class A Corps in Cincinnati, Ohio - Cincinnati Tradition - They are a 4-time DCA Class A Finalist, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. Earning Back-to-Back Class A Championships (2016 & 2017) along with high brass and GE awards in both seasons.As a tuba tech at Carolina Crown, Tim oversaw the return of the 16-person tuba line to the field since the 1992 Star of Indiana. He wasn't done there; in 2010 & 2011 Tim was at the helm of the first ever 20-person tuba line at the Madison Scouts. Tim has had the pleasure of teaching some of the best tuba lines in the history of activity and many of his students have gone on to teach at the highest levels of the activity.Tim and his wife founded BOX5 Media. At BOX5 we focus solely on the pageantry arts offering audio and video productions that we feel match our love for the arts. BOX5 has recorded some of the best music ensembles in the world. BOX5 is the go to media company for Drum Corps International, Drum Corps Associates, Winter Guard International, North American Brass Band Association and many other state music associations.

Aaron Wells

Brass Technician

Aaron Wells is currently in his twenty-first year of teaching band in Indiana and in his fourteenth year at Edgewood High School where his marching band is vying for its thirteenth consecutive appearance in the Indiana High School Music Association state finals and defending their first state championship. In his thirty plus years participating in the marching arts Aaron has been a member or staff of several state and national championship programs which include BOA Class A Super Regional and Grand National Champions and has traveled to Ireland twice with his band to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade where his group was the overall champion in 2009. Aaron can now add the honor of teaching a DCI finalist drum corps with the 2018 and 2019 Mandarins! Aaron started his drum corps adventure in 1992 with Star of Indiana where he was a member for five years and later on Aaron taught at the Madison Scouts and Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps where he worked with the visual team at Madison and was on brass staff with the Troopers. In 2018 Aaron had the honor of being a DCA Champion while performing with the Star United mini corps. Aaron lives in the country mecca of Arney Indiana with his wife Amanda and daughter Trinity along with their dogs Faddis and Chleo.

Jim Steele

Brass Technician

Jimmy is from Upstate New York where he lives with his wife Terry and two children, Robert and Kailey. Jimmy has had an extensive career as a brass/visual instructor in both DCA and DCI. Jim has been a member of the Rochester Crusaders (‘87, ‘88) and also the Empire Statesmen from 1991-1999, 2007-2013. During those years with the Statesmen, Jimmy was on the brass and visual staff from 1993-1996. In 1997 Jimmy took over the Brass Caption Head position. During his 12 years with the corps he was honored to be the part of 4 DCA World Championship Corps (’91, ’94, ’97 and ‘98). Jimmy was also a member of the hornline as a marching member for all the years that he has been with the Statesmen. He left the Statesmen at the end of the 1999 season to begin working in the DCI ranks. From 2000-2005, he was the Brass Caption Head of Spirit of JSU. During those years, Spirit re-entered the top 12 for the first time in many years. The corps earned finalist status in 2002, 2004 and 2005. In 2006 Jim joined the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps as the Brass Caption Head. Jimmy re-entered the drum corps activity in 2007-2013 to work again with the Empire Statesmen. Outside of drum corps Jimmy has been a major contributor to many marching, jazz and concert band programs throughout the country. Jimmy has been a band director in the Medina Central School District for the past 28 years and was involved with the Medina Mustang Band for their State Championships in ’95, ’97, ’00, ’01, ’02, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12 and ‘13. His concert and jazz bands are award winning and have performed both on the local and national level. Jimmy has worked with numerous band programs throughout the Northeast and has also been a judge in the National Judges Association. He has been a guest conductor at numerous festivals and also enjoys judging concert and jazz competitions. Professionally Jimmy is a freelance trumpet player. He is currently a member of Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk out of NYC. In addition to that he has played in numerous pit orchestras and has also played with Randy Brecker, Mic Gilette (Tower Of Power), Tom Politzer (Tower Of Power) and Wycliff Gordon. He is very excited to be back and working with the Mandarins for this coming year.

Patrick Keeley

Brass Technician

Patrick is thrilled to be back for his third year teaching the Mandarins Brass after another record-breaking season. 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, jazz, and pep bands as well as the Jasper brass program. The Jasper Marching Band has been a state finalist for 29 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 90 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 was a four year member of the Indiana University Marching Hundred, Big Red Pep Band, and IU Singing Hoosiers and a member of the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps and Alumni Corps. Patrick has served several terms on both the ISSMA and IBA state boards and is a member of Phi Beta Mu honorary band director fraternity and the Indiana Jazz Educators Association. Prior to teaching at the Mandarins, Patrick spent three years on the brass staff at the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. Pat is excited this to see what exciting things the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps bring to the table in 2020 and be a part of this Mandarins Educational team that always strives to push to new levels of excellence.. Patrick lives in Jasper, IN with his wife Buffy, and his two daughters, Kari and Kelly and Shih Tzu – Jazzsmine.

Will Lovan

Brass Technician

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Will is excited to join the Mandarins Brass Team for this upcoming 2020 season. Will is an alumna of Carolina Crown and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps; in 2016 he was the Cadets featured trumpet soloist.Will has participated in many national solo and ensemble competitions, earning a Semi-Finals appearance in 2017 small ensemble division with his quintet. Will is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Music Performance-Trumpet/Certificate of Baroque Trumpet Performance. He is currently working towards a Masters in Trumpet Performance under Jens Lindemann at UCLA.Will enjoys an extensive performance and freelance career during the offseason. In addition to that, Will has had a large success in teaching privately with students earning spots in District ensembles, Allstate bands, and various honor bands.Will has studied under Jason Dovel, Jens Lindemann, Vince DiMartino, Rich Illman, John Foster, and Terry Eversen.

Carol Weirich

Brass Technician

Carol Weirich is the assistant band and orchestra director at Discovery Middle School in Granger, Indiana which is part of the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. 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 studied instrumental music education at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, graduating cum laude in May 2018. While at Butler, she studied piano and horn, performed in the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Col. Michael Colburn, and participated in several other university and independent ensembles. Carol also spent a semester abroad at the Piteå Musikhögskolan in northern Sweden studying piano and conducting. Her drum corps experience includes marching three years with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2017) and serving on the brass staff with the Mandarins for the 2019 season.

Brandt McKinzey

Brass Technician

Brandt McKinzey grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and currently resides in Lubbock, Texas where he is an assistant band director at Lubbock-Cooper High School. He is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in music. While in college, he was a consistent member of the Wind Ensemble as well as being a four year member of the Lumberjack Marching Band, where he was section leader for the last two years, and also a member of the Roarin’ Buzzsaws Basketball Pep Band. Brandt also performed with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for two seasons until his age out.Brandt’s previous DCI teaching experience comes from being a staff member at Shadow DBC out of Open Class. In addition to his time with Shadow, he has assisted as a marching/brass tech at Frisco Wakeland High School, Wylie High School, and Mansfield Lake Ridge High School. Brandt previously taught as an assistant band director at Henderson High School, before moving to his current job in Lubbock, Texas. He is looking forward to his time with The Mandarins and cannot wait for the 2020 season.

Gabriel Duerkop

Brass Technician

Gabriel Duerkop currently resides in Republic, Missouri with his wife Mary. He works at Palen Music Center, teaches adjunct trombone at Missouri State University and teaches privately in the Springfield area. Gabriel's education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas and a Master's Degree in Trombone Performance from Missouri State University. While at Missouri State University, Gabriel worked as a Graduate Assistant for the MSU Pride Band under the direction of Dr. Brad Snow. He also assisted the MSU trombone choir under the supervision of Dr. Jason Hausback. Gabriel has performed with many groups from local to national. This includes the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, Ozark Festival Orchestra, Conway Symphony Orchestra, Missouri State University Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Little Theater and various trombone ensembles that have traveled to national conventions such as the American Trombone Workshop and the Big 12 Trombone Conference. Gabriel's drum corps experience includes a season with the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 where he played baritone. This is his first season with the Mandarins with many more to come!

Jeremy Basso

Brass Technician

Jeremy Basso holds a Bachelor of Music Education from 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. For over ten years, Jeremy was very active with several bands in west/central Indiana. He currently lives in Greenfield, Indiana with his wife Brooke and their two children Brady (9) and Olivia (3). 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, two junior high concert bands, and four jazz ensembles. In the three years Jeremy has been at Greenfield Central, the school has twice been the Indiana State School Music Association Class B State Runner-Up in marching band, 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. The 2020 season will be Jeremy's second as a low brass instructor for the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. His drum corps career began in 2000 with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps where he marched baritone for two seasons. He previously served on the brass staff of the Crossmen, Troopers, Southwind and the Blue Stars. "I'm thrilled to be back with this brass team and can't wait to help get the Mandarins Brass to the next level."

Aaron Christianson

Brass Technician

Aaron Christianson is returning to the Mandarins after aging out with the corps in 2019. He brings 6 years of DCI experience to the brass team comprised of 5 years as a performer and one year as the Audio Intern for the Bluecoats in 2018. As a trumpet player, Aaron has performed with the Minnesota Ballet, Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra, and toured with the Superior Wind Symphony and Jazz Lab Band through Michigan Technological University. He is graduating from Michigan Technological University this spring with a major in Theatre & Entertainment Technology with minors in Music Technology and Sculptural Art. He is extremely excited to be on board with the 2020 brass team and can't wait to start working on this years show.

Mary Duerkop

Brass Technician

Mary Duerkop currently lives in Republic, Missouri with her husband Gabriel. She is currently an Assistant Band Director for Nixa Public Schools where she teachers 7-12 Instrumental Music. Before becoming a band director, Mary was the K-5 General Music Teacher at Fremont Elementary in Springfield, MO and a K-4 General Music Teacher with Cabot Public Schools in Cabot, AR. In 2013 she graduated with her Bachelors of Arts in Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas. During her time in Arkansas, Mary worked with numerous high school marching bands including Conway High School Band, Greenbrier High School Band and Greene County Tech High School Band. Mary’s previous drum corps experience was with The Academy from 2007 - 2009 where she marched contra. She also had the opportunity to travel to Japan with the production “Odyssey” in 2008. Odyssey was an all-female cast that was auditioned and selected to go tour 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. This will be Mary's 9th year with the Mandarins. She has had the great pleasure of working with the Mandarins from 2010 - 2012 and 2015 - 2016 as a part of the visual and brass staff. Since 2017 Mary has been a member of the brass staff and she is very excited to return for the 2020 season.

Daniel Herrick

Daniel Herrick

Brass Technician

Dan Herrick is currently in his 7th year as a band director, and his 1st year as Assistant Band Director at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also serves as an Assistant Director of the Marching Pride of Lawrence Township (MPLT). He has previously served as Head Director of Decatur Middle School Bands, Assistant Director of the Decatur Central High School Marching Band, and Head Director of the WGI Bronze Medalist Decatur Central Indoor Winds. After graduating high school, Dan marched with the Blue Stars in the summer of 2009 before turning his focus to college. While at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Dan studied tuba under Daniel Perantoni, while also receiving lessons from Roland Szentpali and Tony Kniffen. Dan was active in several ensembles at I.U. -- concert bands, orchestras, marching band, basketball band, and even an opera. Dan studied under the baton of such conductors as Steven Pratt, Jeff Gershman, Paul Popiel, Dave Woodley, and Arthur Fagen through these ensembles. He also previously served as a tuba tech for the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps (2015-2018). Dan is married to his lovely and understanding wife Janessa, and they share their home with their three cats, Arya, Teddy, and Ella.

Gabe Gallegos

Brass Technician

Gabe Gallegos is from Grand Junction, Colorado and a student at Colorado Mesa University, where he is pursuing his Bachelors of Music with Elective Studies in Business. In his time at CMU, he has been the principal chair in both the Jazz Ensemble and Wind Symphony as well as being a founding member of the CMU Rowdy Brass Band. Gallegos marched with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from 2011 to 2018. 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.

Dustin Bays

Brass Technician

Dustin Bays is a tuba player from Greenville, South Carolina where he is a freelance musician and teacher. Dustin previously marched five seasons with Carolina Crown after which he joined the brass team as an intern. Dustin received his BA in Music from Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina along with a minor in theatre performance. Upon graduating Dustin spent a stint in Los Angeles at Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle corps as a tuba tech. After returning to South Carolina he spent one season with Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps before moving overseas to Norway. In Norway Dustin spent a year at Toneheim Folkehøgskole studying tuba under Morten Sanner. During that time Dustin had the privilege of working with several Norwegian school programs while competing in the brass band circuit along side Brøttum Brass. Dustin will be returning for his second year at Mandarins and currently works with TL Hanna High School and Boiling Springs High School, along with designing fall and winter shows and teaching his private studio under his company name, Bays Brass. @BaysBrass on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Chris Langton

Brass Technician

Chris Langton is a music educator with pursuits spanning the full range of the musical spectrum. With a dual-focused degree in instrumental and vocal Music Education, Chris currently works as a member of the Elementary Music team in Folsom Cordova Unified School District. Outside of the regular school day, he is the Music Director for Cantemus Children's Chorus and teaches a private studio of brass and vocal performers. When he's not teaching "all things music," Chris is an actively performing operatic baritone. His recent performances have included the role of Silvio in Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci," Luiz in "The Gondoliers," and Perichaud in Puccini's "La Rondine." Chris is a Mandarins alumnus, and performed on euphonium from 2006-2011 as a member, soloist, and horn sergeant. Following his age-out, Chris worked as a member of the brass staff from 2012-2017. After a brief hiatus, Chris is excited to rejoin the education team of his "home corps" in this new era of demand, success, and achievement.

Milt Gee

Milt Gee

Brass Analytics Consultant

Milt was married to Floree, who passed away in November 2018, and together they have 2 adult sons, Madison and Cameron. Floree's uncle Yuk Fong was one of the 4 who founded the Ye Wah Drums and Lyras Corps in 1963 that became the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in 1967. Milt retired from AT&T as the Chief of Staff for an Assistant Vice President. A trombonist from elementary school through college and a Lead Baritone with the Sacramento Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corps, Milt is a trombonist with the Elk Grove Community Concert Band since 2010 and the Mandarins Brass Alumni since 2019. His time with the Mandarins began on the brass staff from 1990 to 1993, returning to the brass staff in 2004 until his current role as Brass Analytics Consultant since 2018. Additionally, Milt was on the Mandarins Brass Academy staff from its first year in 2008 through 2014, and is the Mandarins Academy Director since 2015.

Kyle Headstream

Brass Technician

Kyle Headstream is currently in his 4th year as a band director, and his 1st year as Assistant Band Director at Lincoln middle school in San Angelo, TX. He has previously served as Band Director of Payson High School and Rim Country Middle School in Payson, AZ. Kyle's previous drum corps experience was with The Academy (2007-2009) and The Blue Devils (2010-2011), being featured as a soloist in 2008, 2009, and 2011. In 2014 he graduated with his Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance and Jazz Studies from the Univesity of New Mexico. After college, he spent time playing on cruise ships for Royal Caribbean cruises (2015-2016). For the last 10 years, Kyle has worked with several high school marching bands, Drum Corps, and Soundsport programs throughout the southwest. Since 2013, he has also written drill for several marching programs including Horizon and Compass Drum and Bugle Corps. Kyle is extremely excited to be on board with the 2020 brass team!

Michael Scott

Brass Technician

Mr. Michael D. Scott is a native of Miami, FL. He attended Allapattah Middle School and found his initial passion for music while playing trombone in the 6th-grade band. He later attended Miami Jackson Senior High School and joined the band under the direction of Dr. Jermaine Fleming. There, he received the teachings and motivation to pursue music as a full-time career. The Miami Jackson Band was successful, receiving many superior ratings. This gave Mr. Scott the experiences he needed to be successful in college, where he would further his education in the field of music. Upon graduating high school, Mr. Scott continued his education at Florida A&M University with a major in Music Education, where he also served as the head drum major for the world-renowned Marching 100 Band. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Mr. Scott was highly recommended by Dr. Julian White for a high school band director position at Miami Carol City Senior High School. When he arrived, the program was on the brink of extinction. The band only consisted of 16 people, nine of which included percussionists. In one challenging year, Mr. Scott was able to accomplish what would have taken three years without his leadership. He and a small group of dedicated members built the Miami Carol City band up to 120 band members by the end of the following fall season. The band also achieved a rating of Superior in Concert Band Music Performance Assessment for the first time in 14 years. After restoring the program at Miami Carol City, Mr. Scott decided it was time to accept a job at his home school, serving as the band director for Allapattah Middle School. Once a dying program, Mr. Scott started with zero people in the band, but motivated 100 middle school students to rebuild the program. This was the first time this band had seen life in over 15 years, and it continues to grow to this day. While serving as the Band Director at South Broward High School, the bands were invited to perform at numerous prestigious events including performing in London, several district and state performances, and New York at the great Carnegie Hall. Mr. Scott is currently the Band Director at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida. Upon arriving at Cypress Bay High School, the band program was in need of serious restoration. In only two months the program grew from a mere 20 participants to 180 musically educated members. The marching band, in only two months of his arrival, was able to make the schools 1st ever finals appearance at the Florida Marching Band Championships where they placed 5th. The concert band at Cypress Bay has just performed at the National Concert Band festival in Indianapolis. The jazz band has grown from 1 to 2 groups and the bands enrollment is growing more and more from year to year. Mr. Scott has conducted at four honor bands this year alone in 2019 and is stated to have another three set up for 2020. He was the Broward County young musicians conductor and the educator for the University of Miami Honor band at the Frost School of Music. Mr. Scott is a well-respected adjudicator, judging many pre concert band festivals, as well as the jazz music performance assessment in 2019 district 20, in Key West, Florida. This esteemed teacher is a member of the Florida Bandmasters Association and is a recipient of the Florida Bandmasters Association’s Tom Bishop Award. He is an outstanding and active supporter of the arts in public school education. Mr. Scott’s will to give and sacrifice endlessly to his students is unbelievable. He lives by the philosophy that “All Students Can Be Taught”. The experience and lessons learned throughout his teachings are remarkable and are displayed in each band in which he steps in front of. His mentors include Dr. Jermaine Fleming, Dr. Shelby Chipman, Dr. Julian White, Steve Rivero, & Benny Bolden. This accomplished passionate band director promises to motivate and inspire all students. He is the epitome of professionalism and task.

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