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The
Design Team

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Brass

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Matt Krempasky 

 

Matt began his drum corps career way back in 1975 with the Wayne (NJ) Monarchs.

While at Gettysburg (PA) College, Matt marched with the Reading Buccaneers, winning two

DCA World Championships. In 1982, the Bucs Brass Caption head Tony Yaklich asked him to

be his assistant at Reading and also at his new gig with the Crossmen. Matt starting writing

the brass arrangements for the Buccaneers in 1983, and has been writing for marching arts

ensembles steadily since then. Matt rejoined the Crossmen as the Brass Arranger from 1987

through 1994, helping to create a new signature sound and personality to lead the corps back

to being a consistent DCI finalist. The five year stretch from 1990’s “New York Voices” show

through the “Songs for Planet Earth” trilogy remains one of the most exciting and successful

runs in the corps history. (...and he just wanted to note that he is still in awe of the effort given

by the ’89 corps to somehow get back to being in finals....) Matt wrote and transcribed the

brass arrangements for the Play in the Park performance in 2018.

Matt has been a member of Mensa since 1990. He was awarded the New Jersey “Master

Music Teacher” by the NJMEA in 1997. He was elected to the Reading Buccaneers Hall of

Fame in 2006, the Pennsylvania Drum and Bugle Corps Hall of Fame in 2011, and the

Crossmen Hall of Fame in 2012.

Matt has recently retired from a 40 year career as a high school band director (Roxbury ’82-‘85,

Columbia ’85-‘00, Somerville ’00-‘22) and is excited to have the time to actually practice his

trumpet for the first time in a long, long time. Let’s go get better!

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Jerry Kelsey

Jerry Kelsey has been an arranger\composer, music educator and adjudicator for the past 50

years. Jerry has worked as an arranger\composer for many prominent high school and college

marching bands including: Bassett HS in VA, Columbia HS in MS, Piano HS in TX, Amador

Valley HS in CA, Wake Forest University, The University of Buffalo, Syracuse University, Jones

Co. Comm. College in MS and currently California University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Kelsey has been employed as a brass arranger, instructor and program coordinator for

several drum corps, in both DC! and DCA including: The Crossmen, Florida Wave, Suncoast

Sound, Capital Regiment, The Reading Buccaneers, The Rochester Crusaders, The Kilties and

for 11 years the 5 time DCA Champion Empire Statesmen. He also served as a brass consultant

for the Boston Crusaders, Madison Scouts and The Glassmen. Jerry has worked as an

adjudicator for DC!, ISSMA, The Southern States Judging Assoc. and the NYSFBC. Mr. Kelsey

was inducted into The World Drum Corps. Hall of Fame in 2006 and just this year was inducted

into The Bugler's Hall of Fame. Mr. Kelsey is also a professional photographer. He and his wife

Dianna operate a Gallery in downtown Warsaw, New York.

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Al Chez

Al Chez, well known for playing over 25 years on Late Night and  

The Late Show with David Letterman, appearing on both NBC & CBS.

Second longest network TV trumpet player second only to Doc Severenson with over 2800 Shows.

He toured with Tower of Power, Bon Jovi, Robert Cray, Young Rascals,

Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Maynard Ferguson, Eric Clapton, Dave Edmunds Band, Ben E King, Sam & Dave to name a few.

 

His performances include two presidential inaugurations,

world tours, over 25 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.  

Special concerts include the Concert for NY,  Concert of The Century,

John Lennon's 50th Birthday, Closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics

as well as multiple concerts at the White House,

offering his extraordinary  skills for fundraiser events.

 

Al Chez formed his own band back in 2008,

called the Brothers of Funk Big Band,

and continues touring with them as well as giving back

with band clinics and drum corps, including the Crossmen.

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Frank Dorittie

Percussion

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Mark Thurston

 

Mark was a member of the Crossmen snare line from 1979 through 1982. After aging out, Mark was a member of the Crossmen percussion staff and then went on to become the percussion caption head and arranger from 1984 to 1996. Mark was inducted into the Crossmen Hall of Fame in 2003. After his time with the Crossmen, Mark served as the first education coordinator for WGI Sport of the Arts from 1997 to 1998.  In 1999, Mark was appointed as the Director of Percussion for WGI Sport of the Arts, a position he still holds. Mark was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame in 2006. Mark also served as the ensemble coordinator for the Reading Buccaneers from 2012 through 2015 and then again from 2018 through 2020.  Mark was inducted into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 2019.  Mark was also inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2014. He resides in Limerick, PA with his wife Marci and children, Emmi and Luke.

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Thom Hannum

Thom has long been regarded as one of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians having presented numerous seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Thom taught at the University of Massachusetts from 1980-2020 and is now the Associate Director Emeritus of the Minuteman Marching Band. 

 

In 2009 Mr. Hannum was recognized by the university, receiving the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award. Also, in 2016 Thom received the George Parks Leadership In Music Education Award presented by the National Association For Music Education in collaboration with Music For All. He is a product consultant and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company, Evans Drum Heads, the Pearl Corporation, and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets where he has developed several Signature Series drumsticks and keyboard mallets. Thom is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society.

 

Mr. Hannum is currently on the design team and the percussion director for the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also known for his work with the DCI World Champion Cadets and Star of Indiana, the Crossmen (1979-82; 1997-98), and is a member of the design team for the Tony and Emmy Award Winning show Blast! In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hannum was selected for induction into the DCI Hall of Fame, and in 2008 he was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.  Mr. Hannum is also a member of The Cadets and the Crossmen Hall of Fame. In 2018 the Massachusetts Music Education Association presented Thom with the Lowell Mason Award for his leadership in music education. And most recently in the Fall of 2019 Mr. Hannum received the Distinguished Service to Music Medal which is the highest honor bestowed by Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity. In March of 2020 Thom was named recipient of the Paul Smith Hall of Fame Award presented by the Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) at the annual All-State Conference.

 

Through the Hal Leonard Corporation, Mr. Hannum has published a Textbook and corresponding Student Workbook, Championship Concepts For Marching Percussion, which provide many band programs with a comprehensive foundation for percussion education. His instructional video produced by Warner Brothers/Chappell, Fundamental Techniques For Marching Percussion, demonstrates many of the concepts outlined in the books. Thom’s most recent book, A Percussionist’s Guide to CHECK PATTERNS, Building Your Rhythmic Vocabulary, is published by Alfred Publications. Mr. Hannum has also published percussion arrangements and solos with Warner Brothers, Rowloff Productions, and Drop6 Media, Inc. 


Mr. Hannum is the founder and director of his MOBILE PERCUSSION SEMINAR which offers clinic and workshop programs for high schools and colleges of all ability levels. For more information visit the website at www.percussion.org.

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Chris Thompson

Chris Thompsonhas been an educator, writer, and performer since his time at West Chester University (grad. 1980) where he was also a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps from 1976-78. Chris’s career out of undergraduate school began as a drummer, as we well as a composer/arranger/percussion teacher for the Bones (1979-83). In 1984, Chris became the Percussion Director for the Madison Scouts (1984-1992). In 1988, CT was part of a collaboration that produced one of the iconic programs of a generation and a Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship. It was in that same year of ’88 that Chris graduated from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a Master of Music majoring in Jazz Drumming. At Rutgers, Chris had the privilege of studying with Dr. William Berz, Keith Copland, Mark Kirk, Noel DaCosta, and Kenny Barron.

 

In the Fall of 1992, Chris met his wife Laura while working as a visiting professor at Michigan State University and they were married in January 1994. They are parents to two children, Madaline and Sean, and currently reside in the Chicago suburbs. Chris has written music for organizations around the world and performed with artists such a Randy Sabien, Jeff Eckels, and Mark Kirk as a kit drummer. Chris served as a high school and community college band director prior to advancing into school leadership in 1996. As a K-8 school administrator, Chris led public schools 12 years. He left school administration to work on a large, federally grant-funded study focused on increasing teacher capacity and performance. Chris currently works as a K-12 Program Consultant and a composer/arranger for Excelcia Music Publishing and CTchristhompsonmusic. CT is also the co-founder and music director for the Unknown Bones. CT is a Yamaha Performing Artist since 1985.

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Bob Gross Pit arranger/instructor 

 

Bob was a member of the Crossmen drumline in 1977 and 1978. From 1979-1983 he was percussion co-arranger for the Garfield Cadets, and was part of their championship team of 1983. He established the first full concert instrument “pit” in drum corps, in 1982. In 1988-1989, he returned to the Crossmen as pit arranger. He has been a DCA judge since 1997, judging several world championship events. He has also judged for US Bands, Cavalcade of Bands, and the Musical Arts Conference. Bob was recently (2022) inducted into the Cadets Hall of Fame. He received a BS in Music Ed. (1979) and an MM in Music Performance (1981) from West Chester University. As a grad student, he was the percussion co-arranger for the WCU Marching Band, and later was a music teacher and head of percussion for Dartmouth, Mass. school district. In 2003 he was a trumpet participant in the Canadian Brass Weekend at Eastman School of Music. He is also a published perc. arranger for Arrangers Publishing Company and others. Bob retired in 2017 from Maurice River Twp. School in south NJ, where he taught general music, instrumental, band, and two choirs. Bob also toured as a keyboardist/musical director for many groups, including stints in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. As a keyboard artist, He received critical acclaim for his 2012 smooth jazz album “Bob Gross and Friends”. His most recent album, “Second Time Around”, was released in February 2022, featuring an all-star cast including Najee, Marion Meadows, Brian Bromberg, and Nick Colionne. A single, “Hard Time Waiting”, made the Smooth Jazz Network’s top 100 for 5 weeks this Spring. Bob resides in Davenport, Fl.. 

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Bob Morrison

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Marc Jacoby-Electronics

While Marc ‘Max’ Jacoby didn’t march with the Crossmen, his couple of years (‘82-83) on the percussion staff working under Thom Hannum and Chris Thompson was a great learning experience (and a whole lot of fun!). After writing and teaching with the Madison Scouts, Blue Devils and Glassmen he left his tour bag on the field and retired from drum corps when his first child was born. In 2005 he was excited to return to West Chester, PA this time as a faculty member in the university’s Wells School Music where he was Director of Jazz Studies. Marc is a founding member of the Unknown Bones, a music collective of Crossmen alumni that puts on a fundraising concert in support of the Crossmen organization. 

Visual

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Ralph Pace

( Program Coordinator)for Crossmen 2024 Allumni Corps,

inducted into the Crossmen

Hof 2003, DCI Hof 1991, DCA /WDC Hof 2005, Massachusetts Hof 1999 ( twice), NJ

Hof 2008, Pa Hof 2019, including 5 others.

Attended St. Joseph University for Marketing,

Retired as owner of Yesterday’s International LLC Antique/Art/ Estate Jewelry Business

and Appraisal Associates Estate Liquidation Business.

1977 (Crossmen’s first year in DCI finals)78-83-84-85 Designed /taught,

other corps & Indoor Colorguards Designed and taught: Indoor color guard

“ The Hussars from Roebling, NJ 1966-67-68, The Royaleer Mounties, Haddonfield,NJ

1967-68-69

Royaleer All Girl D/C, 1968-69-70 Blue Rock 1970-71-72, 27th Lancers, 1975/76/77/78

27th Lancers - 1979 Phantom Regiment, 1980 Spirit of Atlanta,Boston Crusaders 1982

( consulted/ Ghost designed parts of the 2011/2012 Boston Crusaders, Chicago

Cavalier’s 1979-80-81,Reading Buccaneers from 1971 to 1984, Consultant / Program

coordinator for Pacific Crest, Diamond Bar, Calfornia 2011- 2013

High School Bands ; Plymouth Whitemarsh, Plymouth Meeting, Pa 1975 to 1984,

Sun Valley, Delware Valley Pa.1978 to 84, and still consulting and Ghost Designing in

todays Drum Corps World.

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Eric Kitchenman

Eric has been involved with pageantry his entire life. He began at age five when his father directed a drum and bugle corps in 1964 (The Pennsylvanians).  In 1977 he joined the Crossmen as a baritone player and performed with the corps through the summer of 1979. 

In 1980 his career began in the movement arts as a marching technician and indoor guard instructor for North Penn H.S. In 1981 he began his designing career by stepping up and writing the indoor color guard program and later the percussion program. In 1982 and 1983 he was a visual technician for the Westshoremen Senior drum and bugle corps. His first drum corps effort in drill writing was with The Conquest Alliance from Brighouse in the United Kingdom and he played a part in leading the corps to their first championship in 1986.

Eric’s first U.S. drum corps design effort was in returning to his alumnus the Crossmen and designing programs in 1987 through 1991, 1996 and 1997 (with Marc Sylvester and Jeff Sacktig) staff coordinator in 1998 and finally the program coordinator and assistant director for the Crossmen in 2004. In addition he was the drill designer for the Velvet Knights in 1992 and 1993, the Skyliners in 1994 and 1995, the Spirit of Atlanta in 1999 and visual coordinator for the Bluecoats in 2001 and then designer in 2002. In 2000 he was hired to design the Buccaneers senior corps program where he remained until 2004. In 2006 and 2007 he returned to be the visual coordinator and designer for the Reading Buccaneers in which they achieved two undefeated seasons.  In 2007 and 2008 Eric was the Associate Program Coordinator for the Cadets.   In 2013 and 2014 Eric was the Program Coordinator and Staff Coordinator for the Boston Crusaders. 

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Jeff Sacktig

 

Jeff was a member of the Crossmen in 1982 along with his older brother John.

His Dad also was a bus driver for the corps. Jeff continued on in drum corps

and came back as the corps as the Visual Designer in 1997 and 1998.

Jeff has been involved in the pageantry arts for over 40 years as a performer,

a teacher, a designer and an adjudicator.

He is an active visual designer and consultant for drum corps, marching band,

indoor percussion, winter guard and winds groups.

Currently Jeff is in his sixth year as the Visual Designer for Carolina Crown.

Prior to that he spent over 30 years with The Cadets, 20 years as their Visual

Designer. Jeff was a part of 8 DCI World Championship titles and numerous

medalist placements. His contributions to the pageantry arts overall are well

respected.

Having taught and designed for many groups through the years Jeff is

fortunate to have worked at the highest level is all areas of pageantry. Some

of his most notable groups are Vandegrift HS, Bands of America Grand

National Champion. Paramount Winter Guard, WGI Independent World

Champion. Dartmouth HS Indoor Percussion, WGI Scholastic World

Champion. Cleveland HS Winds, WGI Scholastic World Champion.

Cadets2, DCA World Champion. And The Yokohama Scouts, Drum Corps

Japan Champion.

Jeff was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame, the World Drum Corps Hall of

Fame and the Cadets Hall of Fame. He resides in Woodstock, GA.

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Bob Yarnell

Crossmen Hornline 80-81-82

Crossmen Visual Staff 83-84-85, 87-88-89

Crossmen Visual Consult 90-91

 

Educator in the Wissahickon School District for 35 years.  Staff development for 10 years.

Teaching and designing Band Shows 1979- to Present.

All around good guy….. most of the time.

Bobby Jones
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Has provided his visual design expertise to many well-known drum and bugle corps. In 2006, he was visual designer and caption head for the Crossmen. He has been visual designer and co-program coordinator with Sunrisers since 2015. He provided visual design services for Jersey Surf at two different times: in 2001 and again from 2011 to 2014.

In 2007, he was visual designer and caption head for Hawthorne Caballeros and served in the same two positions with Kingston Grenadiers in 2009. In between, he was Carolina Gold’s visual designer. From 2005-2015 he was the visual caption head for the Reading Buccaneers during an unprecedented championship run.

He has been a member of DCA’s visual task force since 2011. For more than 10 years, he has been visual judge for several organizations including the United States Scholastic Bands Association (USSBA, now known as USBands), Winter Guard International (WGI) and the Mummers Parade.

Color Guard

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Tyler Edrington

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