Brass Arranger/Assistant Program Coordinator - Rob Stein
We are pleased to introduce you to our new brass arranger: Mr. Rob Stein!

Rob is an experienced writer, designer, adjudicator, educator and performer. Over 200 marching bands and drum corps across 40 states have used Rob's original compositions and arrangements, including The Baltimore's Marching Ravens, the largest music organization associated with the NFL.

Rob's drum corps teaching experience is extensive in both DCI and DCA. As a composer and arranger, Rob has had the honor of writing for The Hawthorne Caballeros, The Skyliners, and Carolina Gold, who won the 2012 A Class DCA World Championships using Rob’s arrangements. As an instructor, Rob has been on staff with The Blue Devils B, The Cadets, The Jersey Surf, The Bushwackers, and numerous marching bands within Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Additionally, Rob is the Music Caption Head and Supervisor for the Cavalcade of Bands Marching Circuit.

As a marching member, Rob marched a total of eight years in DCI, six with the Jersey Surf ('99-'04) as a soprano soloist and drum major, and two years with the Concord Blue Devils ('05-'06) on upper lead trumpet.

Rob works full time as a composer/arranger and is the owner of Standing ‘O’ Marching. Before transitioning to full time composing, Rob was an elementary and middle school band director for 10 years. Rob is a graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, holding both a Master's degree in music education and a Bachelor's degree in trumpet performance with an emphasis in jazz studies. As a music educator in both the private and public setting, his experience includes extensive work with drum corps, marching bands, jazz bands, wind ensembles, pit orchestras and private lesson studios. As a performer, Rob has had the privilege of playing with many incredible musicians, such as Dave Liebman, Slide Hampton, Carl Allen, George Rabbi, The Latin Express (Philadelphia, PA), The Slicked Up 9's (Bethlehem, PA), The Harry James Tribute Band and more.

Rob is also a competitive pro natural bodybuilder, and training/nutrition coach.

Rob currently lives with his incredibly supportive wife, Katie, and two adorable dogs, in Flemington, NJ.

Rob is extremely excited and honored to join the Pioneer team for the 2018 season!
Caption Head - Andy Grindle
Andy is thrilled to join Pioneer in 2018 as Brass Caption Head.

He is currently a band director at Lake Shore Middle School, as well as the assistant band director at Sandalwood High School; both located in Jacksonville, FL.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education degree from West Liberty University, and he is currently working towards his masters degree in educational leadership.

Andy marched with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps as a trumpet player and aged out in 2011. He went on to serve on the Brass Faculty of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps for the next five years (2012-2016).

Outside of drum corps, Andy is a trumpet player and soldier in the 249th Army Band and Army National Guard. During his time at the Army School of Music, located in Norfolk, VA, Andy was awarded the Commandants Coin of Excellence for his musical, motivational, and leadership qualities.

His professional affiliations include the Florida Music Educators Association and the Florida Bandmasters Association.

Andy currently lives in Jacksonville, FL with his wife, Christina.
Associate Caption Head - Dr. Matthew Smith
Dr. Matthew Smith is entering his second year at Butler University as the Director of Athletic Bands, where he oversees the Butler University Marching Band, Basketball Band, and University Symphonic Band. Previously, he served as Interim Band Director at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he directed the UTC "Marching Mocs" and Basketball Pep Band, and conducted the Concert Band and Wind Ensembles. During his time at UTC, Dr. Smith was a two time conductor of the UTC Sponsored Tri-State Honor Band for high school band students. Prior to his appointment at UTC, he was an Assistant Professor and Director of Bands at Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont, where he was the director of the "Pulse and Power of Vermont" Spartan Marching Band, and the Spirit Band. He also conducted the Wind Ensembles and Spring Musical Ensemble. Dr. Smith received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Connecticut, where he was the Assistant Conductor of the University Wind Ensembles, and an Assistant Instructor of the Conducting Courses. During his time at UConn, he premiered the 2009 Big East Band Directors Association Consortium Project, "Torn Canvases" by Mathew Tommassini, with the University Wind Ensembles. Dr. Smith received his Masters of Music Performance in Conducting from West Virginia University, where he was the Graduate Assistant to the Concert and Athletic Band Programs. In addition, Dr. Smith received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Dayton. Following his undergraduate work, he was the Director of Bands at Charlotte Catholic High School (Charlotte, North Carolina) where he directed the 120-member competitive "Marching Cougars" Marching Band, and all other instrumental school ensembles. Dr. Smith spent seven years working with the Fred J. Miller Summer Clinic Programs, where he focused on curriculum writing, staff training, and administration of the clinic program. Through this program, he worked with student leaders at colleges and universities across the Unites States. Dr. Smith is also a sought after arranger for concert and marching ensembles. Currently he is writing for several ensembles across the country. As an advocate for new music publications, Dr. Smith has premiered 10 new musical compositions, including six short operas in three seasons with the Hartford Opera Theater's "New in November" series, where new ten minute operas are staged, rehearsed, and performed all in the span of 48 hours.

Dr. Smith is a member of the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, Phi Mu Alpha Professional Men's Music Fraternity, and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, INC.
Ensemble Specialist - Brad Parks
Brad began his appointment as the Associate Director of Bands at Choctawhatchee High School in the fall of 2013. He is a native of Boca Raton, Florida and received his Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Certificate in Special Education from the Florida State University. While pursuing his undergraduate degree Mr. Parks served as the Assistant Drum Major of the world-renowned Marching Chiefs for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Mr. Parks also served as the state President of the Florida National Association for Music Education Collegiate and held a seat on the Florida Music Educators Association Board of Directors.

Mr. Parks has been active within the marching arts outside of the classroom. He has served on the brass faculty with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps in 2013 and 2014. Prior to teaching with the Troopers he worked with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps and the Teal Sound Drum & Bugle Corps. Before "aging-out" from Drum Corps International, Mr. Parks was a member of the 2009 and 2010 Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps.

His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, the Florida Music Educators Association, and the Florida Bandmasters Association.​
Ensemble Specialist - Albert Vela
Albert Vela III is currently in his ninth year as an Assistant Director at Oak Ridge High School. His duties include being the primary director of the War Eagle Marching Band, conducting Concert Band I and co-conducting Concert Band II. During his time at Oak Ridge, the Marching Band has received the UIL Sweepstakes Award for 7 consecutive years, and made their first appearance in both a UIL Area Finals and a Bands of America Regional Finals. Under Albert's direction, the Concert Band I has also achieved its first 6 consecutive UIL Sweepstakes and been named best in class at music festivals. Albert has also assisted the Symphonic Band to numerous UIL Sweepstakes and most recently assisted the Wind Ensemble to a 2nd Runner-Up finish in the 2016 6A TMEA Honor Band Contest.

Albert holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from The University of Houston where he studied under the direction of Tom Bennett, David Bertman, John Benzer, trumpet instructor Jim Vassallo, and appeared on the Dean's List. During his time at the University of Houston, Albert had the opportunity to perform with the "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band, "Spirit on Stage", Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, and Wind Ensemble. While a member of these ensembles, he performed in multiple tours and for the College Band Directors National Association Convention. Albert attended Westfield High School under the direction of Philip Geiger where he was a member of the Bands of America Grand National Champion Band.

Albert has served on the Brass Staff of the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. Before joining the OC staff, he served on the staff of the Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps for two seasons. Albert also recently served as Brass Caption Head of the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps Prior to teaching Drum Corps, Albert was a marching member and vocal soloist with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps for two seasons under brass caption heads Gino Cipriani and Dean Westman.

Throughout his musical career, Albert has served as a brass masterclass teacher, private lesson instructor, marching band instructor, and adjudicator in the Greater Houston Area. He has also worked on the Development Team for the TonalEnergy Chromatic Tuner and Metronome, a top 10 iOS App.

Outside of teaching, Albert enjoys spending his time with his beautiful girlfriend Audra, exploring the many foodie opportunities around the City of Houston, traveling both locally and abroad, kayaking and standup paddle boarding, supporting the University of Houston Athletics as a multi-sport season ticket holder, and watching John Wayne movies.

Technique Specialist - Patrick Keeley
Bio coming soon...
High Brass Technician - Brittany Barnette
Brittany received her Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently resides in Florence, South Carolina and teaches English at Darlington High School. Brittany started marching with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013 and went on to age out in 2014. While there, she was a member of the trumpet section and served as section leader in 2014. In 2014 Brittany also joined the instructional team at Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, a competitor in the Drum Corps Associates circuit. She taught at Carolina Gold for its 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons, and also stepped into the role of Assistant Director for the group in 2015. Brittany has worked with various band programs in North Carolina and Virginia. She is excited to begin her first year with Pioneer.
High Brass Technician - Carol Weirich
Carol Weirich is a senior music education major at Butler University in Indianapolis. Carol has worked with marching bands in the Indianapolis and Elkhart, Indiana areas. She performed for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps on mellophone. Carol's primary instrument is piano, but she also plays horn and organ. She has played piano and horn with the Butler Wind Ensemble under the direction of Col. Michael Colburn, and performs in several other university and independent ensembles. Carol maintains a private piano studio through the Butler Community Arts School and has assisted with beginning group piano classes. She spent a semester studying piano and conducting at the Piteå School of Music in Sweden, while also traveling to six other countries across northern Europe. Carol is excited to be joining a group of spectacular educators and administrators at the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps!
High Brass Technician - David Kolar
David earned his Bachelor degree in Music Education from Eastern Michigan University in the summer of 2017. While attending EMU, he performed with their top wind ensemble and symphony orchestra for five years, three of those years as the principal horn player. During his time at EMU and student teaching with David Leach at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, he had the privilege of working with H. Robert Reynolds as both a performer and as a student teacher. He has also been teaching in the marching arts for five years. He has taught with several of the top ten competitive marching bands in the state of Michigan. He spent two years (2011-2012) performing with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps as well as two years (2014-2015) with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. He currently performs as a freelance horn player.
Low Brass Technician - Collin Shackelford
2018 will be Collin Shackelford's third season as a member of the brass educational team at Pioneer. He has been involved in the marching arts since 2008. Collin is a proud native of San Antonio, Texas where he studies at Northwest Vista College. He has played low brass instruments in several different ensembles, concert bands, jazz bands, marching bands and drum corps. Collin began his drum corps career in 2011 at the age of seventeen at Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas where he marched lead baritone. He then went on to march tuba for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming in 2012 where he stayed until his age out in 2015. Collin also served as the tuba section leader during the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons. After aging out, Collin joined the Pioneer brass team in 2016, specializing in the instruction of the low brass section. Over the span of the last five years, Collin has worked with some excellent band programs in San Antonio including his alma mater, William Howard Taft High School and John Jay High School. Collin is very excited to be back for another great season with his Pioneer family.
Low Brass Technician - Brenna Wilkinson
Brenna Wilkinson is seeking her Bachelor in music education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. She marched tuba at Forte Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and served as horn captain in 2012, Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013, The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014, and The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015. In 2017, she worked with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps on the visual team. In 2013 and 2014, she interned on the brass team at the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps. Brenna will to graduate from SFASU in May 2018, and hopes to proceed with a master's degree in athletic training.
Low Brass Technician - Anthony Veiga
Anthony Veiga is currently the Band Director at APW Jr/Sr High School, where he oversees the Junior High Band, Senior High Band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble, marching band, and basketball band. He has directed four division one athletic ensembles in many sporting venues nationwide, and has performed or directed ensembles at college bowl games, the NCAA Men's and Women's basketball tournament, the Heisman Gala, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four. Previously Anthony served as the Graduate Assistant of the Butler University Athletic Bands where he was asked to direct the Butler University Marching Band and the Butler University Basketball Band while the university searched for a new Director of Athletic Bands. In addition, he received his Masters of Music Performance in Euphonium from Butler University where he studied with Professor Michael J. Colburn. Before attending Butler University Anthony gained valuable athletic band experience as the Director of the Syracuse University Basketball Band, and Drum Major of the Syracuse University Marching Band. While at Syracuse University, Anthony received his Bachelor of Music Education degree with performance honors on euphonium from Syracuse University.
Low Brass Technician - Jason Priest
Jason​ ​Priest​ ​attended​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Maine​ ​in​ ​Orono​ ​for​ ​his​ ​undergraduate​ ​studies​ ​where​ ​he received​ ​a​ ​Bachelor's​ ​in​ ​Music​ ​Education​ ​and​ ​a​ ​Bachelor's​ ​in​ ​Music​ ​Performance​ ​on Euphonium.​ ​While​ ​at​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Maine,​ ​Jason​ ​participated​ ​in​ ​various​ ​ensembles​ ​including the​ ​Black​ ​Bear​ ​Marching​ ​Band,​ ​Jazz​ ​Ensemble,​ ​Brass​ ​Ensemble,​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Maine​ ​Singers, and​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Maine​ ​Symphonic​ ​Band​ ​where​ ​he​ ​was​ ​a​ ​featured​ ​soloist​ ​for​ ​their​ ​2013 Spring​ ​Tour.​ ​In​ ​addition,​ ​Jason​ ​received​ ​his​ ​Master's​ ​of​ ​Music​ ​Performance​ ​in​ ​Euphonium​ ​from Butler​ ​University​ ​where​ ​he​ ​studied​ ​with​ ​Michael​ ​J.​ ​Colburn.

Jason​ ​is​ ​also​ ​a​ ​member​ ​of​ ​the​ ​195th​ ​Army​ ​Band​ ​in​ ​Bangor,​ ​Maine.​ ​As​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​195th,​ ​Jason performs​ ​in​ ​various​ ​ensembles​ ​including​ ​the​ ​Concert​ ​Band,​ ​Ceremonial​ ​Band,​ ​Marching​ ​Band, Brass​ ​Quintet,​ ​and​ ​Jazz​ ​Ensemble.

Jason​ ​is​ ​from​ ​Old​ ​Town,​ ​Maine​ ​but​ ​now​ ​resides​ ​in​ ​Champaign,​ ​Illinois.