Andy Grindle

Caption Head

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.

Matthew Smith

Assistant Caption Head

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.

Brittany Barnette

Trumpet Technician

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.

Michael Khuraibet

Trumpet Technician

Michael Khuraibet is a trumpet player and educator from Los Angeles, California with over 12 years of experience. Beginning his drum corps career in 2013, Michael was a lead trumpet player and soloist for the Troopers from Casper, Wyoming. After completing two seasons with the Troopers (2013-2014), Michael was selected as a member of the 2015 Blue Devils from Concord, California. In his time there, the corps received awards for best visual performance, as well as their 17th DCI World Championship. For the summer of 2016, Michael decided to take his experience to a new generation of students. As a result, he was invited to be a visual and brass staff member for the Watchmen from Riverside, California. A banner year for the Watchmen, the corps had its largest brass line ever, as well as achieving their highest placement ever at that point. With the encouragement of his friends and colleagues, Michael decided to march his age out as a lead trumpet with Carolina Crown from Fort Mill, South Carolina. There, the corps received its 6th Jim Ott award for best brass performance. Outside of drum corps, Michael lives in Los Angeles, where he attends Rio Hondo College. Currently, he is pursuing a double major in communications and journalism. Michael is excited to be a part of the Pioneer brass program for 2018!

Carol Weirich

Mellophone Technician

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 PiteƄ 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!

David Kolar

Mellophone Technician

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.

Dexx Moore

Baritone Technician

Dexx was born and raised in central Texas. After completing high school, he began his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education at Texas State University where he is currently a Senior. During his time at Texas State, Dexx has had the pleasure to perform under the baton of Dr. Caroline Beatty, Dr. Kyle Glaser, and Mr. Matthew Holzner. Dexx studies privately with Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Texas State, Raul Rodriguez. In 2015, Dexx began furthering his marching career on baritone at the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps of Casper, WY where he was taught by Tim Snyder, Donnie Vandoren, and many others. In 2016, Dexx performed on euphonium and trombone with the Drum Corps International World Champion Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps of Canton, OH. In 2017, Dexx returned to the Bluecoats for his age out where he played baritone and was a member of the featured trombone septet. While at Bluecoats he was taught by Derek Gipson, Matt Stratton, Donnie VanDoren, and many others. Dexx is currently on the Visual Staff at Cedar Park High School and Westlake High School. His professional affiliations are Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Texas Music Educators Association. When he is not teaching, Dexx enjoys road trips and being outdoors. Dexx is excited to begin teaching alongside the world class educators of the 2018 Pioneer Brass Staff!

Matt Wood

Baritone Technician

A native of Kansas, Matt has spent most of his life in the great state of Texas. He currently attends Texas State University pursuing a degree in music education. During his time at Texas State, Matt was fortunate enough to be mentored by the great minds of Raul I. Rodriguez, Matt Holzner, Dr. Kyle Glaser, Jordan Stern and Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt. He served as a section leader in the Bobcat Marching Band and was a frequent Euphonium soloist in the Texas State concert ensembles. Matt is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity as well as Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, where he served as the Sergeant at Arms, Historian and Vice-President of the organization and was awarded the John C. Stansberry award, the highest honor awarded by the chapter. Between the summers of 2013-2017, Matt took part in the annual Drum Corps International tour, spending summers with the Troopers, Madison Scouts and ultimately the Boston Crusaders. During this time, Matt had to opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in the activity including Keith Potter, Gino Cipriani, Robert W. Smith, Donnie VanDoren, Dr. Scott Boerma, Dr. Nick Williams, Jarrett Lipman, Andrew Ebert, and Leon May. In his free time, Matt enjoys reading, playing a few rounds of disc golf and watching hockey. Go Canucks!

Brenna Wilkinson

Tuba Technician

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.

Collin Shackelford

Tuba Technician

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.