Brass Caption Head - Randall Bennett

Brass Arranger - Ben Chaffee

High Brass Supervisor - Bill McClendon

Trumpet Teacher - Colleen Hulihan

Mellophone Teacher - Patrick Koppenhaver

Baritone Teacher - Jacob Wright

Tuba Teacher - Tyler Wiernusz

Brass Teacher - Samuel Shelly

Brass Intern - Collin Shackelford

Consultant - Mr. Ric Munsey

Consultant - Sammy Minge


randall bennettRandall Bennett
Brass Caption Head
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Randall Bennett currently resides in Albany, NY. He has been in the marching arts activity since 2001. In this time Randall has played tuba in a variety of drum corps, marching bands, symphony, and other professional organizations including The CNS High School Marching Band, Syracuse Brigadiers Drum & Bugle Corps, The Empire Statesmen Drum & Bugle Corps, The Edge, Symphoria, Syracuse Brigadiers Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, and many other church groups, brass quintets, and organizations. Randall has performed with these groups throughout the country including a short span on America's Got Talent in 2012 with The Edge. In 2009 Randall won the DCA Tuba Individual & Ensemble Competition (I&E) representing the Syracuse Brigadiers. Randall has also served 2 terms as the vice chairman for the Syracuse Brigadiers Alumni Corps Board in 2011-13.

Randall holds an Associate's degree in Music from Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY. He is currently working towards his Bachelor's degree in Music Education at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. At Saint Rose, Randall is the principal tuba of the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir, and Chamber Brass Ensemble.

Randall has been teaching marching band, indoor percussion, and drum corps since 2009. He has spent 4 years being the Brass Caption Head for the Baldwinsville High School Marching Band, and Visual Caption Head for Baldwinsville's Indoor Percussion. In his time at Baldwinsville the band has won two NYS Championships, Maryland/Delaware State Championship, Gator Bowl Championship, and several other honors and awards including the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Randall is also a brass and visual instructor for the Mohonasen High School marching programs in Rotterdam, NY and visual instructor and design consultant for the Albany High School Indoor Percussion in Albany, NY.

Randall has been a teacher at The Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps since 2012, where he started as the tuba teacher. In the summer of 2014 Randall was promoted to the position of Brass Caption Head. In his time at Pioneer the corps and brass section has grown greatly in size and quality. He is honored to be voted as staff member of the year by the membership of Pioneer at the 2014 and 2015 banquets. Randall is privileged to have a great staff and group of members to work with here at the Pioneer. He strives to promote the corps motto of Better Every Day and the brass section motto of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship.

ben chaffeeBen Chaffee
Brass Arranger

Ben Chaffee has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education from the SUNY Fredonia School of Music, and has been a public school Music Educator in New York State for the past fifteen years (Elmira City Schools 2000 to 2005, Pembroke Central Schools 2005 to present). His teaching experience includes Wind Ensemble, Junior High Band, Elementary Band, Elementary Strings, Marching Band, and Jazz Ensemble.

Ben has been involved in drum corps since 1998. He was a Brass Instructor for the Rochester Crusaders from 1999 to 2004 and was the Brass Caption Head for the White Sabers from 2001 to 2011. He has been the Brass Arranger for the White Sabers since beginning with the corps in 2001, and has been the Program Coordinator from 2012 to present. Beginning in 2016, he is now also the White Sabers’ Administrative Corps Director. Accomplishments with the White Sabers include back to back DCA Class A Championships in 2013 and 2014 and an 8th place finish in the corps’ first year in Open Class in 2015.

Ben has also been a Woodwind and Brass Arranger for marching bands in the New York State Field Band Conference, including Bath-Haverling and the Greece Marching Blue Knights. His arrangement for Greece in 2015 contributed to the band’s first place finish in the GE Music category.

Bill McClendon Bill McClendon
High Brass Supervisor

Mr. McClendon is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He attended high school in Palm Beach County and attended the University of Florida. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English, Education, and Music from the University of Florida and Southern Oregon University. His drum corps teaching experience includes Teal Sound, Seattle Cascades, Revolution, and the Racine Scouts. His marching experience includes two years with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps.

Mr. McClendon is currently the Band Director at Terry Parker Senior High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He began teaching at Baker County High School and Baker County Middle School. He moved back to Palm Beach to teach at Royal Palm Beach High School. He has also taught at Lake City Community College as an adjunct instructor.

Mr. McClendon has served as a District Secretary for the Florida Bandmaster’s Association, and has served as the Palm Beach Honor Band Coordinator, and was privileged to work with Mr. Frank Battisti. Mr. McClendon is continuing his National Teaching Certification process. He also served on the assessment writing committee for Duval County Public Schools.

Mr. McClendon has been fortunate to study under Robert W. Smith, Frank Ticheli, Col. Mike Bankhead, Col. Lowell Graham, Col. John R. Bourgeois, and Jim Walker, Patrick Sheridan, Sam Pilafian, Jim Walker, Robert Spring, Robert Ponto, and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser.

colleen hulihanColleen Hulihan
Trumpet Teacher

Colleen Hulihan began her drum corps marching career in 2007 with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps from Lexington, Kentucky. She went on to march mellophone for the Glassmen in 2008 and 2009 and conduct for the Cadets in 2012. She completed her drum corps career aging out with the Bluecoats in 2013 as a conductor. Colleen also has experience teaching marching band in the states of Indiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Colleen is a graduate of The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in trumpet. While attending school she participated in Concert Band, Trumpet Ensemble, and University Singers. She was also a member of "Ohio's Pride" University of Akron Marching Band in 2011 and 2012 when she served as a trumpet section leader.

Colleen is now an instructor with the Youngsville High School Marching Band where she launched her pilot camp for her drum major education clinics. She is currently pursuing her K-12 Music Teach Certificate at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She loves the Pioneer family that she was introduced to at the end of last season and cannot wait to start work for this coming year.

Pat KoppenhaverPatrick Koppenhaver
Mellophone Teacher

Patrick Koppenhaver is 24 years old and from Virginia Beach, VA. He is currently in his second year of teaching as the Director of Bands at Currituck County Middle School in Barco, NC. Patrick graduated in May of 2013 from East Carolina University's AJ Fletcher School of Music and earned a Bachelor's of Music Education with a concentration in French horn. Patrick was an active performer and leader while participating in the Marching Pirates for 4 years and the ECU Pep Band for 5 years. He performed with the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Horn Choir. He has also performed with local orchestras, including the Queen Street Orchestra, the Barton/Wilson Symphony, and the Tar River Symphony. Patrick is an alumnus of the Kappa Sigma chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity. This begins his second year as a member of the brass instructional staff of Pioneer working primarily as the mellophone teacher during tour.

Jacob WrightJacob Wright
Baritone Teacher

This is Jacob Wright's second year with Pioneer. He is a band director in Coweta, Oklahoma, just outside Tulsa. He graduated summa cum laude from Capital University in Columbus, OH, with a bachelor's in music education. Jacob Wright marched with the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps from 2009-2012. While marching with the Glassmen, he was a section leader and also received the brass member of the year in 2012. He has previously taught marching band at Lebanon HS and Central Crossing HS in Ohio, and Jenks HS in Oklahoma.

Jacob currently lives in Tulsa and is a member of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus. He was also on the board and helped to coordinate the start of Sistema Tulsa, an orchestra program for urban youth. He is an alumnus of Tau Beta Sigma and has been inducted into Alpha Chi and Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society

Tyler WiernuszTyler Wiernusz
Tuba Teacher

2016 will be Tyler’s second summer with the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps organization. He is currently in his final year as a graduate student at Michigan State University, pursuing a Masters Degree in Music Education. Before arriving in East Lansing Tyler worked at Seaford Senior High School (DE), where he taught the concert, jazz, and marching bands, in addition to classes in guitar, piano, and music theory.

Tyler was fortune enough to march three summers with drum and bugle corps. He aged out in 2011 with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps from La Crosse, WI, a DCI World Class Finalist. He also marched summers with the Citations Drum & Bugle Corps, a DCI Open Class Bronze Medalist, in 2009 and the Bushwackers, a DCA Finalist, in 2010. Tyler joined the brass staff of DCA's Windsor Regiment starting in 2012. In 2013, Tyler was appointed brass caption head, a position he held for the subsequent two summers.

Tyler is currently serving as the Artistic Director for the Detroit Community Concert Band in association with the Michigan State University Community Music School of Detroit. He also works as the musical arranger for the South Lakes High School (VA) Marching Band in addition to teaching and consulting with numerous other scholastic marching ensembles. Tyler’s current research interests include creativity, improvisation, vernacular music making and their implementation in scholastic instrumental music. He has presented research at the Michigan Music Conference and the Thompson Symposium for Music Education in State College, PA, and he will present at the upcoming Michigan Virginia, and New York Music Conferences during the 2015-16 school year.

Tyler currently resides in Lansing, Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education, with a concentration in Tuba, from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national men's music fraternity and is active in the national NAfME and GIML organizations, as well as their state affiliates.

samuel shellySamuel Shelly
Brass Teacher

Samuel Shelley is currently living in downtown Milwaukee and has worked at Rockwell Automation as a controls engineer since the summer of 2014. This will be his second season with Pioneer. He marched in the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps for two years (2011, 2012) in the trumpet section and has taught brass and visual at Waukesha North High School for the last two years.

collin shackelfordCollin Shackelford
Brass Intern

Collin Shackelford has been involved in the marching arts since 2008. He is a proud native of San Antonio, Texas. Collin currently studies at Northwest Vista College. He has played tuba in several different ensembles, marching bands and drum corps.

Collin began his drum corps career in 2011 when he was seventeen years old marching lead baritone at Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas. He went on to march tuba for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming in 2012 where he stayed until his recent age out in 2015. Collin also served as the tuba section leader during the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Over the span of the last four years, Collin has worked with some great bands in San Antonio including William Howard Taft High School and John Jay High School.

Collin is very excited to be a part of the Pioneer family and looks forward to a successful 2016 season.

Ric MunseyMr. Ric Munsey

Mr. Ric Munsey is currently the band director at Grayson County HS in Independence, VA. He has been teaching band in Grayson County since 1990. Responsibilities include teaching middle school band, high school marching and concert bands, winter guard, and jazz ensemble. Mr. Munsey is also the fine arts department chairperson for Grayson County Public Schools.

Mr. Munsey received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from East Tennessee State University in 1989 with emphasis on his major instrument, trumpet. He enjoyed a vigorous performance career at ETSU, performing in the marching and concert bands, brass and jazz ensembles, singing in the University Choir and Men's Ensemble choir, and performing with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra.

He has been a guest clinician for the Buchanan County(VA) and Henry County(VA) All-County bands, the Wise County(VA) "Program of Academic Challenge for Excellence (PACE)", and East Tennessee State University Honors Bands. Mr. Munsey also judges at local marching band competitions in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

Mr. Munsey is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association, including spending four years as the Instrumental Representative for District VII.

Mr. Munsey currently resides in Galax, VA with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Ross.

sammy mingeSammy Minge

Samuel Minge is in his 12th year as Music Director for East Clinton High School where he serves as director and winds arranger for the East Clinton Marching Band and conductor of the Wind Ensemble, Concert Winds, Electronic Music and Jazz Band. During his time at EC the band has received numerous awards and nearly tripled in enrollment. The marching band is a regular participant in Mid-States Band Association and Bands of America Events. He has been a performer and instructor in the marching arts for over 20 years.

As a performer Samuel has a wide range of experience including the Sinclair Wind Symphony, Ringling Bros. Circus, Son del Caribe and Legend Vega Salsa Bands, the West Virginia Symphony and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at OMEA state conference, the Mid-West Clinic and was accepted as a high school student to the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute, the Summit Brass Institute and the NGCSA National Youth Orchestra.

A member of the Central States Judges Association, he has served as a marching band adjudicator across the eastern U.S. He has been selected as an Outstanding Educator by East Clinton Schools, a 2013 American Red Cross Educator Hero and a presenter at the Ohio Music Education Association state conference. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Music Performance Degree from Miami University with additional studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Education degree from the University of Cincinnati. His memberships include OMEA, CJSA, the Technology Institute for Music Educators Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and NAMfE. He has also served as a past Chapter Leader for the Sarcoma Foundation of America and Livestrong. Samuel lives in Mason, Ohio with his wife Carli. He is excited to continue to be a part of the Pioneer family!