Brigadiers Name Bird And Wills Percussion Co-Caption Heads

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The Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps announced today that John Bird and Rod Wills will direct the corps’ percussion efforts for the 2007 season as co-Caption Heads. John returns to the Brigs after having previously been involved with the corps as both a marching member and staff member during two of the Brigs’ world championship years in 1997 and 1999. He is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, where he obtained his Bachelor’s of Music and was also awarded the Performance Certificate by the Crane School of Music Faculty. In addition to his work with numerous high school bands and winter drumlins, John is currently the high school band director at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central Schools.

Rod returns to the corps for his 7th season. Prior to becoming caption head this year, Rod marched snare with the corps and has served as a snare technician and bass drum technician, as well as undertaking additional responsibilities as the battery’s visual technician for the past three seasons. Rod’s previous marching and teaching credits include numerous Canadian corps including Ridge Raiders, Dutch Boy and St. John’s, ten years with DCA’s Empire Statesmen, as well as his involvement with the Brigs from 1999-2001 and 2004-present. Rod is also currently the percussion caption head at the University of Buffalo.

The Brigs are also pleased to welcome back Robert Vitti, who will lend his extensive experience as Coordinator of the percussion program in 2007. Bob has been involved with the corps since 2000, acting as the percussion caption head from 2000-2003 and coordinator since 2004. He has countless years’ experience as an arranger and caption head for numerous DCA and DCI drum corps, including the Skyliners, Sunrisers, Hurricanes, and Westchester Brassmen, as well as DCI’s Sky Ryders. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education from Manhattanville College and is currently band director at Port Chester, NY High School.

The Brigs are further privileged to enjoy the talents of three of the activity’s premier percussion arrangers for the upcoming season. Returning for his 7th year as the arranger for the Brigs’ battery is David Glyde. In addition to his contributions to the Brigs, David is known for his many achievements as the percussion arranger for the Concord Blue Devils. Davis is also a clinician, endorser, and published composer for the Yamaha Corporation of America.

Joining David in arranging for the battery this year will be Chris Perna. Chris has been involved with the Brigs since 2002, first as a marching member in the snare line, and then as a snare technician and ultimately serving as the percussion caption head. Chris has taught and arranged extensively for various DCA corps and numerous high school marching programs.

Finally, Dr. Robert Bridge returns to the corps to again arrange for the front ensemble. Dr. Bridge is an Associate Professor of Music at Onondaga Community College and holds degrees from the University of North Texas (B.M.E.), Southern Methodist University (M.M.), and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). Dr. Bridge is a former member of the percussion staff for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps (1993 & 1994) and the Nite Express Drum & Bugle Corps (1991). He is also a former marching member of the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps and the University of North Texas Drum line.

Rounding out the percussion staff this year will be technicians Mathieu Guibeault, Phil Parent, and Joe Revere.

For more detailed biographies, please go to Percussion Bios.

The Brigs will be hosting their Open House and first rehearsal November 11-12, starting at 1:00 on the 11th. Further details will be posted on the corps’ website soon. Anyone interested in experiencing the Red and Black first hand should make plans to attend!

With roots dating to 1938, the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum & Bugle Corps was reorganized in 1991 after a nineteen-year absence from competition. The Brigadiers are 5-time Drum Corps Associates World Champions, winning titles in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, and are the only drum and bugle corps to ever win four consecutive DCA titles.

For more information, visit the corps’ website at

Posted by on Thursday, October 5th, 2006. Filed under DCA News.