Buccaneers Announce 2007 Designers, Caption Heads
The Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps announced today the design team and caption heads for the corps’ 2007 season. All are reprising their roles from the Buccaneers’ 2006 undefeated championship season to contribute to the corps’ 2007 50th Anniversary production.
“What we announce thus far is an extremely talented, dedicated and enthusiastic group of people that will produce a drum corps worthy of the great milestone the Buccaneers are celebrating this year,” said Staff Coordinator Carl Ruocco. “We’ve been fortunate to have most of these folks with us the last two years. In drum corps, continuity in the design and teaching areas is critically important. I’m very exited about this season, because we have continuity in all areas of the corps, and these are some exceptional designers and teachers. We’re definitely building on 2005 and 2006 and are aiming higher for 2007.”
Rich Hammond returns as Percussion Arranger and Caption Head. He brings a wealth of talent, passion and experience to this year’s corps. A graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts, Hammond attended the University of the Arts and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He has been a marching member of the Hamilton Knights, the Reading Buccaneers and the Crossmen. In addition, he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Hammond’s drum corps teaching posts have included work with the Crossmen, the Glassmen and the Reading Buccaneers, where he has produced three world championship percussion programs. In addition to his work in drum corps, Hammond worked with WGI world champion Hatboro-Horsham and the USSBA Group 6 Open Champion North Penn Marching Knights, where he is Director of Percussion. Rich has a great sense of the “total team” concept of drum corps and will again bring his considerable skills to the full ensemble.
Joining Brass Arranger Lee Umberger and Caption Head Gino Cipriani at the head of the brass program will be Dan McGrogan, who returns to the Buccaneers in 2007 as Assistant Caption Head and mellophone instructor.
Now entering his fourth year on the Buccaneers brass staff, McGrogan holds a B.S. in music from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a M.M. from the American Band College at Southern Oregon University. He is currently band director at Chambersburg Area Middle School, and is also assistant director of the Chambersburg Area Senior High School band, in Chambersburg, PA. 2007 marks McGrogan’s 23rd consecutive year in the drum corps activity. He has been a marching member or instructor with the Steel City Ambassadors, Westshoremen, Bushwackers, Pittsburgh Golden Lancers and Reading Buccaneers.
Eric Kitchenman will return to the Buccaneers as Visual Designer and Caption Head. His experience in the marching arts dates back to 1964, when his father directed the Earls of Bucks drum and bugle corps. He has served as visual instructor and designer at North Penn High School since 1979, working with the school’s award-winning marching band, indoor guard and percussion ensemble. He designed drill for the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997 and 2002, and served that corps as Program Coordinator in 2003. He brings a wealth of experience, talent and passion to the Buccaneers, whom he guided to a high visual caption crown in 2006.
Greg King returns to the Buccaneers as Color Guard Designer and Caption Head. Greg has achieved a great deal of success at the marching band, indoor ensemble and drum corps levels. He has taught the Reading Buccaneers in 2000, 2001 and 2006 and in 2003 and 2004 was designer and caption head for the Hawthorne Caballeros, where he won consecutive high color guard caption awards. His resume also includes a stint on the staff of the Crossmen and as an adjudicator in the marching band and indoor ensemble activities.
“It’s great that all four of these guys are back with is this year,” said Corps Director James C. Gruber. “They work really well together and design and teach a great total program. As we gear up for Membership Day, we’re happy to be able to say that every member in every section of this drum corps will benefit from the some of the best design and instruction out there. I’m very excited for our members this year. They’re going to have the entire core group back from last year. And we’ve even added the considerable skills of Gino Cipriani to the mix.”
On Sunday, November, 26, 2006, the Buccaneers will host Membership Day 2007, at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA. Registration begins at 11:00. All persons interested in learning more about the Reading Buccaneers and being part of the 2007 50th Anniversary corps are invited to attend. Please visit the www.readingbuccaneers.org for more information.
Founded in 1957, the Buccaneers are a non-profit, education-oriented musical organization. The Buccaneers are a charter member of Drum Corps Associates and won the first-ever DCA world championships in 1965. Additional titles followed in 1968, 1979, 1980 and, most recently, in 2005 and 2006, both undefeated championship seasons. In 2006-2007, the corps will celebrate its 50th anniversary. All Buccaneers alumni are encouraged to visit the corps’ web site to register to receive anniversary information.
The Buccaneers are sponsored in part by Behler-Hein American Legion Post 637, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and Roy A. Master American Legion Post 217, Topton, Pennsylvania
For more information, visit www.readingbuccaneers.org.