North Coast Rock Announces 2007 Design Team

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North Coast Rock is proud to present it’s design team for the 2007 season. The combined experience of the design team members in drum corps, marching band, indoor percussion, and winter guard will be an incredible asset as the Rock continues to prepare to "ROCK" the all-age drum corps universe.

Program and Staff Coordinator

Carl Diefenbach

Carl, originally from Wintersville, Ohio, started his drum corps career with a short stint in the Butler Vagabonds Drum & Bugle Corps from Butler, PA. Although he couldn’t march a whole season with them, the bug hit Carl hard. Carl was in the US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps from 29 Palms, CA, after graduating high school, then aged out of the Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle corps (1985) when his Marine contract was up. He then joined the US Army and did tours in Fort Drum, NY, Hawaii, Aberdeen, MD, and Washington, DC. Carl is currently with the 122nd Army Band in Columbus, OH, as the Readiness NCO, Stage Band Director, Rock Band Director, and Drum Major. His drum corps and marching band experience include: US Marine D&B (29 Palms, CA) (member & Visual Staff) US Naval Academy D&B (Music & Visual Staff), Velvet Knights (member and Visual Staff), Empire Statesmen (member) , Kingston Grenadiers (Visual Designer & Staff), Rochester Crusaders (Visual Designer and Staff) , Sunrisers (Visual Staff) and many marching bands and winter guards in OH, PA, MD, VA, NJ, NY, and TX.

Brass Arranger and Caption Head

Jay Wardeska

Jay Wardeska serves as Director of Bands at Brunswick High School and Instrumental Music Teacher for the Brunswick City Schools. Jay’s teaching duties include the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, Pit Orchestra,and Pep Band at Brunswick High School. In addition, Jay is the director of the 6th Grade and 7th Grade Concert Bands at Willetts Middle School. In his sixteenth year as a music educator, Jay holds a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from Kent State University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mount Union College where he graduated with honors. In addition to his duties at Brunswick High School, Jay serves as an adjunct professor in the music education department at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music. Jay has held teaching positions at Buckeye High School (Medina, Ohio) and Kent State University. He has served as a clinician for the OMEA Professional Conferences and the North East Ohio Education Association as well as for several high school and middle school bands in Ohio. Jay continues to serve OMEA as an active adjudicator.

Percussion Arranger and Caption Head

Sean Cunningham

Sean comes to North Coast Rock with 15 years of marching percussion experience. He has taught several BOA, WGAZ, WGI and ABODA scholastic championship drum lines, has been involved with the Anaheim Velvet Knights and the San Francisco Renegades and has been an adjudicator for ABODA, PAS and WGAZ. Sean has performed clinics all over the United States and has studied under greats like Scott Johnson, Matt Savage and Murray Gusseck.

Drill Designer

Pete Vala

Pete Vala comes to the Rock from Hillsborough, NJ. He started his involvement with Drum Corps/Indoor Guard in the late 70’s as a member of the Cranford Patriots, a small Garden State Circuit Crops, and with the Galaxy Winter Guard. Pete’s first instructing job was as a guard instructor at his old high school. That experience has always influenced his drill writing and his overall visual concepts regarding field shows. His first large crops experience was with the Hawthorne Caballeros Senior Crops in 1983. In 1985 Pete traveled to Los Angeles, California to become a member of the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Crops where he first met North Coast Rock’s Staff Coordinator, Carl Diefenbach. Carl and Pete have worked together ever since. After the ’85 season, Pete moved back to NJ where he completed his Bachelor’s in Music Education while working with several senior corps. He became the band director at Sayerville War Memorial High School in 1987 and in 1993 moved on to become the director at Montgomery High School, a small rural high school with no football team or marching band! From his start in 1983, Pete continued to work with several programs including his alma mater Kearny High. Pete also worked with several other high schools and drum corps as a marching/guard instructor and as a drill designer. Some of the groups that he has worked with include: Kearny H.S., Union H.S., Sayreville H.S., the Sky Ryders & Velvet Knights junior corps, and the Sunrisers & Grenadiers senior corps. Pete has also adjudicated for the USSBA organization. Pete works with the New Jersey Education Association. In 2004, Pete married and this past June he, his wife Sue and daughter Claire welcomed a new addition to their family, Josephina.

Watch the North Coast Rock website ( for more announcements regarding the 2007 season, including the upcoming NCR Open House on November 18th.


Posted by on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006. Filed under DCA News.