Southwind Announces 2007 Percussion Staff
The Southwind percussion staff is now in place for the 2007 season. Eric Willie and Shane Gwaltney will be joined by Seth Dahm, Robert Elston, Joe Hobbs, Craig Loeffler, Josh Nelson, Jason Palmer, and Rob Pastor. Caption head Eric Willie states “we have filled our staff with quality performers and educators, but they are also role models for our students. The Southwind percussion program will continue to improve in both the quality of education for our students and the quality of entertainment for our fans.”
Seth Dahm is returning for the fourth year as Southwind’s cymbal tech. Seth is currently seeking an undergraduate degree in percussion performance from the University of North Texas. He started his marching career with the Midwest Funk Factory Drum Line, where he marched from 1999 to 2001. Seth has also performed as a member of Carolina Crown from 2001-2002 and the University of North Texas drum line in 2002. He is currently on the staff of Surround Sound indoor drum line and has been teaching there since 2003.
Robert Elston is returning to Southwind in 2007 for his third year on the percussion staff. He is currently pursuing his Master of Music at the California Institute of the Arts. Some of Rob’s activities in the Los Angeles area include teaching classes for the Community Arts Partnership program, private lessons, and performing with various ensembles. Before relocating to California, Robert completed his B.M. in Music Performance at Eastern Illinois University. Rob is an active clinician, instructor, performer, and composer both in the Midwest and in Los Angeles. Rob began his drum corps career with Capital Sound from 2001-2003 and aged out with Southwind in 2004.
Joe Hobbs is returning to his drum corps roots in 2007. Joe marched snare drum with Southwind for three years from 2001-2003 and was the DCI Individual & Ensemble snare champion in 2003. He then marched snare drum with The Cavaliers for three years from 2004-2006 and won two DCI World Championships with them in 2004 and 2006. Joe was a part of the DCI I&E Mixed Ensemble Champion in 2006. He is currently arranges percussion for the Murray State University Racer Band and is on staff at Murray High School and Marshall County Indoor Drum Line.
Craig Loeffler is currently a student at Middle Tennessee State University. He has taught various high school front ensembles throughout the Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky areas. Craig performed with the Americanos Drum & Bugle corps in 2002 and the Bluecoats from 2003-2006. Craig has spent the past three years in Music City Mystique’s front ensemble and he will age-out of MCM this winter season.
Josh Nelson holds a B.M. in Music Education from Eastern Tennessee State University and is currently director of bands at Lawrence County High School in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. He performed in drum corps as a member of the Crossmen, the Bluecoats, and the Blue Knights from 2000-2002. After aging out, Josh taught the bass drum lines at Seattle Cascades and Blue Knights. Josh began marching with Music City Mystique in 2000 and aged out in 2003. Currently Josh is the executive director of Music City Mystique, the 2006 Winter Guard International World Champions. This coming year marks his eighth year with that organization.
Jason Palmer is currently the director of percussion at Fred J. Page High School in Franklin, Tenn. He is the drill writer and battery instructor for the University of Northern Alabama Indoor Drum Line and arranged the music for Mariner High School’s 2006 WGI Scholastic A Championship show. Jason was on the teaching staff of the Madison Scouts from 2004-2006. Jason’s performance experience includes 2001 Phantom Regiment, 2003 Santa Clara Vanguard and 2004 Middle Tennessee State University PASIC College Class Champion. He also performed with the Music City Mystique in 2002, 2004, and 2005.
Rob Pastor is currently studying music performance at Middle Tennessee State University. He performed with the 2004 MTSU PASIC College Class Champion, as well as the Band of Blue marching band and other various ensembles. Rob’s drum corps experience includes the Blue Devils in 2002 and The Cavaliers in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Rob has performed with Music City Mystique since 2000 (with the exception of 2002) and he will age out in 2007.
Eric Willie will enter his fourth year on Southwind’s faculty in his new leadership role, having served as front ensemble arranger and instructor since 2004. Eric currently serves as the director of percussion studies at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tenn. where he teaches undergraduate and graduate applied percussion, directs the classical and pop percussion ensembles, and arranges for the TTU Golden Eagle Drum Line.
He has served on faculty of the Americanos, Carolina Crown, and the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps. He has arranged for the University of North Texas, University of Kentucky, and Murray State University drum lines. In addition, he has instructed for Music City Mystique and served as arranger for the University of Kentucky Indoor Drum Line, who was named the 2000 WGI College Class Champion.
Eric is currently pursuing his DMA from the University of North Texas, holds his Master of Music degree from the University of Kentucky, and his B.S. in Music Education from Austin Peay State University. His educational articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and Percussion Notes, and he has contributed educational resources to Innovative Percussion Inc., Sabian Cymbals, and Black Swamp Percussion.
Shane Gwaltney’s percussion arrangements and visual designs have become a mainstay in the WGI percussion arena over the last 10 years. He has been on the staff of and arranged for all levels of percussion, including Jacksonville State University (PASIC line), Middle Tennessee State University (PASIC line), Spirit of Jacksonville State University Drum & Bugle Corps, Scenic City Drum & Bugle Corps, Music City Mystique, Choctawhatchee High School, and Kennesaw Mountain High School. He has won three WGI Percussion gold medals in the last six years as an arranger and show designer for Music City Mystique of Nashville, Tenn.
Shane was a member of Music City Mystique from 1995-1999. Since aging out there he has been an important part of Mystique’s personality on the floor. Shane was a member of Street Beats that has performed at the Percussive Arts Society and Modern Drummer Music Festivals. He also serves as artist and clinician for Innovative Percussion, Dynasty Drums, and Evans Drum Heads.
Shane currently resides in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. where he is in charge of the percussion program at Choctawhatchee High School.
Southwind director Mike Loeffelholz said “I am very excited to have each of these educators on our team for the 2006 season. I look forward to continuing the Southwind tradition of providing an educational, entertaining, and fulfilling experience for everyone involved with our organization.”