Buccaneers Design And Instructional Leadership To Return For 2009 Campaign

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The Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps announced today that the corps’ design and instructional nucleus will return to lead the corps for the 2009 season.

Returning as Staff Coordinator will be Carl Ruocco. Rich Hammond will reprise his roles as Program Coordinator and Percussion Arranger and Caption Head. Jay Bocook’s brass arrangements will be taught to the corps by a staff led by Caption Head Gino Cipriani and Assistant Caption Head Michael Britcher. Mark Lortz will again write the front ensemble book and Christopher Feist will coordinate the percussion battery. Steve Vincent will return as Color Guard Designer and Caption Head, and Bobby Jones will return as Visual Designer and Caption Head.

“We are committed to giving our members the best experience possible,” said Corps Director James C. Gruber. “That starts with a top-notch design and instructional team. We’ve been fortunate to assemble a group of incredibly talented people these past few years, and I’m thrilled that they’ll be back with the Buccaneers next year. Our members will learn from some of the best in the business.”

Carl Ruocco (Staff Coordinator) is looking forward to his fifth year heading the Buccaneers staff. “This organization has a deep and firm commitment to education, performance and excellence, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said Ruocco. “We have three basic goals for 2009: first, to give our members a first-rate experience in which they grow as performers and people; second, to put together an entertaining program that highlights our members’ commitment to performance; and third, to continue the long-standing tradition of excellence this organization has established for itself. We will strive to be better than the 2008 Reading Buccaneers in every way. Fans can expect another ‘total team’ approach in which we pursue excellence across every caption.”

A resident of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Ruocco has enjoyed a long and influential career in both the drum corps and marching band activities. As a teacher and administrator, his drum corps resume includes service to Star of Indiana, the Crossmen, Jersey Surf, Spirit from Jacksonville State University and the Santa Clara Vanguard. He has been a long-time member of the New York Skyliners organization. He has judged the Drum Corps International world championships three times and the Drum Corps Associates world championships twice.

Rich Hammond (Program Coordinator, Percussion Arranger and Caption Head). 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. His drum corps teaching stints have included the Crossmen, the Glassmen and the Reading Buccaneers, where he has produced three world championship percussion programs. In addition to his work with the Buccaneers, Rich has been Percussion Program Coordinator for Drum Corps International’s Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps, where he led the Surf to a 2007 Division II percussion title. Hammond’s resume also includes work with the WGI world champion Hatboro-Horsham and the USSBA Group 6 Open Champion North Penn Marching Knights, where he is Director of Percussion.

Jay Bocook (Brass Arranger). Mr. Bocook returns to the Buccaneers for his second season. A celebrated composer and arranger, Bocook is currently Director of Athletic Bands at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he previously served as Director of Bands. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Furman and a Master of Music from Northeast Louisiana University. He has written for many ensembles, including school bands at all levels and the United States Marine Band, as well as the nine-time Drum Corps International world champion Cadets, where he currently serves as Brass Arranger.

Gino Cipriani (Brass Caption Head). Gino returns to the Buccaneers for his third consecutive year. From 1990 to 1999, he was a brass instructor for the eleven-time DCI world champion Blue Devils. He served the Cadets as Brass Caption Head in 2000 and 2001, and held the same post for the Magic of Orlando in 2002 and 2003. He held that post for the six-time DCI world champion Santa Clara Vanguard in 2004 and returned to the Cadets as Brass Caption Supervisor in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. His DCA resume includes work with the Syracuse Brigadiers and Hawthorne Caballeros. He joined the Buccaneers brass staff in 2007, where he led the corps to a brass caption title.

Michael Britcher (Assistant Brass Caption Head). Mike returns to the Bucs’ brass staff for his fifth consecutive season, and his second as Assistant Brass Caption Head. Currently on the Department of Applied Music faculty at the West Chester University School of Music, Britcher headed the corps’ trumpet program in 2006 and 2007, and was a consultant in 2005. He has been a marching member of the Crossmen and is the former band director of the award-winning Phoenixville High School band.

Mark Lortz (Front Ensemble Arranger). A celebrated composer, arranger, and educator, Mr. Lortz is employed by the Carroll County, Maryland Public Schools, where he oversees the high school’s orchestra, concert and marching bands, percussion wind ensemble, color guard and music technology programs. He is also an adjunct music professor at McDaniel College, in Westminster, MD. Lortz holds a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance and a minor in composition and piano from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he also earned two Master’s degrees in music composition and music education.

Christopher Feist (Battery Coordinator). Chris has been a marching member of the Buccaneers and the Crossmen. From 1983 to 1988 he served as percussion caption head for the Conrad Weiser High School Marching Band, and from 1994 to 1999 served the Governor Mifflin High School Marching Band in a variety of roles, including percussion arranger, caption head and staff coordinator. His drum corps teaching experience includes the Crossmen and the Buccaneers, where he has taught since 2001. In addition, Feist has been a percussion judge for both the indoor and outdoor programs of Cavalcade of Bands and for the Mid-Atlantic Percussion Society

Steve Vincent (Color Guard Designer and Caption Head). Steve’s marching experience includes five years with the Westshoremen, five years with the Sunrisers and eight years with the Buccaneers, as well as three years with the Threshold and Black Watch indoor guards. He has also marched at Millersville University and North Penn High School, where he was drum major. His teaching credentials are equally considerable: Vincent has taught guard at the Buccaneers, Westshoremen and Sunrisers for seven years. He has taught the Souderton High School indoor guard for six years, Allentown’s The Guard for ten years. He also instructs the West Chester University color guard and has thirteen years experience teaching guard at Downingtown and Souderton High Schools.

Bobby Jones (Visual Designer and Caption Head). Bobby returns to the Buccaneers for his third year, having led the visual program in 2005 and 2008. He made an immediate impact when he first joined the Buccaneers staff in 2005, producing a world championship visual program. In addition to his work with the Buccaneers, Jones writes and teaches for many high schools in the mid-Atlantic region and has written and taught for the Crossmen, Hawthorne Caballeros, Carolina Gold and Jersey Surf, among others. A testament to his impact and talent, he was named 2005 Buccaneers Staff Member of the Year by members of the corps.

On Sunday, November, 30, 2008, the Buccaneers will host Membership Day 2009, 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 2009 corps are invited to attend. Please visit the corps’ web site at 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, 2006, 2007 and 2008 — all four undefeated championship seasons.

The Buccaneers are sponsored in part by Roy A. Master American Legion Post 217, Topton, Pennsylvania

For more information, visit www.readingbuccaneers.org.

Posted by on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008. Filed under DCA News.