Music City Legend Finalizes 2009 Staff

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Music City Legend is pleased to announce that it has finalized its instructional staff for the 2009 season. The Mid-south’s only competitive, all-age drum and bugle corps, Music City Legend is entering its fifth season of field competition in 2009. The corps placed 11th in both 2007 and 2008 at the DCA World Championship in Rochester, New York.

Joe Murphy of Lebanon, Tennessee, returns to the corps as Program Director, Brass Arranger, and Brass Caption Head. His fourth season arranging for the corps, Murphy is also known for his stratospheric contrabass licks during MCL performances and is well regarded world-wide as a tuba performer and music instructor. He and his wife operate Loud Mouthpieces.

Also returning to the brass staff is Vinnie Ciesielski, who will assist Murphy as Brass Co-caption Head and also serves as the Corps Director. Ciesielski, who is also a soloist for the corps, joined MCL in 2005, is well-known in professional music circles and has performed on 45 Grammy-nominated and 13 Grammy-winning recordings with a long list of professional artists.

Heading up the percussion staff, Ed Freytag returns to the corps for his second season as Percussion Caption Head. He holds degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and UT Chattanooga. Mr. Freytag was percussion section member of both the Knoxville Symphony and the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestras and has a long list of performing credits in the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Germany, and the Caribbean Islands. He is a staff writer for Row-Loff Productions in Nashville and Fine Arts Coordinator at La Vergne High School, the corps’ primary rehearsal facility, in La Vergne, Tennessee, southeast of Nashville.

Two-time DCA World Champion Individual Snare Drummer Scott “Hulka” McCoy is back as Percussion Arranger and Co-caption Head. A resident of Frankfort, Kentucky, McCoy first joined Music City Legend in 2006. He began his drum corps career in 1986 with the Schaumburg Guardsmen Cadets and completed his junior corps career after four years with the Cavaliers of Rosemont, Illinois. A New Jersey native, Scott attended the University of Kentucky as a Percussion Performance major, where he played in the percussion ensemble, steel band, marching band, indoor drum line, and wind ensemble. He also serves as MCL’s webmaster.

Chris Nelsen, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, also returns to Music City Legend in 2009 as Pit Ensemble Technician after joining and performing with the organization last year. Mr. Nelsen is a professional percussionist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music Percussion from the University of Colorado. His post-graduate study was at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has performed with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Glen Campbell, Vince Gill, Bernadette Peters, Ricky Skaggs, the late Louie Bellson, and many others. He will continue to perform in the corps’ pit ensemble this coming season.

Trey Cokeroft of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, joins MCL this season as Percussion Battery Technician. He holds a business management degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing a teaching license in Biology. Cokeroft marched with Music City Mystique indoor percussion line from 2002-05 and has taught several area high school band programs in the Middle Tennessee area, including Columbia Central High School as percussion director and arranger. He is employed in social services work with Cedar Grove RTC.

Aaron Christenbury takes over this season as Visual Caption Head. Christenbury, of Watertown, Tennessee, performed with the baritone line of DCI’s Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps of Jacksonville, Alabama, from 2005 through last year. He ran MCL’s winter visual basics program last year and rejoined the corps in a performing capacity the last two seasons, following the end of the DCI competitive season. Mr. Christenbury is a senior at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, where he is majoring in history.

Mark Rider, of Victor, New York, has taken the reigns as the corps new Visual Designer. Rider, a former marching member of the Empire Statesmen and the Rochester Crusaders, he was Visual Designer and Instructor for the DCA Finalist Kingston (Ontario) Grenadiers in 2002 and was Visual Designer and Coordinator for Capital Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps of Columbus, Ohio, in 2000-2002, when they ascended from a Division III corps to Division II silver medalist and Open Class semi-finalists. Mark is employed by Getinge North America.

MCL guard veterans Denise Fields and Lori Ann Riggins take over as the new Colorguard Co-caption Heads. Miss Fields, of Lebanon, Tennessee, joined the corps in 2007 and marched with the colorguard program of Lebanon High School from 1995 through 1999, and the Band of Blue while attending Middle Tennessee State University in 1999 and 2000. In 2004, she marched with Music City Mystique winterguard. She has held staff positions with several high schools in the area and is currently teaching the guard at Lebanon High School.

Riggins also attended MTSU after performing for six years with the Mount Juliet High School visual programs. She joined Music City Legend in 2006 after two years with Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps, one year with Music City Mystique, and four years with Chimeras winterguard. Miss Riggins is employed by Wilson County Schools.

Joining the MCL staff as visual technicians are Chris Crumley and Jerry Shanes. Mr. Crumley, a 1993 graduate of the University of Tennessee, is in his fourteenth year of teaching and holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the UT Graduate School in Knoxville and an Education Specialist degree from MTSU. He is currently Assistant Band Director at La Vergne High School and has performed with ensembles at the University of Tennessee, Cumberland University, and the CU Brass Quintet. He is a member of Buglers Across America, Middle Tennessee School Band & Orchestra Association, and the Music Educators National Conference.

Shanes, 22, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, is in his junior year as a music major at Cumberland University. He performed in the lead soprano sections of Memphis Sound Drum & Bugle Corps in 2006 and Music City Legend in 2008 and will continue to march in MCL’s lead line this season. A fan of NASCAR and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mr. Shanes also teaches private trumpet lessons at La Vergne High School.

More extensive staff biographies and other information on Music City Legend can be found on the corps’ web site at or call 615-691-1918.

Posted by on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009. Filed under DCA News.