Forte Announces 2010 Creative Team

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Forte Drum & Bugle Corps of Grand Prairie, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth area) is preparing for the 2010 audition season with the announcement of the major creative team.

Program Coordinator, Wes Cartwright

Wes Cartwright is currently involved at various levels with several band programs, including LD Bell HS and Broken Arrow HS. Wes Cartwright has received acclaim in all venues of the marching arts. His Winter Guard show, “ Mannequins ,” is included as one of the “15 Shows That Changed WGI.” He was the visual momentum behind Santa Clara Vanguard’s “ Phantom of the Opera ” championship title, and, most recently, coordinated the Bands of America Grand National Championship Gold Medalist shows at L.D. Bell High School (2007) and Broken Arrow Senior High School (2006). Wes has a long DCI history including Sky Ryders, Santa Clara Vanguard, and most recently the Crossmen. Wes resides in Dallas,TX director [at] fortecorps [dot] org" />

Program Consultant, James Thomas

James Thomas is currently the colorguard director of Coppell HS and served as the Program Coordinator for the 2009 Memphis Sound. Since Mr Thomas has been at CHS, the color guard has been promoted from Scholastic-AAA to Scholastic-A class. In his 5 years at L D Bell High School, they won 12 BOA regionals and 2 state championships and came in 4th at BOA Grand Nationals. A graduate of Texas A & M and an alumni of a DCI, and currently coaches Coppell, , Southlake/Carroll, Highland Park, and Northwestern (LA) State University’s guard. JT resides in Dallas, TX

Program Consultant, Daniel Galloway

Daniel Galloway currently is the Director of Bands at Clements High School in Sugarland, Tx. He earned his Bachelors of Music from Stephen F. Austin State University studying with Dr. Kevin Sedatole and is currently pursuing his Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Houston. He currently considers his mentor Mr. Tom Bennett, Retired Director of Bands, University of Houston and Larry Matysiak, Director of Fine Arts for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and former Director of Bands at Clements High School.

The Clements Band has been recognized has one of the premier band programs in Texas in both the concert and marching idioms. The Clements Band has been a consistent UIL 5A State Marching Participant since 1998 and recently earned the Honor of being a National Winner in the National WindBand Honors Competition.
The Clements Band recently performed as the Directors Choice Honor Ensemble at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic/Conference in Troy, Alabama.

Daniel has marched in drum corps with the 1991 Sky Ryders and taught the Kiwanis Kavaliers in both brass and visual captions. He then judged for DCI for 2 summers and then joined the staff of Spirit from JSU as a visual instructor in 2006 and assistant visual caption head in 2007/2008. He has been a consultant for Spirit in 2008 and 2009 and also a visual consultant with Memphis Sound. Currently Daniel has accepted a brass staff position with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for the upcoming 2010 season.

Daniel is currently a Texas Circuit EA judge for guard(11 years) and a Visual judge for Percussion(10) years. He currently adjudicates music captions for Music for All and is a member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association in both concert and marching. Daniel is a sought after clinician and adjudicator across Texas and the Midwest for both concert band and marching band.

He currently resides in Cypress-Fairbanks, Texas with his wife Jackie and two daughters Ashley and Kaitlyn. Jackie is a Deaf Education Itinerant Teacher for Cy-Fair ISD. Ashley is in 11th grade at Langham Creek High School (CFISD) and plays French Horn. Kaitlyn is in 7th grade at Aragon Middle School (CFISD) and plays oboe.

Program Intern, John Martin

John Martin is a native of Marianna FL and just completed his bachelor’s degrees in Music and Religion from Huntingdon College in Montgomery AL. He marched in the 2007 Memphis Sound brassline and has worked with the corps since. John currently sings in several ensembles and plans to begin a master’s degree in voice performance in the spring. He would like to thank the administration of Forte for keeping his drum corps home alive and giving him this opportunity.

Brass Arranger, George Flores

George Flores is an Associate Director of Bands at Paschal High School in Fort Worth, TX. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. In addition to being a marching member, Mr. Flores spent two years (2000, 2001) on the visual staff for the Bobcat Marching Band. Mr. Flores played soprano on the hornline of the World Class Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. While at Texas State, he studied trumpet under Dr. Keith Winking. In addition, he studied trumpet with Mr. Andrew Gignac of the San Antonio Symphony, Mr. Bernie Nero of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Mr. Pete Bond of the New York Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Flores studied jazz under Dr. James Polk and Dr. John Mills where he was a member of the Texas State Jazz Lab Band and Jazz Ensemble. Other influential teachers include the late Mr. John C. King, Mr. James G. Hudson, Mr. Raul Rodriguez and Mr. John Stansberry. At Paschal High School, Mr. Flores’ duties include directing the Symphonic Band and Concert Band and directing the 1st and 2nd Jazz Ensembles. In addition, Mr. Flores is the Brass Caption Head and Music Arranger for the Paschal Panther Marching Band.

George Flores had previously served as Associate Director of Bands at Harlingen South High School in Harlingen, TX. While at Harlingen South, duties included director of the 3rd Concert Band, director of the 2nd Jazz Ensemble and Co-director of the 1st Jazz Ensemble. Other duties included Music Arranger and Brass Caption Head for the 5A State Qualifying Mighty Hawk Marching Band. In 2007, Mr. Flores was selected as a Guest Clinician for the ATSSB Region 15 Jazz Band.

Mr. Flores resides in Fort Worth, TX with his wonderful wife Suzanne, and their spoiled dog, Fergie. In his spare time Mr. Flores is a marching band music arranger and an admitted N.B.A. addict.

Percussion Arranger, Chris Sakowski

Chris Sakowski grew up in Michigan , and received his bachelor of Music Education from The University of Memphis, in Tennessee . While at Memphis , Chris won the U of M Concerto Competition and performed as a marimba soloist with the University Orchestra. Also while attending the U of M, he was the bass captain when they won the "Best Bass Line" at the PASIC college marching percussion competition in 2001. He also spent 3 years as the caption head/arranger for The University of Memphis Drumline.

Chris’s DCI/WGI percussion experience over the past 13 years includes: Marching and teaching at the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps for 9 years (1997-2005), 3 years (06-08) teaching at the Bluecoats, and Crossmen in 2009. He is very excited to be taking on the role of Percussion Caption Head at Crossmen for the 2010 season. During his past five years teaching at Gateway Indoor, he has filled several roles including battery caption head, and this coming year he will be the front ensemble caption head/arranger.

Chris is a sought after adjudicator, percussion arranger and full band arranger across the country and has also enjoyed heading workshops as a clinician at The University of Oklahoma, Iowa State University, Missouri State University and the University of Memphis. In addition, Chris has written for many other groups in the U.S. and abroad including numerous high schools, Missouri State University, the NFL’s St. Louis Rams Drumline, and the 2005 European Indoor Percussion Champions: 37th Kingswood from Bristol , United Kingdom.

Chris currently lives in the St. Louis , MO area with his wife Lauren. He teaches string orchestra and band in the Rockwood School District and is proud to be an Innovative Percussion Artist. Chris was very excited to write the battery music for Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps during the 2009 season, and is looking forward to doing all of the percussion arranging for Forte in 2010!

Drill Designer, Kevin Bell

Kevin Bell has been involved in music for most of his life. Coming from parents who were actively involved in drum corps, Kevin was influenced by some of the best the East Coast had to offer. In high school Kevin played the French horn in the marching band and continued his music education in both Junior and Senior Drum Corps. As a senior in high school, Kevin took on the challenge of writing the marching drill. From there Kevin moved on to become a Visual Designer for many award winning programs. To this day Kevin is a heavily sought after designer, having designed for programs in 34 of the 50 US States.

Following in his father’s footsteps in 1994, Kevin started judging with the National Judges Association (NJA) on the east coast. Here he gained valuable knowledge which has helped him in all aspects of the pageantry arts. While with NJA, Kevin became the Director of Education in 1999 a position he held until me moved to the west coast in August of 2007. Kevin’s judging career really took off in 2001 when he started judging for Winter Guard International (WGI), Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA). Currently Kevin is a freelance judge for marching band, drum corps and winter guard throughout the United States and Canada.

In August of 2007 Kevin relocated to San Diego, California. Currently Kevin is a member of the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) and the Western Bands Association (WBA). Kevin has the opportunity to work with some of the most talented judges available today. Constantly trying to improve himself, Kevin has mentored with judges from both coasts and places in between. Kevin is excited to work with programs across the country and hopes to bring a fresh perspective and outlook to performers and staff.

Music Ensemble Coordinator, Jay Wardeska

Jay Wardeska serves as Director of Bands at Brunswick High School and Music Department Chair for the Brunswick City Schools in Brunswick, Ohio. He holds a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting and a Bachelor degree in Music Education. Wardeska has been the recipient of a number of honors and awards including the Master Teacher Award conferred by the state of Ohio, the National Excellence in Teaching Award, the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association, Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) Teacher of the Year and being named a Martha Holding Jennings Foundation Scholar. Active as an arranger and visual designer, Wardeska’s marching bands have won countless grand championships and awards including being a perennial Ohio State Marching Band Finalist—earning the highest possible rating every year for the past ten years and becoming a consistent Bands of America Regional Championship finalist. His concert and jazz bands have received numerous honors and awards in adjudicated events and festivals. The bands have accepted a number of performance honors being featured at university concerts, professional conferences and feature performances as well as a performing a feature concert at the Ohio Music Education Association state conference. Wardeska is an active adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician, and continues to perform as a freelance trumpet player in the Cleveland area.

Wardeska’s drum corps experience includes being an alumnus of the DCI finalist Bluecoats Drum and Bugle corps from Canton, Ohio. In 2009 he served as the Brass Caption Head and Staff Coordinator for the Capital Regiment from Columbus, Ohio.

Visual Ensemble Coordinator, Carl Diefenbach

Carl Diefenbach currently hails from Westerville, OH. Carl is currently with the 122nd Army Band in Columbus, OH as the Readiness NCO, Stage Band Director and Drum Major. He is in his 26th year of Service with the Military.

Carl served in the US Marine Drum and Bugle Corps from 29 Palms, CA after graduating high school. He started his drum corps career by spending a short period of time with the General Butler Vagabonds from Butler, PA. Carl aged out of Velvet Knights in 1985 after his Marine contract expired. He then joined the US Army and did tours with Army Bands in Fort Drum, NY, Hawaii, Aberdeen, MD and Washington, DC.

His drum corps and marching band experience include US Marine Drum and Bugle
Corps (29 Palms, CA), US Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, Velvet Knights, Capital Regiment, Empire Statesmen, Kingston Grenadiers, Rochester Crusaders, Sunrisers, Frontier and many Marching Bands and Winter Guards in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Colorguard team will be announced in a separate press release coming soon.

VideoTape Auditions are now being accepted via snail mail, email or at selected locations across the country. For more information about Forte Drum & Bugle Corps – please visit or email at director [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Posted by on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009. Filed under DCI Open.