Forte Announces 2010 Full Percussion Staff

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Matt Howell will be serving as the Snare Technician and Battery Coordinator. This will be the third year that Matt and Ryan are working together. Growing up in Collierville, TN, a suburb of Memphis, he found his love for music and performing while playing snare drum in the Collierville Marching Band. After graduating high school, Matthew then went on to join the University of Memphis Tiger Marching Band and performed two seasons as a snare drummer in 2004 and 2005. As well as performing in the marching band he also participated in the PASIC drumline in 2004 and 2006. Matthew’s drum corps experience consists of marching with Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps as the battery section leader and snare drummer in 2005 and 2006 and aging out with the yellow team, Southwind, in 2007. As his drum corps career was winding down he then began performing in gyms and areas. In 2007 and 2008, Matthew marched and moon walked with Independent World Finalist, Gateway Indoor, playing snare drum in the winters of 2007 and aging out in 2008. His teaching experience began right out of high school. Matthew was the battery coordinator for Collierville High School from 2004-2007 and became Caption head of the fall percussion program in 2008. He then went on to teach the snare line at Memphis Sound in 2008 and 2009 as well as the 2009 Independent World Finalist snare line at Gateway Indoor. Matthew has played under the instruction of Michael McCray, Chris Pierceall, Kevin Welborn, Kevin Tabb, Rob Corely, Matt Grimes, Shane Gwaltney, Joe Hobbs and Eric Willie. Matthew now resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his beautiful girlfriend, Angelina.

Chris Crummel will be taking on the position of Front Ensemble Coordinator. Chris is currently entering his second year of teaching with Ryan Pride. During the 2007-2008 school year he was employed by Comal ISD and is currently Assistant Percussion Instructor at Dripping Springs High School in Dripping Springs, Texas, who recently won the Texas State Marching Championship for 2009. Along with teaching private lessons, Chris works with the front ensemble during the marching season, and helps teach percussion ensemble class during the spring semester. Chris taught the front ensemble for Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps during the summer of 2009 and has recently been appointed Front Ensemble Coordinator for the newly named Forte Drum and Bugle Corps. Chris has also taught at the Texas State University Percussion camp in the summer of 2009 alongside Bret Kuhn, Paul Wertico, and Butch Miles. A student at Texas State University, Chris is currently pursuing his degree in Music Education under the instruction of Bobby Lopez, and hopes to one day teach percussion at the high school and middle school level. While at Texas State, Chris has been a member of the Texas State University Wind Ensemble, which included a performance at the Southwestern division of CBDNA, the Texas State Percussion Ensemble, Orchestra, and Bobcat Band. While in Bobcat Band, Chris also performed with the Texas State University PASIC percussion ensemble in 2006. Additionally, Chris was a member of the Front Ensemble for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007 and 2008 and held the position of section leader in 2008. Chris is excited about returning to Forte for the coming season and hopes to build off the success of last year.

Chihiro Shibayama will be a new addition to the team and serves as one of our Front Ensemble Technicians. Chihiro Shibayama- Percussion -Born in Yokohama city, Japan. NYC based percussionist, Chihiro is an active performer as a a soloist, member of orchestras, small ensembles such as The Juilliard Orchestra, New Juilliard Ensemble, Juilliard Percussion Ensemble and AXIOM. She is also a co-founder of MuSE (Multicultural Sonic Evolution/, which pursues to create a multicultural environment through sound and collaborations with other fields of art such as dance, theater, and film. Chihiro holds BM and MM degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Daniel Druckman, Markus Rhoten, Greg Zuber, Joseph Peraira and Roland Kohloff. Her former teachers include Mariko Okada, Takahumi Hujimoto, John Alfieri and Keith Aleo. You can listen to Chihiro on her website:

Sarah Arnett joins the team as our Bass Technician and Battery Visual Technician. Sarah grew up in North Carolina and received her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, with a concentration in the Arts and Culture, from Vanderbilt University of Nashville, TN in 2007. While at Vanderbilt, she was the co‐chair of Momentum Dance Company, a member of the Vanderbilt Dance Program, the Vanderbilt Performing Arts Council and the Spirit of Gold Marching Band. Sarah’s marching experience includes marching bass drum for Music City Mystique of Nashville, TN (2004 WGI Gold Medalist & 2005 WGI Bronze Medalist) and for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps of Dubuque, IA (2005 & section leader in 2006). Sarah currently resides in Greensboro, NC with her husband Jordan where she is working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a concentration in choreography, and teaches dance and fitness classes in the area.

Amanda Petersen returns to work with Ryan, Matt, and Chris as a Front Ensemble Technician. Amanda started her marching career with Collierville High School in 2001. She went on to march with Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, she became a member of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and continued to march there until her age-out year in 2008. Amanda also has Indoor Drumline experience through marching with Gateway Indoor Drumline in 2006, 2007, and 2008 and she will be aging-out with Rhythm X Indoor Drumline in 2010. She has taught at many Memphis area high schools over the past 5 years, such as Houston, Bartlett, Munford, and Briarcrest. The main school she has worked with is Collierville High School where she has served as the front ensemble instructor since 2005. She also taught at Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2009 season. Currently she is seeking a degree in Public Relations with a minor in music and Spanish from the University of Memphis.

Jay Davis is the last addition to our team and will be joining us with a wealth of experience as the Quad Technician. Jay lives in the greater Houston area where he attends the University of Houston studying music education. This fall will mark his fourth season working with the percussion section at Seven Lakes High School. Jay was a member of the Spartans (00 and 02) and the Blue Knights (03). After marching drum corps, Jay taught Spartans in 2007 and 2008. After the corps’ great success in 2007, he returned in 2008 as Caption Head. Currently, he is the lead percussion instructor for Imperial Percussion Theater and has started working with Cy Fair’s indoor drumline, under the direction of John Nelson. Besides teaching numerous lessons in the Katy area, Jay recently took on the role of battery arranger for Katy High School. Jay is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, TMEA, and PAS.

Julian Gonzalez will be our last returning member of the percussion team and serve as the Cymbal and Battery Visual Technician. Julian is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. He started his percussion career at Fred J Page High School (Percussion Scholastic World) and graduated in 2005. While in high school Julian began marching with Music City Mystique (Percussion Independent World), captured 2 world titles, and performed consecutively until his age-out in 2009 including 6 years in the McM Cymbal line. During his career he helped develop the program and lead the section for 3 years. In 2008 he marched Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps and served as section leader of the cymbal line for his rook-out summer. Hes taught various high schools and universities throughout the southeast, Memphis Sound Drum & Bugle Corps, and continues his effort to support the ‘Metal Arts.’ Julian credits Joel McCauley, Jake Ansley, Neal Booker, Adam Sones, Eddie Capps, and Mario Taylor for most of his knowledge and experiences as a cymbal educator. His current projects are the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble (Percussion Independent World) and the Forte Drum & Bugle Corps (DCI Open Class Corps) cymbal programs. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

Ryan Pride will be heading up the staff as the percussion caption head. Ryan’s roots drive from his years at Glassmen and Texas State University-San Marcos. Originally from Pflugerville, TX, he has many years of teaching experience from schools in the central Texas area including Hendrickson HS, San Marcos HS, and Dripping Springs HS. After aging out, Ryan gained further teaching experience with groups such as Crossmen, Austin Independent, and for the past two years, Memphis Sound. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA where he is an instructor for the Georgia Institute of Technology maching band, Lassiter High School, Mabry Middle School, Barber Middle School, and the world class WGI line Odyssey Percussion Theatre.

Forte is holding Satellite Camps in South Dakota, Virginia (TN Border), and Atlanta GA in the coming weeks, leading in to the Full Audition Camps in Dallas (Nov) and Houston (Dec). For membership information visit

Membership Application can be found at:

Posted by on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009. Filed under DCI Open.