Forte Announces Management Team for 2010

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Forte is proud to announce the Management Team for 2010. These individuals serve as the administrative end of Forte Drum & Bugle Corps and report to the Overture Youth Advocacy Through the Arts (OYAA – The parent organization for Forte). In addition to the names announced below, Forte is also looking for a Webmaster, Fundraising Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator to join the team. Please email director [at] fortecorps [dot] org to apply

Executive Director, Landon Tooke

Landon performs across the South with the Classic Rock and Country Music group Hank Staples and Thunder Creek. Landon is a founding member of Three Headed Monster Percussion Group, a performing percussion trio based in North Louisiana. After serving for two seasons as the Percussion Caption Head and Arranger for Masquerade Drum and Bugle Corps of North Louisiana, he served the 2008 season on the administrative staff for Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. Landon attended Louisiana Tech University from 1997-2001 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance while studying percussion with Dr. Mel Mobley. His many performances include appearances with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Longview Symphony Orchestra, Monroe Symphony Orchestra, South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, and serves as the principle percussionist for the North Louisiana Baptist Orchestra. Landon also performs regularly with the Temple Baptist Church Praise Band and the Temple Baptist Church Orchestra in Ruston, LA.

Landon has made multiple appearances as a guest performer with the Louisiana Tech University Percussion Ensemble and the University of Louisiana at Monroe Percussion Ensemble. He has appeared as a guest artist at many regional venues including the Louisiana Chapter Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion, the LBA Music Conference, the Ark-La-Tex Band Conference, the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens Artist of the Month Concert Series, the Hurley School of Music Piano Festival, the Louisiana Baptist Music Conference, and on KTVE Channel 8 in Monroe, LA.

Landon has written and arranged music for the Louisiana Tech University Drumline, the Louisiana Tech University Percussion Ensemble, the University of Arkansas at Monticello Drumline, the Ruston High School Drumline, the Airline High School Drumline, the West Ouachita High School Drumline, and many other high school and middle school percussion programs. Landon served for two years as the Percussion Instructor at West Ouachita High School and Calhoun Middle School. He travels throughout the South serving as an adjudicator and a clinician for various high school drumlines and percussion programs, and is a Performing Artist and Endorser for Innovative Percussion, Inc. Landon serves fulltime as the Chief Operations Officer for Impact Healthcare Solutions, based in Ruston, LA, and is the Chief Executive Officer for Tri-Ward General Hospital in Bernice, LA. Executive [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">Executive [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Corps Director, Chris Green

Chris Green has been a part of the drum corps community since marching with Carolina Crown in the early 90s. He has served as a Founder, Board of Director’s Member and President, Program Coordinator, Brass Arranger, Brass Caption Head, and Corps Director of many corps, both in DCI and DCA. He has also served as a consultant, arranger and instructors for band programs across the country, and internationally. He is an active adjudicator with USSBA and several local circuits. Chris serves as a Choir and Band Director in Dallas ISD. Most recently, Chris was the director of Memphis Sound of Memphis, TN where the idea of starting Forte was born. In fact, many of the staff, members and alumni from that corps have shown their support of Forte now that Memphis Sound is inactive. Director [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">Director [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Assistant Corps Director/Tour Director, Dr. Gary Westbrook

Dr. Gary Westbrook is the Director of The Sound and The Fury, the Tarleton State University Texan Marching Band, and Foul Play, the Tarleton State University Basketball band. He serves as the Associate Director of Bands and teaches percussion at Tarleton State University. Gary previously served as Assistant Director of Bands, Director of Percussion Study and Head of Music Education at Louisiana Tech University.

Gary founded Masquerade Drum and Bugle Corps in Ruston, LA in 2006 and has served as Corps Director of Masquerade and Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps. Additionally he has served on the administrative staffs of The Cadets and The Crossmen, and served on the teaching/design staffs of Carolina Gold, Frontier, and Gulf Coast Sound Drum and Bugle Corps.

Gary is a member of MENC, TMEA, PAS, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and CBDNA. Gary was elected into Pi Kappa Lambda and has been named a National Arts Associate (Distinguished Member) by Sigma Alpha Iota. He also serves as an educational endorsee of Pearl/Adams, Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets, Sabian Cymbals, and Evans Drumheads. Gary resides in Stephenville, TX. ACD [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">ACD [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Tour Manager, Linnie Rose

Linnie has been on the administrative side of drum corps for a number of years. He started his marching career in 1977. Under his direction of The Phantom Regiment Cadets, the corps rebuilt its educational program and performance status. The corps rose from thirty-third place in 1995 to fifteenth in 1996 to fifth in 1997 in DCI Division III competition and first place in DCM Division III. This occurred a year earlier than predicted by the staff of The Phantom Regiment and The Phantom Regiment Cadets. As the 1999 Corps Director for the Tarheel Sun I was able to guide the corps and the organization through the difficult transition from Division II to Division I competition and touring. Linnie will be an invaluable asset to the corps operations as we build and shape the organization to enter World Class in the coming years. Linnie resides Tempe, AZ. tour [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">tour [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Operations Manager, Chip Torgeson

Chip has a long history with drum corps as a performer. He marched 3 seasons at Carolina Crown, and then continued on to perform with various DCA Corps as well as the Army National Guard at various levels including Masquerade, Frontier, Jackson Generals, and even as a featured soloists at CorpsVets. Chip serves as the Operations Manager for Kelly tours in Garden City, GA. Chip resides in Savannah, GA with his wife (a Southwind alum) Kaye and their two children. operations [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">operations [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Transportation Coordinator, Jacob Franklin

Jacob is the founder and President of Franklin & Sons Transportation LLC, a freight brokerage company in Keller, Texas. At Franklin & Sons Transportation, Jacob has been responsible for developing logistical and distribution strategies in the manufacturing sector in the United States and around the world.

Prior to starting his company, Jacob was in law enforcement as a police officer and a corrections officer. After his DCI marching career was over, Jacob has stayed active with several drum corps assisting in their logistics/transportation aspects of summer.

Jacob is an alumnus of the Colts, Madison Scouts, and Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps. Jacob marched soprano for the Colts in 1993 and 1994, lead soprano for the 1997 Madison Scouts, and lead soprano for the 1998 Blue Devils. Jacob also studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, during the 1996 Summer in the Music Performance Program for select high school students. Jacob attended Central College of Iowa where he was lead/solo trumpet in jazz band, principal trumpet in Orchestra and band, and participated as a featured player with several other collegiate ensembles. Jacob resides in Keller, TX with his wife and two sons. transportation [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">transportation [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Business Manager, Walter Moss

Walter is the Asst. Director and Director of Bands / Coordinator of Music for Ruston HS. He also serves as the Part Time Police Officer / Reserve Unit Coordinator (Chief) for the Ruston Police Department. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Louisiana Tech University and a Master of Music from University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is an Eagle Scout, and achieved the Rank of Captain in Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary (also trained in search and rescue techniques and communications). He has Served on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Music Educator’s Association and is the Jazz Coordinator for the District One Band Director’s Association. Walter is a percussionist and a was the third member of ‘Three-Headed Monster’ percussion ensemble (along with Gary Westbrook and Landon Tooke) as well as working as the Business Manager for Masquerade Drum & Bugle Corps. Walter resides in Ruston, LA business [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">business [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Tour Intern, Jeanne Clark

Jeanne Clark has been involved with Drum Corps since she was 17 years old, being the Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps Front Ensemble leader and in between those years a member of Surround Sound Percussion’s Front Ensemble for four years of WGI. Spending her last year to perform in DCI with Memphis Sound Drum Corps as the Front Ensemble leader, to now being apart of the administrative side of Forte Drum Corps as an Intern. She also Interns for the Alvarado School district to help teach the percussionists and gives private lessons. Jeanne resides in Burleson, TX.

Volunteer Coordinator, Suzanne Novotnak

As I was considering this bio, I was trying to think of my “training and experience” to serve in this capacity. The only thing I can do is to tell a little about myself, my family and why I love band and drum corps.

As a 5 year old child, I marched as the baton twirler for the Rainbow Trumpet Band, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. That was my first experience with a corps. I love anything musical and signed up in the 5th grade to be a percussionist. I marched in high school band and was featured twirler and then marched in the famed University of Texas marching Band. After those years of experience, I taught baton twirling and color guard for 20 years before “retiring” so I could go back to school to complete my Master of Social Work degree from the University of Oklahoma. (So my blood runs half red/half burnt orange!) During my years teaching twirling and color guard 12 of my 15 children played in band in school.—yes, 15 kids—2 by birth and 13 by adoption. I have been a band booster for so many years I can’t even count them! I have been to hundreds of football games, contests, concerts and parades and other music related events. I have attended numerous DCI corps contests over the years and in the 1980s, one of my sons considered auditioning for drum corps after the Broken Arrow contest caught our attention. Unfortunately, funds did not allow him to participate.

As my daughter, Kelsey began her band career, she had a dream of playing the oboe and marching in the colorguard. Her 8th grade year, she auditioned for Winter guard and my years of running around after and helping colorguard kids began again! I sewed flags, costumes, helped with “cleaning” work and overall just “volunteered” to help out with activities related to Kelsey’s activities. I am known as “Mama Novotnak” to all of Kelsey’s band friends and I love spending time doing things with and for the guard. When Kelsey determined last year that she wanted to audition for drum corps, I never thought that I would become as involved with drum corps as I now am!

I volunteered to help at all of the audition camps last year for Memphis Sound as well as for Everydays at the beginning of June. The corps uniforms became my “fulltime” job on tour and that provided me with a great means to get to know and love the members of the corps. I traveled with the corps last summer for all but 13 days and was there during the demise of “MO” the food truck, then the semi-trailer, and finally Li’l Mo, the trailer. We all grew closer as we looked at innovative ways to work together to solve our problems! Volunteers, members, staff, and everyone involved with our corps are the basis for our success and will be the basis for the successes we will experience this year with Forte. I look forward to serving again this year and the job of “Volunteer Coordinator” fits me best!

So when you are looking at what you can do this summer, please call me or post in the Forte Volunteer group! We need you! And, I will contact you and help you get all of this “stuff” figured out! . Suzanne resides in OK volunteer [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">volunteer [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Marketing/Web Development, Joe Rattan

After graduating from Texas Tech University in December of 1981 with degrees inDesign Communications and Packaging Design, Joseph Rattan began working with a two-week old company, Hill Design, in Houston. In 1984, Joseph made the move to Dallas, to become a senior art director with Pirtle Design. During this time he began teaching at the University of North Texas. In 1988, when Woody Pirtle closed his shop, Joseph Rattan and Alan Colvin established Colvin Rattan Design. In February, 1991, Joseph Rattan became sole owner of the business.

Joseph has served on the Board of Directors of the Art Director’s Club of Houston and as President of the Board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Texas Chapter.

Joseph has worked with clients such as: Apple Computer, IBM, Atmos Corporation, NCR Corporation, Steak & Ale, Champion International, US West, Brinker International, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Texas Instruments, Coca-Cola and Mary Kay Cosmetics. He has exhibited work and received awards from the following publications and organizations:

United States Library of Congress Permanent Collection
Communication Arts Magazine
American Institute of Graphic Arts
Dallas Society of Visual Communications
New York Art Directors Club
Art Directors Club of Houston

In 1998, Joseph Rattan was awarded the prestigious Obelisk Award presented by the Dallas Business Committee for the Arts in recognition of his work in and support of the arts in Texas.

Joe resides in Plano, TX, and can be reached through his website –

Membership Coordinator, Dr. Kimberly Klakamp

Kim has been a part of the drum corps community beginning in the 2008 season as a parent of a Memphis Sound colorguard member. After watching the with excitement what the drum corps experience offered her daughter, she eagerly joined the Memphis Sound leadership team during the 2009 season in the position of Membership Coordinator. Kim is excited to return to the position of Membership Coordinator for Forte, bringing with her years of experience working with youth. She is a former teacher, who currently works as a coordinator in the Garland ISD and an adjunct professor for Texas A&M University-Commerce. In addition, she serves as the director and coach for a youth cheerleading program and participates as the treasurer for a community-based youth dance program. Kim resides in Wylie, TX with her four daughters. membership [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">membership [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Food Services Manager, Carla Greene

Carla Greene is excited to bring a taste of the South mixed with a Cajun flare to Forte’s Team. As a former member of the Louisiana Air National Guard, Girl Scout Troop Leader and owner/operator/chef of a private catering company in the New Orleans metro area, Carla has an eclectic array of life experiences. She comes to Forte prepared to enhance the Drum Corps experience through the taste buds and tummies of the Forte family.

After the birth of children numbers 3 and 4 in the Greene family, Carla set out to follow a passion for cooking while spending as much time as possible with her children. Once obtaining the equipment necessary to cook in large quantities, word quickly spread to family and friends that business was “cooking” in the Greene house. Through the development of menus and catering specifications for family reunions, private parties, informal lunches, festivals, corporate banquets, and weddings, within a tight budget, it became apparent that people could eat well with little money.

Using this philosophy, a laid back personality and great sense of humor, Carla is working on providing a menu plan that will be nutritious and stress free for both the members and staff on the 2010 DCI Tour with the best new corps in the US, Forte Drum and Bugle Corps.

Carla currently resides in New Orleans with her husband and four children. food [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">food [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Public Relations Intern, Meagan Moede

Bio coming soon. Megan resides in San Marcos, TX PR [at] fortecorps [dot] org" target="_blank">PR [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Forte is holding Satellite Camps in Virginia (TN Border), and Atlanta GA in the coming weeks, leading in to the Full Audition Camps in Dallas (Nov) and Houston (Dec). Also, look for an exciting announcement concerning the Virginia Beach area in the coming weeks. For membership information visit

Membership Application can be found at:

Posted by on Thursday, November 19th, 2009. Filed under DCI Open.