Fusion Core Announces 2010 Brass Arranger, Instructional Team

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Fusion is pleased to announce the Brass Arranger, Brass Caption Head and Instructional Team for the 2010 season. In keeping with the standards set for the brass ensemble during the corps first three years we are pleased to have the following returning and new staff members. Director Holly Marino said, “The brass section continues to wow me with their skills. That is a testament to the superior musical education provided by our music educators to the membership."

Brass Arranger/Instructor – Deb Knisely

Deb Knisely is returning to Fusion as Brass Arranger and Instructor. Deb currently teaches band, small ensembles, AP music theory, garage band class and instrumental lessons at Cinnaminson High School, where she also runs the marching band, jazz band, percussion ensemble and indoor marching and music ensemble. Deb received her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Rowan University. She studied tuba and euphonium with John Turk, Owen Metcalf and Tyrone Breuninger, and conducting with Robert Fleming, Salvatore Scarpa and John Pastin.

Drum and bugle corps is in her blood. As a contrabass player, Deb began marching in DCI corps in the 1980’s with Defenders from Rockland, MA, Alliance from Greater Boston, General Butler Vagabonds from Butler, PA and aged out with the 27th Lancers from Revere, MA. She moved on to perform in DCA with the Steel City Ambassadors from Pittsburgh, PA, the Westshoremen from Harrisburg, PA and the New York Skyliners. Deb has also played with many alumni corps including the Yankee Rebels, Westshoremen Alumni, Steel City Alumni, Reilly Raiders, and Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni, and is a founding member of The Music Express Drum and Bugle Corps from Cinnaminson, NJ. She has also been on the instructional staff of the Westshoremen, Cabs Alumni and Jersey Surf.

Deb is also quite active with NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators’ Association) where she manages the All-State Wind Ensemble, and is an active member of the Band Procedures Committee. She is currently President of SJBODA (South Jersey Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association). Deb keeps busy within the region coordinating high school auditions, managing ensembles, coordinating the concert band festival and hosting rehearsals. She conducted the Region III Jr. High Honors Band in 2007. In 2004, Deb was named one of the top 50 music educators in the country by School Band and Orchestra Magazine and in 2008 received the District Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching at Cinnaminson High School.

Brass Caption Head – Matthew Spatz

Matthew Spatz returns to Fusion Core as the 2010 Brass Caption Head. Matthew joined the Fusion Brass Instructional Team in 2007 and has been Brass Caption Head for the past two years. Matthew is the Associate Director of Bands and Brass Specialist for Millburn High School, Millburn, NJ. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Music Degree in Music Education from Boston University. Matthew has over 10 years of experience with various marching bands and competitive drum corps including Mansfield University “Pride of Pennsylvania” Marching Band, NY Skyliners, and Fusion Core. On the “side” Matthew is a professional freelance trumpet and French horn player, clinician and instructor. He has performed with many artists and ensembles including the Army Rhythm and Blues Ensemble, Paquito D’Rivera, and Bella Fleck and the Flecktones. Professional affiliations include North Jersey School Music Association, Music Educators National Conference and International Trumpet Guild.

Brass Instructor/Marching Member – Lauren Kulick

Lauren Kulick is the Band Director at Jefferson Township Middle School and assistant band director for Jefferson Twp. High School Marching Band, earning her music education degree at Montclair State University School of the Arts in 2006. She is a charter member of Fusion, having marched mellophone for the past three years. When she is not enjoying drum corps or teaching, Lauren is a freelance french hornist and plays with the Jefferson Twp. Community Band and the brass quintet, "Covenant Brass".

Brass Instructor – Phil Becker

Phil Becker joins Fusion as Brass Instructor for the 2010 season. Phil graduated San Francisco State University earning a Bachelor of Music. Continuing his music education, Phil earned his Masters degree in Music from the University of North Texas. Phil currently is the Brass Instructor of Kempsville High School Marching Band where he has instructed brass, musical performance and assisted in program design and concept. He has taught brass at several high schools in Virginia, Texas and California including Cupertino High School Marching Band, Cupertino, CA and Bruton High School Band, York County, VA and Colony High School, Colony, Texas.

Phil’s marching and performing experience includes Army Reserve Band, Richmond VA as tubist 2006 to present, The Virginia Wind Symphony, 2007 to present and University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra. His drum corps experience as a marching member includes Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.

He is a member of the Music Educators National Conference and International Tuba and Euphonium Association.

Brass Consultant/Technician – Tommy Martin

Mr. Martin is returning to Fusion for a 2nd year as Brass Consultant/Technician. Tommy Martin’s drum corps career transcends many years and arenas beginning with St. Brigid’s Fife, Drum & Bugle Corps from Ridgewood, Queens, NY. He has performed with the U.S.A.F Drum and Bugle Corps, NY Skyliners, OLA Blue Angels, St. Rita’s Brassmen and OLC Ramblers of Brooklyn to name a few. He has taught many corps including St. Ignatius All-Girls Drum & Bugle Corps, New Image & New Image II. He is a Drum Corps Hall of Fame recipient, June 2005, with a history and participation in the sport which expands more than 40+ years. He is best remembered as an exciting soprano soloist with a super-articulated approach that became well know throughout the drum corps community. Mr. Martin is drum corps’ most wanted “clean up” man with a God-given ear. Mr. Martin’s passion not only includes DCA but also Drum Corps International (DCI) where he also volunteers and is a big fan. When asked what Mr. Martin enjoys most about drum corps, he replies “the growth of the activity and how it is forever changing and evolving”. His two sons and daughter continue to support his hobby, and his son Tommy Martin Jr., who is also an exceptional soprano player, has appeared in Blast.

Posted by on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009. Filed under DCA News.