Forte Announces 2011 Design Staff

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Forte Drum & Bugle Corps of Grand Prairie, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth area) is proud to announce the design team for the 2011 Season. With a mix of returning and new faces, Forte plans to build on the debut season success of being selected as an Open Class Finalist. For more information about Forte and auditioning for the 2011 Season, please visit; email info [at] fortecorps [dot] org; or call the Corps Office at 469-449-5691. Auditions kick off in Jackson, MS for a one day camp on November 13th. Other one-day audition sites include Del Valle, TX (Austin area); Spring Woods, TX (Houston area), Brunswick, OH (Cleveland area), Las Vegas, NV, and our home location for the season Burleson, TX (Dallas-Fort Worth area). Full Weekend Camps begin in January in Burleson, TX, while monthly rehearsals continue in Cleveland, OH area for students closer geographically to there. Full details available on


Program Coordinator, Carl Diefenbach
Carl Diefenbach returns as the Program Coordinator for the 2011 Season! He 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. Carl resides in OH program [at] fortecorps [dot] org 

Brass Arranger, Marty McCartt
Marty McCartt is a freelance composer and arranger for junior high, high school, and collegiate level concert, marching, and jazz bands, as well as percussion and other small ensembles. Acclaimed for his fresh, creative compositional style, Marty is always at the forefront of cutting-edge musical and conceptual program design. His music is showcased at, where he serves as Creative Director. 

Marty has an equal passion for teaching; renowned for his unique pedagogical techniques, he maintains an active schedule as a guest clinician throughout the United States. He has written for?and instructed?the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, Carolina Crown, the Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble, the Kennesaw Mountain High School Marching Band, the two-time WGI Scholastic Concert World Champion Fort Mill High School Percussion Ensemble, as well as many other outstanding nationally-recognized musical organizations. In addition to his love of music, Marty has completed Level 2 certification from the Master Court of Sommeliers. In his leisure, he enjoys fine dining, travel, interior design, expanding his understanding of cosmology, and reveling in the sunshine which graces his home in “The City Beautiful,” Orlando, FL.

Percussion Arranger, Tyler Orbison
Tyler Orbison will be joining the 2011 Forte Staff as the Percussion Arranger and Caption head. He has been actively involved in music performance and education for over 20 years. He has toured with world-renowned drum lines, outstanding wind ensembles and award-winning percussion ensembles, and has done so from the differing perspectives of performer, instructor and designer. While Tyler has cultivated a love and respect for all music and musicians, his true passion has always been rooted in percussion, an area in which his performing and teaching have positively affected hundreds of people.

Tyler started his drum corps career with a Texas based group called Lone Star. He marched with the corps for two seasons, ’95 and ’96, under Director Robert Poulin and Caption Head Mickey Hartzog. Lone Star competed in DCI’s Division II, now the revamped Open Class, and was known for its outstanding drum line. Tyler went on to march snare at Carolina Crown, under Director Kevin Smith and Caption Head Paul Rennick, becoming a DCI finalist in 1998. While studying percussion at Texas A&M University Commerce, Tyler had the opportunity to tour and perform frequently with both the wind ensemble and percussion ensemble, a nationally recognized group under the direction of Dr. Brian West. During that time he became a cornerstone member of the school’s well known exhibition drum line, serving as snare section leader for three years, including 2000, when the group finished in second place at PASIC.

As an educator, Tyler has experience at every level. In addition to many fine high school groups, he has taught lines in the World Class divisions of both DCI and WGI. From 2006 through 2008, he was on the instructional staff of Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps, based in Milwaukee, WI, under the direction of Roman Blenski. Tyler served Pioneer in many capacities, including Snare Technician, Battery Coordinator, Percussion Arranger and ultimately Percussion Caption Head. For the past several years, Tyler has worked as Assistant Director and Battery Caption Head for Surround Sound, a World Class WGI Indoor Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Allen Joanis. Tyler was an integral part of the design team and instructional staff that guided “S2” back to its status as World Class finalist, and he’s looking forward to the group’s promising future.

Currently, Tyler is Assistant Director of Percussion at Lamar High School in Arlington, TX. Under the guidance of both Tyler and Director Stuart Spoon, Lamar’s drum line has won countless awards and taken first place at many competitions. In 2007, the line was crowned champion of the NTCA, a Dallas-Fort Worth based WGI circuit, and in 2008 they took first place in the “moving” division at the Lone Star Classic, which has become the unofficial state championship for Texas drum lines. In the spring of 2009, Lamar’s percussion ensemble won a call for tapes and was awarded a showcase concert at BOA’s “Music For All” festival in Indianapolis, IN.

Tyler is a member of the Dallas Mavericks Drum Line, and performs regularly for Dynamic Rhythm Entertainment, a Dallas based company that provides customized percussion entertainment for corporate events, weddings, churches, etc. He is an active designer, composer and arranger, and frequently contributes to JW3, a Fort Worth based music publication company that specializes in custom show design. Tyler is also an active clinician and adjudicator. Tyler can be reached at percussion [at] fortecorps [dot] org 

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.

Kevin is returning for his second season with Forte!

Colorguard Designer, Chris Smith 
Christopher Smith, Colorguard Designer and Caption Supervisor, resides in the Houston area where he serves as the color guard Director at Pearland H.S. since 2005. Prior to relocating from Ohio, Smith had tenures with the North Royalton H.S., Brunswick H.S. and Medina H.S. bands and winter guard programs. Smith was a longtime board member of Mid-East Performance Association (MEPA) as well as serving as an Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) adjudicator. He has held color guard caption head positions with the Limited Edition Drum and Bugle Corps and the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and has consulted with many high school programs and drum corps throughout the years. He studied dance at the Ohio State University and was a member of the University Dance Company, the Zivili Kolo Ensemble, and worked with choreographers John Giffin and Victoria Uris. Smith served as the Artistic Director for Csardas Dance Company of Cleveland for twelve years. Mr Smith resides in Houston, TX colorguard [at] fortecorps [dot] org 

Chris is returning for his second season with Forte.

Visit for all the latest about year two of FORTE! 

Posted by on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010. Filed under DCI Open.