Forte Announces 2011 Caption Heads

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Forte is proud to announce a mix of new and returning faces to helm the captions for 2011. Full Staff announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Students interested in auditioning for the 2011 season should register via Upcoming Audition Rounds in Burleson (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX), Spring Woods (Houston, TX), Cleveland, OH and Las Vegas, NV; Regular monthly camps kick off Jan 21-23 at Burleson Centennial HS in Burleson, TX

The 2011 Staff will be lead by returning Program Coordinator, Carl Diefenbach. Brass Caption Head ? Don Taylor; Percussion Caption Head ? Tyler Orbison; Visual Caption Head ? Kenneth Thompson; and Colorguard Caption Head ? Casey Snead. They join the already announced design staff of Marty McCartt (Brass Arranger), Tyler Orbison (Percussion Arranger), Kevin Bell (returning Drill Designer); Chris Smith (returning Colorguard Designer), and Chris Kichline (Program and Visual Consultant).


Brass Caption Head, Don Taylor

Don Taylor is originally from South Carolina, and received a BME degree from the University of South Carolina in 1987. After teaching six years in North Carolina, he received a MME degree from Western Carolina University, serving as the band graduate assistant for Dr. John T. West and Bob Buckner. Mr. Taylor was a band director for over 16 years, the last ten of which were in Cobb County, Georgia, as the head director at Simpson Middle School, which feeds into both Sprayberry and Lassiter High Schools. During his time at Simpson the 7th and 8th grade bands consistently earned superior ratings, both on stage and sight-reading, and the 8th grade ban also earned favorable reviews at the 2001 Bands of America Regional Concert Festival held in Lexington, KY. From 1996-2006, Mr. Taylor served on the staff of the Lassiter Trojan Band, serving as brass caption head and also as a marching instructor. During this time, the Lassiter Band participated in the Macy?s Thanksgiving Parade (twice), The Tournament of Roses Parade (twice), and also won the Bands of America Grand National Championship (twice).

Mr. Taylor also has an extensive drum corps background, having performed as a lead soprano soloist with the Suncoast Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 1984 and 1985, then later going on to be one of the original staff members of the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Taylor taught at Crown literally from day one until the corps? first DCI finals appearance in 1995, and was brass caption head from 1991 through 1995. From 1996?1998, he served as the brass caption head for the Magic of Orlando Drum and Bugle Corps, then in 1999 on the brass staff of the Crossmen. Mr. Taylor also served as a music judge for Drum Corps International for four seasons, 2002-2005. In addition to his teaching experience, Mr. Taylor was the 3rd trumpet in the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (NC), as well as performing regularly in the pit orchestra for the Piedmont Players, for three seasons before leaving to attend graduate school.

He currently lives in Kennesaw, GA, and teaches private lessons in the northwestern Metro Atlanta area. Don can be reached at  brass [at] fortecorps [dot] org">brass [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Percussion Caption Head, 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">percussion [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Visual Caption Head, Kenneth Thompson

Kenneth Thompson currently lives in the Dallas area where he serves as a band director for Duncanville ISD. Kenneth has been a clinician/instructor/technician in Texas for the past 8 years. Kenneth holds a Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Texas A&M Commerce. Kenneth served as a marching member, drum major, and elected undergraduate intern for the Pride Marching Band. Kenneth marched baritone with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 he joined Southwind’s visual staff under Mark Palise and Dann Petersen. He continued this role through 2006. In 2007 he joined Southwind’s brass staff under Steve Vento. In 2008 Kenneth joined Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps as the visual/brass caption head. In 2009 he continued on as the visual caption head for Memphis. Kenneth served as the Visual Caption Head for the debut season of Forte in 2010 and will return as the visual caption head for 2011. Kenneth resides in Duncanville, TX  visual [at] fortecorps [dot] org">visual [at] fortecorps [dot] org

Colorguard Caption Head, Casey Snead

Casey Snead currently lives in Dallas, TX, where he works as the Color Guard Director for both Forney HS and South Grand Prairie HS. While working with these two programs, Casey spends most of his free time assisting and writing choreography for a multitude of schools around DFW. On top of working with these scholastic programs, Casey is one of the designers and instructors for Ars Nova Open Winter Guard, a recent 2010 WGI-IA Silver Medalist.

Casey’s performance experience includes Ars Nova WG, Black Gold WG, Bluecoats, and The Cavaliers. He has also danced in many studio and college dance programs over the past 6 years. He loves to share his experience with his student’s and encourages all of them to actively pursue performing in WGI and DCI. Outside of Color Guard, Casey loves to design graphics, exercise, dance, and study health and wellness. Acquiring knowledge and sharing it has become a lifelong passion that he never plans to stop.  colorguard [at] fortecorps [dot] org">colorguard [at] fortecorps [dot] org 

Posted by on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010. Filed under DCI Open.