Empire Statesmen Announce 2012 Design Team, Open House

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The Empire Statesmen are excited to announce their open house and the addition of two new faces to their design team for the 2012 Season.

The Empire Statesmen would also like to welcome JJ Pipitone as Percussion Arranger and Rick Morey as Visual Designer, to the Empire design team. With Rick’s established credentials in show design and JJ’s DCI’s judging/instruction background, both will greatly enhance the Empire Statesmen design team. David Bruni, Assistant Corps Director and Show Coordinator adds, “The addition of JJ and Rick to our design team has created a lot of excitement for the Empire Statesmen administration, staff and members. After another great year in 2011, our 2012 design team means another exciting year for fans of the Empire Statesmen”.

JJ Pipitone: JJ received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Morehead State University and his Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. JJ is an assistant band director at Grapevine High School in Dallas, Texas, where he has been since 2005. He is responsible for the Pre-AP Music Theory Class, the Music History Class, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, The Musical Orchestra, The High School Drum line, Percussion Ensembles and oversees all of the percussion activities from 6th-12th grade. Prior to this assignment, he was the Director of Percussion at Lewisville High School in Dallas, Texas, where he taught for 9 years. JJ has extensive drum corps experience, having marched for 9 years beginning in the Greece Cadets and the Northmen from Rochester, Dutch Boy, Phantom Regiment and the Blue Devils from Concord, California. He won the DCI Multi tenor competition in 1989, The PAS Multi Tenor competition in 1990 and placed 2nd at the PAS marimba competition in 1992. As an instructor, JJ taught the World Champion Phantom Regiment from 1995-1997, the Glassmen, in 1998 and 1999, and the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corp in 2000 and 2001. JJ was the caption head and arranger for the Rochester Crusaders in 2000 and 2001. JJ served as a consultant for the Empire Statesmen on and off and in various capacities from 2002 to the present. JJ’s extensive judging experience has made him one of the most in demand Music/Percussion judges in the United States. In the fall, he judges numerous marching band competitions all over the United States for “Bands of America”, indoor drum line competitions in the winter/spring and Drum Corp International in the summer. JJ has been on the DCI world championship panel every year since 2005. JJ has percussion arrangements published through Drop 6 Publications, Rowloff Publications and K. Wylie Publications.

Rick Morey: Rick, who lives in Utica, NY with his wife Barbara, has worked in the pageantry activity for decades with various winter guards, marching bands and drum and bugle corps and as an adjudicator. Rick established the New Hartford Winter Guard and served as a designer and instructor for them for almost 30 years. He continues to be very active as a designer for marching bands in New York, New Jersey and New Mexico. He has a longtime involvement in both DCI and DCA as a designer, program coordinator and consultant. His DCI affiliations have included Pioneer, Magic of Orlando and the Colts. In DCA, Rick has worked with the Steel City Ambassadors, Brigadiers, Bushwackers and Empire Statesmen. As an adjudicator, Rick has judged for DCI, WGI, DCA and BOA, as well as numerous marching band contests across the country. A past President of the New York Federation of Contest Judges, Rick has also served as a clinician in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. A retired high school counselor who was named New York State Counselor of the Year in 1996, Rick now works in the pageantry activity on a full time basis. He is excited to be the 2012 Visual Designer for the Empire Statesmen and looks forward to a great season.

Jerry Kelsey: Jerry has been the arranger/brass instructor for the Empire Statesmen for 9 years. He is a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Jerry has been the brass arranger/instructor and consultant for several prominent drum & bugle corps. including the San Francisco Renegades, the Boston Crusaders, the Glassmen the Crossmen, Capital Regiment, the Kilties, the Rochester Crusaders, Florida Wave and Suncoast Sound. Through his business, Custom Arranging Services, he serves as the arranger and composer for many high schools and Universities throughout the United States. Mr. Kelsey is the current arranger/composer for Wake Forest University. He is also program coordinator and musical designer for Jones County Community College in Mississippi. Mr. Kelsey is a published arranger with Alfred Publications and recently was employed by Home Box Office. Mr. Kelsey holds a BA from Fredonia State University where he studied composition with Dr. Walter S. Hartley and conducting with Dr. Harry John Brown. Jerry currently resides in upstate New York.

Matthew Winans: Matt attended the State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport in Rochester, NY where he earned two bachelor’s degrees one in Communications and another in Dance. He is an alumnus of Medina High School and was extremely active in its Winter guard and Marching Band programs for 7 consecutive years. In 2005 he relocated to Florida to become a part of the instructional staff for the Flanagan High School Color guards and soon after became a member of the school’s faculty as a Social Science teacher. Performing with such groups as the Rochester Patriots Independent World Guard, Empire Statesmen Drum Corps and the Cadets Drum Corps, has paved the road to a teaching career which includes: The Cadets Drum Corps (2005-2007), Orchard Park HS (2005 – current), 3 time WGI medalist Flanagan High School (2005-current), and currently is the Caption Head and designer for the Boston Crusaders Drum Corps (2008-Current). Matt recently returned as the Color guard designer for the Empire Statesmen and is looking forward to being a part of the Empire family for years to come.

The open house will be held on Saturday November 26th from 9am to 4pm at Our Lady of Mercy High School, 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester NY 14610. The Empire Statesmen banquet, celebrating the 2011 accomplishments, will be later that night. Please check the website (http://www.statesmen.org/) for all information pertaining to the Corps. Look for our 2012 show announcement soon.

Posted by on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.