Connecticut Hurricanes Announce 2013 Percussion Arrangers

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The Connecticut Hurricanes are very excited to introduce their 2013 Percussion Arrangers, Andrew Barlow and Colby Kuzontkoski. Both of these talented writers have extensive musical backgrounds which are highlighted in their biographies (see below). The Hurricanes’ percussion section has consistently been a strong force in DCA, placing 4th in 2010 and 2012 and 3rd in 2009 and 2011. The Corps looks forward to building upon this success in 2013 with Andrew and Colby writing the charts.

Make sure to check out the 2013 Hurricanes Open House on Sunday, November 25th at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Visit for more information and stay tuned for more exciting announcements as the 2013 season rolls on!

Andrew Barlow, Battery Percussion Arranger
Andrew Barlow is currently a Percussionist and the Percussion Manager for the Tony and Emmy Award winning Broadway show Blast!

Andrew pursued a double Masters degree in Percussion Performance and Music Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While at UMass, he instructed the UMass Minuteman Marching Band, Marimba Ensembles, the MASS Marimba Band, and the Percussion Ensemble. He also holds Bachelor degrees in Music Education and Percussion Performance from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina.

When at home in Allentown PA, Barlow regularly gigs and performs in the Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, and New York areas. Most recently, Andrew has done studio recording work with Madonna and Kevin Antunes in preparation for the half time show at Super Bowl XLVI.

Barlow has served as a percussion instructor for such groups as The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps, The Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps, The Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps, Spirit of America Percussion Ensemble, and United Percussion Indoor Percussion Ensemble.

During his career, Barlow has studied percussion with Thom Hannum, Dr. Brian Tinkel, Yousif Sheronick, Rolando Morales- Matos, Colin McNutt, Tom Aungst, Ian Hale, Ayano Kataoka, Wes Powers, Michael Moore, and Tony Del Rivero. He began his musical studies at the age of 8, studying piano under Jo Powell Boggs and Janice Millholden.

Andrew’s drum corps marching career includes performing with The Cadets, Carolina Crown, and Magic of Orlando. He was also a member of the renowned percussion ensemble Music City Mystique. On the collegiate level, Barlow has performed with the UMass University Orchestra, the UMass Marimba band, the UMass Advanced Percussion Ensemble, The Mars Hill College Wind Ensemble, The Mars Hill College Percussion Ensemble, and the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew currently serves as a Percussionist and Percussion Manager for Blast! Former employment includes work with Youth Education in the Arts and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, where he served on the percussion staff for The Cadets from 2010-2012 and was the tour manager for The Cadets from 2008-2009. From 2010-2011, he was the Director of Development for Youth Education in the Arts and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

Andrew is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and an educational artist for Innovative Percussion Inc. and Pearl/Adams Corporation. He currently resides in Allentown, PA with his wife Melissa.

Colby Kuzontkoski, Front Ensemble Percussion Arranger
Colby Kuzontkoski is a graduate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Music in Percussion Performance. At UMass he studied under professors Peter Tanner, Eduardo Leandro, Ayano Kataoka and Thomas Hannum.

During his time at UMass he studied performance practice in all forms including contemporary chamber music, solo repertoire, new music and traditional percussion ensemble. He also extensively studied the art of arranging for percussion in the form of marimba ensembles, percussion ensembles, marching ensembles and marimba bands. He has published an article on the application of articulations in percussion called: “Connecting the Arranger Coach and Performer.”, Published in the Percussive Arts Society journal: Percussive Notes.

For the last six years Colby has had the great opportunity to write for and teach competitive percussion ensembles around the country. He has also taught and given clinics at numerous high schools throughout New England. He has recently taught at Thom Hannum’s Mobile Percussion Seminar in Amherst MA, directing and teaching the Front Ensemble track of the program.

Colby is also an experienced drum set player having studied with Boston favorite Bob Gullotti for three years, attended two Berklee 5 Week Summer Performance Programs in Boston, and has performed extensively in jazz and GB bands throughout the Northeast. He has also recorded several albums with touring bands from the area.

Staying current in the world of percussion is vital for the modern percussionist. Colby has participated in and performed in seminars such as the Cloid Duff Timpani Master Class in Kansas City and the International Festival of Contemporary Performance at Mannes College in Manhattan. Colby has made it his mission to further this art form and is excited to bring his unique style to the Connecticut Hurricanes’ Front Ensemble program. Colby resides in the Atlanta, GA metro area where he maintains an active role in the area’s marching arts community.

The Hurricanes would also like to take the opportunity to thank Mike Schmitt, Mike Wyatt, and Tom Aungst for their service to the Hurricanes in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Posted by on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.