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2016 Colorguard Team Announcement


The Sunrisers are pleased to welcome Jason Nealy to the Corps as our new Color Guard Designer/Caption Head .

Jason is originally from Stratford, CT and is currently residing in Lowell, MA. He has been involved with the color guard world for 18 years, having started his color guard career with Bunnell High School in 1996. This year marks his second year working with the Les Eclipses Independent Open colorguard. He is also working with Blessed Sacrament World and Open Class Winterguards.

His marching career includes two world championships, one with Fantasia Winterguard from Riverside, CA in 2006 and the other with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, IL in 2002. Jason has DCA experience as a member of the Bushwackers (2000-2001), the Caballeros (1999, 2014), and the Hurricanes (1998).


The Sunrisers welcome Rachel Montanez to the team as a colorguard instructor.

Rachel began her colorguard career at Mineola High School in 2008. She enjoyed four years of high school fall and winter guard, where under her captainship, she has won a NYSFBC Championship (2009) and was an A Class WGI Finalist (2011). She went on to march Independent World-Class winter guard with Alter Ego (2013) and was a World Class WGI Finalist. Rachel has also performed with many other note-worthy organizations such as, The Sunrisers (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), The Hurricanes (2012) and The Cadets (2013 – 2015).

Rachel found an irresistible attachment to color guard at a young age and had the urge to share that passion with other young performers as soon as she graduated high school. Rachel has had the pleasure of teaching programs such as Division Avenue High School, Garden City High School, Longwood High School, and is currently in her fourth year teaching Mineola High School where she is the Color Guard Director. Rachel is looking forward to being with the Sunrisers colorguard full-time for the summer of 2016.


Lindsay Beaumont joins the team as a colorguard instructor.

Lindsay began her colorguard career at the age of 9 in a local independent group from Long Island, NY. In 2007, she joined Alter Ego Colorguard where she marched for 9 consecutive years (2007-2015). She won a WGI gold medal with Alter Ego in 2008 while she was only in 8th grade. She was a WGI world class finalist for 7 years in a row and was captain her last two years in the word class organization. She was a member of the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps (2006-2008). She was then a member of the Connecticut Hurricanes (2009-2011). After six years of marching DCA, Lindsay decided to march DCI with The Cadets. She performed with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps for four consecutive seasons (2012-2015).

Lindsay has been involved with this activity for over a decade at only the age of 21. She goes to St. Joseph’s College and is on her way to becoming an elementary school teacher. She has grown to love the activity immensely and wants to be able to share her passion and love with other young performers and students. Lindsay has had the pleasure of teaching Sachem Marching Band (2015), The Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps (2015), and Mineola Winter Guard (for the upcoming season). Lindsay is truly looking forward to pursuing her career as a teacher while still being able to share her love and passion for the activity. She is excited to work with The Sunrisers again for the upcoming season.


Maria White joins the Sunrisers as a colorguard instructor.

Maria began her marching career 1988. She has built years of experience since, both marching and teaching various color guards,drum lines and and front ensembles. Some of her positions include: Front Ensemble instructor with Sunrisers and Fusion Core Drum and Bugle Corps, Brentwood HS (NY), Williamsport HS (MD) Color Guard caption head for Brentwood HS (NY) (1998 – 2011) and Malverne HS (NY) since 2014. She has been the director of Saturday Matinee Winter guard since 2010. Maria has been a guard member of several award winning organizations. She performed with Heatwave and Fusion Core Drum and Bugle Corps, Light Brigade Indoor and most recently spent the last 3 seasons performing with The Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps.

Maria is a full time full time mother of 4 and happily married to Joe White who is also actively involved in the marching arts. They are both Sunriser Alumni and are thrilled to be making their return this season.


Rodney Thomas joins the Sunrisers as a colorguard consultant.

Rodney currently resides in Mount Vernon, NY. He began his colorguard career in 1995 starting in a small parade corps from his hometown. He then went on to become a member of the Alter Ego Colorguard (2002-2003) and the Light Brigade Colorguard (2004-2007 and 2009). Rodney was also a member of the Bushwackers all-age corps (2004) and a member of The Cadets (2000 and 2005) winning the DCI World Championship both years.

Rodney has taught numerous colorguards, marching bands and colorguards throughout New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas including The Bushwackers (2006-2008), Piscataway High School (2007, 2008), Bunnell High School (2008-2010), Passaic High School (2005) and Revolution Drum Corps (2009-2011). Rodney is excited to be working with the Sunrisers and we welcome him on board.


Amy Vercruysse-Jones is excited to return to the colorguard instructor of the 2016 Sunrisers.

After joining the team mid-season in 2015. Amy began her colorguard career with the Persuasion Winterguard (IA) in 1998 & 1999, then went on to march/teach with Emanon Winterguard (IA) 2000-2002 and Innuendo Winterguard (IO) 2004. She also marched with the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum & Bugle Corps beginning in 1999 through their DCA championship season in 2003. Amy has taught a variety of high school marching band and winterguard programs including Jackson Memorial HS (NJ), Urbana HS (MD), and WGI and BOA regional finalists Governor Thomas Johnson HS (MD) and Westminster HS (MD).

Outside of the activity, Amy is a graduate of The Richard Stockton College of NJ (B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology) and the MGH Institute of Health Professionals (Boston, MA) where she earned her Masters degree in Speech Pathology. She has previously worked at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and is currently at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY where she specializes in swallowing disorders and voice restoration following laryngectomy. Amy now resides in Pleasant Valley, NY with her husband, Bobby and their puppy, Myron.


The Sunrisers are pleased to welcome Greg Lagola back to our family as a colorguard consultant.

2016 marks Greg’s 30th year as a designer and guard instructor for Drum Corps and Winter Guard. He has had the honor and privilege of working with many of the greatest talents in the activity, and is proud to be part of the world of Pageantry Arts.

Greg has served on the design staff for many organizations including; Cadets, Bluecoats, Santa Clara Vanguard, (Summer and Winter guards), Sunrisers, Emerald Marquis, and Pride of Cincinnati. He has designed guard and dance costumes for hundreds of marching bands, drum corps, winter guards and dance groups, including the Arcos Dance Company, a recent participant at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Greg has a degree in Art from the Pennsylvania State University, as well as a fashion design degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He currently works as a freelance designer for various apparel collections, and is an adjunct faculty member at Parsons, The New School for Design. He lives in New York City with his partner Joseph La Corte, who thankfully is a color guard fan!

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