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Exciting 2016 Announcements from the Connecticut Hurricanes

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In the past few days, the Hurricanes have announced their 2016 Program & Design Team! See the information below, and click here for a clip from the local news station plugging our Open House, coming up on November 28 and 29!

2016 Connecticut Hurricanes Program Announcement

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The concept of Freedom is multifaceted. It is a concept that represents the opportunity to embrace a system of beliefs, to choose methods of expression, and the ability to pursue one’s dreams. It is the concept of Freedom that stands as a cornerstone of democracies around the world.

The 2016 Hurricanes are celebrating this idea of Freedom and the opportunities it allows those who have it. Using the liberating and inspiring strains of “Amazing Grace” woven through the program, combined with other musical selections, the Hurricanes will explore varying aspects of Freedom.

The repertoire will consist of:
•. Amazing Grace
•. Freedom by Michael W. Smith
•. Now We Are Free (Nelle tue mani) by Andrea Bocelli, from Gladiator (Hanz Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard)
•. Freedom Triology by Paul Halley & Theresa Thomason

The Hurricanes hope you will celebrate with us the possibilities, realities, and blessings that Freedom can afford. Freedom is a liberating experience that we should never take for granted.

2016 Connecticut Hurricanes Design Team Announcement

The Hurricanes are excited to announce their 2016 Design Team! Returning from the 2015 Design Team is Visual Designer Rick Morey and Brass Arranger Matt Krempasky. New to the Hurricanes Design Team in 2016 will be JJ Pipitone as the Percussion Arranger Lennie Machado as the Color Guard Designer. Bob Kogut and Bill Solari are also contributing to the creative process in addition to their roles on the instructional staff.

The team is working diligently to put together our 2016 program, Freedom, which will explore the ability to express yourself freely, choose freely, and pursue one’s dreams. The show promises to be a step forward for the Hurricanes and one that will resonate with drum corps fans.

Our 2016 Open House is coming up on November 28 from 9AM-3PM and November 29 from 9AM-4PM at Amity Regional High School (25 Newton Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525). You can read more about the designers below!

JJ Pipitone – Percussion Arranger

JJ Pipitone 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. He is currently an adjunct percussion professor at Texas A&M University - Commerce.

Before this, he served in the public schools for 16 years as an assistant band director in the Lewisville and Grapevine Independent School Districts in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. In addition to all of the percussion responsibilities from 6th-12th grade, his duties have included Concert Band, Music Theory, Music History, Jazz band, and Musical Theater.

JJ has extensive drum corps experience, having marched for 9 years in drum corps all over the country including numerous drum corps in the up-state New York area, the Dutch Boy, the Phantom Regiment, and the Concord Blue Devils. 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 in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, JJ was the Caption Head and the Battery Arranger. He went on to teach the Glassmen in 1998 and 1999 and the Crossmen in 2000 & 2001. He also served as Caption Head and Percussion Arranger for the Rochester Crusaders and the Empire Statesmen.

JJ’s extensive judging experience has taken him around the globe since 2003. He is honored to be affiliated with Bands of America, Winter Guard International, and Drum Corps International.

Lennie Machado – Color Guard Designer

Lennie Machado is originally from the Boston area and has been involved in the Color Guard activity for over 20 years. He currently runs L-Mac Designs, a custom design company dedicated to the pageantry arts based out of Everett, MA. In 2014, he was inducted into the Massachusetts Drum Corps and Music Educators Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the activity.

Lennie has served as Caption Head and Designer for the Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps, Sacred Heart Winter Guard, St. Brendan’s Winter Guard and countless other groups through New England and the US. Lennie will bring his demonstrated and award winning skills to the Hurricanes Design Team this year to help bring the color guard and drum corps as a whole to the next level.

Rick Morey – Visual Designer

Rick, who lives in Utica, NY with his wife Barbara, has worked in the pageantry activity for several decades as a designer 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 visual designer for championship marching bands in New York, New Jersey and New Mexico, as well as for the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights. He also had the privilege to design the 2014 Super Bowl Pre-Game featuring the combined Syracuse University and Rutgers University bands. He has had 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 designed for the Steel City Ambassadors, 5-time DCA Champion Syracuse Brigadiers, Empire Statesmen and Windsor Regiment. Rick is also honored to have been inducted into the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Hall of Fame, the New York State Field Band Conference Hall of Fame and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, where he serves as Chair of the Visual Screening Committee.

As an adjudicator, Rick has judged for DCI, DCA, WGI, US Bands 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.

Matt Krempasky – Brass Arranger

Matthew F. Krempasky’s writing career began with the Reading Buccaneers in 1983, and has since expanded to drum and bugle corps, college and university bands, and high school ensembles from around the world. He wrote for the Bucs from 1983-1987, the Caballeros from 1988-1991, the Spirit of Atlanta from 1997-1999, and, most notably, for the Crossmen drum and bugle corps from 1986-1994, helping to return the Crossmen to DCI finalist status as well as helping them to their highest place finish in the history of the corps (6th place, 1992).

He is has been elected to three different Drum & Bugle Corps Halls of Fame - the Reading Buccaneers (2006), the Pennsylvania Drum and Bugle Corps (2011), and the Crossmen (2012).


Mr. Krempasky holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA and is currently the band director at Somerville (NJ) High School. He is a frequent performer and recording artist in the tri-state area on both trumpet and trombone. He has also studied computing and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. In 1998, he was selected as the New Jersey Master Music Teacher by the New Jersey Music Educators Association. Since 1990, he has been a proud member of Mensa, the international IQ society.

Edited by vbc33
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