Alan Armstrong will return in his role as program and instructional coordinator for Court of Honor during the 2004 season. Armstrong begins his 22nd year in the drum corps activity having spent a majority of his career as a performer and instructor with Spirit of Atlanta and later Spirit from JSU. He will also serve as one of the brass arrangers for the corps. A complete bio on Armstrong is available at courtofhonor.org. Joining Armstrong will be two consultants whom he has worked with closely in the past, Freddy Martin and Dave Henry. Henry began his career as a performer with Spirit in 1979 and has worked with Southwind, Crossmen and Spirit throughout his career as an instructor. He will consult with the staff in the areas of programming, brass and visual and will be working with Armstrong to arrange the brass book for the corps in 2004. Armstrong and Henry's collaboration includes time working together on the brass staff with Spirit as well as with Armstrong's band at Northgate High School. Henry's biographical information can be found at courtofhonor.org. Martin's contributions to the drum corps scene are truly legendary, having served as the founding director of Spirit of Atlanta and later as the corps brass caption head throughout the 1980s. He served as a member of the DCI executive board and as a member of the task force on adjudication during the 1980's as well. He will consult with the staff as they put the program together during the winter months and continue to serve as a consultant for the brass staff throughout the year. Martin and Armstrong's working relationship extends over two decades and includes time teaching Spirit (where they served as co-caption heads in 2001) as well as consulting with each other's bands through the years. A more complete bio of Martin's career can be found at courtofhonor.org. Matt Putnam returns to the corps for the second season as the drill writer. Putnam marched with Spirit of Atlanta from 1985-1987, serving as a baritone soloist during that time. He was a band director in North Carolina for several years before opening his own full-time consulting company for marching arts. He currently is the co-owner of "The Band Room," a full-service marching band service company in North Carolina. Putnam serves as show designer for drum corps, college bands and high school bands nationwide. Putnam's complete bio is available at courtofhonor.org. The color guard design team will be led this year by Ginger Armstrong and Bruce Meadows, with assistance from caption head Tre Gaines. Gaines was a member of the 2002 world champion Cavaliers, and has marched with Jacksonville State University's "Center Stage" winter guard. He currently serves as the director of the Soddy Daisy High School guard program. Meadows is an entertainer by trade, having served as a headliner on cruise ships worldwide. He has returned to the Atlanta area and is currently serving as the guard instructor for the Milton High school fall and winter guard programs. Ginger Armstrong was a marching member of the Spirit of Atlanta guards of the mid-1980s under Scott Chandler, Tam Easterwood and Sal Salas. She won two DCI guard championships as a performer and has served as an instructor for high school and drum corps guards for over 19 years. She is the founding director of the Northgate winter guard program, which was named Scholastic A Champions of the Southeastern color guard circuit in 2002. She also currently serves as the Camp Coordinator for "Spirit Camps," one of the largest marching band leadership camps in the Southeast. Ginger's complete bio is available at courtofhonor.org. Joining the staff this year as percussion arranger is John Cypert. Cypert is a graduate of the University of Georgia. In 1994 and 1996, while serving as the arranger and instructor for the marching percussion ensemble, he led them to a fourth and third place finish respectively at the marching forum of the Percussive Arts Society Convention. He also has arranged for the Oklahoma State University Marching Percussion ensemble. In 1999 he received a masters degree from the University of Arkansas, where he had served as a graduate assistant in charge of percussion studies. His drum corps background includes time as a member of the Spirit of Atlanta (1991-1993), where he marched as a snare drummer. He also served as the percussion caption head for the Crossmen during the 2000 season. As a performer, John has appeared with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the Augusta Opera, the Gainesville Symphony and the Northwest Arkansas Symphony. He has also performed under the batons of Frederic Fennell, Jerry Junkin, Larry Rachleff and William Revelli. He currently serves as an elementary music specialist for the Gwinnett county schools, and serves as the front ensemble director at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga. He is also the ensemble director and arranger for Pariah Marching Percussion Theatre, the 2003 Winter Guard International independent open class silver medalist. Joining the staff as a visual consultant this year is Jason Bradshaw. A native of Rome, Ga., Bradshaw has been involved in the marching band, drum corps, and color guard activity for over two decades. A seasoned performer, he is a former marching member of the Blue Devils, Alliance of Miami, Spirit of Atlanta, Chimeras, Sentinel, and the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners. After instructing guard for several years, Bradshaw began judging the movement caption for the Gulf Coast Judges Association in 1997, and recently was inducted into the WGI national sector of judges. Bradshaw graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1992 with a degree in secondary education language arts. In May 2001 he earned a degree in interior design from Middle Tennessee State University. He is a visual consultant for several prominent groups in the Southeast, and presently works as a designer for Bradford's Interiors in Nashville, Tenn. Program coordinator Alan Armstrong said, "It was my desire to bring together the highest-quality design team we could to give the young men and women who will march with Court of Honor the absolute best product possible. I'm just ecstatic to be working with this outstanding group of people who bring such a vast amount of experience to the table. We look forward to putting together a product that will challenge our members while entertaining audiences nationwide." Court of Honor director Marc Kaufman said, "It is simply amazing to see that Court of Honor members will have the benefit of this experienced staff in only our second touring season." The corps will hold their open house/audition weekend at Luella High School in South-Metro Atlanta from Nov. 29 - 30. For more information about the corps or to register online for the audition weekend, visit courtofhonor.org.
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by Drum Corps InternationalEvery Open Class Best Brass Performance caption award winner of the 2010s