From a Madison Scouts' press release: The Madison Scouts have appointed Colin McNutt to be the corps' percussion arranger and caption head. Noted throughout the pageantry activity for his imaginative and inventive compositions, McNutt has been a clinician, adjudicator and teacher. His unique brand of musicianship is shaped by his ability to create percussive moments of richness and depth, while honing a performance style grounded in the advanced techniques required for a world-class percussion ensemble. With degrees in music education and the classics from the University of Massachusetts, he has been the percussion instructor and arranger at that school since 1993. On Broadway, his arrangements have been heard in the Tony award-winning production of "Blast!" His drum corps experience includes diverse groups such as Glassmen, Crossmen, Magic of Orlando, and the Star of Indiana. Drum Corps International Hall of Fame member Thom Hannum referred to McNutt as the best of the "new breed of young designers," equally at home on the concert stage and the marching field. "His distinctive vision of artistry and precision presents an expansive approach to new percussive voices and timbres, while insisting on the accuracy and perfection our fans demand," said Madison Scouts director Sal Salas. Adding his voice to those of brass composer and arranger Scott Boerma, co-caption head Mark Waymire, color guard designer Jennifer LeSeth and visual designer Jamey Thompson is an exciting experience, said McNutt. "I'm thrilled to begin work with these great drum corps artists. They've really added a fresh edge to the Madison reputation." Joining McNutt is Iain Moyer, who will serve as arranger and instructor for the front ensemble. Currently a doctoral fellow in percussion performance at the University of Oklahoma, Moyer started his drum corps experience with Star of Indiana's "Brass Theatre," and proceeded to work with Crossmen, Glassmen, and Magic of Orlando, alongside caption head McNutt. Currently, he is directing and arranging for the OU steel drum band, co-directing the OU Percussion Ensemble, and overseeing musical production for the OU Percussion Press. He has appeared as a percussionist at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, Julliard, Rutgers University, the Percussive Arts Society, and the National Conference of Percussion Pedagogy. Salas cites the involvement displayed by the instructional staff McNutt has assembled as influential in his decision to add these musicians to the Madison mix. "Within the collaborative process required of truly great drum corps," he said, "we need the energy, drive, and focus to train our members in a logical, sequential manner, while providing the care and concern that is synonymous with the Scout organization." A perfect example is the involvement of 10-year drum corps veteran Brian Tinkel. With degrees in music performance and percussion performance from the University of Massachusetts, Tinkel has honed a fine ear for percussive detail while performing in "Brass Theatre," the Enid Symphony Orchestra, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He has taught at U-Mass, OU and Moore High School, a perennial Bands of America participant. An active clinician and performer, Tinkel will be joined by a young and energetic team of instructors and technicians. Ohioan James Sparling is a veteran of indoor competitive percussion lines as well as drum corps, including Music City Mystique, Rhythm X, Glassmen, and the Santa Clara Vanguard. Ian Hale graduated from Canada's University of Calgary in percussion performance; Hale has recorded for the CBC radio and the Bravo television network. Hale's work has been heard in groups as divergent as the Calgary Stampede Band and the Calgary Philharmonic. Hailing from Connecticut, by way of U-Mass, is former Cadet section leader Chris Vale, slated to serve as technician for the Madison Snare line. This is the fourth year of teaching drum corps for tenor tech Jeff Hope. He is a favorite writer and teacher for New England marching and concert percussion lines. Also added to the mix is drum corps veteran Sara Helmuth, returning to DCI teaching having completed a master's degree in Special Education. She will instruct the cymbal line. Committed to providing the Madison Scouts with an articulate staff of educators, Salas noted his familiarity with the work and achievements of these colleagues. "While program coordinator Michael Cesario and I have had the pleasure of working with Colin, Iain and several of this team, it's their sense of commitment to the adventure of embarking on a new sound for the 'men of Madison' that gives us the biggest lift. Our hope is that our percussion section can become the engine that powers the next generation of our growth."
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