Drum Corps International
Tomsa, Thomas, others join Colts' staff

Tomsa, Thomas, others join Colts' staff

by Drum Corps International

From a Colts press release: The Colts have been working hard this off-season to find the perfect staff for the 2005 season. Most of last year's music staff will be returning, but a few new faces have been added. Greg Orwoll, Colts director for more than 20 years, is excited about the staff developments. "It is crucial staff work together towards the same goals, and that comes from finding people who can earn and give respect to each other. I have been working closely with our new staff coordinator, Ryan Thomas, to find the right people. Ryan has been around the corps long enough to know what is going to work for us, and he knows what is expected from our staff. The ultimate goal is to give the best experience to the members," Orwoll said. Returning to the Colts staff as a music consultant is Tom Lizotte. Lizotte has been involved in drum corps for the past 28 years, and has taught the Boston Crusaders, the Cadets, 27th Lancers and North Star, as well as Syracuse Brigadiers and Connecticut Hurricanes. Lizotte is director of bands at Cape Elizabeth High School in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where he received his BA in music education and master's in wind conducting. He also holds a degree in journalism. Tom provides musical leadership for the entire staff, who lovingly have nicknamed him "Yoda." Chris Tomsa is the new brass arranger for the Colts, bringing over 40 years experience in the marching activity with him. Tomsa currently arranges for several top marching bands and over the last 25 years, has written for numerous high school band programs, including the Rutgers University (N.J.) marching band. Tomsa has been with numerous drum corps over his 40-year career, including the Glassmen from 1987 to 2000. In addition, Tomsa has been a member of the brass staff for the Phantom Regiment for the last three seasons.
In working with the Colts, Tomsa says, "I am truly excited to be working with the Colts this year. They are a corps that I have always had a lot of respect for. I am truly honored to be a part and to help pave new roads for them in the future." Chris has been helping to refine and streamline the entire brass staff for the 2005 season.
Mike Bolla is taking over brass caption head responsibilities. Bolla is currently the director of bands at Center Grove Middle School North, in Greenwood, Ind., and an assistant director of the Center Grove High School Marching Band. Bolla received a bachelor's in music education from Indiana University in 1997. He studied trombone with M. Dee Stewart, and performed in ensembles conducted by Ray Cramer and Stephen Pratt. He also performed in the top jazz ensemble, led by David Baker. Bolla performed with Star of Indiana's Brass Theatre in 1997 as the trombone soloist. He has been part of the brass staff of the Phantom Regiment, where he taught with Chris Tomsa and Russ Smith. Smith will also be joining the Colts for 2005 as a technician and assistant to Bolla.    "Everyone was really impressed with Mike's vision for the brass line," said Orwoll. "He has already started reworking some of our warmups and has a clear plan of attack for upcoming rehearsals and the summer." Ryan Thomas shared a similar excitement. "Since Mike has worked with our brass arranger before, it will be really easy for them to communicate and work together," Thomas said. Many of last year's brass staff will be returning. Aaron Bryan is an associate at Broken Arrow High School, in Oklahoma, and will be in his third year with the Colts. Chad Huel, director of the Regina Lion's Band in Canada, will also be returning for his third year. Doug Hassell is director of bands at Gibson Southern High School in Indiana and has been with the corps for five years. Tom Meyer is director of bands at Nevada High School in Missouri and will be back for his second year at the Colts. With the majority of the percussion staff returning, they are looking to build on last year's success and development in the percussion program. Ryan Thomas has been with the corps for six years and will continue as caption head/arranger. Thomas earned a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of South Florida and is an associate director of bands at Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla. "I feel really great about the staff we have assembled for the percussion program. We have worked together for a few years and I really enjoy the mutual respect we all share." The staff includes cymbal tech Lauren Paul, bass tech Chris "Lovetruck" Sakowski, tenor tech Kent Lineberry, and snare tech/ensemble Jason Long. Together, this corps of instructors has a combined 35 seasons with the Colts. In addition to working with the Colts, all of these instructors work with high school, college and independent winter programs throughout the fall and winter season.

In addition, Tim Linsenbardt will join the Colts staff to work with the front ensemble. Tim marched in the Colts front ensemble from 1999-2002. Tim received his bachelor's degree at Truman State University under Dr. Michael Bump. He is currently pursuing his masters in music at the University of Oklahoma under Dr. Lance Drege. Tim serves as the front ensemble arranger and instructor for OU. "I am really excited about the possibilities with Tim for the summer," said Thomas. "Although it will be his first year on a drum corps staff, he has been around the organization and knows what to expect. Most importantly, I know from the past that he is a really hard worker and very malleable, so I know that he will be able to adapt and succeed."

With the season approaching quickly, the staff is anxious to get started. "I really feel like we have assembled a top-grade music staff," says Thomas. "Not only are they great educators, the team chemistry is going to be great. I can't wait to get on the bus." Look for future updates on the visual staff, including new drill designers and staff members. Also, check out colts.org for updates on camps and audition music.

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