Drum Corps International
Vento to return as Southwind program coordinator; other staff set to return

Vento to return as Southwind program coordinator; other staff set to return

by Drum Corps International

From a Southwind press release: Steve Vento will return to lead Southwind as program coordinator in 2005. Steve will also continue his duties as brass arranger and brass caption head. The percussion caption will be lead by returning caption head T.R. Fitz-Gibbon, who will also share arranging duties with Doug Bush. Eric Willie returns to arrange for the front ensemble. Mark Palise and Dann Petersen will share the visual caption head position for a second year, joined by new Southwind drill writer Darrin Davis. Barry Artis (caption head), Mandy Bumgarner (caption head) and Rob Arnold (designer) will lead the color guard. Southwind director Mike Loeffelholz said, "I am very excited to have this team in place for the Southwind organization. All of these individuals are great educators, great role models, and team players. We are growing together as a staff, as a design team and as friends. Southwind will continue to be an educational, entertaining, and fulfilling experience for all involved." Southwind will kick off the 2005 season with auditions in Broken Arrow, Okla., on Saturday, Nov. 20. The corps will then celebrate its annual banquet on Nov. 26, followed by an audition camp in Winchester, Ky., from Nov. 27-28. Online registration, audition materials, and additional information can be found at www.southwind.org. Steve Vento is in his 13th year of teaching public school, 11 of which have been with the Broken Arrow High School instrumental music program. Vento received his undergraduate degree in music education from Missouri Western State College and his master's degree from the University of Tulsa. This is his third year with Southwind and second as program coordinator. Vento has served as a staff member of Nite Express (1995-96) and Black Gold (1991-93). He also marched drum corps with the 1990 Blue Devils and the 1989 Sky Ryders. He is an active arranger, composer, clinician and adjudicator throughout the country. T.R. Fitz-Gibbon is starting his 12th year in drum corps and fifth on the Southwind staff. Fitz-Gibbon has served on the Southwind percussion staff since 2001, is starting his second year as percussion caption head, and will now add percussion arranging to his duties. He marched drum corps for seven years with the Madison Jr. Scouts (1994), Capital Sound (1995-96) and Madison Scouts (1997-2000), including serving as the Scouts' drum major in 1999 and 2000. Fitz-Gibbon graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in electrical and computer engineering and computer science. He is now working on his master's degree at the University of Central Florida. Doug Bush is completing his degree in music education from the University of North Texas. He marched with the Phantom Legion (1997-98) and Madison Scouts (2000), and also performed with the 2002 PASIC champion UNT drum line. He has performed and studied African, Latin, Brazilian, Indian, classical, rudimental and jazz percussion and has two CDs released for which he played drum set. He has been teaching for the past nine years at several schools around the Dallas area and served on the Southwind percussion staff since 2003. He is currently the director of percussion studies for the Sherman Independent School District. Eric Willie is currently a free-lance percussionist in the Nashville area, where he teaches at McGavock High School and performs as an extra percussionist with the Nashville and Bowling Green Symphonies. Additionally, he is pursuing his doctor of musical arts degree at the University of North Texas. He completed his MM at the University of Kentucky and his BMME at Austin Peay State University. He has been on the teaching staffs of the Madison Scouts, Carolina Crown and the Americanos. Eric has arranged for many drum corps, marching bands, and winter percussion lines throughout the U.S. He has served as the director of percussion studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has been on the faculty of the Bands of America World Percussion Symposium since 2000. He has presented clinics and master classes throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States and his articles have appeared in such magazines as Percussive Notes and the Instrumentalist. The 2005 season will be Mark Palise's 15th year in drum corps and seventh with the Southwind staff. Mark's drum corps experience includes performing with the Madison Scouts (1991-96) and serving on the Glassmen's visual staff (1997-98). Palise has served on the Southwind visual staff since 1999, and served as caption head since 2003. He has earned bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy and a master's in journalism from Boston University. He currently teaches English, journalism and speech at Fordson High School in Dearborn, Mich. Dann Petersen enters his 17th year of drum corps in 2005. Dann marched with the Madison Jr. Scouts (1989-91) and Madison Scouts (1992-97) and served on the Madison Scouts' visual staff for five years. Peterson joined the Southwind staff in 2004 as visual caption head and will continue in that capacity this season. He is an avid world traveler, having visited 31 countries in five continents. He is planning to continue his studies at the University of California - Santa Cruz next fall as he pursues a PhD in environmental studies. Darrin Davis is in his 12th year as a band director in the Broken Arrow High School instrumental music program in Broken Arrow, Okla. He serves as the marching band coordinator and visual designer for the nationally acclaimed Broken Arrow H.S. Marching Band. Davis is a graduate of The University of Tulsa with a masters' degree in instrumental music education conducting and he also received an undergraduate degree from Missouri Western State College. He is a veteran in the drum corps activity and has served as visual caption head and visual designer for numerous marching bands and drum corps. Davis is an alumni of the Madison Scouts and the Sky Ryders. He is an active visual designer, consultant, clinician and adjudicator throughout the country. Barry Artis will serve his third year with the Southwind staff in 2005. Artis' performance career includes the Bluecoats, Avant Garde and Crossmen. He served on the staff of Paradigm Independent Winter guard from 1995-2004. Artis currently designs shows for several winter guard programs, and also serves as a color guard adjudicator in Florida, the Carolinas and Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and now resides in Michigan, employed as an occupational therapist. Mandy Bumgarner will also serve her third season on the Southwind staff in 2005. She works primarily with the Lake Mary High School Winterguard, where she has taught since 2002. Mandy teaches several other high schools in central Florida and has also worked with Disney Magic Music Days. Bumgarner marched drum corps with Carolina Crown (2002) and also performed with Lake Mary High School Winterguard (1997-99), Paradigm Winterguard (2000), and Northeast Independent Winterguard (2001-03). She is currently attending the University of Central Florida, where she is pursuing her degree in sociology. Rob Arnold will join the Southwind staff for a second season, his first as color guard designer. Rob has been teaching and designing for award winning groups in Kentucky such as Adair County High School, George Rogers Clark High School, and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. His performing career includes the Madison Scouts (1999) and Pride of Cincinnati Winterguard (2003). Director Mike Loeffelholz said, "I can't wait to begin rehearsals again with this group of talented educators and designers. With a talented group of returning veterans, Southwind will continue its pursuit of excellence, both on and off the field, in 2005."