Meet the 2017 Scouts Percussion Staff

Chris K. Members, News, Staff

The Madison Scouts are excited to welcome the newly assembled percussion staff for the 2017 season. James Sparling will be returning as Percussion Director & Battery Arranger along with Nick Pourcho as the Front Ensemble Arranger. Joining them will be newcomers Mark Hunter as battery caption head and Sean Womack as front ensemble caption head (READ MORE> ).

The snare technicians will include Matthew Howell, Robert Bowen, and Ben Heidrich.

matthew-howell-headshotMatthew Howell, a native of Memphis, TN, has been an active percussionist since 1997. Matthew has worked with multiple World Class organizations including Gateway Indoor, Tyler Junior College Indoor,  Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, Palmetto Percussion, and most recently served as the battery boordinator at the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. Matt is currently the percussion director for North Shore Senior High School in Houston, TX. He is an active percussion arranger and visual designer for marching bands and indoor percussion ensembles throughout the U.S. and in China.

robert-bowenRobert Bowen has been a percussion designer/ instructor since 1998. He currently teaches at high schools in the Southern California area including Diamond Bar, Arcadia, Nogales, Trabuco Hills, and Patriot High School. Robert is also a drill designer and travels the country judging general effect for the indoor circuits. Robert marched snare for Black Knights Indoor 2002 and 2003 when they won an Independent World silver medal. He was most recently the caption head at Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps from 2013-2016.

ben-heidrich-headshotBen Heidrich is an active performer and educator of marching percussion. His DCI performance career began in 2014 with Carolina Crown. He then performed in the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015 and 2016, winning a DCI championship and was awarded visual performer of the year. His indoor experience includes Palmetto Percussion (2015) and Music City Mystique (2016). Ben currently resides in Boone, North Carolina where he attends Appalachian State University pursing a degree in Music Industry Studies, with a general business minor. He teaches in the marching band programs at Wilkes Central High School and Avery County High School.

The tenor technicians will include TJ Goss and James Catherall.

tj-goss-headshotTJ’s extensive performance career has spanned over a decade. His DCI marching career began in 2011 with the Crossmen, followed by a season each with the Blue Knights and the Blue Stars. TJ spent his last two seasons as a member of theBluecoats BlueQ (2014 & 2015) earning the DCI Silver and Bronze Medals. In WGI, he marched with 2011 Imperial Percussion Theater, 2012-2013 Northcoast Academy, the 2014 Gold Medalist Pulse Percussion, and 2014-2015 Rhythm X.

TJ’s teaching career includes many schools in the central Texas area. Currently he is a percussion specialist in the Leander ISD cluster. He serves as the battery caption head at Rouse High School as well as a battery instructor at Cedar Park High School. TJ is also a private lessons instructor at Rouse High School and Wiley Middle School. In 2016 he served on the Crossmen percussion staff and is currently on the Monarch Independent percussion staff for the 2017 WGI Season.

james-catherall-headshotJames Catherall is a music educator, performer, composer, and arranger currently living in Southern California. He began his marching career at Esperanza High School in 2006 and graduated in 2010. He has marched with many ensembles including The Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, Santa Clara Vanguard and aged out in the 2014 world champion Blue Devils. He has also marched in WGI ensembles including Pulse Open, Pulse, and RCC aging out in 2015 as a gold medalist. He also works with Arcadia High School, Canyon High School, Yorba Linda High School, Los Altos High School, and Esperanza High School.

The bass drum technicians will include Josh Nelson and Aaron Farris.

josh-nelson-headshotJosh Nelson has been involved in drum corps for 20 years. A resident of Nashville, TN, Josh holds a Music Education degree from East Tennessee State University where he studied under Dr. Rande Sanderbeck. Josh marched in the Crossmen, Bluecoats and Blue Knights.

For the past 12 years, Josh has been the Executive Director of Music City Mystique (Nashville, TN) and is currently Percussion director for Stewarts Creek HS.

aaron-farris-headshotAaron, a native of Richmond, KY, has been a part of the marching arts for almost 8 years. He spent 3 years with the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps and 2 with Rhythm X. Aaron is currently going into his 6th year as the caption head at Garrard County High School in Lancaster, KY. He has spent the last 3 years as a bass drum technician with the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps. Aaron is also the bass tech for Tates Creek Indoor Ensemble.

The cymbal technicians will include returning staff  Matt Poulos and Jack Borland.

matt-poulos-headshotMatt is from Kettering, Ohio and has been involved in the marching arts since 2004. In 2009, Matt was fortunate enough to receive a spot with Rhythm X and continued to be a part of the ensemble until he aged out in 2013. During his time with the ensemble, Matt became a two-time world champion (’09 and ’13), a silver medalist in 2010, and was also the cymbal line section leader from 2011-2013.

In 2010, Matt began his teaching career at Kettering Fairmont High School. He was the cymbal tech there from 2010-2014. In 2014, Matt joined the staff at Rhythm X as a cymbal technician. During the same year, he relocated to Canton, Michigan and began teaching the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park marching band and indoor drumline. In 2015, Matt helped bring back the independent world percussion ensemble, Redline. Matt is now going into his third year on staff with the Scouts.

jack-borland-headshotJack has been continuously teaching and building cymbal programs for over a decade. First teaching with the Crossmen (‘08-’10) as a cymbal and battery visual technician, he then spent three seasons with Spirit of Atlanta (‘12-’14) where under his direction the SOA cymbal line won three consecutive I&E titles. He also worked as a choreographer for the corps proper while at Spirit, helping produce bodywork for the show in addition to teaching movement principles and fundamentals.

Jack also works in the indoor scene, joining the staff at Music City Mystique in 2010 as a cymbal technician and body choreographer. He has consulted for various other groups including RhythmX, Centerville High School, Western Carolina University, University of Virginia, and Southwest Missouri State University. He is also in demand as a visual adjudicator for various indoor percussion circuits. He is looking forward to being back with the Scouts for a third season.

The front ensemble technicians will include Grace Welter, Meagan Nelson, Shelby Shelton, and Justin Lee.

grace-welter-headshotGrace Welter is an Assistant Director of Bands and Percussion Director at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, Texas. This is her third year as a Madison Scouts front ensemble staff member. Grace was a member of the 2009 and 2010 Carolina Crown front ensemble. She also instructed the front ensembles at Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps from 2012-2014 and four-time WGI medalist Spirit Winter Percussion from 2012-2016.

Grace earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst under the tutelage of Thom Hannum and Ian Hale, and a Master of Education degree from Fitchburg State University.

meagan-nelson-headshotMeagan Nelson currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is serving her 7th year as Director of Bands at Spring Hill Middle School and front ensemble arranger for Spring Hill High School. Meagan is currently the front ensemble supervisor for Music City Mystique, where she served as front ensemble caption head from 2010-2015, front ensemble tech staff from 2006-2009, and marched as section leader from 2002-2005.

Meagan worked with the Phantom Regiment front ensemble from 2011-2014 and she has worked with and arranged for several front ensembles in the Middle Tennessee area including Independence, Centennial, and Brentwood High Schools. Meagan attended the University of Northern Colorado, East Tennessee State University, and received her bachelor’s degree from MTSU, where she studied percussion with Rande Sanderbeck, Lalo Davila, and Andy Smith.

shelby-shelton-headshotA native of Central Texas, Shelby is an active performer, instructor, arranger, and consultant living in Nashville, TN. She is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University and working with the front ensemble at Father Ryan High School. Shelby has instructed many groups including the Sacramento Mandarins, Music City Drum & Bugle Corps, Blue Springs High School, Clarksville Audio Theatre, and Modulation Z.

Shelby received a Masters of Music degree in percussion performance from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree in music education. Shelby attended Lindenwood University in St.Charles, MO for her undergraduate studies and received a Bachelors of Arts in both percussion performance and English Literature. Shelby began her marching career with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2010) and went on to play with the Blue Stars (2012) and Phantom Regiment (2013). In 2012 she began performing with Gateway Indoor and aged out as section leader in 2014. She currently performs with her R&B trio Meraki Fire.

justin-lee-headshotOriginally from Clarksville, TN, Justin has had a dedicated involvement with the marching activity since beginning his WGI experience in 2009. As a performer, he was most notably a member of Spirit of Atlanta in 2010, Phantom Regiment from 2011-2014, and Music City Mystique from 2011-2016 where he served as a section leader for the latter 4 years.

While Justin is very passionate about the marching activity, he also shares that same passion for the greater percussion and music education communities. He has taught private lessons, performed and competed at PASIC (as a soloist and in ensembles), composed and arranged numerous pieces for a variety of percussion instruments, and worked in commissioning and premiering new works for percussion. He has advocated for music education on Capitol Hill, provided clinics on numerous percussion topics, and travelled to Brazil to perform with and learn from musicians from around the world. He holds a music education degree from University of Tennessee Martin where he studied under Dr. Julie Hill.