2020 Educational Staff
STAFF COORDINATOR - Christopher Feist
Christopher is beyond excited to be entering his 18th consecutive year with the Buccaneers (20th overall) and fifth full year as staff coordinator. He has been involved in the drum corps activity for more than thirty years as a performer, arranger, teacher, coordinator, consultant, and well-respected judge in the tri-state area. With a unique blend of leadership and teaching ability, Chris has become a stalwart presence in the Buccaneers, and his influence in the drum corps activity runs deep. He attributes this to the exposure and mentorship of so many HOF influences throughout his drum corps career. Feist eagerly accepts the challenge to be a positive liaison between our staff and administration in order to ensure the best possible experience for our membership. Christopher was inducted into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 2009. He is a proud twenty-three year employee of the USPS and happily lives in the Reading area with his fiancé Julia and their lab pup "Rowdy."
PROGRAM COORDINATOR AND VISUAL DESIGNER- Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones is a Visual Designer and Program Consultant for a multitude of high school and university marching bands, drum corps, winter guards, and indoor percussion ensembles throughout the country. In the past, Bobby has been the Visual Designer and Caption Head for the 2006 Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps (Allentown, PA) and the 2007 Hawthorne Caballeros Drum & Bugle Corps (Hawthorne, NJ). Currently, Bobby serves as the drill designer for the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (Allentown, PA) and will be returning this upcoming season. Most notably Bobby has played an integral part in the success of the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps (Reading, PA) serving as Visual Designer and Caption Head in 2005 and from 2008-2011, and as Visual Designer and Program Coordinator from 2012 to the present. This past season, the Reading Buccaneers earned the 2017 World Championship title, making that Bobby's ninth world title with the corps. Bobby has been recognized by his peers and colleagues for his accomplishments and contributions to the drum corps community with induction into the Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 2014 and into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2016. Bobby also works as a freelance adjudicator, judging for multiple indoor and outdoor circuits across the country, including WGI Percussion.
Bobby lives in New York with his wife Amy and pup pup Myron.
BRASS PROGRAM AND MUSIC CONSULTANT - Gino Cipriani
Gino Cipriani received his Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Education from the University of Mississippi and his Master of Science in Music Education from Towson University. Gino has served as a consultant to Marching Bands, Jazz Bands, Concert Bands as well as Drum and Bugle Corps across the United States, Japan, Thailand, England, Canada and Korea. In Korea, he had the pleasure of working with the Korean Armed Forces Bands in preparation of the World Cup Ceremonies in 2002. In addition, Gino serves as an adjudicator at marching band competitions throughout the United States.
Gino spent ten years, 1990 through 1999, as a brass instructor for the sixteen-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2004, Gino held the brass caption head position for the six-time World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. From 2001 to 2004, he headed the brass section of the five-time DCA champion Syracuse Brigadiers. From 2007 to 2010 he took the position of Brass Caption Head for the DCA world champion Reading Buccaneers. Gino served as the Brass Caption Supervisor with The Cadets in 2000 and 2001 and from 2005 through 2016. During his time with the Cadets, he led the brass program to three DCI World Championship titles in 2000, 2005 and 2011.
Currently, Gino works for Inspire Arts & Music as the Director of Music, which includes the role of Assistant Music Coordinator and Brass Caption Supervisor for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. He also holds the position of Associate Band Director at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.
ENSEMBLE SUPERVISOR AND PROGRAM CONSULTANT - Mark Thurston
Mark's biography is coming soon!
BRASS ARRANGER - Dr. Mark Lortz
Dr. Mark Lortz has earned accolades a composer, arranger, performer and educator. In the fall of 2011, he was appointed as the Director of Bands at Stevenson University (Stevenson, MD). In addition to his position at Stevenson University, he is an adjunct Music Education Professor at McDaniel and Carroll Community Colleges. Prior to his Stevenson university appointment, Mr. Lortz was the Fine Arts Department Chair and Band and Orchestra director at Westminster High School (Westminster, Maryland) from 1996-2011. Under his leadership, the Westminster High School Music Department received awards from the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and the Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) for exemplary music programs. The Westminster High School Marching Band won several Bands of America (BOA) Regional Marching Band Championship titles and the music department was selected as a national, semifinalist Grammy Signature School.
Dr. Lortz has earned a University Fellowship at the Boyer College of Music and Dance of Temple University, and is currently pursuing his Music Education doctoral degree. He has earned degrees in percussion performance, music education and music composition from The Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. Versed in all styles of music, he served as Associate Music Director and Principal Percussionist for the North American tour of “Phantom of the Opera,” and was the Principal Percussionist with The Dallas Brass. He has performed and recorded both as a member and soloist with many of the country’s premier orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Lortz’s original music has been premiered at the prestigious Mid West Band and Orchestra Clinic, Bands of America National Percussion Festival, College Band Directors National Association, universities, music schools, conservatories and high schools throughout the nation. In 2013, the World Champion Baltimore Ravens commissioned him to compose a new piece for the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band. This piece, “The Caw of the Wild” is now performed at every Ravens home football game. Mr. Lortz’s music is published by the FJH, Northeastern and TRN music publishers and has been favorably reviewed by Gramophone and The Instrumentalist magazines. His compositions have been listed in Bandworld magazine's Top 100 list of band compositions, and the sheet music company JW Pepper has selected his music for their prestigious Editor’s Choice list. Currently, he is the brass arranger for the world champion Drum Corps Associates Drum & Bugle Corps, The Reading Buccaneers, and has arranged marching band music for high schools and colleges throughout the country. Dr. Lortz is a Marching Percussion Specialist and Scholastic Educator for the Vic Firth Percussion Education Program. He has been recognized as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” by School Band & Orchestra magazine and has received composition awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Dr. Lortz is in demand as an adjudicator and guest conductor throughout the country.
BATTERY ARRANGER AND PERCUSSION CAPTION HEAD - Johnny Trujillo
Johnny Trujillo is proud to be returning to the Reading Buccaneers for his 12th season. He began teaching the corp's percussion section in 2007 and became the caption supervisor and battery arranger in 2012. Johnny Trujillo's experience in drum corps started in 2001 marching 3 years in the Phoenix Drum and Bugle Corps (NJ), then 1 year (2004) in The Bushwhackers Drum and Bugle Corps (NJ). He spent his last 2 years (2005 and 2006) with the Cadets where he aged out. From 2011-2013, he also taught the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps as a part of the percussion instructional team.
Johnny graduated from West Chester University in 2006 with a degree in music education and began his tenure at Norristown Area High School (PA) where he directed the concert band band, marching band, and indoor ensembles, as well as taught piano courses. He has also been an adjudicator (2010-present) for both USBANDS and Calvalcade of Bands in their outdoor and indoor circuits. In the spring of 2014, he earned his masters degree in education from Cabrini College (PA). Johnny is currently a middle school band director and general music teacher at East Norriton Middle School and resides with his wife and wonderful family in Phoenixville,
FRONT ENSEMBLE ARRANGER/COORDINATION AND SOUND DESIGNER - Grant Butters
Grant Butters is excited to enter his 3rd season with the Buccaneers. He earned his Bachelors Degree in music business from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. As a performer, he was a member of DCA’s Hawthorne Caballeros in 2009 and 2012. Grant also marched in DCI with the Glassmen in 2010. Throughout his performing career, Grant has had the privilege of being taught by Marc Garside, Conrad Alexander, David Dumont and Rob Ferguson. His most notable teaching experience was with the Penn State Indoor Drumline in 2013, the Hawthorne Caballeros from 2013-2015, the George Mason Indoor Drumline in 2015, and the Reading Buccaneers from 2018-present. Grant is currently a designer and consultant to numerous groups in the north east. Under his direction the South County indoor drumline has grown into a WGI Percussion Scholastic World Class Finalist. Grant is also on the board of directors for the Atlantic Indoor Association.
Grant Endorses Innovative Percussion Inc.
VISUAL CAPTION HEAD - David Caravella
Mr. David Mario Caravella is excited to be returning for his seventh year on the visual staff of the Reading Buccaneers and second year as visual caption head.
Dave has been involved with the drum & bugle corps activity since 2001 as a performer with corps such as the Raiders (‘01-‘03), Cadets of Bergen County (‘04) and the Concord Blue Devils (‘05-‘06). After aging out, Dave went on to teach various drum corps including the Raiders in ’07-’09 as a field technician and later returning to lead the visual team in ’13-‘14, the Cadets2 brass staff (’12), and the Reading Buccaneers (’10-’11, ’15-present).
As a drill designer, Dave has been writing shows for numerous high school marching bands and drum corps in the New Jersey area including Kearny High School, Rahway High School, Livingston High School, Morris Knolls High School, the Raiders Drum & Bugle Corps (’14), and the Bushwackers Drum & Bugle Corps (’13-‘14).
Mr. Caravella is an alumnus of Montclair State University Class of 2008, with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. During his time at Montclair, he studied with renowned euphonium professors Dr. Mary Ann Craig and Mr. John Palatucci. He is also a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Dave currently resides in Paramus, New Jersey and is the full time director of bands at Lincoln Middle School in Kearny as well as the director of the Kearny High School Marching Band. He is also an adjudicator of marching band contests with USBands.
BRASS CAPTION HEAD - Victor Cummings
Victor Cummings is excited to begin his 8th season with the Buccaneers returning for his 3rd year as Brass Caption Head.
Victor went to The University of the Arts for Jazz Studies and West Chester University, where he received a Bachelor of Music Education degree, and Master of Trumpet Performance degree. After getting his undergraduate degree from WCU Victor started working in the Upper Darby School District where he taught for 11 1/2 years. He is currently the Band Director at Chichester High School where he teaches Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, AP Music Theory, Guitar, and Music Exploration.
Victor has marched with The Jersey Surf, in ’98 (Baritone), ’99 (Soprano), ’02 (Mellophone), and ’03 (Soprano), after which he joined the Reading Buccaneers from 2009-2011 on Trumpet. After his 3rd year marching with the Bucs he returned to tech the trumpet section for 2012 and 2013.
Victor currently resides in Upper Chichester, PA, plays with the rock band Whiskey Logic, and is a freelance trumpet player.
COLOR GUARD CAPTION HEAD AND DESIGNER - Nicholas Tavares
Nicholas Tavares returns to the Reading Buccaneers for his eleventh summer of involvement with the Reading Buccaneers. He spent three summers as a performer, three summers as a member of the Color Guard Tech Staff and 2019 will mark his fifth year as the Caption Head and Designer.
Nicholas resides in Wilmington, Delaware and is very involved in the color guard activity in the area. He is currently the director of guards at Middletown High School in Middletown, Delaware and has led the group to numerous award and accolades over the last seven years to include recently being named the TOB Group 3 Open High Auxiliary winner. After many successful seasons of the Reading Buccaneers Color Guard having an unofficial working partnership with Field of View (WGI Open Class), in the winter of 2019, Nicholas will be joining their design and technical staff.
In the past, Nicholas has been fortunate to have worked with a number of groups in the Mid-Atlantic region to including Cab Calloway School of the Arts, William Penn High School, McKean High School, Brandywine High School, Apex, Bpex and Cpex Winter Guard, Haverford High School, Ridley High School and Mount Pleasant High School. Nicholas has had an extensive marching career to include, Reading Buccaneers 2009-2011, Black Watch Color Guard 2009-2010, Apex Winter Guard 1999-2003, 2005-2008, Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps 2000 and Brandywine High School 1996-1998. During the fall of 2016, Nicholas began his judging career with the National Judges Association in the area of Auxiliary.
Nicholas holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development and is the Program Coordinator at the Siegel Jewish Community Center: Early Childhood Center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Nicholas is extremely passionate about the performing arts and is honored to continue working with the Buccaneers this summer.
COLOR GUARD CHOREOGRAPHER AND DESIGNER - Shannon Hall
Shannon Hall returns to the Reading Buccaneers for his 10th summer as the Color Guard Designer. This year also marks his 12th year of involvement with the corps, having been a performer for four years and caption head for three.
Shannon has performed with the Reading Buccaneers in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013. He has also performed with the Black Watch Color Guard from 2006-2010, and 2012-2016, and held the position of Captain since 2014.
Shannon has actively been involved in the marching arts across the Mid-Atlantic area through teaching and consulting with a variety of groups. He has worked with Pennsauken HS (NJ), Allentown HS (NJ), Broadneck HS (MD), and William Penn HS (DE) and the Black Watch Color Guard. Since 2013, Shannon has been a designer/choreographer for Middletown HS, in Middletown, Delaware, teaching their Cavaliers Marching Band, Independent Intermediate and Scholastic A Winter Guards. He has helped these groups achieve numerous awards and accolades, and will continue to develop and grow the Middletown programs. This winter will also mark Shannon’s first year as a designer and choreographer for the Field of View Winter Guard.
Shannon is extremely excited to return to the Bucs, because he gets to work with such talented and educated instructors and world class performers.