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Cadets2 Team Compiling Great Roster of Teaching Staff

Educators Giving Members an Edge

When the Cadets organization set out to create Cadets2, providing members a high quality educational experience to compliment their performance opportunities was a No. 1 priority.cadets2logohoriz.png

Cadets2 brass caption head Minesh Shah said in announcing the team, “We have a mix of educators and professional players, each bringing something different to the table.”  Shah added, “In a segment of the activity where there’s a lot that is learned and taught by rote, our staff has the educational and instructional background to provide a great learning experience for the young people who come to us.”

Beginning with three of Cadets2 talented instructional team, we’ll be introducing you to the entire team over the coming weeks.  Featured today is the brass caption head Minesh Shah, mellophone technician Jeffrey Bittner and trumpet technician John Molloy. Watch for more features coming soon.

Minesh Shah, brass caption head

Minesh A. Shah received his bachelor's in music with a concentration in trombone performance from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. At Lowell, he had the fine privilege of being Willis Traphagan's final trombone student. With "Trap" he studied not only trombone, but also brass pedagogy.

After finishing his undergraduate studies, Shah moved back to N.J. and received a graduate assistantship at Montclair State University. While at MSU, he studied with Robert Wigness (University of Vermont), Anthony Mazzocchi (freelance trombonist; director of Kinhaven Summer Music Festival; supervisor of music in Maplewood, N.J.) and James Markey (principal bass trombone with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). He also coached many chamber ensembles and coordinated conferences such as the CBDNA conference in 2005. After graduate school, Shah served as visiting specialist in brass pedagogy at Montclair State University where he taught undergrads how to teach brass instruments.

Shah has been teaching and consulting marching, concert, jazz bands as well as drum and bugle corps for a majority of his adult life, including The Reading Buccaneers from 2009–2011 and The Cadets since 2010. He is an active clinician and adjudicator for the USSBA. Currently, he is the band director at the Dr. Antonio Pantoja School in Elizabeth, N.J., and a music instructor for the Elizabeth High School Marching Band which was awarded the 2011 USSBA Group V A National Championship. On top of his responsibilities at Elizabeth, Shah is the director of bands at Manhattan College, a Lasallian school in New York City, as well as maintaining a successful Low Brass Studio at Bridgewater Raritan High School. Shah lives in Parsippany with his fiancee Kara and his two cats Peanut and Bailey.


Jeffrey Bittner, mellophone technician

Jeffrey Bittner serves as the director of bands at Mahwah High School where he instructs the symphonic band, the Marching Thunderbirds, chamber ensembles and teaches music theory.  Bittner's education consists of a bachelor’s degree in performance and music education from William Paterson University and a master’s degree in music performance from Ithaca College.

The Mahwah High School band has received superior ratings at local and out-of-state festivals, gold ratings in the Region I Concert Band Festival, and performed twice as an honor band at the New Jersey State Gala Concert. The Mahwah Symphonic Band also performed at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, in May 2008.

Bittner began marching in drum corps on soprano with the Hawthorne Caballeros in 1994 and 1995. Bittner marched soprano in the 1996 Cadets of Bergen County, where he performed in the Summer Olympics Closing Ceremonies in Atlanta, Ga. Bittner returned to the Caballeros as a mellophonist in 1997 and then joined the Syracuse Brigadiers as a mellophone soloist in 2001 and 2002. After a four-year hiatus, Bittner returned to the drum corps scene as a member of the Harrison Bushwackers from 2006–2009 where he was a mellophone soloist and a member of the brass staff.

Bittner's professional experiences include performances with the New Jersey Symphony, North Jersey Philharmonic, Five for Dinner Wind Quintet, and Ridgewood Concert Band. Bittner is a well sought-after woodwind and brass clinician in the North Jersey area, teaching master classes and sectionals including clinics for Region I and Bergen County Bands.

In spring, 2011, Bittner served as interim band director of the William Paterson University Wind Ensemble. Also in 2011, Mr. Bittner coached and conducted the inaugural concert for the Region I Woodwind Chamber Ensemble. In 2008, Bittner served as conductor of the Bergen County High School Band, and in 2009, the Salem County High School Band. Bittner is a professional affiliate of the New Jersey Music Educators Association, North Jersey School Music Association, Music Educators of Bergen County Inc., Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and National Association for Music Education.

John Molloy, trumpet technician

John Molloy has a trumpet music performance degree from Montclair State University, where he studied with professional trumpeter Charles Bumcrot, Broadway trumpet player Tony Kadleck, and the principal trumpet player of the NYC Opera, Don Batchelder. He has also studied under professional conductors Heather Buchanan, Paul Hostetter, Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel and Dr. Mary Ann Craig in the choral, orchestral, jazz, and wind symphony settings. John represented Montclair State four years in a row from 2006–2009 as the lead trumpet player for the New Jersey Intercollegiate Jazz Band.

Molloy’s drum corps marching career is just as acclaimed, marching with The Cadets, Reading Buccaneers, Hawthorne Caballeros, Bushwackers, and Sunrisers drum and bugle corps dating back to 1998.  Most notably, in 2003, he was the middle soloist in the Malaguena Trumpet Trio in The Cadets and has been featured as a soloist with the Sunrisers and Reading Buccaneers.

As an instructional team member, Molloy has taught brass at the Santa Clara Vanguard under Gordon Henderson and Key Poulan, the Reading Buccaneers under Minesh Shah, Mike Britcher, and Gino Cipriani, and The Cadets also under Gino Cipriani.

In addition, beginning in 2005, he became been brass caption head of the 2011 USSBA Group III Open National Champion Montville Township Mustang Field Corps and the brass caption head of the Smyrna Regiment of Red marching band from Smyrna, De. since 2009. He teaches privately and is the trumpet teacher at The Pennsville Music Academy at Pennsville High School in NJ.

As a performing artist, he is currently the trumpet player for New Power Soul, a 10 piece wedding and club band in NJ and NY. He is also a member of The Generations Big Band in Middletown, Del. and The Tappan Zee Bridgemen in N.Y.

Molloy resides with his fiancee in Smyrna, Del. and is a brass staff member of both The Cadets and Cadets2 organizations for the 2012 drum corps season.

If you are a brass player looking for a quality educational and performance experience to learn from Molloy and his fellow instructional team members, please visit for more information on Cadets2 and to register for an upcoming camp.




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