Marching Music Series Judge Panel: Annapolis

Check out bios for the high-profile judge panel on Nov. 1


Annapolis, Md. 

Saturday, November 1 

crown_logo_vector.pngBen Harloff

Individual Music Performance

Ben Harloff is a Brass Technique Specialist and instructor for 2013 DCI World Champion Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, where he has
BenHarloff.jpgbeen teaching since 2004. He is also a full-time teacher at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn.

Harloff attended college at Indiana University, where he received a trumpet performance degree (1999) and a music education degree (2003).

He was a performing member of the Phantom Regiment, the Garfield Cadets (1988-1989), Star of Indiana (1990-1993), and Star of Indiana’s Brass Theater (1994-1997). While the Canadian Brass toured with Brass Theater, Ben studied with the trumpet players Ron Romm and Fred Mills.

Harloff has taught and consulted many junior and senior drum and bugle corps, including the Cadets of Bergen County (1999) and Magic of Orlando (2002).

While living in Indiana, he worked with many successful marching bands, including Avon High School, Carmel High School and Center Grove High School, and taught private trumpet lessons and master classes as well. He has been arranging for bands across the Midwest for the past 5 years.


Bluecoats_new.jpgTom Rarick
Ensemble Music Performance, Percussion

In 2009, Tom Rarick assumed his current role as Percussion Arranger and Composer for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. He previously served on the Bluecoats’ staff as the Front Ensemble Arranger from 2002 to 2008. Prior to his involvement with the Bluecoats, he was a marching and staff member with the Cadets of Bergen County.

TomRarick.jpgRarick is currently a percussionist with the United States Air Force Band stationed at Bolling AFB in Washington, D.C., a position he has held since 1997. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in percussion performance from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he studied under Dr. Gary Olmstead and Dr. Jack Stamp.

Rarick is in demand as an arranger, clinician, consultant and adjudicator for groups across the country and is proud to be a signature artist for Innovative Percussion.


phantom_regiment_600x500-600x250.jpgBret Kuhn
Percussion, Ensemble Music Performance

Bret Kuhn is the Percussion Caption Head and Arranger for Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as the Percussion Coordinator for Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect, Ill. As a clinician for Yamaha, Innovative Percussion, Zildjian and Remo, he has traveled extensively across the United States, Japan and Europe. He is also a freelance drum-set artist in the Chicagoland area and has performed with Rich Matteson, Bobby Shew, Gloria Estefan and Nexus.

BretKuhn.jpegIn addition, Kuhn is an is active as a percussion arranger and clinician for numerous colleges and high schools across the nation and abroad and wrote the percussion arrangement for LD Bell High School, the 2007 Bands of America Grand National Champions. He is also currently an Adjunct Faculty member for the Northern Illinois Marching Band and is consulting with Director Jim Hudson of the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band. He arranges for two of the top marching groups in Japan – Aimachi from Nagoya, the 2006 All-Japan Champions, and Vivace from Tokyo, a semi-professional, all-girl marching band.

Kuhn received his Bachelor's degree from Northeast Missouri State University where he studied percussion under Dan Petersen. He was a member of the Disney World All-American Band in 1980 and marched with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in 1981. Kuhn began teaching the Cavaliers in 1984, serving as the Percussion Caption Head and Arranger. During his time with The Cavaliers, the corps won six DCI World Championships and five High Percussion Awards. After retiring from The Cavaliers, Kuhn joined the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as a design and percussion consultant from 2005 to 2008. He then joined the team at Phantom Regiment in 2013.

Several of Kuhn’s articles have been published in Percussive Notes Magazine, and he is currently on the PAS Board of Directors and a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He has also designed and developed two drumsticks through Innovative Percussion, both the FS-BK and the AS-BK.


CavaliersStandingMan_vector.pngScott Koter
General Effect

Scott Koter has served as the Program Coordinator for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps since 1999 and is also a program consultant for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. He is currently the principal at Kiski Area Middle School in Vandergrift, Pa., where he previously served as Supervisor of Music and Director of Bands from 1983 to 2001. During that time, his ensembles received numerous awards and honors including appearances at the Midwest Band & Orchestra, MENC, IAJE and PMEA conventions. His marching bands accumulated numerous state and regional titles while winning the Bands of America Grand National Class AA Championship in 1991 and 1994.

scottkoter.jpgKoter earned his bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and subsequent master’s degrees from Duquesne University and the California University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of many professional organizations including NASSP, ASCD, MENC, PAS, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, IAJE and NBA.

His publishing credits include articles in PMEA Notes, Today's Music Educator and Percussive Notes. He also received citations for teaching excellence from IAJE, NBA, PMEA, Duquesne University and St. Vincent College, and he has been selected to Who's Who Among American Teachers numerous times.

Presently the Music Education Director for the Pennsylvania Federation of Contest Judges, Koter served as Percussion Caption Chairman for Drum Corps International from 1989 to 1996 and also served on the Bands of America Contest Advisory Board. He has guest conducted, adjudicated contests, and performed clinics throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Koter has also served as a design consultant to the Bluecoats, Magic of Orlando and numerous high school band programs nationwide.


Cadetslogo_notext.pngJeff Sacktig
Visual Performance

Jeff Sacktig is the Visual Caption Supervisor and Drill Writer for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. His contributions to The Cadets and to drum corps overall have been called legendary.

A soprano player in The Cadets from 1986 to 1989, Jeff was a featured
JeffSacktig_by-PauloT[1].jpgsoloist, horn sergeant and the first non-drum major to be named "Cadet of the Year." His fellow Cadets remember him as a great leader in both the brass section and the corps as a whole.

He joined The Cadets' visual staff in the early 1990s. Since 1982, The Cadets have known four drill designers, and Jeff has held that post longest, from 1995 to 2001, and again from 2003 to the present. He credits much of his inspiration to George Zingali and Marc Sylvester.

Jeff's drill often involves large, sweeping curvilinear forms, and he prefers a faster, riskier style with many exposed block rotations and pass-throughs. Supporters call him one of the leaders in drill design known to "push the envelope," and his work is now often imitated by other writers.

Jeff has been a member, instructor and designer for some of the greatest corps in DCI history. While mostly known for his drill writing for The Cadets through several world championships, he has also worked with Capital Regiment, Magic of Orlando, and others. He continues to contribute to The Cadets's success and is contributing his expertise and leadership to Cadets2.


vanguardshield.jpgSal Salas
Color Guard

Sal's career in the Pageantry Arts has spanned over 49 years, and has not only been diverse, but extremely successful in all areas. Serving as everything from instructor, to designer, to director, to judge, Sal's commitment to youth and excellence has seen no bounds. He is currently the Color Guard Coordinator and a member of the design team for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.SalSalas2.jpg

Salas previously served as the Executive Director of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps and has been an adjudicator for Winter Guard International since 2004, as well as various other indoor performance circuits in Wisc., Ca., Ohio, Fl., Tenn., Texas, and Ill.). Salas was also the founder and director of the five-time Winter Guard International Gold Medalist The State Street Review.

In 2005 Salas was named the Drum Corps International Director of the Year. He received the prestigious WGI Hall of Fame Award in 1993 and was inducted into the WGASC Hall of Fame in 2009.

Most recently, Salas has served as the color guard consultant and designer for the Juxtaposition Winter Guard (2009-2012), 2013 WGI Open Class Champions Mechanicsburg High School (2011-present), and the Black Watch Color Guard (2010-present). He also served as the Director of Programs and Staff Development for the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps.


BlueDevils.pngJarrod Huntley
Visual Performance

Jarrod Huntley is currently a member of the visual staff for the 15-time DCI World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps.

He returns to the Blue Devils this year after spending the past three summers as the visual caption head for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

In his first year with The Cadets, he played a significant role in leading the corps to its tenth DCI World Championship (2011), as well as DCI's award for Best Visual Performance.


Cadetslogo_notext.pngGeorge Hopkins
General Effect

George Hopkins is the Director of The Cadets and CEO and Executive Director of Youth Education in the Arts, a not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Allentown, Pa.

Hopkins began his Cadets history as a Garfield Cadets' percussion
hopkinsmug200instructor in 1979 after one year of teaching social studies in Pa. After being named corps director in 1982, Hopkins led The Cadets to four DCI World Championships from 1983 to 1987 and launched the Cadets Marching Band Cooperative in 1988. Under the name USBands, the former CMBC is now the nation’s largest scholastic marching band circuit. Hopkins has since led The Cadets to additional six world championships, the most recent in 2011.

In 1990, he was integral to establishing Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!), an organization committed to supporting the development of young people to magnificent human beings through their participation in the performing arts. More than 70,000 young people are currently involved in programs supported by YEA! with annual festivals, performances and clinics nationwide.

Hopkins is a member of both the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame and the Cadets Hall of Fame. He has been a member of the DCI Board of Directors since 1982, the DCI executive committee from 1983 to 1999, and 2005 to the present, the N.J. Music Educators Board of Directors from 2000 to 2003 and the president of the N.J. Coalition for Music Educators from 2001 to 2003. 

Hopkins holds a BA in secondary education and an MA in non-profit management.


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