Marching Music Series Judge Panel: Texas

Check out bios for the high-profile judge panel on Nov. 11


Denton, Texas

Saturday, October 11 

Bluecoats_new.jpgDerek Gipson

Music Performance

Derek Gipson is currently the Brass Caption Head for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps and is excited to be returning to the Bluecoats for a third year. He began his drum corps career at age 12 with Expressions Drum & Bugle Corps and later marched with Southwind. He culminated his years as a performer by spending four years in the Cadets of Bergen County.

DerekGipson.jpegAfter aging out of The Cadets, Gipson was a member of the Carolina Crown Brass Staff in 1999 and then spent three more years on The Cadets Brass Staff. In 2005 and 2006, he was the brass caption head of Capital Regiment. He then served on staff for the Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Knights.

Gipson received his bachelor's degree in music education from Louisiana State University. Upon graduation, he earned a position as trumpet performer, under-study soloist, piccolo trumpet and percussion with the Broadway production, Blast!. The cast won a Tony Award during its six-month run. After Blast!, he continued his professional trumpet career with a show band for Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Since then, Gipson has been a band director at North Gulfport Middle School in Gulfport, Miss. and Sherwood Middle School in Memphis, Tenn. He has also been judging USBands high school marching band contests since 1999 and has judged the USBands National Championships twice. He is also a winter guard judge for the Louisiana/Mississippi Color Guard and Percussion Circuit.

In addition, Gipson is currently an adjunct staff member and private lesson teacher for the Gulfport City Schools band programs as well as a substitute teacher and band director for schools throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


vanguardshield.jpgPaul Rennick
Ensemble Music Performance, Percussion

Paul Rennick is the Percussion Coordinator and Arranger for Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps and the Principal Lecturer in percussion at the University of North Texas, where he has served on the faculty since 1991.

Rennick is a leading figure in the world of marching percussion and percussion education and has a long history of successful students and renowned performing ensembles.
PaulRennick.jpegHe has been a featured clinician and a guest artist worldwide, with appearances at National and International events for many top professional music organizations. 

Since 1989, Rennick has written and designed the competitive shows for the 17-time Percussive Arts Society National Champion University of North Texas Indoor Drumline. He is also the percussion coordinator for the nationally recognized UNT Green Brigade Marching Band.

Before coming to SCV, Rennick served as the director of percussion for Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from 2003 to 2010, helping to lead the corps to its three Fred Sanford Awards for Percussion Performance in five years (2006, 2008, 2010) as well as a DCI World Championship in 2008.

Paul was a design team member, music composer/arranger, instructor, and percussion manager for the Tony & Emmy Award-winning Broadway production Blast!.

Paul is also an active performer, appearing as a featured soloist with the UNT Wind Symphony on the DVD recording “Percussive Palooza,” and related showcase concert at PASIC 2008.  He is also as a featured soloist on the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble recording “Vespertine Formations” (2009).

Paul is an artist and product consultant with Dynasty USA, and helped design the new “Custom Elite” snare drum, released during the Summer 2012.

Paul is also currently an artist/clinician with Remo Inc., the Avedis Zildjian Co., Roland, Planet Waves, and a Signature Artist with Innovative Percussion, Inc.


BlueDevils.pngScott Johnson
Percussion, General Effect

Scott Johnson is the Percussion Caption Head and Arranger for the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps as well as an American percussionist and music educator.

He began his marching career with a group known as the Red Knights Drum & Bell Corps, and then later moved on to the Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps, where he stayed for 13 years until he joined the Blue Devils at the age of 18 in 1976.He served on the Blue Devils' instructional staff from 1978 until 1989, until he left to instruct the Santa Clara Vanguard from 1991 to 1993. Johnson then returned to the Blue Devils in 1994 as the head percussion arranger and instructor, where he remains today.scottjohnson.jpg

Johnson’s personal awards include 13 DCI World Championships, 12 DCI High Percussion titles, two WGI World Championships, three DCA Championships, two DCA High Percussion titles, 10 DCE Championships, nine DCE High Percussion titles, seven High Percussion titles in Japan, and the 1977 DCI & Percussive Arts SocietyIndividual Snare Championship.

Although his teaching career has been primarily in drum corps, he has taught many students privately as well, and has arranged music for many different levels such as elementary, junior, high school and collegiate. In this profession, Johnson has also had the opportunity to travel the world as a clinician and judge to places like Japan, Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, South Korea and Indonesia.


vanguardshield.jpgGeorge Wozniak
Music Performance, General Effect

George Wozniak is the Brass Caption Head for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps and the former Brass Co-Caption Head of the Bluecoats where he taught from 2003 to 2011. With over 20 years of experience, Wozniak has been teaching in the drum corps activity since 1989. This includes positions with Magic of Orlando, Colts, Ventures and Golden Lancers. He is also a sought-after clinician, program consultant and adjudicator across the United States.george_wozniak.jpg

From 1993 to 2005, Wozniak worked as the Director of Bands at Kiski Area High School where he directed the Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensembles and Wind Ensemble. His ensembles received consistent superior ratings at contests and state adjudication festivals. He was also the director of the nationally acclaimed Kiski Area Marching Band from 1993 to 2004. During his tenure as director, the Kiski Band won the 1994 Bands of America Class AA Grand National Championship as well as seven Bands of America Regional Grand Championships. Wozniak was also selected to the Who’s Who Among American Teachers several times.

Receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Master's of Fine Arts degree in Trumpet Performance from The University of Akron, Wozniak is now the principal trumpet player in the Virginia Wind Symphony, where he has performed with such artists as Pat Sheridan and the American Brass Quintet. He is also a member of the Protocol Brass Quintet. In addition, he is a member of the Keystone Winds and has recorded several CDs on the Citadel and Klavier Labels with renowned composer and conductor Jack Stamp.


phantom_regiment_600x500-600x250.jpgRob Billings
General Effect, Visual Performance

Rob Billings is the Color Guard Designer and Choreographer for Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also the Artistic Director of the Oracle Performance Ensemble and the Director, Designer and Choreographer of the Opus X Winter Guard.

Prior to his work with Phantom Regiment, Billings served as the choreographer for the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps; the Artistic Director, Drill Writer and Color Guard Caption Head for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps; and Color Guard Caption Head and Drill Writer for the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps.


CavaliersStandingMan_vector.pngAndrew Toth
Color Guard

Andrew Toth has been a member of the design team for The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps since 1998 and was a member of the color guard for the two years prior. His other performance experiences include the Cadets of Bergen County (1993-1995), Emerald Marquis (1994-1995), Adagio (1996), and Pride of Cincinnati (1997-1998).

AndyToth.jpegToth had the distinct honor of performing as an original cast member the Emmy and Tony award winning production of Blast! in London’s West End in 1999. He continued his role on Broadway in New York City until the show’s closure in 2001.

As an internationally recognized choreographer, Andrew is privileged to have had the opportunity to choreograph for numerous color guards, marching bands, and drum corps throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His most recent collaborations abroad include Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), Mahathai Drum & Bugle Corps, Yokohama Inspires Drum & Bugle Corps and Aimachi Winter Guard.

Toth is currently a designer for the Pride of Cincinnati Winter Guard as well as Carmel High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he resides today, working as a personal trainer.


Cadetslogo_notext.pngMarc Sylvester
Visual Performance, General Effect

Marc Sylvester returns to The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2014 season as a Program Consultant. He was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2001 in recognition of his lifetime of design and coordination experience and his profound impact on the marching arts. He is an innovator within the activity and helped create some of the most imaginative programs in history.

MarcSylvester.pngSylvester has been teaching and designing visual programs for over 30 years. He began his career under the tutelage of George Zingali at the 27th Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps. Together they moved to the Garfield Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps in 1982, where they changed the visual landscape of the drum corps field and led the Cadets to three consecutive DCI World Championships in their first four years with the corps. Sylvester then joined the staff of Star of Indiana Drum & Bugle Corps for its first two seasons in 1986 and 1987. He also worked with the Sky Ryders in 1987 and Suncoast Sound in 1988.

For the past five seasons, Sylvester has served in programming roles with the Blue Knights and Colts Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also an adjudicator, marching band consultant and drill designer. His experience includes working with some of the world's finest winter color guards including the Emerald Marquis and Erte, as well as Center Grove, Lassiter and Braddock High Schools.


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