Headquartered in Morris County, New Jersey

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Design Team

 Show Coordinator

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The 2020 season will mark PAUL LEVITAN'S fifth year with "The Core". This will be Paul's third season as Show Coordinator. 2018 and 2019 were two of Fusion Core's favorite show themes in which the design process was led by Paul.  In addition to contributing to the design process, Paul will be working on developing Fusion Core's educational platform in partnership with local communities and school districts.

 

Paul is currently a K-5 Literacy Coach for the Fair Lawn School District, where he provides professional support for teachers and works to develop literacy curriculum. Paul is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and received his MA in Elementary Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities from Teachers College - Columbia University. He is currently finishing his MA in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University.

 

Paul is also the Assistant Director and a Design Team Member for the Fair Lawn High School Marching Band and Indoor Percussion program. He has helped lead them to various achievements including several USBands Indoor titles, WGI Regional Championships, a PSA gold medal at the 2017 WGI World Championships, and most recently, a 4th place finish in PSO at the 2019 WGI World Championships. Paul previously served as a member of the Raiders percussion staff from 2012-2014, and as a member of the Fusion Core percussion staff from 2016-2017.

Fusion Core is very excited to have Paul back in the role of leading this hugely talented Design Team.

Colorguard Caption Head & Designer

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CASEY MCCOY joins Fusion Core for the 2020 season as Colorguard Caption Head/Designer. Casey has been involved in the performing arts for over 20 years. He began his performing career with his high school program, while in school he also performed with the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum & Bugle Corp from Syracuse, NY. Upon graduating he went on to perform with the Empire Statesmen from Rochester, NY and later the Hawthorne Caballeros from Hawthorne, NJ.

Casey has performed with various WGI finalist colorguards including Brigadiers Winterguard from Syracuse, NY, Spectrum Winterguard from Binghamton, NY and Alter Ego Colorguard from Trumbull, CT; he was also a member in David Byrne’s live performance event titled “Contemporary Color” held in Toronto, ON and Brooklyn, NY and was also a featured Documentary film at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016.

For the last 15 years, Casey has designed, teched and consulted with various high school and Independent programs throughout the United States; more recently West Milford HS (NJ), Northern Valley HS (NJ), West Orange HS (NJ), McNeil HS (TX), Bridgewater Raritan HS (NJ), Spectrum Winterguard (NY) and Delazure (DE).

Casey has taught within the DCA community to establish some of the best colorguards in the circuit. In 2014, he worked with Fusion Core, helping them to earn their first DCA Open Class colorguard title. In 2015, he went on to spend the next 4 years with the Cadets2 Drum Corp from Allentown, PA who were the 2015 & 2016 DCA Best Colorguard and 2016 DCA World Champion.

Originally from New Hartford, NY; Casey currently resides in Lyndhurst, NJ where he is a Business Manager for a high-end home furnishings company based in East Brunswick, NJ.

Fusion Core is excited to have Casey back in his new position.

Battery Arranger

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JAMIE SZEINBERG began his marching career with the Raiders Drum and Bugle at the age of 14. He marched in the battery for five years, playing both bass drum and snare drum. Jamie then went on to march in the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, where he was a member of the bass line.
 
Jamie has taught various high school programs in North Jersey including Passaic, Bloomfield, Morris Knolls, and is currently the Marching Band Director and Percussion Arranger for the Fair Lawn High School Marching Band. During his tenure at Fair Lawn, the percussion section has won 8 high percussion titles and many state titles. 

Jamie is also the Director of the Fair Lawn Indoor Percussion Ensembles. Under his leadership, the Fair Lawn Indoor Percussion ensemble was crowned the 2017 World Champions in the Percussion Scholastic A class, for the first time in the program's history. In 2019 Fair Lawn finished 4th in the Scholastic Open class in only their second year in the open class. Fair Lawn has also been a multiple-time WGI Regional Finalist at both the Trumbull Connecticut Regional and the Unionville Pennsylvania Regional., winning the Class A Regional Championship award at the Trumbull Regional both in 2013 and 2017. His ensembles have won numerous local Championships in the USBands Indoor Percussion Circuit as well. 
 
Jamie has worked with the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps in various positions including percussion tech, Percussion Caption Head, Arranger and also as the Program Coordinator. During his tenure on staff, the Raiders were crowned the DCI Division 3 World Champions and also were awarded Best Percussion. He was also a percussion tech for the Bridgemen Drum and Bugle Corps under the direction of Dennis Delucia.

Jamie is extremely excited to begin his fifth season with Fusion Core as the Co-Percussion Caption Head, Percussion Arranger and member of the Design Team. 
 
Jamie Szeinberg is a Graduate of Montclair State University, where he received his Bachelors in Music Education. He has had the privilege of being taught by Colin McNutt, Lee Beddis, Brian Tinkel, and many others. Jamie is a member of the Vic Firth Educational Team.

 Brass Arranger

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Key Poulan

Drill Designer

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Darryl Pemberton is the Visual Designer and Color Guard director for the Claudia Taylor Johnson High School Band. In his time at Johnson, Pemberton has led the Johnson Color Guard to numerous medals in the Texas Colorguard Championship circuit, Johnson Color Guard is also a multiple WGI finalist, winning first place in Scholastic World at the WGI Southwestern Colorguard Championship in 2015 and earning the Silver Medal in the Scholastic Open Class in 2013.


 Pemberton began his career performing with the World Champion Cadets of Bergen County. After aging out of the corps, Pemberton served as a Visual Technician for the Cadets in 1996 and 1997 before taking over as the Visual Caption Head in 1998, a role he held through 2001. As Caption Head in 1998, Pemberton led the corps to another championship title and a perfect score in marching technique.


 Additionally, Darryl served as the Visual Designer with The Boston Crusaders (Mass.), in 2011. After nearly 15 years with The Cadets, Pemberton took over as the Drill Designer and Visual Caption Head for the World Class Finalist Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2002. Pemberton served in that capacity from 2002-2004, during which the corps continued its tenure as a DCI Finalist each season. In 2007, upon the Crossmen's geographic relocation to Texas, Pemberton returned to the corps as the Visual Caption Head, helping to provide stability in the move and build consistency in the visual program. In 2008, Pemberton resumed his responsibilities as the Visual Designer for the Crossmen, and served this role for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, until returning to The Cadets for the 2010 summer.


 In the Color Guard world, Pemberton has previously served as the Program Designer for Alter Ego Independent Winter Guard. Under his guidance, Alter Ego were bronze medalists in Independent A class at WGI world championships in 1997, and also garnered four consecutive championship titles in the Mid Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN) circuit on the East Coast. Prior to his re-location to San Antonio, Pemberton was the founder of New Era Independent Winter Guard from Portland, Oregon who became a WGI regional finalist and also worked as Program Designer for WGI Southern California regional champions Aloha High School Winter Guard. Aloha High School won three consecutive championships titles at NWMBC championships in Portland, Oregon.

Front Ensemble Arranger

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To follow...

Percussion Team

Percussion Co Caption Head/Ensemble Coordinator

David Dumont began his drum corps career in 2002 playing snare drum with the Connecticut Hurricanes. He went on to march with the Hawthorne Caballeros, Syracuse Brigadiers, Crossmen and in 2007, he aged out with The Cadets. David has studied under Tom Aungst, Colin McNutt, Daren Hazlett, Chris Vale, and many others.

David’s drum corps teaching career began in 2008 with the Hawthorne Caballeros as a percussion technician. He was then promoted to Battery Coordinator and Arranger in 2009 and held that position until 2010. In 2011, David was Co-Caption head and Arranger for the Connecticut Hurricanes. David was the Percussion Supervisor at Cadets2 since 2012 and Arranger since 2015.

David is currently Percussion Advisor and Battery Arranger at Norwalk High School in Norwalk, Conn. He helped lead them to 4 WGI PSO medals in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019. In addition to Norwalk, he has held several Connecticut high school marching band instructing and arranging positions—including Trumbull High School—who earned back to back WGI PSO medals in 2008 and 2009.

For the last 15 years, David has been employed at Ventus Wireless in Norwalk, Conn. Currently, David is residing in Montgomery, N.Y. with his longtime partner Kimberly and their Daughters, Avery and Natalie.

Co-Percussion Caption Head and Battery Arranger

Jamie Szeinberg began his marching career with the Raiders Drum and Bugle at the age of 14. He marched in the battery for five years, playing both bass drum and snare drum. Jamie then went on to march in the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, where he was a member of the bass line.
 
Jamie has taught various high school programs in North Jersey including Passaic, Bloomfield, Morris Knolls, and is currently the Marching Band Director and Percussion Arranger for the Fair Lawn High School Marching Band. During his tenure at Fair Lawn, the percussion section has won 8 high percussion titles and many state titles. 

Jamie is also the Director of the Fair Lawn Indoor Percussion Ensembles. Under his leadership, the Fair Lawn Indoor Percussion ensemble was crowned the 2017 World Champions in the Percussion Scholastic A class, for the first time in the program's history. In 2019 Fair Lawn finished 4th in the Scholastic Open class in only their second year in the open class. Fair Lawn has also been a multiple-time WGI Regional Finalist at both the Trumbull Connecticut Regional and the Unionville Pennsylvania Regional., winning the Class A Regional Championship award at the Trumbull Regional both in 2013 and 2017. His ensembles have won numerous local Championships in the USBands Indoor Percussion Circuit as well. 
 
Jamie has worked with the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps in various positions including percussion tech, Percussion Caption Head, Arranger and also as the Program Coordinator. During his tenure on staff, the Raiders were crowned the DCI Division 3 World Champions and also were awarded Best Percussion. He was also a percussion tech for the Bridgemen Drum and Bugle Corps under the direction of Dennis Delucia.

Jamie is extremely excited to begin his fifth season with Fusion Core as the Co-Percussion Caption Head, Percussion Arranger and member of the Design Team. 
 
Jamie Szeinberg is a Graduate of Montclair State University, where he received his Bachelors in Music Education. He has had the privilege of being taught by Colin McNutt, Lee Beddis, Brian Tinkel, and many others. Jamie is a member of the Vic Firth Educational Team.

 

Percussion Instructor

Mike  Sasson is very excited for his third year with Fusion Mike has been a member of the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band (2014-2017), East Coast Percussion (2015), The Raiders Drum and Bugle Corp (2015), United Percussion (2016-2017), and the Oregon Crusaders (2017). His previous instructors include: James P. Ancona, Brian Schell, Stephenie Sofield, and Charles Carty.  Mike is currently a middle school band director in Bergen county New Jersey.w

Percussion Instructor

A.j Frierson, from Norwalk, CT, began is marching career in 2007 with Norwalk High School Marching Bears.
 
After graduating in 2011, A.j. marched with the Connecticut Hurricanes from 2011-2014.  Then, from 2015-2016 marched with Cadets2 from 2015-2016, as he was Drum Captain when the corps won the 2016 DCA World Championship.
 
A.j. has taught at Brien McMahon High School from 2014-2015, Stamford High School from 2016-current and Norwalk High School from 2016-current , which he is apart of the Norwalk High School Winter Percussion and becoming a bronze medalist for Percussion Scholastic Open in Dayton Ohio WGI Championships 2019. A.j is excited to continue his experience with the 2020 Fusion Drum and Bugle Corps and looking forward to giving his all to help develop the Fusion percussion ensemble.

Percussion Instructor

Oliver Cuautli is excited to be back with the Core for his second year on the percussion staff. Oliver’s marching arts career began at Passaic High School in Passaic, New Jersey. He was active through their outdoor and indoor programs. During his time there he also introduced himself into the drum corps scene. He was a member of the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2013-2014 seasons. Upon graduating, he became a member of the percussion staff at his alma mater and is now proudly serving as one of the percussion caption heads.
 
His performance experience also extended with the Hawthorne Caballeros (16’), Cadets2 (17’), and United Percussion (15’ & 16’). He is also serving as a member of the United Percussion 2 battery staff for 2020 WGI season
 
Oliver is currently working towards completing his undergraduate studies and earning his B.S. in Chemistry.

Front Ensemble 

Michael Monacelli is the percussion director and the front ensemble instructor for the West Milford High School Marching Band and West Milford Percussion.
 
Michael has been a practicing percussionist, composer, and arranger for over 15 years. His compositions for marching band and indoor percussion have won several championships. Michael is also the drum sergeant of the EUSPBA Grade 4 Champion Claddagh Pipe Band. Additionally, Michael is a freelance percussionist, playing shows across the New York City area. He maintains a private percussion studio, Highland Sounds Productions, based out of West Milford, New Jersey.
 
Michael is experienced in orchestral, rudimental, and world percussion. He has performed and recorded with many ensembles and artists—including the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra, the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Samba Laranja, LaBamba, and the Hubcaps, Yousif Sheronick, JD Shaw, and Vince DiMartino.
 
Michael holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Industry from Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music. He has studied under Michael Bull, Joshua Dekaney, and Ernest Muzquiz of Syracuse University; Chris Nappi at the New York Summer Music Festival; and Dr. Kenneth Piascik of Morristown, New Jersey. Michael is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.

Assistant Caption Head

Julia Wehrer began her marching career at Pequannock Township High School in Pompton Plains, NJ. There, she and her peers took home multiple Best Percussion Awards at USBands State and National Championships in addition to two USBands A Class Indoor Championships. She began marching with Fusion Core in 2012 and completed her fifth year in the 2016 season. Julia spent all five years on snare and took the role of percussion section leader for three seasons.
 
Her teaching experience includes working with Ramsey High School and Pequannock Township High School as a percussion and visual instructor. Additionally, Julia is currently the Assistant Band Director and Indoor Percussion Director at Nutley High School in Nutley, NJ. She and her staff established the Nutley Indoor Program in 2017. In 2018, the ensemble won the USBands Regional A Class Indoor Championship, and in 2019 the ensemble became a finalist in their first WGI regional.
 
Outside of the marching arts, Julia received a bachelor’s degree in Genetics from Rutgers University in May of 2017 and she is working towards her master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies. She is excited to spend her 4th season as an instructor at Fusion!

Front Ensemble Coordinator

David Paradis started in 2000 playing soprano(2000) and bass drum(2001-2004) for the Ct Hurricanes alumni. In 2005 He played Bass drum(2005-2009) and timpani(2010) with the CT hurricanes up until 2010. After a year off, he returned in 2012, playing bass drum. In 2011 and 2012 David marched and aged out on xylophone with WGI PIW group, United Percussion.
David Began teaching high school marching band in 2006 as a Front Ensemble technician,bass technician, or Front ensemble arranger for many different high schools until 2011. In 2012 he settled in at New Milford High School in CT as Front Ensemble coordinator/arranger until 2015. After a year off, he came back to New milford highschool in 2017 as Front Ensemble Coordinator/arranger and in 2018 became Percussion Caption Head during the Indoor Season. David also was a Front Ensemble technician for the CT Hurricanes in 2015 and 2017.  Aside from his drum corps career David has played Drum set with his band for 8 years and has gotten to open for many national acts.  He has also been a member of local 777 CT Plumbers and Pipefitters union from 2007-present and currently resides in south-western CT.

Percussion Instructor

Battery Coordinator/Assistant Battery Arranger

Connor Howarth began his drum corps career in 2012 at the Connecticut Hurricanes. In 2013, he started marching snare drum at Fusion “Core” and remained there through the 2015 season. In 2016, Connor marched with 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Finally, he marched with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017, and aged out there in 2018. Additionally, Connor competed in WGI with United Percussion in 2014, 2015, and 2018 where he served as center snare and battery section leader. He recently joined the United Percussion staff as a snare technician for the 2020 season. In 2019, Connor served as the snare technician for Fusion Core and has now been given the role as Battery Coordinator and Co-arranger.

Outside of drum corps, Connor teaches at Nutley High School where he is the battery arranger. He is currently studying PR and Marketing at William Paterson University. 

After seven seasons of marching drum corps, Connor is very excited to continue his career on the other side. He looks forward to the future of Fusion Core, and is happy to be with the home team!
 

Percussion Instructor

Amy is enthusiastic to be teaching the cymbals at Fusion this year! Her drum corp experience includes the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corp, and The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corp. She has worked with a variety of cymbal lines including WGI World Champion Fair Lawn HS. Amy is currently working on her Masters of Social Work at Simmons College. 

Percussion Instructor

This will be Breanna Vanak's first season teaching Fusion Core. Breanna started off as a front ensemble and color guard member in 2007 before transitioning into the front permanently in 2009. Breanna's drum corps playing career started as the timpanist for the Connecticut Hurricanes in 2013. She finished the 2019 season as center marimba for the Connecticut Hurricanes.

Breanna started teaching at Brookfield High School as Pit Caption Head in 2013. After a few seasons, and building a winter performance class, Breanna was offered the position of Front Ensemble Technician at New Milford High School in 2014. Breanna has remained at New Milford High School now apart of the design team for winter alongside helping with logistics management for the program.

Breanna outside of drum corps has played piano since 2000 alongside composed music. Breanna currently works at Red Lobster as a server/bartender. She is also a professional gamer and Twitch Partner who owns a competitive esports organization. Breanna currently resides in southwestern Connecticut. 
 

Brass Team 

Brass Arranger

Key Poulan

Bio to follow...

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Caption Head

Chris Rusca

Christopher Rusca joins the Fusion Core as the Brass Caption Supervisor. Chris has been the Director of Bands at Passaic High School since 2002 where he has transformed the marching band from a non competitive band of 22 students into a championship contending marching band of over 100 students year in and year out. 

 

Chris also directs the Symphonic and Jazz ensembles , "PULSE" of Passaic Indoor Colorguard and the Musical Theatre program at Passaic HS throughout the school year. Most recently he had the distinguished honor of directing the Passaic High School Marching band this past summer in performing with the Public Theaters Musical Adaptation of Disney’s Hercules at the prestigious Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

After graduating from Burlington City HS, Chris went on to earn his bachelors degree in Music Education from William Paterson University of NJ.  His marching experience includes Hawthorne Caballeros (1994/2006) and Sunrisers (1999).

Chris is looking forward to this new opportunity and challenge. He would like to thank all of his students and staff from Passaic HS, without their tireless hard work this opportunity wouldn’t have been possible

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Baritone & Euphonium Technician

Durell Danner

Durell Danner is returning to Fusion Core for his third year on the brass staff. He was a member of Fusion Core in 2012 (euphonium), 2013 (tuba), and 2014 (baritone, Horn Sergeant), and is very excited to be with the "core" in a new capacity as baritone/euphonium technician. Aside from working with drum corps, Durell works part-time as a high school marching band low brass technician. He also serves the USBands organization as a music adjudicator.

Durell graduated from the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Theory/Composition and Euphonium. He studied composition under composers Dr. Fred Cohen and Dr. Robert Aldrige, and euphonium under Dr. Maryann Craig. During his time there, he won the university's prestigious "Carpe Diem" Award for distinguished achievement in his field of study (music composition). There, he also received an undergraduate composer award.

Durell currently resides in New Brunswick, N.J., where he works as an Account Manager for a data analysis company. He is an avid drum corps history buff. In his spare time, he works as a freelance composer, and enjoys playing keyboard and synthesizer in a rock band.

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Trumpet Tech

Rey Thomas

Rey Thomas started his band career back in 2011 as a member of the Passaic High School Marching Band.  After completing five years as a member of the marching band, Rey went onto to indulge in a number of activities affiliated with the band and became familiar with the Drum Corps world.

Reys marching experience includes Cadets 2 in 2014, Bushwhackers in 2015, Oregon Crusaders in 2016, and The Cadets in 2017-2018.

Rey Thomas is currently finishing up his Bachelors Degree at Montclair State University.  This past year Rey had the privilege of being the Visual Caption head for the Passaic HS Marching Band as well as the Assistant Brass Caption Head.  He is excited to join the Fusion team this year and cannot wait to see what’s in store for the program!

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Tuba Tech

Michael Pettis

Michael W. Pettis is a passionate musician, composer, arranger, conductor, and educator whose life’s work is to inspire creativity, growth, and understanding through music. Michael earned his Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Theory and Composition from West Chester University and his Master’s in Music Performance in Tuba, at Rutgers University studying with Alan Baer, Principal Tuba of the New York Philharmonic. On Scholarship at Rutgers University, Michael performed with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, and Graduate Quintet. Michael has had the honor to teach and conduct ensembles such as Rutgers’ Concert Band, Brass Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, and The Scarlet Knight Marching band.

 

He also served as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director for The Highland Park Municipal Band. Michael has completed the certification portion of Temple University’s Master’s in Music Education plus Certification and is continuing in the graduate part of the degree. At Temple University, He served as the Graduate Assistant for athletic bands and wind bands. Michael has had the honor to conduct ensembles such as Temple University Symphonic Band, Collegiate Band, Diamond Marching Band, and Pep Bands. Michael is active teaching and believer in the marching arts. He has served as music caption head, show arranger, show designer, visual tech, visual caption in high school marching bands throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Michael also taught the 2016 Champions Cadets 2 and returned to teach again in 2018 as a Low Brass Music Tech.

Currently, Michael is the 7th Grade Band Director at Montgomery Township Upper Middle School and co-teaches the 8th grand band. Outside of academia, he serves as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors and Assistant Conductor/General Manager of the Philadelphia Wind Symphony.

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Mellophone 

Rebecca Karu

Rebecca Karu is a freelance musician in the NYC/NJ/CT areas. Since receiving her Bachelor’s in Music Performance from Montclair State University, she has been continuing her education at the Mannes School of Music in New York, NY, pursuing her Master of Music Degree with a concentration in French Horn Performance. Over the past four summers, she has spent time at a number of excellent music festival programs including the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, and the AIMS Wind Academy in Solsona,Spain. She has also performed with members of the Metropolitan Opera in the summer series, Opera Italiana, held in Central Park, New York, NY. She has had the pleasure to study with horn players such as Jeff Scott, David Jolley, Alexander Shuhan, and Scott Brubaker. 

Her marching experience includes four years (2012-2015) at The Cadets2. She spent her second year in 2013 as mellophone soloist, and the following 2 years, 2014 and 2015, as Drum Major. She is excited to join Fusion Core as the Mellophone Tech for the 2020 season.

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Color Guard Team

Colorguard Caption Head/Designer

Casey McCoy

Casey McCoy joins Fusion Core for the 2020 season as Colorguard Caption Head/Designer. Casey has been involved in the performing arts for over 20 years. He began his performing career with his high school program, while in school he also performed with the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum & Bugle Corp from Syracuse, NY. Upon graduating he went on to perform with the Empire Statesmen from Rochester, NY and later the Hawthorne Caballeros from Hawthorne, NJ.


Casey has performed with various WGI finalist colorguards including Brigadiers Winterguard from Syracuse, NY, Spectrum Winterguard from Binghamton, NY and Alter Ego Colorguard from Trumbull, CT; he was also a member in David Byrne’s live performance event titled “Contemporary Color” held in Toronto, ON and Brooklyn, NY and was also a featured Documentary film at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016.


For the last 15 years, Casey has designed, teched and consulted with various high school and Independent programs throughout the United States; more recently West Milford HS (NJ), Northern Valley HS (NJ), West Orange HS (NJ), McNeil HS (TX), Bridgewater Raritan HS (NJ), Spectrum Winterguard (NY) and Delazure (DE).


Casey has taught within the DCA community to establish some of the best colorguards in the circuit. In 2014, he worked with Fusion Core, helping them to earn their first DCA Open Class colorguard title. In 2015, he went on to spend the next 4 years with the Cadets2 Drum Corp from Allentown, PA who were the 2015 & 2016 DCA Best Colorguard and 2016 DCA World Champion.
Originally from New Hartford, NY; Casey currently resides in Lyndhurst, NJ where he is a Business Manager for a high-end home furnishings company based in East Brunswick, NJ.

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Guard Staff

Kerri Newlander

Kerri began her performing career with her high school program, Pocono Mountain. She went on to perform with the NY Skyliners 2003-2006 and Fusion Core 2007-2008, 2010-2014. Kerri also performed in winterguard with Fusion Indoor 2005 & 2006 and Westshoreman Senior Guard for their inaugural season in 2010. 

Kerri's teaching background includes Pocono Mountain East HS ('02-'05 & '09-'14), Huntington HS ('06), Hicksville HS ('07), Emanon Winterguard ('16), Fusion Winterguard ('11, '12, '14, '17, '18) and Fusion Core (2015-2018). 

 

Kerri currently resides in Easton, PA where she works as a Municipal Researcher. 

 

Kerri is excited to return for her 13th year with Fusion.

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Guard Staff

Paige Biller

Paige is eager to be joining the Fusion color guard staff this season. She graduated from Mechanicsburg High School in 2012, where she was a member of the color guard for 6 years. Upon graduating she continued her performing career marching at The Glassmen (2010 and 2012), Hawthorne Caballeros (2011, 2012, and 2013), Black Watch (2013 and 2014), Carolina Crown (2014), Onyx (2015), Cadets 2 (2015 and 2016), and Alter Ego (2016). She has taught at Mechanicsburg HS (2013-2017), West Shore HS (2018-2019) and Cadets2 (2017-2018) and is currently teaching at Mechanicsburg High School.

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Guard Staff

Jack Cooper

Jack's love for the marching arts began when he joined the Biglerville High School color guard (2009-2014). During his Senior year, he was selected to be a member of the 2014 United States Army All-American Marching Band. After graduating, he went on to West Chester University where he majored in Business. He marched in WCU's color guard 2014-2015, Field of View 2015-2016, and Carolina Crown 2014-2017 where he aged-out as the color guard captain. He is currently a choreographer/designer/technician for the Gateway Regional High School indoor and outdoor color guard programs.

 

Jack is excited to begin a new journey with Fusion Core this summer!

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Guard Staff

Mimi Ward

In 2004, Mimi began her color guard career with Passaic High School; following High School she performed with The Caballeros, Raiders, and Fusion Core. Shortly after the start of her drum corp career, Mimi became a member of Alter Ego Independent World Class Winterguard. She performed with AE from 2009 - 2015 and was featured with Alter Ego in David Byrne’s live performance event "Contemporary Color” which was also a featured documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival. More recently, Mimi was a cast member in the off Broadway production "Ajijaak On Turtle Island” from 2018-2019.

Mimi served as the color guard choreographer for the production "Joan of Arc" at the Public Theatre under the direction of David Byrne; she has also been on staff with Alter Ego Winterguard since 2019, Mimi is ecstatic for the opportunity to join the staff of Fusion Core!

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Guard Staff

Sasha Keating

Sasha started his marching career in West Milford High School from 09-12. He continued to march in Cadets2 12-13, Emanon A 13-14, Emanon World 15-16, Fusion Core 15-18, and is currently marching Fusion World for the 2020 season.  He was also part of the David Byrne live performance event "Contemporary Color" in 2015.  He went on to teach West Milford HS from 13-16, Co-Motion Winterguard 18-19, Kingsway Regional HS 19-Present and Fusion Core Color Guard 19.  

He is very excited to return to the FCCG staff for the 2020 season! 

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Choreographer

Joe Heininger

Joseph Heininger has been involved with the pageantry arts for over 25 years. At age 22, he started his drum corps teaching career as a movement instructor with the Boston Crusaders. He then went on to join the creative teams of the Crossmen, Phantom Regiment, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Santa Clara Vanguard, and The Cadets.

 

In addition to his extensive experience in the drum corps activity, Joe has had a successful career in the winter guard arena. For 20 years he served as the Artistic Director and Program Designer of the Black Watch Winter Guard until he joined the Dallas-based Black Gold Winter Guard Organization as Lead Designer beginning in the 2015 WGI Season. He has also served as the Program Designer with various other notable programs including Mechanicsburg Area HS, Norwin HS, Leander HS, and Milford HS. 

 

Joe's perspective on the pageantry activity is very unique due to his professional work with performance-wear and product design that serves the marching arts activity. In his early career, he teamed up with Style Plus as a Product Designer where he worked for several years before accepting a position with A Wish Come True. Since 2010, Joe and A Wish Come True have worked together to create some of the activities most memorable looks in the color guard arena.  Joe and his husband Eric reside in the Philadelphia area with their lovable pets Louie and Prima.

 

 

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Choreographer

James Gabonay

James Gabonay will be joining Fusion Core as one of our 2020 colorguard choreographers. James has led many high schools as both an outdoor and winter color guard director and designer including Norwin High School (7 Time WGI Scholastic World Finalist) and Gateway High School (2014 Scholastic A WGI Finalist). He has also worked with the Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps as Designer and Troopers as a Technician; James is currently the Caption Head/Designer for Spirit of Atlanta.

 

His marching and performing experience includes Norwin High School, where he currently serves as the director and designer, and the Cavaliers (2012-14). He holds a degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Secondary Education- Social Studies.

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Visual Team

Drill Designer

Darryl Pemberton

Darryl Pemberton is the Visual Designer and Color Guard director for the Claudia Taylor Johnson High School Band. In his time at Johnson, Pemberton has led the Johnson Color Guard to numerous medals in the Texas Colorguard Championship circuit, Johnson Color Guard is also a multiple WGI finalist, winning first place in Scholastic World at the WGI Southwestern Colorguard Championship in 2015 and earning the Silver Medal in the Scholastic Open Class in 2013.


 Pemberton began his career performing with the World Champion Cadets of Bergen County. After aging out of the corps, Pemberton served as a Visual Technician for the Cadets in 1996 and 1997 before taking over as the Visual Caption Head in 1998, a role he held through 2001. As Caption Head in 1998, Pemberton led the corps to another championship title and a perfect score in marching technique.


 Additionally, Darryl served as the Visual Designer with The Boston Crusaders (Mass.), in 2011. After nearly 15 years with The Cadets, Pemberton took over as the Drill Designer and Visual Caption Head for the World Class Finalist Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2002. Pemberton served in that capacity from 2002-2004, during which the corps continued its tenure as a DCI Finalist each season. In 2007, upon the Crossmen's geographic relocation to Texas, Pemberton returned to the corps as the Visual Caption Head, helping to provide stability in the move and build consistency in the visual program. In 2008, Pemberton resumed his responsibilities as the Visual Designer for the Crossmen, and served this role for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, until returning to The Cadets for the 2010 summer.


 In the Color Guard world, Pemberton has previously served as the Program Designer for Alter Ego Independent Winter Guard. Under his guidance, Alter Ego were bronze medalists in Independent A class at WGI world championships in 1997, and also garnered four consecutive championship titles in the Mid Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN) circuit on the East Coast. Prior to his re-location to San Antonio, Pemberton was the founder of New Era Independent Winter Guard from Portland, Oregon who became a WGI regional finalist and also worked as Program Designer for WGI Southern California regional champions Aloha High School Winter Guard. Aloha High School won three consecutive championships titles at NWMBC championships in Portland, Oregon.

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Visual Caption Head

Dave Wolbach

Dave Wolbach returns for the 2020 season as Visual Caption Head, celebrating his 3rd year with Fusion.  He has been part of the marching activity for over 20 years including marching in The Cadets, Jersey Surf, and Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps.  He began teaching in 2003 with the Bridgewater-Raritan HS Marching Band who eventually placed 18th at BOA Grand Nationals in 2012.  He was also part of the start-up of Cadets 2 where he became Visual Caption Head from 2013-2015, winning High Visual in 2015.

 

In addition to the marching arts, Dave also has a very successful career in the corporate world.  He is a Vice President at L’Oreal managing Product Development for their Consumer Products Division. Dave’s passion is in coaching / developing leadership while building long-term competitive strategies.  He holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business specializing in Strategy and a BS in Packaging Engineering from Rutgers University.

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Visual Staff

Jesse Burbank

Jesse Burbank has been active in the marching arts for over a decade now as both a performer and an educator. Jesse has been involved in a number of different North Jersey marching band programs, primarily the Fair Lawn Marching Band, the West Orange Marching Band, and the Verona Marching Maroon and White. His drum corps teaching experience started at the Raiders after having aged out followed by four years at the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps; one year as a field tech and three as Visual Caption Head. This will be his second year at Fusion and he is incredibly excited to work with such dedicated students and staff again!

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Visual Staff

Reagan Miller

Reagan Miller started her involvement in the marching arts at Whitehall High School from 2009-13. Her drum corps career first began in 2012 during the inaugural year of Cadets2 where she played the mellophone. She went on to march with C2 for another four seasons, later switching from mellophone to trumpet in 2015. During her time at C2 she was the mellophone section leader in 2013-14, trumpet section leader in 2015, and the horn sergeant in 2014-15. In 2016, Reagan spent the summer abroad in Kyrgyzstan completing an internship for her double major in Anthropology and English at Lehigh University but returned to Cadets2 in 2017 to fill an open spot in the trumpet line during the middle of the season. 

 

In addition to performing in the marching arts since 2009, she has been on the visual staff for the Whitehall High School Marching Band and the North Penn Marching Knights for a number of years. She was a part of the visual team at C2 in 2018 before joining the staff at Fusion in 2019. Reagan is excited to be back for her second year at Fusion!

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Visual Staff

Meghan Reilly

Megan Reilly joins Fusion Core for the 2020 season as a member of the visual team. Megan got her start in drum corps with Cadets2 in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. After marching, she jumped right into teaching as a member of the visual and music staff at Neshaminy High School, as well as Rancocas Valley Regional High School. 

 

Megan is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a bachelor's degree in Music Education. She is currently the marching band director at Rancocas Valley Regional High School, and a choral, instrumental, and general music teacher at Westampton Middle School. Megan is excited for her first season as a member of the Fusion Core staff! 

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