DESIGN TEAM/STAFF BIOS

Ben Chaffee – Director/Brass Arranger

Ben Chaffee has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education from the SUNY Fredonia School of Music, and has been a public school Music Educator in New York State for the past 15 years (Elmira City Schools 2000 to 2005, Pembroke Central Schools 2005 – 2019, Buffalo Public Schools 2019-present). His teaching experience includes Wind Ensemble, Junior High Band, Elementary Band, Elementary Strings, Marching Band, and Jazz Ensemble.

Ben has been involved in drum corps since 1998. He was a Brass Instructor for the Rochester Crusaders from 1999 to 2004 and was the Brass Caption Head for the White Sabers from 2001 to 2011. He has been the Brass Arranger for the White Sabers since beginning with the corps in 2001, and has been the Program Coordinator from 2012 to present. Beginning in 2016, he is now also the White Sabers’ Administrative Corps Director. Accomplishments with the White Sabers include back to back DCA Class A Championships in 2013 and 2014 and an 8th place finish in the corps’ first year in Open Class in 2015.

Ben has also been a Woodwind and Brass Arranger for marching bands in the New York State Field Band Conference and Tournament of Bands in Pennsylvania, including Bath-Haverling, Greece Marching Blue Knights and the Williamsport Marching Millionaires from Williamsport, Pa.

Coordination Staff

Joe Taylor – Staff Coordinator

Joe has been involved with the marching arts either since 1979. During this time, he has spent many years working in both the DCA & DCI programs.  Joe was a staff member and Visual Caption Head during championship seasons with The Syracuse Brigadiers and Empire Statesmen, also working with Spirit of Atlanta & Fusion Core.

He has had the opportunity to work with some great Designers and instructors including:  Jim Steele, Rick Morey, Jamie Thompson, Rich Templin, Ted Mascari, Mark Rider and Chris Calhoun.

Joe has been Program Coordinator, Visual Designer and Visual Caption head for many marching bands and Winter Percussion programs in NY. Earning multiple Championships, including the PSA 2017 Bronze Medal at WGI Finals for his Winter Percussion program VIPE.

Joe currently is earning his Certify WGI certification and is judging winter circuits in NY and PA.

Joe is a graduate of Nazareth College in Rochester, NY and resides there with his wife Josette and 13yr old daughter Juliana.   He is employed by Concentrix Corporation as NA Manager of Training & Quality.

Joe Stork – Ensemble Coordinator

Joe first marched in the Rochester Crusaders as a snare drummer in 2005 until 2008. Joe then spent the next two summers (2009, 2010) with the Hawthorne Caballeros. In 2011, Joe entered the brotherhood of the Madison Scouts where he marched through his age out year of 2012. Joe has four years of indoor marching experience including work with Onondaga Community College and United Percussion where he marched in 2012.
Joe graduated from Roberts Wesleyan in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University at Buffalo.
Joe had the distinct pleasure of serving as Percussion Caption Head and Arranger as well as Recruiting Director for the University at Buffalo Thunder of the East Marching Band for three seasons (2012-2014). In addition, he served as Battery Coordinator for Hilton (NY) High School marching band and winter drumline which he helped guide to the 2013 WGI PSA Gold Medal, as well as to 2014 WGI PSO Finalist status. In 2015 and 2016 Joe was a Snare Technician/Battery Coordinator for United Percussion and in 2017 he was the Snare Technician/Ensemble Coordinator with North Coast Academy.
Currently, he is a Band Director at Corning-Painted Post High School (NY). Here he serves as Symphonic Band Director as well as Director and Battery Arranger for the Competitive Marching Band, 2017 NYSFBC LS3 Champions. Joe is also the director and arranger for the Corning-Painted Post Indoor Drumline.
Joe has served various roles with the White Sabers since he came on board in 2013 including Snare Technician, Battery Coordinator, Battery Arranger, Staff Coordinator and Ensemble Coordinator. He is very excited for the upcoming season and continuing the culture and tradition of strong drum corps in Western New York.

Design Team

John McFarland – Show Coordinator/Co-Battery Arranger

John Max McFarland is an active composer/arranger in WGI, DCI, and BOA.  He is currently the Program Coordinator for Legends Drum and Bugle Corps from Kalamazoo, Michigan , a position he has held since the 2016 season.  From 2013 to 2015 he was the percussion composer/arranger for Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  In 2018 he was the percussion caption head and arranger for the Erie Thunderbirds Drum and Bugle Corps in Erie, PA.  In WGI, John has composed and arranged for many ensembles ranging from Scholastic A Class all the way up to Independent World Class.  Many notable clients include Eastside Fury (2012-2014), Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble (PIA Finalists 2012, 2013) Ferndale Independent Percussion (2015 PIA Silver Medalists), Farmington United Percussion (2017 PIA Silver Medalists), and Decatur Central Indoor Percussion (2018 PSCA Gold Medalists).  John is also the owner and founder of Six to Five Productions, LLC, a marching arts music publishing company where many of his original shows for marching band, winter percussion, and concert percussion can be purchased.

John received his degrees in Composition (B.M.) and Percussion Performance (B.M., M.M.) from Western Michigan University. He studied percussion under Judy Moonert. John has performed as the principal percussionist and Principal Timpanist for the University Concert and Symphonic Bands, as well as the University Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Kalamazoo Symphony and Battlecreek Symphony as a substitute percussionist. John was also a marching member of the Kiwanis Kavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps as well as the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps. John studied composition under Curtis Curtis-Smith, Dr. Richard Adams, and Dr. Robert Ricci. His compositions and arrangements have received international recognition with performances all over the United States as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia. His most recent piece, “5 Songs in the Age of Stupidity” for 2 percussion and mezzo-soprano, received 1st prize in the Ironworks percussion duo composition contest.  John resides in Parma Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Sydney, his son Camden, his daughter Cadence, his 2 cats (Zoe and Minkah), his 2 greyhounds (Jason, and Lola), and Italian Greyhound (Sophia).

Thomas SparlingVisual Designer

Thomas Sparling is a full-time visual designer and percussion educator based out of Southwest Ohio. He received degrees in Music Education, Music Performance, Music Composition and a minor in Arts Management from Miami University in 2009. Since graduating he has served as a percussion instructor at William Mason HS, Centerville HS, Bellbrook HS, Kettering Fairmont HS, and Percussion Director at Northmont HS, and La Salle HS. He currently works with Kings HS in Cincinnati, OH.

He has taught privately since 2005, and has worked on the instructional staff at the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2012), Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2016), Cap City Percussion (2013-2014, 2019-present), Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2019-present) and Matrix Performing Arts (2013-present). Since pursuing full-time design in 2016, he has expanded his influence to organizations in Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Italy.

Thomas marched bass drum with the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2006), and Rhythm X (2006-2009). He has given clinics on show design and rehearsal techniques across the Midwest as well as Taiwan and Italy. Thomas is an endorser of Mapex & Majestic percussion, Remo drum heads, and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

Ryan Reed – Front Ensemble Arranger

Ryan Reed is the percussion educator and designer currently in the Cincinnati, OH, area. He is the percussion director for West Clermont High School. The 2020 season will mark Ryan’s second year with White Sabers as front ensemble arranger. It will also be Ryan’s third year staff with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps, and second year as front ensemble arranger. Additionally, Ryan serves as a front ensemble instructor and coordinator for Matrix Performing Arts (2013-current).

Previously, Ryan served as the front ensemble arranger for the Skyliners’ Drum and Bugle Corps, and Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also served as the front ensemble instructor for the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps, Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and front ensembleinstructor/coordinator for Capital City Percussion.

Ryan received a B.M. in Music Education from Kent State Universitywhere he studied percussion with Ted Rounds. As a performer in the marching arts, Ryan was a front ensemble member of Matrix Percussion from 2006-2008, taking part in the ensembles European tour in 2008. He was also a member of the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007 and 2009, and the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008. In 2016, Ryan performed with Matrix International for the 2016 Chaiayi City International Band Festival in Chiayi City, Taiwan. In addition to teaching, Ryan is a designer for marching bands and indoor drumlines around the country with Ferguson Design Solutions. Ryan is also an endorser for Innovative Percussion.  Ryan is very excited to be with White Sabers for the 2020 season.

Nick Liddie – Percussion Caption Head/C0-Battery Arranger

Nick Liddie is a highly versatile and passionate musician, composer, and educator. Nick’s rich musical background and emotionally infused drumming renditions have led him to play alongside such acclaimed, path-breaking artists including, Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter, Carolyn Malachi, Jazz Harpist, Brandee Younger, as well as The Godfather of Neo Soul, Roy Ayers. Nick has performed as a snare drummer with the 2009 DCA Sunrisers, 2011 DCA Bushwackers, and 2012 World Guard International, United Percussion. He is also the founder of Berklee College of Music’s first drumline, “Berklee Marching Percussion”.

Nick currently serves as the Percussion Caption Head and Percussion Arranger at Mineola High School in Long Island, NY. He is also a snare technician for United Percussion 2 and has served as snare technician and Battery Coordinator for the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corp. In light of the fact that Nick considers himself fortunate to be birthed through a well-supported public arts educational system, his focus is to offer a higher level of music education and instruction to underprivileged communities!

 

Caption Heads

Randall Bennett – Brass Caption Head

Randall Bennett is a tuba player from Syracuse, NY. He has an Associate’s degree in music from Onondaga Community College, and a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY.  Randall has been involved in the marching arts for 17 years. He marched drum & bugle corps with the Syracuse Brigadiers, Empire Statesmen, and was a tuba player with The Edge that premiered on America’s Got Talent in 2012.

Randall has taught the winds and visual captions in many ensembles in the marching arts including; the Baldwinsville High School Marching Band and Indoor Percussion, Mohonasen High School Marching Band and Indoor Percussion, Waukesha North High School Marching Band (Wisconsin), and was the Brass Caption Head of the Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps in Milwaukee, WI. Randall has also taught many brass and marching band clinics throughout the United States.

Joe Wormworth, Jr.- Visual Caption Head

Joe Wormworth, Jr. has been involved in the marching music activity for over a decade as a performer, instructor, and show and drill designer. He began his marching career playing trumpet with the Brigadiers Alumni in 2001 at age 12 and marched through 2006. His competitive career began at age 13 with the Rochester Patriots in 2002 and 2003. From 2004 – 2006, he marched with the Magic of Orlando, then the Syracuse Brigadiers in 2006, 2007, and 2009. In 2008, Joe marched with the 10-time DCI World Champion Cadets of Allentown, PA, and in 2010, Joe finished his marching career ageing out with the world famous Santa Clara Vanguard.
Joe has been teaching since 2004 when he started working with the Fabius Pompey Parade Band, followed by the East Ramapo High School Marching Band. As a junior in high school, Joe began working as a visual instructor for the Liverpool High School Marching Band, a competitor in the NYSFBC National Class. He was then put in charge of their basics program for the marching band and was the Show Designer and Visual Caption Head for the Liverpool Indoor Percussion Ensemble through 2012. In addition, Joe was the drill designer for the indoor percussion ensembles at Jordan Elbridge (2012) and East Syracuse Minoa (ESM) (2012-2016). Since fall of 2012 to the present, Joe has been the Visual Caption Head for the ESM Marching Band and the ESM Indoor Percussion Ensemble, winning two state championships with the marching band at the New York State Field Band Championships (NYSFBC) in 2015 and 2017. Also in 2017, the ESM Indoor Percussion Ensemble won the High Visual Award at the New York Percussion Circuit Championships. In 2018, the ESM Indoor Percussion Ensemble took first place in the Percussion Scholastic Open (PSO) Class at the New York Percussion Circuit Championships.

Kara Brown – Color Guard Caption Head

Kara has been involved in the marching arts since 2005. She began her color guard career marching with the Patriots Winterguard, and continued marching with them for 10 years until her age-out of A class in 2015. Kara has performed with the Rochester Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps (2007-2009), the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps (2010-2013), and the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2019).

Kara enjoys passing along her passion for the activity to students and colorguard members of all ages. She has worked with numerous organizations in the upstate NY area, including Gates Chili Colorguard, Medina Marching Band, and the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps. She started working with the Gates Chili Colorguard organization 8 years ago as an instructor. She works with the parade and field band colorguard, and is acting as the lead instructor & show designer for the JV winterguard for her 4thseason this winter. Kara had the opportunity to work with the Medina Mustang Marching Band this fall. She is proud to have been part of a strong instructional staff that led the band to its NYSFBC championship-winning season. She was also on the White Sabers Colorguard staff in the summer of 2019. The White Sabers has been an important part of Kara’s life for the past 5 years and she is excited for the chance to act as the colorguard caption head this season.

When she is not marching or teaching, Kara works full time as an Interior Designer at an Architectural Firm in Rochester NY.