Bios

Ben Chaffee – Administrative Director/Brass Arranger/Program Coordinator

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 to 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, including Bath-Haverling and the Greece Marching Blue Knights. His arrangement for Greece in 2015 contributed to the band’s first place finish in the GE Music category.

 

Mark A. Rider – Visual Designer

A native of the Rochester, NY area, Mark has experience in all aspects of the pageantry arts as a member, educator, and/or designer. Mark's visual design experience spans over 23 years and includes writing dozens of award winning shows for drum corps, marching band, winterguard, and indoor percussion ensembles.

Mark’s Jr. Corps experience includes being the Visual Designer and Coordinator for the Capital Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from Columbus, OH in 2000-2002 during a time when Capital ascended from a Division III corps to Division II silver medalist and Open Class semi-finalists.

Mark’s Sr. Corps experience includes being a staff and marching member of the 5-time World Champion Empire Statesmen from 1997-2000 and 2006 as well as being the Visual Designer for the Empire Statesmen in 2010-2011. Mark was also the Visual Designer for DCA Finalist Kingston Grenadiers in 2002 and Music City Legend in 2009. Mark was also a marching member of the Rochester Crusaders from 1993-1994.

Mark has written for several high school ensembles and is currently the Assistant Band Director, Show Coordinator, and Visual Designer and instructor for the 8-time NYSFBC State Champion Victor High School Marching Blue Devils from Victor, NY and has designed and taught Victor’s 5-time Circuit Champion and WGI Bronze Medalist Varsity Winterguard and 7-time NYSPC State Champion and WGI world finalist Indoor Percussion Ensemble.

Mark attended the North Carolina School of the Arts as a Music Composition Major. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies and is currently completing his MBA in Global Leadership with the State University of New York.

He currently resides in Farmington, NY with his wife Lesley and two daughters Claire and Lauren where he works full time as the Vice President of Marketing for the Getinge Americas.

 

Joe Stork– Ensemble Coordinator/Staff Coordinator

Joe Stork was introduced to rudimental drumming by his father Bill Stork, with whom he competed in the New York Percussion Department, winning a percussion ensemble I&E award in Drum Corps Associates in 2002 and 2004.
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. This year, CPP has come out with their first Indoor Winter Percussion program ever, which he directs and arranges.
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.

 

 

Matt Jaeger – Brass Caption Head

Matt Jaeger has been working with the Greece Marching Band (GMB) since 2006, when he first started as an assistant music instructor. Throughout the years Matt's dedication and involvement with GMB has only grown deeper, now serving as Assistant Director in his 11th year. Matt’ss music education and marching career began in 1998 as a student in the Medina Mustangs Marching Band. Matt continued to march with the Mustangs throughout his time in high school, ultimately winning three State Championships in the New York State Field Band Conference. Matt also held a leadership position in his last year before graduating in 2003.

In 2004, Matt began performing with the Ghost Riders Mini Corps alongside friends and family. Since then Matt has marched with the Rochester Crusaders and White Sabres Drum Corps. Matt served as a Staff Member for Rochester Crusaders from 2005 to 2008 and went on to become Brass Caption Head for the White Sabres in the following years. While Matt has worked on Staff with the White Sabres, the corps has won back to back DCA Class A Championships in 2013 and 2014, and now competes in the DCA Open Division.

In addition to performing with and teaching marching bands and drum corps in the area, Matt attended Roberts Wesleyan College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 2010.

 

Marc Garside– Percussion Caption Head/Arranger

Marc began his musical journey as a saxophonist, but when he got to high school, he became enamored with the drumline, and has been a student of percussion ever since. Upon graduating high school, Marc began teaching and writing music for his alma-mater, the Shikellamy High School Marching Band, and helped lead the program to multiple top-3 finishes in TOB’s Atlantic Coast Championships. While in college he also marched with the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and the Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps where they captured a DCA World Championship in 2003.

Marc graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in Public Relations, but while studying he pursued musical interests and took music theory courses, performed in the percussion ensemble, the symphonic band and the choir. He also took percussion lessons and participated in the percussion studio.
Marc continues to teach at the high school level. In 2008 he began teaching and writing for the Williamsport (PA) High School Marching Band and has helped lead them to several USBands State Championships and a High Percussion Title in TOB”s Atlantic Coast Championships.
In 2011 Marc became the Percussion-Captionhead of the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps. The program there was able to become one of the premier percussion programs in DCA.
Marc has studied under outstanding instructors over the years, including: Patsy VanKirk, Bill Groves, Mike Ferlazzo, Kevin Murphy, Terrel Smith, Mike Schmitt, David Dumont, Gary Gill, Terry Bieler and Gifford Howarth.
Marc is very excited to join the White Sabers’ design and instruction teams for 2017!
“I am looking forward to working with a group that is looking to grow, expand and innovate in the DCA arena, a group that’s not afraid to push the envelope! The support I’ve already experienced from the administrative side of things has been tremendous, and the outlook for this organization going into the future looks very promising.  I’m very thankful that they have asked me to be here, and I’m excited to be a part of White Sabers!” 
Zach Hanford – Front Ensemble Tech
Starting from when he hit 4th Grade Concert Band, Zach had always been fascinated with drumming. Fast forward to high school, seeing the drumline for the first time… there was no turning back. He had found a home, and that was playing snare drum. This continued through the rest of high school.

In 2009, Zach had his first experience with drum and bugle corps. Under the guidance of Marc Garside he joined the Hawthorne Caballeros as an auxiliary percussionist in the front ensemble. After a short hiatus, he returned to the Caballeros in 2012 as a snare drummer. In the 2013 WGI season, Zach joined the Penn State Indoor Drumline as a marimba player and continued as a member for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. For summer 2015 and 2016 he returned to the Caballeros yet again, now as a marimba player.

Zach’s teaching experience began in 2014 as a front ensemble instructor for the Williamsport Marching Millionaires, winning their first high percussion trophy at Atlantic Coast Championships for the first time since the mid-1980’s. He returned to Williamsport for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons and had been a substitute lesson instructor at EPIC percussion intermittently from the time they opened in 2013 until 2016.

Zach is currently a front ensemble instructor at the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps, the front ensemble Coordinator for the Williamsport Marching Millionaires, and a mallet expert for EPIC Percussion.

My go to series of mallets is the Sandi Rennick IP400x series. The birch shafts and unweighted cores grant the player greater dexterity and playability for faster passages. The 4001 model has a beautifully warm sound at the low end of the marimba, and the 4002.5 is the perfect mix of articulation and soft projection. Between the light weight, diverse range of sounds, and in-hand feel, I have yet to find a set of mallets that rivals the Sandi Rennick series.

Nick Liddie – Percussion Staff/Snare Tech

Nick Liddie is a highly versatile and passionate musician, composer, and educator. Nick’s eclectic drumming talents have already won him many accolades and recognition in the United States and Canada. Nick’s rich musical background and fearless, emotionally infused drumming renditions have led him to play alongside such acclaimed, path-breaking artists including harpist, Brandee Younger and Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter, Carolyn Malachi. It has also gained him the coveted role of Percussion Arranger and Snare Drum Drummer in the well-known 2015 play “Colossal” produced by Company One Theater.

As a youngster, Nick shadowed his father to local gigs and rehearsals and spent a lot of time witnessing the effect of a zealous approach to music education in his father’s band room. At the age of 13, Nick was introduced to both jazz drumming and drum corps, quickly falling in love with both forms of art. Soon after, Nick met some of his most influential mentors such as “Blast!” snare drum soloist, Mike Rabinowitz and Hofstra University music professor, Dave Lalama.

This rich musical heritage and drumming expertise enabled Nick to snag performances with various ensembles in New York City, the tri-state area, and Canada. Nick noticed the lack of support for the marching arts in the city of Boston, which led him to establish the Berklee Marching Percussion at one of the most prestigious music schools in the world, Berklee College of Music. Through this program, Nick has been able to provide marching percussion education to all interested students, in addition to giving back to the Boston community through performing at various local events for schools and fundraisers. After several years of experience with Drum Corp Associates and other percussion organizations, Nick fulfilled one of his dreams by performing with the WGI world-class group, United Percussion in 2012.

Liddie is currently the Percussion Caption Head at Mineola High School in Long Island, NY and Snare Technician at the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corp. He also works as Percussion Instructor at Roosevelt High School and 2 public schools in Queens, NY. He has recently performed in the Harlem Arts Festival and at multiple venues and institutions such as the House of Blues, Northeastern University, and MIT. 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 areas. He aspires to continue to pursue his multi-genre freelance drumming career and later on earn a Masters Degree in Music Education.

 

Andrew Buchmann – Visual Caption Head

This is Andrew’s first season working with the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps. Prior to joining the visual team, Andrew has worked with various groups throughout Central New York. This will be his 10th season with the Oswego High School Marching Band, having worked in such roles as Visual Instructor and most recently as Drill Designer in 2017. In addition to the outdoor activity, Andrew was Visual Caption Head for the Jordan-Elbridge Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2012 and 2013, and Drill Designer is 2013.

Andrew is no stranger to the drum corps activity. His first time as a performer on the field was with the then Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps, marching baritone in 2006, tuba in 2007, and assistant drum major in 2009. Ever since first joining the activity, he has been an avid fan of DCA, DCI, and WGI programs.

Outside the world of the marching arts, Andrew is the Assistant Coordinator for the Mentor-Scholar Program at SUNY Oswego. He graduated from SUNY Oswego with his B.A. in 2013 and his M.S. in Counseling Services in 2016.

 

Raymond Jones – Visual Tech

Raymond will be returning for his 8th year with the White Sabers, his 4th as visual tech. He marched with the Syracuse Brigadiers in 2009 as well as the Madison Scouts from 2012-2014. He also worked with the University Thunder of the East Marching Band from 2013-2015 as a music and visual tech and with Pembroke Marching Band as a visual tech. Raymond has earned a Bachelors and Masters in Mathematics from the University at Buffalo, where he is currently working on his Ph.D in Mathematics.

 

Stephanie Waugh – Color Guard Caption Head

Stephanie Waugh started her marching experience with the Central Square field band and Winterguards performing for seven years in each. She began performing in DCA in 2003 with the Grenadiers Drum and Bugle Corps and continued with the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps from 2004-2007 and with the Brigadiers Winterguard in 2014.

Stephanie has many years of experience in teaching and designing in color guard that expands to include Drum and Bugle Corps, Winter Guard, Field Band and Marching Band. The groups she has written and designed for over the last several years include; Central Square Field Band and Varsity Winterguard, UB Marching Band and Winter guard, Pembroke Marching Band, Patriots Winterguard, and the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps.

 

Nicholas Gerling – Color Guard Instructor

A native of New Hartford NY, Nicholas Gerling has developed a career within the marching arts that started at his alma mater in 2000 with the New Hartford Marching Spartans. Following his high school career, he continued to follow a musical path leading to a degree in Music Education and Operatic Performance Studies from Nazareth College of Rochester NY. This allowed for him to develop a skill set routed in strong musical knowledge, but also the ability to grow as an actor and performer. He performed with various operatic companies, studied in Italy and built a resume through apprenticeship programs in places such as Eureka Springs Arkansas. Within his time as a collegiate student he continued to develop is teaching and designing skills within the marching arts through various NY programs. Most notably with New Hartford but also consulting with the Naples and CNS winterguard programs as well (both of which were WGI semifinalists during years of instruction).

Nicholas began his presence in DCA in 2011 where he became a marching member with the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corp. He transitioned quickly in the role of a performer and as a choreographer for the corps. This role would continue through the end of the Empire Statesmen in 2013. Through his connections within the Statesmen organization he was able to take on a role with the Phoenix High School Marching Band and winterguard organization which started in 2011 and is where he continues to not only design, but works as their program director. Some accolades from his time at Phoenix include 2 NYSFBC Championships within a 5 year span, 4 semifinalist appearances at WGI world championships as well as the growth of his indoor program to 3 competitive winterguards (with its highest level group competing in the Scholastic Open class). This will be Nicholas’s second season with the White Sabers and he is excited to take on the role not only within the guard stuff, but within the design team as well.

 

Donny Allen – Music and Design Coordinator

Donny Allen has been involved with drum and bugle corps activity since he was a teenager playing soprano horn with St. Joseph’s of Batavia and Purple Lancers of Auburn, N Y. He was lead solo soprano player, arranger and brass instructor for Empire Statesmen in the early 1990s, during years the corps twice won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world title and was extending performance opportunities with overseas tours and winter stage concerts. In 1994, he received the DCA individual showmanship award.

Since then, he has served as brass arranger and instructor for Syracuse Brigadiers (DCA Champions 1997), Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni and Rochester Crusaders. He has also been either brass arranger or instructor for the Cadets of Greece, Mighty Liberators of Rochester, Firebirds of Rochester, Pioneer, Rochester Northmen, Diplomats of Malden, MA and many more. In 1992 and again in 1994, he was chosen as the music director of the all-star group of more than 300 musicians who participated in the nationally- televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. He is a member of the New York State Field Band Contest Judges, USBands and Cavalcade of Bands.

Mr. Allen has achieved first place gold medals in every division in Drum Corps Associates, from the individual level in trumpet performance to the World Class. During the 1990’s, Donny worked with and played with World Champions “Power Zone” the brass ensemble gold medalist at DCA for 5 consecutive years.

In 2013, Mr. Allen achieved a rare “triple crown” with first place DCA Gold Medals in three separate areas of competition; individual trumpet, “Mini Corps” (Ghost Riders) and “Class A” (White Sabers) World Champions. A band director at Corning-Painted Post School District, Mr. Allen presently also continues in his own business of music education, arranging, adjudication and consulting based in New York State. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from State University of New York and is a certified K-12 music teacher in New York State. Donny also has a Masters of Music Education from University of New York at Buffalo.

Mr. Allen is the Chairman of the Board for the Bugler’s Hall of Fame and a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame since 1995.

 

David Orser – Music and Design Cobsultant

David Orser earned his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (1993) and Bachelor of Education (1994) from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. Upon graduating from Queen’s, Mr. Orser started his teaching career at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Kingston, ON. In addition to his instrumental classroom duties, Mr. Orser conducts the Jr. Concert Band, Sr. Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Ensemble … all of which have received local, provincial, and international recognition at many prestigious festivals including Worldstrides International Music Festivals and Festival Disney. While at Holy Cross Mr. Orser has also served as Musical Director for over 15 major musical productions including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, and West Side Story. Mr. Orser is also actively involved in the marching music pageantry scene. Since 1984 he has been a performer, teacher, consultant, and designer for the Kingston Grenadiers and Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps. And most recently David joined the incredible teaching and design team of the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps. At the scholastic level Mr. Orser has designed programs for several New York State marching bands and continues to educate as an adjudicator for the New York State Band Conference, Bands of America, and Drum Corps International.