DESIGN & COORDINATOR TEAMS
Show Coordinator/Drill Writer – Mark Rider
Music Coordinator & Percussion Arranger – John McFarland
Brass Arrangers – Benjamin Chaffee, Matthew Jaeger
Ensemble Coordinator – Joe Stork
Colorguard Designer – Kara Brown
Staff Coordinator – Joe Taylor
Show Coordinator/Drill Writer – Mark Rider
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 program and visual design experience spans over 23 years and includes creating dozens of award-winning shows for drum corps, marching band, winterguard, and indoor percussion ensembles.
Mark’s drum corps experience spans nearly 30 years as marching member, staff, and designer for various drum corps including Capital Regiment, Empire Statesmen, Kingston Grenadiers, Music City Legend, and Rochester Crusaders. He was the visual designer for the White Sabers in 2017 when their show WaterwayS placed fifth at DCA Open Class Finals.
Mark has written for several high school and independent marching bands, winterguards, and percussion ensembles in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. His shows have won multiple awards including multiple state championships, circuit championships, BOA Regionals, WGI Regionals, and WGI World Championship Medalists.
Mark attended the North Carolina School of the Arts as a Music Composition major. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education Studies and an MBA in Management with the State University of New York.
Mark currently resides in Farmington, NY with his wife, Lesley, and two daughters, Claire and Lauren, where he works full time as a Regional Sales Director for the Northeast with Arjo.
Music Coordinator & Percussion Arranger –
John Max McFarland
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 also composes marching band shows for high schools and colleges all over the country.
John is also heavily involved with the Cleveland Browns Drumline acting as their Program Director, Music Composer, as well as a Game Day Performer. He began his tenure with the Browns in 2014 and continues in his current positions today.
John received his degrees in Composition (B.M.) and Percussion Performance (B.M.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 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 resides in Medina, Ohio with his wife Sydney, his son Camden, his daughter Cadence, his 2 cats (Zoe and Minkah), and his 2 dogs (Sophia and Ozark).
Brass Arrangers – Ben Chaffee & Matt Jaeger
Ben Chaffee has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees 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 2000-2005, 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 was the program coordinator from 2012 to 2019. Beginning in 2016, he took on the role of 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 the Woodwind & Brass Arranger for marching bands in the New York State Field Band Conference and Tournament of Bands (PA), including Bath-Haverling, Greece Marching Blue Knights, and Williamsport Marching Millionaires (PA).
Matt has been involved in drum & bugle corps since 2004, performing and teaching with a number of groups across NYS including Ghost Riders Mini Corps, Rochester Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, Greece Marching Blue Knights, and the Pride of Rochester Marching Band. While at White Sabers, he has held the positions of Brass Caption Head, drum major, as well as marching trumpet or mellophone.
Ensemble Coordinator – Joe Stork
Joe first marched in the Rochester Crusaders as a snare drummer in 2005 until 2008. He then spent the next two summers with the Hawthorne Caballeros. In 2011, Joe entered the brotherhood of the Madison Scouts, where he marched through his ageout in 2012. Joe has four years of indoor marching experience including working with the 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 from the University at Buffalo in 2019 with a Masters Degree in Music Education.
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 the Snare Technician/Battery Coordinator for United Percussion. In 2017, he was the Snare Technician/Ensemble Coordinator with North Coast Academy.
Currently, Joe is a Band Director at Corning-Painted Post High School (NY), where 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 in various roles with 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.
Colorguard Caption Head – Kara Brown
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 ageout of A Class in 2015. Kara has performed with the Rochester Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps (2007-2009), Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps (2010-2013), and the White Sabers Drum & Bugle Corps (2015-2019).
Kara enjoys passing along her passion for the activity to students and color guard members of all ages. She has worked with numerous organizations in the Upstate New York area included Gates Chili Colorguard, Medina Mustang Marching Band, and the White Sabers Drum & Bugle Corps. She started working with Gates Chili Colorguard organization 10 years ago as an instructor. She has worked with the parade and field band colorguard, and is acting as the lead instructor & show designer for the JV winterguard for her 6th season 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 7 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.
Staff Coordinator – Joe Taylor
Joe has been involved with the marching arts since 1979. During this time, he has spent many years working with DCA and DCI programs. Joe was a staff member and Visual Caption Head during the championship seasons with The Syracuse Brigadiers, Empire Statesmen, and Spirit of Atlanta.
Joe has been Program Coordinator, Visual Designer, and Visual Caption Head for many marching bands and winter percussion programs in New York. Earning multiple championships, including WGI PSA 2017 Bronze Medal with Victor Indoor Percussion Ensemble.
Joe has consulted for many marching bands and drum corps in the Northeast. 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 is earning his Certify WGI certification and is judging winter percussion circuits in New York and Pennsylvania.
Joe is a graduate of Nazareth College and resides in Rochester, NY with his wife, Josette, and 15-year old daughter, Juliana. He is the Director of Business Development for Delphi Healthcare.