2018 Instructional & Administrative Staff
OUR STAFF MEMBERS BRING YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL TEACHING EXPERIENCE AT ALL LEVELS TO CHATTANOOGA INDEPENDENT.
WE HAVE A UNIQUE BLEND OF SKILLS AND PERSONALITIES THAT ALLOW US TO CREATE A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR PERSONAL GROWTH AND COMPETITIVE SUCCESS.
DYLAN BAILEY • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Dylan Bailey, originally from Panama City, Florida, has been involved in indoor percussion since 2008. After four years with his high school WGI group playing Quads and Snare, Dylan marched Quads for two years at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and one year as the Drum Major. Dylan played Quads for Chattanooga Independent in 2012, and Marimba 2013-2016 while teaching battery for McMinn High School, and front ensemble for McMinn Indoor. Dylan also taught front ensemble for Soddy Daisy High school before moving to Johnson City, TN to study Exercise Science and Physiology. He currently is the front ensemble instructor for USBands/BOA band, Sullivan South High School. Outside of teaching front ensembles, Dylan works in Physical Therapy and with a leadership training organization while working towards professional school.
JASON COLE • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Jason Cole, a native of Mobile, AL, is a graduate of Jacksonville State University where he earned a degree in Instrumental music education. Studying percussion, Jason had the great pleasure of learning from Todd Mueller, Ken Bodiford, Clint Gillespie, and Thomas McCutchen.As an educator, Jason has worked with several fantastic high school, collegiate, and independent percussion programs such as Albertville High School, Heritage High School, Rome High School, East Coweta High School, Ola High School, Carrollton High School, Jacksonville State University, Chattanooga Independent and several others.
Jason is currently living in Memphis, TN and is the band director/percussion coordinator for Center Hill High School in Olive Branch, MS. In his free time he performs as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies drumline, the “Grizzline,” and works as a designer and consultant for several other percussion programs.
Jason Cole is a proud member of the National Association for Music Educators, Percussive Arts Society, Mississippi Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
MATT FILOSA • FRONT ENSEMBLE ARRANGER // SOUND DESIGN
Matt Filosa is a freelance percussionist, composer, and arranger currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas. Co-owner of the marching arts design company Synced Up Designs, Matt writes,designs, and teaches groups all over the country. Matt is the sound designer and front ensemble arranger for several WGI finalist groups, most notably PIW groups Music City Mystique(co-arranger) out of Tennessee and Equinox Percussion out of Georgia. From 2011 to 2014, Matt was the drumline instructor for Florida State Marching Chiefs Drumline. In 2012, Matt went on a national tour with the Florida State percussion ensemble, which concluded with a showcase concert at the Percussive Arts Society National Convention. In the summer of 2012, in Wichita Falls Texas, Matt launched his new professional stage show, "Nebulas". From 2009-2011, Matt was the Assistant Band Director and Percussion Coordinator at Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas.
From 2007-2009 Matt arranged for and instructed the Green Brigade Drumline at the University of North Texas. In 2009, he earned his Masters from the University of North Texas. In 2007, Matt earned his Bachelor's degree In Music Performance from the University of Florida. Matt is currently ABD at the Florida State University.
Matt marched three years of Drum Corps with the Magic of Orlando (2004) and Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2006 ,2007). Matt earned 2nd place two years in a row performing original compositions at the PAS international marimba competition.
Matt has performed on several professional recordings, recently featured on Dr. Omar Carmenates new CD Gaia Theory, released by Rattle Records. He has also performed at WASBE in Singapore and Ohio, CBDNA, TMEA, FMEA, and PAS on several occasions. Matt is sponsored by Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams, Evans drum heads, and Sabian Cymbals.
JOHN FREDERICK • BASS TECHNICIAN
John Frederick, originally from Huntsville, AL, has been involved with marching and concert percussion since 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of North Alabama in the spring of 2016. His numerous accolades from UNA included Principal Percussionist of the Wind Ensemble and Principal Percussionist with the Shoals Symphony Orchestra for two concurrent years. He also received the highest award given to an orchestra member in 2016, the “Achievement Award” for his fine playing and hard work ethic.
John spent six consecutive seasons marching with The Pride of Dixie Marching Band and was part of the university drumline that exhibitioned at Bands of America Grand Nationals Competition and then competed at and won the first-ever DrumLine Battle hosted by the Percussion Arts Society International Conference in 2013. John marched bass drum for Music City Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012. He has been a member of both the North Alabama Percussion Ensemble and the Lee University Percussion Ensemble. John has worked with numerous high school and college ensembles, including the award-winning Muscle Shoals High School Percussion Ensemble, and is a battery technician for the Pride of Dixie drumline.
He currently is working towards his Master’s degree in Music Performance at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he resides with his wife, Natalie Frederick.
NATALIE FREDERICK • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Natalie Frederick, originally from Muscle Shoals, AL, has been involved with marching percussion since 2004. After competing and medaling with her high school WGI group, she attended college at The University of North Alabama. There, she performed with the UNA Pride of Dixie Marching Band as well as numerous university percussion ensembles while also teching for local high school marching and concert groups.
She joined Muscle Shoals High School’s percussion staff in 2010 after a diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel interrupted her plans to perform at the highest level, and was promoted to Lead Front Ensemble Technician in 2012. She helped lead the indoor group to a WGI medal in Finals each year she was on staff, and received a Gold Medal (and a score 97.950) in Percussion Scholastic Concert World in 2011. Her summers have been spent working with high schools in Alabama; Cobb County, Georgia; and Mississippi; with both Muscle Shoals High School and DoubleStop Percussion in Birmingham, AL playing major roles. Natalie also served as a Front Ensemble Technician for Southwind Drum & Bugle Corp’s 2015 season.
Natalie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing and works as a Marketing Assistant in Chattanooga, TN. She currently resides in Cleveland, TN with her husband John while he attends Lee University in search of his Master’s Degree in Music Performance.
LATRICE GREEN • BATTERY TECHNICIAN
Latrice Green attended Jacksonville State University, where she received a BA in Music Education with a concentration in percussion. Of her five years with the JSU Marching Southerners, she initially marched cymbals and later joined the front ensemble. In addition to marching band, she has performed with a number of other ensembles at JSU, including all three concert bands, percussion ensemble, steel band, jazz band/combos, and choir.
Her independent indoor drumline experiences include Atlanta Quest in 2013, CorpsVets Indoor in 2015, and Q2 in 2016 where she marched cymbals, marimba, and synthesizer respectively. These experiences allowed her the opportunity to teach at different middle and high schools in Alabama and Georgia, including Woodland High School, Baldwin County High School, Rudd Middle School, Pinson Valley High School, and Thompson High School.
Latrice is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society, the Alabama Bandmasters Association, the National Association for Music Education and Sigma Alpha Iota (alumnae). She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama where she is the assistant director of bands at
Minor Middle School and assists with the Minor High School Band (Sounds of Superior) and drumline.
BETSY GRIMES • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN // FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR
Betsy Grimes, originally from Knoxville,TN, has been involved with indoor percussion since 2004. Betsy played marimba with Velocity Independent Percussion Ensemble in 2004 and 2005 and with Chattanooga Independent Open Percussion Ensemble in 2006 and 2007, where she was a charter member and front ensemble section leader.
Betsy has taught at numerous area high schools, including: Cleveland High School, Soddy-Daisy High School from 2005-2007 and from 2009-2013, Red Bank High School, and Hixson High School. Betsy was the Director of Percussion Studies at the Salvation Army School of Music from 2009-2011.
Betsy was a member of Scenic City Drum and Bugle Corps in 2003, a member of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Marching Mocs in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009, and a member of the percussion ensemble at UTC from 2004-2007 and from 2009- 2012, when she graduated from UTC with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Betsy has been on staff at Chattanooga Independent as a front ensemble technician since 2011.
She resides in Chattanooga with her husband, Matt, and children Taylor and Miya.
MATT GRIMES • ENSEMBLE COORDINATOR // TENOR TECHNICIAN
Originally from Columbia, Tennessee, Matt has been involved with marching percussion since 1997. He was on staff during the inaugural year of Chattanooga Independent in 2006 and is very excited to return to CI for the 2017 season as ensemble coordinator and a member of the design team.
As a performer, Matt was a member of Music City Mystique from 2001-2005 and was the section leader of the QMCM from 2003-2005. Matt won two WGI World Championships (2001, 2004) as a member of MCM. He was also a proud member of the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle Marching Band in 2002 and 2004. Matt has performed for Cracker Barrel, World Outreach Church, and most notably, with Sugarland during the 2011 CMA Music Festival. You may also find Matt performing on the streets of downtown Chattanooga as a member of Funkabuckets.
After aging out in 2005, Matt served as quad tech for Music City Mystique from 2006-2010. His teaching experience also includes Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005, Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 2006, and countless high schools throughout Tennessee. Currently, Matt is the percussion instructor at Cleveland High School.
Matt holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Nursing from Middle Tennessee State University and works as a Registered Nurse in Chattanooga, TN. Matt lives happily with his wife, Elizabeth, his son, Taylor, his daughter Miya, and two dogs, Lucky and Baxter.
SHANE GWALTNEY • BATTERY ARRANGER // VISUAL DESIGNER
Shane was a charter member of Music City Mystique Indoor Percussion from 1995-99. He has been instrumental in this group for 23 years thus far as a member, Battery Arranger,Visual Designer and Program Coordinator. His innovative and trend setting musical and visual designs have become a mainstay in the WGI Indoor Percussion, BOA, and the DCI arenas. Shane has arranged and worked with Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps, Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, Music City Mystique, Bangkok Society Drumline, Tyler Junior College, Choctawhatchee HS, Ravenwood HS, along with several High School and Independent Indoor Percussion programs across the country. His inspiration and motivation comes from the staff and kids from programs that allow him to be involved. He is also a proud artist and clinician for Innovative Percussion, Pearl Drums, Evans Drum Heads\Planet Waves, and Zildjian Cymbals.
In 2009, Shane joined an elite group of marching percussion signature artists when Innovative Percussion introduced the Shane Gwaltney signature marching snare drum stick, the FS-SG.
Shane is a member of GCGC Circuit Indoor Percussion Hall of Fame.
Shane is co-owner of Synced Up Designs. They offer custom or cataloged indoor percussion shows, marching band shows, and indoor winds shows.
Shane currently resides in the Nashville, TN area where he is a freelance arranger and clinician for indoor percussion and marching band.
COLIN JAMES • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Colin James is from Ringgold, GA and a graduate of Jacksonville State University. There he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in percussion as well as a minor in English. At Jacksonville State, Colin was a member of the JSU drum line and front ensemble for 5 years. Currently, he teaches at Heritage High School in Ringgold, GA and in the surrounding areas. Colin also performs as a gigging musician playing drum set in Georgia and north Alabama. This is his first season teaching with Chattanooga Independent.
ERIC MCCLENDON • PHOTOGRAPHER // DESIGNER
Eric McClendon acquired his BFA in photography & design at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Having been trained in fine arts, his work ranges in medium and concept yet is always inspired by a deep-seated passion of music and its power to communicate. The concept of combining music and visual is certainly nothing new — yet in fact, these very different forms of expression are utilized almost every day in his personal work.
Eric has been involved in music making since the age of 5 and has performed in internationally acclaimed ensembles such as the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners (2010-2013), Spirit of Atlanta (2012), and the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps (2013).
He also works commercially as a freelance fashion/ portrait photographer as well as a freelance designer and illustrator.
He has been published most recently in Photographer's Forum as a finalist for Best of Photography and received IPA Honorable Mention in 2015. His work has been exhibited at the Gadsden Museum of Art, member exhibitions at the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) Conferences and RAW artist shows in Nashville, TN.
Eric currently resides there in Nashville with his soul mate - Emily - and two rambunctious felines - Stipples & Massimo.
MATT McPEAK • SNARE TECHNICIAN
Matt started his marching career at Mt. Juliet High School under the direction Jason Palmer in both band and indoor programs. He marched indoor for 3 years at Mt. Juliet High School competing in Scholastic A, Open and World classes . He went on to march at Chattanooga Independent Percussion Ensemble from 2012-2015, earning two silver medals and participated, after being bumped into open class, finals in ‘15. Matt has taught many high schools around the greater Nashville area including Brentwood High School, McGavock High School and Beech High School.
Outside of the marching percussion world Matt has played for various bands in nashville, such as Phin, Billy and the Matts and With Hell At Our Backs. Matthew is currently part of The Touch, which is a band he formed himself.
ZACK MELTON • SNARE TECHNICIAN
Zack Melton, a graduate from the University of North Alabama in Florence, completed his Instrumental Music degree in May 2013. Zack has performed with multiple different musical ensembles ever since middle school. Always driven to all things musical he was self taught on drumset, rudimental percussion, and guitar. Throughout his time at college, Zack marched with Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps on snare drum for two summers. Also on snare drum from November 2010 through April 2011 with the WGI World Finalist and 7 time Gold Medalist Music City Mystique. Under the direction of Dr. Iain Moyer, Zack studied percussion solo repertoire including drumset etudes, four and two mallet marimba and vibe solos, timpani solos, small chamber works, and large percussion ensemble pieces. At UNA during his last two years he was the percussion section leader for the entire percussion education studio, marching bands, and concert percussion sections. He has composed and arranged various marching percussion arrangements for schools such as Deshler, Athens, Bob Jones, Decatur, Grissom, Brewer, Priceville, Hueytown high schools, Discovery middle school, and the University of North Alabama.
Since aging out of the competitive pageantry activities, Zack has been on staff for multiple independent groups including Forte Drum and Bugle Corps out of Dallas, Texas in the summer of 2012, Music City Drum and Bugle Corps out of Nashville for the summer of 2013, one year as a Battery Instructor for Lone Star Independent Arts Association, a non-profit independent indoor drumline from Houston, Texas, and was the Educational Director and Music Arranger for north Alabama's most recent independent indoor drumline in Momentum Percussion Independent. Mr. Melton has worked under and with educators such as the late Will Campbell, Keith Anderson, David Waters, Bryan Barley, German Baratto, Shane Gwaltney, Joe Hobbs, Mark Hunter, Mario Taylor, Josh King, Matt Grimes, Colin McNutt, Iain Moyer, Jason Palmer, Chris DeBerry, Dave England, Julie Davila, Hunter Stricklin, Tim Maynard, Carl Eppler, and Josh Nelson.
Zack now lives in Madison, and works with the Decatur Marching Band, the Bob Jones Band and Percussion Ensembles, the Grissom High School Band Program, the James Clemens marching band, teaches private lessons, and teaches middle and high school percussion classes at Westminster Christian Academy. Currently, Mr. Melton is attending classes towards a Master's of Arts in Education from the University of North Alabama and a Class A teaching certificate in the state of Alabama.
In his free time, Zack loves to hike, mountain bike, jog, spend time with his family, shoot pool, read, and play music.
TYLER NEWTON • VISUAL COORDINATOR
Tyler Newton is originally from Trenton Georgia, Graduated Dade County High School in 2015 .He has been active in teaching at many local high school Marching Bands and Winterguards in many Circuits, based out of Chattanooga, Atlanta, Knoxville, and Nashville. During the summer month Tyler spent all summer touring with Spirit of Atlanta as a Colorguard Technician.
Tyler Currently teaches two schools in the Chattanooga Area, Signal Mountain where he is the Colorguard Director and Heritage High School where he is a Colorguard Technician. In the past he has marched with his High school Fall guard and Winter guard, Gemini Winteruard out of Chattanooga, Attraction Winterguard out of Knoxville, Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps as captain, and Two summers with Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. During the winter he marches with Paramount based out of Atlanta while teaching Signal Mountain Winterguard.
JORDAN PITNER • VISUAL CAPTION HEAD
Jordan Pitner is originally from Seymour Tennessee, where he studied music under Michael Carter and Tom Lundberg. In 2006, he joined the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps and became the tuba section leader before their 2007 championship season. Shortly after, Jordan began teaching private lessons at schools over the greater Knox County Area.
In 2008, Jordan joined the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps for their historic summer. During his time at Carolina Crown, Jordan studied visual technique and design from Andrew Ebert and Leon May. He would march with Crown again during the 2010 season. Over the last five years, Jordan has spent his time as a private music instructor in several schools across Knoxville, Chattanooga, and North Georgia. He has also spent time as a visual tech for the Chattanooga Independent Indoor Drumline. This summer, Jordan was invited to be a clinician for the Fred J. Miller Summer Clinic Program. As a member of the program, he traveled all summer teaching both musicians and drum majors across the country.
This year marks Jordan's third year with the Signal Corps Marching Band. In that time- the group has continued to experience growth and success- including numerous Class and Division Championships, as well as appearances in the Tennessee Division II State Finals each of the three years.
STEVEN RODGERS • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECNICIAN
Steven is an East Tennessee native from Knoxville, TN. He was most recently the assistant band director at South-Doyle Middle and High Schools in Knoxville, TN. Previous to that, he was the percussion director for Farragut High School. Mr. Rodgers graduated from the University of Tennessee as Outstanding Senior in Music Performance in 2006, and went back and received his teaching certification in 2009. While at UT, he was a performing member of the Wind Ensemble (including their performance in Carnegie Hall), the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble (including two performances at the Percussion Arts Society International Convention), and numerous jazz ensembles.
He toured the United States and Europe as a member of the World Class Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps from Toledo, OH in the Drum Corps International 2001-2004 seasons, and instructing and presenting clinics during the '05 and '06 seasons. Steve had the pleasure of working with the Spirit of Atlanta in the 2011 summer as well as the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Mr. Rodgers has studied and/or taught with Keith Brown, Mark Douglass, F. Michael Combs, Lain Moyer, Colin McNutt, Omar Carmenates, Chad Heiny, Chris Hestin and Mark Ford.
Mr. Rodgers is a regular performer with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and has played numerous times with the Knoxville Wind Symphony, the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. As a member of ETSBO&A, PAS, MENC, and TMEA, he is active in teaching and adjudicating scholastic music ensembles in marching, winterguard, and solo and ensemble settings. He also arranges and composes for various marching bands, indoor drumlines and small ensembles across East Tennessee and the United States. In addition to teaching and playing "legit" music, Steve has also played and recorded with his psychedelic-rock/indie pop band Senryu, touring the US and playing festivals such as After the Jumpfest, Hottfest, and South by Southwest. When not making music, he is an advocate for public school education policy. Mr. Rodgers graciously endorses Innovative Percussion products.
LUKE SHREVE • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR // FRONT ENSEMBLE COORDINATOR
Luke Shreve has been teaching at Chattanooga Independent since the 2014 season and is now serving as the Executive Director and Front Ensemble Coordinator. Luke is a graduate from Jacksonville State University with a bachelors in Music Education. He has taught multiple high school drum lines and front ensembles all over the southeast; both high school programs and indoor programs.
Mr. Shreve is currently teaching percussion classes at Ooltewah High School and Ooltewah Middle School. Luke served as a battery technician for Music City Drum and Bugle Corps during the 2013 season and returning to school as the front ensemble coordinator for the Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners.
Luke marched with this ensemble during CI's 2009 season. The following summer he started marching at Music City Drum and Bugle Corps from 2009 to 2012, all performing with the battery on snare drum. During his time in undergraduate studies he participated in Jacksonville State University’s Marching Southerners playing snare drum and marimba. Luke also participated with the schools' concert bands for multiple semesters as a coveted principle player in the Wind Ensemble.
JAMES SMITH • ENSEMBLE CONSULTANT
James is currently the Program Coordinator and Show Designer for Ooltewah High School in Tennessee where he has been since 1982. His bands have been consistent finalists at BOA regional championships. James was a consultant for the BOA Grand National Champion Lassiter High School and was a visual consultant for the Jacksonville State University competitive winter color guard - “Center Stage” - in the early 2000's.
James’ other winter guard and drum corps experiences include instructing with the Pride of Cincinnati, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Ooltewah High School winter guard (World Finalist 1992) as well as consulting for many bands in the Atlanta, GA area. He was also a member of the 1978 Madison Scouts.
His most recent accomplishments include visual and drill design for East Lake High School winter guard, the 2015 WGI Scholastic A Silver Medalist.
JEREMY SMITH • ENSEMBLE COORDINATOR
Jeremy Smith is a composer, percussionist, and educator who was born and raised in Muscle Shoals, AL. During his time as a percussionist, he has served many roles on either side the drum; both as a player and as an educator. Jeremy is an alumni of Muscle Shoals High School, Music City Drum Corps, and Freedom Indoor Percussion based in O’Fallontown, IL. He currently designs, arranges, consults, and instructs for several groups across the country.
In 2014 he served as the battery arranger and battery caption head for Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps. From 2016-2017 he was a battery staff member at Clarksville Audio Theatre. Currently Jeremy serves as the director percussion at Siegel High School, a member of the percussion staff at Music City Drum Corps, and as program coordinator for Chattanooga Independent Percussion Ensemble.
Jeremy currently resides in Nashville, TN and is attending the University of North Alabama where he is entering his final semester as a student of composition and philosophy.
Samuel Galin Taylor • Cymbal Technician
Samuel Galin Taylor, a native of Tuscumbia, Alabama has been involved in the marching arts since 2006. Galin is currently in his last semester of study completing a Music degree at the University of North Alabama. This season marks Galin's first year with Chattanooga Independent. As a performer, Galin spent five years with the Pride of Dixie Marching Band at UNA. While a part of this group, he competed in the first ever Drum Line Battle hosted by PASIC, in which the group would go on to win.
His experience began with marching cymbals, but he spent two years in front ensemble - experience which would lead to his introduction to DCI/WGI. Galin was a part of the inaugural return of Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014, Atlanta CV Indoor World Class 2015, Atlanta CV Drum and Bugle Corps 2016, and just completed his DCA season with Atlanta CV 2017. As a teacher, Galin has been an active battery instructor and writer for numerous North Alabama high schools and a small contingent in the Mobile area.
During his studies at UNA, Galin has lead and taught numerous clinics focusing on cymbal playing, including the Yamaha Sounds of Summer clinic hosted the last two years. During the DCI/WGI seasons he has been an integral part of the teaching staff for Atlanta CV Indoor Open and Atlanta CV Drum and Bugle Corps as an inline tech. Currently Galin is the lead Cymbal tech for the UNA Pride of Dixie.
Galin is a current member of the National Association for Music Educators, Percussive Arts Society, and Tau Beta Sigma. Galin is a large advocate of Zildjian Products, Seavine, and hopes to spread his passion for Cymbal education throughout the Southeast.
LAUREN TEEL • FRONT ENSEMBLE TECHNICIAN
Lauren Teel is an accomplished percussion performer, arranger, and teacher with experience across the USA. She is currently the Percussion Caption Head for the DCI World Class Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps, and the adjunct instructor of percussion at the University of North Alabama. She has served as Front Ensemble Coordinator for the BOA Grand Nationals Finalist Center Grove Band in Greenwood, IN.
In 2014, Lauren was selected to perform at PASIC in Indianapolis, IN, for Leigh Howard Stevens' clinic “Marimbists guide to Performing Bach”. She was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Great Plains International Marimba Competition in Oklahoma City, OK. In 2012, Lauren had the privilege of traveling to Chennai, India to perform for an audience of over 75,000 people with Oscar winning composer, A.R. Rahman. Lauren also appeared in the 2013 blockbuster, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as a timpanist. While living in Atlanta, Lauren performed as a member of the NFL Atlanta Falcons Drum Line. She is a member of the entertainment group, The Wrecking Crew, based out of Atlanta, GA.
Lauren earned her M.M. in Percussion Performance at Indiana University. She earned a B.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas. Her studies have allowed her to study with renowned percussionists including Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton, Michael Spiro, Paul Rennick, John Tafoya, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, She-E Wu, Robert Schietroma and Ed Smith.
Prior to graduate school she held the position of Director of Percussion at Allatoona High School in Cobb County, Georgia, and also taught area percussion groups including Hillgrove High School, Centennial High School, Northgate High School, the Georgia Tech Marching Band, and the North Augusta High School in South Carolina. Lauren was also the Front Ensemble Technician for DCA Member Atlanta CV Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
While attending the University of North Texas, Lauren was a member of the 17-time PAS National Champion University of North Texas Indoor Drum Line. In 2008, the group won first place at PASIC and in 2011 they traveled to Europe for a special guest performance at the 2011 IPE Championships. She was a member of the 2009 and 2010 Phantom Regiment percussion ensemble, which received the 2010 Fred Stanford Award for high percussion, and of the 2011 Santa Clara Vanguard. Both ensembles were under the instruction of Paul Rennick.
In her spare time Lauren pursues her other passion of working with animals by volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium, Indianapolis Zoo, and with Indiana Canine Assistant Network as a certified service dog trainer. She is also an avid swimmer, trained lifeguard and certified scuba diver.
Lauren is an endorser of Marimba One and Innovative Percussion.
BEN G. WILLIAMS • BATTERY COORDINATOR
From Birmingham, Alabama, Ben G. Williams is currently finishing up his BA in Music Education from Jacksonville State University. He first joined the Chattanooga Independent team for the 2017 season as a snare technician and is now serving as the batterie coordinator.
With almost 10 years of marching experience, Ben is an alum of Music City Drum Corps, Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps, Doublestop Indoor Percussion, Vestavia Hills High School, The Marching Southerners, and Music City Mystique.
In addition, Ben has held both section leader and principle positions in several marching and concert band ensembles. Ben was a snare tech with Music City Drum Corps in 2016, and has worked with a many high school and middle school bands over the past five years.