Arsenal Performing Arts is incredibly excited to announce our 2018 Design Team.
Bill Spencer-Pierce – Brass Arranger
Best known as arranger and consultant to marching band programs, Spencer-Pierce has served some seventy school districts, having written hundreds of band arrangements for groups of all ability levels and sizes. His writing is informed by thirty years of classroom teaching in instrumental and vocal music in Indiana and California, and his book “Marching Band Arranging” has become a useful reference for new generations of writers. Spencer-Pierce’s output includes work for concert band, instrumental and vocal jazz ensemble, and, most recently, “Soundsport” projects.
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the Indiana University School of Music, and a Master of Arts from Ball State University, where he served as arranger and teaching assistant in the Department of Bands. A Theatre minor at IU, he has directed dozens of plays, musicals, and musical revues in school, civic, and summer stock productions. Since 2005, Spencer-Pierce has served as Director of Vocal Music and Musical Theatre at Salem High School, Salem, Indiana.
Will Kramer – Percussion Arranger
William Kramer received his Bachelors of Music Performance in Percussion from the University of New Mexico and currently works as an elementary music teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools. He has taught marching percussion at Rio Rancho High School and West Mesa High School, and currently works with Atrisco Heritage Academy marching band in addition to serving as percussion coordinator for the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program. He spent three years with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, and wrote and taught Arsenal’s Battery book last year. He is thrilled to be returning to write Arsenal’s percussion book again and to work as Arsenal’s Front Ensemble Caption Head as well.
Chris Johnston – Visual Designer
Chris is currently the music teacher at Jo Byrns Elementary School in Cedar Hill, Tennessee. He graduated from Austin Peay State University in 2011 with a degree in music education. Chris marched with the Memphis Sound Drum & Bugle Corps as a trumpet soloist in 2005. He then joined the Phantom Regiment (Rockford, IL) in 2006 and marched through the corps’ 2008 World Championship season as a soloist and section leader. From 2012-2016, Chris had the distinct honor of performing as a soloist and lead trumpet player for the 10-time defending DCA Mini Corps Champions, Star United Drum & Bugle Corps (Indianapolis, IN). Chris maintains an extremely active schedule as an adjudicator, designer, and clinician in the southeastern United States. As a program coordinator and co-drill writer, Chris helps guide the design and instructional process for the WGI Open Class Finalist, Audio Theater and has also worked with the WGI World Class Finalist, Palmetto Percussion. Chris has worked with drum corps such as the Academy, Memphis Sound, Music City, the Colts, and currently serves as the Assistant Visual Caption Supervisor for The Cadets. Chris is thrilled to be joining the design team for Arsenal Drum Corps, as a co-drill writer for the 2018 DCI season.
Andrew Gaskill – Visual Designer
Andrew graduated from Austin Peay State University in 2008, earning his Bachelors of Science in Music Education Summa Cum Laude. In 2011, he completed his Master’s in Instrumental Conducting, with honor, from APSU. Since 2011 he has served as director of bands at Sycamore High School in Pleasant View, Tennessee. The band was recognized in 2016 as the Class III Open Southern States Champion at USBands and the recipient of the Cadets Award of Excellence for Outstanding General Effect.
He is the co-founder and Executive Director of Clarksville Youth Performing Arts Association, a non-profit music association that operates Audio Theater, a WGI Percussion Independent Open ensemble. He serves as the ensemble’s director and as a designer. As an educator, he has previously taught with Spirit, Music City Legend as Co-Visual Caption Head, Visual Caption Head for Music City Drum Corps in 2014, visual staff for the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015 and 2016 and just completed the 2017 season with The Cadets. Andrew is thrilled to be joining the design team for Arsenal Drum Corps, as a co-drill writer for the 2018 DCI season.
Edwin Parker-McConnell – Colorguard Designer
Edwin Parker-McConnell is a New Mexico based music educator, colorguard instructor, choreographer, and consultant with over eight years of experience in the teaching field. His degree in Music Education is from the University of New Mexico. He has taught and written for various schools within the southwestern states, and has also written for Republic High School of Missouri. He experienced drum corps in 2010 with the Troopers, which proved to be an invaluable learning experience. Currently, Edwin resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico as the Associate Director of Bands and Color Guard Director at La Cueva High School, as well as a guard instructor for the University of New Mexico. Edwin believes that guard is not just about the competition, choreography, and other tangible elements that come along with it. It’s also about the passion, joy, and love that one develops for doing the activity that makes it so wonderful. This is at the foundation of all of his teaching.
A Note from the Director
The 2018 season represents another important step in our journey to Open Class. We, as an organization, wanted to assemble a team capable of writing an Open Class show within the SoundSport model, and I believe that this is the team to do so. The goal for 2018 is to continue to build from the 2017 season with a push towards Open in all aspects of the corps, from more members, to a longer tour, to a more refined show. Every single member of this team has expressed a desire to help Arsenal grow, and to help mold it into the vision we have for the marching arts in the Southwest. I could not be more excited to be working with this team, and I cannot wait to see the final product in San Antonio come July. For anyone considering marching Arsenal this is the year to do it, as we can only go up from here.
For more information on Arsenal’s Staff, please click here.