Fusion Core Design Team

 

Paul Levitan | Program Coordinator

This is Paul’s 3rd year on staff at Fusion Core, previously holding positions on the percussion staff and design team. Paul has been involved in the Marching Arts for 15 years as a member and instructor of successful drum corps, marching bands, and indoor percussion programs.

 

Paul is currently the Battery Coordinator and Show Designer for the Fair Lawn High School Marching Band and Indoor Percussion programs. He has helped lead them to various achievements including several USBands Indoor titles, WGI Regional Championships and most recently the PSA gold medal at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH. Paul previously served as a member of the Raiders percussion staff from 2012-2014.

 

Paul is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and received his MA in Elementary Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities from Teachers College - Columbia University. He currently resides in Hawthorne, NJ and teaches 4th grade in his hometown of Fair Lawn.

Ian Flint | Drill & Visual Designer

Ian has been active in the marching activity for over 20 years. He was a member of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from 1998-2000 and then was a member of the visual staff from 2004-2007. Most recently he was on staff with the Oregon Crusaders and served in many roles including Program Coordinator, Visual Caption Supervisor and Drill Designer. As a drill writer he designs for over 30 ensembles a year and is an active clinician for groups all across the country.

 

Ian holds a Bachelor's in Music Performance (Tuba) from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He currently works as Director of Bands at Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax Vermont where he teaches 5th-12th grade instrumental lessons and also runs all instrumental ensembles for the district. Previous to moving to Vermont, Ian worked for Dartmouth Public Schools (Dartmouth, MA) as the District Wide Brass Specialist. He served as a show designer and visual coordinator for Dartmouth’s marching band and indoor percussion ensembles. In his 9 years there the marching band won 5 USBands National Championships, and the Indoor Percussion won 3 WGI World Class Championships. Ian currently resides in Winooski, VT.

Rob Watson | Color Guard Caption Head

Throughout his 19-year career, Rob has remained active in the marching arts and education. He has been the Guard Caption Head at Fusion Core since 2013 and returns in 2018 for his 6th consecutive season. In addition, Rob is the Caption Head and Supervisor for Fusion Winter Guard, 2017 WGI World Championship IO Finalist.

 

He is no stranger to the winter activity -- Rob has worked with Emanon Winter Guards: 2013 Caption Head of Emanon A Guard and a show designer of Emanon Open Guard’s 2010 "Seated Perspective" show (WGI IO 6th Place) and was a cast member of Emanon World in 2014.

 

For the 2018 Summer Season, Rob has assembled an instructional team of some of the best color guard designers and technicians in the activity, which bring innovation and unmatched creativity to our members. It is through this team's achievements that continue Fusion Color Guard’s placement in the top of DCA each year In 2014, Fusion Color Guard won the World Champion Color Guard trophy at the DCA World Championships and in 2017, the Color Guard came in 2nd place.

 

Rob has taught and consulted with numerous high school, college, drum corps, marching band and winter guard ensembles all around the country, receiving numerous accolades, with units including Southern Regional HS, Middle Township HS, Toms River East HS, West Orange HS, and Washington HS (MO).

 

Rob also serves as a national color guard and visual performance adjudicator for several marching arts and winter guard associations around the country. In 1999, Rob was named among the "Top 10 Performers in the World" by Field & Floor Magazine. Rob resides in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and is the Managing Director and President for a global marketing and advertising agency in New York City.

Chris Bernotas | Brass Arranger & Composer

Composer, conductor, clinician and educator Chris M. Bernotas brings an energetic and enthusiastic approach to the world of music education. An active composer and arranger of concert band music, Mr. Bernotas is published with Alfred Music Publishing, Daehn Publications, Wingert-Jones Publishing, Northeastern Music Publications, Carl Fischer Music, TRN Music Publishing, and Bandworks Publications. His music has been performed at the Midwest Clinic and has appeared on J.W. Pepper's Editor's Choice list and numerous state lists. Mr. Bernotas is co-author of three books in Alfred's Sound Innovations series, Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young, Intermediate and Advanced Concert Band, along with Peter Boonshaft.

 

Mr. Bernotas holds a BM from William Paterson University and an MAT from Marygrove College. As an instrumental music teacher at Mountain Lakes High School for more than 20 years in New Jersey, he conducts the wind ensemble, concert band, pep band, jazz band, and pit orchestra.

 

Mr. Bernotas has written and arranged music for many drum corps and marching bands throughout the United States, including the University of Maryland’s ‘Mighty Sound of Maryland’ Marching Band. He also adjudicates for marching band competitions and festivals nationwide. In addition to accepting commissions, Mr. Bernotas is an active guest conductor and presenter at clinics and conferences throughout the United States.

 

His professional affiliations include NAFME, ASCAP, NBA and NJMEA. Mr. Bernotas resides in New Jersey with his wife Cristina and 3 kids.

Rick Delancy | Choreographer

Rick began his career in 1992 having marched in the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, from Madison Wisconsin. Followed by The Cadets of Bergen County in 1993 and 1994. His winter guard performance experience includes Crimson Kings and Emerald Marquis.

 

After his brief yet successful colorguard performance years, Rick continued his pursuit as a singer dancer. Broadway and national tour credits include: FOSSE (Broadway and National Tour) we are he acted as understudy to the legendary Ben Vereen, CHICAGO THE MUSICAL (Broadway and National Tour) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat with Donnie Osmond and DREAMGIRLS with the incomparable Jennifer Holiday as well as Frenchie Davis.

 

Rick later brought his talents and knowledge back to the teaching world of colorguard where he is now celebrating his 10th year as caption head to the Bridgewater Raritan high school marching band and colorguard. Rick also had the pleasure of acting as captain head to the Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps. And currently choreographer and movement specialist for the Field of View winterguard.

 

Rick is extremely excited to join the Fusion team solely for the fact that it is built of incredibly talented designers and creators with the same philosophies of teaching a new generation positive values through entertainment and achievement.

Mike Schmitt | Battery Arranger/Music Ensemble Lead

Mike began his drum corps career serving the roles of marching member, technician, Caption Head, and Arranger at the Hawthorne Caballeros from 1999-2010, earning a world championship in 2003. In 2011, Mike joined the Connecticut Hurricanes as Caption Head and Arranger through 2012.

 

Mike is heavily involved teaching both marching bands and indoor drumlines. His teaching career began as Caption Head and Arranger for the Parsippany Hills High School (NJ) from 2001-2008. While in this position, his drumline won 4 state drum titles, 4 national drum titles, and 4 overall band championships.

 

Mike taught for seven years at Westhill High School in Stamford, CT, as Arranger and Ensemble Director. During this time, Westhill's percussion ensemble won state championships three times, became a WGI finalist in 2012, and won the US Bands Indoor Championships in Group AA in 2012.

 

During the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Mike was Caption Head and Arranger for Pequannock Township High School in Pompton Plains, NJ. This ensemble won the Best Percussion award at both the US Bands States and National Championships in 2011 and were the US Bands Indoor Champions in Group A in 2012.

 

In addition to Parsippany, Westhill, and Pequannock, Mike has been involved with a large number of high schools, including Stamford High School, Roxbury High School, Ramapo High School, Morristown High School, Pompton Lakes High School, West Essex Regional High School, Wayne Valley High School and Ramsey High School.

 

Mike has been with Fusion Core since 2013 where he started as percussion caption head, arranger and ensemble coordinator. He looks forward to his 4th season with Fusion Core returning as battery arranger and ensemble/music coordinator.

Mike Wyatt | Front Ensemble Arranger

Michael Wyatt is pleased to be returning for his fifth season as Front Ensemble Arranger for Fusion Core. He has been active in the marching community for nearly two decades. As a performer, he was a two-time member of the WGI World Class finalist United Percussion, and was also the Front Ensemble Captain for the nine-time world champion Hawthorne Caballeros from 2005 through 2009. During his tenure at Hawthorne, he also received the Percussionist of the Year award and Caballero of the Year award.

 

As a teacher and arranger, he has worked with the Hawthorne Caballeros, The Raiders, United Percussion, Fusion Core, White Sabers, and has served as Assistant Percussion Caption Head and Front Ensemble Arranger for the Connecticut Hurricanes.

 

Mr. Wyatt holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies: Percussion Performance from the University of the Arts, and is currently pursuing his Master’s in Music Education at Central Connecticut State University. He is currently the Instrumental Music Director at Westhill High School in Stamford, CT, where he teaches Music Theory and Piano Instruction and directs the school's Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, String Orchestra, Marching Band, Winter Percussion, and Pit Orchestra.

Rodney Thomas | Designer

Rodney is entering his third season as a member of the Fusion Color Guard staff and first as a member of the design team. In addition to working with Fusion Core, he is proud to announce his involvement with Fusion Winter Guard. Rodney also teaches Emanon Winter Guard and is proud to be entering his seventh season with the World program. Rodney currently resides in Mount Vernon, New York, where he works in local law enforcement.

Ralph Marino | Designer

Ralph Marino started as a drummer in Brooklyn with a startup Corps run by Bobby (The Kid) Bellarosa in 1976 called Los Federales. He joined drum corps to enjoy time with his dad, Angelo and his Uncle Tommy. He went on to play Baritone at Bill’s Boys with some drum corps greats, Ruben Ariola, Nunzio Virgilio, Jimmy Maldonado, Peter Ciaccio and a few others. Ralph then went on to join Sound of Long Island where he met his wife Holly.

 

Soon after, Ralph and Holly took a hiatus from marching in drum corps to start a family. A few years later, together they joined Golden Eagles from West Sayville Long Island, 2004 DCA I & E mini corps champs. In 2001, they joined the New York Skyliners. In 2005, Ralph became Director for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

 

In 2007, after a discussion with Maurice Banks, he, along with Holly and some friends decided to create their own drum corps. They called it Fusion Core. From 2007 to 2016, Ralph was an admin member, he participated in Design planning and he played baritone. In 2016, he retired from being a marching member but continues to help the Core.

 

In addition to competitive Drum Corps, Ralph volunteered as a field instructor at Jefferson High School while his kids marched in the Marching Band. Ralph was also involved in Luminosity Winter Guard where he served as Executive Director and Visual Coordinator from 2013 - 2015.

 

"I am very passionate about Drum Corps. It's a big part of my life. The thing I love most is the creative process and bringing the show to life".

Evan Brown | Sound Designer

Evan Brown is an active sound and amplification designer in the pageantry arts, residing in Pittsburgh, PA, and is excited to return to Fusion Core for 2018! Evan is currently a Sound Designer and/or audio systems consultant for many groups across the US, currently including Phantom Regiment, OCindoor, Cap City Percussion, The Cadets, Kiski Area HS, Norwin HS, Moon Area HS and many others. He is also the staff sound designer for Ferguson Design Solutions, a company providing arrangements, original compositions, consulting and design resources for marching bands, drum corps and indoor percussion ensembles in all major arenas of the pageantry arts. He has previously held similar positions with Dartmouth HS, Oregon Crusaders, and The Glassmen. Additionally, he is also currently the Percussion Coordinator and Assistant Band Director at North Allegheny High School in Wexford, PA.

 

Evan holds a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Music from Slippery Rock University, where he performed and participated in a wide variety of ensembles, focusing most specifically on drum set, studying under Dr. David Glover. During the day, he is the Percussion Manager for Volkwein's Music, an education based full-line retailer in Pittsburgh, PA.

About Fusion

Fusion Drum & Bugle Corps is a non-profit organization who provides its members with the opportunity to develop and continue their musical and visual arts education -- all contributing to the cultural enrichment of the community.


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