If you are also looking for a visual designer or percussion/electronics designer, the following is a listing with bios and backgrounds for some of the best with whom I have pre-existing working relationships. While I will work with pretty much anyone and enjoy collaborating with new teams, these are tried and true professionals that I can recommend without reservation.
Percussion and Sound Design
Fred Emory Smith
Fred is a longtime percussion arranger and sound designer that I had the pleasure of meeting through my work with the Vanguard Cadets. In addition to his continued involvement with SCVC, his sound design work with the Blue Devils, and various other marching arts groups across the marching band and indoor percussion landscape, he also works extensively in film. The following is his bio from his website regarding work in that industry:
"Music is an essential part of cinema. It changes, manipulates and enhances the emotion and direction of any given filmic piece. This incredible ability to capture and convey the unwritten drama is the inspiration to which Fred has devoted his talent and practice.
Fred received his bachelor’s degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music. For his contributions and talent while at Berklee, Fred was honored to receive the Doug Timm Award for outstanding musicianship in Film Scoring. For his commencement ceremony, Fred conducted renowned film composer Howard Shore's award-winning suite to the Martin Scorsese film “The Aviator", after being personally coached by Mr. Howard Shore himself.
Upon transitioning to Los Angeles, Fred immediately moved to Los Angeles and started his career. He began working for multiple composers, doing midi programming, arranging, score preparation, orchestration and additional writing for various films, TV shows, theme parks and music libraries. During that time, Fred worked closely with fellow composer Adam Zelkind for a number of hit shows from MTV and VH1.
Fred now has a considerable amount of industry experience including working as the film composer on House in The Alley and High School Trap (Bay Cap 3) directed by Kiet Lee. He provided musical arrangements for the video game Need for Speed: The Run and worked as a Drum Loop Arranger on Transformers 3 with Paramount Pictures. Fred also assisted Ryan Shore with musical arrangements to Jackie Evancho’s Heavenly Christmas album as well as various film and video game projects included Spy Hunter by Warner Bros. & The Weinstein Company’s Swimming In Air.
Fred completed the score to the feature film drama 3.50, which was co-directed by Chhay Bora & Eysham Ali. Fred partnered with composer/orchestrator Penka Kouneva, and co-wrote the song Airplane Bound for the Skies for her highly acclaimed instrumental album A Warrior’s Odyssey. Most recently, Fred earned a 2013 Emmy nomination for his work with PBS on P.O.V."
Percussion and Sound Design
Jacob is the percussion arranger and sound designer for several programs in central Illinois, including Bloomington High School (IL) where he and I have worked together since 2012. As an elementary music teacher with a drum corps performance background that also teaches percussion at the high school level, Jake has a great feel for writing musically interesting parts that work for any level of performer including ensembles with very disparate talent. He also has a uniquely good ear for sound design, pulling from a wide palate to give a polished effect regardless of how sophisticated or simple the available equipment.
Mitch needs no introduction to those familiar with the marching arts world, and I've enjoyed working with Mitch all the way back to 2003 when he became drillwriter for the Bluecoats in my first year on staff. In addition to being a great designer and educator, Mitch has been a wonderful friend and mentor to me professionally. While he is consistently in demand, he also offers supervised apprentice-written shows and "gently used drills (TM)". His bio from his website is as follows:
"Mitch is a drill designer, marching instructor, consultant, judge and clinician working throughout the U.S, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. His well-staged, innovative designs have won championships in many states and five countries. He has designed shows for many BOA Regional, Grand National, and State Contest Finalists and Champions as well as the Cavaliers, Bluecoats, and Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, and the world famous Aimachi Marching Band of Nagoya, Japan. "
I first met Noe when I began teaching the Santa Clara Vanguard and have had the pleasure of working with him as a conductor, drum major, colleague on the instructional staff, and now together as designers with various groups. Noe has a rare match of professionalism with regard to timelines and communication, pedagogic understanding of what it takes to put together a visual program from the field to the box, and artistic vision to create something worth the effort that goes into a fully integrated program. The following is his bio from his own website:
"Noe Gomez is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, California and prolific educator and designer within the marching arts. He has over seven years of performance experience, including Impulse, Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, and half of a decade with the Santa Clara Vanguard, where he served as drum major from 2012 to 2015.
Noe is immersed in the upper echelons of the marching arts, as he is a full time visual designer, judge, and clinician for both high school bands and independent programs. Noe serves on the visual and drum major education team of the Santa Clara Vanguard. He is a visual technician at Ayala High School. At Rowland High School (WBA 2019 medalist), Noe is fully involved in the design process, from color scheme to prop design and staging. At POW percussion Noe is a visual designer where he was part of their historic highest placing season. Noe also serves as an advisor to the Color Guard Alliance of the Philippines.
As a designer, Noe prides himself on creating a cohesive visual package--one that is musically reflective, exciting, achievable, and fresh. He is passionate about cultivating a musical landscape that allows the performers to sound their best and integration that positively highlights the color guard. Noe upholds professionalism and communication as core elements of his work with all programs."