From a George Mason University Indoor Drumline Press Release:
The George Mason University Indoor Drumline is heading into its tenth season of existence in 2017, tracing all the way back to its humble beginnings as a basketball pep line in 2008. The ensemble began competing on the national stage through Winter Guard International and more locally with Atlantic Indoor Association in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.
Winning WGI’s Percussion Independent Open Class in 2012, the group then went on to place 8th in Percussion Independent World Class in 2013, its highest placement ever. Along the way, the GMU Indoor Drumline has also been crowned WGI Regional Champions in both Richmond, VA and Spartanburg, SC.
Director Chris Garay has been working alongside co-founders Dr. Michael Nickens and Chris Martin since 2009, and he is excited about the personnel changes taking place during this off-season. “When I read that Cadets Winter Percussion was not fielding a group for 2017, my first thought went to all the staff and members who will be without an indoor group this winter. I have nothing but the utmost respect for what CWP was able to do in such a short time in this activity, and I see this as a huge opportunity for GMU to be able to bring many of them on board.”
Heading up the new design team will be Program Coordinator and Battery Arranger Travis Peterman. Travis comes to GMU with a string of recent successes in the marching percussion activity, including teaching and design stints at Carolina Crown, Cadets Winter Percussion, and Cadets 2. His marching career includes time spent in the snarelines at Reading Buccaneers, Blue Stars, United Percussion, and Rhythm X.
Working closely with Travis will be Front Ensemble Arranger and Electronics Designer Mike Bishop. Mike has been involved in WGI and DCI since 2002, having marched with the Jersey Surf, Carolina Crown, United Percussion, and Rhythm X. Additionally, he has been on the front ensemble staff at Blue Stars, Redline, Carolina Crown, Crossmen, and Rhythm X.
The Visual Designer for the 2017 GMU Indoor Drumline will be Sean MacElroy, a long-time veteran of the marching percussion community. Sean marched in the early 2000’s with Blue Knights and The Cadets, and since then he has been on staff with both groups as well as Phantom Regiment and Carolina Crown. 2016 marks Sean’s 13th consecutive season of teaching drum corps.
Lastly, Dan Schack will serve as the Artistic/Movement designer. Dan’s marching career began with the Connecticut Hurricanes before joining United Percussion, The Cavaliers, and Rhythm X. He currently teaches percussion, movement, and choreography at Crossmen and Rhythm X.
Director Chris Garay remarked, “I am beyond excited to be working with Travis, Mike, Sean, and Dan for the 2017 season. These guys are some of the best in the world at what they do, having each won World Championships as a performer, educator, or both. Their enthusiasm and investment in the group is tangible, and I cannot wait to formally welcome them into the GMU family this year.”