Brass Caption Head - Jon Gifford
Additional Brass Staff will be added shortly!
Jon Gifford, known in the Drum Corps community as "Big Country", holds a degree in Music Education from East Carolina University with a concentration in Trumpet. While in college he was a member of all ensembles holding section leader/soloist positions with the Marching Band and Pep Band, Principal chairs in the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and lead trumpet in the prestigious ECU Jazz Ensemble A. While a part of the Jazz Ensemble, he was been privaliged to share the stage with such jazz greats as Jon Faddis, Wycliffe Gordon, Fred Wesley of the JB Horns, Terrell Stafford, The Diva Big Band, Carl Allen, and Winard Harper.
Jon has been involved in the drum and bugle corps activity for over 14 years in both DCA and DCI. While a part of DCA, he has held educational and soloist positions with Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, Rochester Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and Ghost Riders Mini-Corps. He has won received the gold medal as a soloist in the 2008 DCA I&E competition on trumpet as well as a gold medal in the small ensemble competition in 2011. His DCI involvement stems to Tarheel Sun Drum and Bugle Corps and was a soloist during his Age-out season with East Coast Jazz Drum and Bugle Corps in 2004.
Jon currently performs with the Piedmont Wind Symphony based in Winston Salem, NC as the principal trumpet. He has shared the stage with Arturo Sandoval, Paul Anka, and The Three Irish Tenors. He is also pursuing a musical career with the 440th National Guard Band based in Raleigh, NC to be a Miltary Bandsman.
Currently Jon resides in Madison, NC with his wife Brenda (who has been a part of drum corps for 10 years) and his dog and cat, Miles and Bear. He teaches Middle School and High School in Danbury, NC. with his wife of 7 years. At state festival, he has received ratings of "Excellent" and his high school has received superior ratings as well as numerous first place finishes with his marching band in the areas of music and visual.
Jon is very excited to be a part of the Pioneer family and looks forward to the success of the season!