Caption Head - Tyrell Carver
John McFarland - Percussion Arranger
Bass Drum Technician - Lukas Snyder
Battery Technician - Ryan Johnson
Front Ensemble Technician - Chase Tonar
Cymbal Technician - Jennifer Tarka
Pit Technician - Zachary Brown
Percussion Technician - Kenji Okubo
Percussion Technician - Robert Buss
Percussion Technician - Ian Conyers
Percussion Technician - Robert Ballengee
Percussion Technician - David Edwards
Tyrell Carver has been prominent in percussion writing and instruction in New York state. Tyrell has taught and arranged for several marching bands, including the Webster and Greece marching band programs. He has also been on staff for several drum and bugle corps, including Spectrum, Rochester Crusaders and the Empire Statesmen. Tyrell is continuing his studies in percussion and music, having a B.A. in music from the University at Buffalo, and is pursuing a degree in percussion performance.
Lukas Snyder will be instructing the rudimental bass drums for the 2012 Pioneer. Lukas is returning for his second year as a member of the teaching staff. His marching experience includes five years with the Pioneer as well as a year with the Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps. Lukas is currently studying at Ball State University for his masters in statistics.
Ryan Johnson is joining the 2012 Pioneer as a battery tech and is a first year member of the teaching staff. His marching experience includes three seasons with the Pioneer starting in 1993 and ending with his age-out season of 1995 as part of the Pioneer corps which won back-to-back DCI Division II World Championships (1994, 1995). Following his time with Pioneer, he went on to march six seasons with the Racine Kilties, including three as the battery captain, and also one season with Chops, Inc in which they captured the A-60 high percussion caption award at the DCA World Championships. Ryan has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech University and currently works as a sales engineer in Central Wisconsin.
Currently, Chase Tonar is a student at Carthage College pursuing his undergraduate degree in Music Education (instrumental and choral emphases). While attending Carthage, he is an active musician participating in the Carthage Wind Orchestra, Carthage Choir, Carthage Percussion Ensemble, and acts as student director of the Carthage Drumline. He is also a member of the Packer's Tundra-Line playing snare. A native to Wisconsin, Chase served on his first year on the Pioneer instructional staff after aging out in 2011. Marching experience includes 1 year of Drum Corps International and 3 years in Mid-America Competing Band Directors Association. Instructional roles include being a percussion consultant at Waterford High School.
Jennifer Tarka, is a performer and music educator in the Chicago-land area. She graduated from VanderCook College of Music, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in music education. Before instructing for Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps, she taught several indoor percussion ensembles, including Downers Grove South High School Indoor Percussion, L.e.a.P. Indoor Percussion, Green Thunder Indoor Percussion, and Pioneer Indoor Percussion. Jennifer began her marching cymbals career in 2004, when she marched her age-out year of DCI with Pioneer. That year, she was the recipient of the “Zildjian Award” for the most outstanding cymbal player for Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps.
Currently, Jennifer works as a general music teacher in Chicago, where she teaches kindergarten through 8th grade. In November 2012, she won the 2011-2012 “Outstanding Teacher Award” at her school. Outside of teaching, Jennifer continues to perform with the Chicago Bears Drum Line and the Chicago Bulls Stampede Drum Line.
Jennifer has been the cymbal instructor for Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps since 2008. 2013 is the first season where she will serve as the Corps’ program coordinator, in addition to cymbal instructor.
Zachary is an educator and Band Instrument Repair Technician in the Southern Ontario. He is a graduate of Mohawk College in the Applied Music Program studying vibraphone, composition with a minor in drum set. He is also a graduate of MSC Southeast Technical College with a diploma in Band Instrument Repair. This will be his second season teaching with Pioneer. He began his drum corps career in 1998 with St. Johns before moving on to Pioneer for 2 seasons until he aged out. Currently Zachary is residing in Fonthill, Ontario, where he is the owner and lead technician of Pelham Instrument Repair, as well as teaching Indoor Percussion Ensembles, and private students. Aside from teaching and repairing Zachary is an avid arranger/ composer, and tool designer.
Bob Ballengee is in demand as a percussion performer, teacher, and arranger. He currently performs with several different music groups ranging from classic rock and blues, jazz, country, and classical.
Mr. Ballengee is the band director at Damascus and Glade Spring middle schools in Washington County Virginia. He is the percussion arranger and instructor for Abingdon, Patrick Henry, and Holston High Schools. He has arranged for groups from Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Mr. Ballengee also maintained a private studio for over 15 years. His students have gone on to study at some of the finest percussion schools in the country including Morehead State University, Ithaca College, James Madison University, New York University, Radford, and University of North Texas. He has had 8 students selected for the Virginia All State Band in the past 10 years.
Mr. Ballengee’s drum corps experience includes performing 4 summers with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio and teaching on staff with The Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps from Milwaukee, WI.
Mr. Ballengee currently resides in Marion, Virginia with his wife Candy and three children Christina, Ashley, and Tyler.