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2015 Percussion Arranger Announcement

The Connecticut Hurricanes are excited to announce the addition of WGI Director of Percussion and Hall of Fame member Mark Thurston to the position of Percussion Arranger for the 2015 season.
Mark began his drum corps career as a snare drummer with the Royaleers Drum & Bugle Corps in his hometown of Utica, NY.  In the early 70’s, he became a member of the Yankee Cadets and in 1976, he joined the Avant Garde Drum & Bugle Corps from Saratoga Springs, NY.  From 1979 to 1982 he marched in the Crossmen’s snare line. After his age-out, he was asked to join their percussion staff and went on to serve as their Percussion Caption Head and Arranger from 1984 to 1996. In 2003, he was elected to the Crossmen Hall of Fame.

Mark joined WGI Percussion in 1996, first as an adjudicator and then as the Percussion Educational Director in 1997-1998. Since 1999, he has been the Percussion Director and has been recognized as a driving force behind the significant growth of the indoor percussion activity. He has been a marching percussion artist and clinician for Zildjian cymbals since 1985. The Zildjian-Mark Thurston scholarship has been presented to WGI percussionists since 2010. He was elected to the WGI Hall of Fame in 2006.

In addition to his work with the Crossmen, Mark’s drum corps experience includes arranging and instructing the Spirit of Atlanta (DCI), the Westshoremen (DCA) and most recently, the Reading Buccaneers (DCA).  The Bucs won the DCA championship in 2012, 2013 & 2014 when he served on their staff in the role of Program Consultant and Music Ensemble Supervisor.  They also took the DCA percussion title in 2012 & 2014.

He was a Drum Corps Associates (DCA) percussion/music adjudicator from 2005 to 2011. In 2006, he also served as a Drum Corps International (DCI) percussion adjudicator.

Mark Thurston is a highly regarded percussion clinician and educator. Adding to his memberships in the Crossmen and WGI Halls of Fame, Mark was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2014, recognizing his many contributions to the Drum Corps activity.

A resident of Limerick, PA, Mark currently teaches percussion at Spring-Ford High School in Royersford, PA.

2015 Percussion Caption Head Announcement

The Connecticut Hurricanes are pleased to announce their 2015 Percussion Caption Head.

Mr. G. James Miller holds a Master of Science Degree from Full Sail University (2011), a Master of Arts Degree in Music from Columbia University Teachers College (1985), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from William Paterson College (1983). Mr. Miller has served in many of the tri-state area schools as an educator, writer, and clinician for over thirty five years.

His writing credits include percussion ensemble works performed by many colleges, universities and high schools. Mr. Miller's exercises and ensemble works have been published and distributed world-wide by Premier Percussion, as well as authoring two books on percussion technique and several articles published in trade magazines.

Mr. Miller has composed for and taught many drum and bugle corps such as the Skyliners (NY), Hurricanes (CT), Westshoremen (PA), Chieftains (PA), Bridgemen (NJ), the Star of Indiana (IN), and most notably the Bushwackers (NJ) - who were awarded the "Best Percussion" award at the DCA World Championships for five consecutive years. He has performed with the Hawthorne Muchachos, Fantasia III, and has earned a DCI High Percussion award with the Bayonne Bridgemen Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also currently on call staff of the Bridgemen Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Bridgeport PAL Drum Corps.

G. James Miller has been a finalist for the Teacher of the Year award in Stratford, CT, where he is currently employed (since 1986) as the Director of Music  at Frank Scott Bunnell High School.  At Bunnell, he directs the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, the National Champion Indoor Drumline, and the thirteen time Connecticut State Champion Marching Band.  Additionally, Mr. Miller is an adjunct ECE professor at the University of Connecticut.

2015 Brass Arranger Announcement

The Connecticut Hurricanes are pleased to announce the addition of Matt Krempasky to their 2015 creative team in the role of Brass Arranger.

Matthew F. Krempasky's writing career began with the Reading Buccaneers in 1983, and has since expanded to drum and bugle corps, college and university bands, and high school ensembles from around the world.  He wrote for the Buccaneers from 1983-1987, the Hawthorne Caballeros from 1988-1991, Spirit of Atlanta from 1997-1999, and most notably, the Crossmen from 1986-1994.  While writing for the Crossmen, he helped the corps return to DCI finalist status and helped them reach the highest placement in the history of the corps (6th in 1992).

He has been elected to the Hall of Fame for three different corps: The Reading Buccaneers in 2006, the Pennsylvania Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011, and the Crossmen in 2012.  Mr. Krempasky holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.  He is a frequent performer and recording artist in the tri-state area on both trumpet and trombone.  He has also studied computing and education at Columbia University's Teachers College.  In 1998, he was selected as the New Jersey Master Music Teacher by the New Jersey Music Educators Association.  Since 1990, he has been a proud member of Mensa, the international high IQ society. 

Matthew is currently serving as the band director at Somerville (NJ) High School and looks forward to working with the 2015 Connecticut Hurricanes.

2015 Visual Designer Announcement

The Connecticut Hurricanes are excited to announce the appointment of Rick Morey to the position of Visual Designer for the 2015 season.  

Rick, who lives in Utica, NY with his wife Barbara, has worked in the pageantry activity for several decades as a designer with various winter guards, marching bands and drum and bugle corps and as an adjudicator.

Rick established the New Hartford Winter Guard and served as a designer and instructor for them for almost 30 years. He continues to be very active as a visual designer for championship marching bands in New York, New Jersey and New Mexico, as well as for the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights. This year he was privileged to design the 2014 Super Bowl Pre-Game featuring the combined Syracuse University and Rutgers University bands. He has had a longtime involvement in both DCI and DCA as a designer, program coordinator and consultant. His DCI affiliations have included Pioneer, Magic of Orlando and the Colts. In DCA, Rick has designed for the Steel City Ambassadors, 5-time DCA Champion Syracuse Brigadiers, Empire Statesmen and Windsor Regiment. Rick is also honored to have been inducted into the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Hall of Fame, the New York State Field Band Conference Hall of Fame and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, where he serves as Chair of the Visual Screening Committee.

As an adjudicator, Rick has judged for DCI, DCA, WGI, US Bands and BOA, as well as
numerous marching band contests across the country. A past President of the New York Federation of Contest Judges, Rick has also served as a clinician in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. A retired high school counselor who was named New York State Counselor of the Year in 1996, Rick now works in the pageantry activity on a full time basis.

We also want to take this time to thank Jamey Thompson for his services over the last 7 seasons.  The time, talent, and effort Jamey put forth was instrumental in getting the Hurricanes into the top 4 in 5 consecutive seasons (2008-2012).  We wish Jamey the best of luck in his future endeavors!

2015 Staff Coordinator Announcement

The Connecticut Hurricanes are excited to announce the appointment of Carl Ruocco to their administrative team.  Carl will be assuming the role of staff coordinator for the 2015 season.

Carl has a long and influential career in the marching arts activity as a member, an instructor and an administrator. Primarily a percussion arranger and instructor in his early career, Carl moved on to lead the operational concerns of many DCI corps serving in the capacity of  tour director, assistant director, director, program coordinator and staff coordinator. Notable corps included The Colts, Star of Indiana, The Crossmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Jersey Surf and the Santa Clara Vanguard.  His DCA involvement is just as impressive and includes service to the New York Skyliners, The Westshoremen, and The New York Skyliners Alumni.  Most recently, he served as staff coordinator for The Reading Buccaneers who won 8 DCA World Championships during his tenure.

Carl has an extensive adjudication background and has judged the Drum Corps International World Championship three times and the Drum Corps Associates World Championship twice. He’s also provided numerous clinics and consultations to bands and drum corps throughout the United States.   Carl is well known and respected among his peers in the drum corps community as evidenced by his induction to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame (2001), the New Jersey Hall of Fame (2003), the New York Skyliners Hall of Fame (2006), the Crossmen Hall of Fame (2011) and the Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame (2011). 

A resident of Mt Laurel, NJ, the Hurricanes welcome Carl to Connecticut and look forward to working with him in 2015!

Hurricanes Announce 2015 Executive Director and Corps Director

Coming off an 8th place finish at the DCA World Championships and our 60th Anniversary Season, the Hurricanes are excited to announce that Pete Propfe will return as the Corps Director. “My goal is to lead the Hurricanes back to prominence,” Pete said when asked about the 2015 season. “2014 was a good start and the upcoming season looks very promising. I am looking forward to working with everyone to achieve that goal.”

Rich Warga will serve as the Executive Director in 2015. On his current appointment by the Hurricanes Board of Directors, Rich said, “I am excited to take on the new position of Executive Director of the Hurricanes for the 2015 season. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for the Hurricanes. We are putting together an amazing staff and I know that the corps is moving in the right direction. I am looking forward to working closely with corps director Pete Propfe and the rest of the management team.”

More announcements are forthcoming, so stay tuned!

Pete Propfe, Corps Director
Pete started his drum corps career with the CT Vagabonds Drum and Bugle Corps (Torrington, CT) from 1969 – 1971 playing baritone and soprano. In 1972-73 Pete played lead soprano for the Oxford Explorers and 1st soprano for the Skyliners from 1974-75. He played with various small drum corps in CT and MA from 1976-79. From 1980-88, Pete helped reorganize the CT Vagabonds and was the director from 1983-88. Pete came to the Hurricanes in 1989, after playing mellophone in the Skyliners in 1988. He has been with the corps ever since, taking on numerous roles including member, soloist, personnel manager, assistant director, and director. He is a member of the Hurricanes Hall of Fame.

Rich Warga, Executive Director
Rich Warga has been contributing to the Drum & Bugle Corps community as a performer, instructor, adjudicator and administrator for more than 50 years. His participation dates back to his days as a horn player in the Bridgeport (CT) PAL Cadets. He then joined the ranks of the New York Skyliners, first as a baritone player, then as a soprano horn player and later as assistant drum major. During his tenure with the Skyliners, he also assisted with drill design and instruction. It was here that he began his administrative career as assistant director. He is also the founder, charter member and first director of the Skyliners Alumni Drum Corps.

Rich served on the marching staff and design team of several junior corps including the Kingston Indians, Westchester Horizons, The Fairfield Colonnades Drum Corps and winter guard, Avant Guard, The Bridgeport Golden Buccaneers, Milford Shoreliners and the Garfield Cadets. He was also business manager and served on the board of directors for the Bayonne Raiders.

Rich continued his drum corps career performing with the Hawthorne Caballeros. Starting back on the field as a brass player, he once again found his passion for teaching and served on their visual staff. He is proud to have been part of the staff for both the Skyliners and the Caballeros when they won DCA championships.

Crossing back over to the administrative side of drum corps, Rich became assistant business manager of the Hawthorne Caballeros in 2003 and became treasurer in 2009. He was a member of their administrative team and served on their board of governors until he “retired” in 2011.

In 2009, Rich was recognized for his contributions to the drum corps community and was elected to both the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame.

Being an alumnus of Connecticut drum corps, Rich joined and still performs with The Park City Pride Combined Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also their business manager.

Retirement from drum corps in 2011 ended a few short months later when Rich assumed the role of business manager for Fusion Core in 2012, and in 2013 came to serve on the board of directors of the Connecticut Hurricanes. In 2014, he became the business manager and treasurer.

DCA World Championships - August 29 - September 1
As hard as it is to believe, the DCA World Championships are upon us!  Three days of drum corps action is about to descend on Rochester, NY and the Hurricanes are excited to end their 60th Anniversary Season on a high note.

The corps will leave tomorrow night, rehearse all day on Friday, and are performing in the Preliminary Competition at 1:32 PM on Saturday.  If all goes well and we secure a top 10 spot, we will be performing in the Finals Competition on Sunday, beginning at 5 PM.

We hope many of you can attend, but if not, check out the DCA Fan Network!  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates as the weekend progresses!

Donate to the New Truck Fund

Coming Events

Camp Weekend
Saturday, December 13th
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Sunday, December 14th
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Ansonia High School
20 Pulaski Highway
Ansonia, CT 06401

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