The Blue Stars are pleased to announce the design team for the corps' 2013 season. Joining the team will be: Richard Saucedo, brass composer/arranger; John Mapes, percussion composer/arranger; Ian Grom, percussion composer/arranger; and Tim Fairbanks, drill designer. Returning to the Blue Stars for his sixth season will be Michael Shapiro as color guard designer and choreographer. Fred Feeney will move from a consultant into the role of program coordinator.
"There are simply not enough superlatives to describe the talents and experience of this amazing group of designers," said Executive Director Brad Furlano. "I speak for the entire organization when I say we are incredibly excited to see what this team can create for the members and fans of the 2013 Blue Stars."
Richard L. Saucedo - Brass Composer and Arranger
Richard Saucedo is a name well known in drum corps, and we are extremely excited to announce him as brass composer and arranger for the Blue Stars. In this role, Mr. Saucedo will be instrumental in creating an exciting, challenging and audience appealing program for the corps and its members.
Mr. Saucedo is currently the Director of Bands and Department Chairman at the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. Under his direction, Carmel bands have received numerous state and national honors in the areas of concert band, jazz band and marching band. Richard is an in-demand freelance arranger and composer, having released numerous marching band arrangements, concert band works and choral compositions.
Mr. Saucedo travels throughout the country as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor for concert band, jazz band, marching band, and orchestra. He has been a featured clinician for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Arkansas Bandmasters Association, the Colorado Music Educators Association, the California Music Educators Association, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, The Virginia Music Educators Association and the Indiana Music Educators Association. He has served as Music Caption Head for the Drum Corps Midwest Judges Guild and was a music judge for Drum Corps International. Mr. Saucedo served as the brass composer/arranger for the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in Rosemont, Illinois from 2000 through 2008. The Cavaliers won the DCI World Championship five times during Mr. Saucedo's tenure.
Read Richard Saucedo's biography
Michael Shapiro - Color Guard Designer and Choreographer
Returning for his sixth year with the Blue Stars, Michael Shapiro will again surprise and delight with his unique and inspired color guard choreography and design. His incredible imagination has been the driving force behind some of the corps' greatest moments, and the entire design team is excited to work with him on creating a program like none other.
Mr. Shapiro began his marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta and also performed with the Madison Scouts, and Alliance of Miami. He went on to teach and write for Alliance, as well as many other drum corps and winter guard ensembles. Shapiro's DCI and WGI teaching experience is extensive, and includes Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, The Crossmen, Carroll High School, The Company, Crown Guard, Mayflower (UK), and many other talented organizations.
Michael received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Miami, and currently resides in West Hollywood, CA and teaches many ensembles in the Southern California area. He is the founder and director of the Corona winter guards.
Read Michael Shapiro's full biography
John Mapes and Ian Grom - Percussion Composers and Arrangers
John Mapes and Ian Grom are becoming a juggernaut in the marching percussion world, with their group claiming medalist status on a regular basis in WGI, DCI, and throughout marching band circuits across the country. The Blue Stars are thrilled to have this creative duo as part of our team, and know our members and fans will be delighted by the engaging nature of their compositions.
John Mapes is a full-time percussion educator, writer and visual designer involved in teaching more than 20 high school and independent percussion programs in Southern California since 1997. He received his Bachelor of Arts in percussion from California State University, Long Beach in the spring of 2000. His marching experience includes the Velvet Knights and Pacific Crest drum and bugle corps. He currently has more than ten years of drum corps teaching/design experience and an unprecedented 22 WGI medals since 2005.
He started with the Pulse Percussion independent world ensemble behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as an arranger, and within 3 short years helped take the ensemble to its first PIW Gold Medal in 2010 as the program coordinator, battery arranger and visual designer. The organization started a second ensemble in 2011 that medaled its first year in the Independent Open division, and was a world-class finalist it's second year.
From 2007-2012 Mr. Mapes was the percussion arranger for the Blue Devil B Corps. After two years the corps became the DCI Open Class champions and are the DCI Open Class high percussion winners from 2009-2012. He was the Battery Arranger/ Percussion Caption Head for the Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps from San Diego, CA from 2002-2006, winning the Division II title in 2003 and moving to World Class in 2004.
Read John Mapes' full biography
Ian Grom is a performer, composer and educator based out of Southern California. He received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from California State University, Long Beach, where he specialized in drum set, marimba and composition.
As an educator and composer in the marching percussion world, Mr. Grom's ensembles have won an unprecedented 22 WGI medals since 2005. He has been the front ensemble caption head/composer for Chino Hills High School from 2009-the present. Chino Hills is a three-time WGI World Class medalist, taking the PSW Bronze in 2009, the PSW Silver medal in 2010 and the PSW Gold medal in 2012. He taught at Pacifica HS from 2005-2011 starting their streak of seven consecutive PSO WGI medals.
Mr. Grom also started with Pulse Percussion behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as the front ensemble composer. Within 3 short years he helped take the ensemble to the 2010 PIW Gold Medal. Starting in the summer of 2009, he has worked as the electronics arranger/front ensemble consultant with the Cadets Drum and Bugle corps. Mr. Grom began writing for winds in 2006 and now composes the fall productions for multiple high schools across the country. His use of original music, cutting-edge technology, and innovative show concepts have made him one of the most sought-after composers on the national marching scene.
Some of Mr. Grom's performance highlights include: numerous live, prime-time appearances on the hit CBS television show Survivor; opening for Aerosmith with Canadian artist Christa Borden; and playing on the soundtrack to the box office smash "The Grudge." He composed a 6-piece music library called "Fightin' U" for winds and percussion commissioned by Killer Tracks. The library is now licensed regularly to ESPN and Fox Sports. Mr. Grom also composed and worked directly with the choreographers for the season 5 finale of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew which also featured his ensemble, Pulse Percussion.
Read Ian Grom's full biography
Tim Fairbanks - Drill Designer
Tim Fairbanks is well known within the DCI, WGI and BOA activities. His groups have set standards in performance and creativity, and he is sought out internationally as a visual and show designer throughout the drum corps, indoor percussion and marching band arenas. The Blue Stars are delighted to have a designer of Mr. Fairbanks calibre on the team, and his talents will help to make every section of the ensemble shine.
Mr. Fairbanks has taught at Centerville HS (OH) since 1997, serving as the Marching Percussion Director until 2011. He is currently the Drill Designer for the Centerville marching band and indoor drumline, where his groups are consistent National Finalists at BOA Grand National Championships and Scholastic World Finalists at the WGI World Championships. Centerville is the 1999 Scholastic Open Champion and 2004 WGI Scholastic World Champion.
Mr. Fairbanks is the Program Coordinator and Visual Designer for Rhythm X, the 2008 and 2009 WGI Independent World Class Champions, and was the Drill Designer for the Bluecoats from Canton, OH from 2009-2011. He is a designer and clinician for The Senators Drum and Bugle Corps (Eastleigh, England), and Aimachi Indoor Percussion (Nagoya, Japan). Tim is the Vice President of Percussion for WGI Sport of the Arts, serving on the WGI Board of Director's Executive Committee, in addition to membership on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board and Steering Committee.
Read Tim Fairbanks' full biography
Fred Feeney - Program Coordinator
Fred Feeney has been involved with the Blue Stars as an administrative, staff, and design consultant since the Blue Stars' return to World Class competition in 2006. We are delighted Mr. Feeney has agreed to oversee the design process of the corps' 2013 program and help our incredible design team see their visions come to life on the field.
A former member of the Blue Stars in the late 70's and staff member in the early 80's, Fred served on the WGI Task Force for several years before spending 12 years as Chief Judge for Winter Guard International. He is currently a member of the WGI Board of Directors. He has also been the Chief Judge of the Gulfcoast Judges Association, an organization that services four different color guard and indoor percussion circuits throughout the Southeast, for over 20 years. In addition to his work judging for WGI, he has also judged for DCI and various band circuits across the country.
Read Fred Feeney's full biography
Auditions for the Blue Stars' 2013 season will be at four different locations across the United States during November and December 2012. For detailed information, visit the audition sign-up page at bluestars.org.