Pi Percussion

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Adam Hill

Executive Director

Adam D. Hill is a music educator and percussionist in the Chicagoland area. He received a B.A. in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music with an emphasis in percussion under the instruction of Kevin Lepper and Dr. Charlie Menghini. At Romeoville High School in Romeoville, Illinois, Hill is the director of percussion, assistant band director, and teaches jazz band, music technology, music theory, and guitar. Adam is also a member of the music faculty at University of St. Francis in the Music Technology program. He founded Pioneer Indoor, and is the Executive director of Pí Percussion Inc. an independent marching percussion ensemble and has lead the ensemble to multiple WGI medals as their Executive Director. Hill spent ten seasons as a member of the Chicago Bears drumline and is currently the director of the Chicago Bulls “Stampede“ Drumline. He was a member of Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps and spent several seasons as their percussion coordinator, caption head, and arranger. Hill placed within the top ten for snare drum solo contest in Drum Corp International, Drum
Corps Midwest, and PASIC. In 2002, he placed second in the DCI snare drum solo competition. Hill received the “Dr. Rosanne Rosenthal Excellence in Teaching Award” from Vandercook College of Music, the “Natalie Stukas Hearing Conservation Award”, and named a Pillar of the Community in Valley View School District. He has also performed at large music festivals such as Lollapalooza and North Coast Music Festival. Adam Hill is an active music arranger, judge, clinician, and performer in the midwest. He proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, Evans, TAMA Drums, Sabian cymbals, Gon Bops Percussion, and Etymotic ear protection.

 

Derrik Shannon

Designer

Derrick is a percussion specialist originally from the Chicago-land area. He holds the Director of Percussive Arts position at Plainfield Community Schools who were the 2018 WGI PSA Champions in his first year with the program. He started Percussive Soundscapes which is a company that offers a variety of services to the marching arts community including custom arrangements for band and winter percussion ensembles. He taught at Ball State University, judges during the weekends and consults with numerous groups across the country. Derrick marched seven summers of drum corps with groups such as the Phantom Regiment and Cavaliers, in both the battery and front ensemble. Afterwards, he became the Percussion Caption Head for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and later the Percussion Coordinator and Battery arranger for the Madison Scouts. Derrick is also a Creative Director for 317 Performing Arts which supports the WGI Independent World group Veritas. He received his Bachelors in Music Education at the VanderCook College of Music and his Master’s in Music Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Derrick proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams, Remo, and Etymotic. He currently resides in Plainfield, Indiana with his wife Kayla, two daughters Miyah and Olivia as well as his dog Max.

Alan Barone

Designer

Bio coming soon!

Christian Perez

Ensemble Director

Christian Perez is a percussion specialist in the Chicago-land area. Christian is currently the Percussion Coordinator at Lockport Township High School. He teaches private percussion lessons and judges Solo & Ensemble competitions in the area. He has also worked with other high schools in the area including Romeoville, Joliet West, and Victor J Andrew. Christian received his Bachelors in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music where he studied under Kevin Lepper, Bret Kuhn, and Dr. James Yakas. During his time in college, he performed with The Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, Matrix Performing Arts, and Pioneer Indoor. Christian has served as the Front Ensemble Coordinator at Pi Percussion the past two seasons and is very excited to step into his new role as an Ensemble Director.

Steven Vonderohe

Ensemble Director

Steven Vonderohe is a musician, educator, and composer in the southwest suburbs of Chicago who is devoted to sharing and advancing the art of percussion music. Since receiving his Bachelors degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music, he has taught percussion to students ranging from Elementary school to college level. This will be Steven’s third year as an educator for Pi Percussion. Currently, he teaches private lessons and front ensemble at Romeoville High School as well as the front ensemble and drum line at Lockport Township High School. Some past experiences include four years with Minooka Community High School’s Indoor Percussion Ensemble, two summers with Arlington Heights District 25 middle school band camp, and one year of private lessons in Chicago through VanderCook’s community program. As a performer, he has played with orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz combos, pop/rock bands, drum lines, choirs, and musical productions. Steven is a seasoned performer in the Drum Corps activity, where he spent five seasons playing marimba with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps. He is also an alumni of the Pi Percussion organization, where he was a member of the ensemble from 2011-2015.

Alex Salinas

Ensemble Specialist

A native of the Chicagoland area, Alex is a marching percussion specialist having performed with and work with ensembles throughout the Midwest. As a performer in the marching arts, Alex has learned from many diverse educators including Huei-Yuan Pan, Joe Roach, Craig Meyers, Josh Nelson, Amanda Loeffler, Marcus Neudigate, Cliff Walker, and Mike McIntosh. Alex began his marching experience with Green Thunder Percussion (later Cavaliers Indoor Percussion) in the winters of 2010 and 2011. He went on to march the summer of 2012 with The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. Alex performed with Gateway Indoor Percussion in the winters of 2013, 2015, and aged-out in 2016. He is originally from Yorkville, IL where he graduated from Yorkville High School in 2012. Alex attended the University of Missouri from 2012-2017. During his time at the University of Missouri, Alex served as an educator, arranger, and consultant in the Mid-Missouri for schools including Battle High School and Rock Bridge High School. Alex graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering. This will be Alex’s third season with Pi Percussion. He will also be co-directing Kaneland Winter Percussion for the 2020 indoor season. Currently, Alex is the front ensemble coordinator at both Kaneland High School and Huntley High School. When he is not teaching, Alex works full time a Project Engineer for Life Spine, Inc. where he designs implants and instrumentation for spinal fusion surgery.

Cory Simonich

Battery Coordinator

Cory went to Minooka High School and spent his early performing years with their WGI group. He then went on to march Blue Stars, Pioneer Indoor, and Rhythm X. After aging out, he taught at Minooka and Shadow DBC.  He spends his spare time doing arts and crafts, as well as playing disc golf. Currently, he is the percussion director at Joliet West High School.

Mike Mosgo

Visual Coordinator/Cymbals

Mike Mosgo is excited to spend another winter with Pi Percussion. This will be his first year as visual coordinator and cymbal technician. Mike began his marching career in 2004 with Colerain High School Marching Band and Indoor Percussion. Since then, he has performed with several percussion ensembles in the midwest from 2004-2011. Including, Mo)xie Audio Theatre, Elements Indoor Percussion, West Athens Percussion, and Redline Percussion. In 2011, Mike began teaching cymbals and visual performance to several ensembles in the Midwest. He has worked with the educational staff at Sycamore High school, Tates Creek Indoor Ensemble, Cincinnati Tradition, Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps, Cavaliers Indoor Percussion, and Pi Percussion. While Mike isn't teaching, he works full-time for a logistics company in the Chicago area.

Jake Okrzesik

Snares

Jake is an active percussion educator throughout the Chicago area. Jake earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music. He has been taught by many great educators such as Kevin Lepper, Bret Kuhn, Jim Yakas, Tom Gilman and Adam Hill. He was a member of Pioneer Indoor for three years (2014-2016) playing in the snareline. In 2014 and 2015 the ensemble earned a silver medal in the WGI World Championship Open class finals. Okrzesik has worked with many high school drumlines in the Chicago area. He has taught at Alan B Shepard, Benet Academy, Evergreen Park, LockPort Township, and Romeoville. Jake is currently a grad student at Illinois State University pursuing his Masters in Percussion Performance. He is also a teaching assistant where he instructs the Drumline for the
Big Red Marching Machine. This will be Jake’s third season on staff at Pi.

Chuck Willard

Snares

Chuck is a percussion specialist from the Chicagoland area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University in Music Education. Chuck began his marching experience with Green Thunder Percussion/Cavaliers Indoor Percussion (2011-2018) and went on to march with groups such as Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps (2012-2015) and Spirit of Atlanta (2016-2017). His teaching experience includes: Percussion Caption Head of Normal Marching Band, Normal Percussion Ensemble Instructor, Battery tech at Bloomington Indoor Percussion Ensemble, and Percussion Caption Head for the Lighthouse Brigade of Racine. He currently resides in Normal, Illinois where he is pursing a Masters in Percussion Performance at Illinois State University.

Miles Bohlman

Basses

Miles Bohlman is Senior Music Education and Percussion Performance major at Illinois State University studying under Dr. David Collier and Dr. Benjamin Stiers. He was a member of Cavaliers Indoor Percussion and has taught as battery and front ensemble technician in various programs, including Normal Marching Band, Normal Community High School, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, and The Light-House Brigade of Racine. Miles looks to continue school as a graduate assistant in percussion performance, and he continues to perform and teach percussion at the highest level.

Derek Dalton

Quads

Bio coming soon!

Ben Wyland

Cymbals/Visual

Bio coming soon!

Nick Martiniak

Quads

Nicholas Martiniak has spent many years in the marching arts. From performing in his high school marching band in Minooka, Illinois, all the way to marching and educating at the DCI and WGI level. Ensembles include Minooka Community High School, Joliet West High School, Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps, Pioneer Indoor, Evolution, Legacy Indoor Percussion, Sacramento Mandarins, and Phantom Regiment.

 

Brandon Jackett

Front Ensemble

Brandon Jackett is a senior at Ball State University, currently working to complete his undergrad in Percussion Performance and Cognitive Psychology. He started his Front Ensemble adventures at the age of 12 and has spent the past 9 years performing with various groups across the country including Legends indoor percussion (2012), Legends Drum Corps. (2012-2013), Blue Stars Drum Corps. (2014-2019), Pioneer indoor (2015-2016), Legacy indoor percussion (2017), and RCC indoor percussion (2019). Brandon has helped a great number of schools with refining their music programs including Monroe High School, Elwood High School, Northeastern High school, and Maconaquah High School for short.

Alex Vonderohe

Electronics

Bio coming soon!

 

Bridget Fleming

Visual

Bridget has acted as an instructor, consultant, and adjudicator for numerous ensembles across the greater Chicagoland area. Currently, Bridget serves as visual caption head for the Plainfield North High School Marching Band and as a visual instructor for Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. In the past, she has served as caption head, visual instructor, and choreographer for Crystal Lake Thunder and Minooka Indoor Percussion. Outside of teaching, Bridget works as a middle school Speech-Language Pathologist. Bridget is excited for the 2020 season with Pi Percussion!

Liz Napskrek

Visual

Liz is excited to be returning for the 2020 season as a part of the visual team. A cymbal player by trade, Liz spent 2 years with the Colt Cadets, 6 years with the Colts, and 2 years with Pioneer Indoor. Throughout her 8 years as a performer, she learned different marching techniques, which has influenced her teaching style. Liz believes in a marching technique that is safe, purposeful and allows for musical excellence in the show. Outside of the marching arts Liz is a registered nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital. She believes as a nurse there is great opportunity to make lasting impressions on patients and their families, that are otherwise strangers, in a small amount of time. The same is true for the power of performance, as a single audience member can be changed forever by the passion and execution of the performance.

Kyle Spindler

Visual

Kyle will be joining us for his second season on visual staff. He is currently a Senior at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he studies Geology. Kyle's marching career started at Minooka Community High School in 2011. He also participated in his high school's indoor group from 2013 to 2015. He continued his marching through college where he was a member of the marching band at the University of Illinois. Kyle has also marched a total of 6 years through Drum Corps International from 2013 to 2018. He spent 5 years with Legends Drum & Bugle Corps and then aged-out with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps.

 

Henry Williams

Consultant

A native of Virginia Beach, VA, Henry now resides in Houston, Texas where he works as a percussion instructor, arranger and consultant. As a performer, Henrys first summer marching DCI was during the summer of ’99. He spent that summer as a member of the Tarheel Sun Drum and Bugle Corps from Cary, NC. The summer of 2003 brought Henry’s time as a performer to a close as an age-out member of the Carolina Crown Drum Bugle Corps from Ft. Mill, SC. That summer proved to be an standout summer, with the corps getting propelled back back into finals. After aging out from DCI, Henry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and became a member of “The Commandants Own; The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps”. Serving from 2005-2009, Sgt. Williams filled roles as an arranger and instructor for the battery and section leader for the bassline. While in the Marine drum and bugle corps, Henry had the opportunity to perform all over the U.S. and the world in such places as Paris, France, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Ontario, Canada. Besides multiple military ceremonies and events, his involvement provided multiple opportunities to perform on television; noteworthy appearances include the “PBS Capitol Fourth Celebration” and “Fox and Friends” morning news show. Following his time in the Marine drum and bugle corps, Henry transitioned into a combat logistics unit as a Team Leader with PRP CO. Detatchment (-), HQSVC BN, 4th MLG stationed in Anacostia, VA. This transition lead to Henry deploying to the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010. Henry’s insight and extensive knowledge has led to the success of many notable ensembles throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Texas. Henry has been fortunate enough over the years to have gained an extensive knowledge from working with many talented individuals involved in the pageantry arts activity. In 2013 Henry was a member of the percussion staff of the WGI PIW Finalist George Mason University Indoor Drumline from Fairfax, VA and in 2016 served on the percussion staff of the WGI PIW Finalist Cavaliers Indoor Percussion Ensemble from Rosemont, Illinois. In 2017 Henry was a member of the staff for the WGI PIO Finalist 5 Points Percussion from San Antonio, Texas. For the 2018 and 2019 WGI seasons Henry was part of the staff for WGI World Finalist Monarch Independent Percussion from Houston, Texas. During his time teaching in DCI Henry has been apart of the percussion staff for several drum corps’ including: the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps from Dubuque, Iowa; the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps from Atlanta, Georgia and the Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois. In 2017 and 2018 Henry was part of the percussion staff for the Cadets; where in 2017, he earned the “Rookie Percussion Staff Member of the Year” award. Outside of teaching music Henry has a deep love and appreciation for medicine, firefighting and public service. Henry is a proudly endorsed artist of Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets, Swagg Tagz Drum Wraps and Zildjian Cymbals.

Lola Schaefer

Choreography

Lola Schaefer is a dancer, choreographer, and educator based in Chicago, Illinois. Lola teaches at Kenwood Academy High School where she is the director and founder of their dance department. She also performs throughout the city with Desueño Vision, Matter Dance Company, and various other groups. She can also be found teaching yoga at Free Mvmt Shop.