Director - Chargers Marching Band
Jason L. DeGroff became the Director of the Chargers Marching Band in the Spring of 2010, right after the marching band's first fall season. DeGroff holds a Masters and Bachelors Degree in Music Education (trumpet/conducting) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Ma. While there, he was a five-year member of the Minuteman Marching Band, and later was the Graduate T.A. for George N. Parks and the Marching Band. DeGroff has worked at all levels in instrumental music; as an elementary and middle school band director, an assistant high school band director, and a college marching band director. He revived the marching band at Central CT State University where he served as director for five years. DeGroff is currently the drill designer for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, winners of the Sudler Trophy, an award given to the best college marching band in the country.
He is currently on the visual staff with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps where he was also a member for three years (1989-1991) of the 10-time World Champions. DeGroff was also a member of the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps for five years. Upon "aging out" he served as the visual caption head and wrote drill for the Boston Crusaders and the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. DeGroff also has been the Show Coordinator for the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps. Contact Jason DeGroff
Omi Batan is the Assistant Director/Percussion at the University of New Haven Marching Band. He began his marching career in drum corps at the Connecticut Hurricanes in 2009 playing snare drum. He was also part of the University of Connecticut Marching band in 2009 and 2011. In the summer of 2010 Omi marched Jersey Surf and ended his DCI career with the Cadets in 2011. In 2012 he aged-out with United Percussion, a WGI world class percussion group and returned to the University of Connecticut to teach the winter percussion line for that spring semester. He is currently Percussion Caption Head at the Stamford High School and Assistant Percussion Caption Head at Fusion Core Drum and Bugle Corps in the DCA circuit. His teaching philosophy revolves around education, passion for music, and above all, making sure that everyone is having fun while achieving a high level of excellence. Omi started teaching the drumline at UNH in 2012.
Front Ensemble Arranger/Instructor
Kristen has marched with the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum And Bugle Corps from the years 2007-2012. For the 2007/08 seasons she marched baritone, then for the remainder of her years there, 2009-2012, she played vibraphone and marimba in the front ensemble. During the winter seasons of 2012 and 2013 she marched indoor on vibe with United Percussion. Kristen has taught the fall and winter seasons for the pit at Westhill Highschool from 2010 through 2012. She started teaching the front ensemble for Stamford high school in 2012 and is still teaching there. She also currently teaches the front ensemble for Fusion Drum and Bugle Core.
Front Ensemble Instructor/Arranger
Taylor Yozwiak grew up in Columbia, Maryland and began playing percussion at age 9. While still in High School, Taylor was a member of the Maryland All- State Wind Ensemble from 2006-2009, and was the drumset player for the Maryland All-State Jazz band in 2009. Taylor began his marching percussion career in the drumline at Atholton High School and continues to teach the percussion program at AHS each summer.
Taylor has recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance. During his time at UMass, Taylor studied percussion with professors Thom Hannum (DCI Hall of FZamer) and Ayano Kataoka (Yale Graduate). Taylor was an active member in numerous performing ensembles while at UMass including the UMass Orchestra, Mass Marimba Band, Percussion Ensemble, and was the percussion section leader for the UMass Minuteman Marching Band and the Wind Ensemble.
During the summers of 2011 and 2012, Taylor was the timpanist for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps where he assisted the corps in their tenth DCI World Championship in 2011. Taylor has also won numerous awards through his involvement with Atholton, UMass, and the Cadets, including the 2012 Vic Firth Scholarship, the Cadets Distinguished Service Award, the UMass Chancellor?s Talent Scholarship, and the ?Semper Fidelis? award for Musical Excellence presented by the Marine Corps League.
Teaching Assistant/Drill and Music Tech
Stephen Klepner has been involved with the University of New Haven Marching Band since the return of the football program in the fall of 2009. He was an active member in the program from 2009 to 2012. While a member in the UNH Marching Band, Stephen was the Low Brass Section Leader for four years as well as Horn Sergeant of Winds for three. Stephen has performed as a brass member of the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps as well as the Boston Crusader Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also written drill and staging for multiple high school groups in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Currently Stephen is the wind caption head at Naugatuck High School as well as a Teaching Assistant and wind tech at the University of New Haven where he will enter his fifth season working with the UNH?s band program.