From a GMU Press Release:
GMU Welcomes Alex Kluttz and Jake Harpster to the Front Ensemble Staff
The George Mason University Indoor Drumline is approaching its first round of auditions on September 10-11, followed by a second audition weekend October 8-9. Director Chris Garay is excited with how the season preparations have been progressing, saying, “We have a great design team and instructional staff in place, as well as over 60 students currently registered for our auditions.”
Adding to the recent Battery Coordinators announcement, GMU is also pleased to welcome Alex Kluttz and Jake Harpster to the Front Ensemble staff. Alex and Jake will be working closely with arranger Mike Bishop to help run the GMU Front Ensemble. Mike says, “Alex and Jake are two of the best out there. Our combined experiences together at the Carolina Crown span over a decade. Coming from the same background and pedigree, we’re already starting off on the same page to develop a unified and exciting front ensemble experience for our membership. I truly look forward to reuniting to create something special with these guys!”
Alex Kluttz will be serving the role of Front Ensemble Coordinator, having previously taught in the WGI setting at United Percussion, Palmetto Percussion, Thomas Jefferson HS, Yorktown HS, and more. His DCI experience includes five years as a member of the Carolina Crown front ensemble, after which he taught the Madison Scouts for two years before returning to Crown, where he is currently entering his third season on staff. Alex has a Music Education and Music Performance degree from UNC Greensboro, and he is currently the band director at Key Middle School in Springfield, VA.
Rounding out the Front Ensemble instructional staff will be Jake Harpster. Jake has Percussion Performance degrees from both Indiana University and the University of North Texas, and he also toured the U.S. and Asia as the featured marimba soloist in the Tony and Emmy award-winning Broadway production Blast! In addition to having marched with Carolina Crown, Jake has taught the Madison Scouts, Marian Catholic HS, Victor J. Andrew HS, and Center Grove HS. Jake recently won a position with the U.S. Army Band in Washington D.C. and will join the ensemble in the fall of 2016.
If you are interested in working with these talented music professionals and becoming a part of the 2017 George Mason University Indoor Drumline, then be sure to head over to the WGI Percussion Auditions page to learn more.