Raiders Introduce Brass Staff

February 12, 2018

By: Raiders Drum And Bugle Corps

The Raiders is pleased to announce the brass instructional staff for the 2018 season. The team is being led by Mr. Tyler Schwirian, who serves as a performer, educator, and adjudicator in the New York City area. "It is great having Tyler on board and leading the way in our next phase of growth," said Executive Director, DeLano Bonner. "His performance experience coupled with his knowledge and study of modern pedagogical practices bring a wealth of knowledge at all levels of the corps." Tyler has assembled a great team consisting of returning staff members and new faces. Below is some additional information about Tyler and the rest of his team. Additionally, we have a limited number of spots available in the brass sections. Click here for more information. 

Tyler Schwirian

Tyler Schwirian is a performer, educator, and adjudicator based in New York City. He is currently principal tuba with the Springfield Symphony (OH) and has performed with the Louisville Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Opera Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony (PA), and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, among others. He holds an M.M. in orchestral performance from Manhattan School of Music, a B.F.A. in tuba performance from Carnegie Mellon University, and will be graduating in May 2018 with his Ed. M. from Teachers College - Columbia University. 

Tyler judges in the Tournament of Band (TOB) circuit as an individual and ensemble analysis judge and is a member of American Federation of Musicians (AFM), National Association for Music Education (NAfME),the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA), and National Judges Association (NJA).Tyler's teachers include Craig Knox of the Pittsburgh Symphony and Alan Baer of the New York Philharmonic.  

Aron Tankersley

Aron Tankersley started his trumpet career over a decade ago when he got his first trumpet in elementary school. Aron has been involved in the marching arts activity since 2010, starting in the Hightstown High School Marching Band. Aron then went to move onto drum corps, where he marched with the 5-time DCI Open Class Champions Blue Devils B Drum Corps in 2015. Since marching with BDB, Aron has been teaching with different high school marching bands around the state of New Jersey.
Aron is in his last semester at Mercer County Community College, where he will receive his associates degree in music in May of 2018. He is currently the lead trumpet for the MCCC Jazz Band and orchestra. He is very excited to be working with the Raiders hornline and staff for their 2018 season! 

Chris Holland

Chris is originally from Pittsburgh, PA.  His drum corps career started as a member in the Golden Lancers. He marched there for two seasons until he moved on to East Coast Jazz from Malden, MA and winning Division 2 in 1998 with a corps of barely 70.  He finished his last two seasons as a member of the Madison Scouts in 2000-2001, winning the mixed ensemble I&E competition in 2001, and placing in finals both years.

His band teaching involves groups in Kentucky and Indiana including KMEA Finalists Tates Creek and Daviess County, KMEA Champion Boyle County, and KMEA and BOA Class A Champion Adair County, as well as ISSMA Finalist Northwood High School. He started teaching brass with the Lake Erie Regiment for a few seasons, then moved onto teach Eklipse DBC before taking time away to earn his masters.

A trombone player by trade he has recorded for Sweet Spot Studios in DC, as well as for the 8-Ohms Band, Eastern Standard Time, and Deborah Bond.  As a ska player he's opened for the Toasters, Squirtgun, Mustard Plug, and the Slackers, and backed Roy "Mr Symarip" Ellis and Luigi "Mr T-Bone" De Gaspari at Chicago's Riot Fest.

He currently lives in NYC, is a theater consultant and designer, and a gigging trombone player for several big bands as well as the Brooklyn Funk Collective.

John Eckstine

John Eckstine holds a Masters of Music (M.M.) degree in wind conducting from Messiah (PA) College, with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Frostburg (MD) State University. He is currently an instrumental music teacher in the Hampshire County (WV) Public School System. From 2000 to 2012, Eckstine worked as a director of bands at Spring-Ford Area High School in Royersford, Pennsylvania. They played at the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade; the Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles, California; Festival of Music in Toronto, Canada; the Orlando All-Star Music Festival in Orlando, Florida; and the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Mr. Eckstine also led his band in various competitions. They won both the Tournament of Bands Chapter III and the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast Group IV and Cavalcade of Bands regional championships multiple times. In 2009, his wind ensemble performed at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Annual In-Service Convention at Valley Forge, PA.

Taha Attia

Taha Attia is an avid trumpet player and teacher originally from Colonia, NJ. Having been a player now for over 18 years Taha has gained professional experience through a variety of musical ensembles. Taha's marching and musical experience includes Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012, The Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014-2017, and for the last three years City Beats, a one of a kind ensemble produced by Gallant Entertainment featuring highly trained musicians that perform for professional sports games in and around New York City.
As a music educator, Taha has taught as caption head with Union City High School, served as an in-line technician for the 2017 Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps, and joins their staff this upcoming season. Inspired by the leadership of John Malloy and Don Pfleger among others whom he has learned from, Taha is excited to bring a wealth of relevant, current, and technical knowledge to the Raiders hornline this season.

Sean Ferguson

Sean Ferguson is a music educator residing in Neptune, New Jersey. He is a graduate of The
College of New Jersey where he studied music education with a concentration on tuba. Sean is currently the band director at Dunellen High School. He serves as the Assistant Band Director for South Plainfield High School Marching Band and a Brass Technician for Neptune High School Marching Band. In addition to teaching, he is a brass arranger for multiple high school

Sean Ferguson has been involved with the marching arts since 2009. This will be his fifth year with the Raiders organization: two years as a marching member/horn sergeant and three years as a brass technician. Sean has also marched for the Bushwackers and Phantom Regiment.