Meet the Staff - John Matthews, Assistant Brass Caption Head
The following is the fifth feature in our "Meet the Staff" blog series intended to introduce you to the instructors you will meet at our first Battalion Experience clinic! In this week's post, we are excited to highlight our fantastic Assistant Brass Caption Head, John Matthews.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in El Paso, TX, where I graduated from Eastwood High School. I went on to graduate from New Mexico State University with both my Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Instrumental Conducting degrees.
Tell us about your instructional background and drum corps experience.
On the instructional side, I have worked with various groups in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona as a Visual Caption Head, technician, and drill designer. I have also worked extensively with fall and winter percussion and color guard groups for the past 10 years in Texas, New Mexico, and currently Arkansas. My drum corps experience includes five years (2003-2007) with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as a member of both the trumpet and mellophone sections. I was also a member of the Blue Knights staff from 2009 to 2011 as a high brass instructor.
In all of the shows you were involved in as a performer, which one was your favorite and why?
Blue Knights' 2006 show is one of my favorites to think and talk about, but this question in itself is really hard to set emotions to one show! That year was the year of the underdog. All odds were against us out the gate with a show that was wrapped in a texture that had not been seen since Star of Indiana 1993. We were pushing the envelope for sure. On the night of finals when placements were announced and we were awarded 7th place, (making us the second highest that the corps has ever been at that time) I truly felt like I was part of a big moment in history for the activity. Never a day goes by that I don’t think about that moment in time.
How/why did you get hooked on drum corps?
Funny thing, my 7th Grade Band Director got me to question and love the activity. It was after a contest and we were well prepared for our spring concert. She popped in a VHS (yes I am that old) of DCI Finals from 1995 and I have been hooked since then!
What excites you about being involved in the launch of The Battalion?
Being a part of what could and will be a positive, uplifting, wonderful, and young group has been a dream of mine for a while. I think that this will be a great chance to recruit members that will have a lot to offer to the activity and will be great for the youth of today!
What should students expect for the first clinic? How can they get the most out of it?
Be ready to be educated by a team of people that are extremely passionate about what they do and what they love. Drum corps is more than just the joining of world-class musicians; it is the opportunity to create a communal and collaborative experience that can be shared with all people that come in contact with it. Drum corps is more than just summers on the road, but a chance to tell a story for eleven and a half minutes that could possibly change the lives of many!