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Thom Hannum - Director of Percussion

Thom Hannum is entering his sixth year as Director of Percussion for the Crown Drum Corps. He will share the duties of arranging for and directing the Crown percussion program with Percussion Caption Supervisor Travis Peterman and Front Ensemble Supervisor/Arranger Jim Ancona.

Thom Hannum has long been regarded as one of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians having presented numerous seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Thom teaches at the University of Massachusetts where he serves as the Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band, and the Director of the Marimba Band and Marimba Ensemble program. In 2009 Mr. Hannum was recognized by the university, receiving the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award. He is a product consultant and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets where he has developed several Signature Series drumsticks and keyboard mallets. Thom is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society where he serves on the Marching Percussion Committee.

Thom Hannum is also known for his work with the DCI World Champion The Cadets and Star of Indiana, and is a member of the design team for the Tony and Emmy Award Winning show Blast! In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hannum was selected for induction into the DCI Hall of Fame, and in 2008 he was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Mr. Hannum is also a member of The Cadets and the Crossmen Hall of Fame.

Travis Peterman - Percussion Caption Supervisor

Travis Peterman is excited to begin his first year as Crown Percussion Caption Supervisor. He will be entering his third year as a member of the Crown Percussion Team, having spent the past two years as the snare technician.

Travis was born in Newark, Delaware. He began playing the drums in 5th grade, performing with school concert and jazz bands. From 2003-2007 Travis was named to the Delaware All-State Junior and Senior bands, while also being invited to perform with the orchestra in 2006 and 2007. After high school he became interested in the marching arts, performing in the snarelines of Rhythm X, the Blue Stars, United Percussion, and the Reading Buccaneers. 

He began his drum corps teaching career with the Cadets2 as the snare technician and battery choreographer, remaining with the corps for three years. Travis previously held the position of the director, program coordinator, and battery arranger for Cadets Winter Percussion in it’s three year tenure. Currently, Travis is the percussion Caption Supervisor/Arranger at Carolina Crown and the program coordinator and battery arranger for the George Mason University Indoor Drumline. In DCA, he is the battery arranger for the Bushwhackers Drum and Bugle Corps. Travis is also an accomplished adjudicator, including time spent with TOB/TIA and USBands. 

Travis has studied under many accomplished instructors, including Tom Aungst, Thom Hannum, Tim Jackson, Jim Ancona, Joel Hilbert, Tim Fairbanks, Brian Stockard, Darick Kelly, Rich Hammond, and Chris Feist. Outside of the percussion world, Travis holds an A.A. in Criminal Justice from Delaware Tech and a B.S. in Behavioral Science from Wilmington University. He is enrolled in a School Counseling graduate program at WilmU, and currently works as a paraprofessional in Delaware.

Jim Ancona - Front Ensemble Caption Supervisor/Arranger

Jim Ancona is excited to begin his second year on the design and leadership team for Carolina Crown. Before joining the Crown team Jim served as a percussion consultant for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010 through 2015. He also served as the percussion caption head for The Cavaliers (2006-2009), and as the front ensemble instructor for Santa Clara Vanguard (2000-2004). Jim also worked as as a percussion consultant with Carolina Crown in 2005.

Jim has earned many distinctions in DCI, including Fred Sanford trophies with three different corps, including Star of Indiana, Santa Clara Vanguard, and The Cadets, as well as World Championships with The Cavaliers and The Cadets.  

Jim is very excited to get the opportunity to again work with Crown Percussion leaders Thom Hannum and Travis Peterman. Thom Hannum and Jim have worked together on many projects over the years including Brass Theater, Blast, Star of Indiana, Boston Crusaders, The Crossmen, and The Madison Scouts. Jim marched in the front ensemble of the Cadets in 1989 and 1990 during Tom Aungst’s first two years as caption head.

Jim Ancona is starting his 21st year as a faculty member at the University of Delaware. As an Assistant Professor of Music he serves as the Assistant Director of the Blue Hen Marching Band, Director of the Basketball Pep Band and Co-Director of the Symphonic Band. James received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his Master's Degree in Performance from Indiana University where he was awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate.

Jim has several works published by Tapspace Publications, including the popular texts, Up Front: A Complete Resource for Today’s Pit Ensemble and Up Front Etudes. He is a Signature Artist for Remo, Inc., and Avedis Zildjian Company, along with Innovative Percussion, Inc. He is an endorser and clinician for Pearl Drums and Adams Percussion.

Percussion Instructional Staff


Sean McElroy - Battery Co-Manager 

Sean McElroy grew up in southwest Denver, Colorado in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, a time where the state was a dominant force in the progression of the marching percussion activity. Through his involvement with Bear Creek High School, Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, and Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, Sean was exposed to a multiple of percussion greats such as Ralph Hardimon, Mike Nevin, Dave Marvin and other incredible educators. Being exposed to such a strong and healthy percussion community in CO, he cultivated a deep passion for percussion and visual arts by pursuing a busy teaching career as soon as his time as performer in the activity was concluded. 

After many years of teaching and designing for high schools and independent groups around the Denver area, Sean became the visual designer for the Blue Knight’s Percussion Ensemble.  Sean served in this role along with show coordinator for the seasons of 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013.  The ensemble was awarded 3rd place at the WGI National Championship in 2007, and won the Fan Favorite award in 2011 with the memorable show entitled Physical Graffiti.

In 2004, following his age out season of drum corps with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, Sean was invited to teach the bass drum section of the Cadets for the 2004 season.  Sean would remain the bass tech with the Cadets through the summer of 2010.  In 2011, Sean joined the battery staff at Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, serving as the bass tech for 2 seasons.  In 2013, Sean joined the percussion staff at Carolina Crown, a position he has held since.  In total, Sean has 13 consecutive seasons of experience teaching DCI percussion.

In 2008, Sean moved to Canton, Michigan to become the percussion director at the highly acclaimed Plymouth Canton High School.  He would work there for a 6 years during which the percussion would make an appearance in WGI World Class final in 2009 and Open Class Finals in 2013. 

In 2014, Sean moved to Fort Mill, SC where he was the percussion director at Nation Ford High School.  He designs visual programs for multiple WGI percussion groups throughout the areas of Colorado, Michigan, and South Carolina. He is an active visual judge in the indoor drum line activity and spends his free time traveling, riding his bike, and snowboarding.

Dan Schack - Battery Co-Manager

Hailing from Connecticut, Dan has been involved in the marching arts since fourteen years old. He began playing snare drum with the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps in 2005 and continued marching with the corps through 2009.

In 2010, Dan became a member of United Percussion and joined the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps for the 2010 season, where he remained through 2011. During his time with the Cavaliers, the percussion section traveled to Japan to perform in the Okayama City Marching Baton-Twirling Festival and present clinics across the country.

In 2011, The Cavaliers earned the Fred Sanford High Percussion Award, during which time Dan was snare section leader. In the winters of 2011 and 2012, Dan joined Rhythm X, performing as the first ever WGI group to present a PASIC clinic.

Dan teaches and designs for competitive ensembles all over the country, specializing in battery percussion, movement, and choreography. He currently serves as the Artistic/Movement Designer for George Mason University, the Visual Coordinator for ConneXus Percussion, and as a movement technician for Rhythm X.

Outside of his musical endeavors, Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Connecticut. He is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Wright State University, pursuing a Master’s degree in English Literature with a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

Andrew Rubano - Quad Technician

Andrew began his endeavors in percussion on drumset when he was in middle school. His junior year of high school his neighbor convinced him to join band and he began playing quads in 2005. After graduating from Jackson Memorial High School in New Jersey, Andrew continued to pursue tenors with the 2008 and 2009 DCA World Champions, the Reading Buccaneers, winning high percussion both years. He aged out with the 2011 DCI World Champions, The Cadets, after 2 seasons as a member of the quadline.

After aging out, he began to teach and arrange percussion charts for South Brunswick, Robbinsville, and Brick Memorial High School (11­14). Along with writing for high schools, he played a role in starting a DCA corp and a WGI drumline. From their inaugural season in 2012 until 2015, Andrew worked for Cadets 2 managing the percussion section, arranging battery features, and teaching the tenors. In 2014 he assumed the role of Visual Caption Head at Cadets Winter Percussion, when they placed 1st in the WGI Open Class Championships, then continued as the tenor tech for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. While there, Andrew participated in design nuances, choreography, and writing exposed musical segments for the quadline. He joined the Carolina Crown percussion staff in 2016 and maintains his position.

Outside of drum corp, Andrew attended Rutgers University where he completed his Bachelor's Degree, double majoring in Music Education, and Performance. At Rutgers, Andrew focused his studies on Orchestral and World Percussion. He continued to work at Rutgers after graduation as a composer and accompanist for the Dance Studio. In this position he performed live for African and Modern dance classes, collaborated sound for large scale repertoire projects, and produced music. He has also served as the Orchestra Director for Lakewood Middle School, in New Jersey. Currently, Andrew is the Graduate Assistant of Athletic Bands at the University of Delaware, where he will complete his Master’s Degree studying music performance in the spring of 2017. 

Frank Cummings - Snare Technician

Frank was born and raised in southern New Jersey, just thirty miles outside of Philadelphia. It was in the fourth grade when he discovered his love for drumming. In 2003, Frank was introduced to the marching arts, joining the Penns Grove High School marching band.

Frank began marching drum corps in 2008 with the Reading Buccaneers, winning two DCA titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Frank  lived out his dream, joining the snare line at Carolina Crown. He continued marching Crown through 2012, eventually aging out with the Bluecoats in 2013. Along with his passion for drum corps, Frank has extensive WGI experience, marching with United Percussion in 2011 and Rhythm X in 2012, 2013 and 2014, aging out as the ensemble section leader.

After moving to Ohio, Frank has had the privilege of working with many great programs in the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati areas. He is currently the battery caption head for the BOA finalist William Mason High School marching band and serves as a battery technician for the Lebanon band program. In 2015, Frank joined Rhythm X as a snare technician, where he continues to teach. Frank was the snare technician for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015 and 2016.

Frank looks forward to continuing his educational role as a snare technician with Carolina Crown.

Zach Opdenaker - Battery Technician

Zach Opdenaker is a former performing member of Carolina Crown, having marched snare in both 2015 and 2016, most recently aging out as the battery section leader. He currently resides in Newark, Delaware where he attends the University of Delaware and is pursuing a major in Health and Physical Education, also drumming with the Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band in his time there. Zach’s other marching experience includes Cadets2 2014, and Cadets Winter Percussion 2014-2016. Zach is excited to work with such an accomplished team and is ecstatic to continue to be able to be involved in the Crown organization. 

Alex Kluttz - Front Ensemble Instructor

Entering his third year as a member of the Carolina Crown Front Ensemble staff, Alex Kluttz is a percussionist and educator in the Washington D.C. area. He is currently in his third year as the band director at Key Middle School in Springfield, VA.

Alex has taught percussion at multiple high schools including Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA, and Northwest Guilford, Eastern Randolph and Central Davidson High Schools in the greater Greensboro, NC area. 

His WGI experience began while assisting Palmetto Percussion in Columbia, South Carolina and Wake Forest Independent percussion ensemble from Winston Salem, North Carolina. He is currently the front ensemble coordinator for United Percussion in Camden, NJ. 

Alex began his pageantry arts experience in 2008 when he joined Carolina Crown, completing five seasons and aging out in 2012. Upon aging out, he taught the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps for two years, coordinating the ensemble in 2014.

He was awarded with the Hester Undergraduate Music Scholarship and is an Eagle Scout. While in his undergraduate studies, Alex performed with the UNCG Wind Ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association convention in 2013. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied percussion with Dr. Kristopher Keeton. He has also studied with John R. Beck and Peter Zlotnick.  He holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education and Music Performance.

Annie Chernow - Front Ensemble Instructor

Annie is ecstatic to begin her second season as a member of the percussion staff at Carolina Crown!

Annie received a Master's Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Delaware. She has studied with many esteemed percussionists including Harvey Price, Jim Ancona, Orlando Cotto, Iain Moyer, Jason Inhat, Tim Broscious and Gene Koshinski. Annie is an active performer and has worked with numerous ensembles including The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Quey Percussion Duo, the University of Delaware Wind Ensemble, and the University of Minnesota Duluth Graduate Percussion Group.

Annie was a member of the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 as a synthesizer player, 2013 as a vibraphone player, and 2014 as the section leader and center marimba. She was also the xylophone player for the Cadets Winter Percussion in their inaugural 2014 season. During her time as a member, The Cadets 2013 percussion section was awarded the prestigious Fred Sanford Award for Best Percussion section, and CWP was awarded the gold medal in WGI Open Class. Annie was also honored as the Cadet of the Year in 2014.

In addition to her performance career, Annie has taught percussion sections throughout the country including Unionville High school in Pennsylvania, Grand Rapids High School in Minnesota, and is now currently working with the Wakeland High School front ensemble in Texas. Annie also taught the Cadets2 front ensemble during their successful 2015 season.

Annie currently lives and teaches in Frisco,Texas and is a proud endorser of Vic Firth.

Marcus Neudigate - Front Ensemble Instructor

Marcus is pleased to return for his third year as a member of the Carolina Crown Front Ensemble instructional staff.

Marcus is an active performer and educator in the Kansas City area.  He has recently been named the Percussion Director for Blue Springs South High School as well as Drumline Coordinator for the University of Central Missouri.  In addition to having been with Blue Springs South’s front ensemble since 2009, Marcus has worked with many area high schools both as an arranger and educator.

Marcus has a B.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of Central Missouri, having studied under Dr. Michael Sekelsky, the PAS Drumset Committee chair.  Marcus was a member of the Phantom Regiment Front Ensemble in 2011 and 2012, performing as the section leader in 2012.  He received the Zildjian player of the year award in 2011 and was also nominated for the Mark Glasscoe member of the year award. 

In addition to his experience with Crown, Marcus served on the percussion staff for the Sacramento Mandarins (2014, 2015), and has been recently named the Front Ensemble Coordinator for Gateway Indoor.  Marcus is a proud Innovative Percussion Educator.

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Carolina Crown, Inc. is a 501(c)3 approved charity by the Internal Revenue Service. Our mission is "Developing Lifelong Excellence in young people". We achieve this through performance opportunities and a commitment to education in the performing arts with core values of Integrity, Commitment, Respect and Excellence.

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