2017 Brass Staff

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2017 Brass Staff

On November 17, 2016, in News, Staff News

Under the leadership of Gino Cipriani, this outstanding team of brass educators joins the Boston Crusaders. We are happy to welcome them and they are excited to work with all of the talented performers. Join us!

Steve Bentley


Stephen Bentley

2017 is Stephen Bentley’s twenty sixth year as a Music Educator.

Stephen Bentley’s teaching career began with the Cupertino School District; as the District, Elementary Music Director. During his tenure, the enrollment of the program more then doubled as he established a district wide 3rd-6th grade music program. Recruited by the San Jose School District, he was hired as the Director of String and Orchestra Studies at Herbert Hoover School of the Performing Arts. During this time he directed the 6th-12th grade beginning strings through advanced strings and orchestra program.  The Herbert Hoover School of the Performing Arts is one of the  finest Performing Arts High School and Middle school programs in the San Francisco bay area.

Since that time Mr. Bentley has been the director or the assistant director of two major high school music programs. Plymouth Canton Educational Park in Plymouth, Michigan and Mountain Crest High School in Logan, Utah. During his time at Plymouth Canton, the marching band placed 6th and 9th respectively at the Bands of America Grand Nationals, a nationwide competition. At Mountain Crest High School in the Cache County School District, he directed the music program from the elementary level through high school which included approximately 575 students. While at Mt. Crest he started: a marching band, two jazz bands, an orchestra, a wind band and a percussion studies course all of which frequently performed at Region and State Band and Orchestra music festivals earning Superior Ratings.

For the past 26 years and currently, he is a music educator for non-profit youth organization which produce some of the worlds finest drum and bugle corps. For the past 9 years he was the senior brass technician for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, the 2015 Jim Ott Excellence in Brass Champions. He has taught three of the most successful brass lines in DCI including:  The Cadets from Allentown PA., the Blue Devils from Concord CA and the Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, CA. All three of these organization have won multiple national and world championships while he has been on the teaching staff. During his time with these organizations he won the DCI World Championship five times. Four times with The Blue Devils and once with The Cadets in 2011. He has also has won the Jim Ott Excellence in Brass title six times, most recently in 2015 with The Cadets. Internationally, he has presented a number of music clinics with the Blue Devils and also as an individual in Europe, Indonesia and Japan, and most recently, December of 2015, Thailand. Currently, he is a music adjudicator for the Bands of America and the USBands organizations.

In 2002 Mr. Bentley was asked to be the Assistant Director of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Band. He worked closely with Olympic organizers and the Walt Disney special event coordinators, assisting in the creation of music and motion with the Olympic Band. The 132-band members performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic games, as well as many of the Olympic venues and the Olympic Medals Plaza during the games.

Originally from Salt Lake City, he began his musical training on the piano at the age of four followed by trumpet at the age of ten. Starting his college music education at the University of Utah he studied trumpet and conducting with Gregg Hanson. He has studied with numerous symphony trumpet players including Bill Sullivan of the Utah Symphony, Jay Rizzito of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and Anthony Plug, composer and trumpet soloist. He received his Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Hayward were he studied conducting with Timothy Smith, piano performance with the world-renowned pianist Ellan Wasserman and trumpet performance with Jay Rizzito. Mr. Bentley has played piano professionally for over 30 years. His performances throughout the California Bay Area have included: the Olympic Club in San Francisco, the San Jose Fairmont Hotel and Nordstrom’s in San Francisco. He has also accompanied the distinguished Ballet West Conservatory for a number of years as a rehearsal pianist. Mr. Bentley holds the rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America’s highest level of achievement. He currently lives in Salt Lake City with his beautiful wife Jennifer and their handsome young son, Jackson.

Eric Fiero


Eric Fiero

Originally from Long Beach, California, Eric Fiero is a graduate of UCLA, where he studied trumpet performance with Jens Lindemann, James Wilt, and David Washburn, and earned a degree in Music Education. Eric recently completed his Master’s in Music Education at the University of Arizona where he studied trumpet with Ed Reid and Jason Carder and conducting with Gregg Hanson and Dr. T Andre Feagin.

His teaching experiences include various middle school and high school band programs, as well as maintaining a private studio. In 2008, he was tapped to instruct the Alhambra All-City Marching Band for the 2009 Rose Parade.

In 2011, Eric worked as Assistant Band Director for Tucson High Magnet School. Following his year at Tucson High, he spent 2 years as Director of Bands at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, AZ. At Sahuaro, Eric was in charge of the marching band, 2 concert bands, jazz band, guitar, and teaching AP Music Theory. In his time at Sahuaro, he helped revitalize their program by quickly bringing them back to the State Festival in his first year and having the first colorguard in 5 years. His bands were invited to perform for corporate events and won many caption awards.

From 2012-2014, he worked with Pacific Crest as a high brass instructor, and then spent 2015-2016 working as a trumpet instructor with Academy culminating in their first finals appearance. Eric serves as a judge in AZ and USBands competitions.

Eric now resides in Hyattsville, MD with his wife where he is working as adjunct faculty at Montgomery College in music and substitute teaching.

James Crowley


James Crowley

James “J.P.” Crowley is a sought-after conductor, instructor and clinician in the marching arts.

He is currently the Director of Bands at Bridgewater-Raritan High School in Bridgewater, N.J. His professional responsibilities include co-direction of the wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert band and three jazz ensembles. He is also the head director of Bridgewater-Raritan High School Panther Marching Band. Under his instruction, the Panther Band has excelled competitively at the regional and national levels as a perennial USBands New Jersey State Champion, Bands of America Regional Class Champion and BOA Grand National Semi-Finalist. The BRHS Wind Ensemble and Orchestral winds/percussion will be featured ensembles at the 2017 Music For All National Festival.

JP has been a staff member of the Jersey Surf Brass staff and from 2012-2016, was a brass instructor with the 10 Time DCI World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, leading the low brass team that was awarded the Jim Ott Memorial Award for best brass performance in 2015.

JP holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The College of New Jersey, where he studied euphonium and trombone under Brian Brown and Robert Gale.

Crowley is a resident of Chatham, NJ and is a freelance musician and DJ in the NY metropolitan area, most recently associated with Misty Nights Entertainment and the Riverside Soul Band. His professional associations include NAfME, NJEA, NJMEA, NJAJE and ADJA.

Jarrett Lipman


Jarrett Lipman

Jarrett Lipman is the Director of Bands at Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas. Lipman is on the Brass Staff of the Boston Crusaders Drum Corps, and prior to that, was on the Brass Staff at the Cadets Drum Corps from 2010-2016.

At Johnson High School, Lipman directs the Marching Band, co-conducts the Wind Ensemble with Alan Sharps, and assists with the Symphony Band, Concert Bands, and Jazz Ensembles. The CT Johnson High School Marching Band was named Champion of the 2015 Bands of America McAllen Regional, 2014 Bands of America San Antonio Super Regional and Houston Regional, and earned the Bronze Medal at the 2014 UIL State Marching Contest. In addition, the band advanced to the 2010 and 2012 UIL State Marching Contest, and was named a State finalist in 2012. Since 2010, the band has been a consistent Bands of America Regional and Super Regional Finalist, and was named a Bands of America Grand Nationals Finalist in 2011. The CT Johnson Wind Ensemble advanced to the TMEA State Honor Band Contest in 2012 and 2014.

Lipman graduated with dual degrees in Music Education and Euphonium Performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. While at Mason Gross, Lipman studied Euphonium in the studios of Professor Scott Mendoker, and the late Professor Bill Kellerman. He performed as a member of the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble and Symphony Band under the direction of Dr. William Berz and Professor Darryl Bott. From 2008-2010, Lipman performed as a euphonium player with the San Antonio Wind Symphony of San Antonio, Texas. In 2014, Lipman was selected as the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity Texas Chapter’s “Outstanding Young Bandmaster.”

Ryan Williams


Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams first began composing music as a freshman in high school in Mechanicsburg, PA. Since then, he has been active as a clinician, educator, composer, and performer for more than 15 years.

Williams has worked with 32+ competitive and non-competitive high school bands, college bands, and drum corps over the last 17 years across the northeast. With his leadership, these groups have earned many local, regional, and circuit-wide championships. In 2015, he accepted the position of Assistant Director of Bands at Limestone College in Gaffney, SC, and continues to empower his students in order that they may leave the program ready to be educators themselves. Notwithstanding his success in this area, however, Williams’s main passion lies in the drum and bugle corps world. Williams served as the tuba technician for the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps from 2012 through the 2014 season, using his talents to push the section into what became the backbone of the band and a core component to their 2014 show. In 2015, he served as the tuba technician and brass instructor for the 2015 World Champion Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps. His success in both these programs attracted many quality musicians, including some members who opted not to take a season off in order to work with him. Because of this, many of the bands he works with experience notable growth—two of which doubling in size. Through his efforts as a clinician and composer, the groups he works with have some of their best seasons in recent history. In 2016, he continued this standard as the tuba technician for the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in Allentown, PA. For 2017, he joins the brass faculty of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps from Boston, MA.

Williams attends the University of South Carolina, pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Composition and Music Theory. Previously, he attended West Chester University where he earned his Master of Music Theory and Composition in 2014 and his Bachelor of Music in 2003. It was during this time he honed his master’s thesis “Pasíon y Fuego”—a four-movement tour de force for Wind Ensemble, highlighting a different section of the band through Latin dance styles before culminating in a passionate tango. Since then, his works have been performed across the Eastern United States and have been described as “a cut above the rest” and “sophisticated” by American composer Mark Camphouse. Most of his works are self-published and can be previewed at www.RyanJWilliams.net.

As a performer, Williams has 5 years’ experience marching with DCA and DCI drum and bugle corps, earning the 1996 DCA World Championship with the Harrisburg Westshoremen and being a 2000 DCI Finalist with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2002, he enlisted into the Army Reserve where he served as an instrumentalist, arranger, and composer for 14 years.

Presently, Williams lives in Columbia, SC, where he actively serves as a freelance performer, working with school band and theatre productions, a clinician with local school programs, and composer and arranger for groups around the country.

Travis Larson


Travis Larson

Travis has been involved in the marching arts since 1988 as a performer, arranger, and educator. He began his career with the Velvet Knights from 1989-1991 marching in the baritone line. He then marched with the Concord Blue Devils from 1995-1996.

In 1998, Travis joined the staff of the Concord Blue Devils and helped the horn line win a Jim Ott High Brass award.

Travis returned to drum corps in 2014 with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, and spent three seasons working with the Mellophone/French Horn/Baritone/Trombone sections.

Travis holds a bachelors degree in music education from Grand Canyon University.

He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his Wife and two children.