Boston Crusaders Welcome Kevin Shah, Mike Jackson, And More For 2020
The Boston Crusaders are excited to announce several new additions to our 2020 educational staff. Our new additions include Kevin Shah and Mike Jackson, percussion consultants, who bring vast creative range and percussion design experience to the team. Our brass and percussion education teams also welcome Samuel Ambrose (Tuba), Geoff Watkins (Bass Drum), and Matt Albano (Pit) who will work closely with their respective sections through the 2020 training and performance seasons.
Kevin Shah, percussion consultant, is an active designer and educator in the the world of the marching arts. As a composer for winds and percussion, Kevin owns and operates projectRISEmusic.com which features many of his works for marching band and percussion ensemble. His current projects include Broken City (Designer, Board of Directors), Arcadia High School (Music Designer), and Vista Murrieta High School (Music Designer). Kevin serves on the WGI Percussion Steering Committee as well as the WGI Board of Directors.
Previous drum corps projects include Blue Knights (2014-2019 – Music Designer and 2019 Creative Director) and Bluecoats (2010-2013 – Electronics Designer).
Kevin holds a B.M. in percussion performance from UCLA where he studied with Mitchell Peters, and an M.M. in percussion performance from the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with Greg Zuber, Daniel Druckman, Gordon Gottlieb, Joseph Pereira, and Roland Kohloff.
Kevin is a Yamaha Performing Artist and also endorses Promark and Evans Drumheads.
Mike Jackson, percussion consultant, is currently a designer/composer for Broken City, a designer/composer for Vista Murrieta HS, a board member and co-founder of SCPA (Southern California Percussion Alliance), a board member and co-founder of Broken City Percussion, Inc., and a Yamaha performing artist and proudly using Evans Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks/Mallets, and Randall May Carriers/Stands.
For nearly three decades, Mike has been composing, instructing, and designing for some of the most nationally recognized percussion programs in the US – Mission Viejo HS, RCC, Santa Clara Vanguard, Bluecoats, and Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. He has sat on the Board of Directors for WGI and has been inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame.
Samuel Ambrose, tuba instructor, turns back-row tuba playing into frontline artistry, bringing high-caliber style to performances, outreach, and educational experiences. His sound supports a variety of ensembles, most recently with the Capital Wind Symphony. Samuel has also performed for the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, the Sunrise Pops Orchestra in Sunrise, FL, as well as freelancing in the Baltimore/Washington area.
As an educator, Mr. Ambrose’s teaching ranges from private instruction to master classes, clinics, and ensemble instruction. He is currently Director of Bands and Orchestras at University Park and Hyattsville Elementary Schools. Sam is also the Director of Program Development and Tuba Faculty for the Fredericksburg Brass and Tidewater Brass Institutes. He is also in high demand to teach and consult for marching bands, and has also been on staff with several drum corps, most recently with the Bluecoats (2014-18).
Samuel currently lives near Washington D.C. He is working on a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Tuba Performance at the University of Maryland, where he is also a graduate assistant for the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band. He received a Master’s degree in Tuba Performance from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelors of Music Education degree from Florida State University. His primary teachers include David Fedderly and Paul Ebbers.
Geoff Watkins, bass drum instructor, is a percussion educator who specializes in working with the bass drum section. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, since 2014, Geoff has taught the acclaimed WGI Indoor Music City Mystique bass line, earning WGI world medals in 2014 (silver), 2017 (gold) and 2019 (bronze). He also teaches Father Ryan High School. He served on the percussion staff of Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in from 2013 through 2018, when he was the battery coordinator. He works with many established high school percussion programs throughout CT and TN (Station Camp H.S., Stamford, Trumbell, Ravenwood, Independence H.S. and Fred J. Page). Geoff is a native of CT and graduate of Norwalk H.S. Geoff performed with Music city Mystique, Blue Stars, and Bluecoats.
Matt Albano, pit instructor, is a percussionist, musician, composer and educator. Matt joins the BAC front ensemble staff. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida (UCF). A resident of Florida, Matt teaches the front ensemble for Infinity WGI Indoor Percussion. He also teaches several Florida high school programs, Oviedo and Timber Creek, as well as the Jackson Heights Middle School. Aside for his performances with UCF (which included PASIC), Matt performed with Infinity Indoor Percussion and Bluecoats, where he earned silver and bronze DCI medals.