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Three UMass drumline alums leading ‘09 Cadets

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The Cadets

The Cadets have locked in a dynamic and talented group of percussionists to guide the 2009 section as they begin work on “Lenny,” the corps’ 75th Anniversary program that spotlights the great composer Leonard Bernstein. 

The recently announced Director of Percussion Colin McNutt reunites with Cadets’ veteran percussion instructor Chris Vale (snares) and Iain Moyer (Front Ensemble Arranger).

Chris Vale

Chris Vale is entering his fifth year teaching the Cadets snare line.  He began his marching career with the Cadets as a member of the snare drum line in 1999 and continued through 2003 under the tutelage of Tom Aungst.  During his time with the Cadets, Chris was the 1999 Rookie of the Year and a member of the 2000 DCI World Championship drum corps.  In addition, Vale was the percussion section leader from 2001-2003, where he assisted in leading the Cadets to three straight DCI High Percussion Awards.

Vale graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2004 with a bachelors degree in biological studies.  During his studies at UMass, Vale was also a member of the Minuteman Marching Band from 2000-2003.  As a member of the drum line at UMass, he was the percussion section leader during the 2002 and 2003 seasons where he studied under Thom Hannum and Colin McNutt.

Vale began his teaching career in 2004 as a member of the Madison Scouts percussion staff.  In 2005, he returned to Cadets as the snare tech and has continued in that role ever since.  Outside of DCI, Vale taught and arranged for the percussion section of the Waterford High School Marching Band from 2004-2006.  In 2006, he helped lead Waterford to the USSBA National Championship in Annapolis, Md.

Currently, Vale resides in Natick, Mass., and teaches biology at Holliston High School.

Iain Moyer

2009 will mark Iain Moyer’s 10th year of arranging and instructing Front Ensembles in the Drum Corps International activity. For the past 2 year competitive seasons Iain has served as one of two front ensemble technicians with The Cadets. Before coming to The Cadets, Iain was the arranger and instructor at several drum corps including the Madison Scouts (2004-2006), Magic of Orlando (2003), Glassmen (2001-2002) and the Crossmen (1999).

This academic year will be Iain’s 5th year as the Director of Percussion at the University of North Alabama. His duties there include teaching over 20 applied percussion majors, directing the University Percussion Ensemble and coordinating all aspects of the UNA Marching Percussion Section.

Iain is also finishing up his Doctoral degree in Musical Arts from the University of Oklahoma, where he is currently working on his dissertation on the subject of “Percussion Arranging”. He currently lives in Madison, Alabama with his fiancée Nicole, who he will be marrying the weekend after DCI Finals 2009.

Colin McNutt

There’s nothing more fulfilling to percussionist Colin McNutt than running into former students who have made great lives for themselves. Knowing he could have played a small part in their success and happiness keeps the 37-year-old drummer motivated, sharing his talents and skills with young performers across the country.

McNutt has served as the Cadets Percussion Caption Supervisor for a little more than two years, handling a considerable portion of the daily instruction of the section. He came to the Cadets with a lengthy marching and drum corps resume, including his most recent job as Director of Percussion and Arranger for the Madison Scouts of Madison, Wis.

McNutt has a strong history in percussion instruction. He arranged music and instructed for the Star of Indiana of Bloomington, Ind., the Glassmen of Toledo, Ohio, and the Crossmen. He also took his talents to the stage, writing and teaching for the popular production “Blast!”

He hasn’t only instructed as McNutt started marching drum corps his junior year in high school in 1988 with the Boston Crusaders of Boston, Mass., then aging out with the Santa Clara Vanguard of Santa Clara, Calif., in 1992.

McNutt has made a career out of his passion for music and percussion, while in between completing his double major of music education and classics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1998. When not instructing drum corps, McNutt conducts clinics for the percussion companies Avedis Zildjian Co., REMO, Inc., and Vic Firth. He also writes music for marching bands in the United States and Japan.