Bios

Ben Chaffee – Administrative Director/Brass Arranger/Program Coordinator

Ben Chaffee has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Education from the SUNY Fredonia School of Music, and has been a public school Music Educator in New York State for the past 15 years (Elmira City Schools 2000 to 2005, Pembroke Central Schools 2005 to present). His teaching experience includes Wind Ensemble, Junior High Band, Elementary Band, Elementary Strings, Marching Band, and Jazz Ensemble.

Ben has been involved in drum corps since 1998. He was a Brass Instructor for the Rochester Crusaders from 1999 to 2004 and was the Brass Caption Head for the White Sabers from 2001 to 2011. He has been the Brass Arranger for the White Sabers since beginning with the corps in 2001, and has been the Program Coordinator from 2012 to present. Beginning in 2016, he is now also the White Sabers’ Administrative Corps Director. Accomplishments with the White Sabers include back to back DCA Class A Championships in 2013 and 2014 and an 8th place finish in the corps’ first year in Open Class in 2015.

Ben has also been a Woodwind and Brass Arranger for marching bands in the New York State Field Band Conference, including Bath-Haverling and the Greece Marching Blue Knights. His arrangement for Greece in 2015 contributed to the band’s first place finish in the GE Music category.

 

Mark A. Rider – Visual Designer

A native of the Rochester, NY area, Mark has experience in all aspects of the pageantry arts as a member, educator, and/or designer. Mark's visual design experience spans over 23 years and includes writing dozens of award winning shows for drum corps, marching band, winterguard, and indoor percussion ensembles.

Mark’s Jr. Corps experience includes being the Visual Designer and Coordinator for the Capital Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from Columbus, OH in 2000-2002 during a time when Capital ascended from a Division III corps to Division II silver medalist and Open Class semi-finalists.

Mark’s Sr. Corps experience includes being a staff and marching member of the 5-time World Champion Empire Statesmen from 1997-2000 and 2006 as well as being the Visual Designer for the Empire Statesmen in 2010-2011. Mark was also the Visual Designer for DCA Finalist Kingston Grenadiers in 2002 and Music City Legend in 2009. Mark was also a marching member of the Rochester Crusaders from 1993-1994.

Mark has written for several high school ensembles and is currently the Assistant Band Director, Show Coordinator, and Visual Designer and instructor for the 8-time NYSFBC State Champion Victor High School Marching Blue Devils from Victor, NY and has designed and taught Victor’s 5-time Circuit Champion and WGI Bronze Medalist Varsity Winterguard and 7-time NYSPC State Champion and WGI world finalist Indoor Percussion Ensemble.

Mark attended the North Carolina School of the Arts as a Music Composition Major. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies and is currently completing his MBA in Global Leadership with the State University of New York.

He currently resides in Farmington, NY with his wife Lesley and two daughters Claire and Lauren where he works full time as the Vice President of Marketing for the Getinge Americas.

 

David Orser – Assistant Program Coordinator/Assistant Brass Arranger

David Orser earned his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (1993) and Bachelor of Education (1994) from Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. Upon graduating from Queen’s, Mr. Orser started his teaching career at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Kingston, ON. In addition to his instrumental classroom duties, Mr. Orser conducts the Jr. Concert Band, Sr. Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Ensemble … all of which have received local, provincial, and international recognition at many prestigious festivals including Worldstrides International Music Festivals and Festival Disney. While at Holy Cross Mr. Orser has also served as Musical Director for over 15 major musical productions including Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, and West Side Story. Mr. Orser is also actively involved in the marching music pageantry scene. Since 1984 he has been a performer, teacher, consultant, and designer for the Kingston Grenadiers and Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corps. And most recently David joined the incredible teaching and design team of the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps. At the scholastic level Mr. Orser has designed programs for several New York State marching bands and continues to educate as an adjudicator for the New York State Band Conference, Bands of America, and Drum Corps International.

 

 



Matt Jaeger – Brass Caption Head

Matt Jaeger has been working with the Greece Marching Band (GMB) since 2006, when he first started as an assistant music instructor. Throughout the years Matt's dedication and involvement with GMB has only grown deeper, now serving as Assistant Director in his 11th year. Matt’ss music education and marching career began in 1998 as a student in the Medina Mustangs Marching Band. Matt continued to march with the Mustangs throughout his time in high school, ultimately winning three State Championships in the New York State Field Band Conference. Matt also held a leadership position in his last year before graduating in 2003.

In 2004, Matt began performing with the Ghost Riders Mini Corps alongside friends and family. Since then Matt has marched with the Rochester Crusaders and White Sabres Drum Corps. Matt served as a Staff Member for Rochester Crusaders from 2005 to 2008 and went on to become Brass Caption Head for the White Sabres in the following years. While Matt has worked on Staff with the White Sabres, the corps has won back to back DCA Class A Championships in 2013 and 2014, and now competes in the DCA Open Division.

In addition to performing with and teaching marching bands and drum corps in the area, Matt attended Roberts Wesleyan College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 2010.



Marc Garside– Percussion Caption Head/Arranger

Marc began his musical journey as a saxophonist, but when he got to high school, he became enamored with the drumline, and has been a student of percussion ever since. Upon graduating high school, Marc began teaching and writing music for his alma-mater, the Shikellamy High School Marching Band, and helped lead the program to multiple top-3 finishes in TOB’s Atlantic Coast Championships. While in college he also marched with the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and the Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps where they captured a DCA World Championship in 2003.

Marc graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in Public Relations, but while studying he pursued musical interests and took music theory courses, performed in the percussion ensemble, the symphonic band and the choir. He also took percussion lessons and participated in the percussion studio.
Marc continues to teach at the high school level. In 2008 he began teaching and writing for the Williamsport (PA) High School Marching Band and has helped lead them to several USBands State Championships and a High Percussion Title in TOB”s Atlantic Coast Championships.
In 2011 Marc became the Percussion-Captionhead of the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps. The program there was able to become one of the premier percussion programs in DCA.
Marc has studied under outstanding instructors over the years, including: Patsy VanKirk, Bill Groves, Mike Ferlazzo, Kevin Murphy, Terrel Smith, Mike Schmitt, David Dumont, Gary Gill, Terry Bieler and Gifford Howarth.
Marc is very excited to join the White Sabers’ design and instruction teams for 2017!
“I am looking forward to working with a group that is looking to grow, expand and innovate in the DCA arena, a group that’s not afraid to push the envelope! The support I’ve already experienced from the administrative side of things has been tremendous, and the outlook for this organization going into the future looks very promising.  I’m very thankful that they have asked me to be here, and I’m excited to be a part of White Sabers!” 

 

Joe Stork– Percussion Tech and Co-Arranger

Stork was introduced to rudimental drumming by his father Bill Stork, with whom he competed in the New York Percussion Department, winning a percussion ensemble I&E award in Drum Corps Associates in 2002 and 2004.

Joe first marched in the Rochester Crusaders as a snare drummer in 2005 until 2008. Joe then spent the next two summers (2009, 2010) with the Hawthorne Caballeros. In 2011, Joe entered the brotherhood of the Madison Scouts where he marched through his age out year of 2012. Joe has four years of indoor marching experience including work with Onondaga Community College and is an alumnus of United Percussion where he marched in 2012.

Joe graduated from Roberts Wesleyan in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education.  Joe had the distinct pleasure of serving as Percussion Caption Head and Arranger as well as Recruiting Coordinator for the University at Buffalo Thunder of the East Marching Band for three seasons (2012-2014).  In addition, he served as Battery Coordinator for Hilton (NY) High School marching band and winter drumline which he helped guide to the 2013 WGI PSA Gold Medal, as well as to 2014 WGI PSO Finalist status.

In the winter, Joe is an integral member of United Percussion’s Battery Staff serving mainly as a snare technician.

Currently he is a Band Director at Corning-Painted Post High School (NY).  Here he serves as 11-12th grade Band Director as well as Director and Battery Arranger for the Competitive marching band.



Stephanie Waugh – Color Guard Caption Head

Stephanie Waugh started her marching experience with the Central Square field band and Winterguards performing for seven years in each. She began performing in DCA in 2003 with the Grenadiers Drum and Bugle Corps and continued with the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps from 2004-2007 and with the Brigadiers Winterguard in 2014.

Stephanie has many years of experience in teaching and designing in color guard that expands to include Drum and Bugle Corps, Winter Guard, Field Band and Marching Band. The groups she has written and designed for over the last several years include; Central Square Field Band and Varsity Winterguard, UB Marching Band and Winter guard, Pembroke Marching Band, Patriots Winterguard, and the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps.

Nicholas Gerling – Color Guard Instructor

 

A native of New Hartford NY, Nicholas Gerling has developed a career within the marching arts that started at his alma mater in 2000 with the New Hartford Marching Spartans. Following his high school career, he continued to follow a musical path leading to a degree in Music Education and Operatic Performance Studies from Nazareth College of Rochester NY. This allowed for him to develop a skill set routed in strong musical knowledge, but also the ability to grow as an actor and performer. He performed with various operatic companies, studied in Italy and built a resume through apprenticeship programs in places such as Eureka Springs Arkansas. Within his time as a collegiate student he continued to develop is teaching and designing skills within the marching arts through various NY programs. Most notably with New Hartford but also consulting with the Naples and CNS winterguard programs as well (both of which were WGI semifinalists during years of instruction).

Nicholas began his presence in DCA in 2011 where he became a marching member with the Empire Statesmen Drum and Bugle Corp. He transitioned quickly in the role of a performer and as a choreographer for the corps. This role would continue through the end of the Empire Statesmen in 2013. Through his connections within the Statesmen organization he was able to take on a role with the Phoenix High School Marching Band and winterguard organization which started in 2011 and is where he continues to not only design, but works as their program director. Some accolades from his time at Phoenix include 2 NYSFBC Championships within a 5 year span, 4 semifinalist appearances at WGI world championships as well as the growth of his indoor program to 3 competitive winterguards (with its highest level group competing in the Scholastic Open class). This will be Nicholas’s second season with the White Sabers and he is excited to take on the role not only within the guard stuff, but within the design team as well.



Tim Allen – Visual Caption Head

Timmy Allen has an extensive music career beginning at the age of 4. His father, Donny Allen, a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member, introduced Timmy to drum corps, where he was hooked immediately. In 2002, Timmy began playing soprano with the Rochester Crusaders.

Since that time, Timmy has been involved in some capacity with the marching arts each year. He continued marching with the Crusaders through 2003. In 2004, he marched with the Syracuse Brigadiers, with a 2nd place DCA finish, also winning the High Brass trophy. When the Crusaders returned to competition in 2005, Timmy went back and continued to play with them through 2008. In 2006, he marched with the DCI quarterfinalist Magic of Orlando, counting as his first of 5 years in DCI participation. During the 2007-2010 seasons, Timmy spent the majority of his summers on the road with DCI’s Pioneer, a World Class organization. During his time with Pioneer, Timmy served as a soloist in all 4 years, and a section leader for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Timmy also spent summer 2011 with the Connecticut Hurricanes.

Timmy has also taught and written for corps, bands, and drumlines since 2007. His first teaching and writing experience came with the Albion, NY HS Indoor Drumline in 2007, where Timmy served as the front ensemble arranger and instructor. In just his junior and senior years of 2008 and 2009, Timmy wrote for his own high school marching band in Bloomfield, NY, where he arranged the marching selections and drumline materials. During that time, Timmy also served as the lead drumline instructor for Bloomfield High School.

After schooling, Timmy began teaching for the Ghost Riders Mini Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011, where he had played lead trumpet and been a soloist since 2007. He remains in an instructional and compositional role with the Ghost Riders to this day. Since 2012, Timmy has been an integral design team member for the Ghost Riders, contributing to the show concept and arrangement efforts for the 2013 production which won the DCA Mini Corps Championships.

Timmy has been a part of the White Sabers staff since 2012, serving as a brass tech, visual tech, and design consultant. He was a member of the staff of the back to back DCA Class A Championship seasons, which the White Sabers enjoyed in 2013 and 2014. Timmy continues to enjoy his work within the White Sabers organization and expects to continue his tenure with the corps for many more years. His favorite memory of his drum corps experience would have to be the 2013 season, when the Ghost Riders and White Sabers both won the DCA championships in their respective divisions.

Since he has come aboard the WS team in 2012, Timmy has established himself as a staff member who puts the members first and holds true to his philosophy, which entails always having fun together while working hard at all times.

 

Jim Allen – Visual Design Consultant

Jim Allen, 2011 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member, has designed for and consulted with numerous bands, both junior, senior and all-age drum and bugle corps, and color guards over the past 40 years. He has served as the judge coordinator for the New York State Field Band Conference from and also served as the Northeast Regional Director for Winter Guard International (WGI).

Additionally, Jim has been a member of the New York Federation of Contest Judges since its inception in 1975. During that time, he has served in several capacities with the Federation—President, Visual Caption Coordinator, and Marching Band Caption coordinator. He has served as an adjudicator for WGI, DCI, DCA and marching band festivals and championships throughout the United States.

From 1997-2007, Jim served as a consultant, visual tech and caption head for the Syracuse Brigadiers Senior drum and bugle corps—the 1997 and 1999-2002 DCA World Champions. From 2008-2013, he served as a design consultant and visual tech for the Empire Statesmen. Jim also served as the Assistant Band Director of the University of Buffalo Athletic Bands (marching band and pep band) from 1999-2014.

This is Jim’s third year in serving as a visual design consultant with the White Sabers.

 


Donny Allen – Visual Design Consultant

Donny Allen has been involved with drum and bugle corps activity since he was a teenager playing soprano horn with St. Joseph’s of Batavia and Purple Lancers of Auburn, N Y. He was lead solo soprano player, arranger and brass instructor for Empire Statesmen in the early 1990s, during years the corps twice won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world title and was extending performance opportunities with overseas tours and winter stage concerts. In 1994, he received the DCA individual showmanship award.

Since then, he has served as brass arranger and instructor for Syracuse Brigadiers (DCA Champions 1997), Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni and Rochester Crusaders. He has also been either brass arranger or instructor for the Cadets of Greece, Mighty Liberators of Rochester, Firebirds of Rochester, Pioneer, Rochester Northmen, Diplomats of Malden, MA and many more. In 1992 and again in 1994, he was chosen as the music director of the all-star group of more than 300 musicians who participated in the nationally- televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. He is a member of the New York State Field Band Contest Judges, USBands and Cavalcade of Bands.

Mr. Allen has achieved first place gold medals in every division in Drum Corps Associates, from the individual level in trumpet performance to the World Class. During the 1990’s, Donny worked with and played with World Champions “Power Zone” the brass ensemble gold medalist at DCA for 5 consecutive years.

In 2013, Mr. Allen achieved a rare “triple crown” with first place DCA Gold Medals in three separate areas of competition; individual trumpet, “Mini Corps” (Ghost Riders) and “Class A” (White Sabers) World Champions. A band director at Corning-Painted Post School District, Mr. Allen presently also continues in his own business of music education, arranging, adjudication and consulting based in New York State. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from State University of New York and is a certified K-12 music teacher in New York State. Donny also has a Masters of Music Education from University of New York at Buffalo.

Mr. Allen is the Chairman of the Board for the Bugler’s Hall of Fame and a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame since 1995.