2020 Front Ensemble Staff


Matt Filosa, Arranger/Sound Designer, Caption Head

Matt is a freelance percussionist, composer, and arranger currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas. Owner of Sonus Designs and Publications, Matt writes, designs for, and teaches marching bands and indoor percussion groups all over the country. Matt has done sound design and front ensemble arranging for several WGI and DCI finalist groups, most notably PIW group Music City Mystique (music/sound designer) , the Cadets (Sound Design 2017-2018), and Spirit of Atlanta (2019). Matt earned his Bachelors in Percussion Performance from the University of Florida (2007) and Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of North Texas (2009). While attending UNT, Matt wrote for and taught the Green Brigade Drumline. In 2011, Matt was accepted into the Florida State percussion studios doctoral program, where his responsibilities included teaching the Marching Chiefs Drumline (2011-2015). Currently ABD, Matt plans to earn his Doctorate in Percussion Performance in the fall of 2019. Before starting work on his doctorate, Matt was the Assistant Band Director/ Percussion Specialist at Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. During this time, Matt created the popular stage show “Electronica” and “Dreamscape”, which later turned into the professional stage show “Nebulas”. Matt has performed at WASBE in Singapore and Ohio, CBDNA, TMEA, FMEA, and the Percussive Arts Society National Convention on several occasions, including performances with the Florida State percussion ensemble (2011), Bluecoats percussion ensemble (2007), and clinic presenter with Music City Mystique(2016). Passionate about the marching arts, it is Matt’s continued goal to inspire, educate, and promote music education and participation in the arts. Matt is endorsed by Innovative Percussion, Pearl/Adams, Evans drum heads, and Sabian Cymbals.

Michael Kern, Front Coordinator
is a percussionist from St. Louis, Missouri where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Missouri State University. Michael has been an active member in the marching arts, both as a performer and as an educator. Michael marched with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps from 2015-2017, the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps for their 2014 season, and Freedom Percussion for their 2015 and 2017 seasons. As an educator, Michael currently teaches Broken Arrow High School as the Front Ensemble technician

Luis Rivera, Technician

Dr. Luis Rivera is a percussionist with the Ceremonial Brass, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. Prior to his current position, Luis served as the Assistant Professor of Percussion at Oklahoma City University, and prior to that at the University of South Alabama. He has been involved in the drum corps activity for nearly 20 years, performing as a snare drummer for three seasons with Magic of Orlando and the Madison Scouts. After aging out, he has taught Carolina Crown, Boston Crusaders, the Cadets, and now rejoins the Spirit of Atlanta for a second time. Originally from Orlando, Luis received the Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Central Florida and holds a Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from the University of South Carolina. In 2012 he received the Doctor of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Florida State University. Luis is a published composer/arranger through Alfred Music, Bachovich Publications, Tapspace Publications, self-publishes various classical arrangements, and has scholarly works published with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) journals, Percussive Notes and Rhythm! Scene. He has served on the PAS Composition Committee, and currently is a member of the PAS Marching Percussion Committee.

Brandon Dodge, Technician
is a freelance percussionist, music educator, and composer/arranger currently based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. As a performer, Brandon has presented several solo recitals and maintains an active involvement in several contemporary chamber groups. A dedicated and enthusiastic music educator, Brandon currently works as the front ensemble tech and arranger for the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Marching Band, and joined the percussion staffat Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016. He also spent several years as a front ensemble tech with Atlanta Quest Independent Indoor Drumline. In the past, Brandon was a four-time DCI finalist, performing in the front ensemble with Spirit of Atlanta (2003, 2005, 2006) and Phantom Regiment (2007).Brandon is currently pursuing a D.M.A. in percussion performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and holds an M.M. from Georgia State University, and a B.A. from Jacksonville State University, where he studied percussion and composition.

Joseph Reed, Technician
Joseph currently resides in Memphis, Tn where he works as a Continuous Improvement Engineer for the Milwaukee Tool Corporation. Joseph’s performance history includes marching two years with the Music City Drum and Bugle Corps (2011-2012), three years withthe Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2013-2015, Front Ensemble Section Leader in 2015), and one year with the Music City Mystique Indoor Drumline (2017, Gold Medalist). Joseph currently works with numerous percussion programs including Oxford High School, the 2018 Mississippi State 6A Champion Hernando High School,andthe 8-time WGI World Champion Music City Mystique. This will be Joseph’s second year being apart of the Spirit of Atlanta Instructional Staff.

Kevin Sayers, Technician
most recently has worked with Infinity Percussion in Orlando, where he helped the group maintain their top 10 placement, earning a 6th place finish in 2018. Kevin studied at University of South Florida, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 2012. During this time he performed in the USF percussion ensemble, under the direction of Robert McCormick. Kevin appears on several McCormick Percussion group CDʼs, including “The Music of Gui Sook Lee”, “Concerti for Piano with Percussion Orchestra”, and “Concerti for Strings with Percussion Orchestra”. Sayers also participated in “Brahma” from USF between 2009-2011, competing in the WGI circuit. Currently, Kevin teaches band and choral music in Hillsborough County, Florida, and works with the band programs at Newsome and Bloomingdale High School

Matt Wyckoff, Technician
is a performer and educator from New Jersey with a deep passion for classical, contemporary, and marching percussion. Currently residing in The Woodlands, Texas, he teaches percussion at The Woodlands High School and McCullough Junior High School.Through his marching arts performance career, Matt was a member of The Cadets, Cadets2 and United Percussion. He immediately began giving back to the activity by educationally advancing Cadets2 and Cadets Winter Percussion. Matt served as an instructor for The Cadets in 2017 and Assistant Front Ensemble Caption Manager in 2018-19. Matt is an accomplished designer and arranger in the marching arts, writing for many high schools throughout the U.S., including Upper Darby High School, Boyertown High School, and Stamford High School.Matt received a Masterʼs Degree in Percussion Performance at Morehead State University where he assumed the role of Graduate Assistant, working closely with Dr. Brian S. Mason and Dr. Matthew Geiger. At MSU, Matt taught the marching band, percussion ensemble, and private lessons. He also holds Bachelorʼs Degrees in both Music Education and Music Performance from West Chester University. He credits much of his success to his studies at WCU with Dr. Chris Hanning, Dr. Ralph Sorrentino, Mr. David Nelson, Dr. Marc Jacoby and Dr. Adam Silverman. Matt is a proud endorser of Artifact Percussion