Director - Chargers Marching Band
Jason L. DeGroff became the Director of the Chargers Marching Band in the Spring of 2010, right after the marching band's first fall season. DeGroff holds a Masters and Bachelors Degree in Music Education (trumpet/conducting) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Ma. While there, he was a five-year member of the Minuteman Marching Band, and later was the Graduate T.A. for George N. Parks and the Marching Band. DeGroff has worked at all levels in instrumental music; as an elementary and middle school band director, an assistant high school band director, and a college marching band director. He revived the marching band at Central CT State University where he served as director for five years. DeGroff is currently the drill designer for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, winners of the Sudler Trophy, an award given to the best college marching band in the country.
He is currently on the visual staff with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps where he was also a member for three years (1989-1991) of the 10-time World Champions. DeGroff was also a member of the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps for five years. Upon "aging out" he served as the visual caption head and wrote drill for the Boston Crusaders and the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. DeGroff also has been the Show Coordinator for the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps. Contact Jason DeGroff
Suzanne M. Broadbent
Assistant Director/ Color Guard Caption Head
Sue started in the color guard activity when she was 13 with her local high school color guard. Since that time she has performed with various world class color guards throughout the country, including the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps from 1992 to 1994; Blessed Sacrament winter guard in 1995; and Phantom Regiment, including their world championship year in 1996, and 1997. Sue also spent many years teaching local color guards, including Danbury High School, Sacred Heart University, Brookfield High School, and Norwalk High School, where she was part of the team that led Norwalk High School to WGI Finalist status. She has also consulted with various other high school programs. Sue remains involved with the activity as she currently works with the Trumbull High School color guard.
Professionally, Sue is a lawyer working for a Lloyd’s, London Syndicate that has an office based in Connecticut.
Percussion Caption Head
Omi Batan is the Percussion Caption Head at the University of New Haven Marching Band. He began his marching career in drum corps at the Connecticut Hurricanes in 2009 playing snare drum. He was also part of the University of Connecticut Marching band in 2009 and 2011. In the summer of 2010 Omi marched Jersey Surf and ended his DCI career with the Cadets in 2011. In 2012 he aged-out with United Percussion, a WGI world class percussion group and returned to the University of Connecticut to teach the winter percussion line for that spring semester. He is currently Percussion Caption Head at the Stamford High School and Assistant Percussion Caption Head at Fusion Core Drum and Bugle Corps in the DCA circuit. His teaching philosophy revolves around education, passion for music, and above all, making sure that everyone is having fun while achieving a high level of excellence.
Front Ensemble Arranger/Instructor
Kristen has marched with the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum And Bugle Corps from the years 2007-2012. For the 2007/08 seasons she marched baritone, then for the remainder of her years there, 2009-2012, she played vibraphone and marimba in the front ensemble. During the winter seasons of 2012 and 2013 she marched indoor on vibe with United Percussion. Kristen has taught the fall and winter seasons for the pit at Westhill Highschool from 2010 through 2012. She started teaching the front ensemble for Stamford high school in 2012 and is still teaching there. She also currently teaches the front ensemble for Fusion Drum and Bugle Core.
Front Ensemble Instructor/Arranger
Taylor Yozwiak grew up in Columbia, Maryland and began playing percussion at age 9. While still in High School, Taylor was a member of the Maryland All- State Wind Ensemble from 2006-2009, and was the drumset player for the Maryland All-State Jazz band in 2009. Taylor began his marching percussion career in the drumline at Atholton High School and continues to teach the percussion program at AHS each summer.
Taylor has recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance. During his time at UMass, Taylor studied percussion with professors Thom Hannum (DCI Hall of FZamer) and Ayano Kataoka (Yale Graduate). Taylor was an active member in numerous performing ensembles while at UMass including the UMass Orchestra, Mass Marimba Band, Percussion Ensemble, and was the percussion section leader for the UMass Minuteman Marching Band and the Wind Ensemble.
During the summers of 2011 and 2012, Taylor was the timpanist for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps where he assisted the corps in their tenth DCI World Championship in 2011. Taylor has also won numerous awards through his involvement with Atholton, UMass, and the Cadets, including the 2012 Vic Firth Scholarship, the Cadets Distinguished Service Award, the UMass Chancellor?s Talent Scholarship, and the ?Semper Fidelis? award for Musical Excellence presented by the Marine Corps League.
Teaching Assistant/Drill and Music Tech
Stephen Klepner has been involved with the University of New Haven Marching Band since the return of the football program in the fall of 2009. He was an active member in the program from 2009 to 2012. While a member in the UNH Marching Band, Stephen was the Low Brass Section Leader for four years as well as Horn Sergeant of Winds for three. Stephen has performed as a brass member of the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps as well as the Boston Crusader Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also written drill and staging for multiple high school groups in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Currently Stephen is the wind caption head at Naugatuck High School as well as a Teaching Assistant and wind tech at the University of New Haven where he will enter his fifth season working with the UNH?s band program.
Music Arranger - Chargers Marching Band
Mr. Cipriani received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Instrumental Education from the University of Mississippi. As a student at Ole Miss, he studied trumpet performance under the guidance of Dr. Charles Gates. Gino also had the great pleasure of studying trumpet under Roy Poper when he attended California State University at North Ridge
Mr. Gino Cipriani has served as a consultant to Marching Bands, Jazz Bands, Concert Bands as well as Drum and Bugle Corps across the United States, Canada and Korea. In Korea, Mr. Cipriani had the pleasure of working with the Korean Armed Forces Bands in preparation of the World Cup Ceremonies in 2002. In addition, Gino serves as an adjudicator at marching band competitions throughout the United States for US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA).
Gino Cipriani spent ten years, 1990 through 1999, as a brass instructor for the fourteen-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. He then took the position as brass supervisor for the ten-time World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2000 and 2001 season. In 2002 and 2003 Mr. Cipriani had the honor to serve as the brass caption head and assisted in bringing Magic of Orlando back to the field as a finalist after two years of inactivity. In 2004, Gino held the brass caption head position for the six-time World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Gino Cipriani headed as well as consulted for the brass section of the five-time DCA champion Syracuse Brigadiers. In 2007 he took the position of brass caption head of the six-time DCA champion Reading Buccaneers.
Currently, and once again Mr. Gino Cipriani holds the position of the brass supervisor for the ten-time World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. He led the brass program to its World Champion brass titles in 2000 and 2005.