Chargers Marching Band
While the Chargers marching band has grown dramatically over the past decade, its devoted musicians — now 270 strong — have formed a powerful bond.
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.
Dr. Alexander Casimiro is the Associate Director of Bands at the University of New Haven. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master's degree in Music Performance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has performed with the Austin Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, and the Round Rock Symphony. He also served as the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at Duke University and was the percussion teacher at Creighton University.
At UMass, Alex performed in the Minuteman Marching Band under the direction of George Parks, Thom Hannum, and Colin McNutt. He served as the section leader of the UMass drumline from the spring of his first year through senior year. He has also been a member of numerous competitive marching ensembles including the Cadets, the Madison Scouts, the Spartans, the Targets, the Silver Knights, and the Boston University Winter Percussion Ensemble.
He has taught a variety of marching ensembles including the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps, Omaha Central High School, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Texas at Austin, and Duke University. He is the writer and instructor for the Trash Tones percussion group at Six Flags New England, while also having been an original member of the group. He has taught numerous clinics and performed throughout the United States and in Portugal.
Alex has had the honor of performing at special events such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Barack Obama's Inaugural Parade, George W. Bush's Inaugural Parade, the New England Patriots Super Bowl Ring Ceremony, Craig Mello's Nobel Prize Banquet, a concert with the band KANSAS and the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Menuhin Violin Competition, and The Rite of Spring with the Joffrey Ballet. In April of 2015, Alex performed the world premier of the Drum Set Suite by composer Stuart Saunders Smith, consisting of the pieces Blue Too, Two Lights, and Brush. In Smith's introduction to the event, he described the collection as "by far the most difficult drum set solos that I know of that have been written."
Alex has studied with Dr. Thomas Burritt, Dr. Tomm Roland, Ayano Kataoka, Thomas P. Hannum, Tony Edwards, Ken Yoshida, Dana Murray, and Wayne Salzmann II. In drum corps, Alex marched under the direction of Colin Mcnutt, Tom Aungst, Lee Beddis, Chris Dufault, and others. He is a member of the Marching Percussion Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. Alex endorses Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, and Remo Drumheads.
Laura started her marching band and colorguard career with Cheshire High School in 2000, alternating as an instrumentalist in the fall and a member of the winterguard. She then went on to earn her bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Delaware, where she performed with the UDMB fall colorguard for all four seasons and was colorguard captain from 2005-2007. She marched the University sponsored winterguard Visual Arts Production Company in 2005 and 2006, Delazure in 2008, and one season of Apex Independent World in 2007. After graduating in 2008, Laura moved back up to Connecticut and spun with the Blessed Sacrament World guard in 2009 and 2011.
Laura's drum corps experience includes 10 years of marching in the Connecticut Hurricanes, as captain in 2008 and 2009 and as a technician for the 2012 season. She also marched one season with Capital Regiment in 2005.
Laura was the Colorguard Director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT from 2009-2012, a flag technician for Trumbull High School from 2012-2017, and is currently a colorguard technician for the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. She lives in Milford, CT and teaches elementary band and orchestra in Hamden, CT. She is currently in the process of earning a Masters in Music Education degree from Western Connecticut State University.
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Marching Band Office: (203) 479-4229
Music Department Office: (203) 932-7101
Mail: Chargers Marching Band
Dodds 208 (Music Office)
300 Boston Post Road
West Haven, CT 06516