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.
As we begin the Spring 2022 semester, the University has made several recent announcements:
Please read these announcements,and full Spring 2022 information, at the following links:Spring 2022 Info and Policies COVID-19 Dashboard COVID-19 Overview
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.
Laura joined the University of New Haven Marching Band staff in the fall of 2017 and is returning for her 5th year on guard staff. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University. While at UD, Laura performed with the University of Delaware Marching Band for four seasons, also participating in the University-sponsored winterguard Visual Arts Production Company in 2005 and 2006, and again in 2008 with Delazure. She marched one season of Apex IW in 2007, and after graduating she moved back up to Connecticut and marched with the Blessed Sacrament World guard in 2009 and 2011.
Laura has been involved in drum corps for 17 years, starting off in 2003 with the Connecticut Hurricanes Colorguard. She marched there for 10 years and also spent one season in DCI with Capital Regiment in 2005 from Columbus, OH. She was on guard staff with the Hurricanes 2012 and 2019, and is currently serving as the Colorguard Caption Head and Guard Designer for the 2021 season. She also taught two years at 7th Regiment during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
In the past she has been the colorguard director at Sacred Heart University (2009-2012), director of the Trumbull A Winterguard (2012-2014), flag tech for the Trumbull Marching Band (2012-2017), flag tech/writer for the Trumbull A Guard (2014-2017) and flag tech for the 2014 Trumbull World Guard. She currently lives in Cheshire, CT and teaches elementary band and orchestra in Hamden.
“Hi everyone! My name is Saul Cortez and I’m excited to be working with the UNH Marching Band this year!
This will be my first year working with the band and my 9th year of being involved with the marching arts. I marched all throughout high school in Iowa, and served as Drum Major for my last 2 years. I also marched for 4 years with the Band of the Fighting Irish from the University of Notre Dame. While there, I had the privilege of performing halftime shows not only at Notre Dame Stadium, but also in other venues such as Yankee Stadium and AT&T Stadium.
I studied Bass Trombone Performance while at Notre Dame and performed with various music groups both domestically and internationally. While doing so, I gained valuable insights on the art of performing music, and I’m happy to share said insights with the UNH Marching Band this year!
Go Chargers (and Go Irish)!”
Bianca Doone (they/she) is the Cymbal Technician for the University of New Haven Chargers Marching Band. This is their fifth year teaching at UNewHaven.
They have been involved in the marching arts and music all her life. In college, Bianca played cymbals in the UMass Drumline under Thom Hannum for four years, becoming section leader in their senior year. At UMass, she also participated in Concert Band, Marimba Ensemble, and the UMass Hoop Band. In 2015, Bianca marched and aged-out in 7th Regiment's inaugural cymbal line, and then went on to teach the cymbal line for two years after. They currently serve on the Admin team for 7th Regiment.
Bianca's "day-job" is a Business Information Analyst for Webster Bank in Waterbury, CT. They received their Master of Science in Biostatistics from UMass Amherst in 2019, where they also completed their Bachelor’s degree.
Vivian Kung is an award winning tuba player known for her passionate work in music and advocacy.
Most recently, Ms. Kung was the brass winner of the 37th Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental competition. In 2019, Ms. Kung was the national winner of the Music Teacher's National Association brass division, placing first out of an initial 600 competitors. In the same year, she won third prize in the IWBC Susan Slaughter tuba solo competition. In 2018, she was the Young Artist winner of the Northwestern Tuba and Euphonium conference solo competition.
Ms. Kung has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Symphoria Orchestra, and on stage at Warner Brothers Studios. She has also performed with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, securing a contract at the age of 17 and winning a world championship at 19. Ms. Kung continued her presence in the marching arts world as a performer in Blue Devils Entertainment, frequently serving as the Golden State Warriors tuba player. Her work in the pageantry arts extends beyond performance to education, with many years of successful teaching experience among award winning marching bands.
Ms. Kung is the founder and a current member of Moniker Brass, a brass quintet that attended the 2019 American Brass Quintet Seminar at the Aspen Music Festival.
Vivian is currently pursuing her master's in music at Yale University. She graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 2020 with degrees in tuba performance, music education, and Asian American studies. Her teachers include Aubrey Foard, John Rojak, and Carol Jantsch.
Dan Schack is a designer, educator, clinician, adjudicator, and podcast host in the marching arts.
He currently serves as the Creative Director of the George Mason University Indoor Drumline and the Program Coordinator of the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps. He is on the percussion staff of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and the faculty of Settlement Music School.
Dan is the creator/host of the podcast ‘That Dan Band Show,’ on which he sits down with designers, teachers, judges, and members of the marching arts to give you a behind-the-scenes look into the band world.
Dan proudly endorses Vic Firth drumsticks, Zildjian Cymbals, Remo drumheads, Pearl/Adams percussion instruments, and Lot Riot apparel.
Outside of his musical endeavors, Dan is the Account Executive for Marching Band and Performing Arts at CaptainU, an online recruiting platform that connects performers to instructors and directors.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s in English and Women’s Studies from Wright State University, where he specialized in contemporary literature.
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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