Chargers Marching Band

The Chargers Marching Band is a source of spirit and pride for the University of New Haven and local community. Under the direction of Jason L. DeGroff, our Marching Band is one of the fastest-growing collegiate marching bands in the country. What started with 20 members in 2009 has grown to almost 300 members!

Experience the Energy of the Marching Band!

Chargers Marching Band Staff
  • 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 via email at

  • Drummer/Percussionist Michael Blancaflor is an active freelance performer, educator and clinician in the Tri-State / New England Region. He is origina lly from Berlin CT, received a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He studied percussion with Rich Baccaro, Peter Tanner, Thom Hannum, Bill Reynolds, Peter Coutsouridis, Rosemary Small, Mike Clark and Alexander Lepak. He is currently an adjunct Music Faculty at the University of New Haven. Michael has performed with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps, Hartford Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Greenwich Village Orchestra, Astoria Symphony, and soloist with The Chelsea Symphony.

    As a show drummer, he has performed and recorded hundreds of musicals with various productions companies and schools in the region including the Atlantic Theater Company, Transport Group, Ivoryton Playhouse, TheaterWorks‬ USA, Custom Broadway Midi, Brainstorm Theatrics and many more. Michael has been a Consultant and Extra for Amazon Studios production of “Mozart in the Jungle” as well as a consultant for The CW’s Production of “Katy Keene”. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @whiteflowerperc

  • Thomas Wilson is an educator, arranger, composer, and percussionist from central Massachusetts. Currently, he serves as the director of the front ensemble and as the logistics coordinator for the University of New Haven Charger Marching Band, as well as a conductor of the concert band. Additionally, he teaches private percussion lessons at Amherst College, Auburn High School, and songwriting to incarcerated citizens through OpporTUNEity Music Connections™. Through a long and successful history in the marching arts he is also the front ensemble director of the Jersey Surf World Class Drum and Bugle Corps.

    From freelance arranging work for high school and higher education marching band programs across the country to gigging for local orchestras, wind ensembles, and musicals, Thomas stays busy as a musician. He is an active clinician for various band programs throughout New England, and maintains his energetic and uplifting teaching style throughout all idioms as an educator.

  • Monica Kowalski joined the Chargers Marching Band staff in the fall of 2018 as the coach of the feature twirlers (Charger Girls). She is an accomplished baton twirler with over 20 years of competition and coaching experience. As an undergraduate student at the University of New Haven, she performed for five seasons as the inaugural "Lady in Blue" feature twirler. She has earned multiple state, regional, and national titles and has performed all over the world: notable performances include appearances in the 82nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as a member of the National Baton Twirling All Stars, the annual July 4th Parade in Washington, DC, multiple Boston Celtics halftime shows, and performances in Nassau, Bahamas and Disney Springs. Monica feels immensely fortunate to share her love of collegiate twirling with her students!

    Monica holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven. She is the Lead Associate Data Steward at Save the Children US in Fairfield, CT, and resides in Monroe, CT with her fiancé & two dogs.

  • Bianca Doone (they/she) joined the percussion staff as cymbal technician in the Fall of 2017 and is excited to returning for their 6th year!

    She currently holds a Master of Science in Biostatistics and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from UMass Amherst. During their undergrad, they were a member of the cymbal line in the UMass Drumline under Thom Hannum. 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 the 2016 and 2017 seasons. From 2018 through 2021, they were a member of 7th Regiment's admin team. This winter, Bianca will be a percussion technician for Shelton High School Indoor Percussion in Shelton, CT.

    Bianca currently lives in Southington, CT and works as a Data Engineer for CVS Health.

Interested in Becoming a Member?

Prospective Members Sign Up for Additional Information


Chargers Marching Band

Alumni Magazine

We Are Family

While the Chargers marching band has grown dramatically over the past decade, its devoted musicians — now 270 strong — have formed a powerful bond.