Creative Staff Bios

Jason Bentley, Drill Designer

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Jason is excited to return to the Jersey Surf in this new capacity. Jason has always shared an affinity with the Surf from staff to volunteers to the performers. He is a drill writer and visual clinician in Atlanta, GA. Jason performed with Crossmen and Cadets of Bergen County before beginning his teaching career. This will be his sixteenth season teaching, and it is shaping up to be the most creatively rewarding to date. Some of Jason’s previous work includes time with the Crossmen, East Coast Jazz, Jersey Surf, Blue Knights, Academy, and Bluecoats.

Dr. Andrew Yozviak, Brass Arranger

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Back for his fourth season as Brass Arranger, DR. ANDREW YOZVIAK is the Director of Bands at West Chester University. Dr. Yozviak’s primary responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, directing the Golden Rams Marching Band, and teaching graduate and undergraduate conducting classes. Prior to this appointment, Yozviak served as Visiting Director of Bands at Susquehanna University and taught thirteen years in the Pennsylvania public schools.

Dr. Yozviak has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Music Degree in Composition from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in Wind Conducting from Rutgers University where he studied with William Berz.

As a composer, Dr. Yozviak has accepted commissions to compose and arrange music in a variety of genres. He has composed commissioned works for winds, chorus, jazz ensemble, and a variety of chamber ensembles. Dr. Yozviak’s work as an arranger has yielded more than one hundred fifty marching band shows for some forty high schools, eight universities, five drum and bugle corps and work for NFL Films. His original compositions for marching band, which include Africa, a-MAZE-ing, The Art of War, Artificial Intelligence, Balance, The Bells, Four Suits, Night Visions, Koto, Water, and Winter Sketches are published by Marching Show Concepts’ Center X Productions.

Dr. Yozviak is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, the National Band Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, the Pennsylvania Bandmasters Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Erin Leifer Kosman, Color Guard Designer

Returning for her third year with Jersey Surf, Erin will be assuming a new role as Color Guard Caption Head! Erin began marching DCI with the Crossmen in 2003 before spending three years with the Phantom Regiment in 2004, 2006, and 2007. After marching, Erin discovered her love of teaching and spent the last 8 summer seasons doing just that. She taught the Colts color guard from 2008-2009 and served as the Lead Guard Instructor for Spirit of Atlanta from 2010-2013. During the winter, Erin spent 11 seasons with Black Watch Winter Guard from 2004-2014. Nine of those seasons she was a marching member, serving 2 as captain, and 2 years as a staff member. Erin currently lives with her fiancé and husky puppies in Cobb County, GA where she teaches sixth grade math and the Kell High School Marching Band and Indoor Colorguard Programs.

 

Justin Sullivan, Color Guard Designer

Justin is a native of Gainesville, FL. Currently, he resides in Austin, TX where he is the Color Guard Director at Cedar Park HS and an Assistant Director at Round Rock HS.

While in Florida , Justin was the Director of the Santa Fe HS Auxiliary Programs and the Assistant Director of Color Guards at Allen D. Nease HS. Under his direction, these color guards received superior ratings and the Nease color guards earned finalist positions in all three WGI classes, A, Open, and World. In 2014, Justin moved to Austin, TX and started teaching at East View HS and Round Rock HS. In March of 2014, the East View winter guard earned the school’s first state championship from the Texas Color Guard Circuit and the Round Rock guard placed 5th at WGI World Championships Scholastic Open Finals.

Justin was a member of Northeast Independent World Guard in 2009. He has been active in the DCI community as a member of the Spirit of Atlanta colorguard in 2008 and 2009 and ended his marching career with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps Colorguard in 2010. Justin was the 2010 DCI I&E Flag Champion. He was on the faculty of the World Class Finalist Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps from 2011-2013.

Rob Thatcher, Battery Arranger

Returning for his second season on his current tour of duty as the Surf’s percussion arranger is ROB THATCHER. Rob started his drum corps career in 1993 with DCAs Bushwackers as a quad player, with the good fortune to learn from some of the best quad players “in the business.” Coupled with exposure to fantastic percussion arranging by Robbie Robinson and Mark Thurston, Rob was inspired to start arranging for percussion ensembles of his own.

Rob was a performing member of the Bushwackers Drum Corps from 1993-1995, and again from 2005-2008, and a performing member of the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in 1996. From 1999-2001, he held the position of Percussion Caption Head and Arranger for the New York Skyliners. Rob also worked with the Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps as a technician in 2002, assuming the lead role as Percussion Caption Head in 2003. Most recently, Rob served as the Percussion Supervisor for the Bushwackers, and currently continues as Batterie Percussion Arranger.

He returned to the Jersey Surf in 2013 as Batterie Percussion Arranger, and is again ready to “share the percussive love” with the team in 2014.

New Jersey’s Old Bridge High School is Rob’s “other home team,” where he has been writing with Surf front ensemble arranger Colin Bell for the last 8 years. The program has grown substantially over this time period, and has achieved many successes in USBands, TIA, MAPS, and WGI. Rob has also written for a number of high school and college programs throughout the region.

Colin Bell, Front Ensemble Arranger

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Also returning for his third season is front ensemble arranger COLIN BELL. Colin is a composer, musician, and educator from Old Bridge, NJ. He has his BA in Music Education from Kean University where he studied percussion performance under the tutelage of NJ/NY area percussionist James Musto III. During his time at Kean, Colin was a snare drummer with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps from 2001-2003.

Colin is an active educator in New Jersey as an elementary school instrumental music teacher in Old Bridge, private percussion teacher, and front ensemble arranger/instructor for Old Bridge High School. Along with battery arranger Rob Thatcher, the two have had success regionally with Old Bridge’s marching band. The Old Bridge indoor percussion program has experienced success as a new comer to the national scene. They have been active in the MAPS, USBands and WGI indoor circuits and are going on their 5th year of attending WGI World Championships.

As a musician, Colin records and tours nationally with reggae band Echo Movement. He performs numerous musicals as a pit percussionist and drum set player. As a Scottish snare drummer, he performs with other Scottish musicians for numerous events; most notably opening for Rod Stewart for several years in New Jersey and New York City.

Joe Costable, Digital Sound Designer

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Sound Designer JOE COSTABLE is an Audio Engineer and Surf alumnus from Mount Kisco, NY. His career spans just about every area of the audio production and recording industry, from major record labels to foreign films. Joe possesses multiple gold and platinum awards for his work and is also a voting member of The Recording Academy. The 2015 season will be his fourth season bringing his talents to the Jersey Surf design team.