Visual Staff Bios

Jason Bentley, Visual and Movement Director

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JASON BENTLEY is excited to return to the Jersey Surf in this new capacity of Drill Designer and director of the Surf’s visual program. 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.

Jared Seymour, Visual Caption Head

Jared1JARED SEYMOUR lives in Madison Heights, Michigan. He is currently finishing his Bachelors of Music Education at Oakland University, expecting to graduate in the fall of 2016. At school, Jared preforms with the Oakland University wind ensemble and Brass Band. Jared spends his fall teaching visual at Ferndale High School, and instructing brass at Lake Orion High School. He spends his free time as a vocal instructor for musicals at his high school alma mater and as president of the newly charter Sigma Nu Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. After graduation he plans to begin his career as a high school band director while continuing to work with bands and drum corps.
A teacher first introduced Jared to marching band. Not knowing what he was going into, he spontaneously attended a Glassmen camp in 2011, thus starting his marching career as a trumpet. After taking a year off, he eventually joined the Bluecoats, marching trumpet for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons. Jared is ecstatic for this new opportunity with the Jersey Surf as he transitions from marching member to staff.

John Johnston, Visual Instructor

John Johnston-2642JOHN JOHNSTON graduated last May from Lebanon Valley College with a Bachelor’s degree in music and concentrations in Trombone, Oboe, and Jazz Studies. John began his drum corps career by marching euphonium with the Jersey Surf in 2013 & 2014. Recent teaching experience includes serving on staff for the Cedar Crest and Conestoga Valley marching bands, where he served as a visual technician. In addition, he worked with the 2015 Division I Cavalcade of Bands champion, Blue Mountain High School, for which he served as brass caption head and a visual technician. He is currently the oboe instructor for Lebanon Valley College’s Community Music Institute. In addition to educational pursuits, as an independent performer John performs regularly throughout the year as a conductor as well as a double reed and low brass performer, he currently sits as principal oboist of the Anthracite Philharmonic, and performs as both a classical and jazz artist in many churches, jazz groups, pit orchestras, concert bands, and chamber groups.

Tyler Propfe, Visual Instructor

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TYLER PROPFE started his marching career with the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps in 2006 on trumpet. He marched with the Hurricanes until 2012, playing both mellophone and trumpet. Tyler spent 2013 and 2014 playing mellophone with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps before filling late season spots with the Hurricanes. He returned full time to the Hurricanes for the 2015 season as the Horn Sargeant, wrapping up a total of 10 seasons with the organization.

Tyler was born and raised in New Hartford, CT but currently resides in West Chester, PA. He attends West Chester University working towards a dual degree in Music Eduction and Vocal Performance as a baritone, and expects to graduate in the spring of 2016. He participated in the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band as a trumpet in 2011, section leader in 2012, and student visual coordinator in 2013 and 2014. He was also a visual and music tech for the Methacton Warrior Marching Band in Eagleville, PA.

This will be Tyler’s first year with the Jersey Surf. He is extremely excited for the opportunity to help forge new opportunities for students and facilitate a love of the marching arts!

Andrew Gregory, Visual Instructor

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ANDREW GREGORY recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in music education. During college, Andrew spent four seasons with the Bluecoats and served as section leader in the Carolina Band during his senior year. In his free time, he enjoyed teaching local South Carolina marching bands and remained active in the music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha. Andrew is excited to begin his music education career on tour teaching Jersey Surf!

Kylon Smith, Visual Instructor

GHS v CHHSOriginally from Mansfield, TX, KYLON SMITH began his Drum Corps career in 2011, performing with The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Playing trumpet and flugelhorn, Smith continued his career at the Crossmen until 2013, competing in DCI World Class Championship Finals in 2012. Kylon concluded his drum corps career as a marching member of the 2014 horn line with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, earning 6th place at DCI World Championship Finals.

Kylon has worked with bands of 300+ students as an asset to several marching band visual programs in the North Texas area, earning UIL Sweepstakes awards with every program. He is currently a student at the University of North Texas, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science. Kylon is eager to joining the Jersey Surf Team and can’t wait for what this summer has in store.

Evan Tropp, Visual Instructor

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Evan Tropp started his musical career at the age of 8 playing trumpet. Since then he has earned his degree in Music Education from UMass Lowell in 2005. Evan’s drum corps career consists of marching in East Coast Jazz for 4 years and returning to teach for 2 more. Additionally, he has been the Lead Visual Instructor for Citations and Spartans.

He has also acted in multiple capacities as instructor and designer for bands, color guards and indoor percussion. Evan is also just completed his 4th season as the visual instructor for Spirit Indoor Percussion Ensemble.

He is currently the Instrumental Band Director for both middle school and high school in Methuen, MA.