George Mason University 2019 Front Ensemble Staff Announcement

September 7, 2018

We are excited to introduce the 2019 George Mason University Indoor Drumline Front Ensemble staff!


Alex Kluttz - Front Ensemble Manager

Entering his third season as the Front Ensemble Manager for George Mason University, Alex Kluttz is a percussionist and educator in the Washington D.C. area. He is currently in his third year as the band director at Key Middle School in Springfield, VA.


Alex has taught percussion at multiple high schools including Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA, and Northwest Guilford, Eastern Randolph and Central Davidson High Schools in the greater Greensboro, NC area. 


His WGI experience began while assisting Palmetto Percussion in Columbia, South Carolina and Wake Forest Independent percussion ensemble from Winston Salem, North Carolina. 


Alex began his pageantry arts experience in 2008 when he joined Carolina Crown, completing five seasons and aging out in 2012. Upon aging out, he taught the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps for two years, coordinating the ensemble in 2014. He recently completed his fourth year on the front ensemble staff at Carolina Crown. 


He was awarded with the Hester Undergraduate Music Scholarship and is an Eagle Scout. While in his undergraduate studies, Alex performed with the UNCG Wind Ensemble at the College Band Directors National Association convention in 2013. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied percussion with Dr. Kristopher Keeton. He has also studied with John R. Beck and Peter Zlotnick.  He holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education and Music Performance.



Chad Riley - Front Ensemble Technician

Chad Riley is a percussionist and music educator living in Woodbridge, VA. He graduated from George Mason University, earning a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education, and works in Fairfax County Public Schools as an elementary band director.


Chad’s marching experience began in 2011 as a member of the front ensemble at Carolina Gold. He then went on to perform with Carolina Crown in 2013 and 2014 and aged out in 2015 at the Santa Clara Vanguard. Chad was additionally a member of the front ensemble at the George Mason University Indoor Drumline from 2013-2015.


As an instructor, Chad has worked with the front ensemble at South County High School in Lorton, VA since 2014. In 2018, he also joined the front ensemble staff at GMU Indoor Drumline and the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps. Chad is excited to return for this season with George Mason.



Jesse Valencia - Front Ensemble Technician

Jesse has been heavily involved with the marching arts since 2014, both as a member and instructor. Previously, he was a performing member with both Cadets 2 and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corp. Jesse has also competed in WGI with both Cadets Winter Percussion and United Percussion. Most recently, Jesse was the Front Ensemble Technician for Cadets2 during the summer of 2018. Currently, Jesse is the Front Ensemble Caption Head at Downingtown East High School. 


Jesse is currently pursuing a degree in Music Education from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.





Nick Mullen - Front Ensemble Technician

Nick Mullen is a well-versed percussionist and composer, specializing in jazz and contemporary percussion performance practices. Currently residing in Baltimore, Maryland, Nick has played, studied, and worked with many notable names within the region and abroad, including Mike Noonan, Matt Belzer, Howard Johnson, Lisa Cella, Warren Wolf, Tom Goldstein, and Austin Loman. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2017 with a B.A. in Jazz Studies.


As an artist within the marching percussion scene, Nick has a expansive resume as well. As a performer, Nick has marched with a diverse host of ensembles within the DCA, DCI, and WGI circuits, including: Penn State University Indoor Drumline (2011), Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps (2013), Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps (2015), George Mason University Indoor Drumline (2012-2014, 2018), and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (2017). He won a gold medal in WGI’s Independent Open Class with GMU in 2012, as well as a gold medal in DCA open class with the Reading Buccaneers in 2013. As an educator, Nick has worked with multiple programs within the Maryland region in abroad, including: the Towson University Marching Band, Governor Thomas Johnson High School, Calvert Hall College High School, Tuscarora High School, Brunswick High School, and West Frederick Indoor Percussion. He has also worked as a clinician for Downingtown West High School and Imperial Dynasty Indoor Percussion. As an arranger, Nick currently works as front ensemble arranger for both Governor Thomas Johnson High School and Tuscarora High School, both located in his former hometown of Frederick, Maryland.


Nick is excited for his 5th season involved with the Green Machine and is excited for what this year has in store!



Reed Kimmel - Sound Technician

2019 will be Reed's second-year on the George Mason staff. Born and raised in Harrisburg, PA, he has worked with Cadets Drum Corps the past 3 summers spending most his time on the road with the corps. Reed's start to the marching arts was in high school marching from snare to marimba in his 4 years. However, after graduating in 2012 as section leader, his marching career came to an end. Since then, Reed has been heavily involved in the audio field, working with local high schools, Cadets Winter Percussion, United Percussion, Cadets 2, Towson University and most recently at Cadets. Reed is currently a pit coordinator at Lower Dauphin High School in Central PA. 


Outside of his marching arts career he works at a restaurant in Hershey, PA. He also volunteers at his church and other local community events to help run their productions. DJ-ing is also part of his hobbies and frankly his favorite. 


"I am excited to be working with George Mason University Indoor Drumline with some former colleagues and continue my audio career in the pageantry arts."

Don't forget to register for our 2019 Audition Camps, to be held on October 7th, 21st, and 28th!


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