Emelia Johnston is from Suwanee, Georgia, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia in 2017. Upon graduating, Emelia moved to Texas and is presently in her second year teaching band at Bonnette Junior High School, located in the Houston area.
Emelia's primary instrument is trumpet and she performs with several groups in the Houston area. Her drum corp experience includes performing with the Phantom Regiment Trumpet Line in 2016, as well as teaching the Oregon Crusaders Hornline in 2018.
Most importantly, Emelia is thrilled to join the team at Genesis and is looking forward to a great season!
Bailey Pruitt is a low brass instructor. She currently resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where she is finishing her undergraduate degree in Instrumental Music Education.
She has been involved in drum corps for six years, marching with the Blue Knights from Denver, Colorado from 2013-2017 on baritone, and teaching low brass for the Seattle Cascades in 2018. Her love for music education and the marching arts was ignited at a young age by her father, who is of the same profession. Upon graduation, she plans on returning home to Texas and becoming a band director.
Alejandro Cavazos is a native of South Texas and is in his 9th year as a band director. He is going on his 3rd year with Genesis Drum & Bugle Corps and he is ecstatic to be back with the brass staff for the 2018-2019 season.
Mr. Cavazos got his bachelors of music education from Texas A&M University-Kingsville where he studied under Dr. Paul Hageman and Dr. Oscar Diaz. Alex was in many ensembles while at TAMU-K which included Jazz 1 & 2, the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra, Trombone Choir, TAMUK Jazz Bones, and the Javelina Marching Band to name a few. He rooked out with The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps in 2007 on baritone and is currently lead trombone with the Rio Grande Valley Jazz Orchestra which will perform at the Midwest clinic in December. Aside from his professional life, he loves spending time with his wife and 2 children, Alex and Emma.
Davis Smith is a graduate of Arizona State University where he studied instrumental music education. Through high school and college Smith played the trumpet among other instruments. Smith was a 2014 United States Army All-American Marching Band member, representing his high school, Mountain Ridge from Glendale, AZ.
From 2011 to 2017 Smith spent 5 seasons marching various drum and bugle corps including The Academy, The Cavaliers and The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corp(s) and was the 2017 DCI I&E Trumpet Soloist Champion.
Smith was also on Brass and Visual Staff at Kidsgrove Scouts from Staffordshire, England and the Blue Devils “C” Drum and Bugle Corps.
Julie Perez was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and currently attends Elmhurst College. At Elmhurst College she participates in several ensembles as a horn player and is anticipating to graduate in May of 2019 with a degree in Music Education. Julie has marched 4 seasons of drum corps with Pioneer in 2015, 2016, and 2018 and with the Troopers in 2017. She is very excited to be joining the Genesis team!
Jenna is the Assistant Director of Bands at Plainfield South High school in Plainfield, Illinois, where she teaches both band and music theory courses. She is in her fourth year of teaching professionally, having graduated from Central Michigan University in 2015 with a degree in music education.
Outside of the classroom, Jenna actively teaches marching band across a multitude of states. Prior to teaching, Jenna marched with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps for five seasons; beginning on mellophone (’09, ’10) and aging out as Drum Major (’11-’13). She is incredibly excited to be joining the Genesis team this year as a member of the brass staff and cannot wait to see where this corps goes this season.
Associate Brass Caption Head
Born and raised in South Texas, Arturo Cano is entering his 10th season with Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps and has served many roles within the program. As a Senior Staff member and advisor, Art has been instrumental in building the Genesis organization and brass program and is a founding partner in the organization.
Mr. Cano graduated from Texas A&M University in Kingsville with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with teacher certification. He was a member of the trombone studio and studied under Dr. Paul Hageman. While at TAMU-K, Mr. Cano was in many of the universities ensembles which included Jazz Band 1 and 2, Wind Symphony, Trombone Choir, Jazz Combo, and The Javelina Marching Band. During his senior year, Mr. Cano was the Visual Caption Head for the Javelina Marching Band. His marching experiences include marching with the 2003 Division II Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps where he played euphonium. Currently Mr. Cano is in his 10th year of teaching and is the Head Band Director at Austin Middle School in San Juan Texas.
Katherine Willer is currently an Assistant Band Director at Henry Middle School in Cedar Park, TX. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from The University of Houston in May 2018.
She spent her past summer as an administrative staff member and vocal coach for the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps. She is beyond excited to join the Genesis family and is looking forward to a phenomenal season!
Celia Colter a first year band director at South Decatur High School in Greensburg, Indiana, where she oversees the entire band program grades 5-12. Celia graduated cum laude from Indiana State University with a degree in Music Education in May of 2018. Her primary instruments of study are trombone and piano.
As a Drum Corps International performer, Celia marched for three years with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps from 2013 to 2015, leading the corps as a Baritone/Euphonium Section Leader in 2015. In 2016, she marched with the Drum Corps International Championship Bluecoats. Colter aged out as a Bluecoat in 2017. She was featured on bass trombone in the 2017 show, "Jagged Line," and on tenor trombone in the 2016 production, "Down Side Up."
Originally from Albuquerque, NM, Brett Kroening resides in Austin, Texas as an active performer, educator, and composer with a full studio of over 50 horn students.
Prior to returning to Texas in 2015, Brett was on faculty at The New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, NM as AP Music Theory Lecturer and Orchestra Director during which he led ensemble to back-to-back NM State Orchestra championships. He worked as Composer/Music Arranger for the school as well, a position he still maintains.
Studying horn performance, music theory and composition, (University of New Mexico, Metropolitan State University, UT Austin), Brett freelances/teaches/writes in the central Texas area. As a composer, he has received composition commissions from local, regional, and international ensembles and institutions such as Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Phi Beta Mu Music Fraternity, Wichita State University, Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, line upon line percussion ensemble, Rocky Mountain Brassworks, and The United States Air Force Academy along with many high school ensembles in New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Texas and California.
Brett's compositions and arrangements have been performed/premiered in venues such as: The Lensic in Santa Fe, NM, Cadogan Hall in London, England, the Fryderyk Chopin Conservatory of Music in Warsaw, Poland, Die Hochschule Luzern in Lucerne, Switzerland, the Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, Korea, and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
He holds the 4th horn position with the Victoria Symphony (TX), and is also serving for his 4th season as Executive Director of Round Rock Symphony. This will also be Brett’s first year as co-conductor of Vivace Youth Orchestra in Georgetown, TX.
Noah Aguillon attends Texas Lutheran University as a Music Education major as a trumpet player and is in the Wind Ensemble as well as Jazz band. He marched 2 years of Drum corps with The Troopers from 2016-2017.
Alex Hedden is excited to join the Genesis Brass Staff for the 2019 season!
Originally from Georgia, Alex is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, TX. Before moving to Texas, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia.
While at UGA, Alex studied Saxophone with Dr. Connie Frigo and performed in the Wind Symphony, Jazz Band I, Saxophone Ensemble, numerous saxophone quartets, and the Redcoat Marching Band. He performed as a member of the Carolina Crown hornline from 2014-2016 on euphonium.
Brass Caption Head
Andy Grindle is currently the Director of Bands at Kernan Middle School and Assistant Director of Bands at Sandalwood High School, located in Jacksonville, FL. He received his Bachelor of Music Education (K-12) degree from West Liberty University and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Non-Profit Management.
Andy began his drum corps experience with the Madison Scouts in 2011 under the brass leadership of Donnie VanDoren, Robert W. Smith, Brad Kerr Green, and Tim Snyder. From 2012 - 2016 Andy served on the brass educational faculty of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps (Casper, Wyoming) focusing on high brass instruction and the recruitment and retention of membership. In 2017, he focused his efforts towards recruitment with both Oregon Crusaders (Portland, Oregon) and the Guardians (Houston, Texas), helping lead both organizations to a record turnout during their respective audition seasons.
From 2011 to 2018, Andy served as a trumpet player in the 249th Army Band, as well as a soldier in the West Virginia Army National Guard. While attending the Army School of Music, he received the Commandant’s Coin of Excellence for his leadership and motivational qualities.
Andy is thrilled to join the Genesis family and looks forward to a successful season!
A native of Arizona, Ms. Frost received her BM in Instrumental Music Education in May 2008 from Arizona State University where she was in several performing ensembles including the Wind Symphony, chamber ensembles, brass quintet, trumpet ensemble, and the Sun Devil Marching Band. While in college, she taught trumpet privately in the Phoenix area as well as supervised the visual programs at several high schools in the Valley.
Ms. Frost has been involved with the DCI activity for fourteen years now. She began her drum corps career as a soprano soloist with the 2001 CooperStar from Gilbert, Arizona and was a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, California from 2003 to 2006, aging out of DCI as the 2006 I&E Trumpet Champion.
Following her time as a member, she began teaching in 2007 as an intern with the Vanguard A Corps, as well as devoting some time to the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as a visual instructor. In 2008 and 2009 she joined the brass staff at the Blue Stars from LaCrosse, Wisconsin as the trumpet technician and Breathing Gym specialist. Starting in 2010, Ms. Frost joined the brass staff of the Madison Scouts from Madison, Wisconsin and has been with the corps ever since.
In the Fall of 2008 Ms. Frost had the special opportunity of traveling to Japan to be a professional musician, playing both trumpet and piccolo trumpet, for the “Odyssey” stage production. The show was an all-female cast of percussionists, dancers and brass musicians sponsored by the Min-On Concert Association, a Japanese organization that believes music is the universal language, promoting cultural exchange and peace by introducing music and performing arts from every country around the world.
Prior to her time at Vista Ridge, Ms. Frost taught in Georgetown ISD for five years, two as the assistant director at Georgetown High School and three as the Director of Bands at East View High School. Much like Mr. Christian, Ms. Frost had the incredible opportunity to start East View from the ground up in 2011. While at East View, Ms. Frost helped the program receive superior ratings both on the marching field and concert stage.