2019 Instructional Staff
Ciara Sacco, Brass Caption Head
Highland Regiment is thrilled to welcome Ciara Sacco as Brass Caption Head for the 2020 season!
Ciara graduated Magna Cum Laude from Messiah University, where she studied Music Education and was a member of the Honors College. She was also a performer on recording projects for Brass Cross, a faculty and select student ensemble, and premiered a horn solo by Dr. James Colonna.
Ciara taught for three seasons with Mechanicsburg Area Senior High marching band alongside staff members associated with Cadets and Blue Devils. Ciara was a brass chamber ensembles coach for Mechanicsburg, and also taught a small private horn studio. Ciara is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Horn Performance at Temple University, and taught the brass line at Cherokee High School.
Dennis Argul, Brass Arranger
Highland Regiment is proud to announce that Dennis Argul will return as Brass Arranger and Program Consultant for the 2020 season!
Dennis has been with Highland since the very start and has helped Highland to take shape with his artful arrangements and sage advice. He holds degrees from Rutgers University & New Jersey City University.
Dennis is a nationally recognized clinician and adjudicator with decades of experience in arts education. Most recently Dennis was chosen to judge 2019 DCI Semi-finals.
Dennis keeps our performers in mind when crafting his charts based on legendary composers. The results are fun to perform and appealing to audiences everywhere.
Nick Ruel, Brass Technician
Nick Ruel is a senior studying Music Education at Western Connecticut State University. In addition to playing French Horn in many ensembles, including the Danbury Symphony Orchestra, he also plays jazz and classical Trumpet. Nick was awarded the 2019 Music Book Award for Music Theory for his studies in both Form Analysis and Composition.
Nick marched mellophone with 7th Regiment and has taught both visual and brass att Enrico Fermi HS in Northern Connecticut and at New Bedford HS in Southeastern Massachusetts. Most recently, he served as both a Visual & Brass Consultant at Enfield High School in Connecticut and is the Assistant Director for the Windham Concert Band.
Kevin Flaherty, Drill Designer & Visual Consultant
Highland Regiment is thrilled to announce that Kevin Flaherty will serve as Drill Designer and Visual Consultant for the 2020 season!
Kevin most recently served as Visual Staff with Howell High School of New Jersey and helped that program achieve unprecedented growth. He works in the Freehold, New Jersey school district and during the summer months leads music camps for young people.
Flaherty is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware where he earned a Bachelor of Music with Honors. While there he was a member of the renowned U D Marching Band serving for three years as its Drum Major.
Jason Crafts, Battery Caption Head
Highland Regiment is thrilled to welcome Jason Crafts as Battery Caption Head for 2020!
Jason has been a percussion performer for over 30 years, an adjudicator with the NJA since 2014, and a percussion educator for various New Jersey high schools since 1996. As a performer, Jason was a 4-year member of the Middle Township High School Marching Band, and a studio and live musician.
Jason has been the Percussion Caption Head/Arranger for Cherokee HS in Marlton, NJ. Under his direction, the group has won numerous high percussion awards including State and Northern States Championships, and Nationals. Jason also spent time as an Instructor/Consultant with Middle Township HS, the winningest program in TOB history, and was a Consultant for the 2018 Raiders.
Jason is a respected Adjudicator and has evaluated Regional as well as Atlantic Coast Championships.
Michelle Rodgers, Visual Technician
Highland Regiment is proud to announce that Michelle Rodgers will join us as Visual Technician for 2020!
Michelle Rodgers is an experienced teacher; she works as a Special Education Teacher at Morris Knolls and previously taught mathematics at Roxbury and Morristown school districts, both in New Jersey.
Michelle performed indoor and outdoor color guard with Roxbury High School and has a background in dance and movement. As an instructor, Rodgers is a longtime staff member with the venerable Randolph High School Marching Rams.
Highland will benefit from Michelle’s extensive knowledge of student learning and her wealth of pageantry experience.
Christian Colon-Liptak, Visual Technician
Highland Regiment is thrilled to welcome Christian Colon-Liptak as Visual Technician for 2020!
As a drum corps veteran, Christian brings a variety of performing experiences to his teaching with Highland. He performed with DCI’s Jersey Surf, Bridgemen Alumni, DCA’s Fusion Core, and Linden High School, all of New Jersey.
Christian instructed Hoboken High School this past band season and greatly enhanced their performance with his patient nature.
Christian is a founding member of Highland Regiment and we are certain that his quiet determination will add greatly to our members’ experiences.
Jess Schwindenhammer, Front Ensemble Caption Head
Highland Regiment is thrilled to welcome Jess Schwindenhammer as Lead Front Ensemble Technician for 2020!
Jessica is a fantastic performer and teacher and will bring a wealth of experience to the corps.
She performed at WGI Indoor with champion Matrix Percussion! Jess is a Front Ensemble instructor with the Nazareth Blue Eagles Marching Band of Pennsylvania.
Jess holds a BA from Kutztown University and just finished a Masters Degree in Medieval Studies from the University of Kent, England. We are thrilled that Jess is back in the states and will be a vital member of the team.
Members can count on her patient and diligent teaching!
Libby Morback, Front Ensemble Technician
Highland Regiment is proud to announce that Libby Mormak will join us as a front ensemble technician for 2020!
Libby’s love of marching band began in 2010 when she joined the Nazareth Area Blue Eagle Marching Band. She performed there in the front ensemble for five years, winning two USBands 4-Open National Championships.
After graduation, Libby marched with the Rutgers University cymbal line before transferring to Moravian College, where she played with the front ensemble. She returned to Nazareth Area Band as a staff member in 2016, where she recently helped the band accomplish a first-place finish in Cavalcade of Bands Patriot Open Class. Libby is currently a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Lehigh Valley Hospital
Ben Schwartz, Front Ensemble Arranger
Highland Regiment is thrilled to welcome Ben Schwartz as Front Ensemble Arranger for 2020!
Ben has worked almost every DCA corps over the course of his successful career. He has filled a variety of roles from Caption Head to Arranger.
Schwartz leads the venerable Elizabeth High School Marching Band when he is not working with drum corps. He holds degrees from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts and from New Jersey City University.
We are thrilled to have Ben as designer for our sophomore season. We look forward to his artful arrangements.
Dree Dray, Color Guard Caption Head
Highland Regiment is proud to announce Dree Dray will return for a second year as Color Guard Caption Head, and part of our Design Team.
Dree performs with Emanon World Indoor Guard in the offseason and was previously a member of the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps, and Co-Motion Indoor Guard. Dree has a background in dance and has performed at Lincoln Center with the Bolshoi Ballet Company.
He will bring a strong foundation of dance and body alignment and a visual understanding of music to his section. Dree's inventive equipment work and diligent efforts won out Color Guard a gold medal at DCA Individual and Ensemble Competition in 2017.
Dree works with several high school programs in New Jersey. He holds a degree from New York City College of Technology in computer systems and currently works in the field of Pharmacy providing excellent care to his patients.
James Hagan, Staff Coordinator
Highland Regiment is thrilled to welcome James Hagan as Staff Coordinator for 2020!
James brings a wealth of knowledge to Highland from his decades of drum corps experience. James worked with the Raiders of DCI and almost all of DCA at one time or another. In marching bands, he served as Front Ensemble caption head with Atlantic Coast Champion Liberty High School of Maryland for several seasons.
This is a new position at Highland that will bring enhanced communication and efficiency to rehearsing and achieving performance success.
Hagan is a World History teacher in his home state of Maryland and holds a Masters degree in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Philip Martin, Corps Director
Highland Regiment is proud to announce that Philip Martin will continue as Corps Director for 2020!
Martin founded Highland Arts, Inc in 2016 and formed Highland Regiment in 2017. His diligent efforts to secure funding, equipment, rehearsal space, and talented staff have sustained the group since. In 2019 Highland Arts sponsors the corps, Highland Regiment, Impetus Indoor Guard, and Fearless Indoor Percussion!
Martin performed five years with DCI’s famed Bridgemen, five years with DCA’s singular New York Skyliners & five years with Bridgemen Alumni. He has instructed many NJ high school bands and currently leads the Randolph Marching Rams.
Martin holds degrees from Columbia University, Teachers College, and Seton Hall University. He is a professor of Communication Studies at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey.