Cavaliers Welcome McGrath to Lead Brass Educational Team in 2014

The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps is pleased to announce the addition of David McGrath to the educational team as Brass Caption Head for the 2014 season.

McGrath will be supported by Associate Brass Caption Head Dr. Chip Crotts, and Brass Pedagogy Coordinators Freddy Martin and Michael Martin.

"I consider the opportunity to join the educational team of The Cavaliers to be one of the most exciting challenges of my career," said McGrath. "It is an incredible honor to be entrusted with the responsibility of upholding the performance standard and identity of The Cavaliers' brass program and to be working side-by-side with some of the most respected educators and designers in the activity."

David McGrath

A 26-year veteran music educator, McGrath has been intimately involved with the drum corps activity as a Drum Corps International (DCI) brass and music adjudicator over the past eight seasons.

"While I have thoroughly been honored to be a part of the DCI judging community, teaching is simply my passion," added McGrath.

"I believe that the lessons learned, and relationships developed, in this activity are so important. Having the ability to spend the time over the season(s) developing and mentoring young musicians -- many of whom will be our future teachers -- is the thing that has me the most excited."

Recruiting for The Cavaliers' 2014 brass section is underway, with the GearWORKS: Cavaliers Audition Experience events coming to Atlanta, Ga. (Nov. 24), Chicago, Ill. (Dec. 6-8, 2013) and Austin, Texas (Dec. 14-15). Learn more about The Cavaliers' 2014 auditions by visiting, and check out the carpool and audition groups for more helpful information about joining the Green Machine.

"I am so pleased to welcome McGrath and the team he has assembled to The Cavaliers," said Brass Composer and Arranger Dr. Drew Shanefield. "David is an inspired and master educator, passionate and expressive musician, and a friend. I'm eager to work alongside David as we craft a top-notch brass experience for the 2014 season and beyond."

McGrath is currently the Director of Bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School, in Cobb County, Ga. He is a four-time recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence and has been named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction.

Kennesaw Mountain High School Marching Band was named the 2012 Bands of America (BOA) Class AAA National Champion and Grand National finalist. McGrath also lead the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Marching Band (Mich.) to the BOA Class AAA and Grand National Championship in 1999.

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"I'm so honored to be joined by my dear friends and colleagues, Chip Crotts, Freddy Martin, and Michael Martin, as the core lead instructors of The Cavaliers' 2014 Brass Team," said McGrath.

"These gentlemen are all icons, whose careers as musicians and educators read as a 'who's who' in every facet of the music industry. We all bring different things to the table, but we believe in the same concrete approach to fundamental brass pedagogy and musicianship."

Chip Crotts currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Director of Bands at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, Ga., and he has served as brass caption head for Spirit of Atlanta and Phantom Regiment, as well as a brass instructor with The Blue Devils.

Dr. Chip Crotts

"Building on the respect we have for The Cavaliers and their history, I'm excited to be joining an organization that truly values the education of its members and their musical and personal growth," said Crotts. "I look forward to working with the exceptional members and staff, and I'm just thrilled to become part of this amazing team."

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Freddy Martin, a member of the DCI Hall of Fame, is the founding director of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. He held the position of executive director for fourteen years and is now Director Emeritus of the corps. Freddy is adjunct faculty for brass at Emory University and is currently band director at the prestigious Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga.

Martin was most recently the brass caption coordinator for the world-champion Phantom Regiment.

Freddy Martin

"My son, Michael, and I are thrilled by the prospect of working alongside McGrath and Crotts," said Freddy Martin. "We are most enthusiastic, however, about the opportunity to apply a fundamental brass pedagogy that we feel aligns perfectly with the high standards and most respected traditions of The Cavaliers."

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Michael Martin joined the trumpet section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops in October 2010. Prior to joining the Boston Symphony, Martin enjoyed a dynamic freelance career with a diverse group of ensembles and performing artists including Sufjan Stevens, the Burning River Brass, and the Still Swingin' Big Band of Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael is also co-Artistic Director of the National Brass Symposium with his brother, Chris Martin of the Chicago Symphony, and is on faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Michael Martin

Prior to joining The Cavaliers, Michael was a brass instructor alongside his father, Freddy, with the Phantom Regiment from 2009 to 2013.

"We can't wait to collaborate with tomorrow's performers, educators and professionals -- the young men of the 2014 Cavaliers -- to ensure that this is another unforgettable season in the long and storied history of this great organization," added Michael Martin.

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In referencing the immediate goals driving the 2014 brass educational team, McGrath articulated that the priority will be installing a fundamental program (regarding brass pedagogy) through the winter that will develop all of the concrete skills and awareness of musicianship that members will need to be successful in all of their future musical endeavors.

"To all young men considering marching with The Cavaliers in 2014, I pledge that they'll be instructed by a team of people who are all both musicians and educators. The performance resumes of our confirmed 2014 staff members are incredible, but they are all here because of a shared passion for teaching fundamental musicianship and performance at the highest level."

"Over the years, I've had many former students and staff members of my own bands go through The Cavaliers, and I can assure those joining us in 2014 that you will learn life lessons that will allow you to be successful in any chosen career path that you plan to pursue."

The Cavaliers would like to thank outgoing brass lead Joe Musick for his diligent efforts and positive contributions to the corps and our members -- We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.

From here, the Illinois-based nonprofit organization is preparing for its 66th anniversary season in 2014 with GearWORKS: Cavaliers Audition Experience events coming to Atlanta, Ga. (Nov. 24), Chicago, Ill. (Dec. 6-8, 2013) and Austin, Texas (Dec. 14-15).

Learn more about The Cavaliers' 2014 auditions by visiting, and check out the carpool and audition groups for more helpful information about joining the Green Machine.

About The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps

Founded in 1948, The Cavaliers are one of the most successful drum and bugle corps in history, winning 20 national championships, including seven Drum Corps International world championships since 1992. Each summer, 150 male brass, percussion and color guard performers aged 16-22 present a marching music show considered among the most challenging and original in the world.

The group performs at more than 30 competitions across the US and for more than 100,000 fans. Along the way, the young men not only learn about music and performing, but have a life-changing experience based on excellence, teamwork and camaraderie. The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization sponsored by The Village of Rosemont, Illinois.