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Meet the 2019 Color Guard Staff!

The Caballeros are pleased to present their 2019 Color Guard Team!

Laura Saad – Choreographer & Instructor

Laura is excited to return to the Hawthorne Caballeros color guard for her third season!
Her marching experience includes six years of DCI (2009-2014) at the Jersey Surf and Carolina Crown, as well as three years in WGI performing with the Black Watch. Laura has spent the past seven winter seasons working with AMP winter guard in various capacities and has choreographed/instructed various marching bands in the NJ/PA-area since 2012.

In addition to her color guard endeavors, Laura holds a BS in psychology from the University of the Sciences and is currently a Ph.D. student in cognitive psychology at Rutgers University.

PJ Tankard – Instructor

PJ Tankard is originally from Elizabeth NJ. As a High School student, he was a member of Elizabeth High School Marching Band. His marching experience includes Alter Ego (IO), BlackWatch (IW), The Bushwackers (DCA), Jersey Surf (DCI) and The Cadets (DCI).

His experience in teaching programs goes from Novice through the World level. In the past he has worked with: Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps (2005 Div 3 Champions, 2006 Div 3 Bronze Medalist), Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps, Union HS, West Orange HS (SA through SW and the 2014 SO Silver Medalist). Currently, he works with AMP World Guard.

Currently, PJ lives in Ledgewood, NJ and works at a Home Infusion Pharmacy as the Director of Contract Management for the Neurology, Immunology and Transplant Division. He has been on the Mid-Atlantic Indoor Network (MAIN) Executive Board for 4 Years.

Sandi Tait – Movement Instructor

Sandi Tait will be returning to the Hawthorne Caballeros in her hybrid role in assisting both the hornline and the color guard working as a dance technician for her second year in a row.

Sandi’s professional marching career began in 2005 with the debut of The BOA Honor Band where she was the lead colorguard. After auditions and months of practice, Sandi was featured as the front and center colorguard member for the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Sandi received her inspiration for the marching arts from both the George M. Park Drum Major and Leadership Academy and the Caballeros’ own, Jimmy Russo. Sandi is no stranger to the drum corps as she has marched as a member since 2014. Sandi was recognized in 2017 for her performance with the corps as a featured dance soloist. Her role of Catrina in the drum corps’ show: The Pathway of Remembrance, was honored with DCA’s Best Showmanship Award.

Sandi received her B.F.A. in Dance from Temple University. Additionally, Sandi is continuing her education by pursuing a graduate’s degree in Dance Movement Therapy/Counseling from Drexel University. Sandi has lead Burlington Township High School, Northern Burlington County High School and Shawnee High School to several championship wins totaling an accumulated five 1st place wins among other recognitions for High Color Guard and High Visual/Overall Effect. Sandi has lead AMP Junior, a brand new indoor winter guard group with students ranging from kindergarten to 6th grade, to a championship win last year on their debut year.

Sandi is proud to call herself a Caballero and is looking forward to working with The Drum Corps for yet another exciting season.

Joshua Marrero – Instructor

Joshua started out his color guard career with AMP Winterguard from 2007 – 2014. He moved forward as a cast member with BlackWatch (IW) for two seasons and participated as a member of Contemporary Color with the group. Joshua returned to AMP in 2017 when the group placed first in WGI IO Finals. He is one of the captains of the group and is excited for the 2019 season for AMP’s second year in World Class.

Joshua expanded his experience with drum corps. He was a member of Jersey Surf (2012 – 2014), Hawthorne Caballeros (2015), Blue Knights (2016 – 2017) and most recently aged out with the 2018 DCI Champions, the Santa Clara Vanguard.
Joshua has worked with various marching band programs throughout New Jersey & Pennsylvania and is currently teaching Marple Newtown High School in PA. Joshua is excited to be coming back to the Caballeros as a staff member.
Joshua resides in Sicklerville, NJ and is a current student at Rowan University.

Taylor Aves – Instructor

Taylor began her color guard career in middle school with the Mechanicsburg Color Guard program and marched every indoor and outdoor season from sixth grade until she graduated in 2014. While in high school, she began her drum corps career marching two summers with the Hawthorne Caballeros (2012-2013). Taylor continued her marching career during college by marching with the West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band (2016-2017) where she served as a captain her senior year, the Towson University Winter Guard (2017), and AMP World (2018-2019). Taylor also marched Cadets2 (2015-2018), serving as a captain in the 2016 and 2018 seasons.

Taylor began teaching color guard as a junior in high school to help her middle school color guard program. She currently teaches the Downingtown East High School outdoor and winter guard programs out of Exton, PA and has done so since January 2017.

Taylor graduated from West Chester University with a BA in Psychology in May of 2018 and still resides in the area. She currently works as an ABA Aide at a local elementary school and volunteers with a research lab focusing on childhood trauma at West Chester University in an effort to gain more research and clinical experience in hopes of pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Taylor is incredibly excited to return to her drum corps roots and be working with the Hawthorne Caballeros this summer!

Want to learn from these fine educators? There’s still time to sign up for the 2019 season! Contact Mike Ryan at for more information. We hope to see you this season!

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