Taylor Aves – Color Guard Co-Caption Head
Taylor is incredibly excited to be returning as color guard caption head for the 2023 season!
Taylor marched with the Mechanicsburg Color Guard in the Scholastic A, Open, and World Classes from 2011-2014. She began her drum corps career in high school spending two summers with the Hawthorne Caballeros (2012-2013) and later marching the Cadets2 (2015-2018) where she served as captain in 2016 and 2018. Taylor continued her marching career during college by marching with the West Chester University 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 began teaching the Hawthorne Caballeros in 2019 as a flag technician, with this being her second year as color guard caption head. She will also be joining the Madison Scouts color guard staff this summer as a technician. She began teaching AMP Winter Guard during the 2022 season and is returning on staff for 2023. At the scholastic level she currently works with the color guards at Camp Hill School District and East Pennsboro Area School District. She previously taught Downingtown East High School 2017-2020, serving as color guard director 2019-2020.
Taylor is a graduate student at Penn State Harrisburg pursuing her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis. She works as a behavior technician with children who have special needs and resides in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with her husband.
Stephen Girard – Color Guard Co-Caption Head
Stephen, a Massachusetts native, currently serves as the Drill designer and one of the color guard instructors at Basking Ridge High School in New Jersey as well as a guard instructor at West Orange High School. He has also taught and designed for other programs across Massachusetts and New Jersey including Boston University, Blackstone-Millville and Middletown North.
His performance experiences range from his high school marching band in Tewksbury Massachusetts as a Trumpet player to his colorguard endeavors with St. Johns Open of Beverly Mass (2007), Blessed Sacrament World from Cambridge Massachusetts (2008-2015), and AMP World (2020). He has also performed with Citations Drum and Bugle Corps from Burlington Massachusetts (2004-2007), The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (2008 -2009) as well as the Hawthorne Caballeros for 9 years.
Stephen Currently works for a commercial real estate company and is working on his Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.
Kyle Risch – Brass Caption Head
Kyle Risch, Conductor, is in his tenth year as a public school educator and seventh with the Hawthorne Caballeros. He currently resides at Stetson Middle School where he teaches all 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Bands and directs the Jazz Band. He is also the music department chairperson and a part of the school’s SEL team. Kyle is also the Assistant Director with the Rustin Marching Band and works with other bands throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. He also enjoys composing/arranging and teaching private trumpet lessons.
Kyle is a graduate of West Chester University, receiving his Bachelors of Music Education degree in 2013 and his Master’s Degree in Wind Conducting in 2018. During his studies at WCU he has been fortunate to play in the university’s premier ensembles including the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Andrew Yozviak and the Criterions Jazz Ensemble lead by Dr. Marc Jacoby. Kyle’s professional affiliations include: MENC, PMEA, NBA, NEA, PSEA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
David Caravella – Visual Caption Head
David Caravella is a lifelong resident of Paramus, NJ and graduate of Paramus High School in 2002. There, he performed with the PHS Marching Spartans on clarinet as well as serving for 2 years as the drum major. During his undergraduate years, he studied euphonium with Dr. Mary Ann Craig and Mr. John Palatucci and is a graduate of Montclair State University Class of 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. David is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity.
David’s drum corps performing career includes national and international touring ensembles such as the Raiders 2001-2003, the Cadets of Bergen County 2004, and the Concord Blue Devils 2005-2006.
After aging out, David returned to the field as a visual and brass field technician for the Raiders in 2007-2009, also as visual caption head in 2013, and visual designer in 2014. Other drum corps instructional experience includes the award winning visual team at the Reading Buccaneers from 2010-11 and 2015-16, as well as The Cadets2 2012 brass staff. Dave was the visual caption head of the Buccaneers from 2017-2019, during which they earned an undefeated three-peat of visual and overall DCA championships.
David is an avid drill designer for many high school marching bands and drum corps in the tri-state area. Some accolades include Montville Township HS 2011- USBands Group 3 Open National Champions, and the Bushwackers Drum & Bugle Corps 2013-14.
In addition to directing the Kearny High School marching band, he is the full time director of bands at Lincoln Middle School in Kearny, NJ. Dave is also an adjudicator of marching band contests for USBands and the NJ Marching Band Directors Association.
Mark Monaghan – Percussion Caption Head & Percussion Arranger
Mark is an NJ-based musician and educator currently holding the middle school band director position at Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury NJ as well as a percussion specialist for the district. As a graduate of Rutgers University, he holds degrees in both music education (percussion focus) and psychology. Having worked with various scholastic percussion ensembles in New Jersey, Mark has also worked with various independent musical organizations such as The Santa Clara Vanguard (battery technician) and The Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps (percussion/music coordinator). He has also worked with his alma mater, the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights, since 2016. Mark would like to thank his teachers for their immeasurable impact on his musical career as well as for their selflessness and energy: Joseph Tompkins, Kyle Zerna, Mike Truesdell, Javier Diaz, Todd Nichols, Paul/Sandi Rennick and Kevin Chaffinch.
Matt Blood – Front Ensemble Coordinator & Front Ensemble Arranger
Matt Blood is a marching arts designer, educator, and consultant based out of Southern New Jersey. He has worked with many marching bands, indoor percussion ensembles, and drum corps on the East Coast and in the Midwest as the sole proprietor of mattbloodmusic.com. Currently, Matt holds the positions of Front Ensemble Coordinator/Arranger/Sound Designer for the Hawthorne Caballeros, Front Ensemble Caption Head/Staff Arranger for the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights, Front Ensemble Arranger for the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps, and Front Ensemble Caption Head for long-standing WGI World Class finalist United Percussion.
Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in classical percussion performance from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where he learned from Joe Tompkins, Kyle Zerna, Mike Truesdell, and Javier Diaz. In addition, Matt has performed as a member of the United Percussion Front Ensemble during their 2012-2014 seasons, and was fortunate enough to work with many amazing educators, including Steve Ballard and Ian Hale.
Kirby Marino – Battery Coordinator
Kirby is a percussion educator and arranger based in New Jersey. He started his marching career at Phillipsburg High School in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. He then went on to march quads with the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps (2012-2013) and Fusion “Core” (2015). Kirby aged out with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016 and marched with United Percussion (2014-2017), aging out as battery captain.
Kirby has taught and arranged for numerous high schools in New Jersey, but he is currently the percussion director/arranger at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. He was a quad technician at the Hawthorne Caballeros (2017-2019) and then assumed the role of battery coordinator (2020-Present). He is excited to continue the Hawthorne Caballeros’ tradition of excellence!