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.
Ricardo Brown – Brass Consultant
Ricardo T. Brown is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia. He was selected to All District Band, All-State Band, and Virginia Honor Band as well as the Governors School of the Performing Arts in high school. His teaching journey began in 2005 as the Assistant Director at Princess Anne High School and includes work as the graduate assistant for the Norfolk State University Spartan Legion band program and the Associate Director of Bands at Prairie View A&M University. Currently, Ricardo Brown serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Interim Wind Ensemble Director at the University of Connecticut, responsible for show design and music ensemble direction for the “Pride of Connecticut Marching Band” as well as directing the UCONN Pep Band. He also serves on the university music faculty, teaching music education courses, serving on multiple committees, and arranging for the university big band and all athletic ensembles. He helped lead the UCMB to being a Sudler Trophy Finalist in 2018. Mr. Brown is an active clinician, adjudicator, and performer and has worked with multiple programs across the country, developing quality musicianship and performance practices. His passion is to impart his knowledge of band performance onto students while also instilling a love of music. He has also performed with numerous ensembles including the Virginia Symphony, Virginia Beach Symphony, Fancy Pants Productions, The Right on Band, numerous churches, NASCAR, Houston Symphony, Ballet Afrique Cotton Club, New London Big Band.
Mr. Brown began his DCI marching experience with the Crossmen in 1999 as a lead soprano. He moved to the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2001 and after aging out served as the Cadets’ trumpet instructor, administrative team member, and coordinator of the “Music is Cool” clinics working with thousands of students nationwide. He joined the Bluecoats Brass Team in 2014 and was later promoted to lead trumpet tech and then assistant brass caption head in 2021. Most recently, Mr. Brown became the Brass Caption Head of the Sacramento Mandarins. From Norfolk State University, Mr. Brown received his B.S. degree in Music Education and his Masters in Trumpet Performance. He anticipates completing his Doctorate (DMA) degree in Conducting from the University of Connecticut in May 2022. Mr. Brown is an avid technology lover and connoisseur of great music regardless of genre. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffany, and their dog, Hooch.
Kevin Horne – Brass Technician
Kevin Horne is currently the Band Director at Bangor Area High School in Bangor, PA, where he leads two concert ensembles, two jazz ensembles, marching band, pit orchestra, basketball band and teaches music theory and guitar classes. Prior to teaching in Bangor, Kevin spent 7 years teaching middle school band in the East Stroudsburg Area School District. Kevin is thrilled to return to the Caballeros where he marched 3 years as a lead trumpet and served another three years on Visual staff. Kevin was also a member of the 2012 Madison Scouts, WCU “Incomparable” Golden Ram Marching Band, and been on brass and visual staffs with the Raiders Drum & Bugle Corps, Phillipsburg HS, Morris Knolls HS and several other bands across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Kevin is an alumni of West Chester University (B.M.ed) where he studied trumpet and performed with the West Chester University Wind Ensemble and numerous other ensembles, and Messiah College (M.M) studying Wind Conducting. He has also taken graduate courses at the University of the Arts, University of Minnesota, Rowan University, Temple University and West Chester. Kevin is a member of PMEA, NBA and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Kevin resides in Phillipsburg, NJ with his wife Alyssa and their dogs Zoey and Rizzo.
Ray Gatchalian – Brass Technician
A native of central New Jersey, Raymond Gatchalian has a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Raymond’s marching career started in high school, marching tuba during the outdoor season and bass drum during the indoor season. He has also performed with the Rutgers University Marching Band on tuba, as drum major, and as the field major. Raymond’s drum corps experience began with The Bushwackers, marching tuba in 2011 and 2014. He then went on to perform with Carolina Crown in 2015 and 2016. He was also a marching member of the Hawthorne Caballeros in 2021.
Raymond’s teaching experience includes Immaculata High School, Ramsey High School, Franklin High School, and Rutgers University where he was a field technician. In 2017 and 2018, Ray was on staff for the Hawthorne Caballeros where he was a visual tech and the tuba technician. Ray is excited to rejoin the Caballeros staff and looks forward to a great season!
Ryan Ragsdale – Brass Technician
Ryan Ragsdale is a composer, teacher, and performer from Atlanta, GA. He currently resides in West Chester, PA as he finishes his studies in music composition at West Chester University.
Ryan began his career in the marching arts in 2014 as a member of his high school marching band. From there, Ryan went on to perform as a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from 2017-2019. After receiving a contract as a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps prior to the cancellation of the 2020 DCI season, Ryan began studying trumpet with Bluecoats brass caption head Derek Gipson. Ryan’s performance career in drum corps has equipped him with an eclectic array of teaching strategies from the pedagogies of Christian Carichner, Brad Toth, and Derek Gipson.
Ryan previously worked as a music and visual clinician at Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville, GA in 2018 and spent a full season as a visual technician for Walton High School in Marietta, GA in 2019; he currently teaches at Rustin High School in West Chester, PA as a brass and visual instructor. Ryan is thrilled to return to the Caballeros brass staff for 2023.
Ryan’s high school students have gone on to perform with DCI World and Open Class Corps such as Spirit of Atlanta, Troopers, and Legends.
Zach Walter – Brass Technician
Zach Walter is a musician and educator from Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania. He is currently in his final year at West Chester University pursuing a degree in trumpet performance. In his time at West Chester, Zach has held the positions of principal trumpet in the WCU Wind Ensemble as well as lead trumpet in the Criterions Jazz Ensemble, in which he has performed at the PMEA State Conference and Karlsruhe, Germany. Zach was a quarterfinalist in the 2022 National Trumpet Competition in the Undergraduate Solo and Large Ensemble divisions.
A long-time member and promoter of the marching arts, Zach began his marching career with the Wilson High School Marching Band from West Lawn, PA. He continued onto the WCU Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band, serving as a section leader of the ensemble. Zach marched lead trumpet with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2019 before finding his home with the Bluecoats, where he was a lead trumpet for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 seasons, including as a featured soloist in their 2021 production, “Lucy.”
In addition to his studies, Zach maintains active teaching and performance schedules, providing private instruction on trumpet, violin, and piano to a wide number of students in southeastern Pennsylvania. He has been a music staff member for the Central Bucks High School South Marching Titans since 2020, also serving as audio technician for the 2022 season.
Zach is immensely excited for the upcoming season and is looking forward to spending it with the Caballeros.
John Johnston – Brass Technician
A native of Pottsville, PA, John Johnston currently serves as a Wind Studies Coordinator in the Wilson School District (West Lawn, PA), where he is a member of a team establishing one of the first 4-12 team-taught band programs in Pennsylvania. Prior to this, John served as the Interim Director of Bands at Albion College in 2021, which included designing for and directing the “Briton Brigade” Marching Band and Basketball Band, directing the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and piloting and conducting the instrumental Chamber Winds program. John also taught in the Pampa Independent School District (Pampa, TX) as an associate band director, where he team-taught Grades 6-12 Band. Pampa ISD consistently was awarded Division I and Sweepstakes awards across many of their bands in marching and concert settings.
John obtained his M.M. in Wind Conducting at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where as a graduate assistant he was fortunate to conduct with all bands on campus, as well as being heavily involved with the design and instruction of the West Chester University “Incomparable” Golden Rams Marching Band and WCU “Sixth Man” Basketball Band.
Outside of the academic realm, John continues to pursue educational opportunities. He currently serves as artistic director of the Pennsylvania Chamber Winds, a chamber ensemble seeking to advocate for diverse composers, which was recently invited to perform at the 2022 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Conference. John has also served on the instructional staff of the Jersey Surf World Class Drum Corps from 2016 through 2020.
Maddie Kaba – Brass Technician
Maddie Kaba is a musician and educator from Millstone Township, NJ. She received her Bachelors in Music Education from The College of New Jersey and worked at several scholastic band programs before transitioning into a career as an orchestra librarian. She has been the Assistant Marching Band Director at Robbinsville High School for four years, and also enjoys teaching private lessons for a variety of instruments.
Maddie has been involved with the marching arts as a performer and educator for ten years. Originally a flute player, she started her marching journey at Allentown High School in Allentown, NJ. She learned trumpet as a secondary instrument, but made it her primary after her first season of drum corps. She marched with Raiders in 2015 and 2016, Phantom Regiment in 2017 and 2018, and then aged out at the Bluecoats in 2019. She returned to the field in 2022 to perform with the Bluecoats Alumni Corps for their 50th anniversary, and is excited to enter the DCA world as a member of the Caballeros 2023 brass staff.
Jeremiah Moya – Brass Technician
Jeremiah Moya is a musician and educator from Long Island, New York. Jeremiah is currently in his junior year at Hofstra University pursuing a degree in music education, and previously studied tuba performance at Aaron Copland School of Music. During his time in college, Jeremiah has had the pleasure of working with the Hicksville Marching Comets and the Mineola Mustangs of NY, serving as a brass and visual technician – assisting both in winning 3 State championships. In his free time, Jeremiah enjoys teaching private lessons, playing bass trombone, singing, and performing in any ensembles he can!
Jeremiah has been involved in the marching arts since high school, and began his drum corps career with the Long Island Sunrisers in 2016, and returned in 2017. He then went on to perform with the Troopers in 2018, the Boston Crusaders in 2019, and aged-out with Carolina Crown in 2022. During the 2021 season, he served as a drum major and brass intern for the Caballeros.
Jeremiah is excited to return to the Caballeros and looks forward to an amazing season!