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West Point Band : Ensemble_Drumcats

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Individual Member Biographies ¦ YouTube Vides

DrumcatsThe DrumCats are comprised of rudimental drummers from the West Point Band's "The Hellcats." Equipped with instruments designed and hand-made specifically for them, the DrumCats enable the West Point Band to maintain faithful renditions of traditional American military music while providing the Corps of Cadets with a piece of living history.

Watch the Hellcats perform at the Old Guard's 50th Anniversary Tattoo

Individual Member Biographies

Sgt. 1st Class William Calohan
Sergeant First Class William Calohan joined the Hellcats in August of 2005.  In 2002 he received his Bachelor of Music Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he studied with C. William Rice, Dr. Todd Johnson and Dr. Michael Overman.  He completed his Master of Music in percussion performance at the University of Minnesota in May of 2005.  His teachers there were Fernando Meza and Earl Yowell.  As a graduate student, Sgt. 1st Class Calohan taught percussion lessons and the percussion techniques course for undergraduate music education majors. Sgt. 1st Class Calohan has also attended the Leigh Howard Stevens summer marimba seminar, Bob Becker Ragtime Institute, and performed at PASIC 2004 with Rolando Morales-Matos. He was the winner of the 2001 Virginia Music Teachers Association concerto competition.  Sgt. 1st Class Calohan has instructed and arranged music for high school marching bands, worked as a freelance percussionist in Virginia, Minnesota and New York, and enjoys arranging and composing original music.
Sgt. 1st Class William Cuthbert
Sergeant First Class Bill Cuthbert, came to the West Point Band in November of 2007. He earned his Bachelor of Music Performance from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, where he studied with David Collier. Prior to his assignment with the Hellcats, Sgt. 1st Class Cuthbert held a position with the Navy Band Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida.  While in the Navy, he performed in the concert band, ceremonial band, jazz big band and the rock band "Liberty." He has performed with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, St. John's River City Brass Band and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Sgt. 1st Class Cuthbert has instructed and arranged music for numerous high school and college drumlines to include Illinois State University and the University of Illinois.
Staff Sgt. J. Andrew Porter
Staff Sergeant J. Andrew Porter joined the West Point Band in May 2005. He was appointed as a rudimental drummer in the band’s field music group, the Hellcats. As a member of the Hellcats, Staff Sgt. Porter has performed and presented for Drum Corps International World Championships, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the KoSA percussion workshops, and the Texas Music Educators Association. Prior to his appointment with the Hellcats, Staff Sgt. Porter was an assistant band director at Barren County High School in Glasgow, Kentucky. He also served two years as percussion specialist for the J.J. Pearce High School cluster of bands in Richardson, Texas, and was part of the instructional staff for Nite Express Drum and Bugle Corps in 1996. Staff Sgt. Porter holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Western Kentucky University, and a Master of Music in percussion performance from Louisiana State University. His primary teachers include Dr. Christopher S. Norton, Dr. Michael G. Kingan, Timothy K. Adams, Jr., Conrad Alexander, and Scott Ford. As a concert percussionist, Staff Sgt. Porter has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Natchez Opera Festival Orchestra, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Brevard Music Center Orchestra. As a rudimental percussionist, he performed in the snare line of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from North Canton, Ohio from 1993-1995, and was the snare line section leader for the 1996 WGI Independent World Class Champion Music City Mystique from Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to freelance performance opportunities in the lower Hudson Valley area, Staff Sgt. Porter regularly performs with the West Point Band’s Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Band. As a clinician, Staff Sgt. Porter frequently presents clinics and master classes covering marching and concert percussion techniques for university and high school students. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, woodworking, and cycling.
Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Prosperie
Sergeant First Class Jeff Prosperie arrived to the West Point Band as a member of the Hellcats in December of 2006, and currently serves as both the section leader and principal drummer of the percussion section. Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie is a World Snare Drum Champion and the first and only individual to capture the “triple crown” of solo competition (DCI, PAS, DCA). In addition to his duties as a Hellcat he also performs on occasion with the West Point percussion ensemble, steel band, and concert band. Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie recently served as the percussion arranger/instructor for the nationally televised Army All-American High School Marching Band. Prior to these positions he served as Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Principal Percussion with the Baton Rouge Symphony, and as the percussion designer/caption-head for the World Champion Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle corps of Rockford, Illinois. He actively serves as a championship level adjudicator for DCI and WGI and as a marching percussion committee member for PAS. Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie earned his Bachelor of Music Education from LSU, his Master of Music from The University of North Texas, and has also completed all course work for the DMA from UNT. Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie has performed, presented clinics, and adjudicated throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan as well as PASIC, TMEA, TBA, and The Mid-West Band and Orchestra Convention. Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie’s compositions and solo performances can be seen in his book/DVD, “Aptitude- A Conversation in Snare Soloing,” published by Drop 6. This publication received the very rare rating of a perfect “10” from Modern Drummer Magazine, declaring it a classic. Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie can also be seen as a featured artist on the recent DVD, “The Rudiment Project,” by the Percussive Arts Society as well as several performances on YouTube and downloadable apps with Sgt. 1st Class Prosperie is a performing artist/clinician for Pearl/Adams, Sabian, Innovative Percussion, and Evans.
Sgt. Major Eric Sheffler
Sergeant Major Eric Sheffler is a native of Kansas.  He returned to the West Point Band in January of 2002 serving as a Rudimental Drummer in the Hellcats. Beginning in the summer of 2004, Sgt. Major Sheffler assumed the duties of Drum Major. He previously served in the Hellcats from 1983-1994 and was the assistant drum major of the marching band as well.  While away from West Point, Sgt. Major Sheffler completed his Master of Music in Percussion Performance at Pittsburg State University. He also taught classes in percussion techniques, applied percussion, music fundamentals, basic conducting, wind ensemble, and marching band.  Additionally, Sgt. Major Sheffler is an adjunct faculty member at Marist College.
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