Former Drum Corps Associates (DCA) World Champions Minnesota Brass has named its brass leadership team for the 2018 season. Dr. Ward Miller will serve as Brass Arranger and Educational Advisor, Roque Diaz will serve as Brass Caption Head, Phil Snyder will serve as Brass Music Coordinator and Instructor, and Paul Terry will serve as Brass Instructor. The team will be supported by additional talented technicians to be announced later.
“We are excited to welcome this team of high-caliber talent and energy into the 2018 brass program,” said Todd Tanji, executive director of Minnesota Brass. “Each of these individuals has extensive experience both within and outside of the drum-corps realm which will enable us to provide a well-rounded musical experience to our members.”
Ward Miller earned his bachelor of music degree from Auburn University in 2001, where he served as arranger and undergraduate teaching assistant with the Auburn University Marching Band. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003 with a master’s degree in Trombone Performance, and served as part-time assistant and clinician with the Paradise Valley High School bands, the Mesa Community College Wind Ensemble and the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestra. He has also taught in Alabama public schools, serving as Director of Bands at Andalusia High School and at Pleasant Grove High School. In 2006, he accepted a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Iowa, where he studied with Dr. Myron Welch in Band Conducting. While at Iowa, he also worked as a teaching assistant with the Hawkeye Marching Band, for whom he wrote, taught, and conducted multiple arrangements and halftime drills. He also conducted the University of Iowa Concert Band and earned the 2008 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Miller graduated in 2011 from the University of Iowa with a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Band Conducting.
In 2014, Miller was appointed Brass Caption Head for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps of La Crosse, Wis. He is an associate member of College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Scholar, educator, composer, creator, musician and music director, Roque Diaz is pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education and Creative Studies and Media at the University of Minnesota. Diaz’s research interests are in arts-education policy and embedding diversity into the arts. Roque recently presented “Policies that Matter: Creating a Voice through Policy Awareness for Music Teacher Educators”, at the 2017 Society for Music Teacher Educators Conference in Minneapolis, MN.
Roque has developed a keen artistic eye and endless creative ideas travelling the world performing in such hit shows as “Jersey Boys”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Josh Groban on Tour”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Chicago the Musical”, “Blast!”, and much more. During Roque’s tenure with “Blast!”, he performed as a trumpet soloist and musical conductor. A seasoned veteran in the marching arts activity, Roque performed with Tarheel Sun (Cary, NC) and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (Denver, CO) where he was awarded the gold medal (2001) for the individual solo and ensemble championship on trumpet. Roque has composed and arranged for many K-12 programs, universities, and arts organizations. Roque is in the process of forming an international arts organization that is dedicated to making the arts a viable career choice whose mission is to provide consistent and sustainable employment to all diverse artists. Roque is excited to join the Minnesota Brass Organization.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he studied music education, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied trumpet performance. Snyder currently is band director for the Waconia (Minn.,) School District, where he directs middle- and high-school ensembles. He is also an accomplished drill designer; bands that have performed Snyder’s designs have won 11 state championships and numerous sweepstakes awards. He has also been involved with drum and bugle corps for the past 17 years as a performer, instructor and designer for DCI World Class, DCI Open Class and DCA ensembles, most notably with Minnesota Brass and the Dubuque, Iowa-based Colts and Colt Cadets.
Paul Terry joined the Minnesota Brass horn staff in 2007 and has helped lead the corps to three “high brass” awards – in its 2011 DCA Open Class World Championship season, as well as in 2010 and 2015. His drum-corps experience also includes performing with Minnesota Brass in 2005-06 and serving as a low-brass technician with the Colts in 2014-15. He also currently directs Maple Grove (Minn.) Senior High School’s Jazz 1 Band and Wind Ensemble and advises ISD 279’s Grove Area Percussion, the Class A state champion winter drumline. Terry also has taught the state-champion Anoka (Minn.) High School Marching Tornadoes and has served as trombone section coach for the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Band. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Minnesota and his master’s degree in music education from Boston University.