X16 Staff Additions, Steve Mason To Head Winds

DAYTON, Ohio (May 11, 2015) - Hot on the heels of its most ambitious and successful competitive season ever, Rhythm X, Inc. announces the addition of three Percussion staff members and the appointment of Steve Mason to the position of Winds Coordinator.

 Stephen Mason (far left) and Jimmy Blankenship (far right) pose with X16 Winds cast members after their inaugural world championship.

Stephen Mason (far left) and Jimmy Blankenship (far right) pose with X16 Winds cast members after their inaugural world championship.

In 2015, Rhythm X, Inc. founded one of the first independent world WGI Winds ensembles and won the first ever WGI Winds World Championships. In its first season, the ensemble was guided by an incredibly talented team of educators. One such team member will take leadership of the team for the 2016 season. Steve Mason of Indianapolis, Indiana is a widely sought after educator and clinician working as a brass instructor at Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, and frequently traveling to Asia as a clinician. Steve joined the Rhythm X educational team in 2015 as a winds specialist and will now guide the program through its second year as the Winds Coordinator. This role was previously served by Jimmy Blankenship. Mr. Blankenship led the ensemble to its first world championship, and will continue to work on the Rhythm X educational team in 2016. Blankenship is a band director at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati and will be a father this summer.

 Tant (left) and Roam (middle) perform in the 2013 MEPA Championships.

Tant (left) and Roam (middle) perform in the 2013 MEPA Championships.

“The success of our inaugural season of Winds was possible because of our incredible team of instructors,” said organization President Tim Fairbanks, “we’re excited to see the team return and to have Steve take on this new role.” The rest of the Winds team will be announced by Rhythm X, Inc. later this summer. Matt Harloff, brass caption of the famed Carolina Crown and H2K Sound will return in 2016 as a consultant.

The Percussion educational team will grow in 2016 as well. Today Rhythm X announced the addition of long-time cast members Tommy Roam and Michael Tant to the team. Roam will instruct the bass drums and Tant the tenor drums. “Tommy and Michael are two incredible individuals with a wealth of talent. At Rhythm X, Inc. we always want to have a passionate and dynamic team and these guys were a clear choice,” said CEO Mike Scott. 

 Lane Summerlin of Columbus, OH will join the Percussion educational team in 2016.

Lane Summerlin of Columbus, OH will join the Percussion educational team in 2016.

In addition to Roam and Tant, Lane Summerlin of Columbus, OH will join the educational team as a front ensemble instructor. Summerlin is currently the Front Ensemble Coordinator of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. He is currently a doctoral candidate at The Ohio State University.