Rhythm X, Inc., European X, and the IMP Foundation are proud to announce another class of incredible American staff members will be working in residence with European X in 2017. This tradition of cooperation has extended for years. Each year Rhythm X and other American staffers move to The Netherlands for several months to guide the program and bring the best in US marching percussion to the European stage.
This year the PIO ensemble will be under the guidance and direction of Rhythm X Percussion alumni Frankie Cummings (#274), TJ Ghinder (#279), Nick Jesus (#302), and Michael Tant (#311). Frank and Mike will be working with the battery and show design, while collaborating closely with Nick Jesus and TJ Ghinder in the front ensemble. Frank and Nick will serve as the Battery Coordinator and Front Ensemble Coordinator respectively.
These four staff members represent the best in US marching percussion educators. All four instructors performed in Rhythm X's most recent WGI Percussion World Championship and have teaching experience in some of the finest independent and scholastic marching percussion organizations in the world. The crew will head to European X's home in Hilversum, Netherlands in January and remain with the ensemble until the IPE Championships in April. Prior to their arrival, Rhythm X, Inc. representatives Tom Gasparrini (#239) and Rhythm X, Inc. CEO Mike Scott (#259) will travel to the European X Audition Clinics on October 8th and 9th. This is the second year US representatives have visited the annual event of The X Academy in The Netherlands. Not coincidentally, American Mike Bishop (#176) visited European X last week for a keyboard percussion clinic.
Below are the bios for these outstanding teachers.
From Carneys Point, NJ, Frank Cummings has extensive experience both performing with and teaching elite Drum Corps International, Drum Corps Associates, and Winter Guard International ensembles.
As a performer, Frank played snare drum with the Reading Buccaneers in 2008 and 09. He joined the Carolina Crown snare line in 2010, and in the winter of 2011 he marched United Percussion. Frank remained in the Carolina Crown until 2012 where he won the DCI silver medal. In the summer of 2013 Frank marched with The Bluecoats where he aged out as sectional leader.
In 2012 Frank joined Rhythm X - remaining with the group through the 2014 season, earning a gold medal in 2013 and a bronze medal in 2014 as the battery section leader. From there he quickly transitioned into an instructional role.
Frank has taught many scholastic percussion ensembles including Westerville HS, Mason HS, and the 2015 WGI Scholastic Open Champions Lebanon HS. During the 2016 summer Frank taught snare drum at The Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps. He is currently a snare drum instructor at Rhythm X and The Carolina Crown and the US Battery Coordinator at European X.
TJ Ghinder hails from Akron, OH, and has played many roles in the marching arts for the past 10 years. As a performer, his first drum corps tour was with the Glassmen in 2008, where he played in the front ensemble for two years. In 2011, TJ spent his first summer with the Cavaliers; the ensemble won the Fred J. Sanford High Percussion award. TJ remained with the Cavaliers until he aged out in 2013, when he was awarded the Zildjian Award for outstanding leadership. During this time he also performed with Matrix IMPE from 2009-2011, and won the 2013 WGI World Championship with Rhythm X where he was a cast member from 2012 to '14.
As an educator and designer, TJ has worked closely with both Firestone and Nordonia High Schools. He currently serves as the Percussion Director for both Nordonia's outdoor and indoor programs. He also serves as both the music arranger and program coordinator for the Nordonia High School Indoor Drumline, and teaches private lessons in the Northeast Ohio area on topics ranging from percussion technique, to electronic sound design and music production.
Nick Jesus is an in-demand percussion and private lesson instructor in the Dayton area. Nick began his percussion career at Dartmouth High School (MA), where he was able to capture the PSW championship in 2008 and 2009. From there he went on to march with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010-2011, the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014, and Rhythm X from 2013-2015 where he was section leader in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Nick's teaching experience started with Dartmouth High School from 2011-2012. He then went on to teach Westerville High School in 2013. Nick currently teaches Bellbrook High School, Kettering Fairmont, Sycamore High School and Tates Creek Indoor Ensemble.
Michael Tant currently resides in Miamisburg, Ohio and has been involved with music for over 10 years as a student and 5 years as an instructor. Although Michael began his musical venture as a cellist in middle school, he later became a member of the David W. Butler High School drumline. Michael went on to join Palmetto Percussion in 2010 and Rhythm X in 2013, earning a gold medal in both independent open and world class. He was also a member of Carolina Crown during the 2012, '13, and '14 seasons. In 2012, after Michael's first season at Crown, he moved to Columbus, Ohio to march Rhythm X, where he marched 2013-14 aging out in 2015.
Michael has began his teaching career as an educator in 2010 with Providence High School, in North Carolina later working with Marvin Ridge before his move to Ohio in 2012. He has taught various high schools in the Dayton area as well, including Mason, Kettering-Fairmont, and Bellbrook High School. This past summer Michael served as the quad tech at Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Michael is currently a quad instructor at Rhythm X and European X.