Rhythm X Announces Restructuring, Cody Schuster Hired As Director of Operations & Development

Cody Schuster - Director of Operations & Development. Mr. Schuster joined the administrative team in late-2013 as an intern.

Cody Schuster - Director of Operations & Development. Mr. Schuster joined the administrative team in late-2013 as an intern.

DAYTON, OH - Following the end of an enormously successful WGI season at Rhythm X, Inc., the organization is announcing a change in administration. Mike Scott, who has served as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer since 2014, is stepping aside effective April 30th. However, Mr. Scott is not departing the organization; he will continue to serve the organization as an Executive Advisor and as a member of the nonprofit's Board of Directors

Mike first joined the Rhythm X family as a performer in the 2011 season. Since joining the staff in 2012, Mike has overseen the growth of the organization from the single indoor drumline founded in 2002, to an internationally recognized nonprofit operating the first-ever WGI Winds World Championship ensemble, an Open Class drumline in Europe, the Dragon’s Drumline - a program for Dayton-area high school students, and The Growl - the official drumline of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Taking over the operations management and strategic planning for the organization is Cody Schuster who has been hired as the Director of Operations & Development. Mr. Schuster is no stranger to the organization. He began as a performer in Rhythm X, Inc.’s World Class Percussion Ensemble in 2013, and immediately began working for the company - first as an intern, then as the Programs Manager from late-2014 until today. Cody brings an intimate knowledge of the organization, a passion for performing arts education, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati.

Mike Scott, former CEO, addressing the 2015 Percussion and Winds ensembles. It was the inagural year for WGI Winds.

“Leaving my role at Rhythm X, Inc. is difficult. It’s an organization I love, and a group of dedicated educators and performers that I have come to love,” Scott said. “That being said, there is no better person to take the reigns than Cody. He’s an empathetic and passionate leader who loves Rhythm X, Inc. and is fully equipped to envision our future.”

In addition to Cody’s leadership, Tim Fairbanks will continue to serve as the organization’s President and Director of the world-class Percussion ensemble. Steve Mason, who joined the organization in December 2014 and became the co-director of the world-class WGI Winds ensemble in late-2015 will continue to lead Rhythm X’s winds education. Rhythm X, Inc.’s programs are designed by Andrew Markworth, Tim Jackson, and Tim Fairbanks.

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Four American Staff Members To Join European X Staff for 2017

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.

Frank Cummings (#274), left & Michael Tant (#311), right take a photo at the Rhythm X banquet following their 2013 WGI Percussion win.

Frank Cummings (#274), left & Michael Tant (#311), right take a photo at the Rhythm X banquet following their 2013 WGI Percussion win.

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.

Frank Cummings

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 (#279) performs the opening statement of the X13 program  The Man In The Arena.

TJ Ghinder (#279) performs the opening statement of the X13 program The Man In The Arena.

TJ Ghinder

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

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.

Mike Tant

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.

Looking for X17 Interns

We're looking for a group of out-of-the-box thinkers, problem solvers, and creative types to be the next class of Rhythm X, Inc. interns. We're a small, but rapidly growing non-profit with a start-up mentality. Our interns will work closely with our administrative team and instructional staff. We want young people who are excited about the marching arts and willing to dive head first into a fast-paced and challenging environment.

While you might get stuck grabbing coffee, you can expect to be on the front lines solving problems and developing a company and a brand committed to providing the best in performing arts education.

We're looking for a team of both administrative and media interns. To learn more and apply visit

Costa Ri-cap

Over the past two weeks, Rhythm X alumnus and instructor Tom Gasparrini has presented a clinic series across the country of Costa Rica, completing The X Academy's first-ever events in Latin America. The Costa Rica tour is the 8th international event of The X Academy, continuing the expansion of our global reach. Check out all the great places Tom and The X Academy visited on the map below:

While in Costa Rica, Tom visited six different schools across the country to present various clinics on marching percussion. Both Tom and the students at these schools were thrilled to share their love of music and marching percussion and learn from each other. Check out what Tom and some of the students shared about their experience below!

Gran experiencia hoy con Tom󾭞Un placer tocar con un drummer como el y aprender de el󾭞Pura vida Tom󾭞

Posted by Carlos Araya on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Muy complacidos de iniciar este 2016 con la clínica para nuestra sección de Percusión con el maestro Tom Gasparrini...

Posted by Banda Municipal de Acosta on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Una pequeña muestra del trabajo de marcha realizado con Tom Gasparrini.

Posted by Sarchí Marching Band on Friday, January 15, 2016

Fue una exelenten experiencia ojala se vuelva a repetir 󾌵 ¡ pura vida mae ! T_Gas BLUECOATS 😎󾮖󾠔

Posted by Andrey RM on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Keep an eye out for more clinics presented by The X Academy near you! Pura vida!

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. 

Meet the X15 Interns!

This year Rhythm X, Inc. is eager to welcome three administrative interns and one media intern to our intern program. Administrative interns Kristen Wolters, a Music Education major at Miami University, Andy Schamma, an Electronic Media major at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Cody Schuster, an Accounting major at University of Cincinnati will all work with Maddie Wessel, Administrative Supervisor. Tyler Carrell, a Telecommunications major at Indiana University, joins the team as a media intern, working with Pat Fitzgerald, Media Supervisor. Together, our media team will work all season completing eXtra Access, our weekly video series and a lot of other great content for our supporters and fans. Currently, Rhythm X is still seeking additional candidates for one or two more media intern positions. Email Mike Scott with a resume, cover letter, and sample materials. 

From Left to Right: Tyler Carrell, Andy Schamma, Cody Schuster, Kristen Wolters

From Left to Right: Tyler Carrell, Andy Schamma, Cody Schuster, Kristen Wolters

Kristen is a member of the Epsilon Xi chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. Andy was a member of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014 and Glassmen in 2012. Cody marched with the Madison Scouts in 2013 and was a member of the front ensemble of Rhythm X in 2013 and 2014. Tyler Carrell is on the Indiana University Drumline on cymbals for two years and has also been a part of the news team for WGI Sport of the Arts

We are excited to produce the best season for our performers and fans and hope you join us for what is ahead! You can follow the X15 interns on Twitter: @XInterns!

The X15 Audition Clinics Recap

Rhythm X and The X Academy held a successful series of audition clinics over the past two weeks. Both the percussion ensemble and our new world-class wind ensemble found some incredibly talented individuals to join the cast. Also great, was the turnout of incredible students from around the world who attended just to learn from our incredible educational team. 

You can learn more about our upcoming clinic and performance tour at