Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps presents the 2022 percussion instructional staff. Former Assistant Caption Head Gunner Vowell has been named Caption Head for the 2022 season. Vowell has been with the Louisiana Stars since our inaugural season in 2014 and has been instrumental to the development of the percussion instructional program and design. The 2022 percussion instructional staff is a combination of returning staff members and new talent that are all excited to build a competitive group of performers.
Gunner is a resident of Hattiesburg, MS and a former student at the University of Southern Mississippi. During his time at Southern Miss, he was the principal percussionist of the Wind Ensemble, captain of the Pride drumline, and vibraphonist in the Jazztet under the direction of Larry Panella. Gunner has been involved in drum corps for 10 years, playing snare drum with the Blue Knights in 2013 and teaching at Louisiana Stars since its inception in 2014. Gunner has served as a snare tech, battery coordinator, assistant caption head, and is currently percussion caption head and designer for the corps.
In Hattiesburg, Gunner was a battery arranger and instructor for state-champion and WGI world class finalist Petal High School from 2015 to 2021. Outside of marching percussion, Gunner is a former piano instructor for Groove House Music, a freelance percussionist and audio engineer, and a competitive disc golfer and active member of the Hattiesburg Disc Golf Association.
Michael has been involved with the Louisiana Stars both as an inaugural member and battery technician for over four years. He also proudly marched at the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps for two years, serving as section leader for one, the Pride of Acadiana for three years, serving as section leader for two, and the UL Lafayette Wind Ensemble for two years, serving as principal percussionist for one. Michael graduated cum laude from UL Lafayette in 2018 with a degree in American History and English Literature, and completed a teaching certification in Music, Social Studies, and English in 2020. He is currently a general music teacher and percussion specialist in the Egg Harbor Township School District in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey where he primarily teaches Kindergarten and 1st grade as well as training percussionists from 5th-12th grade and instructing the High School marching band and indoor drumline. Before that, Michael was very active in the South Louisiana area, primarily stationed at North Vermilion High School and Middle School for over seven years as the percussion instructor and arranger. He also served both Elite and Elite A Independent percussion for two years as a tech and battery coordinator.
Derek has helped Louisiana Stars percussion section since its inauguration of 2014. He has marched 2 summers of drum corps and 2 indoor seasons with World Class ensembles. In the meantime he tries to help southern Louisiana with math and music. “I am grateful to experience drum corps as a performer and instructor. It is blissful to see how far this Drum Corp has developed and how much of the great talent contributes to our success every year.”
Cameron is a music educator from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in December of 2021. During his time at LSU, he marched and served as the drumline captain of The Golden Band from Tigerland, was the principal percussionist of the Symphonic Winds, performed with the LSU Percussion Ensemble “Hamiruge”, toured the country with the LSU Wind Ensemble, and played drum set in the LSU Lab Band and Bishop Jazz Combo. Cameron marched snare drum at Louisiana Stars in 2017, and was then selected as the center snare/section leader in 2019.
During his time at LSU, Cameron was under the tutelage of Dr. Brett Dietz, Stanton Moore, and Shawn Galvin. Cameron has been recorded on two albums: Retrospections by PAS Hall of Fame member and Principal Percussionist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Stanley Leonard and Beacons of Light by the composer and educator Chad Heiny.
Cameron has been a Percussion Instructor at Dutchtown High School since 2018 where he taught both Front Ensemble and Battery Percussion in Fall and Winter marching seasons. He also programmed, rehearsed, and conducted multiple concert ensembles during his time at Dutchtown. Cameron served on the music staff at St. Martin Independent for the 2022 indoor season when the group placed 3rd in the Independent A classification at WGI Finals in Dayton, OH. Cameron enjoys teaching private lessons to percussionists and has taught at multiple band programs in Louisiana and Texas. In his free time, Cameron enjoys writing music, traveling, and riding his bike.
Bailey Lanier is currently a teacher and musician in Lafayette, Louisiana. He serves as the Head Band Director at Acadiana High School and plays drums and percussion with various groups in the area. Bailey is a graduate of UL Lafayette, where he was the Wind Ensemble principal percussionist, Orchestra principal percussionist, Pride of Acadiana Drum Captain, and performed with the Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Basketball Band, and Jazz Combo. He also served as the Assistant Director for Elite A Indoor Percussion from 2019-2020.
Bailey has been involved with Louisiana Stars since 2014, marching tenors for the first 3 years of the corps’ existence and being a percussion staff member since 2019. He is excited for the future of the Louisiana Stars and can’t wait to see what the summer of 2022 has in store for the group!
Taylor Naquin is a native of Thibodaux, LA, where he continues to serve as an educator and consultant for his community. He received his Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. During his time there, Taylor was part of various ensembles including the Pride of Acadiana Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, World Percussion Ensemble, UL Lafayette Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Band, and various other performances.
Taylor’s marching career began at E.D.White Catholic High School, where he competed in the WGI World Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015. He was also a section leader of the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. Following graduation, Taylor began his Drum Corps career with the Louisiana Stars in 2015 and then Crossmen in 2017, where he served as section leader for both organizations. He also participated in WGI with Elite Indoor Percussion 2016 and Cap City 2019. Taylor has served as the percussion instructor/consultant for various schools in south Louisiana such as Southside High School, Vandebilt Catholic High School, E.D.White Catholic High School, and South Terrebonne High School.
He is currently employed as a Talented Music teacher and parish percussion director for Evangeline Parish. This will be Taylor’s second year on staff with the Louisiana Stars.
TJ is from Biloxi, Mississippi and is a resident of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He is a graduate of Biloxi High School and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
His marching experiences include marching two summers with The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps; 2014 in the front ensemble and 2015 on bass drum. He was able to experience two seasons in WGI Open Class with Gulf Coast Independent. He then spent two seasons with WGI Independent World Class finalist, Palmetto Percussion in 2015 and 2016 on snare drum.
He has spent several years as a freelance percussion instructor in areas of Mississippi and South Carolina. His experience includes working as a battery tech with several high school marching band and indoor percussion programs, independent indoor percussion programs, as well as giving private lessons to students.
He was able to work with West Harrison High School (MS) from 2015 to 2018 as a battery tech. He worked with TL Hanna High School (SC) as an instructor and arranger from 2019 to 2021. In 2020, TJ was the battery coordinator of Palmetto Indoor Theatre in their inaugural season. Since 2017, he has been an instructor for WGI Scholastic World Class finalist and MS state champion, Petal High School.
TJ enjoys playing drum set and likes to cheer for the New Orleans Saints (WHO DAT) and Alabama Football (ROLL TIDE). He began playing disc golf as a fun hobby and looks forward to improving his game and competing in local tournaments.
Christian is a resident of Houston, Texas and a current student at the University of Houston. He is finishing up his degree in instrumental music education and has experience performing with the school’s wind ensemble, symphony orchestra, percussion ensemble, steel band, and world renowned “Spirit of Houston” marching band. Christian has had the opportunity to perform in Drum Corps International with the Phantom Regiment, and WGI Percussion with Monarch Independent.
His teaching experience includes numerous high school percussion programs in the Houston area, and independent groups as well. Christian also served as the former percussion caption head at Compass Drum and Bugle Corps during their 2021 season. He is extremely excited to be a part of the bass drum staff at Louisiana Stars and plans to bring wonderful pedagogy and experiences for the students!
Outside of the activity, Christian enjoys spending time with his labradoodle, Piper.
Front Ensemble Coordinator
Alex Braud is a percussionist and educator from Kansas City, MO and is the Front Ensemble Coordinator for the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Alex was a performer in both WGI and DCI with Gateway Indoor and the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2014, Alex was a part of Gateway’s highest placing season ever, finishing 5th at the WGI Independent World Championships. Since aging out, Alex has served on the administrative staff of the Oregon Crusaders and the educational staff for Compass Drum and Bugle Corps. He has played percussion with several regional orchestras in Texas and Missouri and was a six-season member of the Kansas City Chiefs Rumble Drumline.
As an active educator, Alex continues to teach as a freelance instructor across Texas and Missouri, and his students have qualified for various honor bands and solo and ensemble contests. He is the former Director of Percussion at Howe High School. During his tenure, The Pride of Howe Marching Band appeared at the UIL 3A State Marching Contest and the Howe HS Percussion Ensemble advanced to the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest.
He holds a Master of Music degree from Lamar University, where he studied Percussion Performance with Dr. Francisco Perez and served as a Graduate Assistants for the LU Band program, assisting with instruction of the Showcase of Southeast Texas Drumline and Percussion Ensemble, and performed with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble. A graduate of the University of Central Missouri, he holds bachelor’s degrees in both Percussion Performance and Instrumental Music Education. While at UCM, Alex was active in all areas of the percussion studio, member of the Wind Ensemble, member of the jazz band, principal timpanist with the UCM Symphony Orchestra, and was an undergraduate staff member of the Marching Mules.
Front Ensemble Technician
Adam Chasteen is originally from Maumelle, AR and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music education from Arkansas Tech University. During his time at Arkansas Tech, Adam has led the drumline, acted as principal of the wind ensemble, and played piano for the jazz band. While completing his degree, Adam has teched numerous drumlines and front ensembles throughout the state.
Adam’s drum corps journey began in 2020 by playing synth with Music City. He then went on to play mallets with the Madison Scouts in 2021. Adam is ecstatic to transition into an educator role in drum corps and is hyped to spend his first season with the Louisiana Stars.
Front Ensemble Technician
Nic is a native of New Iberia, LA and a graduate of Catholic High School New Iberia. Currently residing in New Orleans, he serves as the Band Director of Archbishop Chapelle High School. Nic has been a staff member and percussion arranger for the Archbishop Rummel / Archbishop Chapelle High School Band for the better part of seven years. As a Music Education graduate of the Percussion Studio at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Nic gained experience as a Front Ensemble performer, a tenor drummer, a jazz drummer and vibraphonist, and as an overall percussionist in a number of ensembles and performing groups.
In the summer of 2018, he participated in Drum Corps International as a tenor drummer for Louisiana Stars. Nic was also a staff member and percussion arranger of the Erath High School Marching Band for three years, completing his final year there as a student teacher. He also served as a Front Ensemble Instructor for the Elite and Elite A Independent Indoor Percussion Ensembles during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Throughout his career as a music educator, he has helped and served several other programs as a clinician, adjudicator, consultant, and instructor.
Outside of school, Nic continues to perform professionally as a guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, and drummer in the realms of rock and jazz.