TONY MENCIO // VISUAL CAPTION HEAD
Tony will be entering his 5th year as a member of the Guardians Visual Staff and 2nd year as the Visual Caption Head. He is currently the in his 5th year as a Director of Music at Arlington Grand Prairie High School where he conducts the Concert Band, Orchestra, Drumline, and Classical Guitar Ensembles. He has performed with various groups at Cedar Park High School, Texas Tech University, and the University of North Texas where he graduated in 2015. His drum corps career included 4 years with the Santa Clara Vanguard on Trumpet from 2008 to 2011.
Tony has been a marching/music instructor for numerous organizations including: Frenship High School (TX), Cedar Park High School (TX), Byron Nelson High School (TX), Coppell High School (TX), Chisholm Trail High School (TX), South Pointe High School (SC), Lake Dallas High School (TX), The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, The Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, Vigilantes Indoor Percussion, Orion Winds, and The Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps.
When Tony is not teaching he enjoys playing/watching sports/games, going to concerts or other live music, hanging with friends and family, or playing around with his puppy, Willow.
NATHAN AUPIED // ASST. VISUAL CAPTION HEAD
Nathan currently serves as the Assistant Band Director at Kerens ISD. He studied music education at the University of Louisiana.
Nathan previously marched for 4 years with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps. This will be his 4th year on staff with the Guardians visual team.
D'LAINEY FORRESTER // VISUAL TECH
d’Lainey Forrester currently lives in San Diego, California, and is an alumnus of San Marcos High School in which she performed in Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and served as Drum Major in the Knight Regiment marching band. After graduating, she continued to earn her Bachelor’s in Music Performance from UCLA in 2017. During her time in college, d’Lainey studied clarinet under Gary Gray, Principal Clarinetist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In addition to woodwinds, d’Lainey also studied low brass (concentration in Euphonium) with Aubrey Foard, Principal Tuba of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She performed on trombone in the UCLA Bruin Marching Band and served as Principal Euphonium in the UCLA Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Travis Cross.
While completing her undergrad, d’Lainey participated in five seasons of Drum Corps International in the World Class division, performing on euphonium and consistently marching in World Class finals every year. d’Lainey performed with the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2013, 2014, and 2015, Bluecoats in 2016, and the Blue Devils in 2017. In 2016, d'Lainey earned the title of DCI World Class Champion with the Bluecoats, earning the group’s first championship in history. Additionally, in 2017 she earned her second DCI Championship title with the Blue Devils, earning the group’s 18th total championship and winning the John Brazale Visual Performance award. Outside of DCI, d'Lainey spent the 2017 winter season with Pulse Percussion in the WGI World Class Percussion division, earning a bronze medal at WGI finals.
Upon finishing her career in the marching arts, d’Lainey worked as a musician in Tokyo, Japan, for Kyoto Tokyo Inc. Theater Company. During her stay in 2018, she performed nearly thirty live shows in the Tokyo International Forum Hall. d’Lainey also worked as a woodwind clinician during her time in Japan, teaching students at various high schools and junior high schools in the Yamagata Prefecture.
At home in San Diego, d’Lainey works in various roles and positions as a music teacher at local high schools and middle schools. Her duties include woodwind and brass specialist, marching technician, and private lessons instructor. d’Lainey currently works at San Marcos High School as a woodwind specialist and is the director of the Symphonic Band. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Education.
SAMANTHA BROWN // VISUAL TECH
Samantha Houston Brown has been involved in the marching arts since 2004. In high school, she competed in Bands of America and Winter Guard International with Odessa High School Band of Distinction, Odessa, Missouri. While attending the University of Kansas, she served as a 3-year guard captain with the Marching Jayhawks, 3 seasons with Synchronicity Winterguard, 3 seasons with Avidity Independent Winterguard and a summer performing with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, from Santa Clara, California.
Samantha has experience instructing and choreographing for high school and collegiate color guards in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, Hawaii and Nebraska. This is her first year as the Color Guard Instructor for the University of Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band and her second year as the Lincoln Southeast High School Color Guard Instructor. In addition to writing choreography and being a clinician, she is a visual staff member with The Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps. She has her Music Education Degree from the University of Kansas and is a teacher at Pure Barre in Lincoln, Nebraska.
RUSSELL WILEY // VISUAL TECH
Russell Wiley has been a member of the Guardians visual staff since 2017 and has been involved with drum corps since 1997.
He is a former member of The Commandant’s Own, The US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and lives in Temple, TX with his wife and kids where he is pursuing a degree in music education at Temple College.
JOSH CROCKER // VISUAL TECH
Josh Crocker is an active visual designer and educator hailing from Houston, Texas where he is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in Middle Eastern History, Kinesiology, and Music Theory at the Univeristy of Houston. As an educator, Josh has served on the visual staffs of several Houston area high schools, most notably at The Woodlands High School in the Woodlands, Texas. As a visual designer, he specializes in Color Guard staging and concept creation for several schools across Texas. Josh marched baritone with the Crossmen and Santa Clara Vanguard from 2014 to 2017, and has previously played in the UH concert ensembles. Outside of his studies and teaching, he enjoys fishing, watching Formula 1, and spending time with his rescue dog, Max.
JUSTIN POIRIER // VISUAL TECH
Mr. Poirier is in his 2nd year as Assistant Band Director at Aldine High School. His music background started in California in the fourth grade band class where he played the clarinet. After moving to Texas in 2006, Justin continued studying clarinet under Keith Lancaster and Paula Corley in Dripping Springs ISD. He earned his Bachelor Degree in Music Education at the University of North Texas studying with Daryl Coad, Dennis Fisher, Dr. Alan McClung, and Dr. Nicholas Williams. Before joining the Aldine High School staff, Justin was the Assistant Band Director at Tafolla Middle School in San Antonio ISD for two years. He taught the Honor, Symphonic, Jazz, and Beginner band classes, and was an assistant theater director for the Tafolla theater program.
Justin is the director at the Aldine Ninth Grade School and assists with the direction of the Marching Band, Jazz Band, Percussion, and is the director of the Concert Band.
Justin taught as a brass technician at the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps during the summer of 2019. He is a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and Texas Music Educators Association. His favorite activities outside of teaching music are being with family, throwing a frisbee, playing video games, cycling, and petting dogs
RICHARD FALLS // VISUAL TECH
Richard is currently a band director as Burleson Centennial High School and is the Director of their indoor winds.
Richard has taught visual for Vigilantes Indoor Percussion(‘15), Monarch Indoor Percussion (17 & 18’) and Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps(17 to present). He was also a performing member of Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (‘07, ‘08) and Color Guard Theater Dallas(19).
Richard earned his Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Dance Education from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
Richards’ Professional affiliations include Delta Omicron, Phi Beta Sigma, Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.
Richard grew up in Chicago Illinois and loves the snow. He recently married the beautiful Megan Storey and is celebrating his first wedding anniversary on November 23rd.
JARED DELGADO // VISUAL TECH
Jared Delgado is currently an Assistant Band Director at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas. He marched 2 summers with the Crossmen and a season of indoor percussion with UTSA Indoor. This will be Jared’s fourth year working with the visual staff at Guardians.
AUSTIN MELASS // VISUAL TECH
Austin is a Texas native, born and raised in Houston, TX.
He is currently working on an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology and previously marched Santa Clara Vanguard from 2012-2014.
This is Austin's 3rd year as a Visual Tech at Guardians. Fun fact about Austin, he boasts a 50-inch vertical jump.
HUNTER REED // VISUAL TECH
Hunter is a 2nd year Visual staff member at the Guardians.
Hunter went to the University of Georgia and obtained my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. He is currently working and studying for the LSAT in preparation for Law School.
Hunter’s marching experience includes having marched with Glassmen 2012, Blue Knights 2013, Vanguard 14, 16, 17, 18 - Winner of the John Brazale best visual performance award in 2018.
A fun fact: My father marched mellophone for Suncoast Sound in 1984, my mom and aunt marched in the colorguard with the Bluecoats in the early 80’s, and my uncle marched bass with the Cavaliers in the late 1970’s.