2020 Design Team

Program Coordinator and Battery Arranger

Dan Schack

Hailing from Connecticut, Dan has been involved in the marching arts since he was fourteen years old. As an active designer, educator, clinician, and adjudicator for competitive music ensembles all over the country, Dan specializes in creative design, movement/choreography, and battery percussion. He currently serves as the Creative Director of George Mason University Indoor Drumline and the Production Manager for Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps.

Outside of his musical endeavors, Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts degree in English from Wright State University, respectively concentrating on Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He proudly endorses Vic Firth drumsticks and Remo Drumheads.

Dan could not be more excited to be joining the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps  as the Program Coordinator in 2020!

Brass Arranger

Key Poulan

Key Poulan is a composer and arranger primarily for the marching arts and has written for the world’s most famous drum corps including the Santa Clara Vanguard, Mandarins, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Seattle Cascades, Vanguard Cadets, Spartans, Caballeros, Bushwackers, Renegades, Sunrisers, Juliana, Millennium and the Star United Mini Corps. As the owner of Key Poulan Music, he has been recognized as one of the country’s top arrangers and composers in the area of contemporary marching band and has several concert band works to his credit. His marching band arrangements have won several national titles at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships. His works have won many state titles throughout the United States and have been performed around the world. His transcription of “The Promise of Living” from Copland’s “Tender Land” was extremely well received at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival and his original works “Carnegie Fanfare and Dance” and “A Fortune in Steel” were both premiered at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

Key received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from East Texas State University (currently Texas A & M – Commerce) in 1985 and had the opportunity of studying under many fine educators including: Gary Hill, Dave Ward, Dr. Robert Houston, and Dr. Gene Lockhart. Key studied trombone under the late Dr. Neill Humfeld and composition with Dr. Ronald Yates and Dr. Margaret Wheat at ETSU. Key also credits his success to his mentors: Philip Geiger, Bill Watson, Eddie Green, Dr. Lawrence Sutherland, Dr. Gary Gilroy, Dr. Jerry Payne, Melvin Reddic, Hubert “Butch” Almany and the person who started him on trombone in the 5th grade – Jasper Huff.

Front Ensemble Arranger

Colin Mason

Colin Mason is thrilled with the opportunity to be back home for the 2020 season. After spending 2007-2011 with the Hurricanes as both a front ensemble member and instructor, Colin returned to the drum corps in 2019 as a consultant.

In his time away from the Hurricanes, Colin spent 2011 to 2017 with 7th Regiment, serving as front ensemble coordinator for two years and co-caption head in 2017.

Colin has been teaching, writing and arranging for Cheshire High School (CT) since 2003, the last five years as co-director of percussion with his brother, Brendan. During this time, Colin has instructed, arranged, or consulted for several programs throughout Connecticut.

Born into a family of drummers, Colin’s introduction into the world of percussion came at the age of 5. Following in the footsteps of his father, Donald Mason, Colin took up the art of rudimental bass drumming. As a member of the Connecticut Patriots Fife and Drum Corps, Colin has had the humbling opportunity to perform and present clinics across the United States and Europe. It is his mission to preserve the tradition of American rudimental drumming, while helping to push the boundaries of what the art form can ultimately become.

When not in eternal pursuit of musical excellence, Colin dabbles in landscape construction, and enjoys cooking and spending time with his cat, Sandy.

Sound Designer

Bryson Teel

Bryson is a Washington state native, and currently resides in Bristol, Connecticut. There, he is active as a songwriter, mixing engineer, and marching arts sound designer/teacher. He was involved in the activity as a tenor drummer, performing with the Madison Scouts, 7th Regiment, and the Southington High School Marching Band.

As a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Bryson holds a B.M. degree in Audio & Music Production w/ a Focus in Percussion Performance. Applying skills learned from studying modern composition and audio engineering, he has worked as a designer and teacher for marching programs throughout the northeast (Newtown HS, New Milford HS, Trumbull HS, Cheshire HS, University of New Haven, 7th Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps, Spartans Drum & Bugle Corps).

Guard Designer

Laura Choquette

Laura started her drum corps career with the Connecticut Hurricanes in 2003 and went on to march for 9 years in the Hurcs guard and teach for 2. She is very excited to return for her 3rd year teaching and 12th year overall in 2020!

In addition to her years with the Hurricanes, Laura has marched with the Cheshire High School Marching Band and Winterguard, University of Delaware Marching Band (2004-2007), Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2005), Visual Arts Production Company (2005-2006), Apex IW (2007), Delazure (2008), and Blessed Sacrament IW (2009, 2011).

Laura is currently in her 3rd year as a writer/designer/tech for the University of New Haven Marching Band and Winterguard. In the past she has been the director at Sacred Heart University (2009-2012), director of the Trumbull A Winterguard (2012-2014), flag tech for the Trumbull Marching Band (2012-2017), flag tech/writer for the Trumbull A Guard (2014-2017) and flag tech for the 2014 Trumbull World Guard. She also spent two summers as a flag tech/writer for 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017 and 2018.

Laura has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree in Music Education from Western Connecticut State University. She currently lives in Milford, CT and teaches elementary band and orchestra in Hamden, CT.

Visual Designer

Steve Lyons

Performer and educator Stephen Lyons lives in Milford, Connecticut and is excited to come home to the Hurricanes. He was introduced to the marching activity in the band at East Lyme High School and joined the Hurcs soprano section for their 1998-2000 seasons. During his marching tenure with the Boston Crusaders, which began in 2001, Steve won back to back gold medals at I&E solo mellophone competitions in Denver and Providence. He aged out as the 2005 “Crusader of the Year.” Since then, Steve has worked as a marching and/or music instructor with the Hurricanes, 7th Regiment, Crossmen, the Boston Crusaders, and the Colts. He currently teaches marching ensembles at King Philip Regional High School and Norwalk High School. During the day, he is an instrumental music teacher at Chase Collegiate School (Waterbury, Connecticut) and the Rectory School (Pomfret, Connecticut.)

Steve is sought after as a well-rounded trumpet player by a variety of groups, including the New Bedford Symphony, the Glens Falls Symphony, the Chelsea Symphony, and the Fiddlehead Theatre Company. He has toured around the East Coast and Rust Belt with reggae-rock group Echo Movement (Asbury Park, New Jersey) and now plays in the horn section of soul/funk group Bank Street Groove (New London, Connecticut). He has had the honor to serve as a visual designer for 7th Regiment, Colt Cadets, and indoor and outdoor scholastic programs throughout the Northeast and beyond. Considering himself a lifelong learner, he enjoys the creative process of working with a team to design a show that places performers in a position to achieve, improve, and entertain.

Staff Coordinator

Austin Avery

Austin has been a freelance teacher and choreographer since the fall of 2004. He has worked with numerous high school groups fall/winter percussion  and drum corps in the northeast area. Some of those places are Norwalk high, Trumbull high, Westhill high, Stamford high, and Dartmouth high. Some of the drum corps he has taught are Connecticut Hurricanes, Hawthorne Caballeros, Fusion Core, Oregon Crusaders and Jersey Surf. Years he has taught or helped out the hurricanes are 2007, 2011-2012, and 2019. Austin is an alumni of Spirit of Atlanta where he marched from 2002-2006 where they made finals 4 out of those 5 years. He also likes to bring a unique style to the groups he teaches or writes choreo for. So they can have their own unique style! He is very excited to be working with his hometown Corp again!