2019 Colorguard Staff


Chance Livar – Caption Head

Rejoining Spirit of Atlanta for his second season in the role as Color Guard Caption Head is Chance Livar. Chance has been connected to the color guard activity for almost 20 years. He started with the Midlothian Elegance Winter Guard in 2003. After high school, Chance went on to perform with the University of Texas at Arlington Marching Band as a member of the color guard. Since then, he has performed with two high-profile winter guards out of the DFW Area: both the Ars Nova Winter Guard A, Open, and World groups in 2007, 2008, 2012, and 2013 respectively, and the Black Gold Independent World Class Winterguard in 2009, 2010, and 2011. He has been to WGI World Championships ten times and has made finals twice. Chance marched two summers, 2008 and 2009, with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps from Boston, MA making DCI World Class finals twice and then went on to serve as the Tour Director/Color Guard Technician for them for three years as well (2010, 2011, and 2012). Chance was also a part of The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps Color Guard Staff in 2016.

Chance began teaching color guard directly out of high school starting with his Alma Mater for the 2006-2007 school season. In the summer of 2007, Chance taught color guard camps throughout the nation as a staff member for Marching Auxiliaries. Since then has worked at Lakeview Centennial HS, Western Hills HS, Alvarado HS, Trinity HS, Mansfield Summit HS, Midlothian HS, Mansfield Timberview HS, Allen HS, Weatherford HS, Burleson Centennial HS, North Crowley HS, Plano Vines High School, Irving MacArthur High School, and Kennedale HS.

Chance is currently in his third year as the Texas Christian University Color Guard Director, Mineral Wells HS Designer, his second year as the Pleasant Grove High School Designer, and his first year as the Color Guard Director of Grand Prairie High School and Duncanville High School. This season will also be Chance’s sixth year as the Director of the Black Gold Winterguard He has marched under and taught with well-respected directors from around the nation via his years with professional winterguard and his drum corps experiences.

Walter Jackson and Christina Treffer – Assistant Caption Heads

Another familiar face to the color guard staff is Walter Jackson, as Assistant Caption Head and Technician. No stranger to the Marching Music’s Major League, Walter first began performing with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012-2014 and then went on to march with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015 and aging out in 2016. Walter is currently in his sixth year teaching at Wylie High School and has previously worked with several other award-winning programs in the DFW area. Walter had the honor to be a member of the Redemption Guard in 2013 and the Black Gold World Winterguard from 2014 to 2018, where he has served as Head Captain for four years.

Christina Treffer is also returning for her second year on staff with Spirit of Atlanta, and her fourth year overall with the corps. Christina began her drum corps career at Spirit of Atlanta in 2013, and returned for her second year in 2014. She went on to spend the next two summers with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. Off of the field, Christina had the pleasure to spin with Black Gold Independent World from 2015-2017, where she was a captain in 2016 and 2017. Christina currently resides in Frisco, Texas with the intention of graduating in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in EC-6 education and special education from the University of North Texas. She has taught/choreographed for Stephenville HS and will be returning to the performance floor with Black Gold World for 2019. Christina will also be serving as Assistant Caption Head and Technician

Returning Staff

Elaine Fite is an alumnus of Black Gold Winterguard, The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, and Rhapsody Winterguard. Elaine currently teaches and choreographs for high schools and other groups across Washington, including the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps. This will be Elaine’s second year on the Spirit of Atlanta staff as a color guard technician.

Another second-year technician for Spirit of Atlanta is Dane Chung. Dane has an extensive history with Black Gold Winterguard, with over 10 years as a member and many as a staff member or captain. Dane has also marched with Ars Nova World Winterguard and Cypress Independent. Dane has had the opportunity to teach at many great programs around Texas.

Lauren Sloan has been doing color guard as a performer, technician, or choreographer since 2008. Currently, she is the Color Guard Director of Pleasant Grove High School, a technician for Bryant High School, and serves as a choreographer/technician of the Black Gold Open Winterguard and the Black Gold Dance Company. This will be Lauren’s second year with Spirit of Atlanta as a technician for the color guard.

Returning for his third season teaching the corps, Jose Morales is an alumnus of the Richmond Hill High School Wildcat Marching Band, the Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown, Aureus Independent, and Paramount Independent World Guard. Currently, Jose teaches various schools throughout Georgia and South Carolina. He has previously taught the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps and Spirit of Atlanta.

Toby Leikness is a designer, technician, and clinician. He started his Color Guard career with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps and continued with Every-Body Winterguard from Portland, OR. Toby has taught many great programs around the country, including Every-Body A, Every-Body World, the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, the R2 Performance Group, Americas Independent Winter Guard, Sarajevo Winter Guard, and the Madison Scouts, along with many high school programs. This will be Toby’s second year consulting with Spirit of Atlanta.

New Staff

Jonathan Gillman is an alumnus of Spirit of Atlanta, Onyx Winter Guard, and of the Pride of Cincinnati. He works with numerous groups in Ohio, including O2 Independent World Winter Guard, and O3 Independent A Winter Guard, in addition to serving on the Mid East Performance Association circuit board as a Color Guard Rep.

Cody Hudnall has spent time in New York dancing under professional ballet instructors and at landmark studios such as Alvin Ailey and Steps on Broadway. His performance career has involved being a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Black Gold World, and many ballets. He is currently on staff with many color guard programs across Texas.

Tyler Shives was a member of The Black Watch, Field of View, The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps, and Alter Ego. Tyler is the Caption Head for Gateway Regional High School’s indoor and outdoor color guard programs and works with numerous notable programs in in both the fall and winter.

Nikki Szymanski began her drum corps career with The Glassmen, continued with The Academy, and marched her final three summers at The Cadets. Her performance background also includes the Juxtaposition Winterguard. Nikki has also taught the Oregon Crusaders Color guard, and is currently the director of the Central Crossing High School Colorguard in Grove City, OH.

Chris Gannon has an extensive background in the marching arts. He started his color guard career in 2003, the first year his school had a Winterguard. His performance background includes being a member of WGI programs Premonition (IW), Braddock Independent (IW) and DCI programs such as Teal Sound and The Magic of Orlando. Chris has taught many programs such as The Blue Stars, Flanagan HS, Summerville HS, John I Leonard HS, and Stoneman Douglas HS.

Alexander Bolender‘s drum corps performance experience includes Gold, The Academy, The Cavaliers, and The Cadets. He was also a member of Vox Artium Winter Guard for multiple years. Alex teaches at Helix Charter High School and San Marcos High School, and taught The Oregon Crusaders color guard where he was co-caption head in 2017 and 2018.

Austin Houghton spent two years as Director of Nimitz High School and is now serving as the Color Guard Director at Stratford High School while choreographing, designing, and teaching for many other high school programs. Austin has also been on staff for Spirit Independent from the University of Houston (2019 marks his third year) and is an alumnus of the program. He also performed with the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2017, where he received the George Zingali Award for High Color Guard.

Gary “Hobie” Pileski (consultant) has been involved with marching bands, drum corps, and color guards for over 25 years. His experience includes designing for the color guard, writing drill and total show design. In addition to working with many Georgia high schools, he served as the color guard caption head for the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Hobie is also a partner in Argonne Parades, a parade production company based in Atlanta.

For complete information about Auditions for Spirit of Atlanta 2019, follow this link to www.spiritdrumcorps.org/join

Erika Kooda | Spirit of Atlanta Media