Ponder East, Band Director
Seth Lampert, Percussion Instructor
Seth received his bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance as well as a master’s degree in Music Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He held a teaching assistantship under Professor Thom Hannum and taught the UMass Marching Band, which has performed at several nationally televised events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 and The Rose Parade in 2018.
Seth was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Discovering his passion for music at an early age, he began learning to play the drum set when he was six. Continuing throughout high school, he was involved in the music program in the Portsmouth School District, studying under percussion instructor, Steve Cirillo, medaling several times and earning a WGI Scholastic Concert Open Class championship in 2011 with the high school’s Percussion Ensemble. He continued to teach and arrange after graduating from PHS in 2015.
During his time at UMass, Seth had the opportunity to teach, arrange, and perform with the world renowned UMass percussion section, the UMass Marimba Bands/Ensembles and several other ensembles offered at the university. To expand upon his classical training he was selected by studio professor, Ayano Kataoka, to perform in the McCormick Marimba Festival at the University of South Florida in January of 2019. He also had the opportunity to learn from artists in residence Victor Caccese and Terry Sweeney from contemporary chamber percussion group, Sandbox Percussion, in the spring of 2019.
Seth’s marching career began in 2014 where he spent his first season playing cymbals and his second playing quads with The Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps. He then spent four seasons playing quads with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. During his time at The Cadets he had the opportunity to perform under Colin McNutt in 2016 and DCI Hall of Fame member Tom Aungst from 2017-2019. Seth was a quad tech with The Spartans Drum and Bugle Corps in 2019-2020 and is also currently teaching the Cadets quad line.
Derek Vereen, Colorguard Instructor
Derek Vereen was born in Minot, North Dakota on the air-force base. Shortly after, his family took roots back in South Carolina. Mr. Vereen attended Winthrop University in South Carolina studying for his BA in Dance Education from the years of 2011-2015. While attending school he performed with both dance companies and winterguards: groups such as Staib Dance Company, Caroline Calochue Arieal Company, First Flight Winterguard and Etude Winterguard. Most of his summers were spent competing for Drum Corps International (DCI), with Carolina Crown from 2012-2016. After finishing school Mr. Vereen decided to move his marching career to Cincinatti where he would perform, and medal, with the Pride of Cincinatti Winterguard (2016-2018). While residing in Ohio, he taught two scholastic world class finalist groups: Bellbrook and Miamisburg High School. During this same time, he was offered the opportunity to tour with “Blast! The Music of Disney Japan,” (2017-2019). After his final tour with “Blast!,” he came to Austin, TX to teach several high schools including Leander, Cedar Park, Cedar Ridge, Westlake, and Moe & Gene Johnson. Now Mr. Vereen is excited to direct his own program, and share his knowledge of dance and colorguard with his students.