Chris Keri: Director of Operations
Chris Keri has been on staff with the Marching Scarlet Knights since 2013 after being a 4 year member and section leader of the trumpet section. Chris serves as the Director of Operations for the Rutgers University Athletic Bands; helping to recruit new members, plan band camp, place orders, and help organize other aspects of the season.
Chris has also been the voice of the Marching Scarlet Knights since 2016, announcing the band on and off the field for every performance.
Chris is married and lives with his wife, Leigh, and two sons, CJ and Lucas, in Somerville, NJ. They also have a dog, Teddy. (Chow Chow/Schnauzer mix). He is a graduate of Rutgers; receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology in 2013 and his Master's Degree in Special Education in 2014. He is also a Certified Teacher of Orton Gillingham (2017). Most recently, he obtained his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University (2020). His full time job is being a fifth grade teacher in Bernards Township where he has been since September 2014.
Todd Vaccaro: Equipment Manager
Todd is returning for his fifth season as a staff member with the Rutgers University Marching Band, where he was previously a visual/brass tech. He graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Aerospace Concentration) from Rutgers University in 2015. During his time at Rutgers, Todd was a member of the Marching Band, where he was a 4 year member and a co-section leader of the trumpet section during his senior year. He also performed in the Rutgers University Concert Band, and could be seen playing in the pit orchestra for numerous shows with the Livingston Theatre Company. He also marched with the Bushwackers Drum & Bugle Corps for their 2012 season. Todd is a Brother of Mu Beta Psi.
Today, Todd is an avid trumpet player and can still be seen playing for shows in NJ at times. Most recently, he has played for The Addams Family and The Wizard of Oz with Stage Left Productions in Hazlet, NJ, where he also currently resides. He is also a member of the Eatontown Municipal Band in Eatontown, NJ. He works full time for A.D.E. Systems in Sayreville, NJ as a mechanical engineer in the commercial HVAC industry.
Brian Brown: Woodwind Tech
Brian S. Brown holds his Bachelor of Music from the University of Delaware and Master of Music from the University of Connecticut, both degrees with a concentration in Music Education.
Mr. Brown began his music education career as band director at Immaculata High School for 5 years where his marching bands were consistently ranked top in their group and captured a marching band championship. Mr. Brown has many years experience in music education and the marching arts. He has had the opportunity to conduct the CJMEA region symphonic band at the high school level and at the NJSMA region band at the middle school level in northern new jersey. Mr. Brown is employed in Ridgewood, New Jersey where he is Director of Bands at George Washington Middle School. Currently he is a member of the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band playing in the clarinet section. He is returning for his 2nd season working with the RUMSK clarinets and piccolos and is looking forward to it.
RICHARD HARTSUIKER is in his sixth year as Director of Bands at Morris Hills High School in Rockaway, New Jersey. His curricular responsibilities at Morris Hills include directing the Advanced and Freshmen level concert bands, teaching small-group/individual lessons to all band students, and teaching the electives Advanced Placement Music Theory and Music Theory/Composition. Mr. Hartsuiker’s extra-curricular duties include the directorships of the Scarlet Knights Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Pit Orchestra. He is also a co-adjutant with the Rutgers University “Marching Scarlet Knights”, serving as a brass technician and drill instructor. Prior to coming to Morris Hills, Mr. Hartsuiker taught at Roxbury High School for sixteen years, where he assisted the Honors Wind Symphony in their selections and performances at the 2008 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (the first New Jersey concert band ever selected to perform at this international conference) and the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Music for All National Concert Band Festivals. Marching bands under his direction have won numerous state and national championships, as well as multiple selections as a finalist band at Music for All Regional Championships. Mr. Hartsuiker is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma in Trumpet Performance at Rutgers University as a student of Kenneth DeCarlo, holds a Masters of Music degree in Conducting from Messiah College, (studying with Dr. Bradley Genevro and Eugene Migliaro Corporon), and is an honors graduate from William Paterson University. He has studied trumpet with Dr. J. Craig Davis, Roger Ingram, Chris Jaudes, Dr. William Stowman, Garth Greenup, and Kurt Zimmermann, and has participated in master classes given by the Boston Brass, Fred Mills, Allen Vizzutti, Andrew Hitz, and Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, Mr. Hartsuiker has taken voiceover lessons and clinics with voiceover artists Lainie Cooke, Sara Krieger, and Joe Gallogly. Mr. Hartsuiker has had the privilege to conduct concerts at Carnegie Hall on multiple occasions, and he has performed as a conductor and/or trumpet soloist on the stages of David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center and the Whitaker Center for the Performing Arts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has guest conducted the New Jersey Region I Symphonic Band, the inaugural New Jersey Region I Honors Brass Ensemble, and has served as manager for the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble, New Jersey Region I Wind Ensemble, and New Jersey Region I Symphonic Band multiple times. He also has adjudicated the NJMEA Middle School Band Festival numerous times, and is a guest clinician for bands and brass sections around the region. Mr. Hartsuiker enjoys performing as a trumpet soloist and chamber musician throughout New Jersey, and has managed a successful private trumpet studio for players of all ages and ability levels, placing many students in Area, Region, Junior Region, and All-State Bands on a year-to-year basis. Mr. Hartsuiker is happily married to his wife Michelle and is the proud father of three wonderful sons.
Carlos Vazquez: Percussion Caption Head
Carlos is a graduate of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he double-majored in Music Education and Psychology. Carlos has been a percussion educator in New Jersey for over a decade teaching at several high schools, private lessons and clinics. He is an active freelance musician in the New York and New Jersey area specializing in classical, marching and Latin percussion. He has played on the national tour of Hair! the musical and currently plays for the NY Giants Drum Line as an employee of Gallant Entertainment. He has had the honor to play alongside musicians such as Eddie Palmieri and Delfeayo Marsalis and has recorded with the popular hip-hop group The Wu-Tang Clan. This will be Carlos’ 8th season as an instructor for the Rutgers University Drumline.
Mark Monaghan has 4+ years teaching experience at all levels ranging from beginner high school to world-class marching ensembles, including collegiate teaching experience. Mark’s drum corps experience started Crossmen in 2012 and 2013. Later he joined the Santa Clara Vanguard for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, winning the Fred Sanford High Percussion award in ’14. Mark also marched with United Percussion for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Mark’s teaching experience includes United Percussion, Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights, Edison HS, and Bridgewater Raritan HS. Mark Monaghan has a bachelors in psychology, with a minor in music. He is currently pursuing his second bachelors in music education, with a concentration in classical percussion.
Matt Blood: Front Ensemble Caption Head
Matt Blood is a percussion arranger, educator, and performer from South Jersey. He has arranged percussion scores for many ensembles on the East Coast from middle school level to world class drum and bugle corps. Currently, Matt is the Percussion Supervisor/Arranger for the West Deptford Band, Front Ensemble Caption Head/Arranger for the Hawthorne Caballeros, and Front Ensemble Caption Head/Arranger for the Rutgers MSK, Front Ensemble Designer for the Jersey Surf, and a front ensemble technician for the perennial WGI PIW Finalist, United Percussion. Matt received his Bachelor’s degree in classical percussion performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where he also has performed in some of their top ensembles. In addition, Matt has performed as a member of the United Percussion Front Ensemble during their 2012-2014 seasons.
Tom O’Hara is a percussionist and educator based in central New Jersey. Tom began his teaching career in 2011 at Edison High School where he served as Co-Percussion Caption Head for the marching band and indoor percussion ensemble until 2019. He has given clinics and worked with numerous schools and organizations throughout New Jersey, including
the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra.Tom also has several snare drum solos published through Bachovich Music Publications. A solo from his book entitled “Six Impressions for Solo Snare Drum” was featured on the repertoire list for the 2017 Modern Snare Drum Competition.
Tom received his Bachelor of Music from Rutgers University, where he studied intensively under Joseph Tompkins, Javier Diaz, Michael Truesdell, and Kyle Zerna. He currently serves as an instrumental music teacher in the Linden Public School District. Tom is very excited to join the Rutgers University Marching Band percussion team!
Bio Coming Soon!
Color Guard Staff
Louis Hellinger is a NJ resident and has over 20 years of performance, design and instruction experience for color guard, drum corps and band. He began his passion for this activity quite humbly in a local Independent A guard and the Raiders Drum Corps, both from his hometown of Bayonne, NJ. Later, he was a member of the renowned Emerald Marquis color guard from Wakefield, Ma. Louis also performed with the Sunrisers (NY) and Westshoremem (PA) drum corps throughout his marching career.
After marching Louis has had the privilege to work with many wonderful groups in a design capacity. Louis has been the creative director/designer for West Orange HS for the past 12 years. Most recently, he has also worked with: Cypress Independent (TX), The Black Watch (NJ), The Blue Knight (CO), AMP (NJ) and Sacred Heart University (CT).
In addition to all of his competitive teaching, Louis is proud to be a part of the the Flaggots Color Guard (NY/NJ/PA/CT) and he has been the Creative Director since 2005. The Flaggots is known across the country to be one of the most well-known and exciting parade color guards.
Jen Lube has actively been involved in the marching arts since high school. She has performed with a variety of drum corps and world class indoor groups on the East Coast.
Over the years she has also taught and consulted for several high school marching bands, winter guards, and independent programs in the tristate area.
Currently, Jen works with AMP winter guard from Camden, NJ. Jen is excited to work with the RU color guard for her second season.
Laura is excited to join the technical staff of the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights for the 2019 season!
Her marching experience includes six years of DCI as well as three years in WGI. Her teaching experience includes almost a decade of experience choreographing and instructing various marching bands and winter guards in the NJ/PA area, most notably including seven seasons with WGI world finalist, AMP winter guard from Camden, NJ.
Outside of the marching world, Laura is an aspiring research psychologist. She holds a BS in psychology from the University of the Sciences and is currently working towards a PhD in cognitive psychology at Rutgers University.
Bio Coming Soon!
Bio Coming Soon!
Bio Coming Soon!
Bio Coming Soon!