Welcome to the "Staff Biographies" section of our website! Here you will be able to read and learn about the wonderful music, marching and visual staff that will aid you in your journey of becoming world class musicians and people!
Matthew Nordhausen - Director
Percussionist, Matthew Nordhausen is originally from Hilton, New York, where he first studied the art of percussion with Mr. John Russi & Mr. Timothy Stodd. Matt attended Fredonia State University majoring in both History and Music Education, and continued his percussive studies with both Dr. Kay Stonefelt and Mr. John Bacon. In 2005, Matthew then completed a Master of Music performance degree in Conducting also at Fredonia State University, where he studied with Dr. Paula Holcomb.
Matt performs regularly as a freelance percussionist and conductor for area festivals, musicals, plays and shows, with groups such as Spencerport Port of Call Players, Cobblestone Community Players, Batavia Rotary, Genesee-Wyoming Music Educators Association, Genesee Valley School Music Association and Westside Theatre Productions. He also performs with the Roberts Wesleyan College Community Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Paul Shewan. In addition, he is the drummer/percussionist for Point of View Jazz Trio, which performs throughout Western New York.
An avid instructor and performer alike, Matt has taught and performed with both the Rochester Crusaders (2003), and the Empire Statesmen Drum & Bugle Corps (1996-1998, 2004-2008). With the Rochester Crusaders, Matt was able to capture the Individual and Ensemble champion for the Mixed Ensemble category (2003). With the Empire Statesmen, Matt has performed and/or taught for three world championship titles (1996, 1997 & 2004) and two world percussion titles (1997 & 1998).
Compositionally, Matthew has been composing and arranging since 2001 for an assortment of musical mediums and is published with Imagine Music, Inc. Currently, he teaches percussion privately out of his home in North Chili, NY, where he lives with his wife Jessica, son Parker and daughter Bailey. In addition, Matthew is an instrumental music teacher for the Le Roy Central School District (www.leroycsd.org/webpages/mnordhausen/), as the Director of the Wolcott Street School Band, Jr. High School Band, Senior High Percussion Ensemble & the Swingin’ Knights Junior High Jazz Ensemble.
Michael Hillman - Assistant Director & Drill Design
Michael Hillman has worked as a marching band instructor for the past 12 years. He has taught with many groups including the Hilton Crimson Cadets Marching Band and Winter Drum Line, Eastridge Marching Lancers, Frontier Winter Drumline, the Le Roy Marching Knights, Rochester Crusaders and Empire Statesmen. Mike has won 2 DCA Championships and 4 DCA Ensemble Championships. Mike has marched with groups such as the Empire Statesmen, Rochester Crusaders, Hitmen Brass Band, and Santa Clara Vanguard. He has also performed with other various orchestral and symphonic ensembles. Mike is currently performing with the Prime Time Brass Band. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia in January 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Roberts Wesleyan College in 2010 with a Masters in Music Education.
Lindsay Lavicka - Assistant Director, Color Guard Design & Instruction
Lindsay is a 2012 graduate of Nazareth College, holding degrees in Graphic Design/Illustration and Sociology. She has been involved with performing arts since 2002.
Her marching career began in the Greater Johnstown School District, where she spent 4 years playing flute/piccolo, 2 years as Drum Major, and 6 years in the winterguard.
Lindsay then went on to perform with regionally and nationally successful colorguards- most notably Drum Corps International's Blue Knights (2010, 2011) and Winter Guard International's Brigadiers Winterguard (2011, 2012, 2013[captain]).
Lindsay's performance experience also includes White Sabers Drum Corps (2007, 2008, 2015), Brigadiers Drum Corps (2009), and Empire Statesmen (2013),as well as Patriots (2009) Winterguard. She has performed in WGI finals 5 times, DCI finals 2 times, and DCA finals 3 times.
Lindsay's instructional experience includes the Brigadiers Winterguard (WGI IO Finalists 2014, 2015), the Hilton Drumline (2013 WGI PSA Champions, 2014 WGI PSO Finalists), and Gold Dust Cadet winterguard.
Additionally, Lindsay has been involved in numerous clinics and camps, providing one-on-one and small group instruction to students ages 10-23. To her, the most important aspects of the performing arts are discipline, professionalism, and developing a sense of community.
Becky Fox - Music & Marching Instruction
Becky Fox graduated from the Crane School of Music (2006) on clarinet. After college, she discovered her love of the marching arts when she started marching mellophone with the White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps. Since then she has also performed with the University at Buffalo Marching Band and Renaissance Winterguard. In addition to marching, Becky has also performed with many local ensembles, including the Eastman Community Music School Music Educator’s Wind Ensemble. Becky has taught marching band at several schools in the area (Pembroke, Westmoreland, Akron), and taught for two years in Texas (Raymondville ISD). Once she returned from Texas, Becky rejoined the White Sabers and helped them earn their 2013 & 2014 DCA World Championship Titles. She is one of the founding Co-Directors of the Rochester City School District Marching Band. She loves working with the Crimson Cadets, and looks forward to another year!
Shelly Bruni - Guard Design & Instruction
Ms. Bruni is a Hilton high school and marching band alumni. She's been participating in the marching arts and colorguard activity for over 30 years and during that time has marched and instructed with the Hilton Crimson Cadets, the world champion Empire Statesmen Drum Corp and others. Through these experiences she was afforded the opportunity to travel and perform througout the world for thousands of people! Ms. Bruni has taught many marching bands, other drum corps and started and directed a championship winterguard.
Personally, Shelly has 4 great kids, who all attend school at Hilton CSD. She has known most of the current Hilton Marching Band staff for many years as well as marched along side them and is honored to be helping with Hilton Marching Band again and being a part of this prestigious staff and phenomenal students!
Andrew Fortuna - Percussion Instruction
Andrew Fortuna has been involved in the world of marching percussion for over a decade, performing with groups such as United Percussion, The Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps and many others between 04-13. Andrew has also had the pleasure of either instructing, consulting or writing for many successful ensembles since 2008. The New Hartford HS Marching band, The Hilton HS Marching band, The Forrest Park HS Marching Rangers, The White Sabers Drum and Bugle Corps, United Percussion, and The Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps are some of the ensembles Andrew has had the privilege to work with.
Over the years Andrew has had the privilege of studying under Zach Schlicher, Dennis Carty, Omar Carmenates, Ellis Hampton and many other talented music educators. These individuals helped shape his pedagogical aim to effect positive change in students' lives through the pursuit of musical excellence.
Andrew Fortuna is from New Hartford, NY and currently resides in Rochester, NY
Ryan Butler - Percussion Instruction
Ryan Butler, originally from New Hartford, New York, spent his early years performing with the various marching ensembles offered at New Hartford High School, graduating in 2009. Ryan has performed with groups such as the Rochester Crusaders (2006-2010) and White Sabres Drum and Bugle Corps (2015), The Onondaga Community College Indoor Drumline (2010), and The Official Drumline of the Buffalo Bills, Downbeat Percussion (2015-present), in total, accumulating a combined 10 years of experience in the marching arts.
After High School, Ryan joined the United States Marine Corps, serving one combat deployment to Afghanistan during his four-year enlistment. Returning from the military in 2014, Ryan made the decision to go back to school. He is currently studying at St. John Fisher College, perusing a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science.
Dylan Niver - Percussion Instruction
Dylan Niver is an alumnus of Hilton High School and has participated in the marching program throughout his secondary schooling. After graduating from Hilton, where he also participated in the WGI World Champion winter drumline program, Dylan went on to receive his B.M. in Music Education from Nazareth College of Rochester. At Nazareth, he studied percussion under the direction of Ms. Kristen Shiner-McGuire, and jazz studies, under the direction of Paul Smoker.
Mr. Niver has performed throughout the Rochester and Buffalo areas with musical groups and jazz trios. Currently, Dylan is freelancing as a percussionist, teaching privately and substitute teaching in the Rochester area. In addition, Dylan is working with an art collective, known as UUU Art Collective, that supports the post-graduate artists and has opened a gallery in downtown Rochester. In the near future, Mr. Niver aspires to be a full time music teacher in a local school district.