Joshua Sipe

Ensemble Director


Joshua is from Jeromesville, OH. He attended the University of Akron where he studied percussion under distinguished professor Dr. Larry D. Snider. Joshua currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of Akron in Music Education. He has instructed at Mapleton High School, and he currently is the Visual Designer/Instructor for the Cloverleaf High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble (PSA). This group would go on to win gold in PRA in the 2022 OIPA Circuit.

He was also a quad/visual tech for Rogues Hollow Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He was a member of Matrix Open in both the 2019 (drumset)  and 2021 (bass drum) seasons. He is a three-year veteran of the Columbus Saints Drum and Bugle Corps (2017-2019), where he performed two years on tenors and one on drumset. Joshua was a 4-year member of Ohio’s Pride, The University of Akron Marching Band (2018-2021). During this time, he served as the quadline section leader for 3 of those years. He is the current Percussion Caption Head for the Columbus Saints Drum and Bugle Corps and the Band Director for East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, OH. In his free time, Joshua enjoys collecting Hot Wheels.

Jim Swanson

Assistant Director

Jim Swanson has been the Director of Percussion Studies, as well as the coordinator for the Middle School Percussion Programs for the Bishop Watterson High School Band Program for the past 30+ years. During his time there, the Percussion Program has grown into one of the best in the State of Ohio, with groups winning numerous awards at OMEA and Mid States Bands Association marching contests. The marching percussion program has received a “1” at OMEA State Marching Band finals for the past 22 years in a row, and has been a State Finalist at OMEA since 1987. For OMEA Solo and Ensemble, the Bishop Watterson Percussion Program frequently has the most Percussion events at the District 15 adjudicated event. He also coordinates the Bishop Watterson concert percussion groups, and is the rhythm section coordinator for the jazz band.

Jim has also fielded many successful indoor groups at Bishop Watterson, who have won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the MEPA, OIPA Indoor circuits.

Jim is the Head Band Director at Immaculate Conception, St. Andrew and St. Tim’s middle schools, and helps coordinate the Watterson Area Middle School Honor Band Percussion Program. He is a member of the Bishop Watterson Performing Arts Hall of Fame.

Jim’s students have gone on to participate in many World Level DCI and WGI performance groups, as well as getting into top college percussion programs. Jim has had students perform with, or instruct for The Bluecoats, Phantom Regiment, The Glassmen, The Crossmen, The Madison Scouts as well as with Rhythm X, Matrix, Cap City Indoor Percussion groups. Students have gone to Michigan State, The Ohio State University, Berkeley College of Music, The University of Kentucky, The Citadel, Miami University along with many others. Jims students have performed at Carnegie Hall, and at the Montreux and Newport Jazz Festivals .

He writes and arranges all of the percussion music for the Bishop Watterson program, as well as for high schools around the USA

Jim has been a percussion section coordinator for the OMEA District 15 Middle School Honor Band in the past as well.

Jim has been involved with the Indoor Drumline activity since 1997, having been the director of 2 different Percussion Independent A groups in Central Ohio: Rhythm Inc. and Level 7. Jim was a founding member, and the first Director of Percussion for the OIPA Indoor Circuit.

Jim was the tenor tech, and did auditions for the tenor line of The Ohio State University Marching Band JI-Row from 2009-2013. Jim ran the Spring and Summer Sessions, as well as maintained and tuned the quads during weekly rehearsals and on game days. You can see Jim’s tenor lines in many of the “famous” Youtube video shows from that era.

He is a graduate of Otterbein University with a Bachelor’s of Music Education. Jim has also studied percussion pedagogy closely and mentored with numerous members of the drum corps and indoor percussion community over the past 25+ years including: Thom Hannum, James Campbell, Michael McIntosh, Tom Aungst, Colin McNutt, Lalo Davilla, Julie Davilla, Ian Grom, Tony Nunez, Kevin Leppert, Niel Laravee, and Giff Howarth.

Jim currently performs with the Heisey Wind Ensemble community wind band out of Newark Ohio. This is his 12th year as a member. He plays drums in a local original surf-punk band Go Robot, Go, who has albums available on all streaming platforms, and who did some touring in the late 90’s, opening up for David Byrne, Fountains of Wayne and playing the Crossroads Music Festival in Memphis, as well as some other famous clubs. Jim also plays bass guitar in a local thrash metal band The Dead Scene, as well as drums in a swing/jump blues band – Charlie Foxtrot Quartet, and in a country/rockabilly band called Hot Rod Deluxe.

When not drumming, he plays ice hockey, rides mountain bikes, enjoys being outside/camping in all kinds of cold weather, collects football, baseball and hockey cards, and is a proud, original Dungeons and Dragons/Magic: The Gathering/Blood Bowl gaming nerd.

Bretton Jones

Logistical Director

Bretton is from and currently resides in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. After marching all four years with the Reynoldsburg Raider Marching Pride in the front ensemble, he would go on to march five seasons with the Columbus Saints Drum and Bugle Corps, from 2015 through 2017, 2022, and 2023. His indoor percussion experience was as the center marimba for Galaxy Percussion, where he would win an OIPA Gold Medal for PIA class. Bretton started teaching percussion with private lessons, he then went on teach private lessons for The Columbus Saints, as well as being the front ensemble tech for Mount Vernon High School. With his music education experience, Bretton holds a bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership from Arizona State University and is a member of The Columbus Saints Board of Directors. On top of being a percussionist, in high school Bretton played oboe in concert band, and he currently also plays mandolin and guitar.



Hazel Grace

Front Ensemble Coordinator

Hailing from Westerville, Ohio, Hazel Grace brings a lot of heart and passion to the activity of WGI. Having marched 5 seasons with the Columbus Saints Drum Corps (2016-2019, 2023), Hazel also has spent her time marching with ensembles such as ConneXus (2017), INov8 (2018, 2019), and Matrix World (2020 – 2022). Even though she has spent all of her marching career as a keyboard player, she has spent extensive amounts of time learning and honing other skills to dive into visual skills, as well as techniques within marching battery instruments. As an educator, Hazel has volunteered her time under 4 separate schools to date. Those schools being: Belpre Highschool, Centerburg Highschool, Cloverleaf Highschool, and Thomas Worthington Highschool. each of those seasons, spending the time cracking down on essential fundamentals as well as learning tools to use at home when there’s no instrument access.

In her Free time, she works at Zoombezi Bay, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, as mainly a bartender, previously a cabana server. She also works at the Zoo during the Holiday season during Wildlights.

“At the end of the day, you perform a product that will affect people. You are the magic, they see the magic. What will you do to look your best not only in show, or in rehearsal, but in life as well? Be the reason you brighten someone’s day.” ~ Hazel Grace


Tyler Byrd

Battery Staff

Tyler Byrd has been the Percussion Director for Cloverleaf High School since 2017. For the past 4 years, (2019, 2021, 2022, 2023) Tyler has been the Bass Tech/marched for the Rogues Hollow Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, a 2 time DCA A Class Champion (2021 and 2023). He was a 4-year member of the two-time DCA Champion White Sabers Drum & Bugle Corps (2011-2014), 3-year member of the WGI Open Class Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble (2012-2014), and instructor for the Erie Thunderbirds Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also a 3-year member of the Cleveland Browns drumline. Tyler also was a member of the University of Akron Drumline for several seasons, and is an alumnus of Norton High School.

Harley Nunez


Harley Nunez is a student at The University of Akron working on his undergrad in Music Education and Percussion Performance. In the Akron studio, he studies under distinguished professor Dr. Larry D. Snider and has gained experience in many different areas of percussion including Orchestral, Steel Pan, Samba, and several forms of hand-drumming from Africa and the Middle East.

Harley’s marching experience includes his four years with The University of Akron Marching Band. He also marched the 2020 and 2021 WGI seasons with Matrix Open and the 2022 season with Matrix World.  In 2021 and 2022, Harley performed in the front ensemble with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps.

Additionally, since Spring 2016, Harley has been teaching and currently serves as the Music Director for En-Rich-MENT of Stark County, a non-profit 501(c)(3) that offers fine arts classes to underserved youth ages 5-18 in Canton, Ohio completely free of charge to families. At En-Rich-MENT, he instructs for the youth steel band and youth drumline that performs at dozens of events throughout the community each year.

Harley’s other current teaching positions include private lesson work through Firefly Music School in Akron, Ohio and teaching at Cloverleaf High School in Lodi, Ohio. He assists with the marching band and newly formed Cloverleaf Indoor Percussion who won Percussion Scholastic Regional A State Championships their first year out in 2022.

Harley is excited to be an arranger and consultant for the Columbus Saints Indoor Percussion Ensemble and to reach out to more youth through the arts.