Gateway Announces New Leadership and Board of Directors

Over the past year, Gateway Percussion’s leadership team undertook a significant task to strengthen the foundation of the organization and lead the group to new heights in years to come. After months of hard work, we are very excited to finally share three announcements with our alumni, staff, members, family and friends.

First, with the utmost gratitude and highest regard, we announce that Gateway co-founder and Executive Director Paul Richardson will be retiring from his current position in order to dedicate more time with his family and more focus to his career.

“I feel like I’m the luckiest person in the world. My biggest challenge is finding the time to enjoy all the amazing things in my life. I will remain Gateway's biggest fan as I serve the team in a smaller role.” – Paul Richardson

In his fifteen years with the group, Paul has been a mentor to hundreds of people who were members of the group. He has taught lessons of respect, responsibility, communication, time management, personal finance, and many more invaluable life skills. He has also put in an incomprehensible amount of work and sacrifice that was dedicated solely to making the Gateway organization and member experience the best it could possibly be. We thank Paul and his family for everything they have done for the group over the past decade and a half.

Second, we would like to announce the formation of a new Board of Directors for the Gateway organization. This group has been working diligently behind the scenes over the past few months to nominate new leadership for the group and help with the transition of roles. The Officers and Members at-large of Gateway’s new Board of Directors are as follows:

  • Chad Schaedler, President
  • Josh Farris, Secretary
  • Becky Long, Treasurer
  • Lauren Sakowski
  • Alex Hurst
  • Dana Schwarz
  • Paul Richardson

Collectively, this group has over 40 years of experience working with the Gateway organization. Their dedication to the success of the group and its members are self-evident.

Lastly, with Paul’s retirement the Board’s first order of business was to find a new Executive Director. In a unanimous decision by the Board, Gateway is pleased to announce alum and former Battery Coordinator Derek Kelly will serve as Executive Director of the group effective Summer 2018.

Keep an eye out for additional news and details coming soon. We are incredibly excited for what lies ahead for Gateway, and we are extremely proud of the life-changing experiences the staff and leadership of the organization has created over the past fifteen years. Here’s to the next fifteen.

Posted on May 14, 2018 .

Gateway Percussion Announces 2018 Front Ensemble Staff

We are very excited to make our final staff announcement before Gateway Percussion kicks off auditions for the 2018 season. We welcome both new and familiar faces to the organization who will lead the 2018 front ensemble to new heights of achievement.

Rob Elston will join the Gateway staff as Front Ensemble Coordinator. Additionally, we welcome back Gateway alum Alex Hastings who will serve as Front Ensemble Technician. We also welcome Tom Moffitt to the team, who will serve as both Front Ensemble Technician and Sound Engineer. Learn more below about the extensive experience these three World-Class educators will bring to the 2018 membership.

“I’m beyond excited to dive into the season and work with this staff. The breadth and depth of knowledge being brought to the table is outstanding. The level of organization and focus on the member’s experience is going to make this a great season for Gateway.” – Rob Elston

Rob Elston

Front Ensemble Coordinator

Rob Elston has been involved in the pageantry arts for nearly twenty years. During his time as a member he marched in the snare line of Capital Sound in 2001 and 2003. He then aged out as the front ensemble section leader of Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps in 2004. Elston was a member of Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps percussion staff from 2005-2007, and Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015, as well as Pioneer Indoor from 2015-2017. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from Eastern Illinois University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in multi-focus percussion from the California Institute of the Arts.

Prior to relocating to St. Louis in 2010, Elston lived in Los Angeles where he maintained a career as an active freelance musician, and collegiate educator. As a performer Elston combined a vast knowledge of percussion with an innate musical ability to create a powerful voice that combines multiple modalities of percussion. The focus of his specialization was centered around experimental music, tabla, and Brazilian percussion, in particular the pandeiro. Rob has studied/performed in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Canada, and the lower 48 contiguous states.  He has worked with artists such as The Three Irish Tenors, Abe Laboriel, Juliana Gondek, Kamran and Hooman, Tyne Daly, Delroy Lindo, Karima Skalli, TJ Troy, 18 Squared, and more.  Rob’s primary teachers include Swapan Chaudhuri, Randy Gloss, David Johnson, Johnny Lee Lane, Houman Pourmehdi, Aaron Serfaty, and Eric Willie. 

Currently, Rob is an active arranger, clinician, and educator in the St. Louis area where he serves as the percussion coordinator/arranger for Parkway South and Edwardsville High Schools. Elston is also a member of the percussion staff at Rockwood Summit High School, and he has been on the SIUE Summer Percussion Institute faculty since 2015. At the collegiate level Rob has been a faculty member at Ventura College, and provided clinics at Cal Arts, UCLA, McKendree University, Chapman University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Cal State Long Beach, and Machine Project. Currently, he is a member of the PAS Percussion Ensemble committee, and has adjudicated for IMEA, MPC, and PAS. This will be Rob’s first year with Gateway Percussion.


Alex Hastings

Front Ensemble Technician

Alex Hastings is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in performance at the University of Central Missouri. Currently, he holds the position of Principal Percussionist in the UCM Wind Ensemble. He has performed at the World Class level with the front ensembles of the Madison Scouts, the Cavaliers, and Gateway Indoor. 

As an educator Hastings is a sought after clinician and adjudicator in the Kansas City and Central Missouri regions. He has been on the percussion staff at Blue Springs High School the past four years. This will be Alex’s first year as a staff member with Gateway Percussion.


Tom Moffitt

Sound Engineer & Front Ensemble Technician

Tom served as a member of the Pioneer Indoor Front Ensemble in 2007, as well as the Madison Scouts front ensemble from 2007-2011. Tom was also a member of the Northern Illinois University Huskie Marching Band for four years, serving as an undergraduate assistant. As a music student, Tom has received instruction from Ben Wahlund, Bret Kuhn, Dr. Greg Beyer, Robert Chappell, Roger Carter, Nick Angelis, Jeff Lee, Vince Oliver, Dr. Brad Meyer, and Dr. Andy Bliss.

Moffitt is also an active musician, audio engineer and instructor in the Chicagoland area.  Given his tenure as a recording musician, Tom is experienced in professional audio configurations and live sound reinforcement settings. He specializes in audio production and has provided sound design elements for a number of successful productions in the marching arts. Tom served as sound engineer and front ensemble instructor for the Madison Scouts and Pioneer Indoor for several years. This past summer, Tom was the audio engineer for the Santa Clara Vanguard. This winter will be Tom’s first season with Gateway Percussion, serving as front ensemble technician and sound engineer.

Posted on October 11, 2017 .

Gateway Percussion Announces 2018 Battery Staff


Following our recent announcement of the 2018 Design Team, we are once again proud to share another exciting piece of news: the lineup for the 2018 Battery staff! Every individual on this team is an alum of Gateway Percussion, and we're thrilled to welcome these talented educators back to the organization.

The Battery Coordinator for the 2018 season is Derek Kelly. This will be his second season on the Educational Team at Gateway, after leading the quad line to a successful season in 2017. Derek was member of Gateway for many years, aging out with the group in 2014. Since then, Derek has been a freelance battery educator across the Midwest and has led many groups to success in both the fall and indoor marching seasons.

The bass line will be under the instruction of Julian White and Jamie Haffner. Julian is no stranger to Gateway - he was a performing member and has been on the Educational Team in past seasons. After taking a short break from teaching, we welcome Julian back. Currently he is on the educational team with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. Jamie Haffner returns for another season on the Educational Team. She was a marching member of the group and currently is the Percussion Director at Blue Springs South High School near Kansas City, MO.

The 2018 cymbal line will be under the instruction of long-time staff member Dani Cunning. Dani joined the staff with Gateway after her ageout season in 2014, and has led the success of the line each year since. Also joining the cymbal line staff will be first-year staff member Enedina Gamboa. "E" was a performing member of the group ('13-'14) and later worked as an educator with many other ensembles in the Chicago area.

The 2018 snare line will be led by a group of three recent performing members: Britton Smith ('15-'17), Nick Miller ('16-'17) and Derek Peplaw ('16-'17). These three members were all recipients of the Member of the Year award this past season for their leadership and dedication to the ensemble. They have a received valuable experience from the top educators in both WGI and DCI. We are excited for this group of educators to take charge for the 2018 season.

The quad line, or "GQ," will be under the instruction and leadership of Andrew Brogan. Andrew was a member of the group from '14-'16, as well as a member of the Cavaliers and Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. He has been a battery technician at multiple groups in the Kansas City area. This will his first year on the Gateway staff.

Auditions for the 2018 season are October 15th and 29th in St. Louis. Stay tuned for more information.

Posted on July 6, 2017 .

Gateway Percussion Announces 2018 Design Team


Over the past two months, the staff at Gateway Percussion has been exerting hours and hours of work­­, laying the foundation for the 2018 season and developing a strategic vision for the years beyond. We’re excited and proud to take a moment and share with our family and friends a piece of that vision: the Design Team roster for Gateway 2018!

No strangers to the group, Peter Repp and Travis Newman will serve as Co-Program Coordinators and lead the Design Team for the 2018 season. Peter and Travis are both former marching members and educators of the organization. In addition to leading the overall creative direction of the 2018 production, Peter will also be arranging the program’s music for the Battery, and Travis will be arranging music for the Front Ensemble.

Chad Schaedler will return as Program Consultant to the Design Team, sprinkling in his expertise and continuing his long, knowledgeable history with the group.

Steven Estudillo will be joining the team as Visual/Drill Designer, as well as Program Consultant. Steven brings years of experience at the World-Class level and Gateway is extremely excited to welcome him to the Gateway family.

Former Tenor Technician Jack Holway will also be returning to the group, but this time as Electronic Audio Designer.

Gateway is thrilled to be bringing so many familiar faces back to the group to lead in an entirely new way.

To learn more about some of the 2018 Design Team members and their previous achievements, visit their websites below:

Posted on June 25, 2017 .

Gateway Announces 2017 Design Team and Coordinators

 Pictured left to right: Justin Lewis, Clif Walker, Marcus Neudigate, Peter Hilborn and Peter Repp.

Pictured left to right: Justin Lewis, Clif Walker, Marcus Neudigate, Peter Hilborn and Peter Repp.

Gateway Indoor is very excited to reveal the Design Team and Coordinators for the 2016-2017 season.

An experienced performer, educator and leader, Justin Lewis will take the creative reigns as the 2017 Program Coordinator, battery arranger and visual designer. Justin's storied career includes performing with Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Music City Mystique, Rhythm X and the legendary Top Secret Drum Corps out of Basel, Switzerland. He has taught several groups in the U.S. and Europe, including the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps, European X and multiple seasons at Gateway.

A veteran of Gateway's design team the past three seasons, Clif Walker will return to serve as the Music Designer for 2017. Clif has worked with many successful programs, including Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps, the Madison Scouts, Timber Creek Independent, Timber Creek High School, and Blue Springs High School—to name a few. He has most recently served as the Front Ensemble Arranger for Gateway in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

Expanding on their work from the past two seasons, Marcus Neudigate and Peter Hilborn will combine their creative talents and extensive musical knowledge to arrange the music for the 2017 front ensemble. Additionally, both Marcus and Peter will fill educational and technician roles in 2017, with Marcus returning as Front Ensemble Coordinator.

As no stranger to the group, to say the least, Gateway is excited to welcome back Peter Repp who will serve as the Battery Caption Head in 2017. Peter was a member of Gateway Indoor for six seasons (2008-2012 and 2014) and a snare technician in 2015. In addition to Gateway, he has performed with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps where he and the rest of the percussion section earned the 2011 Fred Sanford High Percussion Award.

Stay tuned later this summer as Gateway will make additional exciting staff announcements. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and stories.

Posted on May 20, 2016 .