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
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.
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.
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.