Phantom Regiment is pleased to announce the return of former guard designer Tim Newburn to Rockford, this time as visual coordinator. Joining him on the visual leadership team is Ralph Stewart as drill designer and Stephanie Chavez as color guard caption head.
Longtime visual staff member and alumnus Drew Solomonson returns for his second season as visual caption head. Michael Richman is back as choreographer.
Newburn is the founder and director of Cypress Independent Winterguard, which has been a WGI World Class finalist seven times since its founding in 2010. He previously has a been a part of the Regiment staff multiple times, including as a guard designer in 2000-02 and again as the lead designer in 2015.
“I’m excited to be back with Regiment and among so many familiar and talented colleagues,” Newburn said. “New adventures are always a thrill. I look forward to creating with this group of phenomenal people – with an eye on tradition and heart, ready to explore new chapters.”
In addition to his work with Cypress, he is also the color guard director, program coordinator and drill writer for Langham Creek High School in Houston, where he lives. In the drum corps world, he has played key roles for Glassmen, Bluecoats and, most recently, Blue Knights, where he was the program coordinator and color guard designer.
Newburn produced segments for the Lady Gaga performance at the Super Bowl, and he’s served on the DCI Task Force as well as the WGI Board of Directors.
Stewart is a software trainer for a company in California and works as a designer for myriad groups in the marching arts. Most recently, he was the visual designer for the Colts. He has been a designer or technician for Blue Stars, Teal Sound, Carolina Crown and Boston Crusaders. He has also been active as a visual instructor and designer for WGI World Class percussion groups.
“I’m delighted to be joining Phantom Regiment,” said Stewart, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. “I have admired the organization for decades because of its commitment to excellence and ability to always entertain the fans.
“I could not be more excited for the writing and planning process to begin. I am anticipating a high level of innovative and sophisticated collaboration with the rest of the team and am looking forward to getting started with Will, Tim, and Rob.”
Stewart marched six seasons with Carolina Crown and was the corps’ drum major from 1994-96.
Chavez, who marched in the Phantom Regiment color guard in 2007-10 and was a captain her final two years, will lead the color guard staff in 2018. She taught with Blue Knights and Crossmen before spending 2017 on the Boston Crusaders’ guard staff.
“Home is where the heart is,” Chavez said. “This is where I began my drum corps career as a 17-year-old. Phantom Regiment gave me a chance, a place to grow, and it’s one of the few places that truly feels like family.
“As everything comes full circle, this is the place that continues to trust and fuel my passion for the activity. Stepping into this new role is more than an honor, it’s a dream come true.”
Outside of drum corps, Chavez is the director of Klein Oak High School’s winter guard, which won the WGI Scholastic A world championship earlier this year. In addition, she has taught or choreographed for Spring High School, Cypress Ridge High School and Cypress Independent, where she is its lead weapons technician.
Solomonson has been on the visual staff for many years after marching for four seasons in the euphonium section. He has also served as designer and instructor for Memphis Sound and Spirit of Atlanta, and has worked with several BOA regional finalists, including Hillgrove, Collins Hill and Lassiter.
Solomonson lives near Atlanta with his wife, Sara, a Phantom Regiment alumna, and their two young children. He is manager of Broyles Arts Center at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta.
Richman is a former marching member of Cavaliers, Oracle Winter Guard and OpusX Winter Guard and taught Blue Stars, Madison Scouts and Blue Knights before joining the Phantom Regiment color guard staff in 2012.
He lives in New York City, where he works as a professional dancer.