Phantom Regiment is pleased to announce the hiring of K.C. Michel as visual coordinator. He’ll be joined by drill designer Jamey Thompson, color guard caption manager David Veda and color guard co-caption heads K.C. Perkins and Tricia Gooley-Rarick.

Michel has more than 30 years experience in the drum corps and marching band activity, dating back to his days as a marching member of the Blue Knights in 1978. Most recently, he has been the color guard director at Westfield High School in Spring, Texas (1995-2002, 2008 to present).

“I am thrilled and humbled to be a part of Phantom Regiment. This is an incredible opportunity,” Michel said. “I saw the Regiment for the first time in 1977 at DCI prelims, and I’ve been a fan ever since.”

He has been on the staff at marching band powerhouses Pomona (Colo.) and Plymouth (Mich.), and he has taught for all three corps in which he marched: Blue Knights, Sky Ryders and Madison Scouts. He aged out of Scouts in 1986.

Michel will oversee a visual team that includes the return to Phantom Regiment of Jamey Thompson, who previously was the drill designer from 2005 to 2007. During those 3 years, the corps placed third, second and fourth and won the General Effect Visual caption in 2006. Thompson resigned after the 2007 season.

“I have been a big supporter of the corps even while taking some time off,” Thompson said. “It feels very comfortable to be back in Rockford.”

Thompson replaces Myron Rosander who recently resigned as visual designer. “Myron did a great job for us and I was sorry to see him go. We wish him all the best”, states Farrell.

During Thompson’s time away from Phantom Regiment, he continued to write for numerous marching bands, DCA corps and indoor ensembles.

“K.C. Michel and I are great friends. We share many of the same philosophies on visual design, and it will be a great challenge to create something for the corps that will not only pay respect to its unmistakable identity but look toward the future as well,” Thompson said.

New to Phantom Regiment will be David Veda, who will assume the newly created role of color guard caption manager. Veda will oversee a guard staff that includes Phantom Regiment staff alumni KC Perkins and Tricia Gooley-Rarick as co-caption heads. In addition, Michael James will return as the movement choreographer for a seventh consecutive season.

“The new visual staff is steep with tradition in the pageantry arts,” said Veda, who has worked as a theater and visual arts consultant since 1980. “The accumulated talent of this group of people is mind-blowing.”

Perkins and Gooley-Rarick have been guard instructors for Phantom Regiment over the past several years.

“The guard staff is very talented and will include some new faces along with some familiar ones,” Michel said. “And I’m thrilled to work with Jamey and collaborate on the 2011 production. I feel we’re putting together a cohesive and fantastic staff.”

Michel will report to director of programs Dan Farrell, who returns for his 15th season as program coordinator since 1993. Rounding out the design team are Shane Gwaltney as percussion arranger and J.D. Shaw, who is back for his 10th season as brass arranger.

“Even before being hired by PR, I was impressed with the addition of Shane. His work with Music City Mystique is so creative and fearless,” Thompson said. “And it’ll be a blast to work with this great guard staff to create staging that will really bring the program to life.

“Phantom Regiment is really a great fit for my style of writing and, with the staff Dan Farrell has put in place for the coming season, it promises to be a great year for the corps.”

Added Farrell, “The plan was to put together an entire visual design package, and I think we’ve done that and more. Along with the designers and instructors we’ve retained, I’m very much looking forward to working with this new staff.”

View the 2011 leadership and design team.