Colorguard Caption Head/Show Designer
Edwin Parker-McConnell is a New Mexico based music educator, colorguard instructor, choreographer, show/program designer and founding staff member of Arsenal. He has taught and written for various schools within the southwestern states, and has been a clinician for other schools within the country. Back at home, he has worked with a slew of high school programs and instructors. He first experienced drum corps in 2010 with the Troopers, which proved to be an invaluable learning experience. Since then, he’s spent his time spreading his love of colorguard wherever he’s been able to. Edwin believes that guard is not just about the competition, choreography, and other tangible elements that come along with it. It’s also about the passion, joy, and love that one develops for doing the activity that makes it so wonderful. This is at the foundation of all of his teaching.
Currently, Edwin resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he is the Assistant Director of Bands at La Cueva High School and the Orchestra Director at Roosevelt Middle School. He serves as the colorguard director for the La Cueva and Volcano Vista High Schools.
Brass Caption Head
Gerardo “Gerry” Lara is a graduate music major at West Texas A&M in Canyon, TX. Gerry earned his B.M in music education from UT Permian Basin. Drum corps experience includes performing with Horizon, Arsenal, and The Cadets. This is Gerry's 3rd year on staff with Arsenal Drum and Bugle Corps and 1st as Brass Caption. In addition, he is a music and visual technician for Ethereal Independent Winds.
Consulting and marching tech clients have qualified for the Texas UIL State Marching contest and advanced as BOA Regional finalists. Current clients include Permian High School (Odessa, TX), Canyon High School (Canyon, TX) and Randall High School (Amarillo, TX).
While at West Texas A&M, his role as graduate teaching assistant includes working and rehearsing with the university marching band, concert band and brass pedagogy course. He is a member of the symphonic band euphonium section under the direction of Mr. Don Lefevre.
John A. Matthews, II
Brass Caption Supervisor
John A. Matthews, II graduated from New Mexico State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in music education and master's degree in conducting. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, he was active in his community as both an educator to area high school marching programs as well as beginning bands. His love and passion for music started at a very young age.
He took a strong interest in composition after premiering his first work in the 8th grade. Since then, he has been asked to compose and arrange for high schools across the United States, some schools who have received high music rankings or awards at various marching band competitions. John was a featured composer for the NMSU Corno Crew (the university's elite horn choir) for two years and has produced commissioned works for the New Mexico Musical Arts Society and other organizations. He was the drum major for the PRIDE of New Mexico Marching Band for three years and was also a member of the trumpet and color guard sections.
He also is an Eagle Scout and tries to stay active with the scouting community by volunteering as a music and bugle merit badge counselor. John is currently the Director of Bands at Eastwood High School, in El Paso, Texas and served in previous Director of Bands positions at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Utah, Mills University Studies High School in Arkansas, and Assistant Director of Bands at Andress High School, in El Paso, Texas. John was a member of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from 2003-2007, performing for three years on trumpet and two years on mellophone. He was also a member of the brass staff during the 2009-2011 seasons.
Outside of the busy life of a musician, John is an active member of his church, where he is a member of the Praise and Worship Team, playing various instruments.
This is John’s first year as the Brass Caption Head of Arsenal Drum and Bugle Corps, where he served as the Brass Consultant for the 2022 Summer Music Games season for Drum Corps International.
Percussion Caption Head/Battery Coordinator
Kody Wayne Jones is currently the Percussion Teaching Assistant at the University of Texas at El Paso where he teaches and writes for the drum line under the direction of Dr. Andrew P. Smith. At UTEP, he has earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and has been involved in the Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Dinner Theater, Pantastics and the Marching Miners. He has taught at various high schools in the El Paso area such as Chapin and Andress High School as well as Fort Stockton High School as a battery technician.
Kody has marching experience in DCI in both open and world class with the Guardians, Phantom Regiment, and The Boston Crusaders. He is continuing his career in the marching arts as a teacher working at Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps as a Battery Technician, Sun City Independent Percussion as a Battery and Visual Technician, and Arsenal Drum and Bugle Corps as a Caption Head.
Kody resides in El Paso Texas where he is in the progress of obtaining his masters degree in Percussion Performance.
Visual Caption Head
Destiny is from Milan, Tennessee and graduated from Bethel University in McKenzie, TN with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Upon graduating college in 2016 Destiny became the head band director at Cheatham County Central High School where she spent three years revamping the band program. During her time there, she was a GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year Nominee, WKRN’s Educator of the week, and Teacher of the Month twice. After leaving CCCHS to move back home, she spent one year at Community Montessori School teaching K-8 before joining the staff at Jackson Christian School.
Since being named the Head Band Director at Jackson Christian School, Destiny has enrolled 30 new students in the instrumental music program, lead Eagle Marching Band to many Award Winning finishes at competitions, and most notably helped EMB bring home a Fourth Place finish in Tennessee Marching Band Championships.
Outside of her teaching career Destiny is known for her time on the podium. She was a drum major for Music City Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 and a Conductor for Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014. Upon aging out in 2014, she returned to the drum corps scene in 2016 as a visual staff member at Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps before heading to Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017. 2022 will be her 1st season with the Bomb Squad.
Destiny resides in Humboldt, TN with her husband Anthony and two daughters, Thompson and Kit Parker.