VSU Marching BAnd Staff
Director of Athletic Bands
Mr. Eric Bradshaw joined the Valdosta State University faculty in the Fall of 2002. He currently serves as the Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Professor of Music. Along with his teaching responsibilities and directing the Blazin' Brigade Marching Band, Mr. Bradshaw performs as the principal tubist with the Valdosta and Albany Symphony Orchestras, Savannah Philharmonic, VSU Faculty Brass Quintet, and directs the basketball pep band and concert band. Mr. Bradshaw received his Bachelor of Science in music education and Master of Music in tuba performance from the University of Alabama. Mr. Bradshaw's principal conducting instructors have included: Dr. Gerald Welker, Dr. Kenneth Ozzello, and Prof. Don Wilcox. He has studied tuba with Prof. Michael Dunn, Mr. James Jenkins, and Prof. Richard Powell.
Eric's professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, College Music Society, Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association, and International Tuba Euphonium Association. Eric is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is currently the faculty advisor for the VSU chapter of Tau Beta Sigma.
Prior to moving to Valdosta, Mr. Bradshaw spent 1997-2001 teaching in the public school system in Carroll County, GA and working as an adjunct professor at the University of West Georgia.
Eric lives with his wife, Jeanne-Hope, and their twin sons, Andrew and Ryan. The Bradshaw's are also an active foster family for the Valdosta area.
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Ms. Cayla Gillette is from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Cayla earned her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During her time at UNO, she was involved in a variety of ensembles and had multiple opportunities to travel to many parts of the world with select groups.
Cayla is currently pursuing a Masters of Music Degree in Trombone Performance and studies with Dr. Doug Farwell. Along with her responsibilities with the Blazin' Brigade, Ms. Gillette also serves as a co-director of the VSU Basketball Pep-Band.
Mr. Tyrone Tarplin graduated from the University of West Georgia in the Spring 2011 with a Bachelor's in Music Performance. Originally from the Metro Atlanta area, Tyrone is a graduate Stockbridge High School. Mr. Tarplin has over 10 seasons of marching experience including 3 with the SHS Tiger Marching Band, 6 with 'The Sound That LIghts the South"University of West Georgia Marching Band and 1 season with the Atlanta CorpsVets, a consistent DCA Finalist. Tyrone has served as a percussion instructor for Lakeside High School, DeKalb County, GA (2007), Bowdon High School, Carroll County, GA (2008), and Heard County High School, GA (2009).
Tyrone is currently pursuing a Masters of Music Degree in Percussion Performance and studies with Mr. Paul Campiglia. Along with his responsibilities with the Blazin' Brigade, Mr. Tarplin also serves as a co-director of the VSU Basketball Pep-Band.
Coordinator of Auxiliary units
Ms. Kelly Wanner is a native of Southern California and comes to Valdosta with a great amount of both dance and color guard experience. She has been a dancer since childhood and has been involved in the color guard activity for over 14 years. Kelly was a member of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from 2001-2004 and a cast member with Fantasia Winter
Guard from 2001-2004. During her performance career, Kelly won 3 national championships, 3 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals. In addition, she was a color guard member of the Riverside Community College Marching Tigers from 2000-2002.
As a teacher, Kelly has taught many successful, nationally competing color guards in Southern California, New York, Utah, Florida and Georgia. In 2005, she was a color guard instructor for Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps and is currently the color guard instructor for Lowndes High School.
Kelly is a recent graduate from Valdosta State University with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. In addition, Kelly is a member of
three honor societies; Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, and Pi Gamma Mu. She is also currently a graduate student at Valdosta State University, working on her Master of Education (ME.d.) degree in School Counseling.
Coordinator of Marching Percussion
Mr. Aaron Savage is a product of the Tift County School System. He graduated from Tift County High School in 2002. He is the son of Rickey & Cathy Savage. Aaron was a member of the Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps for 3 years and a member of the Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps for 2 years. He attended Jacksonville State University and Abraham Baldwin College and is now finishing up his education at Valdosta State University. He has studied percussion with Clint Gillespie, Nick Angelis, Carl Eppler, Clif Walker, Jeff Ausdemore, Ryan Sirna and most recently Paul Campiglia. He is a current member of the Percussive Society and an educational consultant for the Vic Firth Cooperation. For the past six years, Aaron has served as percussion caption head & arranger for the Tift County High School “Blue Devil” Brigade drum line.
Aaron lives in Tifton with his wife Liz and newborn son, Jaxon Rylie.