Meet the visual staff.

DJ Fitzgerald

CAPTION HEAD

DJ Fitzgerald

DJ Fitzgerald is a resident of Hernando, Mississippi and currently serves as Director of Bands at Olive Branch High School in Olive Branch, Mississippi where he oversees all aspects of the Olive Branch band program. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi where he earned the “Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Music Education” award. This is DJ’s 6th year on the Southwind Visual Staff, his 2nd as Visual Caption Head.

Eric Fry

VISUAL TECH

Eric Fry

Eric Fry has been involved with drum corps for over a decade. Eric marched euphonium with Spirit of Atlanta in 2011 and 2012. He has taught visual with Music City Drum Corps in 2013 and 2015, with Spirit of Atlanta in 2014, 2017, and 2019, and with Southwind since 2020. Eric is in his 8th year as a band director and is currently the Director of Bands at Bay High School in Bay St. Louis, MS.

Donavan Hillman

VISUAL TECH

Donavan Hillman

Donavan Hillman marched for Southwind during its most recent rebirth for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. After his age out season, he returned to the corps as a visual technician for the 2017 season. This year will mark his 5th season teaching for the corps as a member of the visual staff. Donavan has watched and experienced the corps grow from the ground up, and he is excited to see what’s in store for Southwind for this 2022 season.

Kayla McGuff

VISUAL TECH

Kayla McGuff

Kayla McGuff, from Gulf Shores, Alabama, graduated with a Music Education degree from Jacksonville State University in 2021. Her primary instrument is the trumpet, with secondaries in both voice and french horn. While in college, she participated in the JSU Marching Southerners, Symphonic Band, trumpet ensembles, and also served as a section leader for the JSU A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers. McGuff has experience marching with Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps, and has teaching experience with both music and visual categories from working with high school band programs throughout her college career. She is currently teaching private lessons in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Sara Rogers

VISUAL TECH

Sara Rogers

Sara’s marching career started in 2003 with the Oswego High School Marching Buccaneers from Oswego, NY as a clarinet player. While still in high school, Sara’s drum corps career started in 2006 at the White Sabers Drum & Bugle Corps (DCA) as a member of the color guard. Sara then marched mellophone at the Rochester Crusaders (DCA) from 2007 to 2009, then Carolina Crown in 2010 and The Cadets from 2011 to 2012. After her age-out, Sara worked as the Media Producer for the Boston Crusaders in 2013, YEA/The Cadets in 2014 and the Blue Knights in 2016. Aside from her drum corps, Sara performed in WGI with the Onondaga Community College Indoor Percussion on cymbals in 2010 and has taught various marching bands including the Oswego High School Marching Buccaneers from Oswego, NY and the Godley High School: Pride of Godley from Godley, TX. Sara graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art with her BFA in Photography and is working on her MFA in Photography, so she can one day teach at the collegiate level. She is currently a high school photography teacher and resides in Southern California with her two dogs, Stella & Luna. This is Sara’s third year teaching at Southwind.

Chris Swartz

VISUAL TECH

Swartz

Chris Swartz, from Williamsburg, Virginia, attended Jacksonville State University majoring in Music Education from 2010-2013.  While in school, he was a member of the Marching Southerners 20J section, and performed with the Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band.  Chris marched from 2009-2011 with the Teal Sound Drum & Bugle Corps, serving as horn sergeant in 2011, and aged out with the Madison Scouts in 2013 as a member of the tuba section for the corps’ 75th anniversary.  This is Chris’ 6th year on the Southwind Visual Staff.

Jay Wilkerson

VISUAL TECH

Jay Wilkerson

Jay Wilkerson is a native of Memphis, TN, as well as a graduate of the University of Memphis, receiving his Bachelors of Music from the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music with a concentration in Instrumental Music Education (2019). He has also served as a part of the Brass/Visual staff for the Pride of Collierville High School Band since 2017 and was a resident-student teacher for band at Collierville High School (2018). Since graduating, Mr. Wilkerson has taught within Shelby County Schools from 2019-2021 before joining his current position as Band Director at Collierville Middle School. Jay’s affiliation with DCI includes performing with the Cadets (2016) along with Carolina Crown (2017) where they placed 3rd place overall at DCI Finals and earned the Jim Ott Excellence in Brass Performance award. He is excited to join the staff at Southwind and will be serving as a Visual/Marching Technique Instructor for their 2022 season.

David Kersey

VISUAL TECH

David Kersey
David is a performer, educator, and clinician based out of Pensacola, Florida. He currently serves as the Program Director for the Northeast YMCA. David began his journey in pageantry at Pace High School marching in both the Pride of the Red, White & Blue Marching Band & Pace Indoor Percussion. After two years of Music Education study at Pensacola State College, he stepped away to prioritize his marching career until his age-out. David went on to perform with Southwind (Tuba, 2015-2018), Infinity 2 (Movement Ensemble, 2017), and Carolina Crown (Tuba, 2019). He has taught, staged, and choreographed for many programs in the Emerald Coast. When David is not teaching band, he is focusing on growing his colorguard program, Atlas Winter Guard, where he serves as Director. David is also on the Board of Directors for the GCGPC where he is working to develop growth in the winds division of competition. He is most recently excited to come back home to Southwind and give back to the organization that gave so much to him.

Greg Wheat

VISUAL TECH

Greg Wheat

Greg Wheat is a resident of Mobile Alabama and studied Music Education and Business at the University of Suth Alabama. He played tuba for Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 and at Carolina Crown in 2016. He provides private lessons to students local to the Gulf Coast and has been a visual instructor with Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps since 2017. Greg is very excited and ready to be back this season to be a part of this resilient organization.

Justin Threadgill

VISUAL TECH

Justin Threadgill

Justin Threadgill graduates in the spring with a bachelors in Music Education from the University of South Florida. During his time at USF he has played in the Herd of Thunder, Trumpet Ensembles, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. Justin is also a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He has spent a summer with the Madison Scouts in 2019 as the lead trumpet soloist, he also was a member of The Cavaliers in 2020 and was able to March in 2021 where he was apart of the barbershop quartet and trumpet section! Justin is ready to teach this summer with such an awesome organization!

Mackenzie Lane

VISUAL TECH

Mackenzie Lane

Mackenzie Lane is excited and honored to join the Southwind visual staff for the 2022 season. As a performer, Mackenzie toured on baritone with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008 and 2009, and with The Cadets for their World Champion 2011 production, “Between Angels and Demons”. Mackenzie earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2013 and has spent the last 8 years teaching superior-rated marching and concert ensembles in small school band programs in Florida and Texas. Mackenzie currently resides in Chipley, Florida with his wife and their two young children.

Megan Begay

VISUAL TECH

Megan Begay

Megan Táchii’nii Begay is currently a student at Snow College pursuing a bachelors in music with an emphasis in commercial music on the education track. Coming from a Diné/Navajo background she plans on teaching near or on a reservation, with hopes of starting a marching band program or growing an existing one. She has a huge passion for teaching and has taught subjects such as marching, leadership, diversity, and inclusion. In 2016 she became a member of The Battlion Drum and Bugle Corps in for their first fielded season. She marched with the corps in 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2021 on trumpet and flugelhorn, and served in leadership roles. In 2017 she marched with Shadow Drum and Bugle Corps on Contra. Due to The Battlion having shortened seasons she’s filled holes in three different corps immediately after the conclusion of Battalions season. Starting with Gold on trumpet in 2018, Southwind on lead trumpet in 2019, and Spirit of Atlanta on baritone in 2021. Filling late season holes gave her the unique opportunity to use her experience to learn and perform shows within a week. 

This will be her first season teaching with Southwind, and she is incredibly excited for the opportunity to share everything she’s learned from her drum corps experiences.