Raiders 2022 Instructional Staff: Tommy Van Der Grift returns as color guard caption head and designer

As the corps enters its audition season and prepares for our DCI Experience Days, the Raiders are pleased to announce that Tommy Van Der Grift is returning to the corps in the role of color guard caption head and designer.

While additional staff announcements are coming soon, the Raiders are continuing to build its instructional team with caption technicians and interns. For more information about these opportunities, as well as administrative and volunteer openings, visit our website.

“I’m thrilled to see the excitement Tommy is bringing to the guard team, and I can’t wait for the corps to once again have the opportunity to learn from his experience and talent,” remarked Harlan Landes, corps director and co-executive director of the Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps.

About Tommy Van Der Grift

Tommy’s passion for the arts has led him to vast international teaching opportunities. He is on his 14th year teaching with Alliance Dance Performance Ensemble from England, United Kingdom. He is currently the color guard caption head at Pennsbury HS (PA), designer, choreographer, and weapons specialist for Morristown HS (NJ), choreographer and weapons specialist for Port Chester HS (NY) Winterguard, and artistic director and designer/choreographer for Vintage Senior Winterguard (NJ).

In 2019, Tommy founded Extraordinaire Performing Arts, Inc, a non-profit to keep the marching arts alive in Philadelphia and the metro area. In 2020, he resurrected Extraordinaire Dansemble Color Guard, earning a semi-finals spot in the guard’s fist season since 1996.

Prior teaching experience includes: Tomball HS (TX), Iola HS (TX), Lyndon B Johnson Early College HS (Austin, TX), Gateway Regional HS (NJ), Triton Regional HS (NJ), Daniel Boone HS (PA), Kingsway Regional HS (NJ), Pennsauken HS (NJ), Wilson HS (West Lawn, PA), Haverford HS (PA), Williamstown HS (NJ), Malverne HS (Long Island, NY), Northampton Area HS (PA), Manheim Township HS (PA), Spring-Ford Area HS (PA), Council Rock HS North (PA), Co-Motion Winterguard (NJ),Light Brigade World Colorguard (PA), and Cumberland Regional HS Indoor Percussion (NJ).

Tommy began his marching arts experience with Pennsauken High School Marching Band (NJ), playing trumpet, performing in the color guard, and being drum major. He also performed with their indoor guard, “A Touch of Class,” where he was Captain. He also performed with Wysteria Winterguard from Middle Township (NJ). Tommy has performed in WGI with, Extraordinaire Dansemble (Philadelphia, PA), Light Brigade (Philadelphia, PA), and Northern Lights (Portland, OR). He continued his marching experience with West Chester University Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band during college, and also danced with the West Chester University Dance Productions.

His love for the activity continued with marching drum corps. He started out with Southern Knights (NJ), and moved on to Jersey Surf (NJ). Tommy then went on to march with the Madison Scouts, where he won a bronze medal in DCI I&E. His DCA experience includes marching with the world champion Reading Buccaneers (PA); winning a gold medal and being awarded “Rookie of the Year” and “Most Inspirational Member.” He then marched four years with Fusion Core (NJ), where he was color guard captain for two years, winning the 2014 and 2018 World Champion Color Guard award.

Tommy is very excited to get back with the Raiders, and he’s eager to get the program back on the field!

Take the first step to an incredible season with the Raiders! Sign up for a DCI Experience Day or submit your virtual audition video today. If you have any questions about the 2022 Raiders color guard, reach out to caption head Tommy Van Der Grift or corps director Harlan Landes.

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Raiders 2020 Color Guard Performer

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