Master Sergeant Eric Garcia, a native of Hendersonville, Tennessee, joined the West Point Concert Band percussion section in 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, where he studied with Michael Burritt and Jim Ross. Master Sergeant Garcia continued his studies at Cleveland State University, graduating with a Master of Music in percussion performance as a student of Tom Freer. After arriving at the band, Master Sergeant Garcia completed a Master of Business Administration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
In addition to his marching and concert band duties, Master Sergeant Garcia works as the Logistics and Resource Management Branch Head. As an original member of the band’s jazz ensemble Quintette 7, he can be heard on the CD “Quintette 7 Plays the Music of Raymond Scott.”
Master Sergeant Rone Sparrow is originally from Fairfield, California. He earned a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance and pedagogy from Brigham Young University (1997) and a Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of North Texas (2000). While at North Texas, Master Sergeant Sparrow taught percussion methods classes, directed percussion ensembles, instructed in the percussion studio, and was the coordinator for the UNT Green Brigade drumline. Master Sergeant Sparrow's diverse freelance career includes performances with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Sundance Summer Theater, the Drifters, the Jerry Floor Big Band, and the Walt Disney Corporation. Master Sergeant Sparrow joined the West Point Band in August 2002 and has been featured with the band on steel pans, piano, and mallet percussion.
Master Sergeant Nathan Eby joined the West Point Band in September of 2007, after earning his Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fresno and his Master of Music from University of California, Los Angeles, both in music performance. He was the Drum Section Leader of the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, winning two DCI World Championships and two High Percussion Awards. He was personally awarded Blue Devils Most Valuable Percussionist. In 2005, Master Sergeant Eby was the winner of the Atwater Kent Marimba Concerto Competition in Los Angeles. He has performed with Blast Inc. in their shows Shockwave and Cyberjam and was a member of the Frank Boehm creative force, performing at corporate events for companies including Cisco, Hyundai, Kohler, Honeywell, and Washington Mutual. During his time in Los Angeles, Master Sergeant Eby was a Teaching Artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and an instructor and music arranger for the UCLA Drumline. In addition to his current duties in the Concert Band, Master Sergeant Eby is Library NCOIC and Associate Marching Band Drum Major. He also performs with the West Point Steel Band and Percussion Ensemble. He has presented clinics for public schools, universities, PASIC, and The Midwest Clinic. He is also an active music arranger for GPG Music Publications and has written for schools across the country. Master Sergeant Eby currently performs with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and is the Percussion Coordinator at Arlington High School in Lagrange, New York. Master Sergeant Eby’s teachers include Mitchell Peters, Dr. Matthew Darling, Dr. Tom Morgan, Scott Johnson, Tom Float, Paul Rennick, and Enildo Rausa.
Sergeant First Class Craig Bitterman joined the West Point Concert Band in 2005. Prior to his tenure at West Point, he served as a musician for 2 years in the 50th Army Band at TRADOC headquarters at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
His percussion performance studies includes a Bachelor of Music from SUNY Buffalo under Jan Williams and Anthony Miranda, and a Master of Music from the Hartt School of Music under Benjamin Toth, Alexander Lepak, and Shane Shanahan.
Before joining the Army, he freelanced in the New England area as staff accompanist for Wesleyan University, Hartford Conservatory, Hartt School modern dance classes, and taught percussion at Holyoke Community College and Community Music School Springfield. Performance highlights during his time in Hartford included performances with Nebojsa Zivkovic, Maelstrom percussion ensemble, June in Buffalo new music festival, Ankara new music festival, Full Force Dance Theatre, and Steel Sunrise Steel Band.
Since joining the band in 2005, there have been many memorable live performances at various New York City venues. Some of these special moments include closing day at the old Yankee Stadium, Google live performance series, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and Fourth of July television broadcasts, and Independence Day celebration at Avery Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic.
Outside of performing music, he enjoys taking in the Hudson Valley landscape by hiking and biking local nature trails. Additionally, his recent interest in Yoga led him to Mid-Hudson School of Yoga where he practices Hatha and Raja Yoga.