Percussion Staff

Vic Kulinski

Percussion Caption Head

Vic Kulinski has been active in the Marching and Performing Arts as a performer, a director, an arranger and an educator for over 40 years. Vic has won numerous individual awards as a snare and multi-tenor drummer, as well as drum major. He has won the DCA World Championships Class-A “Best Drum Major” award 6 times and has consistently placed top 5 in the DCA I&E Championships on snare drum since 1989.

Vic has arranged and taught for many award-winning high school bands throughout the country. Some of which include: Norwalk, Naugutuck and Shelton high school bands in Connecticut and Cypress Creek, William R. Boone, University (Orlando), Citrus and Middleburg high school bands in Florida. Currently, Vic is the arranger and caption head for Leesburg and University (Orange City) high school bands.

Vic was a performer and Corps Director for the 3-time DCA World Champion, Connecticut Hurricanes. Vic co-founded and lead the 2-time DCA “Class-A” World Champion and 3 time DCA Best Percussion, Heat Wave of Orlando. He was a performer and board member from 2006 – 2009 with 14-time DCA Open Class Finalist and DCA South Champions, Atlanta Corps Vets (CV). Through the years, he has been a percussionist with the Oxford Explorers, Prospect Drum Corps, Connecticut Royal Lancers, Connecticut Hurricanes (where he also served as Drum Major), Heat Wave of Orlando, Bayonne Bridgemen and Atlanta CV.

Vic founded Riptide Percussion Theater (RPT) in 2008 and has served as the Executive Director since its inception. RPT is the 3rd longest running independent indoor percussion ensemble in Florida. RPT had a 2015 season filled with success, placing 8th in WGI World Championship Independent A Class Finals in Dayton, Ohio, receiving the Gold Medal for the 2nd straight year (2014 & 2015) at Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit (FFCC) Independent A Class Championships and receiving the Silver Medal at the WGI Orlando Regional.

Vic has performed professionally with Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL) groups such as Da JAMMitors, Founders of Freedom Fife & Drum Corps, Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps and Rhythm Rascals. He also performed and directed percussion performers at Universal Studios (Orlando, FL) along with many conventions in the surrounding area as well as in Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Boston and Phoenix. Vic was the Principal Percussionist for the Orlando Stage Co. in musicals such as 1776. His percussion ensembles have opened for musical acts Bob Marley, Kool and the Gang and Tower of Power.

Vic is grateful and appreciative of the instruction he has received in his tenure. He has been instructed and mentored over the years by many legendary percussion instructors, such as Bill Rotella, Pat Scollin, Bob Dubinski, Bob Wilcox and Drum Corps Hall of Famers: Ray Luedee, Gus Barbero, and Dennis Delucia.

From 2004-2015, Vic was the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) South Region Coordinator and Chief Judge. He is also an FMBC and US Bands adjudicator. In 1997,1998 and 2003 Vic was the DCI Housing Coordinator and has been on the DCI Tour Team since 2016.  He is also a Parade Marshal for the Florida Citrus Sports Parade since 1998. From 2011-2017, he was on the FFCC Board of Directors as Premiere and Elite Events Coordinator and Winds & Percussion Liaison.

Vic was inducted into the Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame as a Charter Member in 1994. In 2013, Vic received the honor of being inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.

Vic proudly endorses and is a clinician for Pro-Mark Drum Sticks, Evans Drum Heads, System Blue, Sabian Cymbals and Yamaha Percussion.

 Christian Travieso

Percussion Technician

Christian has been an instructor for almost six years in the Lee County area working with Mariner High school for five of those years. Christian has also performed with Marcato Independent for four years for indoor percussion. He has been with Heat Wave for two years and will be starting his third season with the corps in 2018. He was the Battery Visual Coordinator his first year and the Battery Coordinator his second year. He is also working with Ancient City Ensemble, and indoor percussion group based out of Gainesville, Florida. Christian is very excited for another great year with Heat Wave.






Elliot Kaplan

Percussion Technician

Elliot Kaplan is currently an educator in Palm Beach County. His experiences ranged in the past 5 years in the marching community by performing with Palm Beach Gardens High School under the direction of Michael Tabone, John I Leonard High School as member of the drumline under the direction of Rudy Flores and Bryan Washington, STRYKE Percussion 2 as a synth player under the direction of Ryan Ross and Danny Augustin, and an internship at Heat Wave Drum and Bugle Corps. His time with the John I Leonard Drumline, they had won a drum battle and was asked to perform before retreat on the Tropicana field in 2016. Just out of high school he was given a job at a local school teaching. Elliott has been teaching percussion at Forest Hill High School for the past two years as the Percussion Director. One of his biggest achievements in his career was getting Best Front Visual Performer from STRYKE Percussion 2. In his free time he loves yoga, he believes a calm mind and a strong body leads to a healthy between work and free time. His current plans are to continue his education and to acquire his Bachelors in Music Education in which he will bring more musical knowledge to the programs near him.







Wraith Nelson

Percussion Technician

Raised in Orlando, Florida, Wraith has been actively involved with the performing arts and has been teaching for the past eight years. He started off his music career as a euphonium player, but switched to percussion  five years later after private lessons sparked some interest. For his senior year, Wraith marched bass drum with Lake Howell High School then continued on to march with the WGI ensemble, Timber Creek Independent in 2011. In 2013, he moved on to being the center snare for RPT Percussion while also working with Frostproof High School. He’s also worked with multiple school both in Florida and Georgia over the past four years such as Freedom High School, East Laurens High School, Leesburg High School, Warner University and Mercer University. Most recently Wraith spent the 2017 season with Solaris Percussion and Heat Wave as a snare tech.