This page is geared to help advance the quality of design and programming for Virginia marching bands!


Matt Hartwell has several years of international design experience that has helped Virginia ensembles achieve success in their fall marching band show. Originally from Salem, Virginia Matt comes from a strong band program under the direction of Dennis Reaser and Jim Paxton. While marching with The Cavaliers, Matt attended VCU and spent several years teaching Douglas S. Freeman and Powhatan High School. He taught numerous other programs in the Virginia area such as Hickory High School, George Mason University, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and James River High School.

Matt has designed for many successful programs in Virginia and would be honored to join your design team this fall. He is very familiar with the VBODA, USBands, and BOA adjudication sheets. Matt's offering his experience working with The Cavaliers, Aimachi Marching Band, George Mason University, and The Santa Clara Vanguard to you and all of your staff. He is committed to your success through the entire season through a variety of ways to include offering video and adjudication feedback. If you have any questions, please reach out to Matt via this contact form!

New for 2016: Matt Hartwell Design is offering a Protege Program to help meet the demand of ensembles who have a limited design budget, yet still want quality visual design. The Protege Program consists of 3 up-and-coming visual designers that I have taught at The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. These designers will be given detailed notes and constructive criticism while designing your show. Under my watch, you will receive a great beginner level design that is logical, achievable, punctual, and consistent with the values of quality that I personally offer for each client. You can find a short bio of the three Protege Program designers below. 

All Protege Program designs start at $1,000 and will not go above $3,000.

David Tatarakis

David Tatarakis

Born and raised in San José, California, David has been heavily involved in instrumental music and pageantry for his entire adult life. His marching career began in high school marching band and culminated in 4 years as a trumpet player at the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010 to 2013. He has taught marching and movement at many successful groups including Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, CA, The King’s Academy High School in Sunnyvale, CA, and Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, CA. For the last 2 years, David has taught at the world champion Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets where he continues to teach today. David graduated from San José State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences. David currently resides in Orange County, California, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Developmental Biology at the University of California Irvine.

Noe Gomez

Noe Gomez

Los Angeles native Noe Gomez is currently attending school to earn a degree in music education. Noe has 7 years of drum corps experience, including 1 year with Impulse (2008), 1 year with The Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets (2010), and 5 years with The Santa Clara Vanguard (2011-2015). Noe served as their drum major from 2012-15. Noe has taught marching and has been designing drill in California the last 5 years as well as writing and teaching for two winter percussion ensembles in Michigan.

Noe is currently teaching at the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets, Chino High School, and Aliso Niguel High School. Noe is also serving as a consultant for Color Guard Alliance of the Philippines (CGAP)


Matt Costales

Matt Costales

Matt Costales is a freelance drill writer, designer and educator based in The San Francisco Bay Area.

Matt C. was a performing member for 5 years with the Santa Clara Vanguard and has been on the visual staff there for the past 3.  He has worked with several marching band programs throughout the Bay Area including Homestead High School, Cupertino High School, Santa Clara High School, Arroyo High School and Mountain View High School.

Design by Matt Hartwell

You can view my sample videos and client list in the SAMPLES section of my website. If you're interested in hiring Matt to personally design your show, please shoot him a message via the contact form! He looks forward to hearing from you soon!

Matt Hartwell currently serves many roles within the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps organization. He has taught on the visual staff for the drum corps since 2010 and is currently a member of the Design team for the Vanguard Winter Percussion, a WGI Independent World Class program. In 2010, he had the extreme honor of designing a production for His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said’s Royal Guard of Oman Marching Band. He was hand-selected to design the program for His Majesty’s 40th year in power celebration and a private dinner performance for His Majesty and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. Matt is currently one of the Show Directors for a Drum Corps style stage show called "Mix It Up" at Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, VA. Matt has also designed many successful programs for high schools, middle schools, and non-profits throughout the country. Creating a product that is exciting for both performers and audience members is something that drives Matt to design a memorable and effective production.


Matt Hartwell is a graduate of Salem High School in Salem, VA. While attending Morehead State University in Morehead, KY he was a member of the Marching Band and studied Euphonium under Dr. Stacey Baker. 2004 welcomed Matt’s first summer of Drum Corps as a Baritone member of The Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Columbus, OH.  He then marched with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle corps from Rosemont, IL, playing the Baritone in 2005 and 2006 (Winning a DCI World Championship), and performed on Tuba in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, Matt had the privilege to perform on the Tuba with The Aimachi Marching Band from Nagoya, Japan. 


His holistic approach to the entire design process and great communication skills will ensure that the early stages of crafting your custom production will be smooth and efficient for all involved. Whether you’re looking for overall program coordinating, or effective drill design, Matt is able to craft a design that is perfect for your programs specific needs. Matt has had the pleasure to learn from some of the best in the activity, and he is excited to pass along many valuable lessons learned to create effective, memorable, and easy to clean show designs.