Grant Shelton is Red River Rhythm’s founder and Battery Caption Head. Mr. Shelton is a native of Bossier City Louisiana and graduated from Airline High School in 1998. He played on the snareline as a member of the Americanos Drum & Bugle Corps, Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, and Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps. He studied under Percussion Professor Dr. Michael Kingan at Louisiana State University for two years before finishing his degree in Music Education at Northwestern State University, studying extensively under Mr. Kenneth Green. After student teaching at Haughton High School in 2004 under Mr. Kevin Williams, he returned to Northwestern State to complete his Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance in 2006. Mr. Shelton’s former lesson students have gone on to march drum corps at the Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, and Bluecoats. Over the past 15 years, Mr. Shelton has served as a percussion clinician, composer, arranger, and adjudicator throughout Louisiana and Texas. He has performed with the Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Shelton is an endorsed Educational Artist with Salyer’s Percussion. He has also been recently endorsed by D'Addario (Evans Drumheads, Planet Wave Cables, PureSound) and by Sabian Cymbals.
Grant Shelton is currently in his 5th year as Assistant Band Director and Director of Percussion at Airline High School, Cope Middle School, and Greenacres Middle School. He and his wife Kimberly have been married nearly 10 years and have two young sons, Gavin and Garrett, and their dog, Buddy. He loves his Mustang 5.0 and drumming on his practice pad, occasionally all hours of the night which usually results in him sleeping on the couch.
Mitch Ernst is another of Red River Rhythm’s co-founders and is our Front Ensemble Caption Head. Mr. Ernst is the Assistant Director of Bands at Parkway High School and Elm Grove Middle School in Bossier City, Louisiana. His responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of percussion 6th-12th grade and assisting with the instruction of band activities at the middle school. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he studied percussion extensively under Professor Kenneth Green. As a professional, he has been an active clinician, adjudicator, and arranger for various schools in Louisiana and Texas. His professional affiliations include memberships in the Percussive Arts Society and the Louisiana Music Educators Association.
Xavier Matthews is currently Red River Rhythm’s Visual Caption Head. Xavier is a performer and educator of music as well as a bass drum enthusiast. Mr. Matthews is currently at Northwestern State University studying Music Business exclusively under Kenneth Green and Oliver Molina. Mr. Matthews’ prior experiences and achievements all consist of bass drum, in 2013 he performed with Voodoo Indoor Percussion. In 2014 and 2015 Xavier performed for the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Over the past summers Mr. Matthews has taught at DeRidder High School and served as a bass drum tech at Airline High School and is currently interning as a bass drum technician for Louisiana Stars 2017 season. We are excited to have Xavier join our staff!!