South River High School Music Department



Marching Band Staff


The SRHS Music staff is comprised of highly qualified instructors, each with a specific expertise in marching drills, woodwind, brass, or percussion technique, and band front (Color Guard) design and execution. We are fortunate to have a team of instructors with a wealth of experience, who enjoy educating and are effective at motivating high school musicians.



Mr. Dennis Blair, Music Department Chairperson

In addition to being the Department Chairperson for the SRHS Music Department and Director of Choir, Mr. Blair has more than fifteen years of experience as a music educator and 20 years of experience as a musician with the United States Naval Band located in Annapolis.  During his time as a Trumpeter with the Navy Band, Mr. Blair served his country as an instructor of the US Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps and Naval Jazz Band.  His expertise on and off the field shows constant support and dedication to all of our students in the South River Music Program.



Mr. Gerald Cavanaugh, Instrumental Music Director

Mr. Cavanaugh arrived at the SRHS Music Department in 2008 as our seventh Instrumental Music Director.  He holds a Masters of Music in Instrumental Conducting from Binghamton University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam (dual concentration in Vocal and Instrumental Music K-12).  Always interested in enhancing his experience and skills, Mr. Cavanaugh has recently studied with Dr. Marc Boensel, a local former Navy musician and Director of the Anne Arundel Community College Concert Band and Annapolis Wind Symphony; along with Dr. Harlan Parker at Peabody Conservatory; and Dr. Anna Binneweg, Orchestra Director at Anne Arundel Community College and Music Director of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Cavanaugh has guest-conducted on three continents, participated in many conducting festivals and institutes, and has served as a consultant with both the Maryland and Annapolis Symphony Orchestras.  Prior to coming to SRHS, Mr. Cavanaugh was the Assistant Band Director at Severna Park High, and Director of Bands at Arundel High School.  He and his wife come to us from Binghamton, NY, near the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.



Mr. Drew Harrah, Percussion Instructor

For more than six years, Mr. Harrah has served as Percussion Instructor for SRHS.  He is a graduate of Towson University where he served for a short term as Marching Band Instructor as well as captain of the Towson Drumline.  Mr. Harrah trains students in the marching drumline during the fall season and also directs an indoor percussion ensemble as an extension of the Concert Band class during the entire school year.



Mr. Rick Stewart, Color Guard Instructor/Low Bass Instructor

Mr. Rick Stewart comes to us from the Ravens Marching Band and Londontowne Symphony Orchestra. This is Mr. Stewart’s third season with us at SRHS as both our Color Guard Instructor during fall semester, and low brass instructor during spring. Mr. Stewart is holds a Bachelors Degree from Towson University where he studied trombone and was a member of the Towson University Marching Band.  He is a 18 year veteran of the Baltimore Ravens Color Guard, and comes to us with many years of experience as a band front member and musician.