Cadence: Mean Green drumline stays in step with new hires

The Mean Green, the indoor drumline of George Mason University’s Green Machine Ensembles, has made some key changes in its leadership as it nears its 10th performance year.

Travis Peterman has been named the new director of the Mean Green, Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens, executive director of Green Machine Ensembles and a professor in the George Mason’s School of Music, said in a statement.

“[Peterman] joined the Mean Green staff in 2016 and immediately made an impact,” Nickens said. “With his work on the design and the implementation of the show, the Mean Green returned to the Winter Guard International World Class Finals for the first time in four years.”

Two positions were added to its Mean Green leadership lineup: associate director and assistant director of operations. They are James “J.D.” Slaughter and Daniel Heagney, respectively, Nickens said.

Slaughter, BA Communication ’10, has been a part of Mean Green since its inception nine years ago and was an integral part of the drumline winning the WGI Open Class competition in 2012.

Heagney, BM performance ’08, was a member of the Green Machine pep band while a Mason student. He has taught high school percussion ensembles and students in Northern Virginia since 2003.

Changes were made and positions were added because the group is at a new, higher level, including making the finals at the 2017 WGI World Championship.

“The Mean Green has earned many accolades in its short, nine-year tenure … the diverse experience of this new leadership is sure to ring in an exciting next step of continued excellence,” Nickens said.

More information on the Mean Green, Doc Nix, and the Green Machine and Green Machine Ensembles can be found at