Director of Programs
Robert has a long history of being involved with music programs over the years. Some of his past percussion instruction ensembles are Western Albemarle High School (Crozet, VA), Western Branch High School (Chesapeake, VA), Lakeland High School (Suffolk, VA), Tallwood High School (Virginia Beach, VA), Cox High School (Virginia Beach, VA) and Princess Anne High School (Virginia Beach, VA). Robert also did some judging for several marching band circuits and music festivals in Virginia. Robert was also a member of Southern Nights Drum & Bugle Corps that was based in Virginia Beach, VA. After moving to California, he took on the Percussion Instructor for Gahr High School (Cerritos, CA). Later he started an independent drumline for young teenagers in the LA Area. This then transformed into the Mystikal Youth Arts Organization (2004 – 2009). Robert also have experience in visual design as part of his duties with the various high school ensembles and worked closely with his mentor Kevin Mitchell arranging marching percussion music for the various high school programs in Virginia Beach, VA.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology with a focus on Technical Operations from Old Dominion University and numerous certifications. He is also a member of National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA) and Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity as one of the Charter Members for the Upsilon Beta Chapter. Robert’s professional career is currently doing contractor development and bonding program for Public Agencies in Downtown Los Angeles. He currently lives in Long Beach, CA where he enjoys international traveling, off-roading, camping and hiking. He loves his family, the Washington Redskins, New York Yankees and Boston Celtics.
Royal Cavaliers Winds Director
Ramiro Castañeda currently works for Diamond Ranch High School Instrumental Music Department (Pomona, CA). His responsibilities there include but not limited to; brass fundamentals, breathing gym, marching technique, as well as recruiting and retention.
Ramiro graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a B.A. in Music Education and held a preliminary single – subject music credential from there as well. While at Cal Poly Pomona, he has privately studied trumpet under the direction of David Grasmick, French Horn with Danielle Ondarza and music composition and arranging with Jennifer Amaya. He has also had experience working with and participating in ensembles including but not limited to; drum corps, marching band, field show, parade, orchestra, concert band, jazz band, solo and ensemble festival, and pep band.
Additionally, during his years at Cal Poly Pomona, he had the opportunity to hold a number of roles, including Instructional Aide in Music, Athletic Music Director, Brass Caption Head, Brass and Visual Instructor and Drum Major Technician.
Ramiro is excited about taking the role as Ensemble Director for The Royal Cavaliers Winds program. He hopes to work alongside local band programs in and around Los Angeles County and help develop the student’s musicianship and fundamental skills. All while providing students with the opportunity for growth outside of their normal high school or college programs. There is a lot of talent in and around the area, but many of those talented and skilled students stop playing in an ensemble after high school. He hopes to grasp the attention of those students and provide them with a place to continue to learn, have fun, and enjoy being a part of an ensemble.
Royal Cavaliers Winds Music Composer & Program Consultant
Since performing his first Trumpet recital for the students of his Kindergarten class, John knew music was his life. From being presented with the Louis Armstrong Award for Jazz in Junior High and the John Phillip Sousa Award in High School, to winning the Drum Corps International World Championship with the Concord Blue Devils and soloing in Germany with his College Jazz Ensemble, John just loves being involved in music.
John spends most of his time working with all three corps’ in the Blue Devils organization as an instructor and arranger. Since 1994, John has helped the Blue Devil ‘A’ Corps win 6 D.C.I. World Championships and 9 Jim Ott High Brass awards, while also building the ‘B’ and ‘C’ Corps programs to the strongest they’ve ever been.
John has been composing and arranging for marching bands and drum corps since 1992. During that time, he has written for such notable groups as the James Logan High School marching band, the Ooltewah High School marching band, the Ayala High School marching band, the Yamato Drum &amp; Bugle Corps, the Yokohama Scouts Drum &amp; Bugle Corps and the Beatrix Drum &amp; Bugle Corps. Mentored by numerous arrangers in the marching activity (such as D.C.I. Hall Of Fame member Wayne Downey), John strives to provide innovative, fresh and timely shows for band directors and corps managers all over the world.
Outside of his active involvement in the marching arts, John tries to do as much original writing as possible. Composing for the album ‘The Music Of WYLAND’, scoring the film ‘Mind Games’ for a directorial graduate of the Academy Of Arts in San Francisco and being commission to compose his first concert band piece Circe’s Curse have been major highlights for John.
John is a current endorser for Dynasty and Sibelius and does clinics all over the world for brass performance and technique.)
Royal Cavaliers Winds Visual Designer
Steven dedicates his time to teaching and designing for marching bands, drum lines and color guards across the country. His drill designs have won multiple awards both locally and nationally in the SCSBOA, SCJA, MBOS, WSMA and WBA band circuits.
Steven was the drill designer at the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010-2012 and has returned for the 2015 and 2016 season. He was also concurrently on the visual staff with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle since 2009, and was the Visual Caption head until 2015. After he started working with Pulse Percussion and Chino Hills HS indoor ensembles in 2012, he started writing indoor percussion drill with POW Percussion and Petal HS in 2013. Steven was born and raised in Southern California and studied at California State University, Fullerton. He was a member of Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps (2002 – 2005) and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps (2006 – 2008). He currently teaches at Chino Hills HS, Los Alamitos HS, Pulse Percussion and POW Percussion..
Meraki Percussion Program Coordinator and Designer
Pierce Halliburton has taught at various schools around the Inland Empire including Apple Valley HS, Beaumont HS, Banning HS, Granite Hills HS, Vista Del Lago HS, Woodbridge HS, Citrus Valley HS, Sitting Bull MS, and Apple Valley MS. He has also arranged music and designed for the schools he taught as well. He has also taught with Watchmen Indoor Percussion as the Visual Caption Head & Movement Specialist as well as Catalyst Percussion as the Show Designer and Movement Specialist.
Pierce has marched with the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, Watchmen Indoor Percussion and Orange County Independent Percussion.
He currently resides in Riverside, CA.
Meraki Percussion Front Ensemble Composer/Arranger\
Nick is a composer and educator who currently resides in Mira Loma, California. His performing experience includes six years of both Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International. His marching career includes Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010, City Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps from 2012 through 2015, as well as Orange County Independent and Broken City from 2011 through 2016.
His previous teaching experience includes a variety of scholastic and independent programs across Southern California and is currently the Front Ensemble Coordinator for Vessel Drum and Bugle Corps and a percussion instructor for Glendora High School, Los Osos High School, and Arcadia High School. He has also worked with independent groups such as Orange County Independent, Élan Percussion, and Gold Drum and Bugle Corps. Nick proudly endorses Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets and Zildjian Cymbals.
Meraki Percussion Battery Composer/Arranger
Zakk Hollander is a world-class performer, arranger, and educator from Mission Viejo, California. He started his marching career under the direction of Mike Jackson at Mission Viejo High School from 2009-2012. After high school, Zakk started his drum corps career with The Academy in 2012 and 2013. He went on to march at The Blue Knights in 2014 and aged out in 2015 with The Blue Devils. He has competed in WGI since high school, along with Orange County Independent in 2013, Pulse Percussion in 2014, and RCC in 2015 and 2016.
Zakk is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at CSU Fullerton. He teaches at Rowland High School, El Dorado High School, Diamond Bar High School, Dark Sky Percussion, and The Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as private lessons throughout Southern California.