ROYAL CAVALIERS WINDS STAFF
Rudy Ruiz – Visual Caption Head
Rudy has performed on Contra with Pacific Crest from 2008-2009 and Cavaliers from 2010-2011.
Rudy has taught the visual programs at several high school bands in Southern California including, South Hills, Azusa, Gahr, Sunny Hills, Gladstone, La Canada, and is currently teaching at Monrovia and Alta Loma High schools as visual caption head. Rudy has served as a tech on the visual staff of Pacific Crest from 2012-2015, Assistant Caption Head for 2016-2017, then moved into the Caption Head position in 2018. In addition to teaching Pacific Crest, Rudy also had the privilege of teaching on the Cavaliers visual staff from 2013-2015.
When Rudy is not teaching bands or drum corps, he works as a freelance Cinematographer, Camera Assistant/Operator on independent features, short films, and music videos in Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rudy currently lives in Covina, California..
Bobby Frey – Ensemble Director
Bobby Frey is a music teacher in Covina, California, teaching at Sierra Vista middle school since 2018. He received his Bachelor’s of Music Education from the Bob Cole Conservatory in 2014. In addition to his major studies, Mr. Frey was the principal trombonist as well as the winner of the 2014 conducting mentorship.
Outside of his work with the bands at Sierra Vista MS, Mr. Frey has taught and coached many schools in California including; East Whittier MS, Long Beach Poly HS, Millikan HS, Los Altos HS, University HS, and Live Oak HS. He is also a drill designer in the fall seasons, having most recently been the program designer for Long Beach Poly for their highest placing finish in SCSBOA finals.
In the drum corps arena, Mr. Frey started as a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard from 2005-2009. He then entered the activity again as a member of the instructional staff for various corps. First with the Colts brass staff in 2010-11, then again as brass caption supervisor in 2012-2013. In 2014, he taught with the brass staff at Spirit of Atlanta. Finally, he joined the visual team at Pacific Crest in 2017 to now, in addition to taking on some brass staff responsibilities in 2018. He was part of the visual team in Pacific Crests highest placing finish in their history.
Philip Ruiz – Music/Woodwind Consultant
Philip is the current director of bands at Diamond Ranch High School, in Pomona California, where he teaches jazz, guitar, marching band, wind ensemble, concert band, string orchestra, symphony orchestra and colorguard. He has also held the position of department chair for the visual and performing arts department since 2014.
In addition to his teaching duties, he adjudicates for the School Band and Orchestra Association and has presented to the school board on numerous occasions regarding the different concepts and issues surrounding music education. Previous positions include adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona teaching Secondary Instrumental Techniques and director of bands at Servite High School in Anaheim, California. He is currently in his twentieth year of teaching in the secondary classroom where his groups continue to earn numerous awards in marching contests and superior ratings at both district and state festivals.
Mr. Ruiz earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music from California Polytechnic University, Pomona and a Masters in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He is currently attending Claremont Graduate University, where he is ABD and in the final stages of completing his doctorate of music with a focus in musicology. His dissertation focuses on the social development of the new instrumental music director and is the recipient of the prestigious Walker/Parker Memorial Endowment Fellowship
Mr. Ruiz has been honored by Who’s Who Among American Teachers, as Diamond Ranch High School’s Teacher of the Month and a nominee for Disney’s Music Educator of the year. He is a current member of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, National Association for Music Education, California Band Director Association, California Teacher Association and National Education Association.
MERAKI PERCUSSION STAFF
Pierce Halliburton – Program Coordinator
Pierce 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.
Zakk Hollander – Caption Head
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, performing with Orange County Independent in 2013, Pulse Percussion in 2014, and RCC in 2015 and 2016.
Zakk recently graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. He teaches at Rowland High School, El Dorado High School, Diamond Bar High School, as well as private lessons through Rudimental Mindset. This will be his first year as battery caption head for Meraki.
Donovan Alanes – Marching Percussion Manager
Donovan has worked as an instructor and designer in the activity for several years under the tutelage of instructors such as Mike Jackson, Jared Andrews, and Roger Carter. Donovan is also proud to be a member of the Vic Firth educational team. Donovan has performed with several world class ensembles including RCC, POW Percussion, Blue Knights DBC, and Broken City Percussion. His last two years as section leader of Broken City resulted in their first SCPA gold medal (2017), as well as their first WGI bronze (2016) and silver (2017) medals.
Outside of the activity, he is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science at Cal State Fullerton in Child Development with plans to work with children with special needs and their families.
George Collins – Consultant
George was previously on staff with Odyssey Indoor Percussion, Dark Sky Percussion and Black Knights Indoor Percussion. As a performer, he was a member of The Velvet Knights and Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. He’s a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and works as a Talent Manager of writers for television.
Sergio Bravo – Snare Specialist
Sergio is currently living in Riverside, CA. His marching experience include eNVision, University of Nevada Reno Band, Vanguard Winter, Vanguard Cadets, Norcal Indoor, Mandarins, and received a silver medal with Pulse Percussion. Sergio has taught at various high schools including Reno HS (Reno, NV), North Valleys HS, Damonte Ranch HS (Reno, NV), Damien HS (La Verne, CA), and also lead Galena HS to win high percussion at state in 2014.
He is Currently Working as co-caption head and show designer at Orange Vista HS and Battery technician at Colony HS.
Sean Ye – Snare Specialist
Sean has been an active performer and educator in marching percussion based out of Southern California. He began his marching career at Ayala High School attending from the Fall of 2011 to the Spring of 2015, during which he earned two bronze and two silver medals in WGI Scholastic World Class. After graduating Ayala, Sean continued as a performing member of several groups in both DCI and WGI.
Sean’s drum corps (DCI) experience includes: The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps (2015) and the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle (2018). His indoor (WGI) experience includes: RCC Indoor (2017) and Broken City Percussion (2018, 2019) As a member of Broken City, Sean received the bronze medal in 2018 and the gold medal in 2019 – which set the record for highest score in WGI Independent World Class. Sean has learned under many instructors throughout his marching career which include, but are not limited to: Ike Jackson, John Mapes, Sean Vega, Mike Jackson, Nathan Medina, Darren Vanderpoel, Jonathan Wicks, Eric Shriver, David Miranda, Matthew Regua, Nick Arce, Jared Andrews, Taha Ahmed, Brandon Hussey, and Roger Carter.
Aside from the marching arts, Sean earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA.
Mietron Shahbodaghloo – Tenors Specialist
Mietron is a battery percussion educator from Woodland Hills, CA. As a DCI performer, he marched quads at Watchmen, Mandarins, and the Bluecoats, earning a bronze and silver medal at DCI Finals in 2018 and 2019. For WGI, he marched with Watchmen Indoor and Broken City Percussion, receiving the bronze, silver, and gold medals at WGI Finals.
Mietron is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management from CSU Channel Islands. He currently teaches at Westlake High School as well as private lessons Southern California Region.
Lorenzo Everett – Bass Specialist
Lorenzo is a battery percussion educator currently living in Ontario, CA. As a performer, he marched bass drum at the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps in 2013, Academy Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015, and the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps from 2016-2018, earning a bronze and gold medal at DCI Finals with the corps in 2018 and 2016. He also marched with Dark Sky Percussion in 2015, Pulse Percussion in 2016 and 2017, with whom he earned a WGI bronze and gold medal in 2017 and 2016 respectively, and Vessel in 2018 and 2019.
His past teaching experience includes Fontana HS and Cypress HS, and currently, Temecula Valley HS.
Genevieve Hilburn – Bass Specialist
Genevieve is a native of Southern California, having been born and raised in the Northern Los Angeles area. She is currently attending California State University Northridge in pursuit of a bachelors degree in percussion performance. She also works as an instructor for the fall/winter programs at Thousand Oaks High School and La Cañada High School.
Over the course of her marching career she performed with the Blue Devils B (earning both an open class championship and high percussion caption award), the Academy, and the Bluecoats (earning a DCI world class silver medal), being instructed by some of the most reputable instructors in the activity along the way.
Genevieve is very excited to be a part of this premiere marching ensemble.
Shea Snyder – Cymbals Specialist
Shea Snyder is an instructor and performer from Laguna Beach, CA. She started her cymbal marching career at Fountain Valley HS and continued performing on cymbals with Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps (2014 & 2016), Dark Sky Percussion (2015), RCC Marching Tigers (2015), and RCC Indoor Percussion (2016-2019). As a cymbal instructor, Shea has worked with Fountain Valley HS, Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps and has consulted at various other high schools in Southern California.
Outside of the marching arts, Shea received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine in 2020 and works as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Angel Abonza – Front Ensemble Caption Head
Angel was born and raised in Pomona, California, and currently resides in nearby Ontario, California. He has been teaching for the past several years, and is currently a front ensemble instructor for Vessel Drum & Bugle Corp, Colony High School, Etiwanda High School, and Savannah High School. Angel started as a percussionist while in his sophomore year at Colony High School. After graduating in 2013, he continued to pursue his career in the marching arts. He has performed with the Riverside City College Marching Tigers from 2013 through 2015, Gold Drum and Bugle Corp in 2014, the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015, and Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016. Angel was also involved with the indoor percussion circuits, where he performed with Dark Sky Percussion from 2014 through his age-out year in 2018.
Jackson Lai – Front Ensemble Specialist
Jackson Lai is a music educator based in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. He has taught students of all levels ranging from preschool through college for the past decade and continues to guide students along their educational journeys at multiple high schools in the Orange County area. A few programs that Jackson has taught at include Ayala High School, Mission Viejo High School, Trabuco Hills High School, Fountain Valley High School.
During the summer, Jackson is a part of the front ensemble education team at the Blue Devils B Drum & Bugle Corps (2019-present) and formerly taught on the front ensemble education team for the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets (2015-2018).
Jackson received his Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education with an emphasis in percussion at CSU Long Beach and is currently finishing up his Master of Education in Education and single subject teaching credential to become a high school music teacher in the near future. While at CSU Long Beach, he studied classical percussion with Raynor Carroll, former principal percussionist of the LA Philharmonic, and Dr. Dave Gerhart, former Director of Percussion at CSULB. Jackson performed with the following ensembles at CSULB as well: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Steel Drum Orchestra, and World Percussion Ensemble (focusing on West Ghanaian music/culture).
Performance experience in the pageantry arts include performing in the front ensembles of the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets for drum corps, as well as Pulse Percussion Open and Pulse Percussion World for indoor percussion.
Roel Zamora – Front Ensemble Specialist
Roel has been active in the marching arts community as a performer and educator for several years. As a performer, he has marched with Watchmen Drum & Bugle Corps 2014-2015, Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps 2017-2018, and Pulse Percussion 2016-2020. As an educator, he has taught with Summit High School and Etiwanda High School.
Roel has recently graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Aside from his involvement in the performing arts, he is currently doing analytical and activist work for an environmental non-profit and is pursuing a teaching credential from California State University, Fullerton with the goal of becoming an Environmental Science teacher at the high school level.
Roel currently resides in Fontana, CA
Nicolas Montell – Rhythm Section Specialist & Sound Engineer
Nicolas is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator from Los Angeles, California. Nic began his marching career at Charter Oak High School. Upon graduating, he moved on to perform with the Riverside City College Marching Tigers, RCC Indoor Percussion, the Blue Devils International Corps, and was a charter member of Odyssey Indoor Percussion.
Beyond the marching arts, Nic studied music at Cal Poly Pomona, where he performed in various ensembles as a bassist, percussionist, and flautist. He has also performed on bass with numerous bands in the Los Angeles area, including the Rose Parade Swing Band.
Nic has had the fortunate opportunity to perform under the direction of, study under, or perform alongside many great musical minds, the likes of which include: Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro, Dr. Janine Riveire, Dr. Rickey Badua, Jim Wunderlich, Baba Elefante, Bill Schlitt, Brian Dinkel, Brian Peter, Niko Jasniewicz, Jared Andrews, Henry Gillard, Christopher Case, Benjamin Grahl, Jonathan Merrill, Karen Lundgren, Garret Tyler, John Jorgenson, and Chloe Agnew.
Nic has previously worked with Bonita High School, El Rancho High School, and Glendora High School. He is presently the percussion caption head/arranger for La Puente High School, and percussion clinician at Lassalette School.
Darrel Burns – Visual Ensemble Specialist
Darrel is a visual instructor, drill writer, and trumpet player based in the Chino Hills area. Since 2013, he has been training and encouraging young performers in the SoCal band world. After marching with The Velvet Knights in 2011, he sought further instruction with The Academy for two seasons (2012-2013), and after a two year hiatus aged out with The Blue Devils in 2016.
Now primarily a visual instructor at Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, Darrel has been affiliated with high schools and winter drumlines all over the SoCal area, including San Diego, Escondido, Temecula, Chino Hills, Riverside, and Corona, most notably with Velocity Independent’s inaugural season (2017) and Gold Indoor’s return to WGI/SCPA (2019). He is incredibly excited to bring his work ethic and knowledge to the Royal Cavaliers for the 2020 winter season.
Johnny Jagerman – Visual Ensemble Specialist
Jonathan was born and raised in Southern Orange County and went to Laguna Hills High School for 4 years, where he found his passion for the Marching Arts. Johnny started his Drum Corps Career with Gold Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 where he played Tuba. From that point, he went on to March with The Santa Clara Vanguard (2014) and Blue Devils (2015, 16, 17) aging out as the Tuba Section Leader. Johnny has also had a strong involvement in the SoCal Winter Percussion Scene since his participation in Pulse Percussion Visual Ensemble(2014-15, 2017) and Broken City Cymbal Line (2018).
Along with his Performance Resume, he has shared his experience through the instruction of many programs in Southern California including: Ayala High School, Etiwanda High School, Trabuco Hills High School, Woodbridge High School, and Savanna High School where he serves the Visual Caption Head. Johnny also has experience teaching Independent Organizations like, The Madison Scouts, Gold Indoor and Designing for Catalyst Percussion.
Johnny is incredibly excited and humbled to be able to be with Meraki Percussion this season.
Arcadio Naranjo – Visual Ensemble Specialist
Arcadio Naranjo has been a part of the marching arts since 2008. He attended Riverside City College studying Business Advertisement and Music Performance. Arcadio joined and performed with the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015 & 2016. During his time at RCC and with the Blue Devils, Arcadio performed at multiple conferences, venues, music videos, and on the television show “GLEE”.
After aging out he pursued teaching music and visual working with multiple high school groups throughout Southern California. During the winter season, Arcadio worked with Dark Sky Percussion as a visual tech in 2019 and Caption Head in 2020. In the spring, he conducts the Concert ensembles at Etiwanda High School and works with the brass students at Heritage intermediate School. To close out the year, during the summer, he works with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps as a visual instructor since 2018.
This will be Arcadio’s first season with Meraki Percussion.