Ramiro Castañeda – Ensemble 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.
Branden Herron – Low Brass Consultant
Branden Herron grew up in Chino Hills, California where he started playing trumpet in 6th grade. In his first year in Junior High he outgrew the band director and was given the Tuba. The tuba has been a guiding point and steady rock in Branden’s life and eventually took its place as his Major in college at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. In his junior year
Branden taught himself Bass Trombone to join the Jazz Band and has since doubled on the instrument. Branden has been studying at the Azusa Pacific University earning an Artist Certificate in Tuba Performance and is currently working on a Masters in Music Performance on Tuba with a Teaching Assistantship.
Branden is the Sousaphone player for Bear Brass, the house Brass Band of the Anaheim Ducks. Branden is also the principal tubist for the Symphonic Winds of the Pacific, Orchestra Collective of Orange County and the Orange County Symphonic Pops as well as performing regularly with the Corona Symphony Orchestra, Orange County Wind Symphony and Orange County Symphony Orchestra. He is also a freelance tuba player in the Southern California Area having performed on recordings for both national and international television show as well as video games. Branden currently teaches private lessons on low brass instruments in the Pomona area. He has also been on faculty at the Arcadia Music Symposium alongside John Van Houten.
Outside of performing, Branden works for Eastman Music Company as a Quality Control and Repair Technician for their Winds Department, and is a pivotal member of the low brass development team for tubas, euphoniums and cimbassi.
Branden is a student of John Van Houten, Tony Mazzaferro, Roger Bobo, and Avital Handler. Branden has had the privilege to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House; as a soloist he has performed three full-length recitals as well as a featured Soloist with the Cal Poly Pomona Concert Band.
Josh Sanchez – Brass Instructor
Josh was born and raised in the city of West Covina, CA and has been a very musically involved student since middle school. Upon graduating from West Covina High School in 2014, Josh went on to study at Riverside City College and is currently pursuing an Associate of Arts degree in Music at Fullerton College. During his time at RCC, Josh has participated in 2 years with the RCC Marching Tigers (2014-2015), studied voice with LaVista Benson and Rebecca Tomlinson, studied trombone with Steve Suminski, and studied tuba under Fred Greene. Since transferring to Fullerton College in 2016, Josh has been studying tuba under Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro.
In addition to school ensembles, Josh has also participated in two seasons of WGI winds with Orange County Independent Winds (2015-2016) and three seasons of Drum Corps International with the Oregon Crusaders (2016-2018).
Kevin Truong – Visual Caption Head
Kevin Truong is currently a Trombone Performance major at Cal Poly Pomona, where he has had the pleasure of working with great Trombone pedagogues, such as Ralph Sauer.
His performing experience includes marching Euphonium at Pacific Crest in 2015 and 2016, and then aging out with Santa Clara Vanguard in 2018 on Baritone. He has also traveled around the world in performing ensembles. His teaching experience includes being a visual instructor at Los Altos HS for two years, and visual caption head as well as indoor percussion visual instructor at South Pasadena HS.
Kevin looks forward to share his knowledge and passion for the activity with the Royal Cavaliers.
Kyle Martinez – High Brass Consultant
Kyle Martinez is a music educator and professional musician in Southern California and is a recent graduate of Cal Poly Pomona where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education as well as a Single Subject Teaching Credential. Currently, he holds an elementary music teaching position for the Azusa Unified School District. Kyle is very active in the world of marching arts. Upon receiving his drum corps experience from the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, Kyle has worked with several high school marching ensembles as well as drum corps in the realms of musical and visual technique and performance.
At present, he holds the position of Visual Caption Head and Program Coordinator at Upland High School as well as Brass Caption Head and Jazz Studies Assistant at Nogales High School. Kyle is an active trumpet player in the Los Angeles and Orange County area and has held a professional trumpet position at Disney for six years before moving on to complete his education. Kyle has experience performing in various types of ensembles and has extensive training in many different genres of music. His training is credited to his educational institutions and the private instruction of master teachers and musicians; David Evans, Jeff Elwood, Kye Palmer, Bill Cunliffe, Tom Luer, and Barbara Laronga.
Philip Ruiz – Music/Woodwind Consultant
Philip Ruiz 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.
Raymond Moreno – Program Development/Music Consultant
Over the course of the last 10 years Raymond Moreno has helped to create some of the top musical ensembles in Southern California. His teaching experience includes teaching at the junior high, high school, and college levels. Besides teaching he is also an active arranger, composer, clinician, and trumpet player in the Southern California area.
A native of Chino, California, Raymond received his Bachelor’s Degree in music education from California State University, Fullerton where he was a member of the Jazz Ensemble, The Wind Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, and Jazz Combo. Mr. Moreno went on to receive his teaching credential from the University of La Verne and his Master’s Degree in Music from Azusa Pacific University with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting. Over the years, Raymond has received instruction from some of the finest musicians and educators on the west coast including, Tim Morrison, Howie Shear, Glenn Cashman, Chuck Tumlinson, Mitch Fennell, and Mark Garrabrandt. As a musician, Raymond has performed throughout California and the Western United States playing classical, jazz, and Latin music.
Raymond currently teaches at Oak Hills High School and was recently a faculty member at Barstow Community College. This appointment followed several years of success as the band director at Patriot High School in Riverside, California where the music program won several top awards including two Southern California band championships, several years of superiors at festivals, and a thriving jazz and Latin Jazz program.
As an arranger, Raymond has arranged several pieces for marching band, concert band, and jazz ensemble including pieces performed by his groups at Mountain View, Patriot, and Oak Hills High Schools. This includes the shows “Day of the Dead”, “Requiem For A Revolution”, and “Weeping Earth Beautiful World” and most recently “Radioactive”. Besides teaching instrumental music Raymond has been involved with church music ministries for over 20 years, including 5 as a church choir director.
Mr. Moreno has also been active with drum and bugle corps for the past 20 years as a performer, instructor, and director. In 2013 Raymond helped to create the Watchmen Arts Association, a non-profit group serving the youth of Southern California. He was also the founding director of the Watchmen Drum and Bugle Corps.
Raymond is a member of the Southern California Scholastic Band and Orchestra Association, the California Band Directors Association, the San Bernardino County Music Educators Association and is also an adjudicator for the SCSBOA. For the SBCMEA he has been the high desert representative for the last three years. He has been nominated for teacher of the year twice and has also acted as a mentor teacher. He has been a presenter for both the SCSBOA and the SBCMEA. He currently lives in Apple Valley with his wife and two kids.
Richard Firman – Woodwind Instructor
Has studied with saxophone greats Steve Wilkerson of Stan Kenton. Ken Grass also formerly of The Stan Kenton Big Band and also Jim Honeyman. Richard has played professionally for 16 years with greats such as Steve Wilkerson, Jack Sheldon, Tom Kubis, and many more. Richard has played in Big Bands, Classic Rock groups, Ska bands, Salsa Bands, Nortenos, Bandas, and the occasional Solo Classical performance accompanied and unaccompanied.
He received his A.A. at Mt. San Antonio Jr. College. As well as studying Jazz and Classical Saxophone for a year at the University of Tulsa with Ken Grass and Vernon Howard. After returning from Tulsa, Richard began to work nightly playing in different groups and different styles. In the day he worked toward finishing his degree in Commercial Music at Cal Poly Pomona, studying with Jim Honeyman and Lori Huff. Currently you can hear him playing in his own ten piece band, a big band on Wednesday nights, occasionally Salsa band on the weekends!
Troy Campbell – Visual/Design Consultant
Troy began his long marching history during middle school at the age of 12 in the Sound Machine of the Inland Empire Youth Band. There Troy marched Mellophone from 92-96. During High School, Troy was honored to be accepted into the PCC Honor Band as a lead trumpet player. Looking for new experiences and challenges, in his sophomore year in high school, Troy decided to join the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and bugle Corps. In Vanguard Troy played lead Soprano as well as lead Mellophone from 1997-2001 winning a championship in 1999.
While attending Cal State Fullerton Troy was privileged to study trumpet under the late Mark Garrabrant. Troy has previously worked for High Schools such as, Bonita High School (Vis Tech), Rubidoux High School (Vis Tech under Charles Gray 2 time Fiesta Bowl Champions), Arcadia High School (Vis Tech), Yorba Linda High School (Brass Tech), King High School (Vis Tech under Charles Gray), along with Mountain View High School (Vis Tech, Brass Tech and Percussion arranger and Caption Head). He also spent 5 seasons as Visual Caption Head at Patriot High School in Riverside 2010 SCSBOA 2A Champions under Raymond Moreno.
His background also includes many years in youth development and instructing as well as performing as a musician. Currently he work as the Youth Development Coordinator for the Fullerton YMCA, where my responsibilities include the overall leadership and coordination of a specific youth development program including staff supervision, direct supervision of children, preparation of daily schedule and curriculum, enrollment, parent and school relations, facility maintenance, and risk management.
His also has recently been the Visual Caption head/Brass instructor for Riverside King HS 6A Championship Band. Troy provided a structured summer program to train in music as well as physical health and wellness also training and coordinating a staff of 8. In these positions, he’s demonstrated the ability to maintain a safe work environment and create great relationships with staff, parents, youth and community. Troy consistently updated his training as well as implemented new ideas and encouraged them from his team and clients. Enrichment is very important to him. In addition to this experience, he has gained considerable team building skills working as a performer lead trumpet player for The Disneyland Resort for 16 years. He has promoted high quality performances as well as trained and facilitated community connection and involvement.
In his spare time you can find Troy working out, riding bikes and enjoying playing Latin Percussion. Known for his attention to detail and his drive to complete goals set. Music and Movement run deep in his blood. Troy Campbell will bring fresh ideas and very strong concepts to the Royal Cavaliers Winds.
Vincent David McCauley – Percussion Consultant
Vincent David McCauley has been a percussionist since his high school days back in 2006. He participated as a trombone player in concert band, and even singing in choir. It was also in the summer of 2008 and 2009 that Vince participated as a marimba player with Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps, providing him with a hefty level of performance experience and the opportunity to develop as a musician.
In 2010, Vincent joined Pulse Percussion as a vibe player, where the group earned their first WGI World Championship for their program, “Worth the Wait”. He remained with the group for 4 more seasons, eventually moving on to marimba, aging out in 2014 as the front ensemble captain with yet another WGI World Championship for their program, “That Which Confines Us” – establishing Vince as the only five year member able to claim being part of the ensembles which earned Pulse’s two WGI championship titles.
In the drum corps realm, Vincent followed up his two seasons at Impulse with a season with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011. He played marimba before moving on as vibe player in the 2012 Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps – which earned their 15th DCI World Championship, along with the Fred Sanford High Percussion Trophy, for their Dada-inspired program, “Cabaret Voltaire”.
Instructing wise, Vince worked with Patriot High School (2013 SCSBOA 2A Champions and 2A High Percussion), Ramona High School, and Whittier High School as a front ensemble instructor. He has worked with other groups such as Damien High School (2012 and 2013 WBA 1A Champions and 2013 WBA 1A High Percussion), Cypress High School, West Covina High School (2011 SCSBOA 2A Silver Medalist, 2010 and 2012 ADLA PSW Champion), Bonita High School, Cajon High School, Covina High School, and Northview High School. He also has worked as a front ensemble instructor for independent groups such as POW Percussion and Watchmen Indoor Percussion, along with Watchmen Drum & Bugle Corps.