Staff

Band Director - Mark Stone

Mark Stone has been at Ayala High School since they opened the doors in the fall of 1990.  Before coming to Ayala he taught for three years at Grant High School (Van Nuys, CA), five years at Don Lugo High School (Chino, CA) and two years at Townsend Junior High School (Chino Hills, CA).  While in Chino Valley Unified Mr. Stone has served as Ayala’s Performing Arts Department Chairperson and the district Mentor Teacher in Performing Arts.  He has also received many awards and accolades including Ayala High School ‘Teacher of the Year’ in 1999 and recipient of the Fidelity Investments ‘Inspire The Future’ award in 2006.   He is an adjudicator for Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.  Mr. Stone attended Pasadena City College, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Credential at California State University, Los Angeles.
Mr. Stone lives in Rancho Cucamonga with his wife Sheli and youngest daughter Mackenzie.

Assistant Band Director - Maxwell Lowe

Maxwell Lowe has been teaching at Ayala High School since 2016. In his current capacity, Mr. Lowe serves as the Director of the Orchestra program and the Concert Band, while assisting with all other aspects of the band program, including the award winning Band and Colorguard.

Prior to working at Ayala, Mr. Lowe served as Director of Music at Ramona High School in Ramona, CA. During his time at Ramona, the Royal Alliance Marching Band qualified for SCSBOA championships for only the 3rd time in school history, while the concert and jazz bands received superior and excellent ratings at SCSBOA Festivals. Mr. Lowe also restarted a dormant choir program, and created and implemented a music theory class and curriculum.

Mr. Lowe originally hails from Southeast Michigan, where he served as a band instructor at Walled Lake Central, West Bloomfield, and Clarkston High Schools. He also completed long term substitute teaching assignments in the Plymouth-Canton and L’anse Creuse school districts, teaching middle school choir and band respectively.

Mr. Lowe graduated magna cum laude from Central Michigan University, receiving his Bachelor of Music Education. At CMU, Mr. Lowe studied trombone with Robert Lindahl, jazz with Rob Smith, and conducting with John Williamson and James Batcheller. His professional affiliations include the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Percussion Instructor - Ike Jackson

Ike Jackson has been working with Ayala High School since 1991. In his twenty-four years as a percussion instructor, he has worked with more than 50 different percussion programs at the high school, college, and drum corps levels. A prolific percussion arranger, judge and drill designer, Ike has worked with various percussion ensembles all across the US.

His competitive marching career started as a teenager as a member of the Sound Machine Youth Organization. He then performed as tenor player for the Riverside Community College Marching Tigers from 1992 to 1994. Finally, he finished his marching career as a member of the 1994 Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, going on to win the title of World Champion.

Ike is currently Vice President of the Southern California Percussion Alliance and a founding member of SCPA. He is also a member of the Winter Guard International Percussion Advisory Board and has worked on the Steering Committee as well. In 2006, Ike created Pulse Independent World Percussion Ensemble and POW Percussion in 2010, and is currently working with Strike Independent World Percussion.

Ike is a Mapex and Majestic Featured Artist; as well as, endorsed by Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Zildjian cymbals, and Remo Drumheads. Ike has recently worked on research and development projects with many major drum and cymbal companies to make many of the products used by todays percussionists

Ike has helped his percussion ensembles win 12 WGI World Championship medals, 22 WGI World Championship Finalist placements, 47 Regional Finalist placements, 14 Regional Championship titles, and a Bands of America Grand National Finalist appearance in 2004 and 2014. He was the Corps Director of the 2006 division III World Champion Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps and currently the Percussion Caption head at The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps for the last four years. Locally, his ensembles have won 10 SCPA Championship medals and over 60 first place awards.

Ike currently lives in Ontario, California with his wife and four children.

Jazz director / Brass caption head - Jim Rogers

Mr. Rogers started teaching marching and music right after graduating in 1992 from Grossmont High School in La Mesa, Ca.  He has had the pleasure to work with some of the top high school bands and directors in the state of California, Clovis West (Ramiro Barrera), Rancho Bernardo (Tom Cole), & San Marcos (Matt Armstrong) to name a few.  Jim was a Blue Devils baritone and soprano soloist in 1993, ‘94 & ‘96, has won two DCI world championships, was Rookie of the Year in 1993, Most Outstanding Performer and inducted into the Blue Devils Hall of Fame in 1996.
Mr. Rogers has also worked with many drum corps, including the Santa Clara Vanguard, Magic of Orlando, Seattle Cascades, and Pacific Crest.   Jim has also been on staff with Key Poulan Music since 2006, and has helped arrange many different works for marching bands across the nation.  Mr. Rogers plays trumpet professionally and has recorded on many local albums, and some have been nominated to the San Diego Music Awards.  Mr. Rogers, his wife Kristina, and their daughter Violet live in Eastvale, Ca.

Color Guard Caption Head - Mario Ramirez

Mario graduated from Nogales High School.  I always felt a strong desire to use my creativity and artistic impulses.  Upon graduation I felt performing would be a great stepping stone to discover what I could possibly do for the rest of my life. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work and perform alongside many talented people and amazing groups. I started by marching with RCC Color Guard, and then continued performing with other groups such as Solution Performance Ensemble, Yamato, Fantasia, and Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2001, I was hired as a choreographer and co-designer for Fillmore High School.  Mario is the Founder, Director and Choreographer of Diamante Ind. World.

Visual Caption Head - Peter Beckhart

Peter Beckhart has performed, instructed, and designed many competitive shows in the marching arts. His performing experience includes six years of DCI, aging out with the Concord Blue Devils. Peter also performed with the Riverside Community College winter drum line in 2011 and 2012.

As a full-time drill designer for fall marching bands and spring productions, Peter has had the opportunity to work with many groups since 2009. He currently teaches at Upland High School and is the visual caption head of Ayala High School and Savanna High School. Peter is also a sought after choreographer for fall marching bands and winter drumlines including Ayala H.S., James Logan H.S., Mt. Carmel H.S., RCC Winter Percussion, Dark Sky Percussion, Valley Independent Percussion, and many other programs throughout California.
In the drum corps world, Peter taught the Blue Devils 'B' in 2012 and has been on visual staff of the 17-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps since 2013.
Peter is humbled to have opportunities to work with some of the best programs and students in the world and is always striving to be a better performer, instructor, choreographer and designer. He currently lives in Long Beach, CA.

Front Ensemble Caption Head - Sean Gordon

Sean’s mallet percussion training began as a seventh grader while attending Canyon Hills Jr. High.  He continued to play mallets for Ayala’s percussion section all four years before graduating and participating with groups such as Pulse Percussion, Riverside Community College, Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps and aging-out with the 2007 DCI Champions, The Blue Devils, as a mallet percussionist.

During the course of his indoor career, Sean returned to his alumni as a mallet tech in 2007, holding the position until he was promoted to front ensemble instructor in 2009 – working with the likes of his former instructor, Caleb Rothe, Bryan Nungaray, and current front ensemble instructor/arranger Jim Wunderlich.

Since Sean’s inclusion as Ayala’s mallet tech, the standard setting concert ensemble has earned an astounding three Percussion Scholastic Concert World Championships (four total for 2006 – 2007, 2009 – 2010), as well as their first Percussion Scholastic World title in 2010 with their emotionally charged and patriotic program, “Live to Tell”. He also worked with Pulse Percussion as a mallet technician from 2009 – 2011, where the ensemble earned a 4th place finish in 2009, the Percussion Independent World Bronze Medal in 2011 and the organization’s first ever Championship in 2010 for their program, “Worth the Wait”.

Sean’s teaching prowess has also migrated to the drum corps scene, as he has worked as the front ensemble instructor for The Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps (Sacramento, CA) in 2010, The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps (Tempe, AZ) in 2011 and 2012, and The Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps  in 2013.

Visual Instructor - Ethan Bilitch

Ethan Bilitch - Visual Instructor

Visual Instructor - Zach Carrasco

Zach Carrasco - Visual Instructor

Percussion Instructor - Ryan Castro

Before becoming a music educator Ryan was a part of the music program at Ayala High School from 2004-2008. While at Ayala he was a part of the marching band and indoor drumline playing cymbals, bass drum, baritone, and euphonium. He was also in the percussion section for concert and symphonic band. Since Ayala, he marched with Pulse in 2011, winning the silver medal at SCPA championships and the bronze medal at WGI championships.

He taught the Canyon Hills Jr. High drumline for the 2011-2014 indoor drumline seasons and started teaching at Ayala during the 2011 marching band season. While at Canyon Hills, Ryan helped them to win the silver medal in 2012 and back to back gold medals in 2013 and 2014 at SCPA championships. Ryan also designed the visual package for the Canyon Hills indoor drumline show for the 2014 season. Ryan continues to teach at Ayala where he has helped the marching band to become: WBA state champions in 2011, 2012, and 2015; and also BOA Grand Nationals Finalists in 2013. He has also helped the drumline to win the silver medal in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 and also the gold medal in 2015 in SCPA; at WGI, Ryan has helped Ayala to win the bronze medal in 2012 and 2014; the silver medal in 2013 and 2015; and the gold medal in 2016.

Aside from being a music educator, Ryan graduated from Mt.SAC with an A.A. in Kinesiology and is currently studying at the University of La Verne for his bachelors degree in business administration. Ryan currently lives with his wife in Eastvale, CA

Color Guard Instructor - Chris Ceo

Chris Ceo studied at the College of the Canyons and Kaplan College and now works as an X-Ray Technician and Office Supervisor for a Physicians Office in Santa Clarita.  He is currently going back to school to pursue a degree in Nursing.  Chris started his marching career playing the Clarinet at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita.  Just out of high school Chris auditioned for his first color guard, the Black Knights where he performed for 4 years. He started instructing color guard in 2002 and has worked with many high school and independent groups including La Canada High School, Thousand Oaks High School, West Ranch High School and Allusion Independent.  In 2012 Chris returned as a performer with Diamante Independent World Color Guard.  Chris is currently working with Diamante Independent World Color Guard and Ayala High School. 

Visual Instructor - Ted Chang

Tedchang300x380Ted is native to Southern California, where he discovered the world of music and motion. First being introduced to the pageantry arts in middle school, Ted pursued his passion for performing in 2010 as a member of Pacific Crest. After two seasons at Pacific Crest, Ted joined the Blue Devils in 2012, where he stayed until 2015. He is also a performer in the 2016 RCC Winter Percussion Ensemble.

Ted has taught many high schools throughout the Southern California region, including Temple City High School, Fountain Valley High School, Downey High School, Woodbridge High School, and Ayala High School. His passion for teaching leads him to push his students towards their maximum potential.

Ted is also pursuing a career in drill writing and designing.

Visual Instructor - Jay Fuentes

Jay is a native of Southern California and a graduate of the University of California, Riverside where he majored in Political Science and Philosophy.

His musical career began his Sophomore year of high school where he played Mellophone for the Marching band, French Horn for the Concert band, and Trumpet for the Jazz and Salsa bands. Jay went on to march with the Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps in 2008 and 2009 (where he was a soloist in 2009), RCC Marching Tigers 2009 - 2012 (where he served as Section Leader and Horn Sergeant), and went on to "age out" of DCI with the Blue Devils 'A' Corps in 2012.

Jay has been a Visual Staff Member for Blue Devils B since aging out and prides himself on being a contributor to some of the best programs in California. Aside from BDB, Jay is also currently on the Visual Staff at Ruben S. Ayala High School (Chino Hills, CA), Cerritos High School (Cerritos, CA), Downey High School (Downey, CA), and serves as Visual Caption head at Woodbridge High School (Irvine, CA). Outside of California, Jay has worked with Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corps (Gravesend, UK) and currently works with Patria Drum & Bugle Corps (Quetzaltenango, Guatemala).

Jay has had the pleasure of working with other great programs such as Fountain Valley High School (Fountain Valley, CA) and Riverside City College (Riverside, CA).

This coming Fall of 2016, Jay is set to work with Ruben S. Ayala High School (Chino Hills, CA), Etiwanda High School (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), and Vista Murrieta High School (Murrieta, CA). Ayala and VM will be returning to BOA Grand Nationals in 2016 in hopes of making BOA Grand National Finals!

Visual/Low Brass Instructor - Johnny Jagerman

Johnny Jagerman - Visual/Low Brass Instructor

Brass Instructor - Arnie Jara

ArnieJara300x346Arnie was born in Cuba and raised in Southern California and is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree In Business Management/Marketing in the music industry at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Arnie started performing when he was in Hollencrest middle school on the Saxophone until he went on to West Covina High School and realized he had a passion for high notes on the trumpet so he made the switch. Since than, he has performed with Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps, the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, along with many other ensembles around the city of Los Angeles and Boston. He won most outstanding performer for brass in Pacific Crest as a rookie in 2012. In 2014 he won rookie of the year for visual in the Blue Devils.
His passion for teaching began while he was in high school and he realized that he loved helping others out by providing information to them that was given to him by others, he also had a high interest in the approach of teaching and the psychology behind it. After high school he went on to teach a few high school marching bands in the Los Angeles area before leaving to college but he always had the urge to be able to give to other students the education that was not provided to him at one point. He continues to study and perform towards his degree while helping out the Brass at Ayala.

Percussion Instructor - Nick Jasso

Nick Jasso has taught various high schools throughout the Southern California region for the last 8 years. Most recently noted for his work with Ayala High school as a design team member and percussion instructor, mainly working with the bass drum section and monitor/lighting rigs. He also has worked for the drum corps scene teaching at the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps and The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps.

Nick went to Riverside Community College where he was a part of the percussion program for 2 years, and was under the direction of Sean Vega, Jared Andrews, Pete Sapadin, and Fernando Miller. His drum corps experience includes Impulse Drum & Bugle Corps and Phantom Regiment, in total marching 5 seasons.

Nick went to Victor Valley College where he earned his A.A in fine arts and has further aspirations to get his masters in interpersonal communications. He now works as an independent contractor as a videographer and photographer for multiple drum manufacturing companies. He strives to be amongst the worlds best educators in the marching percussion activity, and continues to be noted as an innovator who looks forward to a lifetime of education within the activity.

Nick currently resides in Corona, CA

Brass Instructor - Kyle Martinez

Kyle began his marching career at Rancho Cucamonga High School under the visual technique pedagogies of Chad McCormick, Jaime Holly, and James Plunkett. Immediately stemming from a great background of teachings, sprouted an interest in drum corps where he auditioned for the Concord Blue Devils. Kyle performed with the Blue Devils in the years of 2010 and 2011 receiving a gold undefeated medal and a silver medal. Eager to pursue a more extensive career in the marching visual arts, he started teaching visual technique in 2009 at Alhambra High School. Through the years since, Kyle gained many more opportunities to teach in the southern California area such as Upland High School, Alta Loma High School, Rancho Cucamonga High School, Etiwanda High school, Chaffey High School, and Nogales High School. These work experiences led Kyle to work with many talented educators not only in the visual world but in the musical community as well.
Kyle is working towards his B.A. in Music Education at the California State University Fullerton and is currently studying under Dave Evans (California State University Long Beach) and Kye Palmer (CSUF). He is a trumpet player for Disney and has also been a part of various jazz and classical ensembles in Southern California.

Percussion Instructor - Ernie McLaurin

Ernie McLaurin has been an active percussion instructor in Southern California since 1993. Currently as the Cymbals Instructor with Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills since 2004 and with Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corp since 2013.He has been the Co -Caption Head and Assistant Director for the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corp since 2012.  Ernie has worked with the following percussion programs, Pulse Percussion, Impulse Drum and Bugle Corp, John Muir High School, Simi Valley High School, Garfield High School, Alhambra High School, Grant High School. His Performance experience includes such programs as Cal State Northridge Matador Band, Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corp, Tournament of Roses Honor Band and Burbank Lancers Youth Band. The Percussion programs that Ernie has worked with have earned such accolades 2006 DCI DIV 3 champion and High Percussion Award with Impulse Drum and Bugle Award and 2010 WGI Scholastic World Percussion Championship. Ernie graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1997 and lives in Pasadena.

Color Guard Instructor - Brandi Ramirez

Brandi was born and raised in Anaheim, California.  Brandi has an extensive background in dance, colorguard, marching band, drum corps, winter guard, and parade. Brandi is Co-director of Diamante Ind. World, and has been a performer and captain of Diamante in the past. She is also currently working with several competitive colorguard units.

Percussion Instructor - Darren Van Derpoel

Darren Van Derpoel works as a music educator in Southern California. His performing experience includes Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps, Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps, Black Knights Indoor Percussion, Riverside Community College Marching Band, and RCC Indoor.
Darren earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management from Cal Poly Pomona, and is a director and performing member of the Los Angeles Clipper’s Drumline “Clippercussion.” He is an active percussion instructor in Southern California, and currently teaches at Ayala, Diamond Bar, El Dorado, and Nogales High School.  He serves as the battery manager for Pacific Crest Drum Corps.

Percussion Instructor - Jonathon Wicks

Wicks_Headshot-01300x380Jonathan Wicks began his rudimental percussion journey with the Yamato Drum and Bugle Corps in 2004 where he marched tenors. He then went on to march tenors with the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005 and 2006. Jonathan then switched gears and ended his journey indoors with the Pulse Percussion ensemble in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Of his six seasons on tenors he was fortunate enough to be section leader for half of them; one season at Pacific Crest and his last two seasons at Pulse Percussion.

Jonathan has been teaching percussion ensembles in Southern California since 2007; instructing several junior high and high school ensembles as well as the Pulse Percussion Open Ensemble in 2011. Since graduating from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Cognitive Sciences in 2010, Jonathan has earned a living as a professional drummer and also co-founded Rudimental Mindset.