INSTRUCTORS AND STAFF


Instructors

DIRECTOR OF BANDS
Tim Trost

Tim Trost, Director of Bands at Ruben S. Ayala High School, received his education and degrees from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Arizona State University and The University of Southern California. His degrees are in music performance (oboe), conducting (wind, orchestral and choral), music education, and humanities (liberal studies). While at Arizona State University, he was the graduate teaching assistant for the ASU Symphonic Band and Intermediate Conducting Classes. In addition to his outstanding abilities in oboe and conducting, he is a professional drill/visual designer. He has designed and instructed marching band, drum & bugle corps, indoor winterguard and percussion shows throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Many of his designs and instructional influence have been quite successful in Drum Corps International, Bands of America, and the Western Band Association.

Before coming to Ruben S. Ayala High School, He was the Band Director at Cerritos High School. During his tenure there, the music program has accumulated several prestigious awards and performances. The Marching Band was a five-time WBA Class Champion as well as a Grand Combined Champion. The Wind Symphony has performed in Carnegie Hall four times, the J.F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts twice, and at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. Also, before their Olympic appearance, the ensemble performed special concerts in Paris, France. The Chamber Orchestra has received all “Superior” and first place ratings/rankings at every contest and festival. The Indoor Percussion Ensemble was a two-time WGI Scholastic Open Class Finalist.

Mr. Trost has performed with many prestigious ensembles such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra, Cincinnati Wind Symphony, Arizona Chamber Orchestra, Tempe Symphony Orchestra, plus several more. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, Golden Key International Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
OF BANDS
Kyle Martinez

Kyle Martinez is the Assistant Director of Bands at Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills, California. He teaches 2 Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Combo, Concert Band, and the Marching Band. Mr. Martinez received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Mr. Martinez has been involved with both the musical and visual aspects of the marching arts. In 2010, and 2011 he marched with the 18-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. Past teaching credits include Etiwanda HS, Nogales HS, Upland HS, Rancho Cucamonga HS, as well as several others in Southern California. Mr. Martinez was also on instructional staff at various Drum and Bugle Corps such as Pacific Crest, Academy, and Gold.

COLOR GUARD
CAPTION HEAD
Mario Ramirez

Mario Ramirez, a graduate of Nogales High School, always felt a strong desire to use his creativity and artistic impulses. Upon graduation, he felt performing would be a great stepping stone to discover his potential career. He performed with Riverside Community College (RCC) Color Guard and with other groups such as Solution Performance Ensemble, Yamato, Fantasia, and Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2001, Mario was hired as a choreographer and co-designer for Fillmore High School. Mario is the founder, director, and choreographer of Diamante Independent World.


Staff

FRONT ENSEMBLE CAPTION HEAD/ARRANGER
Matt Hernandez

Matt Hernandez is an active composer, arranger, and educator based in Southern California.

Currently, Matt serves as the Front Ensemble Caption Head and Arranger for Ayala High School and the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. He also serves as Front Ensemble arranger for STRYKE Percussion and the staff for MalletLab Summer Intensive (malletlab.com), RCC Winter Percussion, and is a active employee of Wunderpit Music (wunderpitmusic.com).

Past teaching credits include Vista Murrieta HS, Los Alamitos HS, Woodbridge HS, as well as arranger for groups such as Vista Murrieta HS, Los Alamitos HS, James Logan HS, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Matt was a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps, the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, and RCC Winter Percussion.

Matt proudly endorses Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Planet Waves Cables.

VISUAL CAPTION HEAD
Zach Carrasco

Zach Carrasco is a San Francisco Bay Area native who has become a full time educator since living down in Southern California. He has worked with numerous marching bands, drum corps, and indoor percussion ensembles as a designer, drill writer, choreographer and a visual marching/movement specialist. Graduating from California State University Long Beach, in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance, has also allowed him to work as a freelance musician and private instructor.

Zach currently serves on the visual staff at The Concord Blue Devils, RCC Indoor Percussion and is on the visual designer team for POW Percussion. He is also the Visual Caption Head at Ruben S. Ayala HS, Fountain Valley HS and Downey HS. Recently, he was the Visual Caption Head at the Blue Devils B Corps in 2017 and on the visual staff at The Sacramento Mandarins in 2018. Some other ensembles Zach has worked with are: Motor City Percussion, Velocity Independent, Rowland HS, James Logan HS, Homestead HS, Sunny Hills HS, Live Oak HS, and West HS.

Zach’s performance background comes from the Concord Blue Devils in 2012-2015, Vanguard Winter Percussion in 2013 and RCC Indoor Percussion in 2016.

Zach lives in Fullerton, CA.

MUSIC ARRANGER
Key Poulan

Key Poulan is a composer and arranger primarily for the marching arts and has written for the world’s most famous drum corps including the Santa Clara Vanguard, Mandarins, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Vanguard Cadets, Spartans, Caballeros, Bushwackers, Renegades, Juliana, Millennium and the Star United Mini Corps. As the owner of Key Poulan Music, he has been recognized as one of the country’s top arrangers and composers in the area of contemporary marching band and has several concert band works to his credit. His marching band arrangements have won several national titles at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships. His works have won many state titles throughout the United States and have been performed around the world. His transcription of “The Promise of Living” from Copland’s “Tender Land” was extremely well received at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival and his original works “Carnegie Fanfare and Dance” and “A Fortune in Steel” were both premiered at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

VISUAL DESIGNER
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 visual designer for fall marching programs, he currently writes the drill for Ayala High School, Savanna High School (Anaheim, CA), Coronado High School (El Paso, TX) and many other programs throughout California and across the country. Peter is also a sought after band choreographer for fantastic programs including Ayala High School, Leander High School (Austin, TX), North Shore H.S. (Houston, TX),  Mt. Carmel H.S. (San Diego, CA), James E. Taylor HS (Katy, TX), and James Martin HS (Arlington, TX).

In the winter season, he has been working as a designer and choreographer for programs such as RCC, Ayala HS, Dark Sky Percussion, and many other programs throughout Southern California.

In the drum corps world, Peter taught the Blue Devils ‘B’ in 2012 and has been on visual staff of the 18-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps since 2013. He is also the drill designer for the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps from Sacramento, CA.

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 instructor and designer. He lives in Anaheim, CA.

PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR
Darren Van Derpoel

Darren VanDerpoel resides in Chino Hills, CA and works throughout Southern California as a music educator. After graduating from Vista HS in 2005, he went on to perform with 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 his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management from Cal Poly Pomona in 2013. He currently serves as the co-director of Sidle Entertainment, the provider of the Los Angeles Charger’s “Thunderbolt Drumline” who perform at all Charger home games and other special events throughout the year.

Darren has been an active percussion instructor in Southern California since 2005, working with several high schools and independent groups. He currently works with Dark Sky Percussion, Diamond Bar HS, Nogales HS, El Dorado HS, and Ayala HS. Darren proudly uses Remo Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Mapex Drums and Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets.

PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR
Elliot Duran

Elliott Duran is a graphic designer residing in Covina, CA who spends his free time as a percussion educator in the Southern California area. His marching experience includes Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps, Elan Percussion, POW Percussion, and Pulse Percussion.

As an instructor, he currently teaches at several high schools/independent ensembles including Sierra Vista High School, Sunny Hills High School, and the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps. He also spent two years on staff with Pacific Crest and one year on staff with POW Percussion.

PERCUSSION INSTRUCTOR
Ernie McLaurin

Ernie McLaurin has been an active percussion instructor in Southern California since 1993. He has been the Cymbal Instructor for Ayala High School since 2004 and has worked with the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps since 2013 in various capacities. Ernie was on the Percussion staff at Impulse Drum and bugle Corps from 2002 to 2006 winning the 2006 DCI Div. III World Championship. In 2007 Ernie became the Corps Director of Impulse until 2010. Ernie then became the Assistant Director for the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corp in 2011 & 2012.

Ernie’s performance experience includes Sacramento Freelancers, Cal State Northridge Percussion Ensemble, United State Olympic Drumline.

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, and Grant High School and has been a clinician for a vast number of ensembles. Ernie is an Education Artist with Zildjian Cymbal. Ernie is a graduate of John Muir High School and Cal State Northridge and works full time in the Mortgage Industry.

COLOR GUARD INSTRUCTOR
Brandi Ramirez

Brandi Ramirez, a native of Anaheim, California, has an extensive background in dance, Color Guard, marching band, drum corps, winter guard, and parade. She is co-director of Diamante Independent World, as well as a past performer and captain. She is currently working with several competitive Color Guard programs.

COLOR GUARD INSTRUCTOR
Keila Crook

Keila Crook has been a Color Guard instructor in Southern California since graduating from Alhambra High School in 2013. She was introduced to the activity in 2009 where she began her performance career that continues today. She has worked with groups such as Francis Polytechnic High School, Chaminade College Preparatory, Marshall Fundamental High School, and South Pasadena High School. Although she is no longer with those programs, she is, however, teaching for the second year at Paramount High School and Ayala High School. She is also about to embark on her third summer as a color guard technician with the Sacramento Mandarins drum and bugle corps.

Keila was introduced to the independent performance activity in 2012 where she marched with the Sacramento Mandarins color guard. Since graduating, she performed with the Pasadena City College color guard and Ayanna Winterguard in 2014 and 2015. Keila is now on her fourth year as a member and captain of Diamante Winterguard which is under the direction of Mario and Brandi Ramirez.

COLOR GUARD INSTRUCTOR
Jasmine Ibarra

Jasmine Ibarra has been a Color Guard instructor in Southern California since graduating from Montebello High School in 2011. She has worked with groups such as Montebello High School, Bell Gardens High School and is currently working at Paramount High school and Ayala High School.

Jasmine was introduced to the independent performance activity in 2012 where she marched 4 years with Diamante Independent World under the direction of Mario and Brandi Ramirez. During the Winter of 2016, she marched Black Crown Independent Open. She was then introduced to DCI where she marched Gold Drum and Bugle Corp in 2012, she then was promoted a captain 2013 and 2014, then she decided to head into World Class with Santa Clara Vanguard in 2015 where she aged out. Jasmine also participated in 2017 Rose Parade with SCV.

BRASS INSTRUCTOR
Andrew Ordonez

Andrew Ordonez is an active tubist in the Southern California area where he regularly teaches and performs. He has had the privilege to have performed across the world with a wide variety of groups ranging from full symphony orchestras to jazz combos in venues varying from La Madeleine in Paris to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In addition to this, he has had the opportunity to study with and perform in masterclasses under prominent tubists such as Eugene Fabiero, Doug Tornquist, David Holben, and Aubrey Foard.

Having pursued a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in performance at California State University, Fullerton, Andrew has dedicated himself to the advancement of brass pedagogy and performance in today’s musical world. In addition to his role as an instructor with the Ayala Band and Color Guard, Andrew is a founder, the artistic director, and principal tubist of Upstream Brass and Percussion Ensembles, a pending non-profit organization dedicated to community outreach through performance and creating opportunities for young brass and percussion musicians throughout Southern California.

BRASS INSTRUCTOR
Tristan Bluto

Tristan Bluto graduated from California State University Fullerton with a BA in music education and is excited to work with Ayala High School! As a performer, he has toured with orchestras, wind bands, and brass ensembles through France, Spain and Germany. As a brass coach, he has worked with high schools in Coachella Valley for the last four years. Tristan could not be more grateful for this opportunity and he is looking forward to achieving great things with this program!