Ike Jackson

Ike Jackson.jpg

Show Design / Program Director

Ike Jackson has been working with Ayala High School since 1991. In his twenty-six 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 also 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 today's percussionists.

Ike has helped his percussion ensembles win 15 WGI World Championship medals, 34 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 from 2012 to 2016 as the Percussion Caption head at The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps and is the current Program Coordinator for the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. Locally, his ensembles have won numerous SCPA Championship medals and over 100 first place awards. Ike currently lives in Ontario, California with his wife and four children.


Seth Woodard

Seth Woodard:  Creative Director

Seth Woodard enjoys a career that draws on his background as a performer, educator, and composer. Seth is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music (B.M. 2006) whose experience and schooling has included composition, arranging, orchestration, conducting, music editing, production, performance, teaching and self-publishing. Currently residing in Long Beach, CA, Seth is a freelance composer and arranger of music for Film/TV, having worked on projects airing on the Lifetime Network, WWE, and movie theatres worldwide. In addition to his work in modern media, Seth is the Owner and Founder of First Avenue Music - a music writing/publishing company dedicated to supplying Marching Bands and Percussion Ensembles with professional level Design, Composition, and Arrangements.

Seth began studying percussion at a very young age with Dr. Steven Hemphill (Northern Arizona University). Around this same time, he was awarded several composition awards by the Arizona Music Educators Association and had the opportunity to play as lead percussionist in the Disney Youth Symphony Orchestra. This early exposure to music eventually led Seth to begin studying marimba under Nancy Zeltsman, which continued through his time in Boston. He has also had the pleasure of studying under Dr. JB Smith, Fumito Nunoya, Nanae Mimura, Klaus Badelt, Andrew Raiher, Eric Reasoner, Richard Davis, and Jon Klein.

Besides writing and directing Dark Sky, Seth has been directly involved with many successful groups over the years, including: San Marino HS, Williams Field HS, Mesa HS, Gilbert HS, Page HS, Torrance HS, Elite Percussion, Fishers HS, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, and many more.

Mr. Woodard proudly uses and endorses Innovative Percussion, Pearl-Adams, Roland, and Zildjian.

Darren VanDerpoel


Darren VanDerpoel resides in Diamond Bar, 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 and performing member of Sidle Entertainment, who provide performing ensembles for special events and sports teams, such as Los Angles Clippers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Darren has been an active percussion instructor in Southern California since 2005, working with several high schools and independent groups.  He is the Caption Head Battery Arranger for the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps and he currently teaches at Diamond Bar HS, Nogales HS, El Dorado HS, and Ayala HS.  Darren proudly uses Remo Drumheads and Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets.

Peter Beckhart

Peter Beckhart:  Visual Design

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 bands and spring productions, Peter has had the opportunity to work with many ensembles since 2009. He currently designs drill locally for Ayala High School, Savanna High School, and many other fall programs throughout Southern California. Peter is also a sought after choreographer for some of the best fall marching bands and winter drumlines in the country including Leander High School (Austin, TX), North Shore H.S. (Houston, TX) Ayala H.S. (Chino Hills, CA), Mt. Carmel H.S. (San Diego, CA), RCC winter percussion, and Dark Sky Percussion. 

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. He also is 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. This will be his third year working with Dark Sky Percussion. He lives in Fullerton, CA.