George Collins

George Collins:  Program Coordinator

This is George's fourth year working with Dark Sky Percussion.  Previous to this he also served as an instructor with Orange County Independent and Black Knights percussion ensembles. 

As a performer, George marched with the Velvet Knights and Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps.  He is a southern California native who currently works in the film and television industry.

Miguel Guaderrama

Miguel Guaderrama:  Battery Caption Head

Miguel Guaderrama has been performing and teaching for two decades. He performed with Pacific Crest and Blue Devils, and RCC Indoor Percussion. He was a recognized leader in all three programs.

Miguel also has a love for Latin percussion, and has experience drumming in venues around the world. He started his professional career with BD Entertainment, and has gone on to perform at Disneyland (Anaheim, CA), Ariel Experience, Tokyo Disneyland, and Universal Studios Japan. He has also performed on live broadcasts, including The Jerry Lewis Telethon and The American Music Awards with Enrique Iglesias.

Miguel’s passion for teaching stems from his desire to give back to the marching and Latin percussion communities. He has educated and trained high school musicians at Cerritos, Ayala, Sunny Hills, Downey, Diamond Ranch, and through private lessons. He has also taught at Pacific Crest, Esperanza, and Blue Devils B Drum and Bugle Corps.

This will be Miguel’s 3rd season with DSP.

Matt Ponce

Matt Ponce:  Snare Instructor

Matt has been an active performer in Southern California with his marching career starting in 2007. He has a wide variety of experience in DCI marching tuba and euphonium with Impulse and Pacific Crest, respectively, and continuing on as a snare drummer with Pacific Crest and most recently the Blue Devils.

He is also involved with the WGI community as a charter member of Pulse Open, Pulse Percussion, and Riverside Community College. 

Caleb Gasteiger

Caleb Gasteiger:  Bass Drum Instructor

Caleb’s marching career began in high school under the instruction of Sarah Ball and Peter Lucero. Caleb then went on to march at Mystikal Drum and Bugle corps for the 06’ and 07’ seasons and Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 09’ and 10’ where he aged out. During the 06’, 07’, and 08’ fall seasons, he marched with the RCC Marching Band. The lessons he learned while marching in the Fall helped secure him a spot RCC Winter for the 08’, 09’, 10’, and 11’ seasons.
Caleb has taught various groups throughout Southern California and has students that have marched in Blue Devils, Bluecoats, Blue Knights, Bluestars, as well many other successful ensembles. His dream is to give the highest quality information to his students that can propel them to reach the goals that they have set for themselves. 

This is Caleb’s 3rd year on staff at DSP.

Pablo Rodriguez

Pablo Rodriguez:  Cymbal Instructor

Performing Background:

Pulse Percussion 2009, RCC marching Tigers fall of 2009, RCC indoor Drumline 2010-2014, Academy Drum and Bugle Corps 2012.

Instructional Background:

Rancho Cucamonga High School 2010-2014
Upland High School 2011-present
Rowland High School 2013-present
Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps 2014
RCC marching TIgers 2013-present

Arturo Juarez

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Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Arturo Juarez entered the marching scene playing cymbals for Orange County Independent Percussion and Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013, returning to OCI in 2014 and 2015 before aging out with the newly renamed Broken City Percussion as a WGI Bronze medalist in 2016. Along the way, Arturo has taught at various high school programs, including Downey HS, Garden Grove HS, Wilson HS, and Millikan HS. Most recently, Arturo had the opportunity to teach Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, working as cymbal tech for the duration of their 2016 tour.

This will be Arturo's first season with DSP.

Jon Mleynek

Jon Mleynek:  Front Ensemble Instructor

Jonathan Mleyenk has studied piano and percussion for nearly 20 years. During his 10 years of teaching marching percussion programs, his front ensembles have consistently received top awards. In Arizona, his groups won awards from the Percussion Arts Society, and consistently placed in the top three at the Winter Guard State Championships. While instructing at Gilbert High School in Arizona, Mr. Mleyenk took his group to Dayton, Ohio for the WGI World Championships and finished 4th place in Scholastic A Class. Immediately after relocating to California, Jonathan began teaching Torrance High school and helped them earn a Bronze Medal at the SCPA Championships. 

Jonathan Mleyenk has been with Dark Sky Percussion for 8 years and is proud to have contributed to the group’s promotion to World Class. Jonathan is fun to be around, confident in his teaching, but at the same time, he’s dedicated to continuing his own development and learning.Jonathan is not only an effective percussion instructor for his students, he also strives to influence his students to become passionate performers. 

Jesse Hirikawa

Jesse Hirikawa:  Front Ensemble Instructor

Jesse is excited to start his third year at Dark Sky Percussion. He currently is the Front Ensemble Instructor for San Marino High School and has also taught at Valencia HS (Placentia), Pulse Open, Los Alamitos HS, Ayala HS and South Torrance HS.

His marching activity consists of Yamato Drum & Bugle Corp (2006), Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corp (2010) and Pulse Percussion (2008-11).

Jesse graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Landscape Architecture and is working full time at ValleyCrest DesignGroup in Santa Monica.

Dalia Berman

Dalia Berman:  Front Ensemble Instructor

Dalia Berman graduated with her bachelors degree in performance from California State University, Northridge and masters degree in world percussion from California Institute of the Arts.

In the marching activity, Dalia has been a member of Pulse Percussion, Phantom Regiment, The Academy, Mandarins, Velvet Knights and Full Force Percussion. She started working with the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps Pacific Crest in 2014. Dalia is looking forward to her second year working with Dark Sky Percussion. 

Jackson Lai

JACKSON LAI: FRONT ENSEMBLE TECH

Jackson is a percussion instructor in Southern California. He

currently works with Ayala High School, Trabuco Hills High School,

Mission Viejo High School, Warren High School, and Pasadena City

College. He teaches the front ensemble at the Santa Clara Vanguard

Cadets during the summer.

 

Jackson received his B.M. in Instrumental Music Education from

California State University, Long Beach and studied percussion under

Raynor Carroll and Dr. Dave Gerhart. He is currently working on his

Master of Education with Single Subjects Teaching Credential.

 

Jackson’s drum corps experience includes two summers at the Santa

Clara Vanguard Cadets and three winters in the Pulse Percussion

Organization. He is excited for his first year working with Dark Sky

Percussion."

Ted Chang

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Ted Chang:  Visual Instructor

Ted Chang 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. Then in 2016, Ted joined the RCC Indoor 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, Cerritos High School, and Ayala High School. His passion for teaching leads him to push his students towards their maximum potential. Ted is also a drill designer for some local high schools.

Now as a part of the visual team at Dark Sky, Ted is very excited for this opportunity to teach a world class percussion ensemble!