PATRICIA J. PERLETT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS

Patricia Perlett was our 1st and most loyal supporter and donor.  She is the mother of Executive Director, Sharon Woodard and Grandmother to Creative Directors, Seth and Tanner Woodard.   Pat was an educator for over 30 years, a volunteer for scouts, a NJ historical museum docent and a donor to many organizations she believed were doing “good work”.  We at Dark Sky benefitted countless times due to her generosity and she was supportive of our efforts from our first months right up until her passing in January of this year.

In her honor, Dark Sky offered three tuition scholarships for the 2017 season to members exemplifying loyalty, commitment to music education and volunteerism. 

The recipients of the first Patricia J Perlett Memorial Scholarships are Tia Berrera, Olivia Zahniser, and Steve Davalos.

This is Tia’s third year in Dark Sky on the marimba line and she will be aging out in 2017.  She was also a member of OCI and Mandarins.  Tia stay busy teaching at Nogales HS, their feeder Telesis Academy, Arcadia HS and Patriot HS while working on a composition degree.  Tia “gets” the whole indoor picture and demonstrates a strong and consistent work ethic to her peers and students.

In her second year with Dark Sky, Olivia is holding down the center marimba position for this season.  She has also been a member the Gold and Crossmen drum corps. Olivia’s love of music shows in her playing and she shares her gifts by teaching and volunteering at Oceanside HS while working on a percussion performance degree.

Steve played in the Dark Sky front ensemble from 2013-15, volunteered in our 2016 booth and has returned for 2017 to play vibes in his age-out year.  Steve has also marched with Gold and Mandarin drum corps and teaches.  Thoughtful and positive, we’re pleased to have Steve back on board and to award him one of our new scholarships. 

 

Olivia and Tia

Olivia and Tia

2017 Ensemble is Set

The Auditions are complete and the ensemble is set. We have a nice blend of vets and newcomers including two international members.  Take a look at our new roster below -

SNARES:

Javier Arambula, Los Angeles

Ricky Gil de Montes, Whittier

Chika Iseki, Osaka Japan

Eddie Mijares, Whittier

Yuuka Okura, Osaka Japan

Sean Parra, Pico Rivera

Matthew Shippey, San Diego

Aya Strauss, Los Angeles

TENORS:

Austin Collins, Maple Valley, WA

Roddy Haley, Jurupa Valley

Peter Launier, Castaic

Zack Palmer, Santa Clarita

BASS DRUMS (bass order):

Alec Brickner, Thousand Oaks

Blake Dimas, Lakewood

Gilbert Narazi, Burbank

Melony Robinson-Williams, Los Angeles

Edgar Chavez, Downey

CYMBALS:

Joselyne Grace, San Diego

Allie Jacques, Castaic

Daniel Mejia, Temple City

Jack Wurth, Torrance

KEYS:

Angel Abona-Ruiz, Ontario

Sonali Bargotra, Fullerton

Tia Barrera, Montclair

Jordan Chiang, Pasadena

Steve Davalos, Santa Fe Springs

Frances Fitzgerald, Arusa

Vincent Gonzales, Santa Barbara

Jose Huerta, Riverside

Tyler Miller, Chino

Justin Page, Riverside

Robinson Velez, Whittier

Olivia Zahniser, Oceanside

SYNTHS:

Karianne Rydberg, Oxnard

Harrison Tran, Fountain Valley

RHYTHM:

Grant Bubar, Thousand Oaks

William Espinosa, Orange

Ryan Reichert, El Cajon

Check back here at DSP News to keep up with this talented ensemble and our 10th Anniversary season!

 

Round 2 in the Books

We completed Round 2 of auditions with 15 folks heading home with their 2017 contract. Call Backs continue this Sunday, October 2nd.  There are still openings in all sections, but they are filling fast.  Anyone interested in auditioning who did not attend weeks 1 and 2 should send an email to: darkskypercussion.info@gmail.com with their name, instrument and age; include former membership in indoor groups and/or drum corps. 

Enjoy some photos from weeks one and two - 

Auditions Are Underway

The 2017 auditions have begun and it was a terrific day 1 turnout!  We saw a tremendous amount of talent and even those who were not quite ready for PIW came prepared and ready to learn.  It was great to see our vets return and to meet so many new percussionists excited about the indoor activity.  

Special thanks to our hosts at Chaffey HS: Joe Enriquez and Mario Corona.

Auditions continue this Sunday, September 25th and there are still a few spots up for grabs in all sections.  

DSP Vet Blake Dimas PC: S. Woodard

DSP Vet Blake Dimas

PC: S. Woodard

Tenor Auditions with Vets Peter Launier & Zack Palmer PC: S.Woodard

Tenor Auditions with Vets Peter Launier & Zack Palmer

PC: S.Woodard

Front Ensemble Auditions with Vets Angel Abonza, Tyler Miller & Tia Barrera PC: S. Woodard

Front Ensemble Auditions with Vets Angel Abonza, Tyler Miller & Tia Barrera

PC: S. Woodard

Snare Auditions PC: Robert Batorski

Snare Auditions

PC: Robert Batorski

Gear For Sale

We have lots of gear for sale.  Do you need an Adams marimba or vibe at a good price?  The marimbas are rosewood on field frames and will make your group sound terrific!  We are selling the keyboards individually and our Pearl battery as a full set.  Our battery has a season of DCI (Phantom) and a season if WGI (us) on them.  The drums are in great shape with some wear showing on the hardware (brushed black) but no issues with the shells or rims.  You can buy the set with or without carriers (stands are not included.)  The drums look fantastic with or without the ON2 wraps.  

We also have our 2016 Call of The Wild digital tarp and MRa Couture outfits for sale.  You can message us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/darkskypercussion/ or email: darkskypercussion.info@gmail.com

 

See something you want?  Contact: darkskypercussion.info@gmail.com

See something you want?  Contact: darkskypercussion.info@gmail.com

Staff Even Stronger in 2017

In 2016 we had our strongest staff to date and 2017 is even stronger.  Almost our entire crew is returning with a few additions and changes that we are excited to share with you.

Starting with the battery staff vets, Miguel GuaderramaGeorge Collins and Jared Andrews. In 2017 Miguel will step up to the Battery Caption Head after two years as our tenor instructor.  George has been on staff for three seasons and will be the 2017 Program Coordinator.  Jared returns for his fourth DSP season as our battery arranger and consultant.

The battery staff also returns Matt Padilla and Matt Ponce (snares), Caleb Gasteiger (basses) and Pablo Rodriguez (cymbals).  Joining Pablo and the plates will be Arturo Juarez.  

Returning to our Front Ensemble staff will be Dalia Berman, Jesse Hirakawa and Jon Mleynek.  This terrific team will be joined by Jackson Lai.  Jackson teaches at Ayala HS and spent his summer with the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets.  We welcome his experience and passion for the marching arts.

Joining Tanner Woodard for his 10th season, will be Peter Beckhart and newcomer Ted Chang.  Ted sharpened his marching chops with Pacific Crest, the Blue Devils and RCC Indoor Percussion.  

Our design staff of Co-Directors Seth Woodard, Sharon Woodard (with 35 years of combined experience) will return visual designers Jaime Holly and Peter Beckhart for their second year.   This season, we are also excited to collaborate with indoor legend, Ike Jackson who is joining our design team for the first time.  

 

DCI Wraps An Exciting Season

Despite being an indoor percussion organization, Dark Sky enjoys following the DCI season and we are especially proud of our vets and instructors who spent their summer honing their skills to an even higher level.

Congratulations to the Silver Medalist Blue Devils organization and Dark Sky vets Blake Dimas and Steven Takeda! Congrats also goes to Blue Devil staff: Jaime Holly and Peter Beckhart, returning to the DSP staff in 2017 for their second year along with Battery Arranger Jared Andrews for his fourth season.

We also followed The Cavaliers finishing 5th with a strong 94.025.  We're proud of DSP vets Peter Launier and age-out Cameron Figueroa who's also getting married in a week - CONGRATS CAMERON! 

We're looking forward to seeing bass instructor Caleb Gasteiger back again joking his way through our season 10 after his busy summer with Blue Stars visual staff.  Speaking of Bluuuuuue  we can't forget a Gold medal shout out to DSP vet Lorenzo Everett who killed it all summer with the Bluecoats! 

It is with special fondness that we congratulate The Academy from Tempe, AZ for their first performance in DCI finals!  We have a special connection with the A-team since Dark Sky's first 5 seasons were in AZ.  They came through big time for us loaning equipment until we were able to own all of our own.  We reciprocated by hosting them in Page, AZ for a week plus over the past 5 seasons.  Page is a small town but it's home to the Woodard clan and 10 DSP alumni. 

So congrats to Mark Richardson's Academy, our own Melony Robinson and Dark Sky cymbal instructor, Travis Guinta.  We'll have more to say on Mr. Ike Jackson as well, but for now, we'll say, "Way to Go" to the "Heat-Forged" crew from Arizona.

There were also lots of Semi-finalists among our ranks and we're proud of their efforts and hope they all had a memorable summer: Joselyne Grace, Joseph Damian, Edgar Chavez, Matt Miller, Ricky Gil de Montes, Zack, Palmer, William Musik, Angel Abonza, Justin Page, Katherine Quesada, Conrad Alumia, JV Villarreal, Kenny Duran, Christian Blydt-Hansen, Shea Snyder and Corin Uchuion. 

Staff members also on the DCI road this summer: Pablo Rodriguez, Miguel Guaderrama, Matt Ponce, Dalia Berman and Brandon Amaral. Although not on the trail, our Battery Zen Master, George Collins was keeping everyone informed all summer curating the Drumline and Drum Corps Videos Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/308399349249405/ 

Rest up everyone - we're only a month away from Indoor Auditions! 

Cymbal Meditation: Matt Miller, Joseph Damian, Pablo Rodriguez & Joselyne Grace

Cymbal Meditation: Matt Miller, Joseph Damian, Pablo Rodriguez & Joselyne Grace

Blake Dimas & Peter Launier celebrating after Finals

Blake Dimas & Peter Launier celebrating after Finals

DSP Tenors win Open Class Gold with BDB

Zack Palmer and William Mitsuk are DCI vets marching this summer on the Blue Devil B tenor line.  Zack and William first marched together this Spring in the DSP "Call of The Wild" show.  

Zack is a West Ranch HS graduate and marched last summer with the Mandarins.  He's attending College of the Canyons and enjoys transcribing tenor music in his free time.

William is a San Marcos HS graduate and is now a battery tech for his alma mater. He's also taught at LaCumbre Junior HS and is a sound tech at Calvary Baptist Church in Santa Barbara.  William marched with DSP vet, Peter Launier on the 2015 Pacific Crest tenor line.

Congrats to Zack and William on earning the Open Class Gold! 

 

Zack Palmer

Zack Palmer

William Mitsuk

William Mitsuk

Bass Drummers Headed to Indy

Two-year DSP vet, Melony Robinson is marching bass 4 with The Academy this summer.  The Academy's new slogan is "Heat Forged" and they certainly are burning up the scores earning their organization's highest score to date (88.55) in Allentown, PA.

Melony got her marching start at the Palisades Charter HS where she was first a member of the trumpet section, later their drum major and drummed all 4 years in their indoor program.  She is currently a geology major at Cal State University Northridge.  

Melony recognizes Jeremy Miller, Frank Connelly, Arwen Hernandez, Sean McDermott, Otto Peralta,  and DSP instructors, Caleb Gastieger and George Collins as "incredible teachers" that she looks up to and is quick to appreciate all they have taught her on her marching journey. When she's not marching, Melony enjoys learning songs on the ukulele and taking dance classes.

Edgar Chavez is marching his first DCI season with the Mandarins.  Edgar takes on the bottom bass duties for both WGI and DCI seasons. He started his marching career at Downey HS and is a 3-year vet of the Dark Sky bass line.  Like his DSP bass pal, Blake Dimas, Edgar is attending Long Beach City College.  His plan is to earn his AA in Administration of Justice and then a BA in Criminal Justice.  Better follow the law around this guy or you may see him in court some day!

Edgar appreciates the support of his family and girlfriend and the strong influence of the Dark Sky members and staff.  We wish Edgar a great time at this first DCI Championships this coming week!

Melony Robinson PC: Damien Masterson

Melony Robinson

PC: Damien Masterson

Edgar Chavez PC: Megan Callahan

Edgar Chavez

PC: Megan Callahan

Melony and Edgar in the lot

Melony and Edgar in the lot

DSP Snares on the Go

Let's check in with some Dark Sky snare drummers marching this summer:

Christian Blydt-Hansen and Kenny Duran are marching on the Pacific Crest snare line. Christian is a Fountain Valley HS graduate and now studies Computer Science at Cal State Long Beach.  He marched PC in 2014 and 2015 and is the center snare this season. He has also been teaching at his alma mater during those same years.  Good thing Christian stays so busy - we hear he drinks 4 glasses of chocolate milk a day! Better keep marching Christian!

Kenny was on the 2016 DSP Snareline with Christian and is marching next to him at Pacific Crest.  Since graduating from Lakewood HS, Kenny is attending Long Beach City College where he is a pre-nursing major.  This is Kenny's second summer with PC and before Dark Sky, he marched a season of indoor with Elan Percussion.  Best of luck to Kenny and Christian as they march across the country performing "Union Pacific".  

Ricky Gil de Montes is marching this summer with the Oregon Crusaders after a summer with Gold '15 and Impulse in 2014.  Ricky is a Whittier HS graduate and is now a music performance major at Cal State University LA.  When Ricky is not marching he enjoys going to the gym to "get swole" - watch out world! 

There's only 10 days left to follow your favorite DCI corps and support the hard working members traveling throughout the country.   

Christian Blydt-Hansen  PC: Pedro Rodriguez

Christian Blydt-Hansen 

PC: Pedro Rodriguez

Kenny Duran and Grandmother

Kenny Duran and Grandmother

Ricky Gil de Montes

Ricky Gil de Montes