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

Our DCI Drum Majors

Dark Sky has two 2016 members directing drum corps this summer:  Corin Uchuion from the DSP pit is a Pacific Crest drum major and cymbal vet Joselyne Grace is leading at Santa Clara Vanguard C.

Joselyne is a busy young lady!  She is 2-year vet of our cymbal line and has been a drum major since her high school years at Heritage HS.  Joselyne was a DM with Gold '12-14 and is now enjoying an exciting summer with SCVC.   She was originally a trumpet player marching the 2015 summer in the Blue Devil B trumpet section.  When not in journalism classes at San Diego State University, Joselyne works on the Woodbridge visual staff and modeling for MRa Couture.  She's a marching arts vet and it shows!

Corin Uchuion is a graduate from Buena High School in Ventura, CA.  She began her college career studying music education at Washington State University, but has put her studies on hold to concentrate on her participation in the DCI and WGI activities. She believes that California is the heart of the marching percussion activity and so she moved back to CA to learn as much as she can before aging out.  Corin played vibes (2014) and marimba (2015) in the PC front ensemble before taking on the role of drum major this summer.  2016 was Corin's first season in a PIW ensemble and her first visit to the WGI Championships in Dayton.  We wish her well during her DCI tour with the PC crew.

Joselyne Grace PC: Pedro Rodriguez

Joselyne Grace PC: Pedro Rodriguez

Corin Uchuion  PC: Russell Tanakaya

Corin Uchuion  PC: Russell Tanakaya

Blake, Bass and Blue Devils

Blake Dimas has traveled a path from the Dark Sky cymbal section of 2014 to the Blue Devils bass drum line.  He formally marched Bass Drum 4 at Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, Bass 4 at The Academy, Bass 4 for the DSP '15 indoor season and Bass 2 this past winter in "The Call of the Wild".  His summer is now filled with Bass 4 beats with the World Champion Blue Devils and their program titled "As Dreams Are Made On."  

In addition to contributing musically to Dark Sky's first performance in PIW finals, Blake has emerged as a true leader on and off the floor.  He is a 2014 graduate of Lakewood HS and now studies Political Science at Long Beach City College.

Blake wants to give a Shout Out to his family for supporting his musical journey and Dark Sky "for teaching me everything I know." We wish Blake all the best this summer and many more successful experiences in the marching arts!

Pacific Crest & DSP Pit Share DNA

There's a strong connection between the Pacific Crest and Dark Sky organizations with many PC front ensemble vets coming to the 2016 Dark Sky season and now returning to PC for the summer DCI season.  We appreciate these talented members and staff members:

ANGEL ABONZA is a 3-year vet of the Dark Sky front ensemble playing vibes for 2 and marimba in 2016.  He's been a member of the Gold organization in '14, Mandarins in '15 and is performing this season with the Pacific Crest marimba line. Angel went to high school at Colony HS and is a member of the RCC Fall front ensemble from 2013-15 . . . and he's double-jointed!

JUSTIN PAGE was new to DSP in 2016.  He has been a member of the 2014 Watchmen and the Pacific Crest front ensemble in 2015 & 2016 on marimba.  Justin graduated from Riverside King HS and is currently attending RCC as a nursing major.  If you meet him on tour, bring him his favorite food - sushi!

JV VILLARREAL is holding down the xylophone position for the PC front ensemble this summer.  He graduated from Clovis West HS and is a music education major at Cal State University in Fresno.  His marching experiences include the Blue Devils B in 2013 and Winterguard in 2014.  He used to get paid to take high school Senior photos, but now he's probably too busy practicing!

KATHERINE (KAT) QUESADA is playing marimba in the PC pit this summer.  She's a music ed major at RCC and graduated from Riverside King HS.  Kat was also a member of the RCC Fall front ensemble and actually "enjoys studying music theory."  Anyone need a tutor?

There is also a staff connection for Dark Sky Pit and Pacific Crest:

DALIA BERMAN went to West Ranch HS, CSU Northridge and CalArts as a percussion major.  Dalia's marching arts experience includes Velvet Knights, Mandarins, The Academy, Phantom Regiment, Full Force Percussion and Pulse Percussion. Dalia is currently instructing at Hart HS, Etiwanda HS, Arroyo HS, Colony HS, in addition to Dark Sky and PC.  She's a strong, creative instructor and an asset to both the PC and DSP organizations. 

BRANDON AMARAL is an Applied Mathematics major who loves to play and teach keyboards.  He marched at Chino Hills HS and was a member of the RCC Marching Tigers, The Academy (2011-12), Madison Scouts (2013) and RCC Indoor from 2012-14.  In addition to Dark Sky '16, Brandon has taught at POW Percussion, Mandarins, Pacifica HS, Arroyo HS, Charter Oak HS and Los Altos HS and is currently working with the RCC Tigers, Diamond Bar HS, San Bernardino City USD and Chavez MS. Now that's a busy guy!  Oh yea and he used to raise prize-winning budgerigars (that's a parakeet, who knew?)  He should keep them safe because Dalia's favorite animal is a cheetah. 

The Dark Sky team wishes the Pacific Crest organization a terrific summer of musical joy and look forward to continuing a strong relationship in the future.  PC battery member profiles coming soon

Left to right: Brandon Amaral, JV Villarreal, Justin Page, Angel Abonza, Kat Quesada, 2015 DSP Vet, Conrad Alumia and Dalia Berman

Left to right: Brandon Amaral, JV Villarreal, Justin Page, Angel Abonza, Kat Quesada, 2015 DSP Vet, Conrad Alumia and Dalia Berman

A Father & Son Corps Connection

2015 & '16 Dark Sky tenor, Peter Launier, is marching this summer with the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps.  He follows in his father, Shawn Launier's, footsteps who marched his age-out season with the Cavies's rifle line in 1985.  

This is Peter's 3rd DCI season, having marched 2014 with California Open Class Gold Drum and Bugle Corps and 2015 with the World Class Pacific Crest battery.  Peter went to West Ranch HS in Stevenson Ranch, CA.  His director was Jason Marshall and his drum instructors were Julio Diaz and Curtis Hook.  While on the Dark Sky tenor line, Peter has been instructed by Blue Devil alumni, Miguel Guaderrama.

Peter will be a Junior Geology major this Fall at CSUN and still has two seasons left before aging out of DCI.  He also is a meme boss.

A shout out also goes to Cavalier center marimba Cameron Figueroa who marched 4 seasons with Dark Sky and 1 with MCM.  Good Luck this summer to both of these talented Cavaliers!