Program Designers, Arrangers, and Caption Managers

Ike Jackson

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 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, 30 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. 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.Ayala Band and Colorguard Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps Percussion Arranger/Drill Designer Share On

Mario Ramirez

Creative Director / Color Guard Caption Manager / Choreographer / Designer

Mario originally from Kansas City Missouri and now a resident of Chino hills, California has a true passion for the performing arts. While still in high school, he began his instructional career as a choreographer for multiple groups in Southern California. Soon after, his passion for creating led him to directing groups in Southern California as well as designing, choreographing, and consulting for groups in Texas, Indiana, and Northern California. In 2006, he founded Diamante Winterguard. In 2008, Diamante won the WGI Independent Open Class silver medal. They have since been a seven-time Independent World Class finalist. In 2016, Diamante had two competitive units and placed seventh in both the Independent World and Independent Open classifications. Mario is currently the director, choreographer, and a designer for Diamante World, Ayala high school Scholastic world.Mario received a major in apparel manufacturing and fashion design from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.) In 2002, he founded M.Ra Couture, a costuming company that currently creates and designs costumes for numerous color guards, drum lines, dance teams, and marching bands across the country, including WGI World Class percussion champions Ayala HS, WGI Scholastic World Guard James Logan HS, and WGI Independent finalist Diamante World and Open. Drum Corp credits include: Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps (2004 Division II Finalist), Mystikal Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005 and 2008, Impulse (2006 DCI Division III gold medalist, as well as the high auxiliary winner), and Gold Drum and Bugle Corps as a designer and color guard caption head from 2011-2013. He is currently the Artistic Director, Colorguard Caption, Designer, and choreographer for Mandarins drum and bugle corps.Performance credits include: Nogales High School percussion and color guard, Mt. Sac Dance Program, Solution Performance Ensemble, Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps, Pacific Crest World Guard, Yamato Drum and Bugle Corps, RCC Marching Tigers, Fantasia Winterguard, and Diamante Winterguard.Mario is very active in the pageantry community. He currently holds a seat in both the WGI and WGASC Color Guard Advisory Boards. To further share his creativity and passion he does Design Clinician commentary for WGASC. He currently instructs, designs, choreographs, and consults for multiple programs in California and Texas as a Color Guard Caption Head and Creative Director for Paramount HS, Color Guard Caption Head and Creative Director for Ayala HS, Designer and Choreographer for WGI gold medalist Stockdale HS, and the Creative Director, Designer, Color Guard Caption Head and Choreographer for the 2018 Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps.

Key Poulan

Key Poulan

Brass Arranger

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, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Mandarins, Caballeros, Spartans, 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, has several concert band works to his credit, and recently scored the film “On The Starting Line”. 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 premiered at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.Formal Education: Key Poulan graduated from Marshall High School in Marshall, Texas in 1980 after starting band in Lindale Texas. Key received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from East Texas State University (currently Texas A & M – Commerce) in 1985 and had the opportunity of studying under many fine educators including: Gary Hill, Dave Ward, Dr. Robert Houston, and Dr. Gene Lockhart. Key studied trombone under the late Dr. Neill Humfeld and composition with Dr. Ronald Yates and Dr. Margaret Wheat at ETSU. Key also credits his success to his mentors: Philip Geiger, Bill Watson, Eddie Green, Dr. Lawrence Sutherland, Dr. Gary Gilroy, Dr. Jerry Payne, Melvin Reddic, Hubert “Butch” Almany and the person who started him on trombone in the 5th grade – Jasper Huff.Drum Corps Experience: Key was fortunate enough to audition for the Concord Blue Devils and be selected to the baritone line in 1983. As a fan of Wayne Downey’s electrifying writing style, Key spent time studying Wayne’s work and assisted him in lifting tunes during the 1983 Blue Devils’ season. Since 1985, Key has become an integral part of the Drum Corps International and Drum Corps Associates community.

Benjamin Pyles

Battery Arranger / Percussion Caption Manager

Benjamin Pyles is currently the Director of Athletic Percussion at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Previously, Ben majored in music education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Lamar University, with a primary focus in Percussion. His most intensive studies came under the direction of Chris Hestin, Mike Macintosh, Travis Fife, and Michael Kingan.Ben has several years of World Class performing, design, and instructional experience, including the Glassmen from Toledo, OH; Bluecoats from Canton, OH; The Crossmen from San Antonio, TX; Spirit of Atlanta from Atlanta, GA; Colts from Dubuque, IA; and Monarch Independent from Houston, TX. Ben currently serves as the Percussion Caption Head and Designer for the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps from Sacramento, CA.Ben is endorsed by Sabian Cymbals, Innovative Percussion Inc. and Pearl and Adams Percussion.

Bryan Harmsen

Front Ensemble Arranger

Bryan is the owner of Visaudio Designs, a company specializing in design for the pageantry arts. He has designed for a number of ensembles in the United States, East Asia, and Europe, and his arrangements and compositions have helped ensembles earn numerous gold medals in their local circuits as well as 13 WGI Percussion medals and many more finalists. Some of his more notable current and past clients are Monarch Independent, Burleson Centennial HS, Clear Brook HS, Pioneer Indoor, and ED White HS. Most recently, he was the front ensemble arranger and electronics designer for The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, and was a marching member of Spirit of Atlanta, Southwind, and The Cavaliers. Bryan is also the voice and instructor behind Virtual Drumline Demystified, a tutorial series for the Virtual Drumline sound library from Tapspace Publications. While not working on music, Bryan also dabbles in graphic design, photography, enjoys spending time outdoors, and has an affinity for all things on the leading edge of technology. He proudly endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Innovative Percussion, and Remo Drumheads, and currently resides in Carrollton, Georgia with his wife Emily and their pack of dogs and cats.

Peter Beckhart

Drill Writer

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 for Ayala High School, Coronado High School (El Paso, TX), James Martin High School (Arlington, TX) and many other fall programs across the country. Peter is also a sought after choreographer for some of the most established 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 18-time World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps since 2013. He is also the visual 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.

Edward "Beno" Morris

Edward "Beno" Morris

Sound Consultant / Coordinator

Beno has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has been consulting for Drum Corps since 1987 with Velvet Knights, Impulse, Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets and with The Academy from 2013-2018. He has also consulted with numerous marching bands in Indiana, Michigan, Texas, and Florida. Also, the Winter Percussion groups North Coast Academy and Cavalier Indoor.His experience with sound design started with Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, where he was part of the sound crew for concerts, park shows (Bugs Bunny) and special events. From there he joined he joined Swank Audio Visual in Palm Springs, here he worked with named artists such as Lionel Richie, Patti Labelle, Madonna, Henry Connick Jr., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Styx, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, WWF, Miss Teen USA and Coachella Music Festival and numerous other artists.During his teen years and early 20’s he was a member of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps playing bass drum from 1978-1984.In November 2012, Beno was lucky to be the recipient of a new heart, he attributes his return to Drum Corps to Ike Jackson, Mark Eichenberger and Cisco Hance and thanks them for their confidence.Beno is excited to join the staff of the Mandarins, hoping he can bring new ideas and use his extensive knowledge to enhance their sound.

Tim Snyder

Brass Caption Manager

Tim is a freelance arranger/composer, educator & adjudicator. His music has been performed on concert stages and football fields all across America. Tim is in-demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the country in brass pedagogy.In 2018, Tim took over the Mandarins brass program guiding them to a top 12 finish, making drum corps history, not only with the Mandarins, but within the drum corps community. In 2019, the Mandarins returned to DCI Finals, this time with more accolades and record breaking achievements. The highest 10th place score in DCI history, first time a new finalist has returned to finals the following year in 19 years. Mandarins achieved BOX5 in 2019 as a brass program for the first time in their history. Tim is excited to be a part of the Mandarin organization and looks forward to being a part of their success in the years to come.In 2017, Tim was the brass caption manager of the Oregon Crusaders. Oregon had the largest brass turnout in corps history. While at Oregon Tim was instrumental in setting new standards for the Oregon Crusader organization.As the former brass caption manager of America's Corps, The Troopers. Tim oversaw the resurgence of the Troopers to national prominence just missing Drum Corps International Finals by a mere .15 points in 2013 and saw the Troopers brass program to a top 12 finish in 2014 & 2015. The Troopers continued to grow as a brass team through the 2016 season, which some have said, this is the finest Troopers hornline in history.Tim has learned from some of the best educators in the world; Arnold Jacobs, Donnie VanDoren, Marc Whitlock, Jon Vanderkoff, Thom Hannum, Nick Angelis, Matt Harloff, Ben Harloff, Dennis Johnson, Earle Louder, Ray Conklin, Richard Miles, Nick Williams and many more.Tim is currently writing for a DCA Class A Corps in Cincinnati, Ohio - Cincinnati Tradition - They are a 4-time DCA Class A Finalist, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017. Earning Back-to-Back Class A Championships (2016 & 2017) along with high brass and GE awards in both seasons.As a tuba tech at Carolina Crown, Tim oversaw the return of the 16-person tuba line to the field since the 1992 Star of Indiana. He wasn't done there; in 2010 & 2011 Tim was at the helm of the first ever 20-person tuba line at the Madison Scouts. Tim has had the pleasure of teaching some of the best tuba lines in the history of activity and many of his students have gone on to teach at the highest levels of the activity.Tim and his wife founded BOX5 Media. At BOX5 we focus solely on the pageantry arts offering audio and video productions that we feel match our love for the arts. BOX5 has recorded some of the best music ensembles in the world. BOX5 is the go to media company for Drum Corps International, Drum Corps Associates, Winter Guard International, North American Brass Band Association and many other state music associations.

Joseph Hayes

Visual Caption Manager

Joseph is a San Diego native that has been teaching the marching arts in Southern California since 2008 ranging from divisions 1A-6A. He has helped many schools achieve success in the marching activity. Joseph is currently the Visual Caption Head at Chula Vista and Mira Mesa High School and the Visual Consultant for Dickinson ISD in Houston, Texas. Aside from the 3 schools he currently works with, he also enjoys being a consultant for many programs needing assistance with any and all aspects of the activity. His drum corps performance experience includes The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011. During his rare moments of free time, Joseph enjoys dogs, mixed martial arts, baseball and ice cream. This is Joseph's 7th year with The Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps and he is incredibly excited for what the future holds.

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