Staff Changes for 2009

Pacific Crest is pleased to announce instructional staff changes for the 2009 season.


Ariel Campos, Front Ensemble

Stuart Pompel, Executive Director and Front Ensemble Arranger, is stepping down from his arranging duties to concentrate more time as Executive Director. Ariel Campos will take over as Front Ensemble Arranger and Instructor. He will be joined by Susan Willmering, who has been teaching the front ensemble since 2006.

Ariel is a music educator and freelance percussionist living in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge with a B.M. in Percussion Performance. His diverse musical background includes performances with artists and groups such as Country Pop Duo Brooks and Dunn, singers Gloria Loring, and Boca Rosa. He has performed with jazz musicians Louie Cruz Beltran, Sal Cracchiolo, Sheila E., Peter Michael Escovedo, and conga master Francisco Aguabella. He has also been a member of The Young Musician’s Foundation Debut Orchestra, The Pasadena Young Musicians Orchestra, and the American Youth Symphony. Campos was a member of The Blue Devils from 1995 – 1998, and he was an original cast member of the Tony and Emmy award winning musical “Blast!” which premiered in London.

As a solo percussionist he has been featured in concerts and recitals with California State University Northridge Wind Ensemble and the Union High School Percussion Ensemble in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also participated in the 2006 International Marimba Competition in Linz, Austria. Mr. Campos can be heard as a featured musician on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the 2007 film “Bella.”

As an Instructor he has arranged and instructed for Yamato Drum And Bugle Corps, and a number of notable school programs in Southern California, including Hart High School and Diamond Bar High School.


Ben Contreras, Color Guard Caption Head

Long-time instructor and alumnae, Stephanie Colby, is leaving Pacific Crest after five years of teaching to pursue professional opportunities at Disney. Ben Contreras will take her place as Color Guard Coordinator, building upon the success that Stephanie and her staff have built these past few years.

Ben began his color guard performance career with Spin This (1996) and Es Dee Productions. He performed with the Santa Clara Vanguard (1998-1999), Fantasia (1999-2003), and Corona (2005). He was also a cast member of Disney's California Adventure version of Blast!

Contreras's teaching credits include The Colts, The Academy, and a number of notable high school programs, including Riverside King and Rancho Buena Vista. He is currently the Artistic Director for Lealta Winter Guard from San Diego, and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC).


Chris Cowling, Marching Caption Head

Chris Cowling is a member of the PC Visual Staff, and a past drum major. Caption Head Adrian Rivas will be devoting less time to Pacific Crest in 2009 in order to take on more responsibility as Principal Business Analyst at Disney Enterprise, IT.

Chris has been a marching band instructor since graduating from Jurupa Valley High School. He served as Drum Major for Pacific Crest from 2001 to 2005. He credits his experience at PC for inspiring him to teach at the high school level.

Cowling has worked with a number of local high school programs, including Patriot, Jurupa, Diamond Bar, Los Altos, and Vista Murrieta. The 2009 season will be Chris's third season on the corps' instructional staff. He looks forward to using his knowledge and love the drum corps activity to build upon the foundation set by Adrian and the 2008 visual staff.