Ryan Johnson

Photo_JohnsonRyan_RevRyan Johnson
Technique Specialist and Visual Instructor

RYAN JOHNSON was born in Mesa, Arizona, and currently attends Mesa Community College pursuing a degree in music education.

He began marching and playing the euphonium in 2003, starting with the Academy Brass and Percussion Ensemble.  The next seven years Ryan spent with the organization performing in every competitive Academy performance from 2003 through 2009, aging out as The Academy’s first euphonium section leader and horn sergeant of the corps.

Ryan has been teaching marching band since 2006, and teaches and writes drill for a number of marching bands in Arizona.  Along with marching band Ryan teaches the visual program for winter drumlines at the junior high, high school, and WGI World level.

Bill Fritz

Photo_FritzBillBill Fritz
Visual Caption Head

BILL FRITZ is an alumnus of Upland High School in Upland, CA, where he graduated in 2003. Although he began his musical career as a saxophonist, Bill spent his time in the marching band as a mellophone player. After high school, he performed with Pacific Crest in 2003, 2004, and 2006. He then performed with the Blue Devils, where he aged out in 2007.

Bill is a sought-after visual and music instructor for high schools in southern California area, most notably at Ayala, Chino Hills, and Upland. Prior to joining teaching at Pacific Crest in 2013, Bill taught three seasons as a visual instructor for The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.

Outside of drum corps, Bill is actively engaged in the field of Wind Band Conducting. He is currently a Graduate Assistant in Instrumental Conducting at California State University, Fullerton, under the direction of Dr. Mitchell J. Fennell, where he conducts the University Band, Symphonic Winds, and University Wind Symphony. Before beginning his graduate studies, Bill earned a B.A. in Music Education, a B.M. in Saxophone Performance, and a single-subject teaching credential from CSU, Fullerton, under the tutelage of L.A. Philharmonic Saxophonist, James Rotter.

Neechelle Takinen

Photo_TakinenNeechelleNeechelle Takinen
Movement Specialist and Visual Intern

NEECHELLE TAKINEN was born and raised in Arizona. She’s been dancing for nearly 20 years, performing with Take 5 Dance Academy and appearing a number of times in the Russian Nutcracker and the Snow Queen Ballets.

Since high school, Neechelle has performed with Mosaic Indoor Percussion, Dark Sky Percussion, the Arizona State University (ASU) Sun Devil Marching Band, Arizona State Indoor, and Pacific Crest.

Neechelle began teaching dance at a young age and went on to work with many Arizona high school marching programs (including Apollo and Perry) teaching visual movement, color guard, cymbals, and flute. She is currently a student at Arizona State University, studying for a dual certificate in early childhood education and special education.

David Reaver

Photo_ReaverDavidDavid Reaver
Visual Instructor

DAVID REAVER began playing trumpet at the age of 7. While attending Patriot High School, he performed as a trumpet soloist at Pacific Crest from 2007-2009. He went on to perform as a trumpet and flugelhorn soloist for The Blue Devils from 2010-2013, and won three consecutive solo DCI I & E titles. David also performed for five years  for The Walt Disney Company.

David’s teaching experience includes visual, music, and percussion instruction at Patriot High School, Ayala High School, and Riverside Community College. His performance and teaching experiences have provided opportunities for him to travel  across the US, as well internationally to Malaysia, Taiwan, Guatemala, the UK, and Spain.

David holds his Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, with research experience in machine learning and artificial intelligence, from UC Riverside. He currently works as a mechanical and software engineer, creating simulation software for energy companies.

Rudy Ruiz

Photo_RuizRudyRudy Ruiz
Visual Caption Head

From Covina, California, RUDY RUIZ was performed on contrabass with Pacific Crest from 2008-2009 and Cavaliers from 2010-2011.

Rudy has taught the visual programs at several high school bands in Southern California including, South Hills, Azusa, Gahr, Sunny Hills, and is currently teaching at Monrovia, Gladstone, and La Canada High Schools as visual caption head. Rudy has served as a tech on the visual staff of Pacific Crest from 2012-2015 and moved into an Assistant Caption Head role for 2016-2017. In addition to teaching Pacific Crest, Rudy also had the privilege of teaching on the Cavaliers visual staff from 2013-2015.

When he’s not teaching bands or drum corps, Rudy works as a freelance Cinematographer, Camera Assistant/Operator, Production Assistant, and Editor on independent features, short films, and music videos in Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kevin Ronan

Photo_RonanKevinKevin Ronan
Brass Consultant/Breathing Specialist

KEVIN RONAN is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he earned his Bachelors in Music Education and Masters in Music Performance. While a student at ASU, he studied with Sam Pilafian, world-renowned pedagogue and co-author of “The Breathing Gym”. Kevin also served on the instructional staff of the ASU Athletic Band Department for five years, where he worked closely with another one of his mentors, James G. Hudson.

Mr. Ronan currently resides in Lewisville, TX where he is a private lesson instructor at Marcus High School. In addition to his private lesson responsibilities, he works with the Marcus Marching Band and Concert Bands. Kevin is also in his seventh year as a brass instructor for The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. Prior to teaching The Blue Devils, he was a member of the hornline and served as tuba section leader.

In demand as a brass and breathing clinician, Kevin has presented clinics and masterclasses across the United States, as well as in Malaysia, Taiwan, and Guatemala. When not busy with his teaching schedule, he arranges music for marching bands and other ensembles.