Jesse Hirakawa

Jesse Hirakawa
Front Ensemble Instructor

JESSE HIRAKAWA grew up in Southern California and graduated from South Torrance High School in 2007. He is currently teaching San Marino, Valencia and Los Alamitos High School; and is on the staff at Pulse Percussion as an instructor of their Open Class program.

Jesse began his Drum Corps experience with Yamato Drum and Bugle Corps in 2006, and aged out with the Bluecoats in 2010. He also performed with Pulse Percussion from 2008 to 2011.

Jesse is attending Cal Poly Pomona, working on his Bachelor’s of Science in Landscape Architecture.

Brandon Kovacic

Photo_KovacicBraondonBrandon Kovacic
Outreach Coordinator and Cymbal Instructor

BRANDON KOVACIC has performed and taught for a number of notable groups in Southern California. In addition to spending four years with Pacific Crest, he has represented the Tournament of Roses in Shanghai, China, for the Shanghai Tourism Festival. Brandon has taught at Pacific Crest since 2007 and has a day job working for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

Brandon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Industries Studies from Cal Poly Pomona.

Brian Stockard

Photo_StockardBrian_RevBrian Stockard
Percussion Manager and Snare Instructor

BRIAN STOCKARD is originally from Hacienda Heights, California.  His music studies began in the third grade with the trumpet, and then moved to the guitar in middle school, and eventually to percussion in high school. His drum corps experience includes Pacific Crest (1996, 1997, 1999) and The Cadets, where he aged out in 2000. Brian also performed at San Diego State University from 1997 – 1999, under the direction of Brian Ransom.  He was fortunate enough to be a part of Pacific Crest’s undefeated 1999 season, as well as The Cadets DCI Championship in 2000.

In addition to marching percussion, Brian has performed with a number of production companies.  He toured internationally with Recycled Percussion, and has performed at theme parks throughout the United States, He works as a freelance consultant and director with SRO Productions, Windish Music Productions, and The Esse Alaris Company.

A sought-after consultant, clinician, and arranger in the Northeast, Brian is on staff with two WGI indoor percussion programs: Mechanicsburg high school, based out of Mechanicsburg, PA, and Cadets Winter Percussion, based out of Allentown, PA.

Brian points to a number of teachers who have inspired him, including Dave Henkel, Stuart Pompel, Mark Gunderson, Tom Aungst, Eric Ward, and Willy Higgins.  He’s also been inspired by the players with whom he’s performed and the students he’s taught, whose passion continue to inspire him. Brian holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Higher Education with an emphasis in Academic and Student Support.

Brian resides in Mechanicsburg, PA, with his wife Megan and their two children, Emma and Owen.

“I am excited to continue my involvement with my drum corps family, Pacific Crest.  Guiding students through the life changing experience that PC offers is a thrill for me.  I’m honored to be a part of this great organization.”

Andrew Bill

Photo_BillAndrew_Rev2Andrew Bill
Percussion Caption Supervisor

ANDREW BILL is from Minneapolis, MN, where he studied under Elliot Fine,  Principal Percussionist for the Minnesota Orchestra.  Upon relocating to Texas, he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas.  While at UNT, he studied marimba performance under She-E Wu, Dr. Robert Schietroma, and Leigh Howard Stevens.  Bill was a member of the Wind Symphony under the direction of Eugene Corporon and a member of the P.A.S. Champion “A” Drum line. In 1994 he traveled to Ghana, West Africa to study Ewe tribal drumming with Gideon Foli Aliwoye and the late master drummer Godwin Agbeli.

Andrew has been a staff member for Yamaha Sounds of Summer and The University of North Texas Drum Line Camps.  He has performed in numerous Disney productions under the direction of Charles Jones, and has worked with the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of North Texas Percussion Programs, as well as the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio.

Bill served as the Percussion Coordinator for the Northwest Independent School District in Ft. Worth, TX from 2002-2009, and is an active clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas, California, and the Southwest.  He currently instructs the Santa Monica, Mira Costa and Los Angeles High Schools, and is a regular artist and instructor for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Harmony Projects under the direction of Los Angeles Philharmonic Conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Andy is a regular collaborator and performer in the L.A. Based modern music collective Wild Up, and holds endorsement agreements with Vic Firth, Remo, Mapex and Majestic percussion.

 

Pete Sapadin

Pete Sapadin
Percussion Arranger

Andrew Bill

PETE SAPADIN is a marching percussion specialist based in Southern California, who excels at teaching his students the skills necessary to perform at the highest levels in the marching activity. Mr. Sapadin performed with the Velvet Knights in 1987 and 1988 under Matt Savage, and went on to play snare drum for the Concord Blue Devils in 1989 and 1990 under Tom Float, and the Cadets of Bergen County in 1991, under Tom Aungst.

He served as head battery instructor for the Velvet Knights in 1992, and later took the reins as the Percussion Caption Head/Arranger for The Troopers from Casper, Wyoming, 2002-2004. He’s also taught the Riverside Community College Indoor Drumline, 2004 – 2010, and was Caption Head/Arranger for Yamato Drum & Bugle Corps in 2005.

Pete is currently the Program Coordinator and Composer/Arranger for Orange County Independent (WGI Open Class), and percussion arranger and instructor at Murrieta Valley H.S., and Glen A. Wilson H.S.  He is a highly sought after clinician and proud to be a Vic Firth Education Artist and a Remo Education Artist. With several years of experience teaching and performing in various ensembles from Anaheim, CA, Orlando, FL, New York and Tokyo, Mr. Sapadin brings real world experience to his students and does so with his unique and engaging style. As a percussion teacher, writer and adjudicator, Pete continues to inspire, motivate and instruct students to truly become the best in the world.

Vince Gardner

Vince Gardner
Bass Drum Instructor

VINCE GARDNER was inspired by the drum and bugle corps activity as a high school student in 1987. He performed with the Kingsmen (1988, 1989), Velvet Knights (1990), Santa Clara Vanguard (1991, 1992), and DCI Champion Cadets of Bergen County in 1993, his ageout year.

His love for this activity and what it offers young people motivated Vince to share what he had learned through teaching. He has served on the instructional staff for some of DCI’s most noted drum corps, including Velvet Knights, Bluecoats, Yamato, Santa Clara Vanguard, and Madison Scouts. He also taught the Riverside Community College (RCC) fall and winter percussion section from 1994-2003.

Vince has had the privilege of working with numerous individuals, whom he holds in high regard , including Mike Jackson, Ralph Hardimon, Jim Casella, Roger Carter, and Tom Float. His professional performance career has taken him around the world — from Universal Studios Japan, to  stage shows in Las Vegas, and currently at the Disney Resort in Anaheim, California.

Vince looks forward to his continued involvement at Pacific Crest. "Pacific Crest is an exciting group to be a part of, and always manages to meet and surpass every and any expectation."