meraki percussion staff

design

Robert Lowery

Director of programs

Robert has a long history of being involved with music programs over the years. Some of his past percussion instruction ensembles are Western Albemarle High School (Crozet, VA), Western Branch High School (Chesapeake, VA), Lakeland High School (Suffolk, VA), Tallwood High School (Virginia Beach, VA), Cox High School (Virginia Beach, VA) and Princess Anne High School (Virginia Beach, VA). Robert also did some judging for several marching band circuits and music festivals in Virginia. Robert was also a member of Southern Nights Drum & Bugle Corps that was based in Virginia Beach, VA. After moving to California, he took on the Percussion Instructor for Gahr High School (Cerritos, CA). Later he started an independent drumline for young teenagers in the LA Area. This then transformed into the Mystikal Youth Arts Organization (2004 – 2009). Robert also have experience in visual design as part of his duties with the various high school ensembles and worked closely with his mentor Kevin Mitchell arranging marching percussion music for the various high school programs in Virginia Beach, VA.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology with a focus on Technical Operations from Old Dominion University and numerous certifications. He is also a member of National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA) and Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity as one of the Charter Members for the Upsilon Beta Chapter. Robert’s professional career is currently doing contractor development and bonding program for Public Agencies in Downtown Los Angeles. He currently lives in Long Beach, CA where he enjoys international traveling, off-roading, camping and hiking. He loves his family, the Washington Redskins, New York Yankees and Boston Celtics.

Pierce Halliburton

Designer

Pierce has taught at various schools around the Inland Empire including Apple Valley HS, Beaumont HS, Banning HS, Granite Hills HS, Vista Del Lago HS, Woodbridge HS, Citrus Valley HS, Sitting Bull MS, and Apple Valley MS. He has also arranged music and designed for the schools he taught as well. He has also taught with Watchmen Indoor Percussion as the Visual Caption Head & Movement Specialist as well as Catalyst Percussion as the Show Designer and Movement Specialist.

Pierce has marched with the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, Watchmen Indoor Percussion and Orange County Independent Percussion.

He currently resides in Riverside, CA.

Steven Estudillo

visual designer

Steven dedicates his time to teaching and designing for marching bands, drum lines and color guards across the country. His drill designs have won multiple awards both locally and nationally in the SCSBOA, SCJA, MBOS, WSMA and WBA band circuits.

Steven was the drill designer at the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010-2012 and has returned for the 2015 and 2016 season. He was also concurrently on the visual staff with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle since 2009, and was the Visual Caption head until 2015. After he started working with Pulse Percussion and Chino Hills HS indoor ensembles in 2012, he started writing indoor percussion drill with POW Percussion and Petal HS in 2013. Steven was born and raised in Southern California and studied at California State University, Fullerton. He was a member of Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps (2002 – 2005) and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps (2006 – 2008). He currently teaches at Chino Hills HS, Los Alamitos HS, Pulse Percussion and POW Percussion.

Jimmy Nguyen

Front Ensemble Composer

Jimmy Nguyen resides in Southern California where he works as an arranger, sound designer, and clinician for band programs across the country. He also teaches percussion at Ayala HS, San Marino HS, RCC Indoor Percussion, and the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. He has had the pleasure of working with many distinguished programs such as Fountain Valley HS, Chino HS, VESSEL Indoor Percussion, and the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps.Jimmy began his marching career with the RCC Marching Tigers (2014) and went on to become a member of RCC Indoor Percussion (2016-2018). He also toured with the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps (2015) and the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps (2016-2017).

During his time as a member of these ensembles, he has earned both WGI and DCI World Championships.Jimmy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (with a focus in Education) from UC Riverside and is working towards his Master of Science in Higher Education at CSU Fullerton. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and proudly endorses Innovative Percussion and Zildjian Cymbals

Zakk Hollander

Percussion Composer/arranger

Zakk is a world-class performer, arranger, and educator from Mission Viejo, California. He started his marching career under the direction of Mike Jackson at Mission Viejo High School from 2009-2012. After high school, Zakk performance career started with The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps in 2012-2013. He then expanded his performance career with The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014. Zakk completed his age-out season with The Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015.

He has competed in the indoor arena since high school by performing with Orange County Independent (2013), Pulse Percussion (2014), and RCC (2015–2016). After aging out from his performance career, Zakk went on to teach tenor drums at The Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps and Orange County Independent Percussion, and then later at Dark Sky Percussion.

Zakk graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. While attending college, he began his instructional career at several high schools across Southern California including Mission Viejo High School, Diamond Bar High School, El Dorado High School, Fountain Valley High School, and Etiwanda High School. Since graduating college, Zakk has been practicing ABA therapy in Southern California. Zakk is a member of the Vic Firth and Zildjian educational team, as well a Rudimental Mindset educator.

This will be his second year arranging for the ensemble.

consultants

Donovan Alanes

Marching Percussion Consultant

Donovan has worked as an instructor and designer in the activity for several years under the tutelage of instructors such as Mike Jackson, Jared Andrews, and Roger Carter. Donovan is also proud to be a member of the Vic Firth educational team.

Donovan has performed with several world class ensembles including RCC, POW Percussion, Blue Knights DBC, and Broken City Percussion. His last two years as section leader of Broken City resulted in their first SCPA gold medal (2017), as well as their first WGI bronze (2016) and silver (2017) medals. 

Outside of the activity, he is pursuing a Bachelor's of Science at Cal State Fullerton in Child Development with plans to work with children with special needs and their families. 

Educational

Pierce Halliburton

ENSEMBLE DIRECTOR

Pierce has taught at various schools around the Inland Empire including Apple Valley HS, Beaumont HS, Banning HS, Granite Hills HS, Vista Del Lago HS, Woodbridge HS, Citrus Valley HS, Sitting Bull MS, and Apple Valley MS. He has also arranged music and designed for the schools he taught as well. He has also taught with Watchmen Indoor Percussion as the Visual Caption Head & Movement Specialist as well as Catalyst Percussion as the Show Designer and Movement Specialist.

Pierce has marched with the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, Watchmen Indoor Percussion and Orange County Independent Percussion.

He currently resides in Riverside, CA.

Zakk Hollander

ENSEMBLE MANAGER

Zakk is a world-class performer, arranger, and educator from Mission Viejo, California. He started his marching career under the direction of Mike Jackson at Mission Viejo High School from 2009-2012. After high school, Zakk performance career started with The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps in 2012-2013. He then expanded his performance career with The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2014. Zakk completed his age-out season with The Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015.

He has competed in the indoor arena since high school by performing with Orange County Independent (2013), Pulse Percussion (2014), and RCC (2015–2016). After aging out from his performance career, Zakk went on to teach tenor drums at The Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps and Orange County Independent Percussion, and then later at Dark Sky Percussion.

Zakk graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. While attending college, he began his instructional career at several high schools across Southern California including Mission Viejo High School, Diamond Bar High School, El Dorado High School, Fountain Valley High School, and Etiwanda High School. Since graduating college, Zakk has been practicing ABA therapy in Southern California. Zakk is a member of the Vic Firth and Zildjian educational team, as well a Rudimental Mindset educator.

This will be his first year as ensemble manger for Meraki Percussion.

Mario Godinho

Snare Specialist

Mario is a world-class snare drummer and educator from Riverside, California. His marching career began performing as a middle schooler with Ramona High School (2013-2018) until graduating.

During and after high school, his independent ensemble experience includes Watchmen (2016-2018), Watchmen Indoor (2018), RCC Marching Tigers(2018-2019), POW Percussion (2019), and RCC (2020)

His experience as an educator includes providing instruction at Orange Vista High School, Redlands East Valley High School, Fontana High School, and Jurupa Middle School.

Mario is excited to be joining Meraki for the 2022 season.

ERICK ROA

Snare Specialist

Erick’s marching arts performance experience began in 2016 and concluded in 2020. Erick performance resume includes NorCal Indoor, Oregon Crusaders, Dark Sky Percussion 2019 and aged out with RCC in 2020. During his age out season with RCC, Erick taught at Fairfield high school as an upper battery tech. Erick is excited to teaching an independent ensemble and being on staff with Meraki Percussion.

Erick currently resides in Fontana and recently graduated from UC Davis with a Civil Engineering degree. While spending most of his time working, he makes it a priority to read, drum, and spend time with friends.

JACK MAY

Tenors Specialist

Jack is a world class performer and educator from Diamond Bar, California. He started his marching career at Diamond Bar high school. Some of his performance career can be credited to Pacific Crest Drum& Bugle Corps and Dark Sky Percussion Corps before aging out of the activity.

Jack is excited to be applying his past performance experiences to his educational skills and being a member of Meraki’s Staff.

Lorenzo Everett

Bass Specialist

Lorenzo is a battery percussion educator currently living in Long Beach, CA. As a performer, he marched bass drum at the Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps in2013, Academy Drum & Bugle Corps in 2015, and the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps from 2016-2018, earning a bronze and gold medal at DCI Finals with the corps in 2018 and 2016.  He has also marched with Dark Sky Percussion in 2015, Pulse Percussion in 2016 and2017, with whom he earned a WGI bronze and gold medal in 2017 and 2016 respectively, and Vessel in 2018 and 2019. 

Lorenzo’s past teaching experience includes Fontana High School, Temecula Valley High School,Paloma Valley High School, and currently Carlsbad High School and Cypress High School. 

Logan Gamboa

Bass Specialist

Logan is a bass drum educator in the marching percussion arena in the Southern California Area. Some of Logan’s performance experience includes DCI’s Finalist Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps in 2018 and Dark Sky 2019-2020.

Logan’s teaching experience includes La Habra High School and Orange High School.

Logan currently lives in Fullerton, California.

jordan alfaro

Cymbals Specialist

Jordan began his marching career at Townsend Junior High School at the age of 12. He began playing cymbals in earnest at Chino Hills High School, where he graduated in 2015. He continued marching with Pulse Percussion in 2016, POW Percussion in 2017, and finishing out his time marching with the Sacramento Mandarins for their 2017 season.  

After concluding his time marching, Jordan completed his transition into the education side of the activity. His teaching experience includes Etiwanda High School, Townsend Junior High School, Corona High School, Westminster High School, Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps, Instinct Percussion, as well as clinic work around the Southern California area.  

Jordan is currently a voice actor, podcaster, and audiobook narrator based out of Corona, CA. In his limited free time, Jordan enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, writing, and watching all things Marvel.

Angel Abonza-RUIZ

Front Ensemble manager

Angel was born and raised in Pomona, California, and currently resides in nearby Ontario, California. He has been teaching for the past several years, and is currently a front ensemble instructor for Vessel Drum & Bugle Corp, Colony High School, Etiwanda High School, and Savannah High School.

Angel started as a percussionist while in his sophomore year at Colony High School. After graduating in 2013, he continued to pursue his career in the marching arts. He has performed with the Riverside City College Marching Tigers from 2013 through 2015, Gold Drum and Bugle Corp in 2014, the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015, and Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps in 2016.

Angel was also involved with the indoor percussion circuits, where he performed with Dark Sky Percussion from 2014 through his age-out year in 2018.

Marcus Rodriguez

Front Ensemble Specialist

As an active percussion educator in Southern California for the past 5 years, Marcus has worked with over a dozen groups including, Murrieta Valley High School, Chaparral High School, Dorothy McElhinney Middle School and The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps. His marching performance experience includes playing mallets for Orange County Independent, Odyssey Indoor, Gold Drum Corps/Indoorand Vessel Percussion.  

Marcus is also a composer/performer in the professional wrestling realm, crafting original themes for Independent Wrestlers and performing mallets on the upcoming “Symphony & AEW” album for All Elite Wrestling.

Eddie Ortega

Front Ensemble Specialist

Eddie Ortega was born and raised in Southern California. As a music educator, Eddie has taught various ensembles throughout Southern California. He is currently the Front Ensemble Caption Head at Moorpark High School and the Front Ensemble Manager at Crescenta Valley High School.

He is currently completing his B.A. Degree in Music Industry Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Nicolas Montell

Rhythm Section Specialist & Sound Engineer

Nicolas is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator from Los Angeles, California. Nic began his marching career at Charter Oak High School. Upon graduating, he moved on to perform with the Riverside City College Marching Tigers, RCC Indoor Percussion, the Blue Devils International Corps, and was a charter member of Odyssey Indoor Percussion.

Beyond the marching arts, Nic studied music at Cal Poly Pomona, where he performed in various ensembles as a bassist, percussionist, and flautist. He has also performed on bass with numerous bands in the Los Angeles area, including the Rose Parade Swing Band.

Nic has had the fortunate opportunity to perform under the direction of, study under, or perform alongside many great musical minds, the likes of which include: Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro, Dr. Janine Riveire, Dr. Rickey Badua, Jim Wunderlich, Baba Elefante, Bill Schlitt, Brian Dinkel, Brian Peter, Niko Jasniewicz, Jared Andrews, Henry Gillard, Christopher Case, Benjamin Grahl, Jonathan Merrill, Karen Lundgren, Garret Tyler, John Jorgenson, and Chloe Agnew.

Nic has previously worked with Bonita High School, El Rancho High School, and Glendora High School. He is presently the percussion caption head/arranger for La Puente High School, and percussion clinician at Lassalette School.

Darrel Burns

Visual SPEcialist

Darrel is a visual instructor, drill writer, and trumpet player based in the Chino Hills Area. Since 2013, he has been training and encouraging young performers in the SoCal band world. After marching with The Velvet Knights in 2011, he sought further instruction with The Academy for two seasons (2012-2013), and after a two year hiatus aged out with The Blue Devils in 2016. 

Now primarily a visual instructor at Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, Darrel has been affiliated with high schools and winter drumlines all over the SoCal area, including San Diego, Escondido, Temecula, Chino Hills, Riverside, and Corona, most notably with Velocity Independent’s inaugural season (2017) and Gold Indoor’s return to WGI/SCPA (2019).

Darrel is incredibly excited to bring his work ethic and knowledge to the Meraki Percussion for another exciting winter season.

Johnny Jagernman

Visual manager

Jonathan was born and raised in Southern Orange County and went to Laguna Hills High School for 4 years, where he found his passion for the Marching Arts. Johnny started his Drum Corps Career with Gold Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 where he played Tuba. From that point, he went onto March with The Santa Clara Vanguard (2014) and Blue Devils (2015, 16, 17) aging out as the Tuba Section Leader.

Johnny has also had a strong involvement in the SoCal Winter Percussion Scene since his participation in the Pulse Percussion Visual Ensemble (2014-15, 2017) and the Broken City Cymbal Line(2018). Along with his performance resume, he has shared his experience through the instruction of many programs in Southern California including: Ayala High School, Etiwanda High School, Trabuco Hills High School, Woodbridge High School, and Savanna High School where he currently serves as the Visual Caption Head and Drill Writer. Johnny also has experience working with Independent Ensembles as an instructor like, The Madison Scouts, Gold Indoor and as a Drill Writer at Catalyst Percussion. 

Jonathan is incredibly excited and humbled to be returning to Meraki for his 2nd Season. 

james elder

Visual Ensemble Specialist

James is a color guard/ dance educator and visual designer. Beginning his teaching journey in Georgia after graduating in 2013, He has taught in numerous areas and is currently based in the SoCal Area. James is currently the color guard caption head and visual design staff at Serrano High School (Phelan, CA) as well as Arlington High School (Riverside, CA). 

His marching career includes Jacksonville State University Marching Southerners Color Guard as well as JSU Center Stage, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, and Fantasia Winter Guard.  

Beginning his journey with the Meraki Family James is very excited to develop and grow with the visual ensemble.