Donald Wade - Director
Donald Wade has been the instrumental music director at Vista Murrieta High School since they opened their doors in the fall of 2003. Before coming to Vista Murrieta he taught at Los Altos High School (Hacienda Heights, CA) and at Jurupa Valley High School (Riverside, CA). Mr. Wade has received many awards and accolades including Vista Murrieta High School ‘Teacher of the Year’ in 2008 and he has been a multiple time recipient of the Crystal Apple Award. He has served as an adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC), and Winter Guard International (WGI). Mr. Wade is a graduate of the University of Redlands and holds a Masters Degree in Education. Mr. Wade lives in Murrieta, CA with his wife and their 4 children.
Brent Levine - Assistant Director
Brent Levine is a graduate of the University of Redlands with a Master of Music degree in Saxophone Performance. He has played the saxophone for nearly two decades.
Mr. Levine began formal musical training in 2003 at the University of Redlands, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education under the tutelage of Dr. Eddie Smith. He received several scholarships and awards during his time at the University. He received the prestigious Presser Scholar Award in 2005, was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda in 2007 and was twice presented with the Thelma Beardsley Award in 2007 and 2008 for outstanding work in the field of music education. He was selected as the graduate conducting assistant for the University’s Wind Ensemble and he was given the once in a lifetime opportunity of conducting throughout the year.
As a very active performer he has appeared as a guest artist with the University’s Orchestra, twice performed on the President’s Honor Recital,and performed at several University functions, including the President's High Table and Board of Trustee meetings. He has also performed with jazz combos in Redlands, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Indian Wells, San Diego and Las Vegas.
Mr. Levine has also been very active as a music educator throughout the last seven years. During the summer of 2006 he taught elementary school music for the Coachella Valley Unified School District. That same year he was among the first group of students to present at the University's Research Symposium, offering research pertaining to socioeconomics and education. He received his teaching credential in 2008 after student teaching with Mr. Don Jaramillo and Mr. Scott Bonner. He has also taught saxophone master classes at various public schools and occasionally served as a jazz band clinician.
We are honored to have Mr. Levine as a director of our Vista Murrieta High School Instrumental Music Department where he teaches Jazz Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Chamber Music and Music Theory.
Mike Jackson - Percussion
For over two decades:
Mike has been writing, teaching and designing shows for some of the most nationally recognized percussion programs in the United States. Historically, these include RCC, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps. He has also sat on the Board of Directors for WGI and has been inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame.
Mike is currently:
a designer/composer for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps
a designer/composer for Broken City Percussion
a board member and co-founder of SCPA (Southern California Percussion Alliance)
a partner at Broken City Artists
Jim Wunderlich - Percussion
Jim is the owner and primary composer/arranger at Wunderpit Music. He has served as the front ensemble caption head and arranger for the Blue Devils since 2006. In addition, Jim visits Japan several times a year where he is the front ensemble caption head and arranger for Tokyo’s Soka Renaissance Vanguard. Previous drum corps credits include work with the Seattle Cascades, The Velvet Knights, The Brigadiers and Esperanza. He marched in the Suncoast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps in 1989.
Jim currently arranges & consults in Southern California for RCC, Ayala High School and Vista Murrieta High School, and arranges for BOA GN finalists Broken Arrow, William Mason & Harrison. Past credits include 22 years of arranging & instruction at seven-time WGI PSW medalist Mission Viejo High School, and 15 years at five-time WGI PSA medalist Loara High School.
He has served on the WGI Percussion Advisory Board since 1996, and is a founding member of the Southern California Percussion Alliance (sc-pa.org). Jim proudly endorses Pro-Mark, System Blue, Zildjian, Evans, Planet Waves & Meinl Percussion.
Nichole Casino - Snare Tech
Nicole Casino is the snare drum technician for Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. She has been involved in the marching activity for a decade both as a performer and an instructor. From Chino Hills, California, Nicole started drumming at the age of 12, participating in drum line in Chino Hills Middle School and High School. After graduating, Nicole became a part of Pulse Percussion where she won 2 Bronze Winter Guard International medals and was the center snare for the 2013 season. She started her Drum Corps International career in 2011 marching with the Bluecoats and then went on to march the Blue Devils where she won the Fred Sanford Award for High Percussion as well as a DCI Championship title that same year. She finished her DCI performing career in 2013 at the Blue Devils becoming the first female to become the center snare in the organization’s history.
Nichole is currently finishing her age-out season of WGI with Riverside Community College. She has also been involved in teaching and performing all over the globe in her recent trips to Guatemala and Taiwan. Aside from being heavily involved in the marching activity as a performer, Nicole also gives private lessons to students from across the nation via Skype as well as live lessons to students in Southern California.
Nicole has taught and headed multiple high schools and middle schools in Southern California including Chino Hills High School, Walnut High School, Chino High School and Vista Murrieta High School. She currently resides in Chino Hills where she is studying Communications at Mt. San Antonio Community College.
Veronica Wicks - Battery
Veronica Wicks is the battery manager for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. Veronica is currently a student at Cal State Fullerton in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Psychology. She started drumming at the age of 12 where she began to compete in winter percussion and continued throughout high school. After high school she continued to play tenors in drum corps from 2007-2010 and from 2008-2009 at Pulse Percussion.
Throughout her experience as a member and a college student she began teaching as a tenor tech at multiple high schools. Veronica has been teaching for the past 7 years. She has taught one season of drum corps and is currently the battery/tenor tech at Rowland HS, Rancho Cucamonga HS, South Hills HS, Chino HS, Valencia HS (OC) and Alvarado Intermediate.
Matt Hernandez - Percussion
Matt is an active percussion instructor, composer, and arranger based in Southern California. He has instructed various groups across the country and given clinics across the United States and overseas in Taiwan. He is currently the Caption Manager/Front Ensemble Supervisor of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps (since 2013), and a percussion instructor at Vista Murrieta High School (Murrieta, CA), Woodbridge High School (Irvine, CA) and RCC winter percussion (Riverside, CA).
Matt was a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps (05-06), The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps (07-09), The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps (10-11) and Riverside City College (RCC) winter percussion (11-12).
Matt has been an active employee of Wunderpit Music since 2011.
Steven Herman - Bass Tech
Steven Herman is the bass technician for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. Steven began his marching career at Chino High School under the direction of Mike Jackson where he helped the group become a WGI World Class Finalist. After graduating he then went on to become a member of POW Percussion from 2012-2013, Pulse Percussion from 2014-15 earning WGI Gold and Bronze, and eventually aging out at Broken City earning a WGI Bronze. His DCI experience includes Gold 2011, The Academy 2012, and the Phantom Regiment 2013-2015 where he served as Bass Section Leader as well as Drum Captain in his age out season.
Color Guard Staff
Sergio Marquez-Johnson - Color Guard Director/Choreographer
Sergio earned his Bachelor of Science degree from California State University Bakersfield in Early Childhood Education. Sergio is working towards his second degree in Business and Administration through the University of Phoenix Online Program.
With over 21 years of performance experience and 17 years of teaching experience, Sergio has flourished as both a color guard choreographer and designer. He has had the privilege of teaching and performing with many prestigious groups at the DCI World Class Level, The BOA level and all six WGI classification levels.
Sergio has performed with such groups as, West Coast Drum and Bugle Corps, Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, Fantasia Winter Guard, Corona Winter Guard, Esperanza de Luz Winter Guard and Intensity Winter Guard. Sergio has worked with such groups as Vista Murrieta High School, Ayala High School, Chino High School, Nogales High School, Rancho Buena Vista High School, Vandergrift High School, Centennial High School, Liberty High School, Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps and the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2014 and 2015, Sergio was the color guard caption head for the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.
Currently, Sergio is the Color Guard Caption Head for the Vista Murrieta High School Band and Color Guard from Murrieta, California. Sergio resides in Riverside, California. Sergio was recently married in the summer of 2016.
Jasmine Dudgeon - Manager/Instructor
Jasmine is an alumni of the Vista Murrieta Color Guard. She marched the Baritone Horn her freshman year fall season, but then went on to march both winter and fall seasons with the color guard from 2010 to 2013. Jasmine has also been a member of the Independent Winter guard, Fantasia since 2014. She volunteered helping with the Vista Murrieta Color Guard once she graduated High School from 2013 to 2015, and became an official staff member in 2016, and is very excited for another great season with the VMHS Sapphires!
Nico Martinez - Instructor
Nico Martinez was born and raised in Riverside California. He graduated from Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, Ca where he was a part of the instrumental music program. After graduating, he attended Riverside City College where he studied music education and saxophone performance for 4 years. Along with performing with the RCC Marching Tigers from 2010-2014, he joined the world class winter guard, Fantasia, and has been a part of that competitive program for the seasons of 2014-2017.
Nico has worked with color guard programs such as Sierra Vista HS, Canyon Springs HS, and Monrovia HS. Although his teaching experience as a color guard tech is still developing, he is humbled to be a part of the staff at Vista Murrieta.
Nico currently works full time as a supervisor at Starbucks and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business and Communications at Arizona State University’s online program.
Matthew Bence - Instructor
Matthew has been dancing since he was five year olds. While he was attending Vista High School, he joined the color guard and dance team. He ended his senior year as a color guard captain and knew he wanted to continue in the color guard activity after high school. He joined the independent group color guard, Vox Artium, for the next four years and acted as a captain for the latter two.
Pete Marquez-Johnson - Instructor
Pete was born and raised in West Covina, California and graduated from West Covina High School. After performing for four years in high school he went on to perform with the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007, the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008 and the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011. He also perform winter guard seasons with Corona Winter Guard in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and Imbue Winter Guard in 2015 and 2016.
Pete currently works with Sunny Hills High School and Vista Murrieta High School. He also is also a costume designer at Creative Costuming and Designs in Huntington Beach, California.
Pete was recently married in the summer of 2016. He is living in Riverside, California and working towards a degree in mathematics.
James Gow - Visual
James Gow is a Southern California native who grew up in San Diego and Murrieta. As a performer, James first joined the marching band as a euphonium player at Vista Murrieta HS, where he was one of the inaugural members of the band. He performed for two seasons with Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps (2005-2006) and four seasons with the Concord Blue Devils (2007-2010), where he was honored with the MVP award for visual performance for the 2010 corps.
As an instructor, James has taught many competitive groups in the Southern California area including Mission Viejo, Vista Murrieta, Fountain Valley, Etiwanda, and Great Oak High Schools, and serves as the current visual caption head at Temecula Valley HS as well as drill designer for multiple programs in Southern California. He has worked on the visual staff for the Sacramento Mandarins (2011), The Cadets (2012), and is currently a member of the visual staff for the Blue Devils (2013-present). James also served as visual tech and choreographer for Orange County Independent Percussion (2012-2013).
James received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, where he majored in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolutionary Biology, with a minor in music.
© 2016 Vista Murrieta High School Band
28251 Clinton Keith Road • Murrieta, CA 92563 • 951.894.5750 Ext. 6747 or Ext. 6748