Where the Passion Begins
Director of Instrumental Music
Mr. Michael Whang is in his first year as the Director of Instrumental Music at Canyon High School. Prior to joining the Canyon team, Mr. Whang taught at Santa Margarita Catholic High School for 13 years where he taught wind ensemble, marching band, steel drum band, classical guitar and orchestra. As the Director of Instrumental Music he founded the Symphony Orchestra which went on to commission several new works as well as performing at Carnegie Hall in 2018. He received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from California State University, San Bernardino and received his teaching credential from Azusa Pacific University. As a trombonist, Mr. Whang performs with Symphony Irvine, The Orange County Wind Symphony, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, and in 2018 was a resident artist at the Jiangxi Normal University in Nanchang China.
Mr. Michael Whang currently lives in Orange, CA with his wife and two cats.
Percussion Caption Head
James Catherall is a composer, arranger, music educator, and performer currently living in Southern California.
James began his marching career at Esperanza High School in 2006 and graduated in 2010. He continued performing and competing through Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International. His first year marching was with the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets playing the glockenspiel in the front ensemble in 2008. James then shifted into playing the tenor drums and continued marching in SCVC in 2009 and 2010. Following that, he played one season with the Colts from Dubuque, Iowa on tenor drums. Afterward, in 2012, he went on to march with the Santa Clara Vanguard. James ended the last two years of his DCI career with the Blue Devils, serving as the quad section leader in 2014. During his time in DCI, James competed in the I&E solo competition on quads; receiving 4th place in 2013, and 2nd place in 2014. James marched in WGI starting in 2011 with Pulse Open, now known as POW, then with Pulse in 2012. He performed his final 3 years in WGI from 2013 – 2015 with RCC.
James has performed in different groups that have played for the Los Angeles Clippers and numerous other venues across the country. He also was a member of the drumline that recorded for the Pixar movie Monsters University.
In his professional career, James has experience in Sound Design, Percussion Composition/Arrangement, and Winds Composition/Arrangement. He has written music for multiple high schools and independent ensembles across the United States. James gives clinics on electronics and MainStage integration at events such as WGICon and Arcadia Music & Arts Symposium. He is currently working with Project Rise Music through their internship program.
As an educator, James has worked with various high schools and independent ensembles including Arcadia High School, Pulse Percussion, Broken City Percussion, and Canyon High School.
James Catherall is on the Vic Firth & Zildjian education team.
Alejandra (Ale) Vasquez is a music educator, performer, and lifetime student with a focus in mallet instrumentation. Ale had a full high school marching career at Patriot High School from 2011-2015. She was a founding member of the Watchmen Drum and Bugle Corps and participated in the 2013, 2014, and 2016 seasons. Throughout these years she’s performed on many different instruments in both the battery and front ensemble sections, serving as a leader in multiple areas.
In Ale’s professional teaching career, she has worked as the front ensemble coach at high schools including Los Altos, Esperanza, Canyon (AH), Arroyo, and Patriot High School. Ale enjoys teaching -and learning from- her amazing, dedicated students. She is extremely grateful for the multitalented staff members she works with and the supportive boosters with which the programs become a realized possibility.
Professionally, Ale is a co-creator and editor for James Catherall. Together they have participated in clinics at events such as the Arcadia Music & Arts Symposium and WGICon. Alejandra Vasquez is on the Vic Firth & Zildjian education team.
Jeff Ramos is musician and instructor with a Bachelor of Music degree from CSU Long Beach with an emphasis in Percussion Performance.
He served as the Battery Manager for Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps in 2018 and 2019, and is currently coordinating the Battery for Instinct Percussion who made their debut in 2020. He has also been teaching multiple high school drumlines for the past several years, filling whatever roles were necessary, including music composer, drill writer, visual designer, choreographer, marching instructor, and more.
Aside from teaching drumline, Jeff performs with the NFL Charger's Thunderbolt Drumline, and performs with Sidle Entertainment for various events and artists, including 2 Chainz on Jimmy Kimmel Live, American Ninja Warrior, the LA Kings, and more.
Visual and Brass Instructor
Chris Prell is currently majoring in Music Education at California State University, Long Beach. A Southern California native, he was an active participant in his schools' music programs growing up. During high school, he took great interest in the world of the marching arts. He auditioned for and spent two seasons with the Blue Devils B Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as a third season with the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. Additionally, he spent one season on the visual ensemble with Pulse Indoor Percussion.
Since moving to Long Beach, he has taught marching band during both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He served as visual caption head for both the Canyon Indoor Drumline in the 2020 winter season, and the marching band in the 2020 fall season.
Color Guard Director
Hector A. Brambila is the Color Guard Director at Canyon High School. Born and raised in LA County Hector has been involved in the Band/Color Guard scene since 2003. He has been teaching Color Guard throughout much of South LA & Orange County teaching students from all ages, levels and skill sets. Hector has performed with such groups as Genesis Ensemble Winterguard, SoCal Dream Drum & Bugle Corps, Lealta Winterguard, Diamante World Guard and Fantasia World Winterguard. Aside from teaching Color Guard at Canyon High School Hector is also one of the Founders and Directors at Emerald Independent Winterguard an nationally competitive adult Color Guard based in Orange County.