The following nominees have accepted their board nominations, bios will be uploaded soon.
President - Thien Pham
Event Host Coordinator - Mellanie Risch
Color Guard Judges Coordinator - Scott Montoya
(In submission order)
Thomas Cervenka, a native of Tucson, is the director of Sahuarita Indoor Percussion and has been an educator in the marching arts for the last 10 years. He has worked as both a percussion instructor and Assistant Director for the Sahuarita High School Marching Band since 2012. After directing the Indoor Percussion program at Sabino High School during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Mr. Cervenka established the Sahuarita Indoor Percussion program in 2019 and formed Sahuarita Indoor Percussion Cadets as part of the 21st Century after school program at Sahuarita Middle School and Wrightson Ridge School. As an active drill writer, designer, and clinician for numerous marching and indoor programs across the state of Arizona, Mr. Cervenka’s impact has gone beyond the students he works with on a regular basis.
A lifelong musician, Mr. Cervenka began as a saxophone player in the Sahuarita music program. He continued his involvement with music at San Diego State University where he marched as part of the color guard before returning to Tucson. He is currently a saxophonist in the Green Valley Concert Band and gives private lessons in his spare time.
Mr. Cervenka’s dedication to his craft stems from his passion for creatively taking a small idea and developing it into a large artistic production. Through his programs, his hope is that students will learn valuable skills that will benefit them both in school and beyond. Mr. Cervenka has also been a valuable asset to his programs through grant-writing, coordinating local sponsorships, fundraising, and event-host for various fall and winter marching events.
During this past year, Mr. Cervenka worked tirelessly to provide his students with a worthwhile musical experience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. For his dedication and passion, he was awarded 2021 Percussion Director of the Year by WGAZ.
In addition to his commitment to WGAZ and the marching arts, Tom enjoys dining out, reality television, office supplies, and spending time with his partner (and their two ornery cats).
Juan Jose Oliveros Saldana is an alumni of Arizona State University where he received his BFA in Studio Arts with a focus in Painting. Juan started his career in the marching arts in 2013 as a member of Breakthrough Indoor Percussion’s Front Ensemble. He performed as a mallet player for Breakthrough Indoor Percussion from 2013 through 2017, as well as for the Sun Devil Marching Band from 2013 through 2016, becoming section leader for both ensembles.
During his time as a performer, Juan also began his career as a music educator in 2015. Coming up on his 7th year of teaching, he is proudly the front ensemble coordinator at Basha High School (since 2019) and a front ensemble instructor for Flux Indoor Percussion (since 2019).
Through his years as a musician, educator, artist, and designer, Juan has developed a strong sense of communication skills that allow him to effectively present his ideas to his peers. He has also developed strong organizational skills, and is a strong problem solver for those around him.
Having been under WGAZ and WGI as both a teacher and performer, Juan plans to use his experience, resources, and viewpoint from both a scholastic and independent perspective to make a positive change and lasting impact for others involved in the marching arts in Arizona.
Percussion/Winds Judges Coordinator Nominees
(In submission order)
Bryan Scheidecker First got involved with music playing the saxophone in 4th grade at Jellick Elementary in Rowland Heights, CA on a big blue hollowed out school bus called the “Note Boat”. Little did he know that by walking onto that bus, his life would be changed forever.
Since 1999, Bryan has instructed at various schools and Drum Corps in Southern California and the Boston area in Massachusetts. In addition to instructing, Bryan is also a T&P adjudicator for the Southern California Percussion Alliance (SCPA), Winter Guard Arizona (WGAZ), and Winter Guard International (WGI) indoor percussion circuits, as well as serving as a Contest Director for SCPA and WGAZ. Bryan was formerly the Assistant Director of Education for the Vic Firth Company and is currently the team lead for the Customer Service department at Fender Musical Instrument. Bryan also serves as co-chair for the Black Employee Resource Group helping grow diversity and inclusion at Fender.
As a performer, Bryan spent his four years at Ruben S. Ayala High School heavily involved in the instrumental music department, three of them in leadership roles. As and adult, he has played with artists such as Steve Wilkerson, Jeff Hamilton, the Jazz on the Latin Side All-stars, Poncho Sanchez, and as a soloist for Grammy Award winner Celine Dion.
Zack Whittier has been involved in percussion and the marching arts since he was 14 years old as a freshman at Mountain View High School in Marana, AZ. While in school he was heavily involved in various musical idioms, including marching band, concert band, orchestra, choir, a capella, and performed both on stage and in the pit for musicals. Later, once at the University of Arizona, Zack performed in the Pride of Arizona drumline, was an active member of Tau Beta Sigma, and was a founding member of Amplified A Capella.
Zack started teaching at many schools across the state of Arizona in 2009. He founded long- lasting indoor performing ensembles, including the Canyon del Oro Indoor Percussion Ensemble and Mountain View High School Indoor Percussion in Tucson. Since then, he has taught, written, and designed for Mountain View HS (Tucson), Canyon del Oro HS, and Breakthrough Indoor Percussion. He continues to teach, write, and design for Mountain Pointe HS, Moon Valley HS, and Sandra Day O’Connor HS.
Concurrently with teaching, Zack performed with various high level competitive ensembles. He performed with The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps from 2010-2012, from which he aged out as a front ensemble section leader and center marimba. During the winters, he performed with Fusion Percussion in Tucson, AZ in 2011 and 2012, then aged out with Pulse Percussion in 2013.
While at Northern Arizona University (NAU), Zack was an active member of the percussion studio. He performed as a member and soloist with the NAU Panorama Steel Band, was a member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, traveled as a member of the NAU Wind Symphony to perform at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) convention, and traveled as a member of the NAU Symphony Orchestra to perform at the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) convention. During his time at the university Zack served as the President of NAU’s Phi Mu Alpha chapter and Vice President of the NAU Percussion Society, where he was in charge of outreach and coordinating visiting guest artists, clinics and clinicians, and artists-in-residency for the NAU percussion studio and School of Music. Throughout his studies and pedagogical endeavors, Zack has studied extensively with Homero Ceron, Dr. Steven Hemphill, Dr. Andrea Venet, Bryan Cooperrider, Glen Crosby, Sean Gordon, and Ian Grom.