Velvet Knights Announce 2008 Design Team Members

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VK Youth Arts Organization, and the Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps are pleased to announce the addition of John Whatley as the Program Coordinator, and along with him, we are pleased to have Amy Matsen as Color Guard Caption Head, and joining her will be Juan Gonzalez and Robert Ramirez.

John Whatley has been the Band Director at Westminster High School in Westminster CA since 1996. He has also taught at Garden Grove HS; Dos Pueblos; Capistrano HS; Capistrano Valley HS, and was part of the teaching with the Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 1990.

John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, from California State University Long Beach.

Along with that, he has won awards in many captions, including but not limited to 1989 Drum Corps International All-Star /1986 John Philip Sousa Award /1986 ADLA Snare Drum Champion.

John will bring a fresh new approach to our organization in joining our design team as well.

Amy Matsen has performed with many groups throughout her career beginning with the Pacific Alliance Winterguard (Roseville, CA), the River City Regiment (Sacramento, CA) and the San Francisco Renegades.

She and her partner Todd McClintock were the 2004 DCA I&E Duet World Champions, bringing many tears to everyone’s eyes during their performance.

Amy has instructed and choreographed for many High Schools in Northern California including, Roseville High School (Roseville, CA), Granite Bay High School (Granite Bay, CA) and Oakmont High School (Roseville, CA).

Joining her will be Robert Ramirez and Juan Gonzalez.

Robert started as a student in the Nogales HS (CA) marching band then switched to colorguard and marched in the guard from 96-99. He was a part of the Honor Guard for the Rose Parade in 1999. After graduation he performed with the RCC Marching band from 2000-01 and was a member of the WGI Bronze and Gold Medallist Fantasia 01-03.

Robert has taught at Santa Fe Springs HS, La Mirada HS and Independent “A” finalist Project “L” Independent Performance Group. HE has been a guest technician for Los Osos HS, Bonita HS and currently the movement instructor for Montebello High School.

Currently Robert is attending Mt. San Antonio College enrolled in the Psychiatric Technician program and a transfer to pursue a BA in Dance.

Juan is currently attending Cal State Northridge where he is working on his BA in Sociology with an emphasis in counseling and a minor in Chicano Studies.

He has been working with guards throughout Southern California as a technician, choreographer, and design consultant since 1999.

His previous and current teaching experiences include: John Burroughs High School, Granada Hills High School, John Marshall High School (LA), Glendale High School, Polytechnic High School, Montebello High School, Project "L" Independent Performance Group, Santa Monica High School, Color Guard USA Camps, Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, Westlake High School.

His previous marching experiences include: Granada Hills High School (96-99), Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps 2000, Classic Image Winter Guard 2001 and 2002, The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps 2002, Black Knights Winter Guard 2004.

We welcome all new additions to our already great staff of individuals. Stay tuned for more staff announcements coming very soon.

Posted by on Monday, October 8th, 2007. Filed under DCI Open.