– Nathan Banegas, Visual & Music Instructor
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Nathan is a trumpet player, as well as a visual and music instructor at multiple schools in the Southern California area.
His drum corps career began with Forte Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010. He would then continue on to march with The Blue Devils for 3 seasons from 2011-2013, helping earn the corps 15th title in 2012, as well as earning the high visual performer award “Sweet Feet” in the same year. Nathan’s instructional experience consists of teaching the Louisiana Stars 2014-2015 and Blue Devils B 2014-2016.
Nathan is currently on the Madison Scouts visual staff.
– Melanie Barnett, Visual Instructor/Drum Major Coach
Melanie Barnett is a visual instructor and drum major coach for Mayfair High School. She first started learning music at the age of 10 on the flute, and later learned the tenor saxophone, viola, double bass, bass drum, and has performance experience as a color guard member. As an alumni of Mayfair High School (c/o 2015), Melanie’s versatile experiences helped lead her to a broad understanding of the marching arts.
Melanie also has drum corps experience as an assistant drum major for Watchmen Drum & Bugle Corps in 2017. She has been the drum major coach for Mayfair High School since 2015 and has experience being involved with Drum Majors of Southern California (DMSC). Her students have competed in DMSC and received 1st place on numerous occasions in the conducting category. Melanie also taught at Artesia High School as a visual instructor and drum major coach.
Melanie currently attends Long Beach City College and studied music under the applied program as a flute principal. She studied with Pacific Symphony musician Julie Long.
– Nico Mendoza, Front Ensemble Instructor/Music Arranger
Nico began his path in music at age 10 when he first started on the guitar. He added bass guitar, piano, violin and percussion to his performance repertoire throughout middle and high school.
As an alumni of Mayfair High (c/o 2011), he played in both the front ensemble and battery for Mayfair’s marching band, indoor drum line, and percussion for the concert bands. He continued playing percussion with Gold Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 and indoor group Dark Sky Percussion in 2013, playing marimba in both. He has been the front ensemble instructor and percussion ensemble director/arranger/composer for Mayfair since 2011. He also studied percussion at Long Beach City College with Innovative Percussion artist Dean Koba, and at Berklee College of Music with Vic Firth artist Ed Saindon.
Nico graduated from Berklee College of Music cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Writing & Production. He has experience composing, arranging, and producing work for orchestra, big band, mainstream radio, television commercials and other media. He also composes and arranges percussion ensemble charts that have been performed by groups all over of the United States, along with Austria, and Belgium. He has been the front ensemble arranger for Mayfair High School (CA), Springs Valley High School and South Spencer High School (IN), Viewmont HS (UT), Jasper High School (AL), among other schools in the US.
– Gerardo Ramirez, Music Instructor
Gerardo is a 2012 alumnus of Mayfair High School. Since graduating, Gerardo has gone on to pursue a degree in Instrumental Music Education and Trumpet Performance at California State University – Long Beach. He teaches privately and has performed with numerous ensembles in Southern California including: The Cerritos College Jazz Ensemble, Mariachi Arcoiris, and the Wind Symphony from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Most recently Gerardo has had the privilege of working with San Pedro High School as a trumpet coach and is currently teaching at Mayfair High School.
– Christopher Vieng, Visual Instructor
Chris Vieng is a visual instructor for Mayfair High School as well as other schools across Southern California. He first started learning music at the age of 10 playing the trumpet. Since then he also picked up the viola, euphonium, and mellophone in high school. As an alumni of Mayfair High School (c/o 2016), Chris gained playing experience in the marching band, concert band, wind ensemble, and orchestra. Chris also has experience playing euphonium in the symphonic band at California State University, Long Beach in 2014 and 2015.
Upon his upperclassmen years, Chris marched with the Concord Blue Devils B corps under brass caption head Eric Weingartner in 2015 and 2016, on Euphonium and Mellophone, respectively.
Chris is also currently a visual instructor at Temple City High School and Fountain Valley High School. He is currently a student at California State University, Long Beach working towards a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.