sebastian river high school
Ken Yanagihara
Color Guard Director

Ken Yanagihara’s color guard experience began in 2007 at Alvarado Middle School in Union City, California where he marched two years in their Scholastic A Guard as a rifle. He went on to attend James Logan High School, whose Color Guard program won 1st place in Scholastic World Class at WGI for ten consecutive years (from 1998-2007). From 2009-2012 he was chosen as the only freshmen accepted into their World Class program; a soloist as a sophomore; Rifle Captain as a junior; and Head Captain as a senior. Mr. Yanagihara marched with the Blue Devils A Corps from 2011-2015, where the color guard placed 1st in DCI all 5 years and the corps won 3 Gold and 2 Silver DCI Medals.

In the fall of 2012 he became the Rifle Technician for the James Logan HS Color Guard, helping them win two Bronze Medals at WGI. He was also appointed as the Director of the Alvarado Middle School Color Guard program along with three separate Elementary programs- totaling over 260 students. The Summer of 2016 brought Mr. Yanagiahara to Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Florida where he serves as a Rifle Choreographer. During the Winter of 2017 he became the Weapons Choreographer for UCF Pegasus Open, who went on to win Gold at WGI 2018 in Independent Open Class.

Aaron Bell
Percussion Instructor

Aaron L. Bell, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is a 2002 graduate of Fort Hayes High School and a former member of the Columbus West High School Marching Band. Upon his acceptance to The Ohio State University (where he majored in history), he marched as a snare drum member of the OSUMB from 2002-2006. During those years Aaron served as a two year Assistant Squad Leader and one year Head Squad Leader of the snare line. In 2006 his fellow band members voted him as the “Most Inspirational Bands Person”.

Mr. Bell was the Percussion Instructor for the West Jefferson High School Marching Band from 2005-2008. From 2007-2011 he was the Percussion Caption Supervisor/Battery Caption Head of the Westerville South High School Marching Band, as well as the Co-Director/Battery Arranger of the 2011 & 2012 Westerville Indoor Percussion Ensemble which placed first in its class at a 2012 WGI Regional Competition in Troy, Michigan.

Mr. Bell's percussion writing with the OSUMB began in 2004 with various drum solos and halftime shows. Since 2007 he has also written percussion parts for the OSU Spring Athletic Band. He was the The Ohio State University Marching & Athletic Bands Percussion Instructor from 2011-2014.

Dr. Kathryn Irwin
Percussion Instructor

Kathryn Irwin is a percussion performer and educator from Petal, Mississippi. She recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance at Michigan State University with Gwendolyn Dease and Jon Weber. She completed her Master of Music degree in percussion performance at the University of Kansas under the instruction of Ji Hye Jung and adjunct professors Lee Vinson and Brandon Draper. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Louisiana State University with percussionist Brett William Dietz.

Kathryn has performed with scholastic and professional ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Performances include Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo for renowned percussionist Keiko Abe, Soochow University in Taiwan, the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy, the Eutiner Festspiele and Carl Maria von Weber Concert of Chamber Music in Germany, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis. Kathryn has also performed in notable masterclasses and clinics given by the members of Sō Percussion, Robert van Sice, Tom Freer, Keith Aleo, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Ayano Kataoka, Lee Vinson, Naoko Takada, and many others.

As an active soloist and chamber musician in the percussion community, Kathryn is an advocate of expanding the percussion repertoire and prioritizes commissioning new works. She has commissioned composers such as Elliot Cole, Molly Joyce, Joe W. Moore III, Brett William Dietz, and Dave Molk. Kathryn enjoys working on collaborative projects with artists of other mediums and professionals outside the field of music as well. The most recent commission of Is This Madness?, a work for solo percussion and electronics, aims to raise awareness and grow support for members of the bipolar community through performances and clinics. This project consisted of a collaboration with a member of the bipolar community, a licensed psychiatrist, and composer Joe Moore.

Kathryn has led masterclasses at schools in Taiwan and universities across the midwestern and southern regions of the United States. Additionally, she has worked with many middle and high school performing ensembles in Michigan, Mississippi, and Louisiana. She has a studio of private students and experience teaching percussion ensemble, marching percussion, concert band, and elementary music. Kathryn is currently responsible for coaching percussion chamber ensembles and teaching private percussion lessons to undergraduate students at Michigan State University.

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