John is currently in his 4th year as Director of Instrumental Music at Santa Susana Performing Arts Magnet High School in Simi Valley, CA. He has been blessed to be a part of many incredible programs as a performer, instructor, and director, including the ROCORI HS Drumline (MN), the Concord Blue Devils, Blue Knights, and NITE EXPRESS Drum and Bugle Corps, the Pride of Broken Arrow HS (OK), Moore HS (OK), Collinsville HS (OK), Rosemount HS (MN), Buena HS (CA), Moorpark HS (CA), and Santa Susana HS. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Tulsa in 2000 with his Bachelor’s Degree, and 2010 from Sam Houston State University’s American Band College with his Masters. John is now blessed to live in San Gabriel, CA with his wife Samantha, Step-Daughter Alexandra Brandenburg (22), Max (7), and Zoe (5).
Derrick Morales has been a driven and hard-working musician since he was ten years old when he discovered the beauty of music and the piano. He started taking lessons from a sweet old lady name Shirley Skeen who taught in his Simi Valley neighborhood. Over the years he quickly grew to become a formidable sight reader and classical pianist through his traditional training in piano. His experience at Santa Susana Magnet High School for the performing arts opened even more doors to the young Derrick by introducing him to the world of jazz improvisation, musical theater, and even more sight reading. He honed his skills at Santa Susana High through vigorous involvement in the instrumental, musical theater, and choral music departments, as well he began to work professionally outside of school in the greater Ventura/Los Angeles County area as a freelance jazz pianist and accompanist at the age of 16. After graduation, Derrick attended Moorpark College and graduated in May of 2017 with a AA-T degree in Music emphasis in classical piano performance. He now pursues a career in music education by teaching piano and voice privately around Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and is the Assistant Jazz Director at Simi Valley High School and works as an artist in residence piano accompanist at Santa Susana High School and Sinaloa middle School in Simi Valley. As well he performs regularly around the greater Ventura/Los Angeles County area with his 5-piece jazz group known as Dogfish Jazz Collective.
Blending his diverse musical influences, Andrew Chermak brings a fresh and innovative brand of music that pleases fans of any genre. A resident of Ventura County, Andrew has brought a new sound to the jazz genre by blending influences of funk, rock, hip hop, and Latin music. On top of performing Andrew also has a private teaching practice, offering lessons in classical and jazz trumpet. Andrew's sound has been heard across the country, from Ventura's Squashed Grapes to Carnegie Hall in New York. Currently studying for his undergraduate in the Jazz Studies program at California State University Northridge, Andrew Chermak completed his associate's degree for music at Moorpark college where he performed as lead trumpet with both their wind ensemble and jazz A band. Andrew now plays in the A band at CSUN and studies privately under the world renown jazz trumpet player Howie Sheer. Andrew Chermak has his own jazz collective based in Ventura County called Dogfish. Andrew also works and has served as a sideman for several professional groups such as Ventura County's Barrelhouse Wailers, Kyle Smith, the Ventura Jazz Orchestra, and Jimmy McConnell's big band, based in Northridge. As well as being a performer, Andrew is driven by a passion to share the beauty of music through teaching.