MEET THE TEAM
West Ranch High School Music has achieved a reputation of excellence, owing to its committed and talented team members and mentors. Brought together by a deep passion for performance and music, each bandmate brings their own unique character and sound to the Marching Band. Get to meet the faces behind the music.
RODNEY C. SCHUELLER
Director of Instrumental Music
(661) 222-1220 x646
Rodney C. Schueller is the Director of Instrumental Music at West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch, California. Rodney C. Schueller has enjoyed a career in bands and music education for over 23 years including serving as a Director of Bands on both the high school and university levels in Texas and Illinois.
Ensembles under his leadership have received praise from composers Steven Bryant, Mark Camphouse, Donald Grantham, John Mackey, Timothy Mahr, Jack Stamp, and Frank Ticheli among others. He has several world premieres to his credit, the most recent being Tender Hearts by Jonathan Newman in December 2020, a piece thought to be the first-ever work for wind ensemble and silent film.
Dr. Schueller led the West Aurora High School Wind Symphony to several appearances at the University of Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival and the Texas State University Wind Ensemble in performances for the National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Seattle, Washington, and the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic and Convention in February and March of 2011. Under his leadership, the 2006 Bobcat Marching Band was selected for the inaugural marching
band video breakout session at the 2007 National Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Dr. Schueller earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance and Music Education from the University of Iowa, a Master of Music degree in Wind Conducting from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University where he was the Kenneth G. Bloomquist Conducting Fellow. He studied wind conducting with Ray E. Cramer and John L. Whitwell, with additional studies in orchestral conducting with International Gustav Mahler Medal recipient James Dixon, a protégé of Dimitri Mitropoulos.
Dr. Schueller is a contributing author to seven volumes in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series published by GIA, producing a total of fourteen teacher resource guides as well as work for the volume for solo instruments with band accompaniment. Additionally, he has published articles in the Bandmasters Review (the official publication of the Texas Bandmasters Association), The Instrumentalist, and the MBM Times.
Dr. Schueller is active as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor across the United States, having served as guest conductor for the JanFest Band Festival at the University of Georgia, Conductor-in-Residence at California State University-Northridge, and as guest conductor with the Fox Valley Concert Band as well as numerous Festival, Honor, and All-State bands in Texas and Illinois.
Director of Jazz Studies
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Brian Leff is the Director of Jazz Studies at West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch, California and the Jazz Coordinator for the William S. Hart Union High School District. Mr. Leff directs the West Ranch Studio A Jazz Band, Lab Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, as well as teaches AP Music Theory.
Mr. Leff is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and received his Bachelors and Masters in Music Education from University of Pacific. After Graduation, he performed with Celebrity Cruises, traveling and playing throughout the Caribbean and Alaska. Mr. Leff also is an inaugural member, and director since 2014, of the GO Jazz Big Band, Santa Clarita’s premier jazz ensemble.
Julio C. Diaz III is the Percussion Director/Arranger/Designer for West Ranch High School. West Ranch High School competes in the SCPA (Southern California Percussion Alliance) and WGI (Winter Guard International) circuits. Julio is a D’Addario Artist who proudly uses Evans, ProMark, Planet Waves, D’Addario strings, and pure sound snares.
Esther Kamp is the Director of the West Ranch HS Colorguard. She started with West Ranch when the school opened in 2004, first as a parent of a Colorguard member, volunteer, and charter Band Booster board member. She became director of the Colorguard in 2005.
Esther proudly performed with the El Camino Real HS Marching Band & Colorguard, the Cal State University Northridge Marching Band & Colorguard, Conquistadores Comp Guard, the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, Avatar Winterguard, the All-American Olympic Marching Band for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Opening & Closing Ceremonies, the 1986 Statue of Liberty Rededication Marching Band, and the 2017 Santa Clara Vanguard Alumni Corp. Long before coming to West Ranch she taught at Venice High School, Cal State University-Northridge, Avatar, and Zephyr Winterguards.
Esther is thrilled to be able to teach at West Ranch. The Colorguard competes in the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) and Winterguard International (WGI). In 2017 the Colorguard earned a spot in the WGI World Championships finals for the first time.