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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.


Director of Instrumental Music

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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. Dr. Schueller began his appointment in July of 2023 as Director of Instrumental Music at West Ranch High School in  Stevenson Ranch, California. In this capacity, he serves as Conductor of the Wind Ensemble, the Chamber  Orchestra, the Concert Orchestra, and Director of the renowned Wildcat Marching Band. With a fantastic group of students and an outstanding Instructional Staff, he led the Wildcat Marching Band to the SCSBOA  Class 4A State Championship. It is the sixth title in West Ranch High School history. 


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. Additionally, the ensemble performed for the 2008 Southwestern Division Conference of the  College Band Directors National Association in Kansas City, the 2007 Texas Music Educators Association  Clinic and Convention, and the South Central Chapter Conference of the College Music Society in 2006. In a joint venture with the Bobcat Marching Band, the Texas State University Wind Ensemble released Fanfare!, a compact disc of live concert selections from 2008 and 2009. 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.  


Ensembles under his leadership have received praise from composers Charles Booker, Steven Bryant,  Mark Camphouse, Rob Deemer, Donald Grantham, Timothy Kramer, John Mackey, Timothy Mahr, Scott  McAllister, Jonathan Newman, 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 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. He co-presented a clinic session at the 2007 Midwest International Band and  Orchestra Clinic with Frank Ticheli and a session on conducting at the 2005 Texas Bandmasters Association  Clinic and Convention.  


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 and Sterling Municipal Band as well as numerous Festival, Honor, and All-State Bands in Texas and  Illinois. He is currently a member of the California Band Directors Association, the California Orchestra  Directors Association, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

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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. 



Percussion Director

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.


Colorguard Director

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. 

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