BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Executive Board includes the following positions: President, Vice-President and Treasurer. These positions carry full-time responsibilities for the ongoing daily operation of the association. The Manager positions consist of the following: Ways & Means, Membership/Tour and Marketing. These positions also carry full-time responsibilities. The General Board of Directors will also consist of the Executive Board, Managers, Members-At-Large (voting) and non-voting members.

Thom Willett

President

Thom began his career in the marching arts in 1979 when he joined the Burbank Police Youth Band, where he stayed until going to the Los Caballeros in 1983. He continued with his High School Band at North Hollywood High School. His marching career has ranged from H.S. to DCI where he aged out in 88 with the Velvet Knights.

His teaching started as a marching and brass instructor at Granada Hills HS in 1986. From there, he worked with a number of groups where he got the itch to continue this as a long time career. He has been a Marching Instructor for CSUN, where he went on to be the Visual Coordinator in 1996. In 2007, he became the Director of CSUN Matador Band for 4 years, when Athletics cut Football the band was also done. Thom has taught high school jazz ensembles, color guard, marching bands, and drum corps in SoCal.  

Thom was a charter staff member for the Royal Cavaliers Indoor Winds in 2016. He continues to stay active in the activity by announcing for SCSBOA, WBA, WGASC/ADLA shows across SoCal.
Thom lives with his wife Cindy and their dog Treble. They have 3 children between them.  

Kyle Norwood

Vice President

Kyle started life at an early age in Butte, Montana, the home of Anaconda Copper Company and Robert “Evil” Kenival. It was obvious immediately that he had an extreme interest in two things, music and cars, and one did not take precedence over the other. He could name every car on the road and played harmonica and piano from about the fourth grade. In the fifth grade while watching “The Lawrence Welk Show '' with the family he saw Barney Liddell playing the trombone in a Jimmy Dorsey style. He convinced his grandmother to buy him his first Olds Ambassador trombone and he joined the Taft Elementary band program. By the eighth grade he had volunteered to play the Sousaphone because nobody else would and at 78 pounds and just a bit over 4 feet tall was hauling that Sousaphone home and back to school on his skateboard.  

Fast forward to high school where he played Sousaphone in the marching band and trombone in the Jazz ensemble, and with a regular group of friends that would get together and try to jam to the records from the likes of Jack Teagarten, Doc Severnsen, Bill Chase, and Maynard Ferguson to name a few. His move to Portland, Oregon his senior year in high school provided the opportunity to join the Royal Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps and compete in the DCI Nationals held in Lynn, Massachusetts (1973) where they finished 15th.(Santa Clara Vanguard went on to take the championships that year.)  

After graduating from John Marshall High School in Portland and aging out of the Royal Lancers, Kyle pursued his other passion and built, raced, and in some cases destroyed several cars including his personal favorite, a 1967 Pontiac GTO. He also bounced around jobs in restaurants, the automotive industry, and the residential construction trade. He continued his passion for music as a sideman in a number of Top 40 copy bands over the next several years.  

After a near fatal motorcycle accident he decided to pursue music as a career. He started in the Music Therapy program at Montana State University, Billings and eventually graduated from California Lutheran University with a B.A. degree in music. It was during this time he met his wife of over 30 years and took on the role of stepfather to her two then teenaged children. Since then he earned a teaching credential at California State University and continued his teaching career. He has been teaching music in the Los Angeles and Ventura County area since. A career spanning 32 years in elementary, junior high/middle school, and private teaching culminated with his retirement in 2020 after 14 years as the band director, jazz band director, choir director and Mariachi director at Hueneme High School in Oxnard, California. 

Now, Kyle enjoys spending time with his family, which now includes two teenage grandchildren, driving the highways and byways of our great country with his wife in their modified 1956 Ford pickup, playing music when the opportunities arise, and working on the Board of Directors for the Royal Cavaliers Performing Arts. The best part for him is helping the RCPA Organization give young people the opportunity to expand their passion for music into positive lifetime experiences like he had as a Royal Lancer.

Jose "Pops" Cuervo Sosa

Treasurer

Pops joined the Royal Cavaliers Performing Arts organization during the 2015-2016 season. Since joining as a parent-volunteer, he has served in many areas such as travelling coordinator, rehearsal coordinator, driver, cook, and at times, as a liaison between the ensemble members and the staff. “Pops” was recently elected to the position of Treasurer in the 2019-2020 season where he serves today.    

Pops has always been involved in music at one level or another since his elementary school days. This includes the opportunity to march in field competitions throughout his high school days, travel to the Reno Jazz festival where he participated with the local community college jazz band and even got to sit in on a set with the legendary Maynard Ferguson as a highlight of his senior year.  

Pops holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and is set to take his state exam in 2021 to become a licensed Marriage /Family Therapist, specializing in addiction services. He is currently employed as a therapist/counselor for a Ventura County based treatment program. Pops brings an energy and ability to help members better acclimate to the stresses of rehearsals and performances, while also challenging the members to strive for more both on the floor and in their own private lives by using his own experiences in music programs and his current employment.

Pops lives in Ventura California where he enjoys hobbies that include hiking, making hiking staffs and walking sticks, and other outdoor adventures. A fan of the Los Angeles Rams & the San Diego Padres, Pops finds pleasure in most activities and is constantly on the go.

Roanne pallasigui

Secretary

Bio Coming Soon!

Robert Lowery

Executive Director of Programs

Robert has a long history of being involved with music programs over the years. Some of his past percussion instruction ensembles are Western Albemarle High School (Crozet, VA), Western Branch High School (Chesapeake, VA), Lakeland High School (Suffolk, VA), Tallwood High School (Virginia Beach, VA), Cox High School (Virginia Beach, VA) and Princess Anne High School (Virginia Beach, VA). Robert also did some judging for several marching band circuits and music festivals in Virginia. Robert was also a member of Southern Nights Drum & Bugle Corps that was based in Virginia Beach, VA. After moving to California, he took on the Percussion Instructor for Gahr High School (Cerritos, CA). Later he started an independent drumline for young teenagers in the LA Area. This then transformed into the Mystikal Youth Arts Organization (2004 – 2009). Robert also have experience in visual design as part of his duties with the various high school ensembles and worked closely with his mentors Tim Gauldin, Andy Harnsberger, and Kevin Mitchell arranging marching percussion music for the various high school programs in Virginia Beach, VA.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology with a focus on Technical Operations from Old Dominion University and numerous certifications. He is also a member of National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA) and Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity as one of the Charter Members for the Upsilon Beta Chapter. Robert’s professional career is currently doing contractor development and bonding program for Public Agencies in Downtown Los Angeles.

He currently lives in Long Beach, CA where he enjoys international traveling, off-roading, camping and hiking. He loves his family, the Washington Redskins, New York Yankees and Boston Celtics.

greg ramsey

quartermaster

Bio Coming Soon!

Maria garcia

fundraising committee Chair

Bio Coming Soon!

Philip Ruiz

Liason/Consultant

Philip is the current director of bands at Diamond Ranch High School, in Pomona, CA, where he teaches jazz, guitar, marching band, wind ensemble, concert band, string orchestra, symphony orchestra, and colorguard. He has also held the position of department chair for the visual and performing arts department since 2014.

In addition to his teaching duties, he adjudicates for the School Band and Orchestra Association and has presented to the school board on numerous occasions regarding the different concepts and issues surrounding music education. Previous positions include adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona teaching Secondary Instrumental Techniques and director of bands at Servite High School in Anaheim, California. He is currently in his twentieth year of teaching in the secondary classroom where his groups continue to earn numerous awards in marching contests and superior ratings at both district and state festivals.

Mr. Ruiz earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a Masters in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He is currently attending Claremont Graduate University, where he is ABD and in the final stages of completing his doctorate of music with a focus in musicology. His dissertation focuses on the social development of the new instrumental music director and is the recipient of the prestigious Walker/Parker Memorial Endowment Fellowship.

Mr. Ruiz has been honored by Who's Who Among American Teachers, as Diamond Ranch High School's Teacher of the Month and a nominee for Disney's Music Educator of the Year. He is a current member of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, National Association for Music Education, California Band Director Association, California Teacher Association, and National Education Association.