ADAM PEZDEK Director
Mr. Pezdek, a native of San Diego, spent 22 years in the United States Marine Corps as a Marine Musician and performed on trombone, piano, and as a conductor throughout the country as well as Japan, Germany, Kuwait and Australia. As an arranger he has arranged over 200 pieces for Marine Corps Bands, scored music for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and has created arrangements for Aretha Franklin, Ryan Anthony, Bones Apart, and the Chicago run of the musical “First Wives Club.” He received a Bachelor of Music from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. Mr. Pezdek previously taught Band and Choir at West Hills High School in Santee, CA, General Music at Eastlake Elementary School in Chula Vista, CA, and Wind Band at the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. Currently, Mr. Pezdek is the Director of Bands and Orchestra Director at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, CA. and serves as a Brass Tech for Gold Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition to teaching, Adam currently serves as the Pianist and Worship Leader at First Baptist Church of Lemon Grove, and is pursuing a Master of Music with a specialization in conducting from San Diego State University.
Color Guard Caption Head
Giovanni has been the Color Guard Caption Head at Valhalla High School since the fall of 2017. He is a graduate of Helix High School, where he played Euphonium and performed with the Color Guard. Giovanni has performed as a guard member with the Independent Guards Lealta (2005) and Aztec Winter Guard (2005/06), as well as several Drum and Bugle Corps, to include Esperanza (2003/04), Blue Devils (2006), and SoCal Dream (2008/09). He also performed with the San Diego State Marching Aztecs from 2003-2008 and graduated from there with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Giovanni has coached several San Diego are high school Color Guards to include Helix, El Capitan, West Hills, Grossmont, Scripps Ranch, and Bonita Vista. He is a founding member of Alchemy Independent, where he continues to coach, along with teaching Color Guard at Gold Drum and Bugle Corps. Giovanni currently works as a Social Services Coordinate for San Diego County, a position he has held since 2012.
Percussion Caption Head
Jake has been the Percussion Caption Head at Valhalla High School since 2017. He also serves as the Battery Caption Head at Scripps Ranch High School and a percussion judge for the Southwest Judges Network. Jake has taught percussion and visuals at several San Diego area high schools, to include San Ysidro, Monte Vista, El Capitan, Granite Hills, West Hills, and Grossmont. He also performed for on Snare and Tenor Drum with the San Diego State Marching Aztecs from 2009-2011. Jake graduated from Colorado State University in July of 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, and is endorsed by Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, and Zildjian Cymbals.
Front Ensemble Tech
Jake Gamelin started working as the Valhalla Front Ensemble Tech during the Winter Percussion season in the spring of 2018. He is from Chino Hills, California, and graduated from Chino Hills High School. Jake also works as the Front Ensemble Tech for El Capitan High School and Scripps Ranch High School, he also instructed at Grossmont High School in the fall of 2017. He has performed with the Chino Hills Marching Band and Indoor Drumline, and has won 8 gold and silver medals from ADLA, SCPA, and WGI Drumline Championships. Jake graduated from San Diego State University in December of 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Composition, and has composed Marching Band and Drumline music for both El Capitan and Valhalla High School.