For over two decades...

Mike has been writing, teaching and designing shows for some of the most nationally recognized percussion programs in the United States.  These include Mission Viejo HS, RCC, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps. Currently, Mike is the percussion caption head/arranger for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps.

Mike is a co-founder and current board member for the Southern California Percussion Alliance.  He also sits on the Board of Directors for Winter Guard International and has been inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame.

Mike is a Yamaha performing artist and proudly uses Evans Drumheads, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks/Mallets.


Bring it

October 25, 2014

Yates: Stop the clock-changing madness http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/24/opinion/yates-daylight-saving-time/index.html



September 30, 2014



September 27, 2014


Ok go, no one's looking

August 19, 2014


Film Ed Audition

May 16, 2014

My kid did this.



Luigi's Mansion Ghost

May 7, 2014

My kid did this.



April 22, 2014


Getting Schooled

April 21, 2014

My brother (former archery champion) and daughter (future Katniss) showing me what's up


Random Things I wish I'd thought of first

March 10, 2014


Legos: Breaking Bad edition

March 8, 2014

My kid did this.


6am-3pm Huntington Time Lapse (1fr/4sec)

March 8, 2014

My kid did this.



Sibelius 7.5 upgrade

March 8, 2014

I've been using this with Mavericks with no issues...so far.  Here's a link to the upgrade.


Mavericks and Sibelius temporary fix

February 7, 2014

Maybe I'm a latecomer here, but for those desperately waiting for Avid to release the Sibelius update, I found this quick fix for sluggish behavior from the app:
Open a Sibelius file.
Select "Sleep" from the Apple menu.
Wake the system up.
Done.  Back to normal response time from app.


Drum corps during indoor

January 15, 2014

Perhaps a generally accepted standard of hands off from Feb 1st through April 12th should be generally accepted?  :)  Promoting a more global and all-encompassing sense of the "marching arts".  We pull kids in so many directions.  Guilt trips flying everywhere.  We all know each other.  We all hear everything.  What's in the best interest for everyone, for longevity of our artform?  Just some honest and open late-night thoughts. 



January 14, 2014

I was reminded today of how great these guys are.  I remember the days of the pencil and waiting to hear what it could sound like...  I'm on a new system now and had some activation/deactivation issues with VDL2.5 and it was taken care of via support ticket in 19 min!  Jim Casella was on it.  Anyway, just wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate this company.  Happy composing!



December 23, 2013

My kid did this.


Blue Knights Audition Packets

November 22, 2013

Free download!



October 19, 2013

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.


Clinic in Thailand

October 4, 2013

I'll be flying to Bangkok on October 11th for a week-long clinic with the Siamyth Drum & Bugle Corps.  Might ride an elephant...we'll see how that goes.  Special thanks to Yamaha, Zildjian, and Evans! 


Metronome bashing

September 28, 2013

You know I can't bash a particular metronome!  At least not here.  However, I can say that I wish the Yamaha Clickstation and Korg Beatlab were still in production.  Try googling those and hit the "shopping" link.  Nothing.  When I find the met holy grail, I'll be sure to follow up on this thread.  Contact me if you think you've found THE met, specifically the feature of push-button-tempo-change that syncs with the subsequent downbeat...not interested in the spastic insta-change-mid-pocket-I'm-a-freshman-drum-major-in-training feature.  


Baseball Nonsense

September 8, 2013

This Milwaukee Brewers logo has been around since my childhood.  How have I missed, all these years, that the glove is an "m" and a "b"?!  Not so ninja.  Anyway, I hope I'm not the only one...


The Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps

August 30, 2013



Ten Great Seasons With RCC

August 24, 2013

Since "The Apple" in 2004, I have had the pleasure to work with some of the greatest people this activity has to offer.  I can't express how much this ensemble and everyone involved have meant to me.  It's been a tough decision, but I've decided to close this book and allow 2013 to be the final chapter in this amazing story.  While I can't possibly list everyone individually, I have to say thank you to Gary and Sean.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this team.  


Vinyl floors

August 19, 2013

Every few months I receive inquiries as to where my programs purchase their floors. I figured I'd put this out there to help any potential buyers: www.billboardtarps.com I've been ordering from them for years with complete satisfaction. A 55' x 80' floor is roughly $800, and that includes shipping to your door! The floors range from 13oz to 16oz. They come in white or black. So stop paying $1200-$1600 for floors! :) I am in no way affiliated with this company. Just passing on what I think is a great deal. Happy shopping.

Note: You'll have to call in to specify your exact size. The website itself does not list every size available.



DAW switch: MOTU's DP to Apple's Logic Pro

August 16, 2013

For all my audio editing needs (guard shows, sample creation, etc), I've been using MOTU Digital Performer.  I have a long history with this software (version 3 OS9 Classic to version 7.24 OS 10.8.4).  Rather than purchase the latest version 8 update, I decided to download Apple Logic Pro X.  I'm excited to learn, but also kicking myself for the self-imposed crippling of my fluid efficiency dealing with my routine DAW needs.  Gah!  What have I done!  I'm hoping to make the transition complete by the time the guards start to call...  And maybe now I can actually share files with my cohorts already using Logic Pro.  Those of you "in the know", feel free to message me with some short cuts and pointers.  :)