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Jesse Hirakawa

San Marino High School
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Jesse Hirakawa is an experienced veteran in the marching percussion activity.  His training began in 2003 as a mallet player at South Torrance High School in Torrance, California. As a junior, Jesse embarked on a summer tour in 2006 with the Yamato Drum & Bugle Corps. After graduating, Jesse earned a spot as a vibraphone player with Pulse Percussion in 2008 & 2009, and then earning a marimba spot for 2010 & 2011, under the instruction of Ian Grom, Rudy Arzaga and Sean Gordon.  During 2010 season, the ensemble managed to earn their first SCPA (Southern California Percussion Alliance) Independent World Gold Medal, along with earning their first WGI Independent
World Gold Medal.

Jesse continued to forge his path as a mallet percussionist when he earned a spot playing mallets for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, under the instruction of Tom Rarick, Brad Palmer, Craig Loeffler and Ryan Kilgore.  This challenging experience capped off with a World Class Bronze Medal: an unprecedented first in the organizations’ history.  Following his age-out year with Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, Jesse marched his age-out year with Pulse Percussion in 2011 and the ensemble earned the 2011 SCPA PIW SIlver Medal & WGI Bronze Medal.

Since 2010, Jesse has served as the front ensemble instructor/arranger for San Marino High School alongside Scott Tanaka (San Marino HS Percussion Caption Head/Arranger), leading San Marino to their first SCPA Championship appearance in the Scholastic Percussion “A” division during the 2013 season.

Prior to San Marino HS, Jesse worked with Valencia HS,  earning the 2011 SCPA Percussion Scholastic Concert Open Gold Medal, along with an SCPA PSO Silver Medal (2013) and 2 SCPA PSCO Silver Medals (2012-2013).  

Since 2011, Jesse has worked as the mallet technician for 2011 & 2012 4A/5A WBA Grand Champion, Ayala HS, during the summers. In addition to his present duties, Jesse has also worked with the SCSBOA 6A Champion Etiwanda High School, as well as teaching Impulse Drum & Bugle Corps in 2011, and recently the 2013 Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps.

Most notably, though, was Jesse’s previous involvement with the 2012 Pulse Open Percussion Ensemble, where they earned a promotion to Percussion Independent World in only their second year of existence.

Outside of teaching, Jesse has recently graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Landscape Architecture and currently resides in Anaheim, California.