Previous Directors


(2002-2005) – Daniel Sandt

Daniel Sandt, a music education major, became the founding director of the new Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Pep Band in 2002. In his tenure, he grew the band from its inception into a group that could maintain itself, helping found the group that now performs at nearly every Cal Poly home basketball or volleyball game (and some other events). He also directed the band on its first trip out of state, as they traveled to the University of Arizona where they played against the established U of A Pep Band.

Dan went on to become director of bands at A.B. Miller High School, and in 2006 became the director of San Dimas High School, where he currently teaches three concert bands, a jazz band, color guard, and drum line (which combine into a marching band during fall). In the summer of 2017, he completed a Master's in Band Directing through the American Band College (part of Sam Houston State University). He now lives in Covina with his wife Tiffany and their three cats.


(2005-2009) – Steven Corral

Steve led the band to hostile environments for exhibition games at UCLA, UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge in addition to regular season play. He started the tradition of band performances at home volleyball games as well as expanding the band's performance venues, spirit activities, musical abilities and music library. While attending Cal Poly Pomona, Steve worked as marching tech as well as lead visual advisor for several marching bands in and around the Southern California area. He also performed as principle trombone for Cal Poly’s Jazz and Concert ensembles.

Steve graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2009 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Since 2010, he has worked as an engineer for Extron Electronics in Anaheim, CA. He currently resides in Brea, CA with his wife Melinda.


(2009-2012) – James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez has been playing and studying music since the age of 7 and is now a music educator and advisor. As Director for the Bronco Pep Band, James Rodriguez took the band to San Francisco, San Diego, and had the band perform at over 50 away basketball games. While attending Cal Poly Pomona, James performed with the Cal Poly Pomona Concert, Jazz, Salsa, and Trumpet Ensembles. He student conducted the Cal Poly Pomona Concert Band, under the advisement from Dr. John Burdett, studied trumpet from David Grasmick, and graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2012 with a degree in Music Education.

In 2014, James student taught under Phil Ruiz, Band Director at Diamond Ranch High School, to receive his teaching credential. He is currently the band director at Vista Heights Middle School, where his program has shown tremendous growth and continues to perform at superior levels. He lives in Ontario, CA with his wife, Megan, his college sweetheart from Cal Poly Pomona’s Cheer Squad.


(2012-2014) – Branden Herron

Branden Herron became the Band Director after James, spending a total of 4 years in the ensemble as well as serving as the Vice President and Assistant Band Director. As a Music Performance major, he was the Principal tubist for the Cal Poly Pomona Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Cal Poly Pomona Brass Ensemble.

Now Branden works as a freelance Tuba, Bass Trombone and Cimbasso player in the Southern Califonia area. He currently holds the Principal chair with the Symphonic Winds of the Pacific, Orange County Symphonic Pops, and the Orchestra Consortium of Orange County, and has performed with many others. Outside of performing, Branden works for Eastman Music Company as a Quality Control and Repair Technician for their Winds Department, and is a pivotal member of the low brass development team for tubas, euphoniums and cimbassi. Branden has also been teaching private lessons on low brass instruments in the Pomona area for over a decade and has had students make it to State Honor Bands and into college.


(2014-2016) – Ramiro Casteñeda

Ramiro Castañeda started playing the trumpet at the age of 10, continuing on through middle school, high school, and now, college. At Cal Poly Pomona, privately studied on trumpet and studio composition, as well as studying the French Horn and conducting. During his time at Cal Poly Pomona he performed with various groups, including the Cal Poly Pomona Concert Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble. He aspires to become a music educator while focusing on studio arranging and conducting. Apart from being the director of the Bronco Pep Band at Cal Poly, he was the brass, visual and drum major technician for a DCI Open Class group called the Watchmen - where he has been the drum major. He is currently an assistant director at Diamond Ranch High School.


(2016-2018) - Kingsley Hickman

Kingsley Hickman followed as director after Ramiro, focusing on instilling a traditional pep band atmosphere and bringing new performance opportunities to the ensemble. In his 5 years of membership under two previous directors he served as section leader, vice president, and assistant director. While studying as an Aerospace Engineering major, he has acted as principal saxophonist for the Cal Poly Pomona Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Saxophone Quartet, Saxophone Choir. He currently holds the principal chair in the Symphonic Winds of the Pacific and the Orange County Wind Symphony. Kingsley continues to volunteer at Redwood Middle School and Conejo Valley Summer Music Camp as a woodwind instructor and teach saxophone privately to students in the Greater Los Angeles area. During his final semesters here at Cal Poly Pomona, Kingsley looks forward to seeing the continued growth of the ensemble as he returns as a general member.


(2018-2020) - Viral Shukla

Viral Shukla, born and raised in Pleasanton California, is in his third year towards his degree in Food Science and Technology, with a minor in Music and Culinology. He began studying music on the piano at the age of six and has been playing brass since age ten; he now primarily plays low brass and percussion. Viral earned the Outstanding Service Award from Amador Valley High School for his dedication and service as Band Council President and Honorary Band Director. He has performed in the Concert, Jazz, Marching Bands and Winter Drumlines. In 2014 and 2015 he marched in the Blue Devils “B” Drum Corps. He currently volunteers as a musical and visual instructor at Amador Valley High School. At Cal Poly Pomona, he volunteers as the Head Band Librarian and previously held positions on the Music Board and Nu Sigma chapter of KKPsi.

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