Director of Jazz Studies
Jair Gallardo teaches Brass and Woodwind lessons at Desert Ridge Music Academy. He recently graduated with a saxophone performance degree from Northern Arizona University. Jair is also in the SDOHS Marching Band Staff as well as the their jazz director. He recently got hired as the band and choir director for the Desert Mountain School in the DVUSD.
Although he is primarily a saxophonist, he can also play the flute, clarinet, tuba, trombone, bass, guitar, trumpet, and drum set. Jair has studied saxophone, clarinet, drum set, and composition with the NAU faculty. He graduated from Deer Valley High School in 2014.
Since graduating, Jair has worked as a musician in the Phoenix area where he has performed with corporate/event bands, played in musicals, and has done studio recording work. In his time at NAU, Jair has performed with the Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble One, various jazz combos, the NAU Saxophone Orchestra, the NAU Marching Band on flute and mellophone, and the Symphonic Band on clarinet.
Concert Band Assistant & Woodwind
Mr. Fike is an alumnus of the DVUSD school system and the SDOHS marching band. He received his Bachelor’s in Music Education and Bachelor’s in Saxophone Performance degrees, both Summa Cum Laude, from Northern Arizona University. Mr. Fike was principal of the Arizona All-State Band alto saxophone section and the baritone saxophonist in the AZ All-State Jazz band for three years in a row, has been a featured soloist with orchestra three times, and while at university, won the NAU concerto competition. He currently performs on alto and soprano saxophone with the Tempe Wind Symphony, and gigs as a substitute for various chamber groups around the Valley.
After completing his student teaching, Mr. Fike was deemed the “Outstanding Graduating Student in Bachelor’s of Music Education” by the faculty at NAU. He began his teaching career at Sierra Verde STEAM Academy, where his students earned Superior ratings at festival, and is now the band director at Terramar Academy of the Arts. He has served as a DVUSD Team Lead in the Honor Band Chair position, and previously held the 7th Grade All-State Band Chair on the Arizona Music Educator’s Association board for two years. Bryan has previously worked as a woodwind and visual instructor for the Boulder Creek Jaguar Marching Band, and currently holds those positions with the Sandra Day O’Connor Eagle Pride Marching Band.
Percussion Caption Head
Colorguard Caption Head
Brass Caption Head,
Tuba Instructional Coach
Visual & Movement Caption Head
Colorguard Assistant Instructor
Taylor Lander has been on staff with O’Connor as a Colorguard Assistant Coach for the past three years. She is one of our many O’Connor alumni here on staff with us and graduated in 2016. She has recently graduated from ASU with a degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Nutrition and Healthy Living. Taylor has spun with the ASU marching band for two years as well as 5-time WGI World Class Finalists, Fenix Independent, for two years. In her spare time, she also volunteers at Honor Health Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center to prepare for pursuing a career as a Physician’s Assistant.
Percussion Assistant Instructor
Born and raised in Gilbert Arizona, Ethan started drum lessons at the age of 7 and attended Highland High School, Mesa Community College, and Arizona State University. He fortunate to have an incredible High School program at Highland with Wardell King giving priceless interaction and clinics from some of the best, like Ralph Hardimon, Glen Crosby, Seth Woodard, and Mike Talerico. In 2008 Ethan marched bass drum with The Arizona Academy Drum and Bugle Corps and learned from some of the quintessential masters of marching percussion while under the direction of Glen Crosby. Learning from the staff at Highland High School and Academy shaped Ethan’s musical knowledge and understanding of marching percussion and has since aligned him with some of the greatest educators in marching percussion. Ethan studied Jazz Performance at Arizona State University under Dom Moio and marched with the Sun Devil Marching Band. Focused on being a professional, how to get and keep a gig, and rhythm section essentials, at ASU Ethan dug in deep with Dom and has since created a music career playing with many different ensembles including collegiate and professional orchestras, wind ensembles, big bands, jazz ensembles, percussion ensembles, brass bands, pit orchestras, corporate bands, as well as pop, rock, and hip-hop bands and DJ’s.
Ethan has studied with Michael Kocour, Dom Moio, Glen Crosby, Ralph Hardimon, Jon Sutton, Ryan Masterson, Fred Emory Smith, Mike Talerico, Andrea Venet, Seth Woodard, Catherina Bhagwat, Wes Anderson, John Hopkins, Joseph Goglia, Stephen Hemphill, Antonio Hernandez, Matthew Watson, and his mentor, Wardell King. For 10 years Ethan has taught percussion privately in-home and with regionally recognized high school band programs: Highland High School, Mountain View High School, Corona Del Sol High School, Chandler High School Gilbert High School, and many others and in 2018 he started working with Phenom Sound Sport. 2014 began his career in winter percussion and he has served as the Bass Drum staff for Breakthrough Percussion for the past 6 seasons, and Battery Manager during his first season. In 2019 Breakthrough competed for the first time in Percussion Independent World after 9 years of PIO competition, where they were a WGI Championship finalist for 5 years, placing 5th in 2016.
Ethan plays with Jump Jive and Wail Entertainment, The Fairchild Blues Brothers Tribute, Bad Cactus Brass Band, Funkhaus Brass Band, The Uptown Big Band, Dan Reed’s Brass Band Hotshots, TAD Productions, and BOOM! Percussion Entertainment. One of the highlights of his career was his own hip-hop band—The Brothers Cosmos.
Ethan works at Music Celebration International as a Performance Specialist, producing concert tours for band, orchestra, and choir traveling domestically and internationally for musical and cultural sight-seeing with exciting performances and formal concert opportunities. In 2019 he is the production manager for the John Philip Sousa Festival, held in the John F. Kennedy Center, and the Viennese Masters Orchestra Invitational in Carnegie Hall and currently has over 20 groups traveling to destinations including NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, and Italy.
Ethan is a member of the Vic Firth Education team and proudly plays Ludwig Drums, Zidjian Cymbals, and Remo Drumheads. Ethan loves tacos, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and teaching with his best friend Mr. Canby. He is excited to get to work with the OC percussion section and carry on traditions while creating a new foundation of musicianship and a constant hunger for progress and improvement. Never just drummers, Ethan looks to create responsible musicians and make them even better human beings.
Frontline Instructor & Percussion Coach
My name is Jaelan Kim and this will be my third year as a Front Ensemble Instructor. I have taught at a few high schools such as Buckeye Union High School, Desert Mountain High School, and Peoria High School. I have also taught at PUSD Indoor Percussion during their 2019 winter season. I graduated from Perry High School and performed within their marching band and indoor percussion. I have performed 2 seasons with Breakthrough Indoor Percussion as a Marimba and Xylophone player. I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from great staff within the state of Arizona such as Chris Canby, Bryan Hummel, Josh Stovall, and many more. Alongside with teaching at Sandra day O’Connor High School, I will be returning to Peoria High School for a second
Clarinet, Instrumental Coach
Sarah Koltweit studied clarinet at Ottawa University and graduated with a music education degree. During her time at Ottawa, Sarah performed with the wind symphony, woodwind quartet, clarinet quartet and a trio. Sarah has also toured Europe as a musician in the Ambassadors of Arizona, performed in musicals, and recitals. While working for her degree, she has been teaching private lessons for woodwind instruments, and piano at Desert Ridge Music Academy.
Trombone Instrumental Coach
Trumpet Instrumental Coach
Saxophone Instrumental Coach
Bassoon Instrumental Coach
Strings Instrumental Coach