HECTOR BRAMBILA has been involved in the performing arts since 2003. His love for music and art started at a young age and was fully realized under the guidance of an inspiring music director at Norwalk High School in Norwalk, CA. He went on to perform with such groups as Genesis Ensemble Winterguard, SoCal Dream Drum & Bugle Corps, Lealta Winterguard, Diamante Winterguard, and Fantasia Winter Guard.
Hector has been teaching color guard throughout most of Southern California since 2008, coaching students from all ages, levels and skill sets. Aside from teaching color guard at Canyon High School, Cerritos High School, Glen A. Wilson High School and Tetzlaff MS, he is also one of the Founders and serves as the director at Emerald Independent Open Winterguard, a nationally competitive indoor color guard based in Orange County
Homer Lopez a native of Los Angeles California, began his involvement in the Marching arts as a member of the Belmont High School Marching Band and Colorguard in Downtown Los Angeles. He pursued his performer career and marched with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont Illinois from 2003-2007 (Champion 2004 Best Colorguard, Champion 2006 and Best Color guard 2007). He also served as a cast member of Black Knights Winter Guard 2004-2005 Independent Open and Corona Winter guard Independent World in 2011 (WGI Finalist). Homer has served as a director, designer and choreographer for La Cañada High School 2006-2011, William S. Hart High School 2009-2011 and Downey High School 2011-Present (WGI SA Class Finalist 2016). As a technician, he has worked for Chino High School 2009-2011 (SW WGI Finalist). His groups have won numerous awards and have been consistent competitors within WGASC, WGI, SCSBOA and WBA. Homer continues to consult, design and choreograph for various groups within Southern California.
Alex is a native of San Diego, California where he currently resides with his life partner and their three cats. His previous marching experience includes Gold, The Academy, The Cavaliers, and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as winter seasons with Vox Artium Winter Guard and Imbue Winter Guard.
Alex’s teaching experience spans across 10 years in the the Southern California area and nationwide, working as a tech, choreographer, and designer at all levels of the activity. He has also worked with several drum corps and winter guards in a variety of design and leadership roles. At the forefront of Alex’s educational approach is accessibility and inclusivity. He strives every day to create environments that allow his performers to master their craft and achieve excellence while also growing as people, on and off the field.
Currently, Alex works with several programs including Poway High School, University City High School, Eastlake High School, San Marcos High School, Oasis Ensembles and a few drum corps. When he’s not teaching pageantry, Alex enjoys a good hike or beach day.
Alex is very excited to be embarking on this new journey with Emerald Independent!
Roxy’s journey began as a performer with prestigious units like Rancho Buena Vista High School, Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, LeAlta Winter Guard, and a inaugural member of Vox Artium Winter Guard, where they honed their skills and developed a deep understanding of the art of their craft. This firsthand experience provided a solid foundation upon which they built their teaching career.
Currently, Roxy is actively involved with several esteemed groups, including Vista High School, San Diego State University, Oasis Ensembles, Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and, their first year here at Emerald Open.
She enjoys hikes with her dog Khleo, painting, reading, and traveling!
Carrie Appel’s passion for performing started in 2011 at the beginning of an extensive colorguard career, which included: Dos Pueblos HS, the UCLA Marching Band, Infinity Winterguard, Pacific Crest, Diamante, and the Santa Clara Vanguard. Carrie also had the opportunity to branch out and march in other types of performance ensembles such as the LA Pride Parade, the Rose Parade, CBDNA Intercollegiate Marching Band, and in the visual ensemble at Pulse Percussion.
During this time she was the humble recipient of a WGI World Class Championship, DCI World Class Championship, DCI silver and bronze medals, and a DCI George Zingali High Colorguard Award. Carrie also graduated from UCLA and holds a bachelor's degree in World Arts and Cultures, and Visual and Performing Arts Education.
Carrie is a full-time colorguard instructor and has taught many programs in the Los Angeles area over the past seven years as a director, choreographer, and technician. She is currently the director of Whittier HS, and a staff member at Arcadia HS and West (Torrance) HS. Carrie also spent her recent summers as a choreographer with the Vanguard Cadets (Open Class Champions) in 2022 and a technician at Pacific Crest in 2023.
This will be Carrie’s first year with Emerald Independent and she is so excited for the new adventure with the 2024 staff and cast.