Directors & Staff

Bryan Chesi • Director of Instrumental Music • Director of Jazz

Bryan grew up in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Bryan started playing clarinet in 4th grade and quickly made the switch to the saxophone. He attended Glenbard East High School and was taught and mentored by Ross Kellan. While at Glenbard East, Bryan had a wide range of experiences, including working with Marvin Stamm and participating in a session presented by Dr. Harry Begian at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

After Graduating from Glenbard East in 2001, Bryan attended Eastern Illinois University to pursue double Bachelor of Music degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Education. While at EIU Bryan studied with Sam Fagaly, Michael Stryker, Simon Rowe, Paul Johnston, Lawrence Stoffel, Dennis Hayslett, Milton Allen, and Allan Horney. He also had the chance to perform with Robin Eubanks, Steve Wilson, Joe Magnarelli, Wayne Bergeron, and Mark Colby. He student taught at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora IL and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007. 

After graduating Bryan taught in Bellwood IL for two years, rebuilding a nonexistent middle school band program. After building a band program that performed several concerts and at the middle school graduation, Bryan moved his efforts to Coal City Middle School, where he taught for three years. 

Seeking more growth as an educator, Bryan chose to pursue a masters degree in wind conducting at his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University. Bryan had the opportunity to study with Alicia Neal and conducted the EIU Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Panther Marching Band. In addition, he was able to perform in the EIU Jazz Ensemble, Lab Band, and Blue Note Jazz Combo. In addition to his performances he was selected to be the ensemble director of the Clark County Jazz Festival. While studying and playing again at EIU, Bryan had the opportunity to perform with Dennis Mackrel, and members of the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra - Scotty Barnhart, Marshall McDonald, and Clarence Banks. Bryan graduated from EIU in 2015 with a M.A. in Wind Conducting.

Joseph Avery • Director of Marching • Director of Percussion

Joseph Avery is a band director, percussion educator, composer/designer, and drill writer based in the San Joaquin Valley specializing in battery technique and percussion performance. Having received his degree in Music Education from California State University, Fresno, he is a proud alumnus of the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band. Mr. Avery comes to us from Clovis High where he has been the Associate Director of Bands and the Director of Percussion for the Clovis High School area. Mr. Avery has worked, choreographed, written, designed, and taught for Clovis Unified School District, Madera Unified School District, and Fresno Unified School District. He has also consulted for a multitude of high schools and middle schools in the San Joaquin Valley. He has taken groups to WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio and is the founder and director of Fresno State’s Red Wave Indoor Percussion ensemble. Additionally he is the Percussion Caption Head for the Fresno State Marching Band. Mr. Avery’s own performance in the percussion community has taken place both outdoors and indoors with the Sacramento Freelancers Indoor, the Concord Blue Devils, and Carolina Crown.

Michael Samson • Orchestra Director

Michael Samson began his music career in 4th grade playing trumpet in school bands, and taking piano lessons soon after. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Composition with an emphasis in Piano Performance. While attending he was active in student-organized extracurricular musical activities, including putting together a concert of Disney music involving over 100 musicians comprising the orchestra, chorus, and vocal soloists, and founding the Ithaca College Gamer Symphony Orchestra, a still-active ensemble of approximately 60 members which arranges and performs music from video games. He was also a performer in the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps for four seasons, and with the Blue Devils International Corps in 2015. Michael has coached seven high school marching bands, Broken City Percussion, and the Blue Devils 'B' and Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, the latter of which he served as the Visual Caption Head. He was also an instrumental music teacher for the 6th graders of Thomas S. Hart Middle School and a General Music teacher for the 4th graders of Alisal Elementary School in Pleasanton during the 2016-17 school year. 

Teaching in the Clovis West Area represents a new chapter in Michael's life, and he is beyond excited to work with his wonderful new students and enter this amazing and supportive community!


Mike Malatesta •  Associate Director

Mike Malatesta is a graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and has a Single Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Fresno. While attending Fresno State, Mr. Malatesta participated in several music ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band B, British Brass Band, Orchestra, and the Bulldog Marching Band.

Since 1999, Mr. Malatesta has been the Associate Director of Bands at Clovis West High School, where his responsibilities have included directing the Concert Band, Concert Percussion Ensemble, and Winter Percussion Ensembles. Malatesta’s teaching duties currently include teaching the Percussion class and Concert Percussion Ensembles, as well as assisting with the Concert Band and Wind Symphony. 

In addition to his responsibilities at Clovis West, Mr. Malatesta is also the Director of Percussion at Kastner Intermediate School, and Director of First Flight Percussion. At Kastner, Mr. Malatesta teaches all percussionists in Percussion Class, three Concert Bands, two Jazz Ensembles, Winter Percussion, and three Concert Percussion Ensembles. In the fall of 2013, Mr. Malatesta started “First Flight Percussion”, an elementary school percussion ensemble offered to 6th grade music students in the Clovis West Area (which represents the seven elementary schools in the Clovis West attendance area).

Mr. Malatesta’s professional affiliations include membership in PAS (Percussive Arts Society), in addition to proudly endorsing Remo and Vic Firth products. 


Colorguard Staff

Stephanie Perger • Director of Colorguard 


Stephanie joined the Clovis West Area staff in the fall of 2008 and is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education. She had previously taught the colorguard program at Mead High School since 2005. Stephanie has an extensive amount of experience having performed with the Rhapsody Winterguard from Seattle, Washington in 2007 & 2008, the Seattle Cascades in 2005, and the Spokane Thunder in 2004. Stephanie directs the colorguard programs at Kastner Intermediate and Clovis West High School.

Shae Ceballos • Colorguard Instructor

Bio coming soon!



Percussion Staff

Amanda Martinez • Percussion Instructor

Amanda graduated from Clovis West High School in 2012 and is now studying marine biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Amanda began her career in percussion early in elementary school where she quickly found her passion with the marching bass drum. During her time at Clovis West, she participated in concert band, wind symphony, symphony orchestra, marching band, percussion ensemble, and winter drums. After graduation, Amanda went on to join the Blue Devils B Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012 and then the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013. She went on to win two back to back world class DCI championships with the Blue Devils in 2014 and 2015. She also marched with Vanguard Winter Percussion in 2014 where she was awarded Rookie of the Year. Amanda continues her career in music by teaching and performing with many ensembles throughout the year.

Roberto Hernandez • Percussion Instructor

Roberto, a 2014 Clovis East graduate, is currently working on pursuing his degree in audio engineering at Fresno City College. While at Clovis East Roberto participated in Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Concert Percussion Ensemble, and Winter Percussion. Roberto became involved in percussion during elementary school, where he realized his passion for percussion. While in high school, he became involved in The Blue Devils organization by marching The Blue Devils 'B' Drum Corps in 2012-13, where he won two open class percussion titles. Later, while in The Blue Devils 'A' Corps, he became a 2014 DCI World Class Champion. Throughout the year, Roberto is invloved in various musical ensembles.

Marching Staff

Katherine (K.K.) Sullivan • Administrative Assistant • Marching Instructor

Katherine Sullivan is an Instrumental Performing Arts Visual Designer and Technician. She has had the opportunity to learn and perform in several exceptional groups including Blue Devils and RCC. She currently teaches and writes for numerous junior high to college level groups around the country and is excited to continue growing as an educator.