The WGAZ Hall of Fame was formed to recognize and honor individual(s) that have had a positive impact on education and unit growth/awareness and have raised the level of creative and artistic standards of the winter color guard, percussion and winds activity in Arizona.
Thien Quoc Pham
Thien grew up in Arizona participating with the Gilbert High School band and percussion programs. After high school he continued performing at ASU, ASU Indoor, and RCC. Thien gave back to Arizona and our youth by instructing at several high schools including Casa Grande, Basha, and Williams Field. Thien quickly became someone that you expected to see at any event. If there was something that needed to be done, he was the first person to step up and volunteer. His helpful and enthusiastic demeanor is what led Thien to join the WGAZ Board. Since joining the board in 2012 Thien has held multiple board positions, but more importantly, he has helped every single other board member through his time make sure they feel supported and are able to complete their job successfully. Thien has truly gone above and beyond for WGAZ, and throughout this time has always put the student experience first. As President, Thien has been an integral part of the success, growth, and newfound stability of WGAZ. His continuing support, dedication and ambition for WGAZ is going to push the circuit to new heights. Thien is truly worthy of having the honor of being the youngest person ever to be inducted into the WGAZ Hall of Fame.
Peter Gomez has been a member of the color guard community in Arizona for decades. He played a major role in the start and development of many color guard programs in the state, including the Academy Drum Corps Color Guard, Academy Winter Guard, and Academy Youth Guard. Peter served as the color guard caption head from 2004 to 2007 for the Academy Drum Corps as well as the Academy Independent Winter Guard which had the honor of being the first guard from Arizona to ever appear at WGI World Championship Finals. In just 4 short years with The Academy, Peter’s influence was spread throughout the circuit. He inspired a long lasting love for color guard into his students, and many of them are still involved with WGAZ to this day. Peter also served as a caption head, visual designer, and choreographer for Corona del Sol High School from 2005-2007 and held the same positions at Desert Vista High School from 2000-2009. His work both at the high school and independent level changed the trajectory of WGAZ, and was an integral part of bringing Arizona Color Guard into the modern world. Peter’s passion for his work was nothing short of inspiring. Those who have had the honor of learning from and working with Peter said:
“He was not only an incredible designer and choreographer, but he was also an amazing teacher. Peter was pivotal in the success of the programs he worked with and the further success of his students.”
“ Peter is truly one of the most knowledgeable, dependable, talented, and motivating individuals in this industry. He has significantly impacted the performing arts landscape across the nation and continues to be a champion for the growth of the activity here in Arizona.”
Wardell has been involved with percussion education in Arizona for almost thirty years. Over the years he has worked with many high school ensembles as a clinician, consultant, designer and instructor. Knowing the need to inspire young performers, Wardell would often bring in feature artists like Ralph Hardimon for clinics and invite schools to come out and learn. Percussion in the state of Arizona is synonymous with the name Wardell King. He is widely respected by students and colleagues alike. Anyone who sits down to talk shop with Wardell understands the passion that he can ignite in everyone around him. He is driven to push boundaries and challenge those around him to keep up with him, and can be credited with much of the continuous growth of the percussion community in the state of Arizona. Recently Wardell has founded Vision Indoor Percussion which has seen immediate success, mirroring Wardell himself, the program has quickly grown and thrived. Wardell is currently on the WGAZ board, where he has served the WGAZ community several times over the last ten years. As an educator, Wardell brings a passion for percussion to all the students he works with. He challenges all of his students at all levels, and from all walks of life to be the best they can be. His approach to education holds his students to a high standard. His belief in his own students' success inspires them to be able to believe in themselves. Many of his former students are currently involved in the activity as instructors and continue to bring this philosophy to the next generation of students. Wardell has had a huge impact on the success of percussion and education in Arizona and in WGAZ.
Brandy Dubose-King has been an active contributor to the color guard community here in Arizona for over 15 years. Brandy has been a designer, instructor, board member, clinician, and consultant for programs at all levels from elementary color guards to drum corps to the flagship of our winter guard circuit, Fenix Independent World Guard. Brandy is always ready to jump in and support any program in any way and has truly been a blessing to our circuit. Brandy currently serves as the director of the Arizona State University Color Guard, director of Corona del Sol High School Color Guard, and the director of Fenix Independent World and A guards.
If all of that isn’t enough, she also serves and has served on the WGAZ board for many years putting in countless hours every season behind the scenes to ensure every performer has the most positive experience they can. As the Color Guard Liaison for WGAZ, Brandy has truly gone above and beyond in her duties to the organization. She works hard to host student and staff clinics each year to continue the education of not only the students, but the instructors as well. She has served on countless committees, worked hard to not only organize, but to host championships for several years, and is always looking for the next thing to better the color guard community in Arizona.
Her web of impact is massive with hundreds of performers and staff members that she has taught and mentored going on to direct their own groups and spread her contagious inspiration to the next generation. Brandy’s school of thought when in front of her team is to always be “teaching teachers”. She educates her students with the philosophy that they can take the information and relay it to their students one day. It is difficult to look around the instructor pool of WGAZ and find someone that Brandy has not impacted and taught in some way. WGAZ would truly not be where it is today without the impact of Brandy DuBose King.