Born and raised in Fresno, Derek has been involved in the local marching community for most of his life. His parents were both marching musicians, and started him in elementary school as a percussionist. In high school he switched to color guard and marching with the Blue Devils "B" corps that summer. After graduating high school, Derek went on to march the Blue Devils "A"corps until his age-out year in 2004. He then moved to Portland, OR where he marched with the Northern Lights World Guard. Derek has worked with many high schools and independent programs throughout the Pacific Northwest and California. He has been on staff at the Madison Scouts, Seattle Cascades, and Oregon Crusaders drum corps. Derek has also been on the creative/instructional staff for Fresno State's winter guard Frente, since its inception in 2008. He currently serves as the color guard caption head for his alma matter, Buchanan High School. This will be Derek's second year serving as colorguard caption head for the Bulldog Marching Band. In the summer he is a movement instructor for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps.