Praised by the San Diego Union-Tribune for showing “a remarkable degree of both subtlety and insistence. He has an uncanny sense of when to power forward...and when to hold back,” Ryan J. DiLisi was appointed Principal Timpanist of the San Diego Symphony in October 2010. Prior to joining the San Diego Symphony, Mr. DiLisi held the positions of Principal Timpanist of Symphony in C and Assistant Timpanist of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Additional highlights include appearing as a timpanist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and a percussionist with the New World Symphony.
Mr. DiLisi’s musicality and dramatic style have shaped him into an exciting soloist. At the age of 17, Mr. DiLisi won the Albert M. Greenfield Competition, soloing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Additionally, he has performed as a timpani soloist with the New England Conservatory Percussion and Wind Ensembles and the San Diego State University Wind Ensemble. A Native of Southern New Jersey, Mr. DiLisi began his formal studies with Don Liuzzi, Principal Timpanist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. DiLisi earned his Bachelor of Music degree, studying under Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, from the New England Conservatory of Music. Following his roots, Mr. DiLisi returned to the Philadelphia area to earn his Masters of Music degree from the Boyer College of Music at Temple University, under the mentorship of Alan Abel and Angela Nelson, both Philadelphia Orchestra percussionists.
Mike has had the honor of performing with The San Diego Symphony Orchestra as well as Grammy Award Winners Natalie Cole, world renown bassist Nathan East among many others. Mike was a part of the Yamaha documentary entitled “Nathan East: For The Record”. Mike has also performed with Grammy award winnersCelia Cruz, Lee Ann Womack, LeeAnne Rhymes, John Michael Montgomery, Jamie O’Neal, Phil Vasser, Little River Band, Jose Rizo’s “Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars”, Bob Sheppard, Bill Watrous, Son Mayor, Jaime Valle, Yari More, Wayne Nelson, Steve Vaus, Juice Newton, James Otto, American Idol’s Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington among many others.
Locally, Mike is the Music Director of the Top 40/Corporate Band The Mighty Untouchables as well as a drummer for The Church at Rancho Bernardo, Gilbert Castellanos, Big Time Operator, Brad Steinwehe’s Big Band among many others.
Educationally Mike currently is the Band Director for Maranatha Christian School. He has had the honor of teaching at San Diego State University, Rancho Bernardo HS, Mira Mesa HS, Francis Parker School, Church at RB School of Rock. He is also a Judge/Adjudicator for Jazz and Percussion Festivals and tournaments throughout Southern California including SCPA (Percussion) and CMEA (Jazz). He is also an accomplished arranger both for percussion and band. His many collaborations with WGI hall of famer “Mike Jackson” have consistently led to numerous Gold Medals and High percussion awards throughout all circuits in the Southern California area. Mike is also a proud endorser of Evans Drum Heads and Vic Firth Sticks.
Born in East Los Angeles, Mike Holguin attended a different school every single year from Kindergarten all the way through High school. He was exposed to everything from Latin, Jazz, Funk, Rock, Concert Percussion, Marching Percussion, Studio recording, Theatre, Reading, Writing, Arranging, Composing, etc. Mike has hundreds of studio sessions to his name including Sony PlayStation as well as Movie credits on Jerry Brookheimers’ Block Buster Movie “Pearl Harbor”.
Just out of High School, Mike marched with The Sound Machine of the Inland Empire from 1989 -1991. Mike joined the US Navy and was stationed on board the Aircraft carrier USS Ranger CV-61. It wasn’t till after returning from Operation Desert Storm that he was accepted into the US Navy School of Music in Norfolk, VA. In 1991, Mike would begin his world travels with the 7th Fleet Navy band stationed out of Yokosuka, Japan. During his tour of duty, Mike would visit 22 countries including Russia, Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, etc. In 1994, Mike transferred to his last duty station at Navy Band San Diego. It was here that he would settle down and begin his civilian music career.
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