Board of Directors
Music and the arts have been a part of Mr. Rawlings’ life since his first performance in 1985. He has performed with a wide variety of groups over the years, eventually joining the instructional staff at numerous High School and community musical groups. It was through his involvement in The Sound Machine of the Inland Empire that Bill recognized the value and importance of providing high-quality, low-cost musical and performance art opportunities in communities where access to these extracurricular programs are limited. This commitment is what led him to become a founding member of the Watchmen Board of Directors.
Although he has been involved in marching and performing arts for many years, Mr. Rawlings’ extensive experience in non-profit leadership, governance and strategic planning brings a unique skill set to the Watchmen Board of Directors. Several years of this experience included helping oversee a budget exceeding $75 million dollars, 350 paid staff and over one thousand volunteers.
With almost 25 years of experience working in higher education, Mr. Rawlings is heavily involved in local, state, and national education policy and has been recognized for his pragmatic leadership and problem-solving.
He believes that the unique skills of the staff and Watchmen’s focus on providing high-quality instruction and educational experiences are key to the organization’s continued growth and success.
Board of Directors Secretary
My name is Karen Thompson and I currently serve on the Watchmen Arts Association Board of Executives as Secretary. I began my musical journey back in elementary school, as most of us did and played flute through my Sophomore year of high school where I then switched to color guard. I met my husband of 20 plus years in a marching English Hand Bell Choir, after graduation from college. We have two children who both are very talented in music and as of this writing, are marching and playing their second season with Watchmen. They have participated in both Indoor and Corps in the Front Ensemble. My daughter has played just about every instrument in the Front Ensemble, with mallets being her favorite. She also plays cello, piano and is waiting to begin guitar. My son played trumpet until junior high and then switched to the drums and eventually to drum set where he excelled and has been playing ever since. Both have participated in high school field shows, concert percussion and indoor, as well as Watchmen simultaneously.
I began with the Booster Board in 2011, at the high school level, and have served in such capacities as V.P. Administration, Secretary, and chairperson for uniforms and food, and will continue to do so until my son graduates in 2018. I have pushed, pulled, built, fed, fundraised, sewn, hemmed and basically done and will do whatever is needed. My Drum Corp experience began in 2015 and has been incredible. I love to watch from the first practice to the last performance and am always amazed at what our “Watchies” can do. They work hard and never cease to amaze me! To quote my good friend and fellow Board Member Ana, “We see and hear with a mother’s heart and they are always awesome!” I look forward to watching this organization grow, the members excel and plan to continue serving in whatever capacity is needed until my kids age out and beyond.
“Music is Life, that’s why our hearts have beats”
“Music is what feelings sound like”
Both Authors Unknown
Michael has a long history in the marching arts, starting back in 1973 as a member of the Chevaliers of Waterloo, Iowa which later became the Royal Chevaliers in 1975. In 1976, Michael moved on to march with the Osage Precisionaires of Osage, Iowa. Michael moved to the west coast and found a home with the South San Francisco Conquistadors, marching with them in the 1979 and 1980 seasons.
After a long hiatus from the activity, he resumed his marching career with the San Francisco Renegades Senior Corps in 1998 and performed for three years with them. In 2002, he was part of the management team that started the all age SoCal Dream Drum and Bugle Corps. Michael served in many roles for several years for this successful organization, including President of the Board, Corps Director, Visual Tech, Tour Manager, and a member of the hornline.
Michael has taught all levels of drum corps and high schools. He served as a visual tech for the St. Paul Scouts (1979), Logan High School (1984-85), Impulse (2000-2001), SoCal Dream (2005-2006), Renegades (1998) Gabrielino High School (2006-2007), Norco High School (2010-2011), and Los Amigos High School (2014). Visual Caption Head for the highly successful Dynasty Marching Band of Ramona High School in Riverside, CA. (2016-2018)
Michael resides in Huntington Beach, CA with his wife of 35 years and has a great career in the automobile industry.
David Becker is an active Percussion Instructor and designer based in the Southern California area.
This is David’s 7th year with Watchmen. As one of the co-founders of the organization in 2013 he started out working as the Percussion Caption Head for the Drum Corps from 2013-2015. In 2014 he was also appointed Asst. Corps Director. In 2015 he was promoted to Executive Director by the Board of directors where he still holds this position today.
David also oversees Watchmen’s Winter Percussion program which competes locally in SCPA, WGI and ADLA were this group has medaled in every season thus far.
Currently, he is the Percussion Caption Head for Riverside King High School and oversees the development of Earhart and Miller Junior High Schools. He has also worked for the Nationally Award Winning Chino High School 77th Cavalry 1997-2013, Ramona High School, Patriot High School, Rubidoux High School, Norte Vista High School, Los Altos High School, Colony High School, Moreno Valley High School and Grace Yolky Middle School.
David was the bass tech for the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps 2007-2009 & 2011-2012 In addition, David was the bass tech for the 2013 SCPA Silver Medalist Dark Sky Percussion and worked for Pulse Percussion as the Bass tech in 2008.
David teaches up and coming students of all ages and levels throughout the community. His performance experience includes programs such as Chino High School, the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, The Sound Machine of the Inland Empire Youth Band (Percussion Captain), and Riverside Community College (Bass line Section Leader).
David is endorsed by Innovative Percussion, Treeworks Chimes and Remo Drum Heads.
David lives in Crestline, California.
Assistant Director / Visual Technician
John Cross has teaching marching and visual instruction in Southern California since 1994. Starting out with the Grossmont School District at Helix High School and then with Rancho Buena Vista High School. He moved to Orange County was started working with El Dorado High School and then with Mission Viejo High School for 6 years.
He has worked with Ramona High School & Martin Luther King High School. John started his drum corps experience with the Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle corps back 1980 – 1982, he then joined the Impulse Drum and Bugle staff in 1997 – 2002 and then was elected to the Board of Directors for a couple of years.
Wanting to still perform he has performed with the San Francisco Renegade Senior Drum and Bugle corps for the last couple years and is also on the Board of Directors. John is excited to work this year with the Watchmen group after seeing their performances last year, it is going to be a great year. John is currently living in Riverside, CA.