Brass Staff

Jesus Candela
Asst. Caption Head / Music Manager

Jesus Candela is a graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso and is in his 5nd year of teaching. Currently he is the Assistant Band Director at Franklin High School. Prior to joining Franklin High School, he served as the Assistant Band Director at Wiggs Middle School and prior to that, the Head Band Director at Chaparral Middle School in Chaparral, NM. Mr. Candela has a Masters Degree in Wind Conducting from the University of Texas at El Paso where he studied under Dr. Brad Genevro.  As an active musician he has frequently performed with the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra, Mesilla Valley Concert Band and the UTEP Dinner Theater. Mr. Candela's drum corps experience includes marching trumpet with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013, and currently serving in the brass staff as Music Manager and Co-Caption Head at Arsenal Drum and Bugle Corps. He also serves on the faculty with El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras as woodwind sectional coach. In 2017, he was the recipient of the University of Texas at El Paso, Department of Music: Meritorious Service Award. Mr. Candela is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America and Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity.

Raul Candelaria
High Brass

Raul Candelaria is in his 11th year as a Texas music educator at Horizon High School in El Paso, Texas. He is Director of Bands for the marching band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz 1 and he also assists with the Concert band and Jazz II. Raul has also assisted with the feeder schools throughout his time at Horizon High School. In December 2019 he will earn his Master’s degree in Education Administration from Sul Ross State University.


Raul has been involved in music education since graduating high school in 2003. While attending the University of Texas (UTEP) at El Paso, Raul worked with Del Valle High School as a marching band tech. After graduating from UTEP with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, he went on to become the head band director at Horizon High School where his marching band, concert bands and jazz bands have been awarded with “Superior” ratings and have also received numerous “Sweepstakes” awards. The Horizon High School marching band has consistently advanced to the UIL Area A 5A marching band competition and has competed in the Texas UIL State Marching Band Contest. Raul Candelaria is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association. The 2019-20 corps season marks Raul’s first year on staff with Arsenal.


Raul Candelaria currently resides in El Paso, TX with his wife Antoinette and their four children Issac, Lilyen, Ethan and Dorian.

Rebecca Rodriguez
High Brass

Becky started at Parkland High School in 2009 as an Associate Director. In 2016, Becky took over as the Head Band Director of Parkland High School and advanced to the Area 5A finals competition for the first time in PHS history. The Concert Bands have also been successful in numerous UIL Concert/Sight Reading Contests earning Superior ratings consecutively. 

Becky is a brass specialist, with pedagogical proficiency in woodwind, percussion, and color guard performance. Schools she attended were the University of Texas at El Paso and Montwood High School. She marched with Drum Corps International’s Blue Knight's Drum and Bugle Corps from Denver, CO in 2002-2005 and taught the corps as a marching visual technician in 2009. She has taught for 12 years at every level of band directing in public schools. Becky has taught at  Anthony High/Middle/Elementary Schools (A.I.S.D.), Parkland High School (Y.I.S.D.), Horizon High School, Ricardo Estrada Junior High School, and Horizon Middle School (C.I.S.D.) with responsibilities including but not limited to, Marching Band, Color guard/Winter guard, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, 8th Grade Concert Band, and Beginning Band Flute/Oboe/Saxophone/Trumpet/French Horn.

Becky holds a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at El Paso and is a member of the Texas Music Educator’s Association, Texas Bandmasters Association and the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

Jesse Hernandez
Low Brass

Jesse is a native of El Paso, Texas, and moved as a teenager to Albuquerque, where he currently resides. He graduated from Cibola High school, and attended the University of New Mexico, where he studied Tuba with Dr. Richard Antoine White. While at UNM, Jesse performed with the Spirit Marching Band, the Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Brass Choir, and other chamber ensembles. Outside of these academic ensembles, Jesse was privileged to be cast as a member of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, where he completed his drum corps tenure with a third-place finish.

Outside of Jesse’s performance experience, he has had the opportunity to work and clinic with several middle school band, high school bands, and color guards in the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area. Currently, Jesse is the visual caption and brass clinician of the 3 Time Concert Band State Champion, La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.

In his spare time, Jesse enjoys traveling, going on hikes throughout New Mexico/ Colorado, and being a part of the hot air ballooning community in Albuquerque.

Gerardo Lara
Low Brass

Gerardo “Gerry” Lara  is a Senior Music Education major at the University of Texas- Permian Basin in Odessa,TX. He will graduate with a Bachelor of Music (B.M) in Spring 2022. Currently he is on visual and music staff for Permian High School in Odessa,TX. While at UTPB, he has served as principal euphonium in the Symphonic Winds and drum major of the Spirit of the Permian Basin. Drum corps experience includes performing with Horizon, Arsenal, and The Cadets. The 2022 season will mark Gerry’s first year with the Arsenal Brass Staff.  Additional affiliations included Texas Music Educators Association, Association of Texas Small School Bands, Drum Corps International, SoundSport, and Pi Kappa Lamba.

Peter Parra
Low Brass

Peter is from El Paso, TX as a graduate of Riverside High School.  He was a 3 year member of the UTEP Marching Miners; serving as sousaphone section leader and drum major.  He was also a Member of the UTEP Wind Symphony.   He taught marching fundamentals and tuba lessons at Riverside High School, El Paso High School and Coronado High School.  His Drum corps career includes being a 3 year member of Arsenal Drum and Bugle Corps from 2017 – 2019 and finishing as a 2021 age out at Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.  2022 will mark Peter’s 1st year as a member of the Bomb Squad Staff.

Peter believes in providing an comfortable learning environment for the students to have an enjoyable time as well as helping the students discover skills that they may not have known they had so that they can be the best performer and the best hard working person they can be and apply everything they have learned to everything they do in their lives.