John Mapes is a full-time percussion educator and visual designer involved in teaching over 20 high school and independent percussion programs in Southern California since 1997. He received his Bachelor of Arts in percussion from California State University, Long Beach, in the spring of 2000. His marching experience includes Velvet Knights and Pacific Crest Drum Corps organizations. He currently has over ten years of drum corps teaching/design experience and an unprecedented 22 WGI medals since 2005.
He started with the Pulse Percussion independent world ensemble behind the scenes in the winter of 2008 as an arranger, and within 3 short years helped take the ensemble to its first PIW gold medal in 2010 as the program coordinator, battery arranger and visual designer. The organization went on to start a second ensemble in 2011 that medaled its first year out in the Independent Open division and was a world class finalist its second year. From 2007- 2012 he was the percussion arranger for the Blue Devil B Corps. After two years the corps became the Open Class champions and high percussion winners at the DCI championships in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He was the Battery Arranger/ Percussion Caption Head for the Esperanza Drum and Bugle Corps from San Diego, CA from 2002-2006, taking the corps to nationals for the first time, winning the Division II title and moving up to Division I in 2004.
From the fall of 2000 to the winter of 2011, John built and taught the Pacifica High School percussion program with 9 consecutive PSO WGI finals appearances and seven consecutive PSO WGI medals from 2005-2011. In the fall of 2005 he started teaching at Chino Hills High School, becoming WGI World Class finalists from 2008-2012 with a WGI PSW bronze medal in 2009, silver medal in 2010, and gold medal in 2012. He started working at Los Alamitos High School in the fall of 2005 becoming the WGI A Class bronze medalist in 2007, WGI A class gold medalist in 2009, and a WGI World class finalist in 2010/2011. He worked at Fountain Valley High School from the fall of 2006 until the winter of 2009, winning multiple percussion titles in the indoor and outdoor programs, including a two time WGI finalist in WGI Open class and an Open class medal in 2008.
Along with fellow designer, instructor, and Yamaha Artist Ian Grom, John co-founded box-six.com in August of 2008, which is the exclusive seller of their original indoor percussion and marching band shows.
John is a Yamaha Artist, a member of the Vic Firth Educational team, a Remo artist, and a Zildjian artist. He became a member of the WGI Advisory Board in 2007 and was voted onto WGI Percussion Steering Committee in 2010. He is also a principle percussion arranger for JKS Music.