The University of Arizona

About Us


The University of Arizona Drumline is the battery-only percussion section for the “Pride of Arizona” marching band. As of around 1986 the line has been a drum corps style unit. The UA Drumline is also an individual performance ensemble, and as a University function provides outreach to the community through workshops and performances.


One of our strongest goals as an ensemble is to create experiences that are enjoyable to the performer as well as the listener. We believe in educational and personal growth while teaching rhythmic accuracy, precision, and consistency. We provide equal opportunity on the various instruments, and embrace quality over quantity. We strive to maintain our excellence and precision as one of the top collegiate drumlines in the country.


The University of Arizona Drumline exclusively plays Mapex drums. In addition, we are very fortunate to have obtained sponsorship from Zildjian cymbal company, Remo Inc., and Vic Firth drum sticks, providing top-of-the-line equipment in support of our efforts. Please take a few moments to visit our sponsors by clicking on their respective icons below.

Thomas Gonzalez - Director

A graduate of the University of Arizona with a BA in Music, Thomas Gonzalez has had years of experience learning what it takes to be a good musician and how music can create positive life experiences and build strong character. His marching background includes five years on snare with the Pride of Arizona Marching Drumline, two years as drum captain, three years on drum set with the POA Pep Band, and four years with Fusion Indoor Percussion. Thomas’ work as a high school drumline instructor in the Tucson area has brought his ensembles multiple Superior rankings at ABODA marching festivals and WGAZ “Scholastic A” competitions.

Brandon Olander- Snare Tech

Brandon Olander is a Tucson, Arizona percussionist specializing in both rudimental drumming and drumset. Brandon began playing at age 10, and at 16, became one of the youngest snare drummers ever to join the Blue Devils; the following year, he became one of the youngest DCI Snare Drum Solo Champions. Brandon went on to march five seasons at the Blue Devils, serving as the drumline section leader for his final two years. Brandon has taught multiple drumlines, given various clinics, and instructed dozens of students from the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Japan, tapping his experience to instruct both beginning and veteran players.

Cole Governo- Tenor Tech

Cole Governo is an Arizona native, born and raised in Gilbert and went to Highland High School. Cole’s performance experience includes The Academy, Pacific Crest, Breakthrough Indoor Percussion, POW Percussion, and RCC Indoor Percussion. He has also performed with the Sun Devil Marching Band and BOOM! Percussion Entertainment. Cole is currently teaches at Corona del Sol High School and has been teaching there for 5 consecutive seasons. He also taught at The Academy where he served as a tenor tech during the 2019 season and this past WGI season, he was also a quad tech and drill designer at Flux Indoor Percussion. Cole is currently at Arizona State University and is currently pursuing a BS in Psychology. 

Nick Knepper - Bass Tech

Nick Knepper is incredibly excited to begin his second year as a member of the Pride of Arizona Percussion Staff.

An active marching percussion educator and clinician in the Tucson area, Nick found his love for the marching arts while attending Canyon del Oro High School in Oro Valley, AZ.

Inspired after seeing his first live DCI performances in 2011, Nick continued his performance career with a total of 5 World Class DCI tours, performing in the front ensembles of Pacific Crest (Diamond Bar, CA), the Madison Scouts (Madison, WI), and Carolina Crown (Fort Mill, SC).

Currently, Nick resides in Oro Valley, AZ, where he will be entering his 7th season serving as the Battery Arranger/Caption Head for Ironwood Ridge High School.

Nick is excited and honored to be a part of the University of Arizona family!

Nicole Nelson - Cymbal Tech

Nicole Nelson is an alumna of the Pride of Arizona cymbal line marching from 2010-2013 and was section leader her final year. In 2012, Nicole marched cymbals for the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. She has volunteered her knowledge of cymbals with several high schools around Tucson and with anyone wishing to learn. Nicole graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Psychology and went on to receive her Master of Public Administration in Phoenix.