2024 Hall of Fame Inductee: Sean Vega

2024 Hall of Fame Inductee: Sean Vega

By Madison Johnson

Sean Vega, one of this year’s inductees into the WGI Hall of Fame, has a long history of involvement in the Marching Arts. His parents stumbled upon the DCI championships broadcast when it was hosted on PBS in the 1980s and fell in love with the activity, especially his father, who became enamored with the Blue Devils.

His parents discovered there was a DCI show in Riverside, CA, where Sean grew up. The following summer, they all went to the local show, and the family’s passion only grew from there. Sean’s father became a booster for the Blue Devils, and Sean and his siblings would travel to different DCI shows around California during the summers. Sean played Trombone until his freshman year in high school when he had jaw surgery, which prompted him to switch over to percussion for the rest of his high school career. He auditioned for the Blue Devils his senior year, where he would march tenors for the four following summers. Sean then taught at the Blue Devils from 1998-2007.

Around the year 2000, after working with the Sacramento Freelancers, Sean became involved with starting an Indoor WGI group in Riverside called RCC Indoor Percussion. He took RCC Indoor Percussion to the WGI World Championships for the first time in 2002, where they took home the Independent World gold medal. Sean said he has met many great people along the way and learned that when great people are involved in sharing their ideas, “fun, cool, and awesome” things happen and provide unforgettable experiences for the members. In his 20+ years with RCC, his mission has been to “leverage world-class instructors and designers to create a world-class experience for the members.” In recent years, Sean has stepped back from running the organization directly but is still involved behind the scenes. Sean loves doing clinics or designer overview commentary and critiques to support young educators and designers and pass on his knowledge within the activity.

When asked about what inspires him, Sean says that it’s his desire to pass on the skills and experiences he has learned to the performers of today. “I was very fortunate to have amazing people who taught me on my journey as a performer, people who took me under their wing when I started teaching and designing. To take that and pass that on has been a big motivator for me,” Sean says. His love for the process of design has only grown in his years with RCC and that has been a huge motivator for him to be still involved in the activity.

Sean has said that one of the most rewarding aspects of his experience with the marching arts has been all about the membership. The development of the show, the rehearsals, and the crafting of the ‘organic monster’ that is created when building these shows is very rewarding. Additionally, taking time on that last day to have the members understand how far they’ve come to be there at the end of a season. It’s rewarding to be present in that moment after a final performance, and experience “the outpouring of emotion, togetherness, and vulnerability,”.

Sean’s family is very involved in music. There are tons of instruments in the house, and he and his kids love spending time exploring music together. Sean enjoys hiking, climbing, and is an avid Pickleball player in his free time. Sean is still connected and involved in the Marching Arts and enjoys the work he is currently doing. He likes helping designers create plans and hopes to maintain that involvement. When he received the call about being inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame, Sean was overcome with emotion. It’s not something he was ever working towards, but to receive that acknowledgment from his peers was incredibly special to him.