Intermountain Percussion


Passion. Experience. Diligence.

Our Mission

The IMPA sponsors percussion and indoor winds competition and education throughout the Intermountain Region. The organization is run by volunteers from within the local music community who dedicate their time to creating a better experience for all the musicians involved.

IMPA is established for the benefit of the percussion and marching ensembles that participate in the activity at all levels of achievement. Our purpose is to provide a venue for young people to achieve the extraordinary through education, performance, and competition. We seek to foster positive experiences for all who participate, by promoting education, creativity and freedom of expression through the unification of marching, music and performance education.


Get in touch

The Board of Directors at IMPA would love to hear from you! If you have questions, concerns, ideas, or need help with your ensemble, just reach out.


Board of Directors


Executive Director

Tyler Hess

Tyler Hess is a musician, educator, and designer residing in Ogden, Utah. In 2008 Mr. Hess began his teaching career when he took the job as Percussion Caption Head at Bonneville High School. Under his direction Bonneville grew from obscurity into an award-winning ensemble, winning multiple Outstanding Percussion trophies in the Utah marching band circuit. In 2010 Mr. Hess accepted the position of Program Director for Weber State Indoor Percussion. From there, Weber State Indoor Percussion grew from a small ensemble into a flagship program in the Intermountain Percussion Association, winning two WGI Regional Championships and four Intermountain Percussion Association Championships. Mr. Hess now takes this heritage into the future with the newly formed Gold Spike Percussion.

Mr. Hess has served as a clinician and instructor for numerous high schools and performing arts organizations throughout the intermountain region. Mr. Hess currently serves as Executive Director of Performing Arts Weber, an arts and education based non-profit in Ogden, UT. He also serves as Percussion Supervisor and Visual Designer for the Weber State Wildcat Band, Battery Instructor and Program Coordinator at Davis High School, Program Director for Gold Spike Percussion, Percussion Consultant for Roy and Riverton High School, and Tour Manager for the Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Hess the Exectutive Director for the Intermountain Percussion Association and is an active clinician, instructor, consultant and designer. He dedicates his time to expanding educational, performance, and competitive opportunities for percussionists in the Intermountain West region.

Mr. Hess is a proud endorser of Pearl/Adams Percussion, Pro-Mark Drumsticks, and Evans Drumheads.




Sarah Jennings

Sarah started her music career at the age of ten as a clarinetist. During high school she learned to play saxophone, violin, and percussion and participated in every music ensemble possible, including marching band (where she was a drum major for two years), concert band, symphonic band, orchestra, mariachi band, jazz band, pit band, and various choirs. After graduation, she attended Northern Arizona University where she majored in Education but continued performing in the symphonic band and joined the marching band drumline (cymbals) under the direction of Dr. Steve Hemphill.

Sarah began her instructional career in 1998 with various marching bands in Arizona as a marching, music, and leadership instructor. She had the honor of working with her role model Dr. Keith Preston at Peoria High School and Sharon Woodard (current director of Dark Sky Percussion) at Page High School. This later led to her involvement in indoor percussion in 2000 with the Centennial Indoor Percussion Theatre in Peoria, Arizona where she served as Assistant Director. In 2005, Sarah and her family moved to Kansas where she worked with the Blue Valley Southwest Emerald Regiment from Overland Park as a woodwind and music instructor. Her family once again relocated, this time to Idaho Falls where she and her husband began working with Troopercussion Indoor, an independent indoor drumline associated with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. Sarah served as the Assistant Director for two years as well as Administrative Assistant. Sarah now helps run North Star Independent, a percussion ensemble based in Rexburg, ID.
Sarah brings her knowledge of the marching arts from all across the country in hopes of building stronger music programs in Southeast Idaho.



Vice President

Mark Hartman

Mark Hartman has been involved in the marching arts for more than 20 years as a performer, instructor, and designer. He began his drum corps career with the Blue Knights from Denver, Colorado as a member of the mellophone section in 2003. In 2008, he was on the visual staff for Revolution from San Antonio, Texas and was on the support staff for the Blue Knights in 2009, serving as the public relations intern. 

Mark graduated from Brigham Young University in 2012 where he was a member of the Cougar Marching Band, serving as drum major and band president in his final year. Following his time at BYU Mark spent seven years as the assistant director for the award-winning Westlake High School Marching Band from Saratoga Springs, Utah. During his tenure Westlake was the Utah 4A State Champion in 2012 and 2013, was a seven-time Bands of America Regional Finalist in Utah and California, and represented the state of Utah in the 2018 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. 

Mark is currently the Program Director for the Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps and Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at Farmington High School in Farmington, Utah. He is also an active clinician, drill writer, and program consultant for many groups across the western United States.




Kenton Nielson

Kenton is the the Director of the Utah Valley University Drumline (UVU Green Man Group) and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps in Salt Lake City, UT.

He marched as a member of the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps where he had the opportunity to study marching percussion under the direction of such great music educators as Pat Amon, Nick Angelis, Thom Hannum, Jeff Queen, and Colin McNutt. 20 years after marching in Drum Corps International he remains very involved with the Troopers where he currently sits as an elected member of the Troopers TAA Board of Directors. Kenton is very active in the performing arts and music education communities. Five years prior to becoming the musical director of the UVU Green Man Group, he worked as the Associate Conductor of the Wasatch Chorale conducting alongside Dr. Dyanne Riley. Over the past 15 years, he has directed and or worked as a visiting clinician for numerous high school drumlines and marching bands. 

Kenton is graduate of Utah Valley University. He holds degrees in Music (with an Emphasis in Conducting), Secondary Music Education (with a Choral/Wind Composite), and History. While in college, he served as the President of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference. He also served as the Associate Conductor of the University Chamber Choir. In 2003, he was honored as the Outstanding Academic Student of the Year from the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. While at UVU he represented student interests as member of the University's Academic Senate. He was also a 3-year winner of the Collegiate Aria & Concerto Competition. 

Kenton currently lives in Orem with his wife Janna and their 3 children Scott, Emily & Daniel.



competition coordinator

John Matthews

John A. Matthews, II graduated from New Mexico State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in music education and master's degree in conducting. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, he was active in his community as both an educator to area high school marching programs as well as beginning bands. His love and passion for music started at a very young age.

He took a strong interest in composition after premiering his first work in the 8th grade. Since then, he has been asked to compose and arrange for high school across the United States, some schools whom have received high music rankings or awards at various marching band competitions. John was a featured composer for the NMSU Corno Crew (the university's elite horn choir) for two years, and has produced commissioned works for the New Mexico Musical Arts Society and other organizations. He was the drum major for the PRIDE of New Mexico Marching Band for three years and was also a member of the trumpet and colorguard sections.

He also is an Eagle Scout and tries to stay active with the scouting community by volunteering as a music and bugle merit badge counselor. John is currently the director of bands at Copper Hills High School in West Jordan, Utah, having previously served as the head band director of Mills University Studies High School in Arkansas. He is also the Brass Caption Head for the Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps in Salt Lake City, UT. John was a member of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps from 2003-2007, performing for three years on trumpet and two years on mellophone. He was also a member of the brass staff during the 2009-2011 seasons.

Outside of the busy life of a musician, John is an active member of his church, where he is a member of the Praise and Worship Team, playing various instruments



Judge coordinator

Sean Mahan

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Sean has been involved with indoor percussion for the past 17 years throughout the country. Most notable, Sean performed with the 8 Time, World Champion, Music City Mystique in 2004 and 2005 earning a Gold and Bronze Medal. 

Sean started working with Impact Percussion from Springville, UT in their 2017 season serving as both tenor tech and battery caption head. Sean has taught clinics at several high schools in Utah Valley and served as the bass tech at American Fork High School in 2016. Before this, Sean has worked with several high schools in Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and New Jersey.

Sean has been able to study percussion performance at Middle Tennessee State University and has learned from many influential individuals including Don Click, Shane Gwaltney, Matt Jordan, David England, Lalo and Julie Davila, and Erik Johnson. 

Sean completed his education with a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Utah State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from BYU Idaho.

Sean is currently the Director of Human Resources at the Zermatt Resort in Midway, Utah.

Sean lives in Springville, UT and is the proud father of two children ages 6 and 4 and loves spending all free time with them.