Ryan Diefenderfer

Mr. Ryan Diefenderfer just completed his sixth year as Director of Bands and Orchestras at Paradise Valley High School. Mr. Diefenderfer graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2013, where he studied music education, music composition, trombone, and jazz studies.

Mr. Diefenderfer grew up in the Mundelein, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, and moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 2009 to pursue his Bachelors degree at Indiana University. Mr. Diefenderfer completed his student teaching at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana with renown music educators Richard Saucedo and Soo Han.

Mr. Diefenderfer is the recipient of several honors as both a composer and trombonist, including: First Runner-Up in the 2015 National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project, winner of the 2013 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Student Composition Contest, winner of the 2012 Eastern Trombone Workshop National Composition Competition, finalist for the Tyler Youth Orchestra New Music Project, runner-up for the 2012 NAfME National Student Composition Competition, and receiving second prize at the 2010 S.E. Shires National Trombone Solo Competition. In addition, Mr. Diefenderfer publishes music through Cherry Classics Music, one of the leading brass music publishing companies, and receives regular commission work as a professional composer.

As a trombonist, Mr. Diefenderfer has performed as an international soloist, giving concerts in Denmark, Poland and Germany with the 2014 Blue Lake International Northern Wind Ensemble. Currently, Mr. Diefenderfer performs on principal trombonist in the North Valley Symphony Orchestra and trombonist with Arizona Winds in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more info on Mr. Diefenderfer, please visit his website at:

Benjamin Lynch

Mr. Lynch is the current Assistant Director of the "Pride of Paradise" Marching band as well as the Director of Bands at Sierra Verde STEAM Academy in the Deer Valley Unified School District; teaching 4th through 8th grade band. Mr. Lynch provides private lessons for Tuba across North Phoenix.

Mr. Lynch graduated from Northern Arizona University in May 2017 with his degree in Instrumental Music Education and obtained a certificate for Secondary English Immersion. Prior to graduating, Mr. Lynch completed his student teaching in the Deer Valley Unified School District at Deer Valley High School, under the direction of Mr. David Kuhns, and Desert Sky Middle School, under the direction of Mr. Evan Dixon. Throughout college, Mr. Lynch was actively involved in the marching band scene as a visual technician with Shadow Mountain High School, under the direction of Mr. Natan Simon, and Coconino High School, under the direction of Ms. Jennifer Hamilton.

Since January 2019, Mr. Lynch has been actively involved with Salt River Brass, known as “Arizona’s Premiere Brass Band”, under the direction of Patrick Sheridan. He plays on his Eastman 6/4 CC Tuba once a month, performing pieces such as Pictures at an Exhibition and On the Shoulders of Giants.

Mr. Lynch has marched with the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps and Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Lynch has experience working with both World and Open Class Drum and Bugle Corps such as the Madison Scouts and Phenom, which are performing arts organizations part of Drum Corps International (DCI). During his time with the Madison Scouts, Mr. Lynch was part of the Visual team and he is currently on the Brass Staff for Phenom Drum & Bugle Corps.

Mr. Lynch is beyond excited to be entering his Fifth Year with the "Pride of Paradise" Marching Band!!

Julianne Layton

Ms. Julianne Layton directs the Pride of Paradise Front Ensemble. She is currently the Director of Instrumental Music at Desert Shadows Middle School. Ms. Layton graduated from Northern Arizona University where she studied music performance, percussion, and ethnomusicology.

A native to Arizona, Ms. Layton was born in Flagstaff and began her musical studies as a child. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance and a Graduate Certificate with an emphasis in Ethnomusicology under the direction of Dr. Steven Hemphill and Dr. Nicholas Tochka. During this time, Ms. Layton served as president of the NAU Percussion Society and President of the Delta Eta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. She also served on the NAU Student Music Advisory Council. Ms. Layton founded and co-instructed the community outreach program Percussion Discovery through the NAU Community Music and Dance Academy. She served as section member and principle percussionist for the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, she co-formed and performed in the percussion duo Avenue Deux and the NAU Panorama Steel Pan Ensemble.

Ms. Layton is an active educator, adjudicator and performer. In addition to her instruction for Paradise Valley Unified School District, Ms. Layton teaches private percussion lessons and is currently pursuing her Masters in Secondary Education at Grand Canyon University. She is a member of NAFME, AMEA, The Society for Ethnomusicology, and the Percussive Arts Society. Furthermore, she performs with the traditional celtic band, The Knockabouts.