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The Superior Performances Band Team has combined to achieve:

  • A Bands of America/Music For All Grand National Championship

  • 40+ Bands of America Finalist Participants

  • 3 Texas UIL State Marching Band Championships

  • 35+ Texas UIL State Marching Band Preliminary and/or Finalist titles

  • 6 TMEA Texas Honor Band Performances

  • 20+ TMEA Texas Honor Band State Finalist Positions

  • 10+ Midwest Clinic Appearances

  • 10+ Middle Schools opened

  • 6+ High Schools opened



Mr. Ryan Agard has been a successful high school band director for 18 years. He was the founding director of the Dawson High School Band in Pearland, Texas proudly serving the community for 11 years. In their inaugural year of 2007, Mr. Agard led the Dawson High School Wind Ensemble consisting of only 9th and 10th grade students to the prestigious Texas Music Educators Association’s Honor Band competition and were named 2nd runner up in the 3A division. They were also TMEA Honor Band finalists in 2011 and 2013 when the band was in  the 4A division. Under his direction, the Wind Ensemble has received numerous superior ratings  at music festivals and UIL contests, and was even invited to perform at Music for All’s National  Concert Band Festival in 2010 and 2013. Mr. Agard has led the Dawson Eagle Marching Band  to receive superior ratings at every UIL Marching Band Contest they have attended since the  school’s opening and advanced to the UIL State Marching Band Contest each year eligible. Of  significance, they qualified and advanced to the preliminary round of the 4A UIL State Marching  Band Competition in 2009. In 2011 they finished eighth place in the finals competition and in  2013 they finished seventh place. Since moving to the 6A division, the band qualified for State  in 2014 and 2016 proudly representing the Pearland Independent School District.


Prior to Dawson High School, Mr. Agard was the Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas for two years where he also led the Honors Band to perform at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in 2006 and 2010. Prior to this, he was the assistant band director for five years.  


Mr. Agard completed his Music Education degree at the University of Houston. He studied the saxophone with Dr. Karen Wylie and performed in the Moore’s School of Music Wind Ensemble under the esteemed direction of Mr. Eddie Green. In addition, Mr. Agard was a member of the Catalyst Saxophone Quartet, winning several 1st place national awards including  the Coleman Chamber Music Competition and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.


Mr. Agard is a distinguished member in the Alpha Chapter of the International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu. His professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Band Masters Association, and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. In 2015 he was a presenter at the TMEA convention discussing high school woodwind tips and  techniques. He is an currently an active concert band and marching band clinician and adjudicator in Texas. Just recently, he judged the Texas UIL State Marching Band Contest in 2018. After moving on from the Dawson High School Band, his primary focus and renewed passion is helping and mentoring other directors and students realize their vision of success through many consulting and clinics around the state of Texas. 



Charles Aguillon serves as Director of Athletic Bands for Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX.   In addition to directing the university’s athletic bands, Mr. Aguillon is responsible for all SMU Spirit programs. He also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor for Music in the Meadows School of the Arts where he teaches courses in music education. 

An educator for over  32 years, he most recently served  as Director of Fine Arts and Academic Enrichment for the Lake Travis Independent School District in Austin, Texas. His previous positions include being Director of Fine Arts for Georgetown ISD, Director of Bands for Georgetown HS, Associate Principal for Teaching & Learning at East View HS, and band director for San Marcos CISD schools. 


Mr. Aguillon is a graduate of Texas State University-San Marcos where he received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education. While at Texas State, he was Drum Major of the Bobcat Marching Band and Assistant Conductor of the Wind Ensemble. Additionally, he has a Master of Arts in Educational Administration as well as having completed all coursework for a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ABD). He received his Superintendent certification from Lamar University.


As an educator, Mr. Aguillon’s Georgetown High School Band program was recognized on the state and national levels and appeared at the UIL State Marching Band Championships  and the Music for All National Concert Band Festival. He is in frequent demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the state. His work in the marching arts includes being on staff for the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming and his current position as  Director for Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps from Austin, Texas. Mr. Aguillon has served on the faculties of Texas State University-San Marcos  and Southwestern University teaching in the field of music education. 



Amy Allison-Rivera is in her 24th year of teaching and her 22nd year in Leander ISD.  Since the opening of the school in 2004, Mrs. Allison-Rivera has been the head band director at Canyon Ridge Middle School. Under her direction the CRMS Band Program has had great success. The CRMS Band Program was named by TBA as the Exemplary Band Program of the Year for 2021 and was awarded the Silver Sudler Cup from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in December of 2017. The CRMS Honor Band performed at the TMEA Convention in 2021 as an Invited Band and performed at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December of 2014. Ms. Allison brought the Honor Band to the TBA Convention in 2015 to give a demonstration clinic on rehearsal strategies and practice techniques. The band program placed tenth at the state level of the CC Honor Band competition in 2006 and has been named a National Winner in the National Wind Band Honors through the Foundation for Music Education for the past several years. Throughout her teaching career, her bands have consistently received sweepstakes ratings at the Texas UIL Concert and Sight-reading Contest. 


Before her time at Canyon Ridge, Mrs. Allison-Rivera taught at Cedar Park Middle School, Leander Middle School, and at DeSoto West Junior High. She was selected as the First Year Teacher of the Year for DeSoto ISD in 1998.


Mrs. Allison-Rivera received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University. She performed as the piccolo player with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania before pursuing her career in teaching and is currently the piccolo player for the Cedar Park Winds. Mrs. Allison-Rivera is a regular clinician throughout the state of Texas. She was inducted into Phi Beta Mu, the International Bandmasters Fraternity, in 2011, and she served as the Region 26 Middle School Coordinator from 2006-2009. She lives in Cedar Park, Texas, with her husband, Bert, and Boston terrier, Winston.



After spending 31 years as a Texas music educator, Mr. Alvarado retired as Director of Bands & Fine Arts Coordinator at Lake Highlands High School in the Richardson ISD.  He also taught in the El Paso, Plano and Garland ISD, most notably creating an award-winning program at Rowlett High School.  His marching bands and concert bands were consistent UIL Sweepstakes Award winners, finalists in Area competitions and made six appearances at the Texas UIL State Marching Contest.  The Rowlett H.S. Wind Ensemble was also a two-time TMEA Honor Band finalist, placing in the top 5 on both occasions.  In addition, Mr. Alvarado’s jazz bands achieved acclaim on the local and national level including performances at the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic and the International Association of Jazz Education Conference.  The Rowlett Brass Quintet was also an invited ensemble at the 2007 Midwest Clinic.  In 2015, the Rowlett Band program received the “Exemplary Band Award” from the Texas Bandmasters Association.  

Currently, Mr. Alvarado serves as Instrumental Music Consultant for the Garland ISD and remains active as a clinician and adjudicator in the state of Texas. He also serves as an Area Representative for Perform America-Texas, a student travel company based in Houston.

Mr. Alvarado earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music Education degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce.  Professional affiliations include membership in the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association and Phi Beta Mu. In March of 2024, Mr. Alvarado will officially be inducted into the American Bandmasters Association in Washington, D.C.



Stetson Begin is starting his eleventh year as an educator and is currently at Roy J. Sprague Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.


 Before this appointment, he served as the director of bands at Krimmel Intermediate School in Klein ISD for five years and as the assistant director for five years. 


Mr. Begin graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Houston where he studied with John Benzer, Marion West, David Bertman, and Randall Griffin. In 2012, Mr. Begin was the recipient of the Malcolm Helm Scholarship. Mr. Begin was named the Krimmel Intermediate School Teacher of the Year in 2016 and was named the Phi Beta Mu Texas Young Bandmaster of the Year in 2023. 


Bands under his direction have consistently received superior sweepstakes ratings at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest and have also earned recognition at both the state and national levels. In 2021, the Krimmel Intermediate Symphonic Band was named a National Winner in the 2021 Mark of Excellence/ Wind Band Honors Project. In February 2022, the Krimmel Intermediate Symphonic Band performed at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention as an Invited Middle School Ensemble. Also in 2022, the Krimmel Intermediate Symphonic Band was invited to perform at the 76th Annual Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In its first year of inception, the Krimmel Intermediate Full Orchestra was the runner-up in the TMEA Middle School Honor Full Orchestra contest in 2023. 


From 2018 to 2023, Mr. Begin served as the Region IX Middle School Band Coordinator. Mr. Begin’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music.



Priscilla Bell enjoyed 33 successful years as a band director and recently retired from  Pearland ISD. Previously, she was the Director of Bands at middle schools in Cypress  Fairbanks, Birdville, and Dimmitt ISD. During those years, Ms. Bell was humbled to be  awarded teacher of the year, lead a program to become a TMEA State Honor band finalist  and serve as the Region 5 Middle School Band Chair. Her performing ensembles were  consistent UIL Sweepstakes and Best in Class award winners at contests and festivals.  


Currently, Ms. Bell is working at the University of Houston teaching the MUED  Woodwind and Brass Technique Courses as well as a University Supervisor over student  teachers. She has had the privilege to judge at every level of the TMEA Honor Band  process and is an active adjudicator in Texas. Ms. Bell began working with The Docentus  Group in 2022. She enjoys providing program insight that allow band directors to further  develop their programs. 


Ms. Bell completed her Music Education degree with honors from University of North  Texas, studying flute with Dr. Mary Karen Clardy. Her professional affiliations include  Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music  Adjudicators Association as well as being a member of the Alpha Chapter of the  International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu. 


Priscilla resides in downtown Houston with her husband Tom, enjoying live music and  the Astros!



Meredith Bates Bishop is in her twelfth year as the Director of Bands for Pearland Junior High West and Sablatura Middle School and has over eighteen years’ experience teaching in Pearland ISD.  She teaches the beginning horn, trumpet, and flute classes, the varsity level Honors Band and serves as the electives team department head.  She graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Music Education and Honors College degree.  Her bands consistently earned all first division sweepstakes ratings at the UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluation.  In 2017 and 2019, the Pearland JH West Honors Band finished as a state finalist and in 2022 as a state semi-finalist in the Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band Competition.  In 2017, Mrs. Bishop was named the PJH West Teacher of the Year.  In 2024, PJH will be performing at the Music for All National Festival.  She is an Active Member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and is the Region 19 Band Representative for the UIL/TMEA Music Advisory Committee.  In addition, she was instrumental in creating the Pearland ISD Instrument Inventory Management Systems and has served as the District Instrument Inventory Coordinator for 18 years.



Bryan Christian holds music degrees from Abilene Christian University and Stephen F. Austin University.  Mr. Christian taught in three of the best public school districts in the United States relative to music education including Birdville, Round Rock and Leander ISD.  Mr. Christian opened Vista Ridge High School in 2003, where he has since been the Director of Bands.  Under his leadership, the Vista Ridge Band has performed at the Midwest International Band Clinic and the Tournament of Roses Parade.  The Vista Ridge band was the 2018 Texas UIL class 6A State Marching Band Champion, and a 2021 BOA Grand Nationals Finalist.  The Vista Ridge Band was selected to receive  both the Sudler Shield  for marching bands and the Sudler Flag of Honor for concert bands, both projects of the John Philip Sousa Foundation and among the highest honors a school band program can receive.  


Mr. Christian is married to his college sweetheart, Cheryl, who was an oboist at ACU.  They’ve been married for 34 years and have two beautiful girls, Caroline and Cassie, both of whom were in the Vista Ridge Ranger Band & Wind Ensemble and who continued to participate in Band and Orchestra at ACU.


Mr. Christian was also the part-time Worship Minister for the Round Rock Church of Christ from 2002 - 2017, where he planned and led worship, and directed a Praise Team.  He also enjoys playing golf, traditional archery, and hunting whitetail deer and Rio Grande Turkey.  


Mr. Christian is an active adjudicator and clinician and is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Phi Beta Mu, Mu Phi Epsilon, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Pi Kappa Lambda.  Mr. Christian is also a Founding Board Member and Vice-President of the new national association, “SLAM” (Servant Leadership Association for Musicians).



Trent Cooper has been a music educator in Texas for 37 years.  After spending most of his years in the Spring Independent School District, he retired from that district in 2021.  In 2007, he was named Director of the Andy Dekaney High School Band and served there until his retirement.  


While he was Director, the Dekaney Band was chosen to perform at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference twice and was also chosen as featured clinic band twice at that same conference. His ensembles have also been featured clinic bands at the Texas Bandmaster’s Convention here in Texas.  He has benefitted from the mentorship of: Eddie Green, Richard Floyd, Matthew McInturf, Philip Geiger and Richard Crain.  In 2021, he was honored by the Music Education National Alliance by being named a  recipient of the William P. Foster Community Development Award for his work at Andy Dekaney High School and underserved communities.  Currently, he is the Director of the Spring ISD Alumni Band.  This past December, that band was chosen to perform at the Midwest international Band and Orchestra Conference and was also chosen to perform at Texas Bandmaster’s Convention this past July.


He currently serves as a clinician and teacher coach throughout the Houston/Galveston area and is an active adjudicator throughout the State of Texas.  Mr. Cooper is a member of TMEA, TBA, Phi Beta Mu and TMAA. 



Since 2020, Julia Donnel has served the students and families of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School as an Assistant Band Director. Ms. Donnel is the primary woodwind instructor for the program. She works with the marching band, as well as varsity and non-varsity concert bands. A product of the North East Independent School District, Ms. Donnel was thrilled to return to her roots and give back to the district that inspired her to pursue music education.

From 2017 to 2020, Ms. Donnel worked with the award-winning Del Rio High School band, helping to build a culture of woodwind excellence in their program. An accomplished clarinetist, Ms. Donnel received her bachelor’s degree in music studies from Texas State University in 2017. In May of 2023, she earned her Master’s Degree in Business Administration, specializing in Women in Leadership, from Texas Woman’s University. 

While attending Texas State University, she studied with internationally acclaimed clarinetist Dr. Vanguel Tangarov and performed in the Texas State Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Caroline Beatty. In addition, she also performed as the principal clarinetist of the Texas State Opera and the Texas State University Symphony Orchestra in their performance of Mozart’s Requiem. She was invited to participate in “Balabanov’s House Music Days,” an international music festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. 

During her time at Del Rio, Ms. Donnel was responsible for directing the Sub Non-Varsity Concert Band and leading the woodwind program for the marching band. She also directed a non-varsity mariachi group. The Del Rio program is exceptionally well-rounded, achieving excellence in the concert, jazz, marching, and mariachi arenas. In 2020, Del Rio earned a position at the UIL 6A State Marching Contest. The Del Rio and Johnson Band programs enjoy a strong bond and friendship.

During her spare time, she enjoys visiting the coast, exploring wildlife reserves, and spending time with her friends and family.



Shane Goforth is in his 28th year of teaching and is currently the Director of Bands at North
Shore Senior High School in Houston, Texas. Under his direction the bands of North Shore Senior High have advanced to the Texas State Marching Band Championships six times and were a State Finalist and UIL Area F Champion in 2016. The North Shore Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago in 2017 and the Texas Bandmaster’s Convention in 2018. The band has earned numerous and consistent UIL Sweepstakes awards, Best in Class recognitions and was named as a Commended Winner in the Foundation for Music Education’s National Wind Band Honors project. Shane previously served as the Director of Bands at Holliday and Aubrey High Schools where his bands competed at the Texas State Marching Band Championships and were awarded first place in the ATSSB Outstanding Performance Series. He serves as TMEA Vice-President and Band Division Chair, is an active adjudicator, guest conductor and clinician and has presented clinics at the Midwest, TMEA and TBA conventions.


A native of Frisco, Texas, Mr. Goforth started his musical career under the direction of Dr. Daryl Trent and studied saxophone with Brad Leali. He continued his education earning an
Associate of Music in Jazz Saxophone at Weatherford College and a Bachelor of Music with
honors from the University of North Texas. As a saxophonist Shane has had the privilege to
perform with a wide range of incredible artists and musicians including; Branford Marsalis, Winton Marsalis, Allen Vizzutti, Jon Faddis, David Fathead Newman, James Clay, Dewey Redman, Roy Hargrove, Shelley Carrol and many others.


Shane currently makes his home in the North Shore area of Houston with his lovely wife Lawren and their six children; Opal, Cassidy, Anissa, Morgan, Megan and Henry. In his spare time Shane enjoys reading, golf, playing guitar, and spending time with his family.



Mr. Green joined the William Mason High School Band staff in 2017.  Prior to his appointment at WMHS, he served as Associate Director of Bands & Color Guard Director at Lehman High School.  Mr. Green’s ensembles have consistently earned Superior ratings in both concert and marching band.  Mr. Green established, and then led, the Lehman Color Guard to a TCGC State Championship and recognition as a WGI Regional Finalist. 

Mr. Green received the Texas UIL Sponsor of Excellence award.  Most notably, he was named a Quarter-Finalist for a Grammy in Music Education. Under Mr. Green’s ensembles have been recognized as “Commended Winners” in the Foundation for Music Education’s Citation of Excellence.

Mr. Green began his teaching career at Normal and Normal West High School in Illinois. While at Normal and Normal West, the bands earned State Marching Band Championships and were continually recognized as BOA and WGI Regional Finalists. In addition, the Normal West Band was a BOA Grand National Semi-Finalist, and the Wind Ensemble achieved State Honor Band status.

In 2004, Mr. Green served at Judson High School as the Visual Coordinator, Color Guard Director, and Brass Specialist.  During Mr. Green’s tenure at Judson, the Judson Honor Band, performed at the BOA National Concert Band Festival.  The Marching Band was a BOA Regional Finalist and the Color Guard was a consistent WGI Regional Finalist. 

Mr. Green has been the Visual Caption Head for Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps, Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps, and most recently Assistant Visual Caption Head for the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps.

A native of Danville, IL, Mr. Green grew up with a strong background in music.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall for the National Youth Performance Debut Series, and as principal trumpet in the first BOA Concert Band under the direction of William D. Revelli and Tim Salzman. Mr. Green studied trumpet with Dr. Amy Gilreath at Illinois State University, and with Dr. Jonathan Gresham at Northern Kentucky University where he was selected as a finalist in the Corbett Concerto Competition.  He has also performed as a member of the NKU Faculty Brass Quintet. His additional teachers have included Parker Melvin and Michael Tunnell (University of Illinois), Judith Saxton (Illinois Wesleyan University), and Richard Lehman, former Principal Cornet of The United States Marine Band. From 1991-1994, Mr. Green performed in the The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, earning the 1992 DCI World Championship and Individual & Ensemble World Championships in 1992 and 1994. Mr. Green has continued to stay active as a performer, playing with the San Antonio Wind Symphony, Heart of Texas Concert Band, and was a soloist with the Cavalier’s 60th Anniversary Corps.



Emily Gurwitz is a middle school/high school band clinician and private flute instructor in San Antonio, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Trinity University in San Antonio and her Master of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She was a middle school band director for over twenty-five years and her bands placed in the top 4 at the TMEA Area E Honor Band competitions multiple times. Most recently, she was a high school band director at Judson High School, and she has been a private flute instructor for over thirty years. Ms. Gurwitz has taught many masterclasses, Region Band Clinics, and various band camps over the years, including the Texas Lutheran University Summer Music Academy, the Interlochen Summer Academy in Michigan, and the Music for All Summer Symposium at Ball State University.


Ms. Gurwitz regularly has had high school flute and Piccolo students qualify for the Texas TMEA All-State Bands or Orchestras (Texas All-State flute players are approximately the top 35 flute players selected each year from the state of Texas from a series of District, Region, and Area Competitions while Texas All-State piccolo players are approximately the top 8 players) from her flute studio, and her flute and piccolo students have placed in the 6A/5A All-State Bands thirty-two times, including placing first, second, and third in Texas! Ms. Gurwitz has been married to Elliott Gurwitz since 1996, and they have two grown children, who are pursuing music in college and graduate school.



Robert Tyrome Herrings, III is in his nineteenth year of teaching and has been teaching at Artie Henry Middle School in Leander ISD since 2004. Prior to coming to Leander ISD, he was the Director of Bands at Rockdale Junior High in Rockdale, Texas.

In 2003, Mr. Herrings received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he studied under Michael Haithcock, Jeff Grogan, Dr. Kevin Sedatole and Barry Hopper. While in college, Mr. Herrings was a member of the Baylor University performing wind bands, as well as a member of the Baylor University Golden Wave Band. 


At Henry Middle School, Mr. Herrings conducts the Honors Band, and assists with the Symphonic Band and Concert Band. He also teaches beginning clarinet, horn and trumpet. Mr. Herrings’ bands have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes ratings, as well as unanimous first division ratings, Best In Class, and Overall Outstanding Band honors at festivals around the state. From 2009-2022, the program at Henry earned distinction as a National Wind Band Honors Class AA winner, and in 2008 and 2013, the Henry Middle School Honors Band was selected to perform at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington. The program was named the 2010, 2014 and 2018 TMEA Class CCC Honor Band and was also selected to perform at the 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2022 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In June 2011, Mr. Herrings and the program were awarded the prestigious John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Cup Award, and in July of the same year, Mr. Herrings was named the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Young Bandmaster of the Year. In May of 2014, the Texas Chapter of the American School Band Directors Association awarded the Outstanding Band Program Award to the Artie Henry MS Band Program, and in November of the same year, the Henry MS Percussion Ensemble was selected to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2018, the Henry MS Band Program was selected as the Texas Bandmasters Association Exemplary Middle School Band Award winner. Most recently, the program at Henry MS was named the National Band Association's Programs of Excellence Blue Ribbon Band Award winner.

An active clinician and adjudicator around the state, Mr. Herrings is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, American Bandmasters Association as well as an educational consultant for the Conn-Selmer Division of Education. Mr. Herrings also serves as the TMEA Region 32 Middle School Band Chair, as well as the Region 32 TBA representative. He is honored to be a member of Phi Beta Mu and a mentor to new-to-profession teachers at Henry Middle School.

Mr. Herrings enjoys motivating young musicians to achieve the highest level of performance by sharing his extreme love and passion for music with them on a daily basis. He feels honored, privileged and extremely blessed to have a loving mother and grandmother, many great mentors, band directors and close friends who have influenced his career thus far.

Above all, his students have been his greatest inspiration!



As a seasoned music educator with over 28 years of experience, Cathy Humphrey is proud to have had the opportunity to teach both middle school and high school concert band, orchestra, marching band, colorguard, steel pan, jazz ensemble, and all instruments in beginning band. Her passion for music making and leading by example has always been at the forefront of her teaching philosophy. She takes great pride in inspiring her students to discover the life skills that are instilled through music preparation and participating in a structured program and how it will have a positive impact on their lives.


Mrs. Humphrey received her all-level music education degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and while in attendance, served as a member and officer of Tau Beta Sigma. After years of teaching band she was inspired to further develop a holistic understanding of the public education system. She attended Concordia University of Austin and graduated with a master’s degree in educational administration in 2009, and obtained certifications in both Instructional Leadership Development and Professional Development and Support.


Currently, Mrs. Humphrey is the Director of Bands at Cele Middle School in Pflugerville, TX. Her performing groups have earned consistent UIL and Best in Class festival awards. For the last two years, her wind ensemble earned first place for small middle schools at the Dallas Wind Invitational. Most recently, her jazz ensemble earned 2nd place at the SHSU Bill Watrous Jazz Festival. One of her highlights of the Cele Band is the Tri-M Music Honor Society, a membership organization that provides opportunities for her students to take on leadership roles within the band program.


Prior to teaching at Cele MS, she opened Hernandez Middle School in Round Rock where her band was named 2013 Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors National Winner, second runner-up in for the TMEA All-State full orchestra, Grand Champion Jazz Ensemble at the Georgetown Jazz Festival, Overall and Best in Class Festival awards in both concert band, jazz ensemble and full orchestra.


While at Covington MS, her performing ensembles consistently earned superior ratings at UIL as well as invitational performances such as: Lincoln Memorial Center in Washington DC, Celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentennial in Philadelphia, and the Western International Band Clinic in Washington State. Her ensembles performed for events for Region XIII Education Service Center, Texas Education Agency, State Board of Education, State Capitol and several other community events in the Austin area.


Outside of public education, Mrs. Humphrey served as the Director of Student Life for the prestigious Sewanee Summer Music Festival, in Tennessee for six summers. She was responsible for the safety of over 200 music students in attendance from all over the world. She taught chamber groups, wind sectionals, organized and rehearsed July 4th music festivities for the Sewannee community, and assisted with the overall operation of the festival.


Mrs. Cathy Humphrey is thankful for her loving and supportive husband, Chris, and their amazing two children, Justin and Madison. Together they enjoy outdoor activities, traveling, and spending time with their fur babies.



During his fifteen years at Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School (CTJ), Jarrett Lipman established a tradition of excellence both on the concert stage and on the marching field. Jarrett opened CTJ in 2008 as an Assistant Director of Bands before his promotion to Head Director in 2010, a role he served in until 2023. Under Jarrett’s leadership, the CTJ Wind ensemble was a consistent Texas State Honor Band Finalist and performed at the 2019 Midwest Clinic. On the field, the CTJ Marching Band was named the 2020 UIL 6A State Marching Champions and was a multi-time Grand National Finalist and BOA Regional Champion. 

Currently, Mr. Lipman is studying for a Ph.D. in Education Leadership, Planning, and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. He works as a part-time lecturer at Texas State University in the Music Education program. Mr. Lipman served student musicians as a member of the Cadets Brass Faculty (2010-2016) and presently as the Brass Caption Manager for the Boston Crusaders (2017-2023). In partnership with PBSL-USA, the Docentus Group, Educational Travel Adventures, and TMF, Mr. Lipman’s company, BandworX, specializes in instructional coaching for band directors and music teachers. He also regularly presents professional development sessions focusing on creating a culture of excellence, recruiting and retaining students, and building relationships. He is passionate about sharing ideas and investing in the growth of other directors in our profession.



Maycie Meyer is an Associate Band Director at Friendswood High School and serves as the Visual Coordinator for the marching band as well as the conductor for the Concert Band I. 

Ms. Meyer is a graduate of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

During her time at the University of Houston, she studied trumpet with Mark Hughes of the Houston Symphony and was a member of the University of Houston Wind Ensemble under the direction of the David Bertman, the Moores School Ballet Orchestra, and Spirit of Houston Marching Band. Ms. Meyer served as principal trumpet of the University of Houston Wind Ensemble for three years, including their performance at the 2018

Southwestern Division Conference of the College Band Director’s National Association.

In 2014 Ms. Meyer marched with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps as a member of the hornline and went on to become the Assistant Drum Major in 2015, and the Head Drum Major in 2016. Ms. Meyer graduated from The Woodlands High School, where she was a member of the 2013 Bands of America Grand National Champion Marching Band.

In addition, Ms. Meyer has taught private trumpet lessons and numerous region masterclasses in the Houston area for five years. She has served on the marching band staff for several schools in the Houston area, including The Woodlands High School, Stephen F. Austin High School, and North Shore Senior High School.



Courtney Allyson Mills (she/her/hers) has over 25 years of dance education, freelance choreography and consulting experience within several facets of the performing arts. A graduate of Seminole High School in Seminole, Florida, Ms. Mills holds a Master of Arts in Performance Psychology from National University and  a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She also earned a Specialized Certification in Teaching Social-Emotional Learning from the University of Colorado, Boulder. 

Courtney is the Modern/Contemporary Dance teacher at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts in Arlington, Texas. Her responsibilities include the creation of the modern/contemporary dance program servicing all six high schools in the district, two full-length dance productions, as well as forming two dance companies comprised of secondary students within Arlington ISD; and Company E. Previously, Ms. Mills was the dance, yoga, and AVID teacher at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO as well as the Director of the Smoky Hill Dance Collective. She additionally served as the Director of Dance at Bowie High School in Austin, Texas where she taught the Silver Stars Drill Team, Dance 1-4, and Musical Theatre Dance.

A Carolina Crown alumni, Courtney is proud to have been on staff at Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard, Phantom Regiment, Madison Scouts, Crossmen, and Troopers. Currently she is a visual designer for The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. Mills marched The Company Colour Guard, a WGI Independent A (1995) and Open (1996) gold medalist, from St. Petersburg, Florida. She attributes her growth into the human she is today to her many years marching and teaching drum corps and winter guard.

Ms. Mills is an active clinician, performance consultant, and choreographer. She is currently on a team at USA Gymnastics creating curriculum and training for a New Coaches pilot program launching in the Spring of 2023.  Courtney frequently provides lectures, webinars, and presentations to a variety of organizations, including; USA Gymnastics, Vivace Education, USBands, and Texas Dance Educators Association. Ms. Mills also broadcasts the live stream for all Bands of America contests, through Box5 Media.  A seasoned explorer, Courtney loves the mountains, hiking, and nature, as well as anything sports-related.  



In 1997, the year prior to the opening of Cedar Park High School, Ron Morrison was named the first Director of Bands.  In 1998 the program launched and has experienced unapparelled success since.  In 2001, he led the organization to Leander ISD’s and Cedar Park High School’s first UIL State Marching Band Championship.


In 2002, Leander ISD named Ron as the district’s first Fine Arts Coordinator, a role that allowed him to establish district-wide philosophies, systems, and processes that continue to serve as a framework upon which many of the ongoing successes of the Fine Arts Programs in Leander ISD have been realized. 


Also, in 2002, Ron founded SASI – The Leadership People, an organization that has now trained thousands of students from all walks of life throughout the nation.  Although Ron has since left SASI, he has remained true to his love of developing aspiring and seasoned leaders.


Ron has also served as a leadership development and process improvement consultant for entertainment-based organizations such as The Schlitterbahn, Great Wolf Lodge, Six Flags Theme Parks, Alabama Adventure, and Universal Studios.  He has also done this work in the energy and healthcare sectors as well.


Ron has also served the Wylie ISD, Socorro ISD, Texas City ISD, Lamar Consolidated ISD, Judson ISD, and many others as a consultant in educational mindset, systems and processes.



Dr. Jimmy Nowell, a Corpus Christi, Texas native, holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University, a Master of Music from Rice University, a Master of Education in administration and supervision, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Houston. He is a former Baylor University Drum Major and has played trombone at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and in bands and orchestras throughout the state of Texas.

As a music educator and administrator, Dr. Nowell has worked in the Pasadena, Cypress-Fairbanks, Pearland, and New Caney ISDs. While serving as the associate band director at Langham Creek High School in 2002, Dr. Nowell helped lead the symphonic band to win the Texas Music Educators Association’s Class 5A state honor band competition. In addition, Dr. Nowell's concert and marching bands have consistently earned sweepstakes awards in Texas University Interscholastic League competitions. They have also achieved finalist status, won championship awards in marching, and had numerous showings at Bands of America and USBands contests from 1995-2022. Dr. Nowell's marching bands advanced to the UIL Texas State Marching Championships on three occasions: with the Langham Creek Lobo Marching Band in 2002, with the Porter Spartan Marching Band in 2019, and with Porter again in 2021 as the UIL Area I 5A Marching Champion. The Porter High School Wind Ensemble was selected as a commended winner in 5A for the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors program in the Spring of 2021. Dr. Nowell is an active and busy clinician and holds professional memberships with TMAA, TMEA, TASSP, and GCASE.

Dr. Nowell has served as a middle school building principal, high school assistant principal, and currently is a high school campus administrator for special education and fine arts in the northeast Houston area. He enjoys research, the marching arts, and spending time with his dog, Jax!



Joni Perez served The Woodlands High School Band in various roles and leadership positions between 2003-2022, the last 12 years of which as Director of Bands.  Under her leadership, the concert and marching ensembles received exclusively superior ratings from the University Interscholastic League each and every year.  TWHS Wind Ensemble was also a  featured ensemble at the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic held in Chicago and has been  recognized as a National Wind Band Honors Mark of Excellence Winner.  TWHS marching ensembles earned six consecutive appearances at either the 5A or 6A Texas State UIL Marching Band Championships (2010-2020) and competed as a Finalist on every occasion they attended. TWHS Marching Band was a regular participant, finalist, and champion at the Bands of America Regional, Super Regional, and Grand National Championships.  The band was a Grand National Finalist all six times they attended under her direction. And in 2013, The Woodlands HS Band was recognized as the Bands of America Grand National Champion, making Perez the first ever female head director to earn that recognition.  


Resulting from the accomplishments and scholastic accolades of TWHS Band, in 2013 the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity recognized Mrs. Perez as the Outstanding Young Bandmaster of the Year.  In 2018, more widespread recognition followed when the John Philip Sousa Foundation recognized TWHS Band by awarding them the Sudler Shield, which is an international award recognizing high school, youth, and international marching bands of world class excellence. Most recently, Mrs. Perez was awarded with the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association for an outstanding contribution to bands and band music. This award from the NBA was followed by The Woodlands High School Band program being named an NBA Blue Ribbon Award Program of Excellence for the 2019-2020 school year, signifying that TWHS Band serves its membership a total program through its solo, ensemble, concert band and marching band offerings and consistent successes year after year.


Perez attended the University of Houston earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education (2005).  While at the University of Houston, she was afforded the opportunity to learn from highly respected musical influences such as Eddie Green, Tom Bennett, David Bertman, John Benzer and Nancy Goodearl.  


Perez is a horn player and marched as a mellophone member with the Cadets of Bergen County Drum & Bugle Corps and aged out on the year of a DCI World Championship victory in 1998 under the direction of Donnie Van Doren, Frank Sullivan and Matt Harloff.  She was an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning and Emmy nominated production, Blast!, and performed in the show from 1999-2003 while learning from Jon Vanderkolff, Wayne Downey, Jim Moore and Rosie Miller Queen.  As an original London cast member, she toured four years performing on both horn and mellophone.  She also completed two separate US performance tours and was a featured solo performer in both the Broadway and Disney productions.


Perez has served as a DCI brass-staff member for several organizations between 2003 and the present.  She was a brass instructor for the Blue Knights from 2003-2007, the last two years of which as the Brass Caption Supervisor. She was also a brass instructor for the Cavaliers and Madison Scouts from 2008-2012,  and has most recently served as a brass consultant  for the Bluecoats during their ’20 & ‘23 seasons.  Additionally, Perez returned to the Cavaliers in 2023 as an Ensemble Specialist. 


Joni Perez is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association and the National Band Association.  She is currently serving or has recently served on the UIL Marching Band Rules Committee, the BOA Advisory Board, the US Bands Texas adjudicator selection committee, and the John Philip Sousa Sudler Shield Jury Panel.  Perez works as a guest conductor, an instructional coach and consultant for dozens of band programs across Texas, offers leadership workshops to high school students, and serves as an adjudicator across the country for various circuits and organizations, including BOA & UIL.  Perez resides in The Woodlands, Texas with Brian Perez, her husband of seventeen years, and their three kitties Ziggy, Biskitt & Diddle. 



Brian Pollard recently retired after thirty years as a successful Texas band director at the Middle School and High School levels. He has been engaged by Bands of America as a Contest Director, the University of North Texas as a Clinical Field Supervisor and has been in demand as an adjudicator, consultant, drill writer and clinician throughout the state.  

Mr. Pollard spent his career in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Keller, Northeast, and Irving ISDs.  As the head band director at both Fossil Ridge (Keller) and Winston Churchill (Northeast) High Schools the bands were consistent sweepstakes winners, and among the top finishers at UIL Area Marching, Bands of America Regionals and Super-Regionals as well as UIL State Marching Championships and Bands of America Grand Nationals contests.  Pollard has taught and/or mentored dozens of current band directors across the state including staff members of the highly successful Claudia Taylor Johnson High School, Rouse High School, Tex Hill Middle School, and Lamar MS (Lewisville) band programs.

Philosophically, he has always known it was important to create specific vertical alignment in the programs in which he worked.  He was present daily in beginner classes, middle school ensembles, and worked to establish a years-long curriculum focused on student success.  

Though his greatest visibility came from writing drill and successful marching and concert programs, Brian spent his last 7 years in education building a struggling inner-city program into a consistent division one cluster.  Working to revamp the entire curriculum and put good teachers in place his cluster in the Irving ISD transformed both feeder middle schools and the high school into respected programs with success in the All-Region and Solo and Ensemble arenas as well as on the Concert Stage and Football Field.

Mr. Pollard has a passion for student learning and believes there are victories to be found via student success on every campus.  His consistent motto “you meet the students where they are and work to make them better,” has served as a guide-point for his career and is still his mission today.



Michael Pote has been Director of Bands at Carmel High School (Carmel, IN) since 2013 after spending 20 years serving as Associate Director of Bands. The band program at Carmel High School serves nearly 600 students with 6 concert bands, 5 jazz ensembles, marching band, chamber ensembles, private lesson program, percussion ensembles and 3 winter color guards.


Carmel High School’s Wind Symphony 1 performed at the 2005 Midwest Band and Orchestra clinic, the 2020 North Central Division CBDNA Conference, numerous state conference performances and clinics and has been a 4-time participant in the Music For All National Concert Band Festival. Wind Symphony 1 was also named the 1999, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023 Indiana State School Music Association Concert Band Champions.


The marching band at Carmel High School has been a Bands of America National Finalist 27 consecutive years dating back to 1996 and were the ISSMA State Champions in 1990, 2001, 2002, 2012, 2018 and 2022. CHS is a 27-time Bands of America Regional Champion and were named the Bands of America Grand National Champions in 2005, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022.


The Carmel band program has received the National Band Association Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award as well as being a two-time recipient of the prestigious Sudler Shield.


Michael was a Music Ensemble Consultant for the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps during the 2022 and 2023 season and is currently on the brass staff of the Cavaliers From and Bugle Corps. A clinician for the Yamaha Master Educator program, Michael has presented clinics across the country including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, The Texas Music Educators Association Convention, the Boston Brass Summer Winds Seminar, the North Carolina Music Educators Conference, Florida Music Educators Association and the Arizona Music Educators Association. Michael was elected to membership in the American Band Masters Association in 2022 and in 2019 was awarded the Phi Beta Mu Indiana Chapter Band Master of the Year Award. Michael’s two wind ensemble method books, “Process” and “Ensemble: an integrated approach to the Yamaha Harmony Director” are published through Fannin Music Productions.



Gloria Ramirez, retired Director of Bands at Langham Creek High School, has enjoyed a distinguished career at the middle and high school levels, completing 39 years of successful instruction as a Texas Music Educator.

Ms. Ramirez's concert ensembles received consistently superior ratings at the University Interscholastic League Concert and Sight-Reading Contest and have been recognized at both the state and national levels. In 2008 and 2018, the Langham Creek Wind Ensemble was selected as a National Winner from The Foundation of Music Education’s National Wind Band Honors and a Commended Winner in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.

Ms. Ramirez was Co-Director of the TMEA 5A Honor Band for the State of Texas in 2008; bands under her direction were TMEA Honor Band finalists in 1988, 2000, 2002, and 2016, placing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th, respectively. During Ramirez’s tenure as Director, the Langham Creek marching ensembles earned trips to the 5A/6A Texas State UIL Marching Contest in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2016, and in 2020, the Langham Creek High School Band received the Outstanding Program Award from The Texas Chapter of the American School Band Directors Associations.

In 2019, Ms. Ramirez was awarded the “Meritorious Achievement Award” In Recognition of Exemplary Professionalism and Invaluable Contributions to the Education of Young People Through the Band Medium. She was a recipient of the 2019 “UIL Sponsor Excellence Award,” created to identify and recognize outstanding sponsors who assist students in developing and refining their extracurricular talents to the highest degree possible within the educational system while helping them to keep their worth separate from their success or failure in competition. Ms. Ramirez is a recipient of the Leadership and Achievement Award as Co-Director of the Class 5A TMEA State Honor Band.

She has presented clinics and performances at the Midwest Clinic and TBA Convention. She maintains professional affiliations with Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and National Band Association.



Charlotte Royall recently retired as Director of Bands at The Woodlands College Park High School, in The Woodlands, TX. Prior to College Park, she taught middle school band in Spring ISD and Conroe ISD. She graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in music education, and a master’s degree in conducting from Sam Houston State University.

Mrs. Royall’s middle school performing ensembles earned consistent Sweepstakes and Outstanding in Class awards. In 1990, the Bammel MS Symphonic Band was named the Texas Music Educators Association Class CC State Honor Band and performed at the state convention in San Antonio, in 1991. The band was a top three finalist in the Class CCC State Honor Band competition in 1996 and 1998.

The College Park HS band consistently earned Superior ratings at the state-sanctioned marching and concert and sightreading contest in every year of its existence, also receiving Outstanding in Class Awards at marching and concert festivals. In 2010, the College Park Wind Ensemble was a state Finalist in the TMEA Class 5 A Honor Band competition. They were also named 2010, 2012, and 2014 Winners of the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors. The marching band performed in finals for the BOA regional competition, US Bands Competition, also winning Outstanding in Class at several regional marching festivals. In 2016, the marching band competed in the UIL State Marching Contest for the very first time, finishing in the top 20.

Mrs. Royall has served as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator in the southern United States area. She has presented clinics for school districts and band director associations in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Utah, and Georgia as well as TMEA and TBA Conventions, Midwest Clinic, and the BOA and WCU Summer Symposiums. She conducted three ensembles at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In 2014, the College Park Wind Ensemble was a featured clinic band at the Midwest Clinic. Mrs. Royall served a seven-year term on the executive board for the Texas Bandmasters Association and was also the first woman to serve as president in 1999.

Mrs. Royall is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Women Band Directors International, Phi Beta Mu, an international honorary band director’s fraternity, and the American Bandmasters Association. In 1999, she received the University of Houston, Moore’s School of Music, Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2009, she received the Texas Bandmasters Association Meritorious Achievement Award.

Presently, Mrs. Royall is serving the Sam Houston State University as a field supervisor for student teachers. She enjoys performing on flute in the Spring ISD Alumni Band and the Woodlands Concert Band. She is also working closely with several middle and high school band programs in the Houston and Dallas areas.

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Manuel C. San Luis, retired in June 2017, and was with Leander ISD for 22 years, with the Cedar Park Middle School band program since the school opened in 1995, and has been the head band director since 1997. Manuel San Luis graduated in 1983 with high honors from Southwest Texas State University and was in the University Honors Program. He continued post-graduate work at the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. From January thru June of 2019, Mr. San Luis taught in Seoul, South Korea as an interim director of bands.

He is a sought-after band clinician, judge, and consultant throughout Texas. He currently is the field supervisor for clinical teachers for Stephen F. Austin State University, and also serves on the Leadership Council for Texas State University in San Marcos.

The Cedar Park Middle School Band program has been consistent UIL Sweepstakes award winners, and has been invited twice to the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago -- in 2007 with the Symphonic Band, and in 2011 with the Saxophone Ensemble. In 2008, Cedar Park Middle School was awarded the John Philip Sousa Sudler Cup, an international award for being "a junior high school band program of the highest quality". The band program consists of approximately 350 students in grades six, seven, and eight, and are well represented in the TMEA Region All-District Band, All-Region Band, All-Region Orchestra, and solo and ensemble contest.

In addition, the CPMS Bands have received Superior ratings, Best In Class and Overall Outstanding Band awards at festivals across the state for many years. The Symphonic Band has been national winners in the Mark Of Excellence National Wind Band Honors in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 (Ten consecutive years), under the direction of Mr. San Luis. In addition, the Symphonic Band has advanced to the TMEA Area Honor Band process every eligible year since the school opened. In 2006, the Symphonic Band advanced to the state hearing for TMEA Honor Band. In 2014, the Texas Bandmasters Association named the Cedar Park Middle School program as the “Exemplary Middle School Band” for the entire state.

Mr. San Luis is also the co-founder of Cedar Park Winds, an adult community band in central Texas, that was invited to perform at the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention, and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

Mr. San Luis is a member of TMEA, TBA, TMAA, and Phi Beta Mu, and was recognized in 2014 by "School Band and Orchestra - SBO" magazine as the Texas honoree for "Directors Who Make a Difference". He considers himself honored and privileged to have had many great mentors, friends, and band directors as strong influences during his career. Above all, he considers his students throughout his 34-year career as his greatest inspiration.



Kyle Stahl currently serves as an Assistant Band Director at Aragon Middle School in Cypress Fairbanks ISD.  His current responsibilities include directing the Symphonic Band, teaching beginner percussion, beginner saxophone, and beginner tuba and euphonium.  Prior to that, Mr. Stahl spent 12 years as an Assistant Band Director and Director of Percussion at Jersey Village High School and Cypress Ranch High School.  His bands received consistent superior ratings.  His marching percussion sections at both Jersey Village and Cypress Ranch routinely received top percussion at area contests throughout the years.  His Percussion Ensembles were named the Mark of Excellence National Percussion Ensemble Winner for high schools around the country in both 2014 and 2017.  In 2014, the Cypress Ranch Percussion Ensemble performed at the Music for All National Percussion festival.  In 2018, the Jersey Village marching band reached the Texas UIL State Marching Contest for the first time in school history.


Mr. Stahl has been an active educator in the Houston area for the last 15 years and received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Houston in 2009.  During his time at the University of Houston, Mr. Stahl was fortunate to be a performer with the Moores School Percussion Ensemble at the 2006 Percussive Arts Society International Convention.  During his undergraduate studies, Mr. Stahl also arranged for the Spirit of Houston Drumline.  Mr. Stahl was a member of the 2005 Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, and the 2006 World Champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps.  


Mr. Stahl resides in the Tomball community with his wife Meredith, their two sons Connor and Corban, and their beagle Ranger.  He is a member of Texas Music Educators Association and is an educator endorser for Innovative Percussion.



Meredith Stahl is the Director of Bands at Grand Lakes Junior High, where she directs the Honor Band and Concert Band and teaches the beginning low brass at Oakcrest Intermediate School.  Mrs. Stahl is in her 16th year of teaching.  Her bands have consistently been awarded sweepstakes at UIL and Best in Class at contests and festivals.

Mrs. Stahl is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2008.  While pursuing her education at Texas Tech, she performed in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Sarah McKoin, studied clarinet with Dr. David Shea, and performed with the Goin' Band from Raiderland.

Mrs. Stahl’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association and Tau Beta Sigma. 
Mrs. Stahl resides in the Tomball community with her husband Kyle, sons Connor and Corban, and their dog, Ranger.



Mark Veenstra has worked in public schools in Texas for 40 years, 36 of which at Cy-Fair High School.  During those 36 years the Cy-Fair band program grew from 160 students to about 300, and appeared in the Tournament of Roses Parade, at the Texas state marching competition five times, was a state honor band finalist multiple times, and performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago in 2018.   


Mr. Veenstra now is the band director at Cornerstone Academy, a charter school in the Memorial area where the band program has grown from nine students to its current enrollment of 86 students.  He is a frequent clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas, Colorado, and Midwest, and is associated with the Blue Lake Fine Arts camp in Michigan since 2020.


Mr. Veenstra has two sons, William, who is a high school math teacher and the assistant visual staff of the Bluecoats of DCI, and Thomas, a senior engineering student at the University of Texas in Austin, and a member of the Longhorn Band.   Mr. Veenstra lives in Cypress TX and Muskegon MI.    



Alfredo Vélez III is currently in his 43rd year of teaching. Vélez has held positions as Director of Bands at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Assistant Director of Wind Studies at the University of North Texas, Interim Director of Bands at Texas Christian University, Associate Director at Sam Houston State University, and Lone Star College-Kingwood. Mr. Vélez began his career teaching seventeen years in the Plano Independent School District in both the middle school and high school levels. He currently serves as the associate director of bands at The Woodlands Christian Academy and is a music consultant and instructional coach.


Mr. Vélez has directed the renowned Kingwood Big Band. The KBB featured notable jazz guest artists Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Tom Malone, Conrad Herwig, Ken Watters, Bill Watrous, David Caceres, and Scott Wendholt. He is co-founder of The Woodlands Youth Jazz, a non-profit program for developing young, high-level jazz musicians, and has also organized The Woodlands Jazz Orchestra, a professional big band in the north Houston area.


Throughout his career, Alfredo Vélez has been recognized for his concert, jazz, and marching band performances. Texas A&M-Kingsville Wind Symphony received exemplary reviews for their performances. He conducted the inaugural concert of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas.

Alfredo Vélez holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Angelo State University. He is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Phi Beta Mu. Alfredo Vélez is Past President of the Texas Bandmasters Association. Mr. Vélez is co-founder of Peer Based Student Leadership which presents student leadership workshops as well as providing professional development for district-wide fine arts staffs throughout the state of Texas.



Mr. Derrick Walker, Director of Fine Arts at Cedar Hill ISD and Director of the Longhorn Red Army Marching Band and Wind Symphony at Cedar Hill High School, boasts over 23 years of experience in music education. He is recognized for his leadership, earning accolades such as Grammy Music Educator Semi-Finalist and Quarterfinalist, as well as nominations for Music Educator of the Year. With a Bachelor's in Music from Southern University and a Master's in Educational Leadership from National University, Mr. Walker's impact extends nationally through his involvement in professional organizations and his dedication to inspiring students and educators alike.



Originally from Spring, Texas, Mr. Witty graduated from Sam Houston State University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and studied saxophone with Dr. Scott Plugge.


While at SHSU, he was a principal player in the Wind Ensemble, a member of the Bearkat Marching Band, and performed extensively with the SHSU Saxophone Quartet. Mr. Witty also performed with the Troopers (2010) and Cavaliers (2011) Drum & Bugle Corps as a member of the baritone/euphonium section.


He began his teaching career as an Assistant Band Director at Clements High School from 2013-2015, and most recently was the Assistant Band Director at The Woodlands High School from 2015-2022. During his time at The Woodlands, concert ensembles under his direction received consistent UIL Sweepstakes Awards, and the marching band was a consistent Bands of America Regional, Super Regional and Grand Nationals Finalist, as well as a UIL State Marching Band Contest Finalist. The program received the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Shield Award in 2018, and was recognized as a 2019-2020 Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award winner by the National Band Association.


He is currently an active clinician, choreographer, and consultant for programs throughout the Houston area and is incredibly lucky to be able to share his passion with so many students. Outside of band, Mr. Witty enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and expressing his creativity through website design and photography.



Jennifer Wren is the Director of Bands at Pearland Junior High East and Alexander Middle School in Pearland ISD. Prior to holding this position, Ms. Wren was Director of Bands at Hofius Intermediate and Kleb Intermediate, as well as the Associate Director of Bands at Doerre Intermediate, all in Klein ISD.  She earned her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Houston and her Masters of Music in Conducting from Sam Houston State University.


Bands under Mrs. Wren’s direction have received Sweepstakes Awards as well as First Division ratings and Best in Class distinctions at the South Coast Music Festival and the Gator Music Festival. Mrs. Wren’s bands have also been recognized as both National and Commended Winners in the National Wind Band Honors Project. In 2023, the Hofius Symphonic Band performed at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, IN. Mrs. Wren was a co-founder of the Doerre Symphony Orchestra, which received consistent Sweepstakes awards at UIL, and placed as second runner-up and runner-up at the Texas Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra competition as well as an invitation to perform at the 2014 Midwest Clinic. Mrs. Wren has been nominated multiple times for Teacher of the Year and was named a Texas Exes Rising Star in Teaching. 


Mrs. Wren’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. She lives in League City, Texas with her daughter Abigail.

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