LBJ Band—The One, The Onlycropped-lbj_band_logo-295x300

My History

I’ve been teaching here since the Fall of 2001, shortly after I moved to Austin. LBJ is the very first school I performed for when trying to drum up some private lesson students. I guess they liked me! In 2003, I got the job as Assistant Director along with Head Director Don Haynes after his former assistant, Travis Ancelet, got the head job at McNeil High School in Round Rock ISD. Don is a legend, and rightly so, in the Texas music educator community, having been at LBJ since 1975. He was on the board of Texas Bandmasters association for 8 years and is Past President of that organization. Don is definitely ‘the man!’ He retired from LBJ in 2015 with a great celebration in his honor.

These days, Brian Mayer is the head of bands, and Dr. Chris Lizak and I are the assistants. And of course, I am also the Jazz Director at LBJ & LASA High Schools! When I was 18 years old, I was asked what I saw myself doing in 10 years. Leading a big band, I said. Well, exactly 10 years later, I got the job of my dreams!

Since starting at LBJ as a private sax instructor and then jazz director, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and wonderful young people. Every year there are many students who join jazz band for the first time and it’s my privilege to help them learn to love and to play this American art form. And I’ve also grown more than I could ever have imagined when I moved to Austin. On my Artist ~ Educator page, I have the quote from Richard Bach, “We teach best what we most need to learn.” I still feel that’s true to this day. There is more than meets the eye in becoming an artist or musician. Yes, I feel that my experience bares out the truth that some are born with ‘it’ but no matter how much of it someone is born with, they still have to develop the capacity and skills to deal with it.

 

 

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