Director of Bands
Under Mr. Taylor's direction, the Westlake High School Band has been named 'Best in Class' or 'Runner-up' at the Buccaneer Music Festival, South Coast Music Festival, MusicFest (Orlando, Fl.) and the DC Festival in San Antonio. The Westlake Band has made concert tours to the Pacific Northwest, Canada and the British Isles. Under Mr. Taylor’s baton, the Westlake Wind Ensemble has performed twice (2002 and 2015) at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the American Bandmasters Association on March 4, 2006 and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles on July 8, 2009. In 1997, the John Philip Sousa Foundation presented the Westlake Band with the Sudler Flag of Honor recognizing excellence in concert band over an extended period of time.
The Westlake Marching Band has been a Finalist in multiple Bands of America Regionals and Super Regionals and has been a Finalist at the 5A and 6A State Marching Contest-placing in the top 10 on five occasions. On January 2, 2017 the Westlake Chaparral Band performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade in California. This was their second time (2003) to perform in this parade. In 2010, the Sousa Foundation honored the WHS band with the Sudler Shield for excellence in marching.
In December 2016, the international honorary band fraternity, Phi Beta Mu, recognized the Westlake Band Program as a first recipient of the Earl Irons "Program of Distinction Award" for excellence in all aspects of a well-rounded band program.
Mr. Taylor is active as a clinician and adjudicator in Texas and across the US. He has served the Texas Music Educators Association in many positions including Chairman of the Band Division and in 2005-06 as President of the 10,000+ member organization. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Bandmasters Association. His other professional memberships include Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association.
Recently the UIL honored Mr. Taylor with the "Sponsor Excellence Award". In 2016 the Texas Bandmasters honored Mr. Taylor wth the "Meritorious Achievement Award". He is also the Music Director of the Waterloo Wind Band, a south Austin community concert band.
Kerry Taylor currently serves as Director of Bands for Westlake High School and Fine Arts Director of Eanes ISD. He is also Department Chair of Fine Arts at Westlake High School. Mr. Taylor is in his 36th year as a band director in the Texas public schools; five years in Katy ISD and 31 in Eanes ISD. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree and a Master of Music Degree in Applied Conducting, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
Assistant Director of Bands/EVE/Jazz Director
Jana Robertson is in her eighth year as a music educator and her fifth year at Westlake High School. Ms. Robertson, born and raised in Austin, began her musical studies in Eanes ISD as a sixth grade saxophone student at Hill Country Middle School. She later continued through the Westlake Band Program and graduated from WHS in 2008.
Ms. Robertson studied music education at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While at LSU, she performed in numerous ensembles, the most memorable ones being The Golden Band from Tigerland, the LSU Wind Ensemble and the LSU Jazz Ensemble. She also enjoyed playing in pit orchestras for local theater companies. Ms. Robertson graduated from LSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in the spring of 2012.
Before returning to Westlake, Ms. Robertson was the Associate Band Director at Shoemaker High School in Killeen ISD (2012-2015).
Assistant Director of Bands
Mrs. Saenz received her Master’s in Conducting with Dr. Sarah McKoin from Texas Tech University, and her Bachelor’s in Music Education from Texas State University.
Anna Saenz is serving her fourth year as an Assistant Band Director at Westlake High School in the Eanes Independent School District. Mrs. Saenz instructs the Chaparral Marching Band, directs the Symphonic Winds, and assists with the full orchestra, and teaches beginning guitar classes. Her passion for working with young musicians and student leaders extends into the summers with SASI - The Leadership People, an organization of which she has been a staff member since 2006.
Assistant Director of Bands/Percussion Director
Tyler Sammons is the percussion director at Westlake High School. Originally from nearby Seguin, Texas, He graduated in 2011 from the University of North Texas with a degree in percussion performance and music theory. Since then, he has taught at several schools across the country, including Marian Catholic High School (IL), and most recently at Tom Glenn High School in Leander.
Mr. Sammons is heavily involved in the drum and bugle corps (DCI) activity, having served as a member of the percussion staff for Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps since 2012. Santa Clara Vanguard won the Fred Sanford Award for best percussion in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, and was the DCI World Champion in 2018.
Prior to teaching at Vanguard, he taught the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, and was a marching member of the Crossmen (TX) and Phantom Regiment (IL), capturing the DCI world championship with the Phantom Regiment in 2008, and the Fred Sanford award for best percussion in 2008 and 2010! He is also a former member of the Dallas Cowboys drumline. Mr. Sammons is and active arranger, clinician and adjudicator in the marching arts, and is a proud Innovative Percussion and REMO artist.