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Copyright © 2019 Westlake High School Band

PRIVATE LESSON TEACHERS

Alison Baker

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Becky Curtis

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Jordan Dale

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Amanda Pierce

Amanda Pierce is a private bassoon teacher in Austin, Texas with over 10 years of teaching experience. She began her bassoon studies in 6th grade at Hill Country Middle School and continued at Westlake High School under the instruction of Austin Symphony Bassoonist, Daris Hale. During her time at Westlake, Amanda was a three-time TMEA All-State Bassoonist, placing second overall in the state during her senior year. Mrs. Pierce received her Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with George Sakakeeny. Abroad, she has performed with the Oberlin in Italy Opera Orchestra, University of South Carolina Orchestra and Choir during their tour of Spain, and served as the bassoon instructor for the summer orchestra camp hosted by the Asociación Nacional de Conciertos in Panama City, Panama.

 

In addition, she served as the Education and Outreach Intern for CityMusic Cleveland from during her time at Oberlin.  Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Pierce graduated from Florida State University with her Master͛s Degree in Arts Administration where she continued her bassoon studies with Jeffrey Keesecker. As an arts administrator and fundraiser, Mr. Pierce has worked with the Cleveland Orchestra, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, and the Long Center for the Performing Arts. During the summers Mrs. Pierce serves as an instructor at the Bocal Majority Bassoon Camps. She currently teaches over 40 bassoon students of all ages in EISD, AISD, and LTISD. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Austin Symphonic Band.

Daniel Chrisman

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Nicholas Councilor

Nicholas Councilor earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in clarinet performance at The University of Texas at Austin, where he served as both Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor (replacing a faculty position) for the clarinet studio. Originally from Michigan, he earned a Bachelor͛s degree in music education from Eastern Michigan University,graduating summa cum laude.Recently, Nicholas performed as guest principal clarinetist with the Dallas Winds in their performance at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in San Jose, CA. During his time at UT, he regularly performed as principal clarinetist in both the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and in 2014, he performed in nine concerts with the UT Wind Ensemble in a tour across the United States, Asia, and Europe.  In February 2015, he was a soloist with the UT Wind Ensemble in a world premiere performance of John Corigliano͛s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra transcribed by Craig B. Davis. Nicholas is a member of the Round Rock Symphony and has performed with the San Antonio Symphony on numerous occasions. As an avid chamber musician, he has earned the silver medal at the prestigious 2016 Fischoff Competition and is a prizewinner of both the Coleman and Plowman chamber music competitions.  He has attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians and the Hot Springs and Marrowstone Music Festivals. Dr. Councilor is a devoted music educator and is currently on the faculty at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He also teaches master classes and private lessons to many students in the Austin area.  He has been on the faculty for the Butler School of Music's Longhorn Music Camps since 2013.  His primary teachers include Richie Hawley, Nathan Williams, and Kimberly Cole Luevano

Byron Gifford

Mr. Gifford holds a BA in Music Theory from Ohio State University, and has performed in ensembles since graduating in 1975.  He worked in the wholesale clothing business for 25 years prior to moving to Austin, and now lives in the Eanes ISD.  Mr. Gifford has over 20 years of private lesson teaching experience.  This is his 13th year to teach in the Eanes. He currently performs with the Balcones Chamber Orchestra, and Waterloo Wind Band.  He has performed locally with Austin Symphonic Band, Austin Civic Orchestra, Wimberley Starlight Symphony, Georgetown Musical Theater, and the Austin Flute Club.

Sean Meyers

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Jim Debth

Mr. Debth received his Master of Musical Arts degree in trumpet from Yale University and his Bachelor of Music Education and Applied Trumpet from the University of Louisville.   His performance career includes Principal Trumpet in the Cedar Rapids Symphony, second trumpet in the Louisville Orchestra as well as playing with the New Haven, Bridgeport and Waterbury Symphonies in Connecticut. He founded the Cedar Rapids Chamber Brass that toured the Midwest and has also given numerous solo recitals.
His teaching includes the University of Iowa (Interim Professor), Coe College and Cornell College.  While in Iowa he had a private teaching studio and had over 100 All-State trumpet students. Mr. Debth began trumpet instruction in Austin in 2010 and he now teaches at Westlake, Bowie and Dripping Springs High Schools, as well as Gorzycki Middle School, where his students have been 1st chair in the wind ensembles. His students have been selected to be in the Texas All-State band and Orchestra and they have also received numerous division 1 ratings in the State Solo and Ensemble contest.

Mike Piccione

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Anne-Marie Cherry 

Anne-Marie Cherry is a versatile performer and educator with a varied career as a soloist, chamber/orchestral musician, and recording artist. As a soloist, she has performed with the Iowa Center for New Music, the Bainbridge Symphony, and on the soundtrack of the film The Last Full Measure. An active free-lancer in Austin and Los Angeles, Dr. Cherry has a passion for new music, regularly commissions works for horn in diverse contexts, and performs with symphonies nationwide. She is excited to join the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in the fall of 2018.

Brandon Gonzales

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Brenda Sansig Salas

Brenda Sansig Salas has been a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra since 2005 by auditioning and filling the position of second trombone.  In 2007 she subsequently auditioned for principal trombone and has been playing this position ever since. 

She has been playing trombone with the Austin Lyric Opera since 1998, where she has continued to play principal trombone for many years.

For seven years in the past, she has played principal trombone for the now defunct San Antonio Opera, and has served as professor of low brass at Texas Lutheran University and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

She had studied with the eminent Donald Knaub (a student of Remington himself), and Allen Barnhill (Principal Trombone, Houston Symphony) during her Bachelor and Master degree studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is a certified Texas school teacher and has directed bands and taught music classes for three years.

As a student, she won the University of Texas concerto competition as a freshman, the International Trombone Association Donald Beyer Incentive Award, the International Women’s Brass Conference solo competition (3rd place),and participated in the Disney All-American Band at the Orlando resort.

An Army veteran, she had served in the bands at Ft. Knox, Kentucky  and Ft. Clayton, Republic of Panama.

She has been playing professionally since 1983 and teaching private lessons since 1993.

Wade Yost

Wade Yost is an Austin, TX area freelance musician and private lesson instructor. For the past eleven years, he has maintained a large private studio of local middle and high school students. Growing up in the Dallas area, he achieved much success with competitions in the state of Texas. Yost attended The University of Texas Butler School of Music where he earned his Bachelor of Music is Music Performance degree while studying with Steven Bryant. While there he had the opportunity of performing with many prestigious groups including the University of Texas Wind Ensemble and the UT Symphony Orchestra. He then went on to pursue his Masters in Music degree at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music studying with Rex Martin. Yost is a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity. He is married to his wife, Kaitlyn, an attorney in the Austin area.  In his spare time, he loves to attend many Longhorn sporting events and following his favorite professional football club, Manchester United.

Dr. David Saad

Dr. David Saad is a Westlake High School graduate who first began working with the Chap Band in the fall of 2010. He received his Bachelor’s from the prestigious Northwestern University (2010) before completing a Master’s and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance at the University of Texas at Austin (2012, 2015). Dr. Saad has studied with world renowned performers and teachers, such as Dr. Thomas Burritt, Tony Edwards, Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, James Ross, and Robert Dillon. Dr. Saad works extensively with the front ensemble and battery, both in the fall and spring, and offers private lessons to percussion students at Westlake. Dr. Saad is an Austin native and continues to live and perform as a freelance musician in the Austin area. He has performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and alongside such artists as Michael Burritt, Line Upon Line, and Sō Percussion. Since 2015, Dr. Saad has performed regularly as the timpanist for La Follia Austin Baroque, a group which won the Austin Critic’s Table Award for Best Ensemble in 2015-2016. Dr. Saad is also a Sponsored Artist with Innovative Percussion.

Oni Lara

Oni Lara is currently pursuing a DMA in Percussion Performance at the University of Texas at Austin where his responsibilities include teaching and arranging for the ͚Longhorn͛ Drumline as well as teaching the ͚Longhorn͛ Percussion Ensemble.  Oni has earned a Master͛s in Percussion Performance from UT-Austin where he studied percussion with Dr. Thomas Burritt and Tony Edwards.  Notable performances in Austin include performances with SŌ Percussion, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and with the University of Texas Wind Ensemble as a concerto soloist.  In May of 2014 he graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor͛s degree in Music Education.  While at Texas State University, he received various awards and honors that included induction into the Dean͛s Council of Scholars, receiving 1st place with the Texas State Snare Ensemble at the 2010 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, winning the Texas State Concerto Competition in 2012 and being a featured concerto soloist with the Texas State Symphony Orchestra.  At Texas State, Oni studied percussion under Genaro Gonzalez, drumset with legendary jazz-drummer Butch Miles, and music education with Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt.  Oni performed and toured as a member of the Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps in 2007-2011 and with the Phantom Regiment in 2012, earning a bronze medal at the Drum Corps International Finals competition.  He also served as the snare tech for the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps during the 2014 season and as the Percussion Caption Head for the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2015-2016 seasons.  Oni has taught at numerous schools in Texas including Westlake High School, Dripping Springs High School, and Akins High School.