Nick Patsis (Trumpet) has been an active music educator in the Palm Beach County schools for over thirty years. He received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Florida Atlantic University, a Bachelor of Music Education from Florida State University, and an Associates of Arts in Music from Palm Beach Community College. Mr. Patsis began his teaching career at Jupiter High School, where he served as Interim Band Director for a semester. In 1978, he accepted the position of Director of Bands at Congress Community Middle School, where he taught until 1987. In the fall of 1987, Mr. Patsis became the Director of Bands at Christa McAuliffe Middle School till he retired in 2019 after 42 years teaching in Palm Beach County.
Mr. Patsis is the Co-Director of the Palm Beach County Band Camps, which he co-founded in 2001. While a full-time music educator, he maintains an active career as a freelance trumpet player. He has performed with Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, Orchid City Brass Band, Orchestra Delray, Florida Wind Symphony, Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater, Jupiter Theater, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, Holiday on Ice, The Boca Pops, and numerous other professional and community organizations.
David Gibble has been teaching at Palm Beach State College since the fall of 1995 and in his role as Associate Professor of Instrumental Music he directs the Concert Band, Tuesday Nite Big Band, 12 O'clock Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos and Brass Ensemble. Outside of his teaching duties at Palm Beach State, he freelances as a trumpeter all over South Florida, appearing regularly with the Bob Hoose Orchestra and the Jazz Rats Big Band. He also has performed with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Jaco Pastorius Big Band and the Capitol Bones Big Band. In the classical vein, Mr. Gibble continues to play with the Brass Renaissance quintet as principal trumpet and has also appeared with the South Florida Wind Symphony and Palm Beach Opera Orchestra. Prior to his arrival in Florida, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from West Chester University (Pa.) with a B.S. in Music Education. After graduation, he taught instrumental music in the Eastern York School District in Pennsylvania to a variety of grade levels for eight years before returning to school to receive his M.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas where he play with the world-renowned One O'clock Lab Band. For the past several years Mr. Gibble¹s arrangements for jazz ensemble have been published through UNC (University of Northern Colorado) Jazz Press.
Christina Nichols Prior to coming to south Florida, Christina Nichols lived and completed her music education in Maryland. She started out playing flute in her elementary and middle school band, going to state solo and ensemble festivals by the time she was in 7th grade. In the middle of her 8th grade year, Christina switched to trombone due to a need for it in the band and has never looked back since. In high school, she marched flute her freshman year and then trombone for the rest of her high school career. She also was the principal trombonist in her high school jazz and symphonic bands. When she entered college, Christina had originally wanted to become a Veterinarian due to her love of animals. When she was a freshman in college, she realized that she also wanted to share her passion for music with others, and therefore, entered the music education program.
In 2009, she received a B.A. in music with a minor in education from McDaniel College, graduating with Cum Laude honors. In college she served as vice president for Beta Alpha Chi (music honors society) for two consecutive years. She also was the principal trombone player in the college's top jazz and concert band. She studied privately with Dr. Jim Ryon. She also studied instrumental and choral conducting under Dr. Linda Kirkpatrick and Dr. Margaret Bordeaux. In addition to trombone, Christina also picked up the electric bass and studied with the late Stephen "Bo" Eckard. She was able to participate in the school's electric bass ensemble (The only one on the East Coast besides Miami) for three years. In 2010, Christina started her Masters Degree in Music Education at Towson University. She has a thesis and one credit left for the program. At Towson, she studied jazz with Jim McFalls and classical trombone with Dr. Natalie Mannix.
Since 2013, Christina has been the band director at Wellington Landings Middle School. The symphonic band has earned superior ratings for four consecutive years under her direction. Recently, all three bands (Concert, Jazz, and Symphonic) received superior ratings at the 2018 FBA D14 Music Performance Assessment. Her students are also very active in District 14's Solo and Ensemble festival every year.
On her days off, she likes spending time at the beach with family, friends, and her black Labrador Retriever, Holly. Christina is currently a member of Florida Bandmaster Association, National Association for Music Education, and Florida Music Educator's Association. She has also been nominated by the supervisor of Arts Education in Palm Beach County, Edrick Rhodes, to participate in the FMEA's leadership conference this summer in Orlando.
Michael Egan holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from The Ohio State University and is currently the band director at Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton. Mr. Egan taught in the Columbus parochial schools before moving to Los Angeles, spending 10 years there as a free-lance trombonist, doing road tours with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, Les Brown, Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and Alvino Rey, and numerous recording "sessions". Upon arrival in Florida some twenty years ago, Mr. Egan has performed with the Palm Beach Symphony, the New Duffy Jackson Big Band and in numerous "pit" orchestras for many southern Florida theaters.
Percussionist Andrew Riley has performed an extensive amount of orchestral and chamber music with a variety of ensembles across the U.S., as well as performing and educating in the field of the marching arts. Andrew has been a Section Percussionist of the Nu Deco Ensemble Miami since 2015, performing a variety of contemporary music around South Florida with guests such as Macy Gray, Ben Folds and others; as well as recording a full album at Criteria Records. Andrew has also performed with a variety of professional ensembles such as the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, the NOTUS Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and the New World Symphony Orchestra. Andrew performed as a member of the 2012 third-place DCI Finals group Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, the IU Percussion Ensemble at their 2013 PASIC performance, and under the baton of Maestro Robert Spano and other distinguished conductors at the Aspen Music Festival, where he has been the recipient of three full fellowships, in 2014, '16 and '17.
Andrew earned his Bachelor's and Performer's Diploma in Percussion Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2014 and 2015, his Master's Degree in Percussion at the University of Miami in 2017, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Miami. His teachers include John Tafoya (National Symphony), Svet Stoyanov, Kevin Bobo, Braham Dembar (Indianapolis Symphony), Thomas Stubbs (St. Louis Symphony), and Matthew Strauss (Houston Symphony).
Neil Bacher has been playing Jazz Guitar for more than 40 years. He grew up in Miami studying and playing Jazz professionally with the best Jazz Musicians in South Florida for his entire adult life. He lived in and toured throughout Central Europe for more than 10 years. He has also played in South America, Central America, Japan, as well as throughout the United States with many renowned Jazz greats as well as leading his own groups. He is currently living in West Palm Beach and is teaching Jazz Guitar, Ensembles, and Combos at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth.
Karl is a native Ohioan who has called South Florida home for the past 25 years. While attending Capital University in Columbus, Karl performed with local jazz artists Rusty Bryant, Hank Marr and the Vaughn Wiester Big Band. After earning a degree in Jazz Performance from Capital, Karl hit the road with the “Glen Miller Orchestra” under the direction of Larry O’Brian. Following his road stint he joined Carnival Cruise Lines where he became the Musical Director of the Celebration Orchestra. Karl eventually settled in South Florida, where he continues to lend his talent to a variety of musical settings. He has appeared with Jazz artists Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Rosanna Vitro, Richie Cole, Zoot Sims, Eddie Higgins, Dolph Castellano and Jesse Jones. Theatrical and variety show credits include performances with Elaine Paige, Joe Piscopo, Roberta Peters, Anthony and Will Nunziato, Tony Sandler, Lesley Gore and the Shrine Circus. A lifelong student, Karl continues in his pursuit of musical development and appreciates every opportunity to share his talent.
John Michalak has toured and recorded with artists such as KC and The Sunshine Band, Ricky Martin, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine, David Lee Roth, Jon Secada and Engelbert Humperdinck.
As well as the many great experiences performing internationally with top pop acts, John has also been fortunate to have shared the stage with some of the worlds great Jazz artists. At age twenty, John was invited by Guitarist, Hiram Bullock (of Brecker Bros./David Sanborn fame) to perform with him at a one-night only, sold-out show at the Musician's Exchange in Ft Lauderdale, FL. John was a part of legendary drummer, Duffy Jackson's small groups and big bands for several years. He has also performed with Nat Adderley, Joshua Redman, and for several years with Dr. Lonnie Smith. John also wrote and recorded with NY session Bassist, Don Payne on Don's debut CD, "Rhapsodic Echoes" which included legendary pianist, Don Friedman. In 2005, John recorded "and Sammy Walked In" with Latin Jazz Percussionist Sammy Figueroa (also of Brecker Bros. David Sanborn fame, as well as Miles Davis, Mariah Carey, David Bowie and Chaka Khan). This recording and Sammy's follow-up recording, "The Magician", were both nominated for GRAMMYS.
John is currently working on his debut CD, which will consist of most original music that will contain elements of acid jazz as well as funk, Latin Jazz, and World Music. To be notified when John's CD will be available, please visit his website at WWW.SAXJAM.COM.
Now at the ripe age of 45, pianist and keyboardist Stephen Scott has secured his membership in what author Stanley Crouch calls, “the inventive elect .” Scott’s recordings, Something to Consider,Aminah’s Dream, Renaissance, The Beautiful Thing and The Vision Quest all written, arranged and produced by Scott, document his evolution as a pianist, composer, band leader and 'one of the leading lights not only of his generation but also of the mainstream jazz renaissance.’
With a career that spans over 30 years, he has performed and or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Sonny Rollins, Roy Hargrove, Freddie Hubbard, Pieces of a Dream, Dr. John, Ron Carter and many others. He began his career at age 14 performing with former ‘Basie' trumpeter Dave Burns and soon after at age 18, landed the gig with Vocalist Betty Carter. He spent nearly ten years as the pianist with saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Among the many recordings he has been involved with are the Grammy Award winning recordings of Betty Carter’s LOOK WHAT I GOT, Joe Henderson’s LUSH LIFE, and THIS IS WHAT I DO and WITHOUT A SONG: THE 9/11 CONCERT both with Sonny Rollins.
Scott has appeared on ”THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, numerous live performances for various BET ON JAZZ programs and the movie CAFÉ SOCIETY. Scott’s compositions and arrangements have been played and or recorded by many other artists. JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER, recognizing his talents as a composer commissioned him to compose a musical work. The piece entitled POSTCARDS FROM HOME was performed by the Lincoln Center orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis and premiered in the winter of 1996.
Over the years Mr. Scott participated in many master classes, lectured at many universities and music/jazz education programs around the world including Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center's Jazz Ahead program. He is presently a clinician at the Dillard Center for the Arts, Artist in Residence at Broward College
David Tomasello has been performing as a professional musician for more than 25 years and has performed as a sideman for artists such as jazz vocalist Mark Murphy, saxophonists Richie Cole, Ira Sullivan, and Tom Scott, flügelhorn player Chuck Mangione, and steel pan player Othello Molineaux. He also teaches acoustic and electric bass as a private music instructor. He studied music at Palm Beach Community College and Florida Atlantic University.
Christopher Patsis is a South Florida native, growing up in Lake Worth. Chris is a skilled professional bassist and composer, who is known as a first call bassist amongst the diverse Florida music community. Chris studied music at Florida State University where he earned a Bachelors of Music Education. Chris is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. His first musical endeavor in life was in the classical orchestral world as a French hornist. He regularly performed in the top ensembles at Florida State including the University Philharmonia Orchestra and the Wind Orchestra. Chris is currently a bassist/composer for a handful of creative music projects and is an in demand freelance bassist for a multitude of different types of gigs and recording sessions.
Frank Bermudez received his undergraduate degree in Music Theory and Composition from the State University of NY/College at New Paltz. After working for two years in arts administration he completed education core classes at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida to become a teacher. He received his National Board Certification in 2004.
Mr. Bermudez is currently the band director at Tradewinds Middle School in Greenacres. He has taught music in the Palm Beach County School District for over 22 years. During that time his students have enjoyed a great deal of success at local music assessments and community performances.
Mr. Bermudez is also a free-lance French Hornist and has performed for many local organizations, churches and community bands.
Dr. Jerri Goffe currently serves as a Music Consultant in the schools of Palm Beach County. Her current assignments include Bak Middle School of the Arts, Beacon Cove Intermediate School, Jupiter High School, Jupiter Middle School, and The Conservatory School. In this capacity, Dr. Goffe delivers instruction in the areas of voice, saxophone, choral performance, and piano. She also serves as a collaborative pianist and music adjudicator throughout the state of Florida, and is on the staff of the Palm Beach County Band Camp and the Summer Music Camp of First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach. Previously Dr. Goffe served for twelve summers on the staff of Interlochen Arts Camp where she was employed by the Michigan All-State Choir.
Recently retired from a thirty-five year career in full-time public school music, Dr. Goffe served in secondary schools as band director, choral director and keyboard instructor. Under her direction, bands and choruses consistently received superior ratings in Music Performance Assessments.
Dr. Goffe maintains a private studio in voice, piano, and saxophone and is also active as a professional performing musician. She has performed with the South Florida Wind Symphony, and is currently employed as a singer at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea (Palm Beach), and Temple Shaarei Shalom (Boynton Beach).
Dr. Goffe was educated in the public schools of Palm Beach County. She earned the Bachelor of Music Education and PhD in Music Education from THE University of Florida. In postgraduate study of choral conducting, her teachers include Robert Shaw and Helmuth Rilling. She holds memberships in numerous professional organizations and honor societies, including National Association for Music Education, Florida Vocal Association, Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Kappa Phi.
Dr. Goffe is the proud parent of one daughter, Ashley Leland. Ms. Leland is currently the choral director at Jupiter Middle School, and recently completed her Master of Music Education at Westminster Choir College.
Tammy Roggen is currently the band director at Watson B. Duncan Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University and a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition to teaching music, she performs as a freelance flutist throughout South Florida. She is currently the director and founder of the woodwind quintet, Palm Beach Winds, and performs with a flute choir, Flutopia
Harry Spyker is in his 43rd year as a music educator. A native of Ohio, Mr. Spyker studied clarinet performance and education at The Ohio State University where he ultimately received his Masters Degree. He has taught clarinet at all levels privately and throughout the years his students have consistently achieved the All-State level. Mr. Spyker taught high school band for 20 years and is now currently teaching at the middle school level at Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach.
Kevin Cripanuk is a South Florida native, born in Boynton Beach, Florida. Kevin is a graduate of Florida State University where he earned a Bachelors of Music Education. During his time at FSU, he studied classical and jazz idioms with trombone professors Dr. John Drew and Paul Mckee and performed in ensembles led by world renowned conductors and educators. Kevin is currently the Jazz Band Director at Bak Middle School of the Arts, and a brass consultant schools across the area. As a performer, he is a sought after freelance trombonist with groups all across the state of Florida.
Matthew Nichols is a performer and educator currently performing in South Florida. He is the director of percussion studies at Florida Atlantic University, where he maintains the percussion studio, teaches percussion lessons, directs the percussion ensemble, instructs the percussion pedagogy class, and is on staff as the percussion caption head for the Marching Owls.
Before living in Florida, he spent time working as an instructor at multiple high schools and middle schools in the Greater Richmond area while also maintaining a successful studio of private students. As a performer, he performed with the Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra, Richmond Wind Band, School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC), and was invited as a guest soloist for the Richmond Symphony's Youth Orchestra 50 year Gala Celebration. He also performed with many jazz ensembles, show choirs, and pop music groups, such as Moruza and McBeth.
While in South Florida, Mr. Nichols has had the opportunity to work as a clinician at many middle schools and high schools in Palm Beach County, as well as with the Miami Symphony Youth Orchestra in Miami, FL. He has performed with the Miami Symphony, the South Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Grand Opera, Nu Deco Ensemble, the Atlantica Classical Orchestra, the Palm Beach Symphony, Lynn Philharmonic, and the New World Symphony. His time as a performer has given him the chance to perform with artists such as Jacob Collier, Ben Folds, Cory Henry, Kishi Bashi, Stephen Marley, Danay Suarez, Emily King, Time for Three, Matthew Joy, Bilal, Dayramir Gonzalez, and more.
Mr. Nichols holds a Bachelors degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied under Justin Alexander, Peter Martin, Jim Jacobson, William Messerschmidt, Brian Jones and Tony Martucci. He holds a Masters degree from the University of Miami, where his teachers were Svet Stoyanov, Matthew Strauss, and John Yarling.
Jenn Girdlestone attended Florida State University and graduated magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance. While at FSU, Ms. Girdlestone participated in the world-renowned Florida State University Marching Chiefs serving as the Head Drum Major and Horn Section Leader. She also performed in the Symphonic Band, Wind Orchestra, Philharmonia, and Symphony Orchestra while studying horn with Michelle Stebleton.
During her college years, she competed in prestigious concerto and solo competitions, placing first with her quartet at the 2010 Southeast Horn Workshop. In addition, Ms. Girdlestone was a member of CMENC (Collegiate Music Educator’s National Conference) and Tau Beta Sigma national honorary band service sorority. For four years, Ms. Girdlestone performed as a member of the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps serving the last two years as Mellophone Section Leader and Soloist. During her final season, she won the Individual and Ensemble Competition on French horn. In the Crusaders’ 2010 winter season she worked as a member of the visual staff.
Currently, Ms. Girdlestone is the director of bands at Boca Raton Community High School and performs with the Orchid City Brass Band.
Mrs. J. “Chris”tine (Bowie) Murray was born in West Palm Beach and is a graduate of the outstanding band program at Jupiter Middle School under the direction of Randy Sonntag, as well as a graduate of Jupiter High School’s band and choral programs. She was selected for the All-State (4 times) and All-District Bands (5 times) on clarinet, participated in Solo and Ensemble Festival at the District and State levels routinely on clarinet and piano, was the student conductor at JHS, and received the Outstanding Musician Award for band. She went on to receive a full tuition scholarship at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!) where she also received the Outstanding Musician Award for Symphonic Band, was principal clarinet, section leader in the Gator Band, was selected as a Concerto Competition Winner and performed with the University of Florida Orchestra. Mrs. Murray graduated from The University of Florida in 1987 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree with High Honors, and an additional Performance Certificate on Clarinet.
Mrs. Murray began her teaching career at Southwest Jr. High School (7-9th grades) in 1987 in Lakeland, Florida, as Choral Director and Associate Band Director. In 1989, she assumed the Director of Bands position at Southwest. Mrs. Murray also taught in Broward County, Florida at Attucks Middle School (1992-93) and at Nova Middle School (1993-96). Shaun Murray was born in 1996, and the Murrays moved back to Jupiter! Shaun is now 21, Shannon Murray is 19, and Lindsey Murray is turning 16 this year. Mrs. Murray was fortunate to be able to teach music and band at The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach for many years while her children were young. In 2010, Mrs. Murray assumed the Band Director position at Independence Middle School. Mrs. Murray’s bands have always been very involved in the Florida Bandmasters Association’s Solo and Ensemble Festival, Concert Band Festivals, All District Honor Bands, and All State Bands. She has received 2 FBA Five-Year Superior Awards, one at Southwest Jr. High, and the most recent at Independence Middle School. She is also a certified FBA Solo and Ensemble Adjudicator and actively performs on clarinet in the band and orchestra at First Presbyterian Church in NPB, as well as in the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches.
Tom Stancampiano will be joining the 2019 Summer Band Camp staff as the trumpet instructor where his duties will encompass teaching daily master classes for all trumpeters as well as private lessons.
Mr. Stancampiano has been a freelance trumpet player for over forty years. He holds a B.F.A. in Music Education from Florida Atlantic University and also studied jazz at University of Miami where he played in the Concert Jazz Band.
After playing first trumpet on the European tours of Broadway shows Evita, West Side Story and Forty Second Street he moved to New York City and worked as a substitute on various Broadway shows and big bands.
Since 2003 he has been teaching at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton where he resides with his wife Jenny and their two children Paul and Angie.
Ben Sparrow earned a Bachelor of Music in saxophone performance with a concentration in jazz studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching from East Carolina University. He has performed with artists such as the North Carolina Symphony, The Drifters featuring Rick Sheppard, and the Boca SYMPHONIA. In July, Ben will be traveling to the Dominican Republic to perform with Carlos Mota in the Fiesta Sunset Jazz concert series in Santo Domingo. He formerly taught band at Boca Raton High School and now teaches music at West Gate Elementary. Ben also maintains a private studio of saxophonists of all ages: from elementary school through adulthood.
Mr. Manuel A. Camacho hails from the University of Miami, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. He studied the Euphonium with John Olah and trombone with Tim Connor and performed in all of the major ensembles at UM. After graduating, he was offered a Graduate Assistantship in Instrumental Conducting at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, under the tutelage of Eric Rombach-Kendall and continued his Euphonium studies with Karl Hinterbichler. Once he earned his Master of Music Degree, he moved back to Miami.
Mr. Camacho started his career as a band director at Kenwood K-8 Center in Kendall, FL. His program flourished and earned Superior ratings. He earned the “Rookie Teacher of the Year” Award at Kenwood as well as a Conducting Fellowship Grant from the College Band Directors National Association to study conducting at the Hartt Conservatory Summer Program. After four years of teaching middle school band, his career continued at Miami Coral Park High School.
The “Band of Gold” at Miami Coral Park SHS grew in ability and size over the course of the four years that Mr. Camacho lead the program. The Wind Ensemble earned the very prestigious Otto Kraushaar Award for earning straight Superior ratings at the Marching Band Assessments, District and State Concert Band Assessments in 2011. His program was also awarded a Grammy-in-the-Schools Designation along with Grant monies. The Marching Band and Jazz Band flourished and earned Superior ratings in their district evaluations as well. He then moved to Palm Beach County where he taught at Santaluces HS.
Mr. Camacho taught at Santaluces HS for three years, where the Marching Chiefs and the Concert Jazz Band earned Superior Ratings at district evaluations. His jazz band earned a Superior rating at the State evaluations by his third year in 2014. After Santaluces HS he worked as an Educational Representative with Music Man, Inc. and oversaw the Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River county schools. He started teaching again at Independence Middle School in 2016. He has served as a Principal Euphonium and Baritone player with the Orchid City Brass Band and serves as a Board Member for the organization. He also performs with various local jazz bands and orchestras as a bass trombone performer.
He has a wonderful family with his wife Josephine. Their children are named Giacomo, Annabella and Marina and they live happily in west Lake Worth.
Steven Mailloux-Adler is currently the Band Director at Woodlands Middle School in Lake Worth, FL. As a timpanist and percussionist in the marching arts, he has performed with and taught at Carolina Crown, STRYKE Percussion, and the Frost Band of the Hour Drumline. As a graduate of the Frost School of Music, Steven studied under Svet Stoyanov and Matthew Strauss and performed with a number of Frost’s premier ensembles. He has hosted dozens of masterclasses, round tables, and maintenance clinics and is a proud part of the Vic Firth/Zildjian Educational Team.
John Rodriguez is a Palm Beach County School District product graduating from Santaluces High School in 2004. John also is a graduate of the University of South Florida receiving his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance and Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 2009. John continued his studies at the University of Maryland earning a Master of Music in Jazz Performance in 2012. Mr. Rodriguez returned to South Florida and began his teaching career as an Elementary Music Teacher with Seminole Trails Elementary from 2012 - 2017. John earned the Teamwork USA Instrumental Music Grant, the Teamwork USA Elementary Scholarship Grant, the Green Schools Recognition Program and was nominated as Teacher of the Year from 2014-2017.
In 2017 John began his 6 year tenure as the Director of Bands at Palm Beach Gardens High School. In 2021 The Mighty Fightin' Gator Indoor Ensemble earned a Silver Medal in FFCC's Indoor Winds Category in 2021 and went undefeated in SFWGA's Indoor season. They finished 8th in the entire nation for the Indoor Winds category in their first year! The Mighty Fightin’ Gator Marching Band swept their class at the John I. Leonard Jamboree, and finished 2nd at the Jupiter Festival of Bands. The Marching Band also attended the Florida Marching Band Championships for the first time in school history earning a spot in Finals competition and coming in 4th in the state! Under the baton of Mr. Rodriguez, the wind ensemble has earned a superior rating the past two years and the Jazz Band achieved superior status last year. John has also enhanced the school’s Winterguard program, expanded from one team to two teams and earned multiple top 3 placements and a Gold Medal in 2019 in the South Florida Winterguard Association Circuit.
In 2023 John Rodriguez was named the Director of Bands for Dr. Joaquín Garcia High School in Lake Worth and continues to bring musical experiences through excellence to the community, state, and nation.
Christopher M. De León is a dedicated educator with a remarkable career spanning fifteen years in public school music education. Currently serving as the Director of Jazz Studies at the esteemed Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Mr. De Leó has a passion for music and an unwavering commitment to nurturing and developing the highest potential hidden within each of his students.
Throughout his tenure as a music educator, Mr. De León's ensembles have consistently achieved national acclaim in a diverse array of musical genres including Jazz Groups, Concert Ensembles, Marching Ensembles, and the Pageantry Arts. His Jazz Ensembles been selected as a three-time Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition National Finalist (2019, 2020, 2021), selected to perform as a featured ensemble at the Jazz Education Network Conference (2024), earned top honors at the Swing Central Jazz Festival (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020), receiving recognition as winners of Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award Winner (2018, 2021, 2023), and awarded first place at the Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival (2015) and National Jazz Festival (2022). Under his guidance and direction, his concert and marching ensembles have received top honors at Festivals in Carnegie Hall and Atlanta Symphony Hall, awarded the FMBC Florida State Class 5A State Champions (2011), recognizes as an 8 time Band of America Regional Champion (2012-2019), crowned as the Bands of America Grand National Champions (2014), and featured as performers at the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Numerous renowned jazz guest artists and clinicians have shared the stage with his ensembles and provided clinics. These artists include Terrell Stafford, Marcus Printup, Wycliffe Gordon, Scotty Barnhart, Ron Blake, Charlie Porter, Bob Reynolds, Jason Marsalis, Rodney Whitaker, Jeff Rupert, John Lamb (former bassist with Duke Ellington), and Buster Cooper (former trombonist with Duke Ellington).
Born and raised in Miami, Florida to immensely supportive Cuban parents, Mr. De León graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Education, with an emphasis in Jazz Studies, from The Ohio State University. He is an active member of the National Association for Music Educators, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and the Jazz Education Network. His professional accolades include the National Band Association's Certificate of Merit and Citation for Excellence in Music Education, along with the Suncoast Jazz Festival's Sonny LaRosa Jazz Educator of the Year Award in 2016. Outside the world of music education, Mr. De León finds joy in his family life. He is happily married to his wife Traci and takes pride in being a devoted father to his daughter Alyssa Maria, aged 11, and two sons, Julian Alexander, aged 6, and Jonathan Michael, aged 4..
Jenna Brixius is a classical flutist, educator, and flute studio director. In her youth, she attended the PBC Band Camp, and she is thrilled to return as faculty on the campus of her alma mater (Dreyfoos School of the Arts) where she teaches daily flute masterclasses and lessons.
Over the past decade, Jenna has taught as Artist-in-Residence and clinician at award winning music programs, including Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Dillard Center for the Arts, Park Vista High School, and Jupiter High School.
Jenna received her B.M. in flute performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of Michel Debost, former principal flute of the Orchestre de Paris. Jenna’s private students are consistently accepted into competitive music programs, including All-State Bands, leading collegiate programs (Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Georgia, Florida State University), Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Bak Middle School of the Arts, NAfME’s All-National Band, and the New World Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestras.
As an orchestral musician, Jenna has performed with the Palm Beach Symphony, Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, South Florida Symphony Orchestra, Florida Wind Symphony, in addition to freelance ensembles. She is currently splitting her time between NYC and South Florida as she works towards the completion of her teacher certification in the Alexander Technique in midtown Manhattan.https://jennabrixius.com/flute-studio
Gina Rand was born and raised in Wellington, Florida. She first became introduced to music in fifth grade when she began playing piano before joining her school band and picking up clarinet the following year. She attended the University of South Florida and graduated with her bachelor’s in Music Education in 2022. During her time at USF, she worked as a marching band technician with Palm Harbor University High School while also being a clinician at numerous schools and all county events throughout the greater Tampa Bay area. Ms. Rand maintains an active private studio in which she instructs piano, clarinet, and saxophone students. She is also the Vice President of Membership for Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity’s Fort Lauderdale Alumnae chapter as well as a marching band woodwind and visual technician at Palm Beach Central High School. Currently, she is the middle school band director at The Conservatory School at North Palm Beach.