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Private Lessons

​WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE to provide an amazing opportunity for our young musicians to enrich their musical experience. Due to many factors, a group band class is limited in pace and in the amount of material covered. Since private instruction is tailored to the individual student’s needs, a student can be guided beyond these limitations. Small problems can be recognized and corrected. Fundamental concepts are reviewed and reinforced. Students who are ready to move beyond the pace of the class are guided by a knowledgeable professional. In short, private lessons open the door to a world of possibilities!

 

The private lesson program is designed to further our students' music education through one-on-one, twenty five minute lessons. We are proud to have some of the state's finest and most talented musicians as a part of our private staff. In many instances, they offer lessons before/after school, during your child's band class, and/or over extended holiday breaks. We highly encourage our students to participate in this program!

 

The private lesson rate for the 2020-2021 school year is $20 per lesson. Contact a band director for further information.

 

Private Lesson Instructor Bios and Contact Information:

 

 Margaret Fischer

 msf.flute@gmail.com

 Flute

 

Education
Degrees in Flute Performance from Michigan State University, UNT, and the University of Southern California

 

 

Performance Experience
Dr. Fischer is the principal flutist with the Dallas Chamber Symphony, principal piccolo player for the Dallas Winds and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with all the major ensembles in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex including the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphonies, the Dallas Opera, and Dallas Summer Musicals.

 

 Steven Fitts

 bugleboy218@mac.com

 Trumpet

 

Education
Bachelor of Music Ed from LSU, Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Indiana University and coursework completed for Doctor of Music in Brass Pedagogy from Indiana University

 

Performance Experience

Steven Fitts is currently in his 42nd year as a trumpet performing artist and private teacher. He recently retired (after 30 years) from the widely-acclaimed Dallas Winds and was the Principal Trumpet in their 2007 release of a Grammy-nominated CD, “A Child’s Garden of Dreams.” The Dallas Winds also received two Grammy nominations from the 2018 release of John Williams’ “At the Movies.” Mr. Fitts is in demand as a soloist for special occasions and is considered by many to be their “first call” for weddings.

He has an extensive history of teaching Texas All-State players, current band directors, and is the proud former teacher of the long-time Ceremonial Bugler for the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Fitts enjoys a strong bond with all of his students and their families, using hard work and a great deal of humor.

 

 

 Jacob Garcia

 jacobadamgarcia@gmail.com

 Percussion

 

Education
Bachelor of Music from The University of Houston, M.M. degree from The Boston Conservatory, studied at The New England Conservatory, doctoral candidate at The University of North Texas

 

Performance Experience
Jacob maintains an active performance schedule as the Principal Percussionist for The Texarkana Symphony, Percussionist with The Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, and also plays with The Arkansas Symphony, The Las Colinas Symphony, The South Arkansas Symphony, The Sherman Symphony, The Abilene Philharmonic, The Shreveport Symphony, and the Dallas Winds. He has served as a faculty member at University of Texas at Arlington, Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, and Texas Woman's University. Jacob is also a new music proponent, performing as a founding member of The Texas New Music Ensemble based out of Houston, TX. He has publication credits with Albany Music Distribution with the University of Houston Moore’s School of Music Percussion Ensemble CD Not Here But There (2009) and GIA Records with the UNT Wind Symphony, Reconstructions and Voicings and several volumes of Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Jacob is also a published writer through the Percussive Arts Society, Percussive Notes, and he is endorsed by Encore Mallets Inc. as well as Grover Pro
Percussion.

 Shaun Gladney

 shaungladneymusic@gmail.com

 Percussion 

 

Education
Associates of Arts degree from Columbia College, studied Composition at the University of Missouri

 

Performance Experience
Shaun Gladney is a composer, educator and sound designer based in McKinney, Texas. Shaun started his career as the inaugural Percussion Caption Head and Staff Arranger at Battle High School (Columbia, MO) and its feeder middle school. Here he learned the value of combining composition, education and performance to create a meaningful experience for students. 

Over the years, Shaun has been fortunate to have many opportunities to share his talents and continue learning. He has received multiple awards from the University of Missouri New Music Initiative, performed as a member of the 2009 Macy’s Great American Marching Band and performed as a front ensemble member of Gateway Indoor in 2015. Shaun has composed, arranged and designed for percussion, marching band and contemporary chamber ensembles. 

 

Currently, Shaun is the Staff Arranger and Sound Designer for Battle High School. He is also a Percussion Instructor for Plano East Sr. High and Williams High School (Plano, TX). Shaun maintains freelance jobs as an arranger and sound designer for marching bands throughout the U.S.

 

 

 

 Julie Jones

 juliesaxjones@gmail.com

 Saxophone

 

Education
Bachelor of Music in Music Education concentration on Piano and Saxophone, University of North Texas

 

 

Performance Experience
Julie Jones has been on the private teaching staff at Plano East S.H. since 1993. Mrs. Jones is from River Falls, WI and has been performing music since the age of 7.  Mrs. Jones has performed with several Jazz and Classical groups throughout the nation, and was recognized for the Sudler Silber Scroll International Award in 1999 while touring with the Corpus Christi Wind Symphony throughout Europe. Mrs. Jones currently directs the North Dallas Youth Saxophone Choir and performs with the Texas Jazz Cats based out of Murphy, TX, where she also has her private music studio. 

She has had many students recognized for All State Band, All State Jazz, National and local Concerto Competition finalists, and Outstanding Soloist at both UIL Region and State Solo and Ensemble Contests, where she accompanies her own students on piano. Several of her students have gone on to further their music education in colleges, and have received work in internationally esteemed organizations such as the West Point Jazz Band, and NASA. Mrs Jones currently resides in Murphy with her husband Rob who is a retired band director/music educator, and her son Robert who is currently in college.      

 De'Marcus Walker

 demarcusw@gmail.com

 Tuba and Euphonium

 

Education
Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Texas in Music Education.  Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Brass Award.

 

 

Performance Experience
With over twenty years of experience, De’Marcus has performed tuba with extraordinary artists and ensembles: The Dallas Brass, The International Tuba & Euphonium Association All-Star Collegiate Jazz  Ensemble, The UNT Symphonic Band, and the Texas 5A All-State Symphonic Band (two years consecutively). He has been teaching privately
for over seven years and maintains a studio of approximately 60 students. In addition to Tuba and Euphonium, De’Marcus offers Jazz Improvisation Lessons; open to all instruments. January 2018, he released his highly anticipated debut album, “Salt and
Light.” It features Grammy Award-Winning musicians from Snarky Puppy, The Funky Knuckles, Ghost-Note, Forq, and more! From bass guitar, to tuba and piano, De’Marcus pours his entire heart into the record.

 

 

 

 James Wallace

 planoboneplayer@yahoo.com

 Trombone

 

Education
Bachelor's in Music Education from the University of North Texas, Master's in Trombone Performance from Texas Christian University

 

 

Performance Experience

James Wallace started teaching privately in 1992 for various high schools and middle schools in the North Dallas area.  After relocating to Plano in 1995, he began teaching for the Plano Independent School District as a contract music teacher primarily in the Plano East Cluster.  Since moving to the area, many of Mr. Wallace’s students have been tremendously successful at the local, regional, state, national, and international levels.  He consistently helps students earn chairs in the All-Region bands, jazz bands, and orchestras.  Since 2000, Mr. Wallace has had at least one student each year be selected for the Texas All-State Band, Orchestra, or Jazz Band.   A few of his students have participated in national and international solo competitions including the Eastern Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition, the Leonard Falcone International Tuba and Euphonium Festival, and the International Trombone Association’s Gilberto Gagliardi and George Roberts solo competitions for students 18 and younger.  Some of Mr. Wallace’s students have continued their musical studies at several colleges and conservatories including Northwestern, Julliard, Eastman, Oberlin, SMU, TCU, UNT, SFA, Baylor, UT in Austin, UT in Arlington, Boston University, and Colburn University.  A handful of his former students now hold positions in professional orchestras, military bands, and public schools.

 Stuart Womble

 intrubul@hotmail.com

 French Horn

 

Education
Bachelors in Music Education Summa Cum Laude from Tennessee Technological University, Master's in Horn Performance from Florida State University

 

Performance Experience

As a performer Mr. Womble is a member of the orchestras of Las Colinas, Garland, and Arlington and has also performed with the Dallas Winds, the Irving Symphony, and the Richardson Symphony. Prior to moving to Texas, he had played with many orchestras in the Southeast.  These would include the Jacksonville (FL) Symphony, Charleston (SC) Symphony and Sarasota (FL) Orchestra. He has performed with artists throughout the classical, pops and jazz world, including Joshua Bell, Andre Watts, Marcus Roberts, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, and even Ben Folds and Bobby McFerrin.  He has also been privileged to perform under the batons of some of those world's most respected conductors in both the orchestra and band world, including Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir Andrew Davis, Roberto Abbado, Timothy Rehnish, Col. John Bourgeois, Ray Cramer, Paula Crider, Harry Begian, and many others.
As a teacher, he has had dozens of Texas All State students, as well as hundreds of All Region students in middle and high school. He has had several students accepted into some of best horn studios in the country including Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University, and Indiana University. He has also had many students go on to study music education and performance at schools like Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and many others.

 

 Kevin West

 kevinrwest11@gmail.com

 Percussion

 

Education
Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from Mississippi State University, Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Texas A&M University—Commerce 

 

 Performance Experience

Kevin West began playing drums at age 9, and has over a decade of experience teaching private lessons and both high school and collegiate marching percussion sections. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, he taught private lessons and marching percussion sections throughout the state of Mississippi. He also played snare drum with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps and placed third in the PASIC college marimba competition. During the summer of 2016, Kevin worked with the Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps as a snare drum instructor. In the fall, he received a graduate assistantship at Texas A&M—Commerce, where he taught private lessons, percussion ensemble, and marching percussion until 2018. He currently lives in Dallas and is an active freelance musician throughout DFW. 

 Jon Lee

 jondlee@aol.com

 Percussion

 

Education
Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas, Master of Music degree from the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU and post-graduate work at the University of North Texas 

 

Performance Experience

Jon D. Lee is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Percussion at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and is the Director of the Meadows Percussion Ensemble.  He is an active performer, educator, clinician, and adjudicator.  He has performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Wind Symphony, Plano Symphony Orchestra, East Texas Symphony, Richardson Symphony Orchestra, Lewisville Lake Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, Lawton Philharmonic, The Voices of Change, Casa Manana, Theatre 3 and many others.   He was the Principal Timpanist of the Garland Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Arlington, and the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestras. 

​At SMU, Lee also teaches percussion techniques and is the drumline instructor-arranger for the SMU Mustang Band.  In addition to his responsibilities at Meadows, Lee maintains a private studio of nearly fifty percussion students in Plano and surrounding areas.  His students have excelled at all levels and have been accepted into the finest music schools in the world, including the Meadows School of the Arts, University of North Texas, New England Conservatory, and the Juilliard School of Music.

​Lee has been on the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington, the Stephen F. Austin Percussion Symposium, Marimba Madness, and the Leigh Howard Stevens Pre-College Marimba Seminar.   He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and the Texas Music Educators Association. 

 

 

Kerri Arakawa

 arakawamusic@gmail.com

 Flute

 

Education
Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University

 

 Performance Experience

Kerri Arakawa is an active performer, educator, and conductor. She is a Flute teacher in Plano ISD, works with the Greater North Texas Youth Orchestra, and maintains a private studio. Mrs. Arakawa is the founder and President of the Orange County Flute Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing performance opportunities and promoting the education of flute players in Orange County, CA. Under her leadership, she has conducted OCFA Flute Ensemble performances throughout Southern California and hosted numerous masterclasses and clinics.

For more than 20 years, Kerri Arakawa has maintained a large private flute studio with students of all ages and experience levels. Known for her engaging teaching style, she tailors her instruction based on the needs of each individual student to help them succeed in reaching their musical goals. Her students have won auditions for numerous district, region, and state honor bands/orchestras and youth ensembles.  Additionally, Mrs. Arakawa’s students have consistently received the distinction of “Honors” level in the Music Teacher Association of California Certificate of Merit program and many of her students have been awarded scholarships to continue their flute education at the university level.

Mrs. Arakawa spent 15 years as an Elementary Music Specialist in the Irvine and Capistrano Unified Schools. She has also served as flute instructor for many award-winning school band programs and summer camps. An active adjudicator, she has judged for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, the San Diego Flute Guild, and the Los Angeles Flute Guild.

As a clinician and presenter, Kerri has presented workshops and clinics covering a wide range of topics related to flute pedagogy, performance and instruction. She was a presenter at the National Flute Association’s National Convention in Anaheim as part of the Yamaha Exhibitor Showcase, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Annual Conference at the NAMM Show and has been featured in the Making Music Magazine.