Band Director Profiles

David Brandon - Director of Bands, Duncanville ISD
B.F.A. Stephen F. Austin State University
M.M.Ed. University of Southern Mississippi

David Brandon has taught in the Duncanville ISD since 1996. He is the Director of Bands for the Duncanville Independent School District where he oversees the instrumental program for the district and conducts the DHS Wind Ensemble. Prior to this, he taught in the Spring ISD for seven years before coming to Duncanville as the head director at Byrd Middle School for nine years.

The 1998 Byrd Symphonic I Band was the 1st Runner Up in the CCC Honor Band Division and in 2004 was named the Texas CCC Honor Band and performed at the Texas Music Educators 2005 convention. The DHS Wind Ensemble placed 3rd in the 2019 TMEA 6A Honor Band competition.  Under his direction, the DHS Marching Band has performed in five UIL State Marching Band Finals and earned Bronze Medals in 2006 and 2010.

Mr. Brandon is currently serving as the TMEA Region 20 and Area D Band Division Chairman. He is a member of The Texas Bandmasters Association, The Texas Music Educators Association, The Texas Music Adjudicators Association and the Phi Beta Mu Honorary Bandmaster's Fraternity. 

Mr. Brandon received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University and his Master of Music Education degree from The University of Southern Mississippi.


Mark Teal - Assistant Director - Director of the Marching Band
Duncanville High School
B.M.Ed. North Texas University

Mark Teal currently serves as an Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Marching Band at Duncanville High School as a part of the Duncanville Independent School District in Duncanville, Texas.  Prior to his position in Duncanville, he served as Assistant Director of Bands at Clark High School in Plano, Texas.

Mark’s duties during the school year include teaching and conducting the Honors Band and assisting with the other four bands at Duncanville High School. Mr. Teal also serves as director of the Duncanville Marching Band.  The Duncanville High School Marching Band has been the UIL State 5A Champion in 1986, 1990, and 2002.  DHS is the only 6A band in Texas to advance to the State Contest every year since 1988. Mr. Teal’s concert bands at Duncanville have also exclusively received superior ratings and won best in class at multiple festivals and contests. Mark has been involved in the Duncanville Wind Ensembles 2005 appearance at the Midwest Convention and Clinic and the 2008 5A TMEA Honor Band Concert (Duncanville HS) and CCC TMEA Honor Band Concert (Byrd MS). Duncanville High School Band holds both the Sudler Flag and Shield for excellence.

In 2002, Mark earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. While at North Texas, Mark performed with the Wind Symphony under the direction of Eugene Migliaro Corporan where he performed at TMEA, ABA and can be heard on numerous recordings produced by Klavier Records and GIA.  Mr. Teal also performed in the Graduate Classical Percussion Ensemble directed by Mark Ford, Pop Ensemble directed by Paul Rennick, and the 2000 PAS Champion UNT Indoor Drumline led by Paul Rennick.  At the 2000 PAS Convention in Dallas, Mark was named the College Keyboard World Champion.

Mark spent four years, 1996, 1998-2000 as a member of the front ensemble with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. He has been a staff member with Carolina Crown (2001, 2004), the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2005-2010) and the Santa Clara Vanguard (2011) serving as a front ensemble technician. During those years, Phantom Regiment won three Fred Sanford Top Percussion awards (2006, 2008, and 2010) and the DCI World Championship in 2008. Since 2015, Mark has served as an adjudicator for Drum Corps International.

Mark Teal is an active arranger, adjudicator and clinician where he has written for many top bands throughout the country, regularly judging solo, ensembles and band contests and has presented clinics at the Western Band Association Convention, the Percussive Arts Society Convention and the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention.

Mark has professional memberships with TMEA, TBA, PAS, and Phi Mu Alpha.​

 

Jack Zellar - Assistant Director, Duncanville High School
B.M.Ed Sam Houston State University

Jack Zellar is in his third year of teaching. He is an Assistant Band Director at Duncanville High School where he teaches the Symphonic Band and assists with the marching band. He spent his first year as an Assistant Band Director at William H. Byrd Middle School as well as teacher of beginner woodwinds at Daniel Intermediate School.

Prior to this Mr. Zellar attended Sam Houston State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in music education. During his time at SHSU he was a member of the symphonic band and wind ensemble as a saxophonist. Mr. Zellar was also a four year member of the Bearkat Marching Band serving as student assistant under Dr. Brian Gibbs. Mr. Zellar is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.

When Mr. Zellar isn't working he enjoys running, bike riding, and kayaking and in general loves to be outdoors. Mr. Zellar resides happily in Dallas, Tx with his wonderful girlfriend Meghan and two dogs Sandy and Beaux.


Mitch Tasker - Assistant Director - Director of Percussion
B.M.Ed. Texas Christian University

Mitch Tasker is beginning his second year as the Director of Percussion for Duncanville ISD. A magna cum laude graduate of Texas Christian University in 2016, Mr. Tasker spent his last 3 years as Percussion Specialist for the L.V. Berkner HS band cluster in Richardson, Texas. Mr. Tasker oversees all facets of percussion across 7 campuses and nearly 100 students in Duncanville ISD, including all intermediate and middle schools, as well as the high school. He instructs the drumline for the DHS Marching Band, coaches and conducts percussion ensembles for grades 6-12, rehearses the concert percussion sections, and teaches the 6th grade beginner percussion classes.

Mr. Tasker has worked with many programs in the DFW metroplex, including Flower Mound HS, Colleyville Heritage HS, and Burleson Centennial HS. From teaching private lessons to full-scale percussion ensembles, Mr. Tasker truly loves connecting with students and sharing his passion and expertise. Students of Mr. Tasker’s have gone on to perform in All-State bands, college music programs, world class drum corps, and even touring rock bands.

In the summer of 2015, Mr. Tasker participated in Drum Corps International, as a member of the World Class finalist Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps. While spending his summer touring and competing across the country, he performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra in front of over 500,000 people at the famous Hatch Shell in Boston, MA. Mr. Tasker is also a 2-time PASIC Marching Festival Champion, earning 1st place in 2008 with Colleyville Heritage HS, and again in 2012 with TCU, including winning the Fred Sanford award for highest overall score across all competitions. Mr. Tasker has competed at PASIC 4 separate times as a soloist from 2009-15 with original snare drum compositions. Mr. Tasker was a member of the TCU Percussion Orchestra, which performed as a showcase ensemble at PASIC 2015 after winning the international call for tapes submission. That same year, Mr. Tasker was also named a PAS Scholarship Artist. Mr. Tasker can be heard on the TCU Percussion Orchestra published album, “Prelude to Paradise”, which is available on iTunes, Spotify, and record stores/ bookstores nationwide. Mr. Tasker served as Drumline Captain, and President of the university recognized TCU Percussion Club. In 2015-16, Mr. Tasker earned the prestigious Thomas F. Anderson Performance Award, as well as membership into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honors Society. Mr. Tasker was named a TCU Scholar by the university board following his graduation.

Outside of his scholastic experiences, Mr. Tasker has been a percussionist for local jazz bands, as well as professional film scores (The Light of Freedom, 2013). Mr. Tasker has performed in Paris, France and London, England with the West Percussion Group, an elite independent percussion ensemble. Currently, Mr. Tasker performs with the nationally recognized Dallas Mavericks Drumline, which is made up of the finest marching percussionists in the DFW metroplex. He can be found drumming at most home games at American Airlines Center!

When he isn't drumming, Mr. Tasker enjoys billiards, football, and golf.

 

Paula Tagalos - Assistant Director, Duncanville High School

B.M. Florida Southern College
M.M. University of North Texas

Mrs. Tagalos is entering her sixth year teaching. She began her teaching career in Iowa Park, TX, where her middle school band received consistent superior ratings at UIL. During her time at Iowa Park, she also was the acting as the Horn Professor for Midwestern State University. Moving closer to Dallas, Mrs. Tagalos created and established a UIL-ready band program, 6-12.

Originally from Florida, Mrs. Tagalos was a five-time member of the Florida All-State Band, as well as the Florida All-State Collegiate Band, where she had the opportunity to work with conductors such as Michael Haithcock, Jerry Junkin, and Frank Ticheli. She has performed at the Midwest Clinic, and was invited to participate in the Daytona International Music Festival where she was tutored by multiple members of the London Symphony Orchestra and performed alongside them.  

She has played with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, Sherman Orchestra, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, and other ensembles in the DFW area, and has been fortunate enough to perform for the American Horn Quartet and Barry Tuckwell, as well as under the baton of Lowell Graham, Paula Crider, Bill Conti, Ray Cramer, Dennis Fisher, and Eugene Corporon.

Her playing can be heard on the UNT Symphonic Band album “A Few Notes Between Friends”, as well as the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and Barcelona Clarinet Players upcoming collaboration album, “Viva El Clarinete”.

She has written for and been published by the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and her professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Women Band Directors International, and the International Horn Society.

 

Lara Whitehouse, Head Director, Byrd Middle 

B.S. M.Ed. Texas A&M University-Commerce
M.M.Ed. The University of Texas at Arlington

Lara Whitehouse is in her first year as the Director of Bands at Byrd Middle School in Duncanville ISD.  She oversees all aspects of the Byrd Middle School band program and also teaches beginning brass classes at Daniel Intermediate School.

Prior to joining Duncanville ISD, Ms. Whitehouse taught in Highland Park ISD at Highland Park Middle School and McCulloch Intermediate School.   During her time in Highland Park, the HPMS bands earned consistent first divisions ratings at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contests and were named a Commended Winner in the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Contest.  The bands also received unanimous superior ratings at a variety of festivals and contests. In addition to teaching at MIS/HPMS, she also assisted with the Highland Park High School “Highlander” Marching Band. Ms. Whitehouse was a recipient of the “Heart at Work Award” in HPISD for the 2019-2020 school year.  Before joining the HPISD band staff, she served on the band staff at Richardson High School.

Ms. Whitehouse currently serves on the Texas Music Educators Association State Board as the Region 20 Secretary.  Her professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association. 

Ms. Whitehouse holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Lorna Crowley- Assistant Director, Byrd Middle School
B.M.Ed. University of North Texas

Mrs. Crowley is in her fifth year as Assistant Band Director at Byrd Middle School. Previously, Mrs. Crowley taught in Garland ISD for two years as an Elementary Music Specialist at Stephens Elementary School, Dorsey Elementary School, and Freeman Elementary School. 

Mrs. Crowley attended the University of North Texas, where she studied bassoon under Kathleen Reynolds. While at UNT, she performed with the Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Orchestra, Women’s Chorus, and the Green Brigade Marching Band. She was also a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, performing with the front ensemble in 2011 and 2012. The SCV percussion section was featured in a clinic at the 2011 Texas Bandmasters Association Convention and a clinic at the 2012 PASIC Convention.

Mrs. Crowley graduated from Duncanville High School in 2009.  While she was a student in DISD, she was in the Byrd Symphonic I Band from 2003-2005, and performed as a member of the 2004 Texas CCC Honor Band. In high school, she spent a year in the 9th Grade Band before performing with the Wind Ensemble for the remainder of her time at DHS. She was also a member of the 2008 Texas AAAAA Honor Band when the Duncanville Wind Ensemble won the title. In her junior year, Mrs. Crowley made the Texas All-State Concert Band, and performed at the 2008 TMEA Convention. Mrs. Crowley marched in the Duncanville Marching Band all four years of high school, serving as one of the band’s drum majors her senior year. She was named “Outstanding Senior Girl” before graduating.

Her professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Delta Kappa Gamma. Mrs. Crowley lives in Grand Prairie with her husband and rescue dog, Rusty.


Michelle Casso - Assistant Director, Byrd Middle School
B.M.Ed. West Texas A&M University

Ms. Casso is in her third of year teaching, and in her second year in Duncanville ISD. She is responsible for the Symphonic III and teaching various beginning classes at the intermediate schools. Ms. Casso graduated from West Texas A&M University in 2017. While in attendance, she performed with the Symphonic Band, Horn Choir, Brass Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and various other groups around the Texas Panhandle.

Ms. Casso has taught in the classroom setting for three years, but prior to that, she taught French Horn private lessons in Amarillo ISD, Canyon ISD, and the surrounding areas. Ms. Casso is extremely excited to being the 2019-2020 school year at Byrd Middle School! When she is not in the classroom, Ms. Casso enjoys cooking, FaceTiming her parents, and spending quality time with her cat, Rowdy


Luzviminda Pascasio - Head Director, Kennemer Middle School
B.M.Ed. Stephen F. Austin State University

Luzviminda S. Pascasiois is in her seventh year as Head Director at Kennemer Middle school in Duncanville and currently in her nineteenth year of teaching. She is the 2019-2019 Duncanville ISD Secondary Teacher of the Yaear and was a Music & Arts Educator of the Year Finalist in 2016.  Under her direction, the Symphonic I Band was selected as a 2015 and 2016 commended winner in the Mark of Excellence competition. In 2017, the Symphonic I Band was named a 3C State Honor Band Finalist. Prior to Duncanville, Ms. Pascasio taught seven years in Argyle ISD and was the Color Guard Coordinator. She is grateful for her successful journey in Argyle, especially as an assistant director of the UIL 3A State Champion Marching Band in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Before Argyle, Ms. Pascasio taught three years in Lindale ISD and was actively involved with the Wind Ensemble's TMEA 3A State Honor Band experience in 2006-2007. She started teaching in Crosby ISD where she spent three years as an assitant director. Throughout her career, Ms. Pascasio's bands have consitently earned superior ratings at UIL contests and festivals.

In 2001, she graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University, earning her Bachelor of Music Education degree. She's thankful for the influential mentors such as Fred J. Allen, Eddie Green, Melodianne Mallow and Tom Shine.

During the summers, Ms. Pascasio works at the Stephen F. Austin State University Band Camps as a military drum major instructor and leadership coordinator. She also enjoys being an active clinician and judge. Her Professional affiliations include Wome Band Directors Internationalwhere she serves as MS Editor, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association.


Ethan Henshaw - Assistant Director, Kennemer Middle School
B.M.Ed. University of North Texas

Ethan Henshaw is in his sixth year as an assistant director at Kennemer Middle School.  His responsibilities include directing the Symphonic II band, teaching various beginner classes at Daniel Intermediate, and assisting with the Kennemer Symphonic I and III bands.  He is a native of Falls Church, Virginia.

Mr. Henshaw attended the University of North Texas and received Bachelor’s degrees in both music education and performance, as well as a Master’s degree in music performance.  He studied euphonium with Dr. Brian Bowman and performed with the North Texas Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and the Green Brigade Marching Band.  He can be heard as a soloist on multiple recordings with the North Texas Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band.

As a soloist, Mr. Henshaw was the winner of the 2009 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Competition in the student euphonium division and was a semi-finalist in the artist division in 2010.  He is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and the International Tuba Euphonium Association.

When he isn’t teaching, Mr. Henshaw enjoys traveling with his wife, Paula, a band director at Reed Middle School, and spoiling their two dogs and two cats.


Cesar Montelongo - Assistant Director, Kennemer
B.M.Ed. Stephen F. Austin State University

Cesar Montelongo is entering his third year as an assistant director at Kennemer Middle School. He teaches beginner woodwind classes at Daniel Intermediate, is in charge of the Symphonic III ensemble at Kennemer, assists with the Symphonic I and Symphonic II bands, and assist with the high school marching band. Prior to beginning his teaching career, Mr. Montelongo was a student teacher in Birdville Independent School District at Haltom High School and Watauga Middle School, where he was mentored by Donnie Hull and Jason Finnels.

Growing up in Arlington, TX, Mr. Montelongo was principal clarinetist of his high school’s top ensemble, held the principal clarinet chair during the Arlington Youth Symphony’s inaugural year, and performed with the Mansfield Wind Symphony under published composer William Owens. While at SFA, Mr. Montelongo performed as principal clarinetist of the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Fred J. Allen, was drum major of The Lumberjack Marching Band under Dr. David Campo and Dr. Tamey Anglley, performed in the Orchestra of the Pines, and won a concerto competition allowing him to perform as a guest soloist with the Orchestra of the Pines. Mr. Montelongo has performed all over Texas as well as New York. In the summer, Mr. Montelongo assists in teaching the drum major camp held at SFA.


Michelle Hanegan - Head Director, Reed Middle School
B.M.Ed. Texas Tech University

Michelle Hanegan is the Director of Bands at Reed Middle School in Duncanville ISD where she has taught since 2005. She also teaches beginner brass classes at the intermediate level and assists the Duncanville High School Marching Band.

Under her direction, the Reed Middle School Symphonic I Band has received consecutive Division I Superior Ratings at UIL Concert and Sight Reading, advanced to the state area level of the Texas Music Educators Association CC Honor Band Competition in 2017 and 2019, and was recognized by the Foundation for Music Education as a Commended Winner in the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Contest in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Individually, students in the Reed Middle School Band consistently receive many of the highest chairs in the TMEA Region 20 Middle School All- Region Band and Division I Superior ratings at Solo and Ensemble Contest. Reed Band students continuing their music education in the Duncanville High School Band have a long history of earning placement in the TMEA All- State Bands, receiving college music scholarships, and majoring in music education and/ or music performance.

Ms. Hanegan is a trombonist in the Mansfield Wind Symphony in Mansfield, Texas under the direction of Mr. Brian Merrill. She received a Bachelor of Music Education in Music from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where she studied trombone with Mr. Don Lucas.

Her professional affiliations include Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and Texas Music Adjudicators Association.

 

Joshua Weisbrod-Torres - Assistant Director, Reed Middle School
B.M. Texas State Univeristy
M.M.Ed. Texas State Univeristy

Joshua Weisbrod-Torres is beginning his sixth year of teaching and his first year in Duncanville ISD, where he will be teaching at Reed Middle School.  He received his Bachelors degree in Music Studies with All-Level Teacher Certification and his Masters Degree in Music Education with Instrumental Emphasis both from Texas State University. During his undergrad, Joshua performed at the 2011 TMEA conference and the 2011 National CBDNA conference in Seattle, Washington with the Texas State Wind Ensemble. Joshua is included in Recordings of Texas State’s top band The Music of Charles L. Booker, Jr., Vol. 4: Radiant Blues, Fanfare, and LIVE! He has been featured as a soloist in ensembles around the Central Texas area including the Cinematic Symphony, Heights Concert Band, and the Texas State Wind Symphony. His chamber music ensembles have won fellowships to attend the University of Nebraska CMI. He also performed at the International Saxophone Symposium hosted by the Navy Band, won a classical group Downbeat, and judged the Calefax Composers’ Competition. As a soloist, Joshua has won the classical soloist Downbeat and received honorable mention in many other competitions.

His teaching experiences include graduate teaching assistant at Texas State University where he taught the undergraduate woodwind pedagogue classes, Red Oak High School where he taught the third band and beginner woodwind classes, elementary music in Killeen Independent School District, private lesson and masterclass teaching. He also has experience as an instrument repair technician. Joshua was raised in Killeen, Texas and attended C.E. Ellison High School.  He had the pleasure of learning saxophone under Dr. Todd Oxford and clarinet from Mr. Steve Girko during his time at Texas State and had the chance to perform master classes with Chien-Kwan Lin and David Maslanka. Joshua’s Texas State ensemble experiences include award winning Phoenix Saxophone Quartet, Mezcolanza Reed Quintet, Wind Symphony/Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, and Jazz Orchestra. In the past he has been involved heavily with community ensembles like the Heights Concert Bandand the Cinematic Symphony. Joshua is enthusiastic and honored to be a part of the Duncanville team.