NSHS BAND STAFF

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Jason Myers

Director of Bands - myersj@cfbisd.edu

Jason Myers is the Director of Bands for Newman Smith High School. He graduated from the University of North Texas where he received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education under the direction of Mr. Eugene Corporon and Mr. Dennis Fisher.

 

Under the direction of Mr. Myers, many of his bands have received consistent division one ratings at the UIL Concert and Sight-Reading competition. His marching bands have been finalists in many marching competitions as well as earning consistent division one ratings at the UIL Marching Competitions. Mr. Myers jazz ensembles have consistently placed in the top 3 at many jazz festivals around the state of Texas.

Prior to teaching at Smith, Mr. Myers was the head band director at Ranchview High School. He also taught at Rowlett High School and McKinney Boyd High School where he taught both band and color guard. Mr. Myers ensembles have received consistent first division ratings at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contest as well as many awards in marching, jazz, and numerous concert band contests around the state. During his time at Rowlett and McKinney Boyd, Mr. Myers ensembles achieved numerous awards in both concert band competitions earning division one ratings and best in class awards in numerous concert band music festivals and UIL Concert and Sight-Reading contests. Mr. Myers has also taught color guard for 15 years. His guards earned numerous awards including over 50 top three placements in numerous marching and winter guard competitions as well as 10 circuit championships medals and consistent finalists in WGI Regional and Super Regional finals.

When he is not at Newman Smith, Mr. Myers enjoys spending time with his lovely wife Laura and his sons Isaac and Alexander. They also have a dog named Kato and a cat named Macie. When he is not spending time with his family, he is cheering on the Cowboys and Rangers! Mr. Myers is a graduate of Newman Smith High School. Class of 1997. He is excited to be coming home to teach the amazing students of the Newman Smith Band!

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Davis Smith

Associate Band Director - smithda@cfbisd.edu

The Newman Smith Trojan Band is proud to announce and welcome our new associate band director, Mr. Davis Smith. Mr. Smith grew up in Arizona where he graduated from Mountain Ridge High School. He then attended Arizona State University where he was in the trumpet studio under renowned educator and traveling soloist David Hickman and received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education under the direction of James Hudson, Gary Hill, And Jason Caslor.

Prior to teaching at Smith, Mr. Smith was the director of instrumental music at Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Arizona where he conducted two concerts bands, two jazz bands, a marching band, community concert band, guitar and digital music. He also taught at Thomas Jefferson High School. Mr. Smith’s ensembles have consistently improved in their ratings and rankings at contest, as well as showing dramatic increases in district and region Honor band placements. During his time at Sunrise Mountain the Program received the highest scores in program history and finished 11th in the AZMBA 2019 AAA championships. Sunrise Mountain produced two all-state musicians, 11 region musicians, and had a majority of the students in the District Honor Band.

Among pedagogical influences, Mr. Smith performed with the Sonic Winds and Sonic Brass ensembles conducted by the late Sam Palafian and Patrick Sheraton, the creators of the “Breathing Gym” where he was introduced and learned the “Breathing Gym” system. Mr. Smith also had the opportunity to student teach with and learn from UIL Honor Band and Midwest Clinic Performing directors Mark McGahey and David Puckett.

 

Mr. Smith has been involved with DCI since a young age. He marched 5 seasons with various corps including The Academy from Tempe, Az in 2011, the Cavaliers from Rosemont, IL, where he played trumpet in 2012 and was a Drum major in 2014, and The Blue Devils from Concord, Ca, in 2016 and 2017. In his final season Mr. Smith was awarded the gold medal at the DCI Individual and Ensemble competition for the trumpet solo category. After aging out, Mr. Smith taught on the brass and visual staff for the Kidsgrove Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, from Staffordshire England in 2017, and on the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps staff in 2019 when the corps achieved their highest brass score in corps history. In other related performances, Mr. Smith was also a representative of the State of Arizona in 2014 in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, performed with the ASU Sun Devil Marching Band for the Super Bowl XLIV pre-game show, and was a cast member for the Katy Perry Super Bowl Half Time Show as a palm tree (yes, he will tell you about Left Shark).

When he is not at Newman Smith, Mr. Smith enjoys spending time with his Fiancée, Sydney and his Dog Maxine. He is an avid Olympic weightlifter and weightlifting coach.

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Brittany Baptista

Assistant Band Director / Percussion Instructor - baptistab@cfbisd.edu

Brittany shares her passion for music through teaching: she is currently the Director of Percussion at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton, TX, and has taught all over the DFW metroplex, including Boswell High School, Liberty High School, and Pearson Middle School. She is also a current percussion instructor at Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps and Vigilantes Indoor Percussion. Through various forms and outlets, Brittany has had the opportunity to learn from several incredible musicians, including Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Ed Smith, Paul Rennick, Ralph Hardimon, Mike Jackson, and Kevin Shah.

Throughout middle school and high school, she was inspired by her teachers to continue playing music throughout her collegiate career, and marched in the front ensemble for the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2013 and 2014. She also began her involvement with WGI Percussion as a marimba player for Vigilantes Indoor Percussion in 2015. If she wasn’t singing or playing, Brittany had her nose in a book. Her love for language influenced her to attend The University of Texas at Austin as an English major with a concentration in creative writing and modern literature, where she also learned French, took percussion and piano lessons, played lead pan in the UT steel band, and sang in the women’s chorus. Immediately following commencement, she decided to continue her education by moving to Denton to attend the University of North Texas for percussion performance. During her time at UNT, she was involved in classical and contemporary chamber ensembles, symphonic band, orchestra, Gamelan, and the 2 o’clock steel band. It was at UNT where she developed her love for singing while playing marimba, and in 2016 she commissioned a piece for marimba and voice, the lyrics set to a poem she wrote herself.

During her musical career, she has performed at various events and venues, including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, Illinois, the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and the Meyerson Symphony Center. She has also played in concert with the Dallas Winds, Steve Smith, Tommy Igoe, Joel Rosenblatt, Gregg Bissonette, Lalo Davila, Ed Smith, Mark Ford, and Christopher Deane.

Brittany is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the Percussive Arts Society. Brittany is a proud endorser of Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

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Jamie Bennett

Color Guard Director - b4jamie@gmail.com

With almost 10 years of participation in the activity, Jamie Bennett is the newest Director of Color Guard here at Newman Smith High School. Her passions are teaching and giving kids a safe space to be themselves. Jamie started her color guard career in the summer of 2012 at Byron Nelson High School. While there Jamie participated in both marching band and winter guard, completing 8 total seasons. After graduating, Jamie went on to perform with the Blue Knights in 2017, and was Captain of Black Gold A. From 2018 to 2021, Jamie performed with CGT Dallas and Denton, being an open and world class finalist. 

Jamie has been teaching color guard since 2017, starting with Nimitz High School as an occasional tech before accepting the head guard director position at Irving High School in 2018. Since then Jamie has worked with many amazing groups, most recently including Brock and Trinity High Schools.

Jamie is excited to begin this new chapter in her career and cannot wait to see the growth in the program!