Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band

Rich Armstrong-Director of Bands        

Rich Armstrong is entering his twelfth year as Director of Bands at Waxahachie High School in Waxahachie, Texas.  The Waxahachie High School Band is a consistent Texas UIL “Sweepstakes” Winner, Honor Band Finalist, and “Best in Class” Winner.  The Waxahachie Wind Symphony was recognized as the Texas Music Educators Association 4A Honor Band for 2011-2012 and performed for the 2012 TMEA Convention/Clinic.  The Waxahachie Marching Band has earned seven appearances in the UIL Texas State Marching Band Contest including three top 10 finished in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Rich graduated with a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and began his teaching career as an elementary music teacher, librarian, instructional technologist, and fourth grade classroom teacher before becoming a High School Director in Waxahachie, Texas. Prior to teaching in public school Rich served on the staff of the Cadets, Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, and the Dutch Boys Drum and Bugle Corps.

Rich is a frequent adjudicator and clinician.  He maintains professional affiliations with the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and the Texas Jazz Educators Association. Rich currently serves as the Region 20 5A Band and Jazz Coordinator.  He has served TBA as the Region 20 representative. Rich’s wife, Denise, is a seventh grade writing teaching for the Waxahachie Independent School District and they reside with their three children in Waxahachie.

Justin Bell-Assistant Director of Bands

Justin Bell is in his third year as assistant director of bands at Waxahachie High School and his sixth year in Waxahachie ISD. His responsibilities include conducting the Symphonic Band, assisting the Honors Band, and teaching beginning flute, double reed, clarinet, and saxophone classes. Prior to his appointment at Finley, he taught at Canyon Ridge Middle School in Leander ISD where his third band was named “Best in Class” at festivals they attended each year and earned superior ratings at UIL. Mr. Bell graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. While there, he studied bassoon with Will Roberts and performed all four years with the Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble. He completed his student teaching in Coppell ISD with Scott Mason and Joey Ashbrook, where he also assisted with the high school band for three years during his time at SMU. His professional affiliations include TMEA, TBA, and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Paul Jaso-Assistant Director of Bands

Mr. Jaso is in his third year as Percussion Director for the Waxahachie ISD. He is the alumni of the award winning Lewisville High School Percussion Ensemble and is a graduate of Dallas Christian College. During his tenure at Lewisville High School he competed on the national platform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in the individual solo category and won 1st place at the 2004 convention. In 2006 he placed 3rd in the national collegiate division. Mr. Jaso was also a four year member of Surround Sound Percussion, an Independent World Class WGI Finalist Percussion Ensemble based out of Fort Worth, Texas.

 Influential musicians and percussion educators in his life include J.J. Pipetone, Allen Joanis, Quiyan Murphy, Tyler Orbison, Bill Bachman, Al Dunn, Chad Mason, Hector Gil, Darrin Hicks, Robert Brannock, and many other teachers and friends who have shared their knowledge. Mr. Jaso is in his third year as Percussion Director for the Waxahachie ISD. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Percussive Arts Society. He is happily married to his best friend, Cera, and he is a proud father of his two children, Noah and Sonora.

  Courtney Melton-Assistant Director of Bands

Ryan DeLaGarza-Director of Bands at Finley Junior High

Ryan DeLaGarza is the Director of Bands at Finley Junior High School and is in his third year of teaching band in Waxahachie ISD. His responsibilities include conducting Symphonic I & III, assisting with Symphonic II, and teaching beginner band classes. He attended the University of Texas at Austin where he studied in the piano and trombone studios.  During his time in school, he performed in various ensembles including The University of Texas Longhorn Band, University of Texas Trombone Choir, and the University of Texas Wind Symphony.  While in the performing ensembles at UT, he performed throughout the nation including the HBCU Conference in Atlanta, GA, two Rose Bowls and Parades, a Fiesta Bowl, and a Presidential Inauguration. 

Ryan toured the United States as a performer with the Drum Corps International World Class Finalist 2005 Madison Scouts (Madison, WI) and 2007 Phantom Regiment (Rockford, IL) Drum and Bugle Corps. Before coming to WISD, he taught middle school band in DeSoto ISD at DeSoto West Middle School. His bands have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes awards, Best in Class/Runner-Up at various festivals, and have been named a Commended Winner in the Mark of Excellence Recording Competition.

Ryan is currently pursuing his Masters of Music in Music Education at SMU. His professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.

Stefanie Lyon-Assistant Director of Bands at Finley Junior High

Stefanie Lyon is in her first year as the assistant director at Finley Junior High and is excited to be joining Waxahachie ISD.  Her responsibilities include teaching Symphonic II, assisting with Symphonic I and III, and teaching the clarinet, saxophone, horn, and double reed beginner classes.  

Ms. Lyon is a graduate of Texas Christian University where she studied clarinet with Gary Whitman.  During her time at TCU she performed in the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and the Horned Frog Marching Band.  She got to travel and experience memorable performances at Carnegie Hall, the 2011 Rose Bowl, and Lila Cockrell Theater (San Antonio, TX). Before coming to Waxahachie, Ms. Lyon taught private clarinet lessons in the DFW area.  She now resides in Mansfield with her Golden Retriever, Henry.   Her professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.  


Angelyn Seppeler-Director of Bands at Howard Junior High

Angelyn Seppeler is in her tenth year of teaching band and her twenty-third year of teaching music in Texas.  Prior to coming back to Waxahachie Angelyn taught in the Ennis, Plano, and Midlothian school districts.  Angelyn has received consistent Sweepstakes Awards with her bands.  She has been an active private woodwind instructor in the DFW area for over twenty-three years.  She holds a Bachelor in Music Education from the University of North Texas.  While attending UNT, Angelyn studied saxophone with Dr. Eric M. Nestler and has been under the direction of Dennis Fisher and Eugene Migliaro Corporon.  Angelyn is a founding member of the Yellow Rose Saxophone Quartet.   Her professional affiliations include TMEA and TBA.  She has a passion for music, children and their education.  Angelyn enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and vacationing.  She resides in Midlothian with her husband and two children, Byron and Mara.

Reggie Cook-Assistant Director of Bands at Howard Junior High

Reggie Cook attended Texas Christian University from 1994 to 1998 earning a Bachelor of Music Education.  He participated in many ensembles including Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo.  His major instruments were percussion and bass in which he was a student of Dr. Michael Kingan and Dr. Nick Petrella. Upon graduation, he taught in Castleberry ISD in which the marching band placed third in the state marching contest and the middle school placed second in the outstanding performance series. He taught three years at Venus ISD at the middle school earning sweepstakes in 2007.
Reggie has been with the Waxahachie ISD program since the Fall of 2007 and his High School Symphonic Band earned sweepstakes at UIL Concert and Sight Reading in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.  He co-directed the High School Marching Band to an eighth place finish at the 2009 State 4A Marching Contest. Reggie currently conducts Symphonic II, assists with Symphonic I, and teaches beginners at Waxahachie’s Howard Junior High School. Reggie resides in Alvarado with his wife Tracey and two children Ryan and Katy.



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