Chris Sample is the Director of Bands at North Crowley High School. Mr. Sample is a 2004 graduate of Sherman High School in Sherman, TX where he performed under the baton of Joe Frank, Jr. While there, he participated in three consecutive years of the TMEA All-State Band on trumpet, received the John Philip Sousa Award, and toured/performed all over Europe as part of the American Musical Ambassadors. He also gained the rank of Eagle Scout as a part of the Boy Scouts. Mr. Sample then attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Music. While there, he studied trumpet under Dr. Rick Bogard and performed in the UTA Trumpet Ensemble, as principal trumpet in the Wind Symphony, and as section leader for several years in the Maverick Marching Band. In 2007, he was awarded the “Jack H. Mahan Outstanding Upperclassmen Musician” award. Mr. Sample also served in several leadership positions of the Delta Sigma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. While serving as President for two years, the chapter earned the prestigious “D.O. Wiley” Top Chapter Award for outstanding service to their university band.
After graduating, Mr. Sample continued his education at UT Arlington to obtain his Master of Music Performance degree in Wind Conducting, studying under Dr. Douglas Stotter and Dr. Matthew Luttrell. While a Graduate Assistant, he continued to perform with the Wind Symphony and was an Assistant Director of the Maverick Marching Band and the MavBrass Basketball Pep Band. He was the conductor of the Symphonic Band and guest conductor on several occasions of the Wind Symphony.
After completing his Master’s Degree, Mr. Sample worked at Grapevine High School where he assisted with the Wind Ensemble, Honors Band, marching band, and the school musical. His primary instructional duties were with the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and teaching Music History and Pre-AP Music Theory. For the next two years, Mr. Sample taught in Cedar Hill ISD at West Intermediate and Coleman Middle School, where he served as that cluster’s assistant director for one year before being promoted to Director of Bands of CMS.
In addition to working at North Crowley, Mr. Sample is also on the administrative staff for UT Arlington’s summer music camps serving as the Camp Supervisor. Hundreds of middle and high school musicians from across the region attend the Concert and Marching Band camps each summer to learn from some of the best instructors in their fields. He is also an active performer, currently playing Lead Trumpet for the East Fort Worth Community Jazz Band.
The 2017-2018 school year is Mr. Sample’s third in Crowley ISD and he is looking forward to another great year with the North Crowley High School Mighty Panther Band!
Mr. Sample lives in Arlington with his wife Chrissy, who is also a band director. They have three “children,” their cat, Anakin, and two dogs, Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. He is currently a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, The National Association for Music Education, an alumnus and Life Member of the Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Service Fraternity, and honorary member of the Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Service Sorority.
Jennifer Wright is the Associate Director at North Crowley High School. Mrs. Wright is thrilled to make the move to Texas to join the Mighty Panther Band for the 2017-2018 school year!
Mrs. Wright graduated from Owasso High School in 2008. She played saxophone in the Symphonic Band and the Wind Ensemble and was a member of the color guard. Her directors, David Gorham, Chris Harris, Chris Barber, Shawn O’Kelly, and Mary Ann French played an invaluable role in shaping her as a musician and instilling a passion to become a music educator.
Mrs. Wright earned her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2013. While attending OU, she performed with the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Pride of Oklahoma, and Sooner Showmen. She studied under Dr. Michael Raiber, Dr. William Wakefield, and Dr. Debra Traficante. Mrs. Wright served as the Outreach Chair, Historian, and Vice President during her years as a member of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.
Upon graduating, Mrs. Wright became the Associate Director at Memorial High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During her four years at Memorial, she assisted with the marching band, wind ensemble, and color guard. While teaching at Memorial, the wind ensemble consistently received superior ratings at contests. In 2017, Mrs. Wright and the wind ensemble were a part of the consortium that premiered John Mackey’s newest composition, This Cruel Moon. While working with the Memorial Independent Winter Guard, the guard was named WGPO State Champions of the IRA Class in 2015 and 2016. In addition to her responsibilities at the high school, Mrs. Wright also taught middle school band at Thoreau Demonstration Academy.
Mrs. Wright lives in North Richland Hills with her husband, Alex, and their two cats, Oliver and Berlioz.
Alex Descoteaux is an Assistant Band Director at North Crowley High School, Band Director at North Crowley Ninth Grade Center, and Director of Percussion Studies for the North Crowley Band Cluster. Mr. Descoteaux is originally from Mansfield, Texas and is excited to enter the 2017-2018 season as his third year with the Mighty Panther Band!
Mr. Descoteaux earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Arlington, where he studied under Dr. Michael Varner and Jim Yakas. He performed with groups including the Maverick Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, and the World Ensemble. He has also competed in the solo and ensemble portion of the Percussive Arts Society Convention where he took top 5 finishes in snare and tenor solos, as well as a first place award with the UTA Tenor Ensemble in 2008. In 2009, Mr. Descoteaux performed with the Academy Drum & Bugle Corps from Tempe, Arizona and also spent 2010 and 2011 with the Tyler Junior College Indoor Drumline. During this time, he performed at WGI world class finals, as well as overseas in Europe. Mr. Descoteaux was fortunate to help conduct the UTA Percussion Ensemble, World Ensemble, and perform with the Wind Symphony at the annual Texas Music Educators Association convention in 2012.
Mr. Descoteaux spent two years as the Associate Director for Venus ISD where he taught all beginners, two middle school ensembles, and assisted with percussion duties at Venus High School. Throughout the year, Mr. Descoteaux also performs with the Mansfield Wind Symphony. He currently lives in Arlington with his wife, Lauren and son, James.
Matthew Apodaca is the Colorguard Director for the North Crowley High School Mighty Panther Band. He started his color guard career as a “backyard betty” learning anything his older sister was willing to teach him. He attended Haltom High School in Haltom City, TX and was a marching member of the Pride of Haltom Marching Band and the Haltom High School Winterguard from 2004-2006. Mr. Apodaca also marched with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005 and 2006. During his junior year he decided to challenge himself further and expand his learning repertoire by auditioning for the Ars Nova Winterguard. He marched with the Ars Nova Open Winterguard from 2007-2009, and with the Ars Nova World Winterguard in 2010.
Mr. Apodaca instructed Mansfield High School in 2007-2009, the Forte Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011, and the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps in 2012. In addition to his duties at North Crowley, Mr. Apodaca is also currently a staff member for the Black Gold Winterguard.