Mark J. Connor

Episode 175 - Mike Howard

Episode 175 - Mike Howard

Mike Howard is the band director at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas. Under his direction, the Vandegrift Band has won numerous awards and honors and most recently was the 2019 BOA Grand National Champion. Topics: Mike’s background in Texas and his early career, including the story of how he opened Vandegrift High School. Advice from Eddie Green as a young band director. Teaching jazz. Advice for those who are looking to build their programs. Links: Mike Howard & the Vandegrift Band Green: On Teaching Band Floyd: The Artistry of Teaching and Making Music Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy Biography: Mr. Howard is currently in his 11th year at Vandegrift High School and in his 17th year of teaching h igh school band. He was one of the founding directors of the band when VHS opened in 2009 and became Head Band Director in the Fall of 2014. While at Vandegrift, Mr. Howard’s bands have been consistent UIL Concert Competition Sweepstakes Award Winners. He has also been instrumental in several marching band high honors such as BOA Regional Champion, BOA Super Regional Finalist, BOA Super Regional Class Champion, multiple invitational marching contest championships, UIL State Marching Contest Finalist, 6A UIL State Marching Contest Bronze Medalist, 5A UIL State Marching Contest Silver Medalist and 4A UIL State Marching Contest Champion. At Vandegrift, Mr. Howard is the director of the Viper Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band.   Aside from being the Director of Bands at VHS, Mr. Howard is an active Leadership Consultant and Workshop Presenter. He has been a facilitator for SASI for the last 11 years. In this time, Mr. Howard has had the opportunity to work with thousands of students and directors from around the United States. As a lead facilitator for SASI, he is heavily involved with the operations of all Drum Major camps as well as teaching several site-based workshops throughout the summer.   Before coming to Vandegrift, Mr. Howard taught at James E. Taylor High School in Katy, Texas. As Associate Director of the JE Taylor HS Band his responsibilities included directing the Jazz Program, assisting with the marching band, conducting the Concert Band, and coordinating and teaching the drumline. Mr. Howard, a native of Hondo, TX, started his teaching career at Morton Ranch High School, where he was a band director and helped open the school in 2004. At Morton Ranch, he taught the Concert Band, Jazz Band, assisted with the marching band. Before teaching at Morton Ranch, Mr. Howard was an instructor for the Cedar Park High School Band in Cedar Park, Texas and an instructor for the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps from Madison, Wisconsin. As a performer, Mr. Howard has performed with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Lyric Opera and several bands around the Austin/San Antonio area. Mr. Howard graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, Suma Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He lives in Leander with his wife Amber, his daughter, Madison and his son, Justin.

Duration: 1 hr 20 min

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