Branden Hill, Director of Bands
Branden Hill has been the Director of Bands at Weiss High School in Pflugerville ISD since the Spring of 2019. Prior to his appointment at Weiss, Mr. Hill served as the Director of Bands at Kempner High School in Sugar Land, TX, and was an assistant band director in Waller ISD and Fort Bend ISD. Under his direction, the Kempner High School Band earned consistent UIL sweepstakes awards and was a Featured Ensemble at the Music For All National Concert Band Festival. During his time at Waller High School, the band earned consistent UIL sweepstakes awards and was a Texas UIL State Marching Contest participant.
Mr. Hill recently completed his second year as Brass Caption Head of The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps of Allentown, PA. Throughout his drum corps career, he has served as a brass specialist for the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps and The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps.
Mr. Hill is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, where he completed a Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting under Dr. Matthew McInturf. He received his Bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where he studied Instrumental Music Education and Conducting.
He is the owner of Turn Your Life Up! life coaching & Forte Music Consulting - a music education consulting firm that has allowed him the opportunity to work with programs across the United States as both a clinician and designer. He is currently an active judge for the USBands National circuit, as well as numerous local and state marching contests.
A native of Murfreesboro, TN, Mr. Hill served as Drum Major of the MTSU Band of Blue for four years and was a trumpet player in the 2005 Madison Scouts horn line.
His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, and the National Association for Music Education.
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden
Ray Henricksen, Assistant Band Director
Ray Henricksen is the new Assistant Director of Bands at Weiss High School. Prior to moving to Texas, Mr. Henricksen taught in the Roxbury Public School District. During his time there the band program grew to high numbers, housing nearly half of the entire student body.
As an educator, Mr. Henricksen most recently was the Baritone Tech for The Cadets in 2019. The same Drum Corps that he had marched in 2011. He also has experience teaching multiple marching bands and Drum Corps in the New York metropolitan area
As an active euphonium soloist, Mr. Henricksen has been a guest soloist with multiple groups throughout the East Coast. He has held the solo euphonium chair in The Princeton Brass Band, Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, and The Millennial Brass (NY). He has also performed with groups such as the Eastern Wind Symphony, Dallas Civic Wind Ensemble, Imperial Brass Band, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, and Metropolitan Winds.
As a member of The Cadets, Ray marched baritone in the 2011 production of Between Angels and Demons. At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Ray was one of a select few to perform for President Obama and the United Nations General Assembly at the New York Public Library.
Mr. Henricksen holds a master’s degree in Euphonium Performance from The University of North Texas, studying with world-renowned soloist Dr. Brian Bowman. He also received a minor in Wind Band Conducting at the tutelage of Eugene Corporon and Dennis Fisher. Prior to his time in Texas, Ray received his Bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, where he was a student of Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen and Aaron VanderWeele. In 2013, he was presented with the Mason Gross Award for Excellence in Brass Performance.
Mr. Henricksen is very excited to join the talented team of educators at Weiss High School, and is ready to push the bar of excellence for years to come.
"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude."
Emily Sharp is entering her first year as the Assistant Band Director at Weiss High School. Prior to her appointment at Weiss she served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Stockdick Junior High and Color Guard Director at Paetow High School in Katy ISD where she was name Rookie Teacher of the Year. During her time in Katy ISD, her bands consistently earned superior ratings at UIL contest, were chosen to perform at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in 2020, and featured on local news station KHOU. Her Color Guard program also claimed multiple first prize trophies in the TCGC circuit during her time as director.
Ms. Sharp received her Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education with Distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 2016, studying oboe under Dr. Daniel Schwartz and conducting under Dr. William Wakefield and Dr. Michael Hancock. While attending OU, Ms. Sharp was chosen as a conductor of the University of Oklahoma New Horizons Band for 2 years, serving community members from all over Oklahoma ages 15 to 93. Additionally, she was honored to serve as the Principal Oboist of the University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony for multiple semesters, being named the Outstanding Undergraduate Oboist her senior year as well as earning the Stephen F. Paul Memorial Music Education Award.
Ms. Sharp has also been involved with the color guard activity since 2007. She served as the captain and choreographer for The Pride of Oklahoma Color Guard between 2014 and 2016 performing on many nationally televised platforms across the country. Ms. Sharp has been a director and technician for color guards throughout Oklahoma and Texas for the past eight years, and has performed at WGI World Championship Finals multiple times.
Emily Sharp's professional affiliations include Tau Beta Sigma, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and Young Band Director's of Texas.
John Tyree, Percussion Director
John Tyree is the new Percussion Director for Weiss High School. Prior to his position at Weiss, Mr. Tyree lived and worked in Boston as a professional musician, videographer, and production manager. Originally from small-town Kentucky, Mr. Tyree has also spent the past several years teaching percussion at a wide range of schools in Kentucky and Ohio, spending much of his time working with the state-finalist group at Hilliard Darby High School in Hilliard, OH.
Mr. Tyree has performed professionally as a soloist throughout New England and the Ohio Valley Region, as well as in a variety of ensembles such as Sound Icon, Sacred Winds, Cave Run Symphony Orchestra, and the Commonwealth Lyric Opera. Mr. Tyree’s passion as a musician lies in collaboration, having worked and performed with many different artists including Bent Knee, So Percussion, Anders Åstrand, Yousif Sheronick, Maraca2 Duo, Sound Icon, Sharan Leventhal, Todd Seeber, David Crowell, Ben Levin, and many others.
Mr. Tyree holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Morehead State University and a Master’s in Music Performance from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. During his time at Morehead, Mr. Tyree was in a variety of ensembles such as the Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Steel Band, Percussion Ensemble, and Marching Band. While at Boston Conservatory, Mr. Tyree performed in many of the institution’s premier performances including Music for 18 Musicians, Boston Conservatory Orchestra with SilkRoad, Chamber Masters Series, Hydrogen Jukebox, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Additionally, he performed with the art rock band Bent Knee as part of The Stave Sessions, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston. His teachers have included Dr. Brian Mason, Nancy Zeltsman, Doug Perkins, Samuel Solomon, Kyle Brightwell, and Jerry Leake.
Mr. Tyree is thrilled to be a part of the team at Weiss High School and Cele Middle School and is looking forward to sharing his unique experiences to help the students and program continue to succeed.
Lilian Mason, Scarlet Dance Team Director
Dance has always been a part of Lilian Mason’s life, as she has been dancing since the age of three. She danced competitively at studios in the Houston area and served as Captain of her dance team in high school. After high school, she was hired to work with MA Dance, a company that teaches dance camps, choreographs contest and field routines, and adjudicates dance contests. She earned her BA in Dance from the University of Houston, where she received the UH Dancer of the Year award and performed pre-professionally for the UH Ensemble and Young Audiences Touring Company. After graduation, she returned to her alma mater to teach dance and direct the Angels Dance Team at Stephen F. Austin High School in Fort Bend ISD.
Most recently, she founded and directed the Emerald Elite Dance Team at Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco ISD. Ms. Mason brings with her a competitive spirit and passion for dance, and she is excited to build a legacy and create new traditions with the dancers at Weiss.