Meet the Team
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 is one of the 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.
Ben Koch is entering his first year as Assistant Band director and Director of Percussion at Weiss High School in Pflugerville, TX. In this role, he oversees all percussion activities grades 6-12. Prior to this position he served as the Assistant percussion director for the Hebron High School cluster in Carrollton, TX.
Mr. Koch holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree from the University of North Texas. As a student, he participated in many of the university’s flagship ensembles and taught the Green Brigade Marching Band drumline. While at UNT, he worked with various percussion programs in the DFW metroplex including Marcus High School and Prosper High School.
Mr. Koch has been involved in the Drum Corps International activity for a number of years. He marched with Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps (2015-2016) and Santa Clara Vanguard (2017-2019) where he contributed to three consecutive Fred Sanford Awards for Best Percussion Performance and served as section leader his age-out year. Since aging out, he has worked with Music City Drum and Bugle Corps (2020-2021) and Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps (2021) as a battery tech.
His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Percussive Arts Society.
Color Guard Director
Jude served in a variety of positions during his DCI career with his last role as Visual Coordinator for the Phantom Regiment in 2015. Previous drum corps experience includes Spirit of Atlanta (Color Guard Caption Head/Coordinator 10-13), The Colts (Program Coordinator 05-09), The Glassmen (Movement & Dance Instructor 05), The Phantom Regiment (Color Guard Instructor & Caption Head 03-04.)
Boughton has taught extensively around the country as a designer, choreographer, dance educator, program consultant and show coordinator working with many organizations including WGI medalists Juxtaposition & Mechanicsburg High School, and most notably with 12-time WGI Independent World Class finalist The Black Watch Color Guard (03-12).
Attending Kutztown University of Pennsylvania with a focus in Theater & Dance and additional studies in Movement for Non-Dancers & Dance in the Musical Theater Boughton has long been a student of the history of dance and and movement education in America.
Originally from Pittston, Pennsylvania Jude moved to Austin, Texas in 2010 where he was employed at Round Rock High School as Program Coordinator and Color Guard Director of the Dragon Band (2013, 15, & 17 Bands of America Grand National Finalist,) from 2010-2018. Until 2015 served Vandegrift High School as Program Coordinator (2013 4A UIL State Marching Champion & 2015 UIL Silver Medalist), at Leander High School as Program Coordinator (2015 UIL Bronze Medalist & 2016 BOA Grand National Finalist) from 2015-2017.
2019 Jude took on the program coordination of 3 new Texas high schools and was most proud of the artistic strides made by Brandeis High School from San Antonio earning TMC finalist position and McCallum High School and Weiss High Schools both from the greatest Austin area advancing to the Texas 5A UIL State Marching Contest with Weiss High School making finals in only their 3rd year of existence.
After judging for WGI for 8 years Jude is proud to have served as a member of the WGI Advisory Board for an additional 8 years & two terms on the WGI Board of Directors.
Jude resides in Austin, TX with partner Will and dogs Cindy and Lily.