Kerry Taylor / Director of Bands
Kerry Taylor currently serves as Director of Bands for Westlake High School and Eanes ISD. He is also Department Chair of Fine Arts at Westlake High School. Mr. Taylor is in his 31st year as a band director in the Texas public schools; five years in Katy ISD and 26 in Eanes ISD. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree and a Master of Music Degree in Applied Conducting, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
Under Mr. Taylor's direction, the Westlake High School Band has been named 'Best in Class' or 'Runner-up' at the Buccaneer Music Festival, South Coast Music Festival, MusicFest (Orlando, Fl.) and the DC Festival in San Antonio. The Westlake Band has made concert tours to the Pacific Northwest, Canada and the British Isles. Under Mr. Taylor’s baton, the Westlake Wind Ensemble has performed at the 2002 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the American Bandmasters Association on March 4, 2006 and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles on July 8, 2009. In 1997, the John Philip Sousa Foundation presented the Westlake Band with the Sudler Flag of Honor recognizing excellence in concert band over an extended period of time.
The Westlake Marching Band has been a Finalist in multiple Bands of America Regionals and Super Regionals and has been a Finalist at the 5A State Marching Contest-placing in the top 10 on four occasions. On January 1, 2003 the Westlake Chaparral Band performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade in California. In 2010, the Sousa Foundation honored the WHS band with the Sudler Shield for excellence in marching.
Mr. Taylor is active as a clinician and adjudicator in Texas and across the US. He has served the Texas Music Educators Association in many positions including Chairman of the Band Division and in 2005-06 as President of the 10,000+ member organization. His other professional memberships include Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, American Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha.
John Parsons / Assistant Director of Bands
John Parsons was born in Tyler, Texas, but grew up mostly in Austin, Texas. He began his musical studies in Eanes ISD as a sixth grade percussion student at Hill Country Middle School and later attended Westlake High School, where he was a member of the award-winning Chaparral Band. After high school, Mr. Parsons began studying music at the University of Texas, where he studied percussion under Dr. Thomas Burritt and performed in numerous ensembles.
In 2001, Mr. Parsons became a member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, playing snare drum and held that position until 2003. In May of 2005, Mr. Parsons graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education.
Prior to his return to Westlake as a Director, Mr. Parsons was Assistant Band Director at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville, where he assisted as conductor of the Concert Band and Director of the percussion program from 2005-2007. Mr. Parsons is also an active percussion clinician and arranger, having recently presented clinics for East Central University in Oklahoma and the Cavaliers Summer Drum Camp series. His duties at Westlake High School include conducting the Symphonic Band, the Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band and directing the percussion program.
Peter Zaffos / Assistant Director of Bands
Peter Zaffos is beginning his tenth year teaching band and his second year at Westlake High School. He began his career in Cypress Fairbanks ISD teaching middle school band. He then spent one year in Abilene ISD and four years in Lubbock ISD teaching at middle schools and high schools.
Mr. Zaffos holds his Master of Education Degree from Sam Houston State University (2008) and his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Houston (2004). While at the University of Houston, Mr. Zaffos studied the French Horn with Nancy Goodearl, performed in the Moore's School of Music Wind Ensemble and was one of four Drum Majors in the University of Houston Cougar Marching Band in 2003. In 2001, he marched mellophone in the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps.
Mr. Zaffos was born and raised in Spring, TX and is graduate from Spring High School in 1999. While in middle school in Spring ISD, Mr. Zaffos met his wife who also went through the Spring Band Program. Mr. and Mrs. Zaffos dated for four years while at the University of Houston and got married in January of 2005. Mr. and Mrs. Zaffos are proud parents of two preschool girls, 26 months apart.
Bryn Speer / Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Color Guard
This is Bryn Speer’s seventh year at Westlake High School. Ms. Speer directs the Concert Band, teaches two Applied Music classes, and assists with the color guard and winter guard programs. Under her direction, the Concert Band has received the Sweepstakes award at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest consecutively for the past five years. The Winter Guard has medaled at the Texas Color Guard Circuit Championships three times and has been a consistent finalist at Winter Guard International Regionals. Before coming to Westlake, Ms. Speer taught at Brenham High School and Brenham Junior High.
Ms. Speer graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas Tech University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music. During her time at Texas Tech, she served as principal flautist of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Color Guard Captain of the Goin’ Band from Raiderland. Ms. Speer also performed with the Texas Tech Flute Choir and the Symphony Orchestra, and she was the winner of the Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition in 2003. Ms. Speer’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, National Flute Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Tau Beta Sigma.