The Westlake High School Band Program

Kerry Taylor, Director of Bands

The Westlake High School Band Program offers students in grades 9-12 an unparalleled musical experience, with programs in marching, concert, wind ensemble and jazz.

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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. 

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Jana Robertson /Assistant Director of Bands

Jana Robertson is beginning her fourth year as a music educator and her first year at Westlake High School.  Ms. Robertson, born and raised in Austin, began her musical studies in Eanes ISD as a sixth grade saxophone student at Hill Country Middle School.  She later continued through the Westlake Band Program and graduated from WHS in 2008. 

After high school, Ms. Robertson began studying music at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  While at LSU, she studied saxophone under Griffin Campbell and performed in numerous ensembles, the most memorable ones being The Golden Band from Tigerland, the LSU Wind Ensemble and the LSU Jazz Ensemble.  She also enjoyed playing in pit orchestras for local theater companies.  Ms. Robertson graduated from LSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in the spring of 2012.

Before returning to Westlake, Ms. Robertson was the Associate Band Director at Shoemaker High School in Killeen (2012-2015), where she directed the non-varsity concert band, color guard, steel drum band and jazz ensemble.

 

Daniel Villanueva / Assistant Director of Bands

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Mr.Villanueva joins the Westlake Chaparral Band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As well as being native to the Land of Enchantment, Mr.Villanueva graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He was introduced to the City of Austin and Texas Band culture during his student teaching at both Vandegrift High School and Four Points Middle School of Leander ISD.

Mr.Villanueva is a French Horn player whose primary University instructors include JD Shaw, Denys Derome, and Michael Walker. During his University career, Mr.Villanueva most notably performed with the University of New Mexico Wind Ensemble as well as the McGill University Symphony Orchestra. Moonlighting as a drummer, Daniel has also performed with a University of New Mexico Jazz Big Band as well as filling in around Albuquerque in other amateur jazz ensembles.

Though based in Albuquerque, Daniel has traveled extensively during his music education. Highlights include his studies at the renown Schulich School of Music at McGill Univerisity in Montreal, Quebec, participation as a Full-tuition scholarship recipient at the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in Washington D.C. as well as a fourteen day exhibition tour with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony to the Gold Coast of Australia. He is incredibly pleased that his most recent travels have brought him to Austin, Texas to become a part of the Westlake Chaparral Band.

 

Bryn Speer / Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Color Guard

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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.