Band Concert 5-2015 585Robert Castillo is in his 16th year as a music educator and his 13th year as Director of Bands at Robert E. Lee High School.  Mr. Castillo has the privilege of directing the Red Raider Marching Band, the Wind Ensemble, and the Concert Band.  In addition to his responsibilities at REL, Mr. Castillo also collaborates with the Tyler ISD Middle School Band Programs.

Under his direction, the REL Bands have reached numerous superior ratings at UIL Contest and festivals.  Prior to REL, Mr. Castillo was the Director of Bands at Hogg Middle School.  Mr Castillo is a graduate of Marble Falls HS, under the direction of Ron Davis, and Southwest Texas State University, under the direction of James Hudson and John Stansberry.  During the summer of 1995 – 1996, Mr. Castillo was a member of Lone Star Drum and Bugle Corps.

His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.  He is married to his lovely wife, Robyn and they have three wonderful boys, Matthew, Jarett, and Connor.

echolsBrent Echols is in his 3rd  year as a music educator as Associate Director of Bands at Robert E. Lee High School. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Michigan State University College of Music in May 2014 focusing on instrumental music. Throughout his tenure at Michigan State, Brent gained experience teaching and began inspiring young musicians in the community by teaching private percussion lessons to students ranging in age from middle school through college for five  years. He also had the pleasure of working with several high school band programs including Grand Ledge High School (MI), Dewitt High School (MI), O’Fallon High School (IL), and Triad High School (IL).

Throughout his years at Michigan State Brent performed with the MSU Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Band, Spartan Marching Band and Percussion Ensemble.   Brent participated in Drum Corps International for  two summers touring the country and performing with the Carolina Crown drum and bugle corps (summers 2010 and 2011).  He recently had the privilege to be invited to perform with the MSU Percussion Ensemble at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, IN (November 2013).

Brent has always had a love of music and believes that it enriches everyone’s life and looks forward to teaching and inspiring young musicians in the future.

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Neil Hicks is in his second year as Associate Director of Bands at Robert E. Lee High School, where he teaches the Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble I, and Jazz Ensemble II. Mr. Hicks holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree with High Distinction from the Indiana University (IU) Jacobs School of Music. Interested in all aspects of teaching instrumental music, he earned a dual degree in both band and orchestra education, as well as minors in conducting and jazz studies. While at IU, Mr. Hicks played with the IU Symphonic and Concert Bands, the Jeremy Allen Big Band, the Steve Allee Big Band, and the Marching Hundred. Neil’s professional memberships include the National Association for Music Education, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the Texas Jazz Educators Association.

Mr. Hicks is passionate about helping kids to more thoroughly understand, more expressively perform, and more deeply love listening to music of all kinds, and he feels incredibly fortunate he is able to work with the talented students at REL each day. In his free time, Mr. Hicks enjoys cooking and reading.