Michael J. Miller - Director of Bands
Mr. Miller is the Director of Bands at Newsome High School where he serves as the conductor of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band, and Jazz Band, and oversees all aspects of the Wolfpack band program including colorguard, indoor percussion, and the band booster organization. Under his direction, the NHS concert bands earned superior ratings at district festival. Before coming to NHS, Mr. Miller was an Assistant Director of Bands at Robert Vela High School in Edinburg, TX where he was the conductor of the Symphonic Band, and taught middle school brass lessons. Mr. Miller holds a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Syracuse University. As a graduate teaching assistant for the University of Florida bands, Mr. Miller guest conducted the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band, taught undergraduate conducting lessons, and was a staff member and music designer for the University’s Marching Band. Prior to his appointment at Robert Vela High School, Mr. Miller was the Director of Bands at Weeki Wachee High School in Weeki Wachee, Florida where he taught Band, Music Theory, Keyboarding, and Music Appreciation. Mr. Miller was a conducting drum major and trumpeter for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, played mellophone for the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps, and taught the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Miller is an active music designer for bands in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts, including Syracuse University’s “Pride of the Orange” Marching Band, and the "Scarley Knights" of Rutgers University. Mr. Miller is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Howard Weinstein holds a degree in music education from the University of Central Florida, and has been a music educator for the past twenty-seven years. He currently designs for and instructs multiple college and high school programs throughout the country. His experience includes middle school, high school and collegiate level instruction and leadership. He has served as an adjudicator throughout the country for multiple circuits in the areas of symphonic, jazz and marching ensembles. As a high school band director in schools throughout Florida and Georgia, his band programs were superior rated at both the district and state levels. Weinstein has worked as a program consultant and show designer for several programs throughout the country. He remains active as a guest clinician, consultant and adjudicator. He is also an adjudicator for the Florida Bandmasters Association in the areas of Symphonic Band, Marching Band and Solo and Ensembles.
Howard’s experience in the marching arts includes multiple years as Program Coordinator and Corps Director for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as the Corps Director for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. His organizations were perennial finalists in the activity. He is currently on the faculty for the Tarpon Springs High School Leadership Conservatory for the Arts. The Tarpon Springs program has been a consistent finalist for the Bands of America Championships since 1997, and was most recently the Grand Champion of the Bands of America.
Beginning his drum corps career in the early 1980s as a woodwind player turned bass drummer with the Cadets, Michael Klesch has gone on to become one of the preeminent brass arrangers in the history of Drum Corps International.
Quickly emerging as a leader within the Cadets organization, Klesch was made drum major in 1983. With a background in music education and a penchant for composing, after his performing career with the corps came to an end, Klesch was asked to join the corps’ design team in 1985, picking up where departing Hall of Fame arranger Jim Prime left off.
A gifted arranger and composer, Klesch has also established himself as an equally talented and effective educator, working with a number of corps after his many years with the Cadets including Phantom Regiment, Spirit, Colts, and the Crossmen, among others.
“Michael is one who gets both students and just as importantly the instructional staff members to reach their highest level of performance and growth potential,” Hall of Fame member Thom Hannum said. “Some just have the knack for getting people to realize their musical capacities. Michael Klesch is one of these rare individuals. Quite simply, he elevates those around him to higher levels of achievement.
Klesch’s body of work on the drum corps field is still compounding today having served as music director and arranger with Carolina Crown since 2003. He has been responsible for the music behind some of Crown’s most-loved and successful productions including “Triple Crown,” “Finis,” and “The Grass is Always Greener.” (From www.dci.org)
Kevin Ford is the innovator/founder of The Leadership Conservatory for The Arts at Tarpon Springs High School and has been a nationally recognized accomplished show designer for the past 25 years. He is presently in his twenty-first year as the Director of Bands at Tarpon Springs High School and also serves as the Magnet Director. His responsibilities include directing the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Solo and Ensemble Coach, and developing the curriculum for the Conservatory Student Leadership Courses.
Mr. Ford received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Florida, and is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Florida Bandmasters Association, the Pinellas County Music Educators Association, and the Phi Kappa Psi Honor Society. In 2004 Mr. Ford was selected as member of the Who’s Who Among Teachers, and in 2005 was selected for the prestigious Who’s Who Among Americans award. In 2008, Mr. Ford was featured in the national publication School Band and Orchestra Magazine for his innovation, creativity, and excellence in music education. In addition to his duties at Tarpon Springs High School, Mr. Ford enjoys an active schedule as a leadership speaker, guest clinician, and adjudicator throughout the country. He is nationally renowned for his creative abilities as a show designer and consultant for the musical and visual arts. He is the Co-founder/owner of The Inspire…. Music and Entertainment Production Company. He currently serves as a member of the elite Bands of America Educational Advisory Board.
Consistently recognized for his creativity, work ethic, and his continued commitment to excellence in music education, Mr. Ford was awarded the Tarpon Springs Community “Teacher of the Year” in 1996 and 1997 for his achievements in education and service to the community. He was the Tarpon Springs High School “Teacher of the Year” in 1997, and a finalist for The Pinellas County “Educator of the Year” in 1998. In 2001, Mr. Ford was awarded the prestigious Citation for Excellence award given by National Band Association for his outstanding work and accomplishments in music education. In 2004, Mr. Ford was inducted as an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs for his service, dedication, and contribution to the Tarpon Springs Community. He was also selected as an honorary Director for the 2005 and 2008 Bands of America Tournament of Roses Honor Band. In 2005, Mr. Ford was selected as the Visual Designer for The Drum Corps International Walt Disney World Honor Corps. Mr. Ford was the 2005 recipient of The University of South Florida School of Music and Clarion Society Outstanding Teacher Award for his Outstanding Achievements to the Music Education Profession. In 2009, Mr. Ford was amongst seven music educators selected to serve on the Music Educators National Conference Blue Ribbon Panel in Washington DC. That same year, the Tarpon Springs High School Marching Band was presented with the prestigious John Phillip Sousa International Sudler Shield award. In 2010, Mr. Ford received the Music Educators Excellence Award from the Music Educators National Conference. In 2014, Mr. Ford was selected as the Pinellas County Educator of the year, the Pinellas County Secondary Music Educator of the Year, and a Florida Department of Education State Educator of the Year “Finalist”. Mr. Ford has conducted onstage his ensembles where they received top honors at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, and the Chicago Symphony Hall. Most notable, Mr. Ford was hired as the Artistic Designer for The Opening Ceremonies to The 2002 FIFA World Cup Soccer Games in Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea which was seen all over the world.
Currently, Mr. Ford resides in the Tampa Bay area and is happily married to his wife Jeannine and is the proud Father to his daughters Madison Riele and Brooklyn Avery.
Geoff is in his first year with Newsome, helping to teach the front ensemble. He is an alumni of Infinity Percussion and the Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps. Currently, Geoff enjoys teaching Newsome, marching Infinity, preparing for his age out summer, working with electronics in the marching idiom, and finishing his A.A..
Carlos Escobar has been a part of WGI’s top ranked Winter Guards of Central Florida. He has also toured the US in DCI’s Boston Crusaders. He was the Director of the Gateway High School Colorguard, In Kissimmee, in 2009, 2011, 2012, & 2013, where he designed each show in its entirety. Winning many Superiors and top group in its county. He worked with the Alonso High school Dance team this past 2014 field season. Carlos currently worked with U.S.F. World Winterguard this past 2014 season, he is very excited to continue working with this amazing group as now he takes a bigger teaching role with the University of South Florida A Winterguard. He is currently on staff with the Newsome High School Field Colorguard as a technician and indoor Winterguard program as a choreographer. Carlos is currently working on getting his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at St. Petersburg Collage. Carlos Escobar has spun in Fahrenheit Independent 2008, 2009, & 2011, Boston Crusaders 2010, Orlando Visual World 2012, and U.S.F. World 2013. He is looking forward making a difference in a positive way for many young and talents members in this activity!