Kevin Erickson - Director of Bands
Kevin Erickson is currently in his eighth year as the Director of the Dobie Band program, serving the previous six years as Assistant Director. Mr. Erickson conducts the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, and oversees all aspects of the Dobie Band program. Prior to his arrival at Dobie in 2007, Mr. Erickson served on the faculties of the University of Houston and San Jacinto College-South, and was a member of the instructional staff at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Pearland High School, and Lincoln High School (Stockton, CA). He also served as the Percussion Coordinator and Arranger for Super Bowl XXXVIII, directing the 60-member percussion section and collaborating with pop superstar Janet Jackson on the musical arrangements. Mr. Erickson was recently named a quarterfinalist for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.
An avid performer, Mr. Erickson has appeared as percussionist/timpanist with the Houston Symphony, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria (Mexico City), the Stockton Symphony (CA), and regional orchestras throughout southeast Texas. From 2007-2012, he served as the Principal Percussionist & Timpanist for Opera Vista in Houston, TX. His performances as a drumset/percussion artist include: jazz legend Dave Brubeck, country superstar Shania Twain, Latin great Pete Escovedo, La Mafia, Jack Sheldon, Mel Martin, Mike Vax, Vocal Flight, and he has appeared as a featured guest artist at the Midwest International Clinic & Convention. Mr. Erickson’s performance experience also includes four years as a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps, winning the 1989 DCI World Championship and three DCI High Percussion titles.
Mr. Erickson’s compositions have been performed worldwide by world-renowned artists and ensembles such as Don Liuzzi (Principal Timpanist for the Philadelphia Orchestra) and the Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan). His compositions have also been featured in international clinics and conventions such as: the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), the Music for All National Percussion Festival, and the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic & Convention. His composition for percussion ensemble, “At the Dawn of War,” is featured on the compact disc Surge by the University of Houston Percussion Ensemble and was performed at the world-famous Sydney (Aus.) Opera House by the West Percussion Group. “In the Valley of the Kings,” for solo timpani, was the 3rd Prize Winner in the 1998 PAS International Composition Contest. Mr. Erickson’s compositions are published by C. Alan Publications and Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Mr. Erickson holds degrees from the University of the Pacific (B.M. Performance) and the University of Houston (M.M. Applied Music), where he also completed all coursework requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He is an educational/performing artist & clinician for Pearl Drums & Adams Musical Instruments, Paiste Cymbals, Innovative Percussion Drumsticks & Mallets, and Remo Drumheads. Mr. Erickson resides in Houston with his wife, Keely (Music Teacher at McMasters Elementary), and their four sons: Camden, Collin, Connor, and Caleb.
Daniel Giedraitis - Assistant Director
Daniel Giedraitis is in his second year as Assistant Director of Bands at J. Frank Dobie High School where he conducts the Symphonic Band and Jazz Band, and assists with all of the bands at Dobie High School and the Dobie Ninth Grade Campus. Prior to Dobie, Mr. Giedraitis served for two years as a graduate teaching assistant at West Texas A&M University. He previously held teaching positions at James Earl Rudder High School in Bryan, TX, and Tennyson Middle School in Waco, TX.
As a performer, Mr. Giedraitis has shared the stage with Allen Vizzutti, Chris Wabich, Katisse Buckingham, Clay Jenkins, Bob Sheppard, and Bill Watrous. He performs as a freelance saxophone and woodwind specialist in both the classical and jazz idioms, and previously played in a touring Broadway production of “Chicago”.
Mr. Giedraitis holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Sam Houston State University and Master of Music degree from West Texas A&M University.
Clay McNeill - Assistant Director/Percussion Director
Clay McNeill is in his fourth year as Assistant Director of bands and Percussion Director of the Dobie Band program, where he conducts the Concert Band, Percussion Ensembles, and oversees the percussion programs within the Dobie feeder cluster. Prior to Dobie Mr. McNeill taught at Lockhart High School where he served as Director of Bands (2014-17) and as Assistant Director & Percussion Director (2007-14). Mr. McNeill previously held positions at North Shore Senior High School, Wylie High School, and San Marcos High School. Mr. McNeill has served on the faculty of the University of North Texas Percussion Camp, and is a frequent adjudicator for TMEA and UIL events.
Mr. McNeill has a diverse performance background, including the Austin Symphonic Band and steel drum groups such as the Texas Symphony of Steel, featuring Andy Narell. His performance experience also includes the Velvet Knights and the Sky Ryders Drum & Bugle Corps. Mr. McNeill has arranged percussion music for numerous high schools throughout the State of Texas, and his compositions have been featured at Texas State University's "Mysterium for Modern Music" forums.
Mr. McNeill is a graduate of the University of North Texas (B.M. Music Education) and Texas State University (M.M. Composition).
Michael Acosta - Colorguard Director
Michael Acosta is in his fifth year as Colorguard Director at Dobie High School. Mr. Acosta is the founder and director of Redemption Independent Colorguard (3-time TCGC State Champion) and has over thirty years experience as a performer, designer, and educator in the colorguard activity. Mr. Acosta has an extensive background in dance, starting at a very early age in the Houston Ballet Academy and he has also served as an intern with the prestigious American Ballet Theater in New York. "Mr. A" marched four years with the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps (1986-89), winning the 1988 DCI World Championship. He was also a member of Nouveau Colorguard from 1987-90 and returned as Artistic Director from 1993-95, winning the WGI World Championship in 1994. Mr. Acosta has been involved with numerous award-winning high school band and colorguard programs including: Elkins HS, Cypress Woods HS, Westfield HS, and Langham Creek HS.