At Memorial High School, we have established the highest standards for our music educational program and we enjoy the talents and vision of some of the finest educators in the nation leading our program!
Jason K. Nitsch - Director of Bands
Jason K. Nitsch has served as the Director of Bands at Memorial High School since the campus opened in 2018. An educator since 2000, Jason came to Frisco with years of experience as a professional educator at the middle school and high school level. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University, a Master of Music degree from Boston University and is in the final stages of completing his Doctoral Studies in Music Education at Boston University.
He previously served as the Director of Bands at Fountain-Ft. Carson High School (CO), and as an Associate and Assistant Director at Klein Collins High School, Deer Park High School, Dulles and Lake Olympia Middle Schools. In addition to being a DCI alumnus of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, Mr. Nitsch has served in numerous capacities within the drum corps community, most recently as the Brass Caption Head at Forte Drum and Bugle Corps for their final season in 2012 and as the current Educational Staff Coordinator for the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps.
Always with an eye on the educational needs of his community, Mr. Nitsch formed the Altitude Performing Arts Association, where he serves on the board of directors and as Executive Director, in 2014 to serve the music education needs of the greater Colorado Springs and Southern Colorado area. In the past four years the Altitude Percussion Ensemble has made two trips to the WGI Championships in Dayton, OH, the Altitude Winterguard captured 3rd place in the RMCGA State Finals and Altitude Winds won a Colorado State Championship in their inaugural season in 2017.
Mr. Nitsch is also an accomplished composer of original music for the field, stage and screen, with over 100 compositions in his current catalog and several dozen publications for band and orchestra. He recorded his first film score in the summer of 2000, "Passing By", a film by David M. Chandler and G. Kent Rabalais. He has had three original compositions selected for Bandworld Magazine’s list of top 100 new publications for band: “Ferris Wheel” (2005), “On the Banks of the River Shannon” (2006) and “American Visions” (2008). Mr. Nitsch's commissions have also been featured in concert at the 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2016 Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Conventions in Chicago, Illinois. In 2010 he composed the original score for the film documentary “The Library of the Early Mind,” directed and produced by noted author and filmmaker Edward Delaney and author Steven Withrow. He was honored to provide the score to the horror short, “Bedtime,” in 2013 which garnered numerous awards at film festivals across the country.
In the marching band world, Mr. Nitsch has been an active arranger, drill designer, composer and adjudicator. Since 1998 he has been a sought-after collaborator in the marching arts, working with marching bands across the country as a consultant and production designer. In 2017 nearly 80 bands across the country performed material written or arranged by Mr. Nitsch, including many long-standing clients in the state of Texas. Always applauded for his creativity and resourcefulness, marching bands of all sizes and ability levels have found consistent success through his designs and programming directions.
Past and present professional affiliations include the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), a former Resident Member of the Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Composers (CPCC), World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA), Texas Music Adjudicators Association (TMAA), Texas Jazz Educators Association (TJEA), Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA), Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) and the Percussive Arts Society (PAS).
Jason is currently published with C. Alan Music Publishers of Greensboro, North Carolina; the FJH Music Company, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Grand Mesa Music Publishers, Grand Junction, Colorado; and TRN Music Publishers, Ruidoso, New Mexico. His original compositions for marching band are published and distributed by Center X Music and Grand Mesa Music’s Marching Band Division. In 2009 he launched Suburban Zombie Music to promote and distribute his entire catalog of compositions.
Mr. Nitsch loves the Frisco area where he lives with his wife Nicole, also a dedicated educator, and his two daughters Ainsley and Payton.
Mikaela Pyle- Associate Director of Bands
Mikaela Pyle is incredibly excited to be joining the staff at Memorial High School this year as the Assistant Band Director! Ms. Pyle graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Music Education. Prior to graduation, she performed as a flute and piccolo player with the Waco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Stephen Heyde. She has also been an integral member of the Baylor Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. J. Eric Wilson, the Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Isaiah Odajima, the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, and the Golden Wave Marching Band. While at Baylor, she was an avid performer of new music, premiering works by Paul Dooley, Chang-Su Koh, Adrienne Steely, Ben Hudson, and other young composers.
Ms. Pyle has worked with several Frisco ISD bands in an auxiliary capacity, including the Independence High School marching band, Wakeland High School marching band, Lone Star High School, and Stafford Middle School. She has taught flute privately in Waco ISD and has served as an elementary music teacher for Mission Waco. She is an active member of Texas Music Educator’s Association, National Association for Music Education, Texas Bandmaster’s Association, and the Texas Flute Society.
Ms. Pyle also has a successful background in colorguard. During her time performing with the Guyer Winterguard, she was active in the NTCA circuit, medaled in WGI regionals, and was selected as a semi-finalist at WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Ms. Pyle is looking forward to opening Memorial High School and creating a culture of integrity and belonging. She currently lives in Denton with her dog, Nova.
Stephen Seymour - Percussion Director
Stephen Seymour is thrilled to continue teaching in Frisco ISD as he turns the page to become the Director of Percussion for Memorial High School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Tarleton State University (2013) where he studied with Gary Westbrook and Michael Crawford, and his Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Baylor University (2015) where he studied with Todd Meehan.
Stephen has taught in the district for 2 years with the Independence High School Cluster, and is happy to help lay the foundation for yet another program centered on excellence. Before coming to Frisco, he was the Director of Percussion for Clear Creek High School in League City, TX where he ran all percussion activities and taught the AP Music Theory course.
Stephen served as a Teaching Assistant for the Baylor University Golden Wave Band, specifically instructing and arranging for the Drum Line. He now holds the position of Drum Line Coordinator for Baylor University, a position in which he has served since 2017.
Stephen believes that to be a great educator, one must not only love what they do, but continue to pursue what made them interested in teaching in the first place. He actively performs and records with his quartet, Lagan Percussion. Lagan, although a relatively young group, has already commissioned new works for percussion from Baylor alumnus Aaron Houston, and prolific percussion composer Ivan Trevino. Stephen is glad to do his part, with his quartet mates, to keep percussion music alive and continue to push the bounds of what music can be. He is also an alumnus of both the Sō Percussion Summer Institute held at Princeton University (2013) where he worked with composer Steve Reich, and the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar held in Enfield, NH (2014) where he had the amazing opportunity to work with performer and educator Michael Burritt, composer John Luther Adams, and Matthew Duvall from Eighth Blackbird, among others.
Stephen often finds himself performing with groups in his vicinity. He has played for the Lone Star Percussion Ensemble, Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra, Frame Dance Productions in Houston, Waco Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas All-State Treble Choir. He is also sought after as a clinician and adjudicator, having recently judged percussion at the Paluxy Valley Marching Contest in Glen Rose, TX.
Stephen is an active member of Texas Music Educators’ Association, the Percussive Arts Society, and is a Vic Firth Company Artist and Educator.
Stephen looks forward to this first year with Memorial High School, bringing students together for a common purpose. He knows that with the rest of the Memorial Staff, the program can push the boundary of creativity and collaboration in the name of Art and Education.
Alex Holloway - Percussion Assistant Director
Alex Holloway is extremely excited to be joining Frisco ISD for the 2018-2019 school year as Percussion Assistant Director for Vandeventer Middle School, Liberty High School and Memorial High school. He is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of North Texas with a BM in Music Education. During his time at UNT he studied music education with Dr. Donna Emmanuel, Dennis Fisher, and Dr. Darhyl Ramsey. His percussion mentors and influences include Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Ed Smith, Mike Drake, and Poovalur Sriji.
Mr. Holloway has been actively teaching in the DFW area as a percussion technician and private lesson instructor at Lone Star High School, Celina High School, Newman Smith High School, and Frisco Centennial High School, and has been involved in teaching the University of North Texas Marching Percussion Camp since 2014. He has performed with the UNT Concert Bands, UNT Steel Band, UNT Brass Band, Green Brigade Marching Band, Metropolitan Winds, and the Arlington Master Chorale.
In his free time Mr. Holloway enjoys playing drum set, cooking delicious foods, and playing with his dog Max. He is looking forward to an incredible year with all of his students and the amazing team of staff members he is fortunate enough to join!
Dain Rodrigue- Color Guard Director
Dain Rodrigue is quite eager to continue nourishing students in Frisco ISD with Memorial High School. Being from South Louisiana, Mr. Rodrigue graduated from Nicholls State University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies where through his time at university he’s worked with many successful groups across the Louisiana Mississippi Colorguard and Percussion Circuit (LMCGPC).
After moving to Dallas in 2017 in pursuit of furthering his passion for colorguard, Mr. Rodrigue found his place working on staff at Frisco Centennial High School and enjoyed providing lessons and choreography to colorguard students throughout Frisco ISD. As a performer, he has performed with Crescent City Independent, Voodoo Independent, CGT, & The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps and has competed in world-class finals in both WGI World Championships and DCI World Championships.
Mr. Rodrigue is very excited to continue the success of the Warrior Colorguard and provide quality education to nurture all the performers alongside the excellent educators here at Memorial High School!