Greg Hames - Head Band Director
Greg Hames is in his seventh year as the Director of Bands and Chair of the Music Department at J. J. Pearce
High School. He is also the Pearce Area Fine Arts Coordinator and the TMEA Region III Band Division Chairman. Mr. Hames
began his career in the Richardson ISD as the percussion instructor and arranger for the Lake Highlands High School Band. He
then went on to be assistant band director at Berkner High School. Prior to coming to Pearce he took a brief sojourn to
Plano as the Director of Bands at Jasper High School
Mr. Hames holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The University of Texas at Arlington. As a percussionist
Mr. Hames has performed with the Dallas Wind Symphony, the Irving and Richardson Symphonies, the Imperial Brass and
the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.
Bands under Mr. Hames’ direction have consistently earned first division ratings in UIL competition and have
been named Best-In-Class at festivals in Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, Richardson, San Antonio, and Orlando, Florida. Mr. Hames
is a student of Eddie Green, University of Houston, Tom Bennett, University of Houston, Marion West and Claire Johnson. His
professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association. He is also
a member of Phi Beta Mu, a national honorary fraternity of public school band directors, is listed in the 1978 edition of
Who’s Who Among American High School Students and is twice listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Mr. Hames was
honored to be the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year for J. J. Pearce, a finalist for the RISD STARS Teacher of the Year,
and the recipient of the 2007-2008 Bursting with Pearce Pride Award.
Joshua Blankenship - Associate Band Director
Josh Blankenship is in his sixteenth year of teaching in the RISD. For over 10 years, Mr. Blankenship
taught brass pedagogy in the Lake Highlands. In addition to teaching private lessons, sectionals, masterclasses, and
concert bands, Mr. Blankenship also founded the award-winning LH Brass Choir in 1996, the LH Woodwind Choir in 2005. All
of these groups have received continuous Honor Awards since their inception. Mr. Blankenship is now in his fifth year as the Associate Director
of Bands at J.J. Pearce High School.
A native of Richardson, Mr. Blankenship graduated from Richardson North Junior
High and in the top 5% of his class at J.J. Pearce High School. He was a trombone student of Don Stewart for
seven years before attending Indiana University and graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Music Degree
in Trombone Performance. While at IU, he studied extensively with Keith Brown and Edwin Anderson. In addition
to being Principal Trombone of the Allen Philharmonic, Mr. Blankenship has performed with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, the
symphonies of Richardson, San Angelo, and Shreveport, the Plano Chamber Orchestra, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. Mr. Blankenship’s
professional affiliations include TMEA and the American Federation of Musicians.
Kyle Johnson - Assistant Band Director
Kyle Johnson joined the staff of the J.J. Pearce Mighty Mustang Band in the
Summer of 2010 as an Assistant Band Director. Kyle Johnson is in his fifteenth year of teaching in Richardson. For the past fifteen years Kyle has taught trumpet and brass pedagogy in the Lake Highlands and Pearce clusters. He has been involved with several bands that have both won State Honor Band and have gone to the Midwest Conference in Chicago.
Kyle holds degrees from Baldwin Wallace College and Southern Methodist University. Currently principal trumpet in the Allen Symphony, he has also performed with many of the top orchestras in the metroplex, including Plano, Irving and the Wichita Falls Symphony. Kyle's professional affiliations include TMEA, the American Federation of Musicians, and the International Trumpet Guild.
Dan Suniga - Assistant Band Director / Color Guard Instructor
Dan Suniga is in his sixth year of teaching. He began his band directing career at Belton High School, a previous U.I.L. State Marching Band Champion. During his four year tenure at Belton, he was the conductor of the Symphonic Band where his bands earned superior ratings at UIL Concert and Sight-reading Contests. Additionally, he was the Jazz Band Director to a successful Jazz program which was recognized and awarded a state grant by the International Association of Jazz Educators in 2007. Mr. Suniga was also the Color Guard Director for the district. Under his direction the Color Guard program won numerous awards and was an integral part of the marching band’s success. The Belton Winter Guard Program grew exponentially during his tenure and became one of only a few High School programs in the state to have a competitive Cadet Middle School unit, JV unit, and Varsity Unit.
His winter guards at both Belton and Pearce have won many awards and promotions within the North Texas Colorguard Association circuit and have remained competitive within the Winter Guard International circuit, including competing at the 2010 WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio and most recently finishing second at the 2012 WGI Southwestern Championships.
Mr. Suniga has been a color guard clinician, visual designer, and choreographer for many of the top high schools in the state. He is currently an adjudicator for the national organization USBands and several of the most prestigious marching band contests in Texas. In 2010 he was the Guard Co-Caption Head for the Vigilantes Drum and Bugle Corps, in 2011 was a Guard Instructor for Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps a two time DCI World Championship Finalist (2010, 2011), and in 2012 was a Guard instructor for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps a world class DCI World Championship Semi-Finalist. Recently, Mr. Suniga joined the guard staff for TXi Independent Winter Guard, which will be competing at the 2013 WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH.
Mr. Suniga is a graduate of the University of Mary Hardin Baylor where he received his B.A. in Music Education. During his college career he was the principal trumpet for the UMHB Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, Brass Quintet, Jazz Ensemble, and Crusader Marching Band. Mr. Suniga was also a staff member for the UMHB Conservatory of Music where he had a successful trumpet studio. Mr. Suniga had many successes at UMHB including being one of eight trumpet players selected from across the country to perform as a member of the CBDNA Intercollegiate Honor Band at Carnegie Hall in New York City under the direction of Dr. Larry Livingston from the University of Southern California. Mr. Suniga has been very blessed to have been under the direction and guidance of many of the top music, marching, and guard educators in the country.
Eric Gibbons - Percussion Director
Eric Gibbons joined the J.J. Pearce Band Staff spring 2009 as Director of Percussion Activities. His teaching
responsibilities include rehearsing the percussion ensembles at all Pearce Area schools including J.J. Pearce High School,
North Junior High School and Parkhill Junior High School. He will also be actively involved with organizing the J.J. Pearce
High School marching percussion section for the fall 2011 UIL contest program.
Mr. Gibbons’ performance experience includes membership with the Magic of Orlando Drum & Bugle
Corps and the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps. He received two consecutive Drum Corps International Individual & Ensemble
awards for Best Bass Drum Line including two reviews in Modern Drummer Magazine during his membership with the Blue Knights.
Mr. Gibbons received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce
in May of 2009. While attending classes he studied closely with Dr. Brian Zator and Dr. Jeffery Gershman. He has received
numerous accolades including the Ferrell-Freeman Outstanding Musicianship Award, the PASIC Scholarship Award and served as
principal percussionist for the Texas A&M-Commerce Wind Ensemble. He has also been chosen to perform and represent the
University at numerous professional conferences including the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the College
Band Directors National Association Conference, and the Texas Music Educators National Convention, and the Northeast Texas
Wind Symphony Children’s Concert. His professional affiliations include the Percussive Arts Society and the Texas Music
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