MEET THE DIRECTORS
Director of Bands / FINE ARTS COORDINATOR
Dimitrios Icossipentarhos is the Director of Bands/Fine Arts Coordinator for J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas. His responsibilities include conducting the Wind Ensemble and the Mighty Mustang Band, as well as overseeing all aspects of the Pearce Area Cluster Fine Arts Team.
Originally from Austin, Mr. Icossipentarhos holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education degrees from Texas Tech University. During his time at Texas Tech, he performed with numerous ensembles, studied saxophone with David Dees, conducting with Dr. Sarah McKoin, and had his educational philosophy shaped through continuing interactions and coursework with Dr. Keith Dye.
Prior to his appointment at J.J. Pearce, Mr. Icossipentarhos served as Associate Director of Bands at Hebron High School in Lewisville ISD, Liberty High School in Frisco ISD, and Curtistene S. McCowan Middle School in DeSoto ISD. Bands under his direction have consistently received Sweepstakes Awards in University Interscholastic League competition for Concert and Sight-Reading performances. Mr. Icossipentarhos’ professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Kappa Lambda, and Kappa Kappa Psi. Dimitrios resides in Frisco with his wife, Amy, who is also extensively involved in music education serving as the Director of Bands at Westwood Junior High in Richardson ISD.
Associate Director of Bands
LeAndre Benton is joining us as the Associate Director of Bands at J.J. Pearce High School, where he serves as an instructor of the marching band, conducts the Wind Symphony, assists with other concert ensembles, and teaches beginner classes within the Pearce cluster. Mr. Benton is a native of Longview, Texas, and graduate of Longview High School. Mr. Benton was the Associate Director of Bands at Little Elm High School, in Little Elm, Texas.
Mr. Benton earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree with certifications in both vocal and instrumental music (K-12) from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he studied trombone under Dr. J. Mark Thompson and Andrew Eden, and conducting under Dr. Jeffrey C. Mathews. Mr. Benton, a trombonist and past member of the “Spirit of Northwestern” Marching Band, served as a trombone section leader, piccolo section leader, and drum major. Mr. Benton was also a member of the Northwestern State University’s Wind Ensemble, University Jazz Orchestra, University Men’s Chorus, Trombone Choir, and Tuba & Euphonium Ensemble.
Mr. Benton is an active trombonist in the DFW area, preforming recently in the Metropolitan Winds of Little Elm. He has also served as an adjudicator, band clinician, a summer camp conductor, and drum major instructor. In addition to music, he is also an NCAA Women’s Basketball Official, a former Texas High School Basketball Official, a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, International Trombone Association, and a Gamma Rho alumnus of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity. Mr. Benton was selected twice by the UIL to officiate in the 2015 and 2016 Girls State Basketball Tournament, and the AAU Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has completed the 2nd edition of his fundamental studies book for band entitled “The Daily Regimen”. Mr. Benton enjoys officiating, traveling, arranging music, and spending time with family.
Assistant Band Director
Molly Neal is a recent graduate from Texas Christian University where she received her Bachelor of Music Education and studied horn with Heather Test. At Texas Christian University, Ms. Neal was a member of the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and the TCU Horn Ensemble, performing at venues such as TMEA and ABA. During her last two years, Ms. Neal served as the Drum Major for the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band.
Outside of TCU, Ms. Neal spent three summers performing in Drum Corps International. In 2016 she marched with Carolina Crown, winning both the Jim Ott Best Brass Performance and John Brazale Best Visual Performance awards. In both 2017 and 2018, Ms. Neal was a featured soloist for The Blue Devils and won the DCI World Championships in 2017. Ms. Neal’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Kappa Kappa Psi.
Assistant Band Director
Kaitlin Harrison is a recent graduate from Sam Houston State University where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree with certification in EC-12 instrumental music. She studied under Dr. Henry Howey on euphonium. At Sam Houston State University, Mrs. Harrison was a member of the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Matthew McInturf, Bearkat Marching Band, SHSU Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, and the SHSU Tuba Quartet. She has performed at the American Bandmasters Association Convention and has participated in intercollegiate bands such as the College Band Directors National Association band and the Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma National Intercollegiate band.
Mrs. Harrison has served in numerous leadership positions while at Sam Houston State University. These include the Wind Ensemble Librarian, Bearkat Marching Band Student Assistant of two years, and as the Tau Beta Sigma Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Service Coordinator. Mrs. Harrison’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. Katie is originally from McKinney, Texas and now lives in Garland, Texas with her husband, Alex. He is a middle school band director in Garland ISD.
Director of Percussion studies
Eric Gibbons joined the J. J. Pearce Band Staff in 2009 as Director of Percussion Studies. He brings a wide range of percussion expertise to the MMB, having worked with the McKinney, Sherman, Plano, and Greenville band programs.
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 DCI Individual & Ensemble awards in 2000 and 2001, including two reviews in Modern Drummer Magazine during his membership with the Blue Knights.
Mr. Gibbons received his B.S. degree with an emphasis in Psychology & Music Education from Texas A&M University – Commerce. While attending classes, he received various accolades such as the Ferrell-Freeman Outstanding Musicianship Award and the PASIC Scholarship Award, and he served as the principal percussionist for the Texas A&M – Commerce Wind Ensemble. Mr. Gibbons’ professional affiliations include TMEA and the Percussive Arts Society.
David Arvin, a native of Moore, Oklahoma, began his career in the marching arts as a percussionist before venturing into the color guard activity. As a performer, he spent his summers with The Troopers and The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps and his winter seasons with Eclectix Independent, Central Independent, and CGT Dallas.
His teaching career began by helping open Southmoore High School’s program its inaugural year before moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma to become the director of Union High School Colorguards. In his time at Union, he helped the program become a Grand Nationals Finalist, WGI Open Class Finalist, and a State Champion many times over. David also served as a choreographer and technician for The Blue Knights (2012-2017), Eclectix Independent (2012-2014,2016), and Kickapoo High School (2016-2019).
During his time in Oklahoma, David served a two-year term as the Circuit President of WGPO (Winter Guard and Percussion of Oklahoma) in addition to serving on numerous councils and committees. David currently holds the Secretary position for NTCA, (North Texas Colorguard Association).
After performing with CGT Dallas, David decided to relocate to Texas to further his teaching career. He is excited for his first year as the Guard Director here at JJ Pearce High School. Alongside Pearce, he also assists at Coppell High School and Prosper High School. Additionally, he served as the co-director of CGT Denton for their 2019 debut in World Class.