MEET THE DIRECTORS
Director of Bands / FINE ARTS COORDINATOR
Dimitrios Icossipentarhos is in his sixteenth year of teaching and eighth year as the Fine Arts Coordinator/Director of Bands at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, TX. 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. Prior to his appointment at J.J. Pearce High School, Mr. Icossipentarhos served as the 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.
Concert ensembles under his direction have consistently received Sweepstakes Awards at University Interscholastic League Concert and Sight-Reading performances, advanced multiple times to the Area level of the Texas Music Educators Association State Honor Band competition, and in 2022 were named a 6A TMEA State Honor Band Finalist. The J.J. Pearce High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Icossipentarhos has performed annual concerts at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX, and has been invited to perform as a featured ensemble at the 2023 Music for All National Festival for the first time in the program’s storied history. Marching bands under his direction have earned consistent first division ratings at the Texas UIL Marching Contest throughout his tenure, been a finalist and grand champion at numerous marching invitationals, and in 2019 were named a Bands of America Regional Finalist for the first time in the school’s history.
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. Mr. Icossipentarhos’ professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association. He resides in The Colony 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
Ellen Chmura is in her first year serving as the Associate Director of Bands at J.J. Pearce High School. Previously Ms. Chmura was the Assistant Band Director at her alma mater, Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Before that, she was the Assistant Band Director at Cain Middle School in Rockwall, Texas. Ms. Chmura graduated from the University of North Texas in 2018 with a degree in Music Education. During her time at UNT, she studied horn with Bill Scharnberg and was a member of the Wind Symphony under Eugene Corporon and the Symphonic Band under Dennis Fisher. She was also a drum major of the UNT Green Brigade Marching Band, and conducted the halftime show at the 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl.
Ms. Chmura spent four summers as a performer with Drum Corps International—three with the Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois—and aged out with the 19-time World Champion Concord Blue Devils in 2017. Ms. Chmura is a faculty member of Music for All’s Drum Major Institute at the Summer Symposium, where she works with over 600 students and presents leadership and conducting seminars. Her professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. In her free time, Ms. Chmura loves to go on long walks with her dog Rocket!
Assistant Band Director
Katie 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.
Assistant Band Director
Tyler Harris is a recent graduate from Texas Tech University where he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree and studied Euphonium with Dr. Kevin Wass. At Texas Tech, Mr. Harris was a member of the Symphonic Band, Goin’ Band, and TTU Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, performing at venues such as TMEA, CBDNA, and ITEC. Mr. Harris was also a guest performer, bass trumpeter, for a TTU National Trumpet Competition ensemble. During his last two years, Mr. Harris served as the Euphonium section leader for the Goin’ Band from Raiderland.
Outside of Texas Tech, Mr. Harris spent three summers performing in Drum Corps International. In 2016 he marched with the Troopers and in 2018 and 2019 he was a member with the Crossmen. Mr. Harris’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and the International Tuba Euphonium Association
Director of Percussion studies
Cameron Zawadzki is a recent graduate from Texas A&M in Commerce where he earned his Bachelor of Music Performance. At TAMUC he studied under Dr. Brian Zator, Sandi Rennick, Kent Hillman, and Cory Doran. During his time at the university he was able to perform with the Pride Marching Band, Percussion Ensembles, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Panamation Steel Drum Ensemble.
Mr. Zawadzki participated in numerous extra curriculars and competitions throughout his time at Texas A&M in Commerce. In 2017, he placed first in the P.A.S.I.C. Collegiate marimba competition. In 2018, he marched with the Santa Clara Vanguard and won the DCI World Championship as well as the Fred Sanford high percussion award. In 2019, he won the TAMUC Concerto Competition and got to play Gillingham’s Concerto No.2 for Marimba and Wind Ensemble with the TAMUC Wind Ensemble.
Amanda Harrison is currently twenty-nine years old and resides with her husband in Oak Cliff, Texas. Her colorguard journey started at Flower Mound High School. During her junior year of high school in 2008, she marched with The Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corp, and was the youngest member of the corp. Regiment went on to win the DCI World Class Championships that year. The following year she went on to march with Crossmen in and then ending her DCI career with The Santa Clara Vanguard from 2010-2012. After High School and finishing her DCI career she began teaching colorguard around the DFW area. She was the Assistant Director at Highland Park High School and helped lead them to placing second place in 5A UIL Final State Competition and NTCA grand champions.
This is her first year with Pearce and is looking forward to the future with this amazing program!