Mark Poole, originally from Mesquite, Texas, is in his second year at Lone Star High School. Prior to Lone Star he was the director of bands at Forney High School for the past 12 years. Under his tenure, the Forney band had great success at the local, state, and National level. The marching band was very competitive making appearances at the Texas State Marching Contest 5 consecutive times. (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) The band was awarded “Best in Class” at the Mesquite Marching Festival 8 times and numerous Grand Championships at the Mesquite Marching Contest, DeSoto Marching Classic, Mansfield Preview of Champions, and the Frisco Centennial Marching Contest. The Wind Ensemble was awarded consistent Sweepstakes, several “Best in Class” awards, named a 4-time National Windband Honor recipient, 2-time Grand Champion of the Dallas Winds Invitational, advanced to the TMEA Honor band Area contest in 2011. 2013, 2015, and 2017 and named a TMEA State Honor band finalist in 2013 and 2017 (5th overall).
Prior to his appointment at Forney, Mr. Poole was the director of bands at Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas, director of bands for the Jasper Independent School district, and at Southwood High in school in Shreveport, Louisiana. His bands received numerous sweepstakes awards and enjoyed great success at both the region and state levels (Texas and Louisiana). In 2003, the JHS Symphonic band was awarded the OPS (Outstanding Performance Series) award from ATSSB.
Mr. Poole received a degree in music education and saxophone performance from the University of North Texas in Denton. While there, he performed with many top performing organizations in both the classical and jazz idioms, serving as a principal player and section leader in many of those groups. He was under the tutelage of fine instructors such as: Robert Winslow, Dennis Fisher, Tim Ishi, Jim Riggs, and Eric Nestler. While obtaining his undergraduate, Mr. Poole taught private saxophone and clarinet in the D/FW area. After completing his undergraduate, Mr. Poole graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern State University the following year, receiving his Master’s degree in conducting. As a graduate assistant he was director of the Symphony Band, jazz band, basketball pep-band, marching band assistant, and assisted and conducted the Wind Symphony. He also served as a private instructor and arranger for the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band.
In addition to his teaching, Mr. Poole has performed professionally with groups such as: Texas Wind Symphony, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Natchitoches Symphony Orchestra, Roy Clark, Ben Vereen, Bill Causey Big Band, Pete Peterson Big Band, Just Friends Big Band, and many other groups in the DFW area. Mr. Poole also serves as a clinician/adjudicator in both Texas and Louisiana.
Mr. Poole is a member of TMEA, TBA, and TMAA and is an active arranger for high school marching bands throughout Texas and Louisiana and conducts leadership training for bands throughout the DFW area.
Mr. Tim Hickman is entering his 14th year of Music Education in Texas as the newly appointed Assistant Band Director of Lone Star High School. Prior to Lone Star High School, Mr. Hickman was employed as the Graduate Teaching Assistant at Texas A&M University – Commerce from 2017-2019, under the privileged instruction of Mr. Phillip Clements and Mr. Alan Goodwin. During his time at TAMUC, Mr. Hickman assisted with “The Pride Marching Band”, which has been featured in exhibition for many UIL local and state events. Most recently, “The Pride” performed in exhibition at the Bands of America Regional Contest in San Antonio. Mr. Hickman also assisted with three concert ensembles, even helping to prepare the Wind Ensemble for its performance at the 2018 TMEA Clinic and Convention in San Antonio.
Prior to his appointment as Graduate Teaching Assistant at TAMUC, Mr. Hickman was the Director of Bands at Kermit High School in Kermit, Texas for seven years and, previously, the Director of Bands at Crockett Junior High in Odessa, Texas for four years. His bands received numerous sweepstakes awards and enjoyed great success at both the region and state levels.
Music has been an integral part of Mr. Hickman’s life. Originally from Mesquite, Texas, Mr. Hickman graduated from North Mesquite High School, where he was Drum Major for two years. He attended Texas A&M University – Commerce, emphasizing in saxophone and graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Music Education. As an undergraduate, he performed as the Principle Saxophonist of the Symphonic Band and Lead Alto in the Jazz Ensemble. He was under the direction of fine instructors such as Roy Allen and Todd Goranson. While obtaining his undergraduate degree, Mr. Hickman taught private saxophone lessons in the DFW area and served as Marching Technician for the Richardson High School Band. Mr. Hickman completed his master’s degree in music education this May.
In addition to his teaching, Mr. Hickman has performed professionally with groups such as The Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, Odessa/Midland Symphony Orchestra, Odessa College Concert Band, Odessa College Jazz Band and the Magic Time Machine Funk Band out of Austin. Mr. Hickman also serves as a clinician/adjudicator in Texas. Mr. Hickman is a member of Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.
Mr. Hickman is happily married with his wife, Katherine Hickman, with whom he has spent the past 18 years having her be a supportive role in his music career. She is a Police Communications Officer of 8 years. Together, they are the proud parents of their daughter, Elizabeth, and son, Jonathan.
Mrs. Mendoza was born in southern California but grew up in Garland/Mesquite, TX. She graduated from North Mesquite High School where she participated in both band (flute) and guard. Alexis attended Texas A&M University in College Station (whoop!) and University of Texas at Arlington. She graduated with bachelor’s degree in Sociology, cum laude, in May of 2007.
Guard experience includes:
- Instruction at South Garland High School (Garland ISD) 2002-2008
- Instruction at Rowlett High School (Garland ISD) 2008-2014
- Instruction at Williams High School (Plano ISD) 2009-2011
- Instruction at McMillen High School (Plano ISD) 2015-present
- Instruction at Plano East Senior High (Plano ISD) 2014-present
- Instruction at Lone Star High School (Frisco ISD) 2012-present
- Performing member of the Ars Nova Winterguard 2005-2006
Alexis is married to husband, Vincent Mendoza, and the two live in Plano with their dog, Nova. Mrs. Mendoza enjoys cooking, running local 5K’s, 10K’s & half marathons and loves spending time with family & friends!
Mr. McKelroy moved from Slidell, Louisiana in the summer of 2006 post Hurricane Katrina. From here he bounced around from multiple Frisco ISD schools. In 2010 Mr. McKelroy was a part of the inaugural Lone Star High School Band. As a high school student he participated in All State and graduated Cum Laude and with National Honor Society recognition.
Mr. McKelroy attended the University of North Texas where he earned his undergraduate degree in Music Education. While at UNT, he participated in the Green Brigade marching band and served as a trumpet section leader his junior year. In addition, Mr. McKelroy also participated in the Wind Ensemble and Brass Band. With the Brass Band he was 1st chair Solo Cornetist, Concert Mast, and got the opportunity to perform and trio alongside Phil Smith, retired principal trumpet player of the New York Philharmonic.
During his tenure at UNT, Mr. McKelroy continued to serve the Lone Star High School band as a marching band technician and trumpet private lessons teacher. This is Mr. McKelroy’s first year of teaching, and he is excited to return home to his Alma Mater and continue to serve the Lone Star High School Band.
Korry Friend is an active percussionist, educator, and composer, throughout the United States. As an advocate for new music, Mr. Friend has recently commissioned pieces from composers: Adam Hopper, Anna Meadors, Evan Chapman, Francisco Perez, Ivan Trevino, and Timothy Burgess. His percussion career began during his years in high school performing with numerous community bands and university sponsored wind ensembles in and around Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Friend’s collegiate career has afforded him multiple distinguished performing opportunities such as: PASIC 2015 Showcase Concert with The University of North Carolina–Greensboro Percussion Ensemble; UNCG Wind Ensemble Tour to Europe; The Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference with the MSU Symphony Band; MSU Percussion Ensemble Tour to Tianjin and Beijing, China; KMEA Intercollegiate Orchestra; and the Sacred Winds Ministries. Mr. Friend is also the 2014 winner of Morehead State University’s prestigious Gallaher competition. In his time as a percussion educator he has taught and adjudicated numerous high school bands/competitions in West Virginia, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Ohio.
During Mr. Friend’s time in North Carolina, he was a section percussionist of the nationally renowned North Carolina Brass Band. Mr. Friend can be heard on the Sacred Winds Ministries first ever studio album “In Christ Alone.” He has also recently performed John Luther Adam’s Inuksuit with the Nief-Norf Project and Steve Schick at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN.
Mr. Friend is currently serving as the Director of Percussion at Lone Star High School in Frisco, TX. He received his Masters of Music Performance (MM 17′) from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro under Dr. Eric Willie, and his Bachelors of Music Education (BME 15′) from Morehead State University under Dr. Brian S. Mason. Mr. Friend also attended Tianjin Normal University in Tianjin, China in 2013, where he studied Mandarin Chinese and the history/culture of China.
Mr. Josh Hirner lives in DFW and has worked for several years as a percussion educator and performer, serving as a lesson teacher, technician, and clinician. He specializes in all areas of percussion, including drum set, marching percussion, as well as classical piano. Mr. Hirner currently serves as the Assistant Percussion Director in the Lone Star High School cluster in Frisco, TX.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Percussion from the University of North Texas. While at UNT, he performed in a variety of ensembles including the Green Brigade Marching Band, the Indoor “A-line” drumline, 8 and 2 o’clock Steel Bands, and classical ensembles. In 2014, he traveled with the indoor drumline to Opole, Poland to perform in the International Drum Festival, clinics, and other performances around the area. He was a member of the 2015 and 2016 award winning PASIC UNT Quad ensembles. Leading the ensemble in 2016, the group premiered his piece, “QuadTom Physics”.
His DCI career began on the quad line with the Casper Troopers in 2014, and he spent the remainder of his eligible years on the quad line at the Santa Clara Vanguard (2015-2018). He served as section leader his last two years at the Santa Clara Vanguard (2017-2018). In 2015, during his tenure at SCV, he was invited to attend PASIC as an artist and group clinician under the direction of Paul Rennick. Josh and the SCV Percussion section earned the Fred Sanford Award for High Percussion in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In the summer of 2018, Josh performed his self-composed quad solo, “Penteract”, and earned first place at the DCI Individual and Ensemble competition. Josh is a DCI World Class Champion, earning the gold medal with the Santa Clara Vanguard in 2018.
Mr. Hirner accredits his musical passion and career to his teachers and mentors alike: Michael A. Hernandez, Kennan Wylie, Bill Bachman, Paul Rennick, Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, and Stockton Helbing.