John Parris - Classical Guitar
John Michael Parris, director of Blake Guitar Studies, is a major prizewinner in four international guitar competitions and a former Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. Hailed as “a player of great sensitivity and refinement” (Soundboard magazine), he has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Parris has received national teaching awards from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and was voted Florida Studio Teacher of the Year 2004 by the American String Teachers Association. His Blake students have won seven national awards in the past seven years. They have performed at Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on The Today Show on NBC, and on NPR’s nationally syndicated From The Top. John Michael Parris currently serves as Fine Arts Department Chair at Blake. Mr. Parris joined the artist-faculty of Blake in 1998; previous teaching positions include North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of South Florida, St. Leo University, and Florida State University.
John Dupuis - Concert Band, Music Theory
John Dupuis is director of Blake School for the Arts Magnet Concert Bands. He also serves as conductor of the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra Philharmonia in Orlando. Mr. Dupuis holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Conducting, Music Composition, and Music Education from the University of South Florida. His teachers included Dr. William Wiedrich, Dr. Robert Summer, Dr. Kim McCormick, Dr. Michael Robinson, Dr. Michael Sidney Timpson, and Prof. James Lewis.
Mr. Dupuis has written in many genres including Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Marching Band, stage plays, and chamber ensembles. His orchestra compositions have been commissioned and performed by various ensembles throughout the United States, including The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, The Florida West Coast Symphony Youth Symphony, The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, The Tampa Bay Youth Symphony, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony, and many others. His band compositions/arrangements have been performed by the University of South Florida Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and 'Herd of Thunder' Marching Band, where he was the staff arranger from 1999-2006. He has also composed/arranged for various high school bands and orchestra throughout the southeast. His music has also been featured at Universal Studios 'Islands of Adventure'.
Mr. Dupuis works are published through Daehn Music Publications and Wehr's Music House Publishers. Mr. Dupuis is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League, the American Composers Forum, the Florida Bandmasters Association, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference and the Florida Education Association.
Alan Blake Conley - Chorus, Piano
Alan Blake Conley, a native of Tampa, FL, is in his second year as Director of Choral Activities and Director of Piano Studies at Howard W. Blake High School for the Performing Arts. Mr. Conley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music education from Concordia College, Moorhead where he studied with René Clausen and was the recipient of the Paul J. Christiansen Choral Award. He was awarded a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of South Florida where he studied under Robert Summer and Richard Zielinski and served as the assistant conductor the USF Chamber Singers. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Florida Music Educators Association and the Florida Vocal Association, he is heavily involved with choirs as both vocalist and conductor.
Jason Jerald - Orchestra, Music Theory
Jason Jerald, is Director of Orchestral Studies at Blake School of the Arts. Mr. Jerald is a graduate of Florida State University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, Cum Laude. He also holds a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of South Florida. He has served as a chairperson and guest clinician for several All-County events and currently serves on the Florida Orchestra Association Board as the 11th/12th grade chairperson. Mr. Jerald also maintains an active and diverse performing career as both violinist and violist. He has performed with The Manhattan Transfer, Three Mo’ Tenors, Canadian Brass, Joshua Bell, Denise Graves, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and the Tampa Opera Orchestra. Mr. Jerald conducted the Concert Strings of the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestras for two years and currently directs the Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Jerald joined the artist-faculty at Blake in 2005. Under his direction, Blake’s Orchestras have consistently earned superior ratings for their outstanding performances in local, state and national assessments. In 2009, Blake was the only high school in Florida to have two orchestras receive straight superior ratings at State Music Performance Assessment.
Pam Irwin - Harp
Pam Irwin, the director of Harp Studies in the Hillsborough County School District, is a veteran performer and teacher. Ms. Irwin received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Florida and her Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University. Ms. Irwin has held teaching positions at several schools throughout the Tampa Bay area. She has served on the faculty of the USF Community Music Division, as well as private academies such as Tampa Music Academy and Music Showcase, among others. Ms. Irwin maintains an active performance calendar as a freelance musician in the Tampa Bay area and serves as an instrumentalist for Seminole Presbyterian Church. She joined the artist-faculty at Blake School of the Arts in 2008.
Keith Sanz - Marching and Jazz Band
Charles Keith Sanz, Jr. is the Director of Jazz Studies at Blake School of the Arts. He also teaches Music Theory, Piano, Concert Band, and directs the Marching Yellow Jackets band. Mr. Sanz is a highly experienced jazz lead trumpet player. He has performed with numerous jazz ensembles, including Salsa Florida, the Double Decker R&B Band, and toured Europe playing lead trumpet in an American Pops Orchestra which performed in France, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. Mr. Sanz has worked throughout Florida as an educator, arranger, and clinician. He was Director of Bands at Jupiter High School for five years; during his tenure, Jupiter Bands traveled to Chicago, Orlando, New York, and Breckenridge, Colorado for music performance festivals. He was President of the Palm Beach Music Educators Association and also served on the board for four years as the Palm Beach County representative for the South Florida Winter Guard Association.
Mr. Sanz recently holds bachelor and masters degrees in conducting from the University of South Florida, with a concentration in trumpet and Jazz studies. Mr. Sanz was a founding member and staff music arranger for the U.S.F. Herd of Thunder Marching Band and first President of the Kappa Tau chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity. He is credited with creating many of the U.S.F. school spirit songs, including 'the Bull'. Keith Sanz is also a founder and current Treasurer of the Herd of Thunder Alumni Association.
Mr. Sanz is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Florida Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, and the College Music Society. Mr. Sanz has been an arranger and clinician for the University of South Florida, the University of Georgia, and many high school band programs throughout Florida.
Dan DuBay, Director of Magnet Concert Bands and AP Music Theory, is currently the conductor of the Howard W Blake School for the Arts Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert Winds. Mr. DuBay received his bachelors degrees in Music Education from the University of South Florida. His teachers included Dr. William Wiedrich, Dr. Mallory Thompson, Dr. Art Woodbury, Dr. Chuck Owen, and Prof. Jack Wilkins.
Mr. DuBay is a graduate of Cooper City HS in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He became the Director of Bands at Durant HS in 1996-2010. During his tenure at Durant HS, the band was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, the BOA National Concert Band Festival, Gatlinburg, Tennessee and represented Florida in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona three times. The marching band at Durant HS was a State FMBC Finalist for 10 out of the 11 years the band entered. The Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Concert Bands consistently received Supeior ratings at all FBA/FOA functions attended. The band was awarded the Otto Kraushaar award many times for receiving straight superiors at all District and State FBA events entered in a calendar year.
Mr. DuBay was awarded the Teacher Of The Year honors twice by his peers. He is a member of FBA, FOA, FMEA, and FMBC. Mr. DuBay is a certified FBA adjudicator in the areas of marching, concert, jazz, and solo/ensemble. He has conducted clinics for many bands all over the State of Florida. He has a daughter named Brooke, who is 8 years old, and is his pride and joy.