CTJ Wind Ensemble at the 73rd Midwest Clinib

Donnel Named Assistant Director

Julia Donnel is entering her first year as an Assistant Band Director at Johnson High School. She will work with the non-varsity bands at Johnson and assist with the marching band.

Ms. Donnel, left, attended Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio and received her bachelor’s degree in music studies from Texas State University. While attending Texas State University, she studied with internationally acclaimed clarinetist Dr. Vanguel Tangarov and performed in the Texas State Wind Symphony conducted by Dr. Caroline Beatty. In addition, she also performed as the principal clarinetist of the Texas State Opera and the Texas State University Symphony Orchestra in their performance of Mozart’s Requiem. She was invited to participate in “Balabanov’s House Music Days,” an international music festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

After graduating from Texas State, Ms. Donnel was a director at Del Rio High School from 2017 to 2020. She was responsible for the sub-non varsity Concert Band, and assisted with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds and directed a non-varsity mariachi group.

Additionally, she directed the full woodwind section during marching season and assisted in supplementing the private lesson staff during concert season. Since 2017 the program has seen great success in both marching and concert band ensembles. The marching band has seen several Bands of America finals performances and the program received superior ratings in the marching band and concert band setting.

During her spare time she enjoys going to the beach, going to wildlife reserves and spending time with her friends and family.
CTJ Names a New Season of Leaders

The 2020-21 Claudia Taylor Johnson drum majors, captains, and section leadership has been announced for the school’s 13th marching season and school year.

The Head Drum Major is senior Kadence Koehl, an TMEA all-state trumpeter entering her third season as a CTJ drum major. She is joined by Associate Drum Major Joshua Kraly and Assistant Drum Major Preston Payne, both seniors.

Junior Drum Majors are third-year band members Aidan Souder, Kaitlyn Hawkins, and Matthew Blackwell.

The Woodwind Captains are Jake Glaser (clarinet), Brenna Mitchell (bass clarinet), and Hondo San Miguel (saxophone).

Percussion Captains are Dylan Castellanos and Kayla Baird.

Brass Captains are Adam Angelico (horn), Tommy Brennan (baritone/trombone), and Robert Mullen (tuba).


11 Rate TMEA All-State at Johnson

TMEA The Claudia Taylor Johnson Band had 11 members earn chairs in the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Bands for 2020 — including four who were first place in the room following Area E auditions.

It was the second year in a row for Johnson having all-state band members in double digits, and the most of any school in NEISD. CTJ had 16 make the all-state band in 2019.

The 11 making TMEA All-State Band for 2020 (an asterisk denotes first in the room):
Sarah Harvey, senior — Eb Clarinet*
Jake Glaser, sophomore — Bb Clarinet
Brenna Mitchell, junior — Contrabass Clarinet*
Emma Stoddard, senior — Bassoon
Kadence Koehl,junior — Trumpet*

Bruno Zuniga-Hernandez, senior — Trumpet
Eli Canales,senior — Jazz Tenor Trombone

Preston Payne, junior — Classical Tenor Trombone
Dylan Davidson, junior — Bass Trombone
Juan Rangel,senior — Euphonium*
Tommy Brennan, junior — Euphonium

Canales, Zuniga-Hernandez, Glaser, Payne, and Brennan have earned multiple all-state band appearances while at CTJ.

Fifty-one Johnson band members have earned 77 chairs in the TMEA All-State bands in the school’s 12-year history.
See CTJ band members and TMEA All-State bands, a history
CTJ 12 Consecutive UIL Region 12 Marching Sweepstakes Awards




CTJ at Grand Nationals
CTJ was given the BOA Albert J. Castronovo Esprit de Corps Award following Grand Nationals finals.

CTJ 6th at Grand Nats, Wins Award

Bands of America The Claudia Taylor Johnson Marching Band finished its 2019 season with its best-ever finish at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, scoring 93.25 in finals competition for sixth place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Grand Nationals trip was the band’s third. CTJ finished in eighth place in 2011 and ninth in 2016.

The band’s preliminary, semifinals and finals performances of its show “The Circle of Life,” were a huge crowd favorite and received multiple standing ovations during finals.

Additionally, CTJ was named the winner of the Bands of America Albert J. Castronovo Esprit de Corps Award, which was announced during retreat. The award recognizes the band that “most exhibits pride, spirit, enthusiasm, friendliness, camaraderie, and unity of purpose for the marching band activity.”

Johnson is the third Texas band to be named the Esprit de Corps winner, joining Marcus in 2013 and Stephen F. Austin in 2004. The award has been presented by BOA since 1978.

The 2019 Grand National champion, with a finals score of 97.125, Vandegrift, marking the first time “The Eagle” — BOA’s Grand National Championship trophy — has gone to a Texas school since The Woodlands in 2013. Avon (Ind.) was second, followed by Hebron.

All six bands in the #TeamTexas contingent, including Leander, Round Rock, and The Woodlands, made the 12-band finalist field. All six bands were also finalists at the BOA San Antonio Super Regional on November 2.

In 2019, Johnson recorded the fifth-highest score in program history (94.325 in Grand National preliminary performance), the seventh-highest score (94.100 in BOA San Antonio finals) and the eighth-highest score (94.025 in Grand Nats semifinals). The preliminary and semifinals scores in Indianapolis were good for fourth place in Class AAAA, one spot ahead of three-time defending Grand National champion Carmel (Ind.) in both sessions.

In October, CTJ was awarded its 12th consecutive UIL Marching Division I Sweepstakes Award at the Region 12 event at Heroes Stadium.

CTJ’s finals performance at BOA Austin in September was given a score of 84.150, the band’s third-highest score in five trips to the Austin event. Johnson’s third-place finish was also its 16th top-three placement in 23 BOA events since 2012.

Circle of Life
CHRISTIAN FARRIS PHOTOGRAPHY

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