Mr. Tanner Smith, Director of Bands
Mr. Smith joined the staff in 2016 as Director of Bands at Wakeland HS. He came to Wakeland HS from Independence HS in Frisco. His responsibilities at IHS included the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, along with assisting the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band.
Mr. Smith grew up in Austin and Sugar Land, Texas where he studied with the late Ms. Diane Gorzycki and Mr. Dean Westman, both of whom inspired him to become an educator. Mr. Smith attended the University of Oklahoma where he studied conducting with Dr. William Wakefield, Mr. Brian Britt, Dr. Debra Traficante, and Dr. Brian Wolfe; he also studied trumpet with Dr. Karl Sievers. Prior to coming to Wakeland, Mr. Smith had previously taught at Independence (Frisco), Allen High School (Allen, TX) and Garner Middle School (San Antonio, Texas).
Mr. Smith completed 5 years of Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. Before marching with the Cavaliers he had marched with Capital Regiment (2006) and Carolina Crown (2007-2009). For the 2013 season, Mr. Smith was on the brass staff for The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. He has previously been on the Educational Team for the Music for All: Drum Major Institute and assisted with 2013 Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the National Bandmasters Association. He currently lives in Frisco with his wife Corey and their dogs Rex and Chester.
Mrs. Ashton Seneca, Associate Director of Bands
Mrs. Seneca joins the Wakeland HS Staff in 2015 as the Associate Director of Bands teaching Symphonic Band, Concert Band II, and assisting with the marching band. She also assists with Concert Band I and Wind Symphony. Previously, she served as the Assistant Band Director at Griffin Middle School.
She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. While at USM, she performed with the Symphonic Band under the direction of James Standland and with the USM Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Thomas Fraschillo.
Mrs. Seneca marched mellophone with The Cadets, DCI’s 10-time World Champions. She began marching in 2006 with the show entitled “Part 2: Through the Looking Glass” and finished in 2009 with the corps 75th Anniversary production entitled “West Side Story.” She spent four summers under the instruction of esteemed brass caption head, Gino Cipriani. During her time with The Cadets, she earned a Silver Medal for the 2007 show entitled “This I Believe” (in which she served as one of the narrators) and a Bronze Medal for the 2009 show entitled “West Side Story: Celebration and Conflict”.
Mrs. Seneca lives in The Colony, TX with her husband Jeremy who is a member of the staff of The Cavaliers, DCI’s 7-time World Champions. He is an avid trumpet player and a talented drill writer for many ensembles in Texas and several other states.
Mr. Kevin Jones, Associate Director of Bands
Mr. Jones joined the Wakeland HS Staff in 2016 as the Associate Director of Bands teaching Concert Band I and assisting with the marching band. He also assists with Symphonic Band, and Wind Symphony.
Mr. Jones grew up in Highland Village, Texas where he attended Marcus High School under the direction of Ms. Amanda Drinkwater, graduating in 2011. After high school, Mr. Jones pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma. At OU he studied bassoon with Mr. Rodney Ackmann and Mr. Carl Rath, and studied music education with Dr. Christopher Baumgartner, Dr. Michael Hancock, Dr. Brian Wolfe, and Dr. Michael Raiber. During his time at OU, he performed with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, Sooner Showmen, Steel Band, and Sooner Bassooners.
Prior to coming to Wakeland, Mr. Jones taught at El Sistema Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, OK) and continues to be heavily involved with Bocal Majority and Operation O.B.O.E. Double Reed Camps. He has spent time working with many premier bands in the DFW metroplex including the Marcus Band (Flower Mound, TX), the Hebron Band (Carrollton, TX) and the Coppell Band (Coppell, TX).
Mr. Jones is a member of several musical organizations including the Texas Music Educators Association, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the International Double Reed Society, the Midwest Double Reed Society, and is a founding member of the Texas Double Reed Society.
Mr. Jones lives in Frisco with his cats Olimar and Louie.
Mr. Jacob Gall, Percussion Director
Mr. Gall is joining the Wakeland HS Band staff in 2015. He is originally from Richmond, Virginia where he was raised in a musical family of six. Growing up, he had the privilege of learning from his father, a band director of thirty-one years, and his mother, an active singer and guitarist. From an early age, his passion was inherently centered around playing, teaching, writing, and performing music. With the experience he gained as a musician under the tutelage of his father, his passion led him to choose a life of music.
After high school, setting his sights on becoming a band director, Mr. Gall attended Pennsylvania State University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with an instrumental emphasis in Percussion. During his studies at PSU, he was an active performer both on and off campus. Notable classical performance venues include Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA), Heinz Hall (Pittsburgh, PA), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia, PA), and the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.). In addition to his classical studies at Penn State, he also marched ﬁve consecutive seasons in the Penn State Blue Band, where he served as drum captain his ﬁnal three years. Also while studying at Penn State, Mr. Gall was awarded the Eleanor Beane Scholarship for outstanding performance on marimba and multiple-percussion, the Brewster Scholarship for outstanding performance on marimba, and the Performer’s Recognition Certiﬁcate.
Following his undergraduate studies, Mr. Gall continued his education at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst and graduated with a Master’s degree in Percussion Performance. During his two years at UMASS, he served as graduate teaching assistant to legendary percussion professor Thom Hannum. In addition to teaching marching percussion techniques, he performed regularly in the top UMASS Marimba Band.
It was during Mr. Gall’s ﬁrst year performing in the Marimba Band that the ensemble received the prestigiousDownbeat Magazine Jazz Showcase Award. While his teaching assistant position was in the area of marching percussion, and his degree emphasis was in classical percussion, his performance and teaching schedule was highly diverse on a day-to-day basis. As an extension of his classical performance experience, he was selected by his studio professor, Ayano Kataoka, to perform chamber music in the McCormick Marimba Festival at the University of South Florida and the Bard College Chamber Music Performance in Annadale-on-Hudson, New York.
Prior to joining the Wakeland HS staff, Mr. Gall taught in Stafford County, Virginia where he served as the Band Director at Rodney Thompson MS. In addition, Mr. Gall writes and designs the percussion work for marching music ensembles. As an active writer, teacher, and performer, he shares his knowledge as a clinician throughout the country on a regular basis.
Mr. Gall has served on the staff of DCI’s 10-time World Champions - The Cadets for 7 years. He was an integral part of the percussion staff that shaped and reﬁned the performance of The Cadets percussion section in the summer of 2013. In the summer of 2012, Mr. Gall was selected as Staff Member of the Year.
Prior to teaching The Cadets, he was a member of the snare line for three years under the direction of Tom Aungst and Colin McNutt. In 2007, Mr. Gall earned the Distinguished Service Award from The Cadets, and in 2008 as the Battery Section Leader, he was named Cadet of the Year. Before marching with The Cadets, he marched snare for the Crossmen in the summer of 2005 and marched tenors for the Jersey Surf.
Mr. Michael Alonzo, Color Guard Director
Michael Alonzo began his marching arts career at Little Elm High School and was a part of their winterguard production Somewhere in Time (-2010 WGI Scholastic A Gold Medalists). He continued performing in the colorguard with Drum Corp International’s The Crossmen (2010), The Cavaliers (2011 - Bronze Medalist), and The Blue Devils (2012 - Gold Medalist; 2013 - Silver Medalist).
Mr. Alonzo has been an instructor, technician, and choreographer to the colorguard programs at Alvord High School, Fossil Ridge High School, L.D. Bell High School, and Wakeland High School.
Mr. Alonzo received his Bachelor of Arts in Music (Cum Laude) from the University of North Texas, studying voice with Inci Bashar, Richard Croft, and William Joyner. He is currently an in-demand vocalist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, regularly performing with The Orchestra of New Spain, Fort Worth Opera, and Trinity Presbyterian Church.