Keith Griffis - Director of Bands
Phone: 813.631.4742 ext. 282
Keith Griffis is the Director of Bands at Sickles High School in Tampa, FL where he directs the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensemble, and the Marching Wall of Sound.
Mr. Griffis graduated Cum Laude from The Florida State University with Bachelor degrees in Music Education and Music Performance. While at FSU Mr. Griffis served as the Head Drum Major of the World Renowned Florida State University Marching Chiefs and studied conducting under Dr. Patrick Dunnigan and Professor Richard Clary. He also studied horn with Professor Michele Stebleton and served as the president of the FSU Horn Studio, performing in the University Wind Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Winds, and also served as principal horn in the University Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also a member of Seminole Sound, FSU’s athletic pep band, under the direction of Dr. David Plack.
As a horn player, Mr. Griffis performs professionally and has performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a featured soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and in the summer of 2007 performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to his appointment as Director of Bands at Sickles High School, Mr. Griffis taught as an intern under the mentor-ship of Dr. Kenneth Williams at LaVilla School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL.
Paul E. Gavin - Percussion Instructor
is a drummer, music educator and composer/arranger in Tampa, FL. He’s currently a senior at the University of South Florida pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. Paul plays in jazz ensembles at USF and does musical theater work in Naples, FL as well. Paul also teaches private and group lessons and writes marching percussion arrangements.
While in High School at the Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts in Ft. Myers FL, Paul held leadership positions in the marching band and was principal percussionist in the wind ensemble. He also was principal percussionist of the Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and winner of the concerto competition. Paul played the drums for the school’s Jazz program as well as two of the musical theater productions, “Sweet Charity” and “The Producers,” both of which winning county and state honors.
Paul is now a senior at the University of South Florida. He has narrowed his interested to drum performance and education pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. Paul plays drums for musical theater groups in Naples, FL, in a brass group that plays at Adventure Islands in Tampa, FL, and in his own brass band Drum’N'Brass.
Paul’s most recent accomplishment is winning the VSA International Young Soloist Competition. On June 14 – 16th he and 3 other winners will be flown to Washington DC for a weekend of workshops culminating at a performance on June 16th at the Kennedy Center.
Paul is not only a player but a music educator. He takes the process and study of passing on the knowledge of music as an honor, privilege and a duty. Paul enters his 3rd year as the Percussion Instructor and Arranger for the Sickles High School Wall of Sound, his 4th working with the group. Under his direction the group has received only Superior ratings at MPA’s.
Ashley Rice - Guard Director (middle)
is the Color Guard Director at Sickles High School. She was a part of the Sickles High School Sensations (2011-2015) for four marching seasons and four winter guard seasons. At Sickles she received multiple awards and was captain for two years. Ashley was a member of Tampa Independent Winter Guard in 2016. In the independent A class level, her team received 3rd in the state and 26th nationally. This semester she will be receiving her AA in business at Hillsborough Community College and will be attending USF in the Spring. She is also the Physical Education teacher at the Paideia School of Tampa Bay for her second year. She is looking forward to another great year with the Sensations!
Taylor Beacham - Assistant Guard Director (left)
is an Assistant Coach of the Sickles Sensations. Her previous guard experience includes 6 active seasons, 2 of which she was captain. Her last season, she was awarded "Sensation of the Year" as well as "Best Weapon". Taylor is also trained in various dance styles including hip hop, jazz, contemporary, and modern. Her guard specialty is weapon training and she believes in the power of performing arts. Taylor is excited to be a part of the Wall of Sound as a staff member, giving back to her alma mater. Go Gryphons!
Paige Millirons – Assistant Guard Director (right)
attends USF and is majoring in Secondary English Education. She graduated from Mosley High School in Panama City, Florida where she spun for four years and participated in leadership with the Sound of the Southland Band. Since graduating, she has spun with the USF Herd of Thunder Colorguard for two seasons, and Tampa Independent Winterguard for two seasons, as well. This past spring, Tampa Independent was an Independent A Class finalist at the WGI World Championships. She is both thrilled and honored to be the assistant director for the Sickles Sensations and is looking forward to a stellar marching and winterguard show this year!