Keith Griffis is the Director of Bands at Walter L. Sickles High School in Tampa, FL where he directs all band activities including Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and the 220+ member Marching Wall of Sound.
Bands under Mr. Griffis’ direction consistently earn superior ratings in concert, marching, and jazz assessment and have earned the Florida Bandmasters Association’s “Otto J. Kraushaar” award for straight-superior ratings at both the district and state level. Enrollment in the Sickles Band program has more than doubled during Mr. Griffis’ tenure, becoming one of the largest programs in the greater Tampa Bay area. The Sickles Band program enjoys representation in All-County, All-State, and All-National Honor Ensembles, and has a proud legacy of alumni preforming in collegiate and professional ensembles.
Mr. Griffis holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida, and is a graduate Cum Laude from 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 FSU Marching Chiefs and as the president of the FSU Horn Studio, performing in each of the university’s bands and orchestras.
Mr. Griffis frequently serves as a brass clinician and performs professionally as a horn player. Most recently Mr. Griffis served as the principal horn of the Florida Wind Band, and has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, and as a featured soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his work at Sickles High School, Mr. Griffis serves as the Florida Bandmasters Association District 7 Chair and as the coordinator of the Florida All-State Concert Band.
BRASS INSTRUCTOR - STACEY JONES
Stacey Jones is the Director of Bands at Davidsen Middle School, Center for the Arts, where she teaches the Concert and Jazz ensembles.
Ms. Jones graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from The University of South Florida. In her time at USF, Ms. Jones was a member and leader in the Herd of Thunder Marching Band, and studied conducting and music education under the baton of Dr. Matthew McCutchen, Dr. John Carmichael, and Dr. William Wiedrick. She also studied trumpet with Dr. Jay Coble, and served as a principal member and performer of the USF Symphonic and Wind Ensembles, as well as the Jazz Band and “Rumble” Pep Band.
In addition to being a band director, Ms. Jones is also a freelance trumpet player and private teacher. She has performed with the Florida Wind Band, and maintains a modest studio of private trumpet students ages middle through high school.
Prior to her appointment at Davidsen, Ms. Jones served as the Band Director at Sligh Middle Magnet, and completed her student teaching with Cynthia Starling at Smith Middle School. Ms. Jones believes that music education is essential, and is a fierce advocate for The Arts in our schools.
GUARD DIRECTOR - ASHLEY RICE
Ashley 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. While attending 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!
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