David DeVoto is a director of orchestras at Allen High School. Mr. DeVoto earned a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Texas in 1994. While at UNT, he was a member of the Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, and String Orchestra and was a student of Anshel Brusilow, James Kjelland, and Jeff Bradetich. Starting in 1997, he served as director of the Lake Highlands Junior High Orchestras in Richardson ISD. In 2002, Mr. DeVoto became the director of the Allen High School Orchestra. The AHS Orchestra placed in the final round of the TMEA Honor Full Orchestra competition the following school year. In 2006, the Allen High School Orchestra was invited to perform at the 60th annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois and again, placed in the final round of the TMEA Honor Full Orchestra competition. In 2014, the Allen HS Orchestra received the American Prize in Orchestral Performance (High School). During Mr. DeVoto’s tenure, the AHS program has grown from 2 Student Orchestras to 10 Student Orchestras. In addition to orchestra, Mr. DeVoto helped to create music theory, music history, and composition for the International Baccalaureate program at Allen HS in 2006. He has served as Orchestra Division Chair for UIL Region III and Region Vice-President and Orchestra Division Chair for UIL Region XXV. Mr. DeVoto currently is a UIL Orchestra PML Committee Chair and a TMAA Committee Member on Standards of Adjudication and Performance Practices. Mr. DeVoto holds memberships in Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Mu Omicron, and has served as a board member of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, distinguished as Past President. In September 2000, he was a recipient of the Minyard’s “First Class Teacher” award. Mr. DeVoto was the recipient of the 2003-2004 Standing Ovation Award given each year by the Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra to the person who has made a significant contribution to the Arts in Allen. In 2016, Mr. DeVoto was named a UIL Sponsor Excellence Award winner.
Matt Cross is a director of orchestras at Allen High School. Mr. Cross received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University, and his Master of Music Education from Texas Tech University. He previously taught in the districts of Midway ISD and Richardson ISD. His ensembles have consistently receive sweepstakes ratings at UIL and Best in Class awards at festivals. Before he started teaching, Mr. Cross served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the intelligence cell of his infantry unit. He is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mr. Cross is also a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, National Association of Music Educators, and American String Teachers Association. He is currently serving as TMEA Orchestra Division Chair for Region XXV. He frequently serves as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator across the state. Mr. Cross is actively involved in music education research, and has recently presented his studies at both the TMEA and NAfME Biennial Music Educators National Conference. In addition to teaching, Mr. Cross currently performs with both the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, and the Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.
Ellen Townley is a director of orchestras at the Allen Lowery Freshman Center. Ms. Townley comes to Allen ISD from Sugar Land, Texas where she served as the Head Orchestra Director at Dulles Middle School in Fort Bend ISD, a position she held for eleven years. Miss Townley, a native of Norman, Oklahoma, received her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of North Texas in Denton, and a Master of Music in viola performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. While attending Northwestern University, Miss Townley was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago viola section. She has been Orchestra Director at Clute Intermediate, Brazosport ISD; Sugar Land Middle School and Hodges Bend Middle School; Fort Bend ISD. Her groups have continually received the UIL “Sweepstakes” award. Under her direction, the Dulles Middle School Orchestra was awarded first place at the Bluebonnet Classic (1998) and the Buckaroo Showcase of Music (1999, 2000, 2001, & 2002). In addition to the first place awards at the Buckaroo Showcase, the orchestra was selected as the Overall Outstanding Orchestra in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005. Under her direction, the Dulles MS Orchestra was invited to perform at the 54th annualMidwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. In 1997 she was named Dulles MS Teacher of the Year. In addition to her teaching, Miss Townley is active as a clinician and judge throughout the state of Texas and was an active freelance violist in the Houston area. She is a member of the American Federation of Musicians Union, American String Teachers Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and is listed twice in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. She has served on the board of directors for the Texas Orchestra Directors Association and is distinguished as Past-President. Currently, she is Secretary/Treasurer of Mu Omicron.
Charles Robinson is a director of orchestras at the Allen Lowery Freshman Center. Mr. Robinson comes to Allen ISD from Abilene, Texas where he was the Orchestra Director at Clack Middle School for four years. During his time at Clack the program grew from 60 students and three classes to 140 students and seven classes. Mr. Robinson’s orchestras won Sweepstakes and Superior ratings at UIL Concert and Sightreading Competitions in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as Superior and Outstanding Performance ratings at Spring in the Park, Bluebonnet, and Big “D” Festivals. During the summers of 2009 through 2013, Mr. Robinson served as a counselor, and later as a faculty member at Camp Encore-Coda in the state of Maine. While serving as a faculty member, he conducted the string orchestra, taught violin lessons, and coached chamber music. Prior to teaching at Clack Middle School, Mr. Robinson attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he graduated Cum Laude in 2011. While at Hardin-Simmons, he principled in both voice and violin, performing recitals in both areas, as well as being selected the 2009 Honors Performer in voice and violin. Mr. Robinson studied violin with Peter Isaacson, voice with Jaynne Middleton, viola with Peter Neubert, cello with Kristin Isaacson, and conducting with Loyd Hawthorne. Mr. Robinson is a member of Texas Music Educators Association. In his off-time, he enjoys travelling to national parks to camp, hike, and take pictures.
Valerie Curry is a director of orchestras at Ford Middle School. Valerie Curry, Ford MS Orchestra Director, is in her 20th year of public school teaching. She previously taught in the districts of Austin, Mesquite and Garland. Throughout her career, Mrs. Curry’s orchestras have received several first division ratings at UIL and other competitions. Her groups have also received several “Best in Class” awards at various festival competitions. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. While at the university, she studied violin with Vincent Frittelli and taught in the String Project under Phyllis Young. Mrs. Curry served as conductor of the Young Performers Orchestra, one of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestras until 2005. Her husband is a Principal in McKinney and they have 2 boys, Cole and Cooper.
Laura Gilbert is a director of orchestras at Ford Middle School. Ms. Gilbert received her Bachelor of Music in Education, summa cum laude, from The University of Texas at Arlington where she was a member of the UT Arlington Symphony Orchestra and The Clover String Quartet. She has previously taught strings at Arlington Classics Academy and teaches private lessons on violin and viola. Ms. Gilbert grew up in Allen where she went through the orchestra programs at Ereckson Middle School and Allen High School. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators’ Association and the Texas Orchestra Directors Association.
Amanda Su is a director of orchestras at Curtis Middle School. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University and her Master of Education Administration degree from Lamar University. Mrs. Su started on the violin at the young age of five under the direction of her father. She graduated from Berkner High School in Richardson and was a two-time Texas All-State Orchestra Member. While at Baylor University, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Alexander, Mrs. Su served as one of the original teachers of the Baylor String Project, which is a supplemental orchestra program for Waco and Midway ISD students. After student teaching in Allen ISD, Mrs. Su began her teaching career at Liberty Junior High School in Richardson, where she taught for three years. Her groups have received consistent UIL Sweepstakes awards and Best in Class Awards. In 2015, 2017 and 2018, the Curtis MS Orchestra placed in the final round of the TMEA MS Honor Full Orchestra competition. Ms. Su is currently the Junior Strings Conductor for the Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra (DAAYO). In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Su is an active clinician and judge in the Dallas area and around the state. She is currently serving as Orchestra Middle School Division Chair for UIL Region XXV. An avid performer, Mrs. Su has performed with Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Waco Symphony, Temple Symphony, and currently performs with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and the Texas Orchestra Directors Association. In 2017, Mrs. Su received the 2017 “Marjorie Keller” Outstanding Young Teacher of the Year Award.
Monika Bartley is a director of orchestras at Curtis Middle School. Mrs. Bartley comes to the Allen ISD after eleven years with the Plano ISD, eight of which was director at Renner Middle School where she expanded the orchestra program from 140 students to 290 students. Mrs. Bartley is a graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with her BME in 2002. She was born and raised in the Dayton, Ohio area being active in orchestra, band, 4-H and church. She currently performs with the Allen Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the New Life Symphony Orchestra and is a past member of the Middletown Symphony and Lima Symphony Orchestras in Ohio. While in the Plano area, Mrs. Bartley taught violin and cello classes at the New Conservatory of Dallas, conducted for the Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra and still performs on cello with the Stylistic Strings Quartet. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association. Mrs. Bartley and her husband, Scott, currently live in McKinney. They have a daughter, Joannah, and a son, Noah. She enjoys fishing, equestrian sports, church activities and playing with her children.
Joanna DeVoto is a director of orchestras at Ereckson Middle School. Mrs. DeVoto began her teaching career in 2002. She previously taught in the Klein ISD (Houston) and Plano Independent School Districts. She is a graduate of Sam Houston State University where she was President of the Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Carol Smith. While at Sam Houston, she studied cello with Dr. Peter Kempter. Her orchestras have consistently won sweepstakes awards at the UIL Concert & Sight-reading Contests while maintaining successful large middle school orchestra programs with over 250 students. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 the Ereckson MS Orchestras placed in the final round of the TMEA MS Honor String Orchestra and TMEA MS Honor Full Orchestra competitions. The Ereckson MS Full Orchestra was awarded the 2018 TMEA MS Full Honor Orchestra. In addition to her teaching, Mrs. DeVoto is an active clinician and judge in the Dallas area and around the state. Her professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and Mu Omicron. A cheerleader in high school, Mrs. DeVoto continues to enjoy dance – competing and performing all over the country, and spending time with her husband David, also an orchestra director and their French Bulldog, Diego.
Hannah Hong is a director of orchestras at Ereckson Middle School. Ms. Hong received her Bachelor of Music Education degree, magna cum laude, from Sam Houston State University and is currently obtaining her Master of Music Education degree from Southern Methodist University. Ms. Hong has previously taught orchestra at J. J. Pearce High School in Richardson, TX, and Frankford Middle School, Renner Middle School and Shepton High School in Plano, ISD. The Ereckson MS Full Orchestra was awarded the 2018 TMEA MS Full Honor Orchestra. She teaches private lessons on piano, violin, viola, and cello. She is currently performing as part of the New Life Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Orchestra Directors Association. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and watching reality dance television shows.