Denison High School
Mrs. Melissa Hatheway Lewis
Director of Bands & Instrumental Music Coordinator
Melissa Hatheway Lewis is the Director of Bands at Denison High School and the Instrumental
Music Coordinator for Denison ISD.
Mrs. Lewis worked previously at Lone Star High School in Frisco ISD, where she was an Associate
Band Director for four years. Prior to coming to Frisco, she taught at Keller Middle School in Keller,
Texas. She is a proud graduate of the University of North Texas, where she played clarinet and
graduated summa cum laude with honors. While at UNT, she served as the Secretary, Historian,
and Vice-President of the North Texas Student Music Educators Organization. Mrs. Lewis graduated
from Cedar Park High School in Leander ISD.
Mrs. Lewis is also actively involved in the marching band activity, working at various programs
around Texas during college and also serving as the Head Field Technician, Athletic Bands
Librarian, and Student Assistant to the Director of the UNT Green Brigade Marching Band. Most
recently she served on the visual staff at the Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps in Open Class and
the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps in World Class in 2015.
Following a series of performance related injuries, Mrs. Lewis became interested in music and
medicine research. She has won numerous awards for her research on marching band, and her first
published work appeared in the Medical Problems of Performing Artists Journal in 2013. Her area of
research interest lies in maximizing performance and reducing injury in marching band.
Mrs. Lewis is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Performing Arts Medicine
Association, and Mu Phi Epsilon.
Mrs. Lewis currently lives in Sherman with her husband Cody, who is a board game designer. They
have two cats and a golden retriever puppy named Honey. Mrs. Lewis is thrilled to be a part of the
Mr. Austin Armstrong
Assistant Band Director
Austin Armstrong is the Assistant Band Director at Denison High School. Mr. Armstrong teaches Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Guitar and the JV "Gold" Color Guard. He also acts as webmaster for the Denison Band website.
Mr. Armstrong graduated from Murray State University where he performed in the Racer Band, Symphonic Band and Pep Band on trumpet. He has also performed with the award-winning Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015, 2017 and is an active member of the Alumni Corps.
Prior to coming to Denison, Mr. Armstrong was actively involved in the marching band activity, working for several programs around Indiana in the summers between college semesters.
Mr. Armstrong is originally from Indiana where he graduated from Jasper High School with academic honors. He is also a proud Eagle Scout.
Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association.
Mr. Daniel Allen
Raised in Carrollton, Georgia, Daniel Allen is currently the Percussion Director at Denison High School, in Denison, Texas. Mr. Allen recently served as a Graduate Assistant at Boise State University, where he earned a Master’s in Music Education. He also assisted Dr. Joe Tornello with the Athletic Band programs. Mr. Allen earned his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. While at Jacksonville State Mr. Allen marched with the Marching Southerners and participated in the JSU Chamber Winds, Wind Ensemble, Steel Drum Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Latin Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. This year marks Mr. Allen’s first summer on staff at The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps.
Mr. Allen began his formal marching career at Jacksonville State in 2012, playing cymbals, then moved to the bassline from 2013-2016 serving in a leadership position during those years. He marched with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps 2013, earning the Percussion Rookie of the Year award. Thereafter, Mr. Allen performed with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps during the summers of 2014 and 2015. During the winters of 2013-2015, he marched in the bassline at Atlanta Quest. Mr. Allen served as section leader during his final seasons with both The Cavaliers and Atlanta Quest.
Through his education Mr. Allen has had the privilege of studying under incredible educators, such as: Dr. Joe Tornello, Josh Robichaux, Clint Gillespie, Dr. John Cypert, Will Campbell, Dr. Thomas McCutchen, Tim Greene, Joe Hobbs, Eric Ridenour, Russell Wharton, Alan Sears, and Michael Mcintosh. Mr. Allen is an active educator of percussion, having taught many scholastic and independent ensembles in Georgia, Alabama, and Idaho.
Mrs. Raquel Bowers
HS Color Guard Director
Scott Middle School
Dr. Chris Wilson
MS Director of Bands
Chris Wilson serves as the Head Band Director of Scott Middle School, in Denison, Texas. Dr. Wilson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in California, Illinois, Utah, and now Texas. He began studying piano at the age of six and saxophone at the age of nine. To date, he has performed on over twenty different instruments and taught private lessons on seven (piano, guitar, saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone).
Dr. Wilson graduated from Timpview High School in 2002 and proceeded to attend Brigham Young University to study music education and saxophone. While there, he played in the Synthesis Jazz Band, the Wind Symphony, the Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band, the Salsa Combo, the Cougar Marching Band, and the Young Ambassadors Show Band. After graduating in 2009, he taught band at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, Utah for eight years. He completed a master's degree in Music Education in 2017 and a doctorate degree in Saxophone Performance in 2020, both from the University of Utah. During his graduate studies, he worked as a graduate assistant, assisted with the Lehi High School Marching Band, and taught jazz band at Willowcreek Middle School.
Dr. Wilson has performed all over the United States as well as Scandanavia, Finland, and Australia. He played with the Utah Wind Symphony at the 2014 Midwest Clinic with soloists Allen Vizzutti and Dr. Tim McAllister. Other notable artists he has performed and recorded with include Wycliffe Gordon, Denis Diblasio, Kris Johnson, Bobby Shew, Eric Miyashiro, Bob Berg, David Archuleta, and Merrill Osmond. Dr. Wilson has presented at two Utah Music Educator's Association conferences, and has served on two of their committees: marching band and jazz.
Dr. Wilson has a wide variety of interests and hobbies that include sports (especially football, basketball, and ultimate frisbee), video games, rock music history, improv comedy, all things Disney, traveling, board and card games, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and above most things, FOOD. His favorite foods include pizza, Mexican food, barbecue, hamburgers, and chicken wings.
Dr. Wilson is married to Natalie, a professional dance educator and singer. They have two daughters: Kendra and Ellie. They are so excited to be part of the Denison ISD band program and family!
Mrs. Jordonn Searcy
MS Assistant Band Director
We are very excited to have Mrs. Jordonn Searcy back in Denison ISD, as the Assistant Band Director at Scott Middle School! Mrs. Searcy began her music education as a tuba player at Allen High School, in Allen, Texas (home of the LARGEST marching band in the country). She began her studies at the University of Arkansas before finishing her Bachelor’s of Music degree at Texas A&M University Commerce in 2014.
Mrs. Searcy has taught music at a multitude of levels, including elementary, intermediate, middle and high school. She previously taught at B. McDaniel Intermediate School and Denison High School, where she led the non-varsity Symphonic Band to its first Superior rating at UIL in twenty years! She is excited to come back home to Denison and be a member of the Touch of Gold family once again. Mrs. Searcy (pronounced Sir-Cee) is a member of Texas Music Educators Association and Sigma Alpha Iota. She lives with her husband in McKinney with their four dogs.
Mr. John Gurke
MS Percussion Instructor
B. McDaniel Intermediate
Ms. Nohemi Elias
MS Assistant Band Director