The Leander High School Band Program provides an outstanding one-on-one educational program through our amazing private lesson staff. These teachers are specific to your child’s instrument, and lessons are incredibly convenient as most lessons take place during a child’s band class or before or after school.

Email Mr. Sirna at for district private lesson grant information.

  • Private Lesson Facts to consider:
    • 82% of the Band Program is in private lessons
    • 100% of the students that band Region, Area, and All-State take private lessons
    • 98% of the Wind Ensemble takes private lessons
    • Taking private lessons has a direct correlation to a student’s success

Click here to sign up for Private Lessons

Private Lesson Staff

Flute – Caitlyn Phillips, Rachel Lopez

Caitlyn Phillips 

A vibrant and motivated teacher, Ms. Phillips enjoys working with students of all ages and most importantly and sharing her passion for music. In May of 2014, Caitlyn graduated from Manhattan School of Music with a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Performance and a Bachelor of Music degree in 2008. 

She has performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. In addition to touring globally, she has performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and the Boulder Philharmonic. 

Caitlyn has been teaching for thirteen years in New York, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, and California.

Rachel Lopez

Oboe -Olivia McCartney

Olivia McCartney 

Olivia McCartney is originally from Newburgh, NY, and is a senior studying oboe performance at the Crane School of Music. She regularly plays with the Orchestra of Northern New York on second oboe and English Horn beside her professor, Dr. Anna Hendrickson. Olivia also performs often in the Crane Symphony Orchestra and Crane Wind Ensemble and has played with the Northern Symphonic Winds and the Crane Opera Orchestra. She has also studied at the Madeleine Island Chamber Music Intensive in La Pointe, WI, and at the Rocky Ridge Music Festival in Estes Park, CO. Olivia is currently studying at the University of Texas where she plans to receive her Master’s degree. She is currently teaching private lessons for multiple schools in Leander ISD. 

Bassoon – Bill Lewis

Bill Lewis 

William Lewis, Principal Bassoon. Joined the Austin Symphony in 1986. He is a native of Indiana and attended Ball State University. He is also Principal Bassoon of the Austin Opera, was an instructor in bassoon at Southwest Texas State University, and is a retired band director. His solo performances include performing with the Austin Symphony and Mozart Festival, San Antonio. As a composer/arranger, Mr. Lewis’ music has been performed by the Austin Symphony in the summer Hartman Foundation Concerts in the Park and Children’s Concerts. He is an active arranger for Bocal Majority Operation Oboe Camps. His arrangements for double reed ensembles are performed from coast to coast each summer.

Clarinet – Stephanie Grubbs, Patrick Dolan

Stephanie Grubbs 

Stephanie Grubbs is one of the clarinet private lesson teachers at Leander HS. She earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education at the University of North Texas. She was a band director for 10 years and has been teaching privately for in the Austin area for over 19 years. She lives in Liberty Hill with her husband and has two grown daughters. She prides herself on her personal and positive approach to teaching. 

Patrick Dolan An active freelance clarinetist, Patrick Dolan currently resides in Austin, TX, where he performs with local ensembles and maintains a vibrant private studio. He has performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Density 512 (an Austin-based chamber orchestra), and the Midland-Odessa Symphony Orchestra. In 2017, Mr. Dolan joined Adelante Winds, a “dynamic” chamber ensemble that performs throughout the central Texas area. Today, Mr. Dolan serves as the Artistic Director to Adelante Winds. Having recently completed a Master of Music in Performance at the University of Texas at Austin, he toured with the UT Wind Ensemble in 2014, performing in Hawaii, Asia, and Europe. He finished his undergraduate degree at Rowan University where he performed Mendelssohn’s Konzertstuke No. 1 as a winner of the 2011 Rowan University Soloist Competition. He has attended and performed at several music festivals including Bear Valley Music Festival with conductor Michael Morgan, Texas Bach Festival, Fresh, Inc. Festival, Quinteto Latino’s Seminario, and the Miami International Music Festival. His previous teachers include Louis Colella, Rie Suzuki, Nathan Williams, and Richie Hawley.

Saxophone – Dustin Hunter

Dustin Hunter 

Dustin Hunter is an active performer and music educator. He regularly freelances playing all styles of music; contemporary, classical, jazz, funk, Latin, and show music.

Dustin works with many high school and middle school students teaching private lessons, marching band camps, and giving masterclasses. Noteworthy performances include: featured as a soloist with the Louisiana State University Wind Ensemble, the Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz Big Band, and a performance at the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference. Dustin holds a Bachelor’s of Music Performance degree from Louisiana State University and a Master’s of Music from the University of New Mexico.

Trumpet – Shane Pistch

Dr. Shane Pitsch 

Shane Pitsch holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance degree from Eastern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance (jazz emphasis) degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Shane has performed with artists such as Willie Nelson, The Drifters, Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave), Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Steve Turre, Henry Butler, Spoon, What Made Milwaukee Famous, The Latin Breed, Johnny Bush, Ron Wilkins, and many others. 

Over the past several years, Shane has been involved with many Austin area bands, including Global Soul (co-leader), Ghandaia, Opositivo, The Latin Breed, The Caldwell Shine Band, ATX Big Band, Blind Date, The Nash Hernandez Orchestra, and The Contemporary Works Jazz Orchestra. 

French Horn – Sean Dacy

Sean Dacy 

Sean Dacy is a horn player originally from Fort Worth, Texas. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Music from Texas Christian University and a Masters Degree in music from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Patrick Hughes. 

Sean has played in groups such as the TCU Symphony, the UT Symphony, the Round Rock Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, and in the Brass in Frankenwald festival in Lichtenburg, Germany. Sean has performed in Masterclasses with many prominent horn players, including David Krehbiel and Mark Houghton. Currently, Sean is a freelance horn player in Austin, Texas, and has a private studio with students from the Austin area.

Trombone – Javier Stuppard

Dr. Javier Stuppard 

Dr. Javier Stuppard strives for excellence as an eclectic musician while upholding the highest of standards. He maintains an active performance schedule in various styles of music including Jazz, Salsa, Orchestral and Commercial. He has been featured at several major conferences such as the International Trombone Festival, the National Trombone Workshop and the Texas Music Educators Conference with both the Minor 4th Trombone Quartet and JazzBonez. In addition, the Minor 4th Trombone Quartet presented at the Texas Bandmasters Association Conference, have been featured guest artists with professional and collegiate Symphony Orchestras, and perform recitals and master classes at Universities nationwide. 

Dr. Stuppard is an energetic advocate of music in public schools and often serves as an adjudicator, clinician, and mentor. In 2015, he gladly accepted the position of Artist Mentor for Electrify Your Band!, a program that was created to assist with the promotion of fine arts in school districts around the nation by bridging imagination and intellect though musical self-expression. This program allows him the opportunity to teach students the important combination of being an educator, performer and entertainer though clinics and performance on Electric Trombone. 

Additionally, he is a founder the Fresh2Def Horns, a horn section who’s soulful sound is a culmination of an exceptional blend, superb musicianship, and creativity that is adjusted to enhance any genre of music. They have a distinct style that is deeply rooted in entertainment; their delivery of a “complete package” is evident though choreography, and high-energy that engages the audience through interaction. To further enhance the experience the look of the section is chosen from a wardrobe of matching attire such as suit and ties, fitted hats and Air Jordan shoes. 

As a free-lance musician, Dr. Stuppard has performed with Lukas Graham and taped live for the MTV Woodies, played festivals such as SXSW, Austin City Limits, Blues of the Green, and opened for a variety of artists such as Canadian Brass, Leon Bridges to Kool & the Gang. On the orchestral side of music, he has also performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, Temple Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, and the Bermuda Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2010, he had the distinct honor of opening for a speech given by President Obama in Austin, Texas. From 2009-2018, Dr. Stuppard served as Assistant Professor of Music at Huston-Tillotson University. He holds a B.M.E from Norfolk State University, a M.M and D.M.A. from The University of Texas at Austin. His principal teachers include Paul Adams, Ron Westray and Dr. Nathaniel Brickens. 

Dr. Stuppard has served as the International Trombone Festival Competition Coordinator since 2012, is an artist/clinician for Michael Rath Trombones, Applied Microphone Technology, 64 Audio, and plays exclusively on Pickett Brass Mouthpieces. 

Euphonium/Tuba – Nick Beltchev

Nick Beltchev

Bio coming soon.

Percussion – Chris Sawyer, Andrew Dobos, Trevor Deary, Allan

Chris Sawyer 

Chris Sawyer is a percussion educator and performer in Central Texas. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas and holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. He has taught for 11 years in the Austin area, including 4 years as a middle school band director, and the last 7 years as a private lesson instructor. 

Chris was an All-State Percussionist in high school, a member of the band program at John B. Connaly HS. He graduated in the top 5 percent of his high school class, earning scholarships for academics and music. While at UNT, Chris studied with Mark Ford, Paul Rennick, Christopher Deane, Mike Drake, and Ed Smith. He performed with the Green Brigade Marching Band, the world-renowned UNT “A-Line” Indoor drumline, the UNT 2:00 Steel Drum Ensemble, Concert bands, new music ensembles, and world music ensembles. 

After Graduating, Mr. Sawyer taught as a middle school band director in Austin ISD. After that he ventured into a career as a private lesson instructor. He teaches in Leander ISD at Henry MS, Stiles MS, and Vista Ridge HS. He also teaches in Round Rock ISD, and Austin ISD. He was instrumental in helping Henry MS win the first-ever PASIC Middle School Call of Tapes, culminating in a performance at PASIC in Indianapolis. In 2018 many of his students at Vista Ridge HS also had the opportunity to perform at Pasic while winning the 6A Texas State Marching Band Contest. 

His students have consistently earned positions in the All-Region Band, Superior ratings for solo & ensemble contest, and he has helped several students earn positions in drum corps and college music programs. 

Andrew Dobos 

Andrew Dobos is an energetic, skilled, well-rounded percussionist with extensive ensemble-playing experience, collegiate leadership experience, and workplace experience with percussion instruments, including repair, marketing, and sales. Andrew is one of the founding members of the Austin-based post-rock percussion quartet, The Kraken Quartet, which performs locally and has recorded several EPs. While pursuing a Master’s degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Andrew held positions of Principal Percussionist of the Symphony and University Orchestras, as well as Wind Ensemble Section leader. While pursuing his Bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College, Andrew held positions of Wind Ensemble Section Leader, Principal Timpanist of the Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Timpanist of the Chamber Orchestra.

Currently, Andrew lives in Austin, TX performing frequently with The Kraken Quartet, and teaches percussion lessons at local high schools 

Trevor Deary

Bio Coming soon


Bio Coming soon

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