Willow Wood Junior High Band is among the largest secondary fine arts programs in Tomball ISD. This Band cluster is comprised of over 300 students in grades 6-8 at Willow Wood JHS and its feeder, Northpointe IS. Members begin their band experience in the 6th grade where they are divided into like-instrument classes. Seventh and eighth grade members participate in one of our performing bands at Willow Wood JHS.
Grand Lakes Junior High Band program consists of over 270 members in grades 6-8. Band members begin in the 6th grade on our feeder campus Oakcrest Intermediate and Tomball Intermediate. Beginners are placed in like-instrument classes that meet as part of their regular schedule during the school day. There are four 7th and 8th grade performing bands at Grand Lakes JHS (Honor Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Cadet Band).
We are excited for the great year ahead!
Director of Bands at Willow Wood JHS since 2007, Jim Shaw holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Texas A&M University where he studied saxophone with Don Lefevre and was a member of the Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Gary Garner. He has also done post-graduate work in music performance at Arizona State University and in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to moving to Willow Wood, Mr. Shaw taught in the Klein, Midland, and Harlingen ISDs.
Bands under Mr. Shaw’s direction have consistently earned first division superior ratings in UIL band contests and other festivals, including Best in Class awards in contests such as the Hub City Band Festival, Wonder of the Woods Band Festival, South Coast Music Festival, and Bridgeland Band Invitational. In 2019, the Willow Wood Honor Band was named a National Winner in the Foundation for Music Education’s Mark of Excellence competition.
Named a contributing editor to The Instrumentalist magazine in 2006 and a core contributor to the Band Directors Talk Shop website in 2016, Mr. Shaw has over three dozen articles published on topics including classroom management and culture, band literature, instrumental pedagogy, rehearsal strategies, conducting, and more. An active clinician and adjudicator, he has directed region and district honor bands throughout Texas and has presented professional development workshops for university teacher education programs and school districts in Texas and New Mexico.
Mr. Shaw is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Music Administrators Conference, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the Phi Beta Mu international band directors honor fraternity. He and his wife Jennifer, an elementary music teacher and former band director, live in Tomball with their two children, Emily and Elliot.
Makaela Martinez is entering her second year as the Assistant Band Director at Willow Wood Junior High in Tomball ISD. She is the lead instructor of the Concert and Cadet Bands, assists with the Symphonic and Honor Bands and teaches the beginning low brass classes at Northpointe Intermediate. Under her direction in the 2021-2022 school year, the WWJH Concert Band earned a sweepstakes award at the UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest!
Mrs. Martinez is a graduate of The University of Houston, where she graduated with her Bachelors of Music Education degree in 2021. While pursuing her education at UH, she performed with the UH Wind Ensemble and Trombone Choir, studied trombone under Mr. Brian Kauk and taught private low brass lessons in the greater Houston area.
Meredith Stahl is the Director of Bands at Grand Lakes Junior High, where she directs the Honor Band and Concert Band and teaches the beginning trumpet at Oakcrest Intermediate School. Mrs. Stahl is in her 15th year of teaching. Her bands have consistently been awarded sweepstakes at UIL and Best in Class at contests and festivals.
Mrs. Stahl is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2008. While pursuing her education at Texas Tech, she performed in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Sarah McKoin, studied clarinet with Dr. David Shea, and performed with the Goin' Band from Raiderland.
Mrs. Stahl’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association and Tau Beta Sigma.
Mrs. Stahl resides in the Tomball community with her husband Kyle, sons Connor and Corban, and their dog, Ranger.
Austin de la Rua is the Assistant Band Director at Grand Lakes Junior High School. He teaches the Symphonic Band, Cadet Band, and Percussion class at GLJH. This is Mr. de la Rua’s 5th year of teaching and his 2nd year in Tomball ISD. Previously, he taught in Cy-Fair ISD at Arnold Middle School.
Mr. de la Rua is a graduate of Sam Houston State University, where he graduated with his degree in Music Education in 2018. At Sam Houston, Mr. de la Rua performed in principle roles with the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Jacob Sustaita, and the Wind Ensemble under Dr. Matthew McInturf. Mr. de la Rua has also performed with multiple drum corps, including The Troopers, The Blue Knights, and The Blue Devils. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Mr. de la Rua enjoys being outdoors in his spare time, usually spent camping as well as the occasional round of golf.
My name is Dawn Melton and I am a band director at Northpointe and Oakcrest Intermediate Schools. This is my fourth year here in Tomball, and I get to work with the best kids and best colleagues around!
This is year 16 for me in public education. I spent my first 11 years in the Midway school district just outside of Waco and moved to Tomball in 2017. I have taught everything from elementary music through high school band and have found my niche in grades 6-8. I love teaching beginning band and am so excited to be back at Northpointe and Oakcrest this year!
I received my Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Abilene Christian University (Go Wildcats!) in 2006. I also have my Masters in Education for School Counseling from Lamar University, which I earned in 2016.
My husband Brian and I actually met in band in college. We have two awesome kids - Riley (11), and Nolan (9). We also have two pretty great doodles, Penny & Piper. My favorite things to do outside of school are hang out with my family, cook delicious food, and sew and craft.