Director or Instrumental Music, HPISD
Reagan Brumley is the Director of Instrumental Music for the Highland Park ISD, where he serves as Director of the “Highlander” Marching Band, conducts the Wind Symphony, and guides all aspects of the Highland Park Bands, grades 5-12. During Mr. Brumley’s tenure in this position, the HPHS Band has advanced to the Texas State Marching Contest and been named a State finalist, and advanced to the finals of the Area C Marching Contest at every opportunity. In addition, the band has won grand championships and class championships at marching contests around DFW. The Highland Park Wind Symphony has earned State Honor Band Finalist status, finishing 4th in the state in class 5A in 2017. The program also has a strong track record of success in the TMEA All-State process, placing the highest number of students in the All-State Bands of any 5A band program in their area in 2017 and 2018.
Prior to Mr. Brumley’s appointment at Highland Park, he was the Associate Director of Bands at Berkner High School where he was the conductor of Symphonic Band II, led music rehearsals for the Class 6A State Marching Finalist Berkner Marching Band, coordinated the private lesson program, and taught 6th grade band in the cluster. Mr. Brumley also served as part of the teaching team that helped the Berkner Varsity Concert Band finish 2nd place in the state in 2010 and earn an invitation to the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Before his tenure at Berkner, Mr. Brumley also served on the band staffs of Lake Highlands High School and Red Oak High School and Junior High.
Mr. Brumley is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Bandmasters Association and also serves are President of TMEA Region 20. In 2018, Mr. Brumley was inducted into the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He holds a Masters of Music in Wind Conducting from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and a Bachelors of Music from the University of Texas-Brownsville. Mr. Brumley is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Texas. He and his wife, Cayce, reside in Dallas along with their daughters Scarlett and Noelle.
Associate Band Director
Corey Parks is in his 11th year teaching in Highland Park ISD. Mr. Parks directs the HP Jazz Band and the Symphonic Band, which consistently earns first division ratings at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest and won Best in Class at the 2017 South Coast Music Festival.
As an assistant, Mr. Parks is heavily involved with the Highlander Marching Band, including visual caption and drill writer for the group. His drill design assisted Highland Park in earning numerous Visual and General Effect captions at local contests, advancing to the Area C Marching Contest two times as well as becoming a UIL 5A State Marching Contest Finalist in 2017, the first time in the band’s history. Mr. Parks also writes drill and consults for other high school marching bands in Texas.
Apart from his high school responsibilities, Mr. Parks teaches daily at McCulloch Intermediate School and Highland Park Middle School. As a woodwind specialist, he teaches beginner woodwind classes and assists the middle school bands. In his first three years at Highland Park, he directed the HPMS Non-Varsity Band, earning first division ratings at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest. Before his tenure at Highland Park, he was the assistant band director at Forestwood Middle School in Flower Mound, TX for three years.
Mr. Parks attended Texas Christian University receiving a Bachelors in Music Education and a Masters in Music (Instrumental Conducting). At TCU, he played clarinet in the TCU Wind Symphony and the TCU Orchestra. He was drum major of the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band and an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma.
Associate Director of Bands, Highland Park Middle School
TJ Emsley is an Associate Director of Bands in the Highland Park Independent School District. His teaching responsibilities include teaching and conducting the Symphonic Band (HPMS), Raider Riffs (Stage Band/HPMS), assisting Honor Band (HPMS), co-teaching the Highlander Band Front Ensemble (HPHS), assisting Wind Symphony (HPHS), teaching Sixth Grade Tuba and Saxophone classes (MIS), and teaching Fifth Grade Trumpet and Trombone classes (MIS). Mr. Emsley also serves on the Campus Leadership Council for MIS and is the Academic UIL Coordinator for HPMS and MIS. Prior to his appointment in HPISD, Mr. Emsley served as an adjunct professor of music at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Kilgore College, and Paris Junior College.
A native of Charleston, South Carolina and product of Kingsland, Georgia, Mr. Emsley attended Camden County High School where he played percussion and piano in the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensembles.
Mr. Emsley earned a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. While at VSU, he served as the drum major of the VSU Blazin’ Brigade for three years, performed with the VSU Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Blazer Steel Drum Band, as well as the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Emsley earned a Master of Music in Music Education degree in 2013 from Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, Texas. While in Commerce, he performed with the TAMUC Wind Ensemble, Concert Band (Clarinetist), Percussion Ensemble, and Piano Studio as well as performing with the Irving Symphonic Band.
Teachers and mentors of Mr. Emsley include: Phil Clements, Brian Merrill, Lynne Jackson, Melodianne Mallow, Eddie Green, Reagan Brumley, Allan Goodwin, David Morris, Paul Campiglia, Joe Brashier, Eric Bradshaw, Allan L. Smith, Curtis Hersey, Luis Sanchez, Josephine Wammock, and Lyle Indegaard.
Color Guard Director, HPMS & HPHS
Director of Bands, Highland Park Middle School
Lara Whitehouse is the Director of Bands at Highland Park Middle School and McCulloch Intermediate School and is in her seventh year of teaching in Highland Park ISD. Ms. Whitehouse conducts the Honor Band, assists with the Symphonic and Jazz bands, teaches 6th grade beginner band classes and 5th grade band classes.
Prior to Ms. Whitehouse’s appointment as head director, she was an assistant band director at MIS/HPMS. During Ms. Whitehouse’s time in this position the Symphonic Band earned unanimous 1st division ratings at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Contest for the first time in the history of the ensemble. The band also received unanimous superior ratings at a variety of festivals and contests that they attended. In addition to teaching at MIS/HPMS, Ms. Whitehouse also assisted with the Highland Park High School “Highlander” Marching Band. Before joining the HPISD band staff, Ms. Whitehouse served on the band staff at Richardson High School.
Ms. Whitehouse holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Bachelors of Science in Music Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She also serves as a clinician for the UT-Arlington Drum Major Camp each summer. Her professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association.
Assistant Band Director, MIS and HPMS
Cindi Sobering is in her tenth year as Assistant Band Director at McCulloch Intermediate and Highland Park Middle Schools. Mrs. Sobering teaches fifth and sixth grade band students and assists with the Symphonic and Honor Bands at the middle school. Prior to teaching in Highland Park, Mrs. Sobering was Assistant Band Director at Bishop Lynch High School. Highlights of her tenure there include tripling the size of the band program, earning the Texas Private School Music Educators Association State marching Band Championship, and consistently earning First Division Sweepstakes awards for the concert and jazz bands.
Mrs. Sobering has many connections with the Highland Park band program. While attending Southern Methodist University, Mrs. Sobering completed her student teaching with the Highland Park bands under the direction of Bob Jordan at the high school and Craig Logan at the middle school. Years later she returned to teach beginning clarinet classes and clarinet sectionals for both schools, in addition to teaching private clarinet lessons to HP students for many years. Mrs. Sobering also taught in the Lake Highlands schools for several years under the direction of Malcolm Helm and Marion West, and was lead private clarinet teacher in Duncanville under the direction of Dr. Tom Shine for fifteen years. She has Bachelors of Music Education and Performance degrees and a Masters’ Degree in Education, graduating with Suma Cum Laude honors. Professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, National Music Educators Association, and Women Band Directors International.
Mrs. Sobering grew up in Minnesota and was a member of the Minnesota All State Band for four years and the Minnesota All State Orchestra for three years. She performed clarinet professionally in the Dallas area for many years and continues to enjoy playing clarinet, flute and piano in her free time. She and her husband Mike enjoy spending much of the summer at their Minnesota lake cabin with family and friends. Her two grown daughters and their families keep her busy, and she also enjoys gardening and travelling.