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December, 19, 2024
02:00 PM - 02:45 PM




Middle School Concert Band


Conductor Thumb
Kelby Koch

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

Dickinson is located near the Texas Gulf Coast in Galveston County, about 25 miles southeast of Houston, Texas. Dickinson is a diverse, fast-growing community with a small-town atmosphere but easy access to big-city amenities. Dickinson Independent School District serves 12,550 students in a 61-square mile area that includes the city of Dickinson. DISD comprises seven elementary campuses (pre-K to 3), three middle schools (grades 4-5), three junior highs (grades 6-8) and one high school. Each campus in Dickinson qualifies as a Title I school. Kranz Junior High School represents a Title I institution with a student body where 63% benefit from free or reduced-price lunches, and 69% are minorities. For many of our students, the chance to perform at Midwest will mark a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It will also serve for many students as their inaugural flight and their first venture beyond the borders of Texas. Kranz Junior High opened as Dickinson’s second junior high in the fall of 2018 with grades 7-8. This year marks the first in which our directors have the opportunity to instruct all our beginners, as Grade 6 was integrated in the fall of 2023 following the opening of a third junior high and district-wide grade realignments. The Kranz Band program consists of 288 band members who participate in Honors Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and homogeneous Beginner Band classes. Jazz Band initially started as an after-school ensemble and was added as a formal class in 2023 and has been instrumental in nurturing versatile musicians. In recent years, the jazz band has captivated audiences at numerous local community events and proudly earned the title of grand champion for the junior high division at the Kemah Jazz Festival in both 2023 and 2024. The programs are led by three band directors on staff. The band also receives support from clinicians, Dickinson high school staff, and private lesson instructors. Each band prepares a program to perform at the Fall Concert, the Christmas Concert, the Spring Concert, Music Festivals, and Band-O-Rama. In addition to ensemble performances, the Kranz band emphasizes the development of individual musicianship requiring Honors Band students to audition for All-Region band in the fall and all students to prepare a solo for adjudication in the spring semester. The directors support the students’ advancement with before and after school sectionals and individual listenings each week. Under the direction of Kelby Koch, the Kranz Honors Band has received First Division ratings in UIL Concert and Sightreading every year since the school opened in 2018. The band was first-alternate to State at Area in 2019. In 2023 the band was first-place in Area, first-place in State Prelims, and finished sixth in the TMEA CCC State Honor Band competition. The Kranz Band has attended Gator Music Festival amongst ~60 bands that enter and has been the overall Grand Champion at Gator Music Festival in 2021 and 2023. The Kranz band started entering the Mark of Excellence in 2021 and has been a National Winner every year it has entered. Kranz Band has also consistently led the region in the number of students named to the All-Region band. Dickinson band programs have a long tradition of excellence. The high school band was named Texas Class 4A State Marching Champions in 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1993 under the direction of Mr. Donnie Owens and Mr. John Gossett. The Dickinson High School Wind Ensemble was named the TMEA Class 4A Honor Band in 1986 and 1994. McAdams Junior High School was named Honor Band of Texas in 1980 and 1995 under the direction of Mr. Wade McDonald.

Kranz JH Honors Band

Conductor's Bio

Kelby Koch is embarking on his ninth year of teaching, all within Dickinson ISD. His journey began in 2016 when he joined McAdams Junior High. Shortly after, in 2018, Mr. Koch was selected as the first director of bands to open Kranz Junior High. Now in his seventh year at Kranz, he oversees the Honors Band, Kranz Jazz Band, beginner brass classes, and provides support to all other performing groups and beginner classes. In 2012, Mr. Koch earned his Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he studied under the guidance of renowned professors Edmund Cord and Anthony Plog. Subsequently, he pursued further studies with Robert Walp of the Houston Symphony, deepening his expertise from 2012-2016. During this time, Mr. Koch cultivated a thriving private lesson studio, where his students have achieved notable success in various solo competitions and All-State. Many of his students have also performed or won jobs with prestigious ensembles such as the National Youth Orchestra of America, Honor Orchestra of America, Jazz Band of America, United States Air Force Band, Houston Ballet, and Houston Symphony. Mr. Koch's musical journey is deeply rooted in his family's legacy of musical excellence. His father, Jim Koch, a distinguished band director enshrined in the Texas Band Directors Hall of Fame, imparted invaluable musical wisdom during his tenure at Brazoswood High School. Kelby acknowledges his parents' pivotal role, particularly his father's influence, in shaping his and his brother Kelton’s musical trajectory. Kelton, now a trombonist with the esteemed Vienna Philharmonic. The support and guidance provided by his parents paved the way for Mr. Koch to access world-class instruction from renowned brass teachers, laying the foundation for his current achievements. Mr. Koch is an active professional musician in the Houston area, showcasing his versatility across classical and jazz genres. He is a distinguished member of several prominent ensembles including the Magnolia City Brass Band, Danny Ray Atlantic Street Band, Royal Dukes Band, Brazosport Jazz Orchestra, and Brazosport Big Band. Mr. Koch has a track record of excellence with his bands, consistently earning top honors such as UIL Sweepstakes ratings, unanimous first division ratings, Best In Class, and Overall Outstanding Band awards at various state festivals. Since the school began entering in 2021, the Kranz program has been recognized as a National Wind Band Honors Class AA winner. In 2023, the Kranz Junior High School Band achieved remarkable success, securing 1st place in State preliminaries and finishing 6th in the TMEA Class CCC Honor Band State Finals. Moreover, in 2024, the Honors Band under Mr. Koch's direction was selected to perform at the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Mr. Koch is driven by his passion for music, striving to inspire students to achieve their best. He's grateful for the support of his family, mentors, and students, who continue to motivate him every day.

Additional Directors

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Juan Castillo

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Britleigh Nettuno