Meet Our Band Directors

Mike Howard

Katie VanDoren
Director of the Marching Band
Director of the Wind Ensemble
Co-Director of Concert Band 2
Program Administration

Katie VanDoren is the Director of Bands at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas. Mrs. VanDoren has been at Vandegrift HS since 2014, and worked at Round Rock HS in Round Rock, TX before that. Originally from Cedar Park, Texas, Mrs. VanDoren graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

VanDoren is currently the Assistant Brass Caption Head of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps. Prior to this position, she spent 12 years with Carolina Crown. She joined the brass staff in 2013, after marching with the corps from 2008-2012. VanDoren also works with the SASI Leadership Faculty, a group of current and former teachers dedicated to developing student leaders. Since 2013, she has enjoyed getting to be a part of the “SASI Experience”, an uplifting and empowering environment for both students and staff.

Mrs. VanDoren’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association. She currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband Evan, daughter Anna, and their dog, Cooper, where both enjoy being part of a wonderful community of outstanding music educators.

Mike Howard

Kyle Norris
Director of Concert Band 1
Co-Director of Concert Band 2
All-State/SmartMusic Coordinator
School-Owned Inventory
Locker Assignments

Kyle Norris currently an Associate Director of Bands at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas. He previously taught at Cedar Park Middle School and at Covington Middle School in Austin ISD.

Mr. Norris is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he attended Union High School. He went on to earn degrees in Music Education and Horn Performance from Oklahoma State University, where he studied horn with Lanette Compton and brass pedagogy with Dr. Ryan Gardner. Mr. Norris performed extensively as a member and section leader of the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Joseph Missal, the Symphonic Band under the direction of Dr. Doug Henderson, as well as the horn octet, horn quartet, and various other chamber ensembles. For two years, Mr. Norris served as Drum Major for the OSU Cowboy Marching Band. Prior to graduating in 2016, he was named Outstanding Senior Music Education Major.

Mr. Norris is a member of the Brass Staff at the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, where he was a member of the mellophone section in 2013 and 2015. In previous summers, he taught on the Brass Staff at the Legends Drum and Bugle Corps and as an education staff member at System Blue.

Mr. Norris’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and the International Horn Society. He currently resides in Leander, Texas with his wife, Kat, and their dog, Gus.

Mike Howard

Joe Hobbs
Percussion Director
Transportation Coordinator

Joe Hobbs is in his 4 th year as the Director of Percussion at Vandegrift High school in Austin, TX. Under his direction the Drum Line won the Dripping Springs Drum Line Contest in both 2016 and 2017 as well as the Lone Star Classic in 2018. The Vandegrift percussion ensemble was also selected to perform at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2017. Joe was previously the director of percussion at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton, TX. The Newman Smith drum line won both the Plano Drum Line Contest as well as the Lone Star Drum Line Contest. The Newman Smith Drum Line was also invited to present a Marching percussion clinic at the 2015 PASIC Convention.

Joe is currently the Battery Coordinator for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps from Canton, Ohio. Joe previously served as the percussion caption head for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont, IL from 2015-2018. During this time the percussion section saw a radical change in placement going from 10th place in 2015 to 3rd place by 2017. The group also saw over a 95% retention rate during Joe’s time leading the caption. Before joining The Cavaliers, Joe served on the percussion staff for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps and the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps from Atlanta, GA. Joe was also involved with Music City Mystique as a battery instructor from 2009-2011. He was a member of Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps from 2001-2003. During his time at Southwind, he was named the 2003 DCI I&E Snare drum champion. From 2004-2006 Joe was a member of the Cavaliers snare line. During his time with the Cavaliers, Joe won 2 DCI world championships, 2006 DCI I&E mixed ensemble championship, “Cavalier of the year” and the “Zildjian award” in 2006. Joe received his Music Education degree from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. Other teaching experience includes George Rogers Clark High School, Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps, Murray State University, Austin Peay State University, Mt. Juliet High School, Marshall County High School, and Murray High School. Joe is endorsed by Pearl Drums, Innovative Percussion, and Evans Drumheads.​

Katherine VanDoren

Tristan Murray

Associate Director of Bands

Tristan Murray will be entering his first year as one of the band directors at Vandegrift High School this school year. Prior to his appointment at Vandegrift, Mr. Murray taught at Salyards Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.

Mr. Murray is a recent graduate of Baylor University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in December of 2022. During his time at Baylor, Mr. Murray had the opportunity to play with the Golden Wave Band, the Symphonic Band, as well as the Baylor Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Eric Wilson. In addition, Mr. Murray was, and is, very active with his chamber group, the Refractive Quartet, who has won multiple competitions including the hamber competition at the International Tuba and Euphonium Convention. Mr. Murray received numerous awards during his time at Baylor including the TMEA Undergraduate Scholarship as well as the Richard Floyd Award for Band Music Education.

Mr. Murray is excited to move to Austin with his fiancée, Brooke, and their two cats, Felix and Olive. In his free time, Mr. Murray enjoys playing the piano, going on hikes, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.