State Junior High Band
William Owens (b. 1963) is a native of Gary, Indiana. He is a seasoned music educator and very active as a composer, clinician and conductor throughout the United States and Canada. His compositional style for young ensembles display a keen, practical approach which has firmly established him as a leader in the field.
Since 1993, Mr. Owens has written over 200 commissioned and published works for concert band, string orchestra and small ensemble. His music has been performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Midwest Clinic and appears on required music lists nationally and abroad. Principal commissions include those from the California Band Directors Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association, the Iowa Bandmasters Association, the South Plains College (TX) Department of Fine Arts and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. Several of his works including The Blue Orchid and Maesong have been recorded and analyzed in educational text by the GIA series Teaching Music Through Performance In Band. Other works such as Carpathia, Summit Fanfare, The Tahoka Galop and Tudor Sketches have become staples of the young band repertoire.
William is a 1985 graduate of Chicago's VanderCook College of Music and the recipient of numerous awards and grants for composition. In 2014, he was recognized by the Texas Bandmasters Association as the Feature Composer and named Distinguished Alumnus by his Alma Mater. Professional memberships include the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Composers Forum (ACF), the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB), Phi Beta Mu and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).
In January 2014, William formally retired from duty as a band director in Texas after 30 years. His spare time interests include sightseeing and reading, particularly motivational material and Presidential biography. A proud Chevrolet Corvette owner/enthusiast, he holds membership with Cowtown Vettes, a non-profit service organization in the Dallas/Fort area.
Nathaniel Neugent is in his twelfth year as Director of Bands at T.A. Howard Middle School in Mansfield ISD (Independent School District, Texas). Under his direction, the Howard Honor Band has been a five-time CCC TMEA State Honor Band finalist, placing in the top seven each time with their highest placement as First Runner-Up in 2017. They have also been awarded the Mark of Excellence National Wind Bands Honors eleven consecutive years, and have had 25 or more students place in both the Mansfield All-District and Region 5 All-Region Band every year. Mr. Neugent has continued the long tradition of UIL Sweepstakes Awards with the T.A. Howard Honor and Symphonic Bands, earning First Division ratings nine years in a row. In addition, the T.A. Howard Concert Band is one of the few Sub Non-Varsity bands in the state to receive multiple Sweepstakes trophies.
Prior to Howard Middle School, Mr. Neugent served as Director of Bands at Creekview High School in Carrollton, TX. While at Creekview, his bands consistently earned superior ratings in UIL competition. The Creekview Wind Symphony was named Grand Champion of Musicfest Orlando, South Coast Music Festival, and Performing Arts Consultants, St. Louis. The Mustang Marching Band advanced to the AAAAA State Marching Contest twice, in both 2002 and 2004. They were also Bands of America Regional and Super-Regional Finalists in Houston, Arlington and San Antonio.
Before coming to Creekview, he began his career in Lewisville ISD as the assistant director at Lakeview Middle School in The Colony for two years under the mentorship of Clayton Paul and Dick Clardy. Mr. Neugent is a native Texan, having begun his musical training under Joe Gunn at Harwood Junior High and his father, Tom Neugent at Trinity High School in the HEB school district. He received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in music education from the University of North Texas under the guidance of Eugene Corporon, Dennis Fisher, and Royce Lumpkin. As an undergrad, he also taught trombone lessons and served as a marching tech for the L.D. Bell Band under the mentorship of his future in-law’s Joseph & Catherine Grzybowski.
Mr. Neugent is an active performing musician, clinician, adjudicator and drill writer throughout Texas. He has served on the staff at the TAMU-Commerce Leadership Camp for twelve years with Frank Troyka. Mr. Neugent's affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Nathaniel enjoys spending time with his wife Nicki, Assistant Band Director at Cross Timbers Intermediate, and his 18 year-old son Connor, who is an accomplished French horn player at Oklahoma State University, and a member of the consistent DCI Finalist corps, Carolina Crown. He enjoys working out every day, movie-watching, traveling, eating and cooking modernist cuisine, listening to sports radio, and reading serious science fiction.