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Directors

Mr. Kelby Koch

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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.

Mr. Juan Castillo Inocencio

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Juan Castillo is currently in his sixth year of teaching at Kranz Jr. High. He is responsible for the Symphonic Band and assists with all other performing ensembles in addition to beginner classes in Dickinson ISD. Mr. Castillo is a graduate of Sam Houston State University where he studied under Patricia Card and was part of the Bearkat Marching Band, where he was a music tech for the 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 seasons, the Wind Ensemble, and the Symphony Orchestra. During that time Mr. Castillo also held leadership positions and was Principal Clarinetist for the Fall of 2016. Prior to teaching at Kranz, Mr. Castillo taught private lessons in Huntsville ISD and Dickinson ISD where he taught all levels of students ranging from 6th-12th grade.

 

Mr. Castillo still performs as a clarinetist and saxophonist in the Houston area. He performs in community bands, jazz ensembles, and chamber groups. 

Ms. Britleigh Nettuno

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