Staff

Staff

Stoney Black, Director of Bands

Stoney BlackStoney Black has been the director of bands at Air Academy High School since 2003. During his tenure at Air Academy, the ensembles have been selected to perform at the North Texas Jazz Festival, Colorado Music Educators Conference, and the CBA State Concert Band Festival.

The Air Academy Marching Band has been named as grand champion on multiple occasions and has earned eight state championships along with four Bands of America Regional Class Championships.

Mr. Black conducts the Air Academy Wind Ensemble, the Jazz bands, and the Kadet Marching Band.

Stoney Black received a Bachelor of Arts in Percussion Performance from Adams State College in 1994 and continued his study of percussion at the University of Northern Colorado. In 1998, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Metropolitan State College in Denver, and he completed his Master of Arts in conducting from the American Band College at Southern Oregon University in 2007.

Mr. Black has served on the CBA Marching Band Committee for over 10 years; he served on the CBA executive board as vice president from 2005 – 2009; and he is currently serving on the Bands of America Marching Band Advisory Board.

He has received recognition from The Colorado Springs Youth Symphony as Teacher of the Year in 2013. In 2006, he was named “Outstanding Young Bandmaster,” by Phi Beta Mu.

Mr. Black’s former teaching duties include director of bands at Pueblo Centennial High School and Kiowa High School.

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Vanessa Cheverez Lyttle, Assistant Band Director (Woodwinds) & Orchestra Director

 

Vanessa Lyttle brings to us experience from a variety of musical groups and locations. Vanessa was born and raised in Orange County, New York where she began her studies on flute. She then pursued a BA of Music Education from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, where she majored in flute and also earned an instrumental minor in violin studies. She was named the University’s Distinguished Senior of the Year in Music Education in 2002.

Vanessa then began her career teaching Orchestra and Guitar in Cobb County Schools for 3 years before being given the opportunity to widen her influence by teaching both Band and Orchestra at Woodstock Middle School in Woodstock, Georgia where she remained for 7 years. Throughout her time in Georgia, she was able to perform on a variety of instruments. She performed on flute, alto flute and bass flute in the KSU flute choir, oboe in the KSU Wind Ensemble, violin in the Georgia Symphony, violin in the Rome Symphony and flute in the Atlanta Wind Ensemble. She also performed regularly at area weddings with her string group, the Kennesaw Quartet.

Vanessa has been successful as a teacher and director, having served as her district’s State Orchestra Chair for 4 years organizing and hosting events for the Georgia Music Educator’s Association. She also collaborated with Atlanta Symphony musicians to host a collaborative education festival for all of Cobb County in 2004. Her Bands and Orchestras have been successful at numerous state festivals as well as Festival Disney in Orlando, Florida and the Smokey Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Mrs. Lyttle’s private studio has been successful in the metro Atlanta area teaching flute, violin, cello, guitar, piano and oboe from 1997-2012 at various music stores including Music and Arts, Sadler Music and Ponier Music. She was then required to move as a new military spouse and has resided in Wahiawa (Hawaii), Fayetteville (North Carolina) and now Colorado Springs! She was given the opportunity most recently to direct the Challenger Middle School Bands for the remainder of the 2017 school year while their director was on leave.

Mrs. Lyttle has two children, Lucas (11) and Elena (4) and plans to be involved in lots of activities in the Springs with her kids when they are not involved supporting her husband with his Army responsibilities at Fort Carson. We are especially excited to be joining the Air Academy Kadet family for the the 2017-2018 school year!

Email Vanessa Lyttle

Austina Lee, Assistant Band Director & Woodwind Instructor

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Austina Lee, a 2006 graduate of Air Academy High School, is beginning her sixth year of teaching at her alma mater.  An accomplished math and band teacher, Austina is also the student council sponsor and the spring musical director. Austina has most recently been given the opportunity to serve as the woodwind instructor for the AAHS Marching Band and as assistant conductor of both the AAHS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

In 2010, Austina received a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Arts in Education from the prestigious University of Denver.

An inspirational private flute instructor, Austina is also highly in demand as an excellent piano accompanist and performer.

Most recently, Austina was awarded Colorado Springs Youth Symphony for Teacher of the Year for 2016.

When she is not teaching, coaching, or playing her instruments, Austina loves to hike, fish, ski, run, and spend time with her family. Austina is excited to begin her pursuit of an MA in Conducting through the American Band College in Oregon this summer.

Email Austina Lee

 

Joe Musick, Visual Design & Brass Instructor

Joe Musick

Joe Musick currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO with his lovely wife Hannah, and dogs Ruxin and Ranger.  When Joe is not writing or teaching, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, fishing, and snowboarding in the mountains of Colorado.

During the academic year, Joe is also the band director at Eagleview Middle School and designs/instructs at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He previously served as a band director at Moore Middle School, and Pomona High School in Arvada, Colorado.

Joe received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied with Dana Biggs, Matthew Roeder, Terry Sawchuk and Allan McMurray.

Drum Corps has been an active part of Joe’s life for more than a decade. Joe was a marching member of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps in 2002, the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps in 2004, and finished his marching career with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps from 2005-2007.  His instructional career with drum corps started with the Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps where he was on staff for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Joe was then fortunate to join the instructional staff of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010 and was on staff through the 2013 season. During the 2013 season Joe served the drum corps as Brass Caption Head. Joe is the current visual designer for The Battalion Drum and Bugle Corps from Provo, UT.

As a designer and clinician, Joe has been active working with bands of various sizes.  Joe has been a successful visual designer for drum corps, high school marching bands, and indoor ensembles around the country.

His passion for music education and program design has turned into a stimulating and fulfilling career, and he could not imagine doing anything else.

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Anthony Mondragon, Director: Color Guard/Winter Guard

 

Anthony Mondragon graduated from Legacy High School in 2004; he was a member of their state-championship award winning program. Following high school, Anthony was a member of the independent winter guard Signature from 2005-2006. Anthony was also a member of the Denver drum core, Blue Knights, in 2007. From 2007-2013, Anthony performed as a member of OpusX, a group that earned a silver medal in world finals during the 2009 season. It was during his early performance experiences he gained skills, and these years were the foundation for the inspiration that led to him becoming a guard coach.

His work with the Air Academy High School program started in 2011.  Not only has his direction resulted in an award-winning guard program, his efforts have also led to AAHS marching band winning championships across the state and region, including AAHS Marching Band’s invitation to march in the 2018 Rose Parade.

Anthony is currently involved in instructing many successful color guard programs across the state of Colorado including Rampart, Cherry Creek, Fairview, and others. He personalizes his approach to address the needs of each team, finding ways to make each school’s show intriguing while also developing skill-sets necessary to improve their guard program.

Anthony loves to teach children. Teaching keeps him feeling youthful; he is happy knowing he’s helping other individuals grow and learn to share the passion he has for performance.

He currently lives in Denver, Colorado with his two dogs Copper and Bella. In his free time, Anthony thoroughly enjoys dancing, camping, hiking, and being outdoors with his puppies.  

 Danniell Isaac, Assistant Director: Color Guard/Winter Guard

Danniell Isaac graduated from Arvada High School (Colorado) in 2004. During his senior year, Arvada earned a 4th place spot in WGI finals. In the summer of 2004, Danniell performed with the DCI group Cavaliers, earning a championship. He then went on to perform with OpusX, an independent guard, winning numerous awards from 2009 to 2013. He started coaching guard at Standley Lake and Wheat Ridge High Schools.

Danniell was hired to work with the Air Academy guard program in fall of 2011. He is focused not only on skill-building but developing discipline, teamwork, and personal responsibility as part of a comprehensive approach to each student’s personal journey toward achieving excellence. His work has contributed to AAHS winter guard and the AAHS marching band earning numerous state and regional awards, most recently including acceptance into the 2018 Rose Parade.

He currently coaches color guard teams across Colorado as well as other states. In addition, he is currently designer/choreographer for Anesidora, an independent group based in Denver, Colorado.

Danniell Isaac currently resides in Denver, Colorado with his cats Sage, Gremlin Face, Cosmic Creepers, and Dexter. When Danniell isn’t teaching, he enjoys cooking, gardening, and writing.