Band Directors

 

 Director - Chris Tkacik

 

Mr. Tkacik joined Ardrey Kell High School as Director of Bands in 2021. He is a recent summa cum laude master's graduate of Appalachian State University (ASU), where he studied instrumental conducting. In this position, he served as a Music Director of the Appalachian Concert Band and assisted with instructing the Marching Mountaineers, along with other duties for the ASU band programs. Mr. Tkacik guest conducted the Appalachian Wind Ensemble, Appalachian Symphony Band and the Appalachian Tuba Euphonium Collective.

 

Prior to attending ASU, Mr. Tkacik served as the Director of Bands at Greene Central High School in Snow Hill, NC. There he directed a concert band, percussion ensemble, color guard, and a class 1A marching band. Mr. Tkacik also oversaw the planning and execution of the annual Greene Central Band Day, a North Carolina Bandmasters Association sanctioned competition that hosted up to 30 area bands.

 

Mr. Tkacik previously served as the Director of Bands, Orchestra, and General Music at Stokes Elementary School in Stokes, NC. He was responsible for teaching music to grades K-8, including beginning and intermediate middle school band courses, beginning orchestra to 4th and 5th graders, middle grades general music and world music drumming.

 

Mr. Tkacik earned his bachelor’s degree in music education summa cum laude from East Carolina University (ECU) in 2012. While attending ECU, he studied tuba and conducting.

 

An advocate for music education, Mr. Tkacik is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, and the National Association for Music Education. He previously served as an advisor for the Appalachian State University chapter of National Band Association.

 

 

 

Director - Preston Beck

Mr. Beck joined Ardrey Kell High School as Associate Director of Bands in 2021. He recently received his master's degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). At UNCG, he taught brass methods courses and mentored preservice teachers as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. He conducted research involving equity in music education, timbral perception, and instrumental pedagogy.

Before coming to North Carolina, Mr. Beck taught band at Reynolds Middle School in Prosper, Texas. There he taught concert bands, beginning band classes, and team taught a jazz band. Former students have gone on to receive statewide individual recognition. Reynolds Bands under his direction received exclusively "Superior" ratings at competitions and festivals. 

Mr. Beck earned his bachelor's degree in music education from the University of North Texas (UNT) in 2017. While attending UNT, he studied trombone, played in a variety of concert and chamber ensembles, served as the drum major for the Green Brigade Marching Band, and worked as the Assistant Director of the Basketball Pep Band. Mr. Beck also spent several of his undergraduate years on the visual staff of the Flower Mound and Wakeland High School Marching Bands. Time with these schools included students earning the gold medal at the UIL State Marching Contest, the Bands of America San Antonio Super Regional competition, and class championships in visual performance. 

Mr. Beck's musical performance highlights include joint performances with the Dallas Winds and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The performance with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was included on an episode of NPR's From the Top. 

Mr. Beck is a member of the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Texas Music Educators Association, and the Texas Bandmasters Association.

 

 

Our Ardrey Kell Band Directors are supported by a deep team of specialists that enable our programs to compete and succeed at a national level.

 

Director - Susan Winfree Director - Alex Carson Director - Jon Surrat
Director - Corey Bell Director - Jon Leonard