Brad Davis is the Assistant Director of Orchestras for Jasper High School and Clark High School in Plano. This is his third year teaching for Plano ISD. Prior to this, Mr. Davis taught in San Angelo, TX for 6 years and in Georgetown, TX for 3 years.
Born and raised in San Angelo, TX, Mr. Davis obtained his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, where he studied under the direction of Dr. David Shea, Paul Sharpe, and Gary Lewis.
Mr. Davis and his wife Sabra have recently moved to Plano with their two golden retrievers. He is very excited about the opportunity to work with such fine programs at both the Jasper and Clark orchestras.
Barbara Gordy Fox is the orchestra director at Rice Middle School, and she has been an orchestra director since 1981 when she started teaching 5th grade through 9th grade in Ponca City, OK, her home town. “Ponca City had a wonderful orchestra program starting after WWII. It was a very solid foundation in music education and supporting the arts. My sisters and I were very fortunate to have such a great program to learn in.”
Mrs. Fox grew up with 3 sisters, music and horses! She receieved her Bachelor of Music degree in violin from Oklahoma City University and her Master of Music Education from Kansas University. After 17 years in Ponca City, she and violinist husband Jeff Fox moved to Edmond, OK to teach orchestra for 5 years before coming to Plano in 2003. Mr. Fox teaches orchestra at Vines High School.
Instead of horses now, they now have big dogs, Diva the doberman and Maestoso the standard poodle.
Mary Havenstrite received her Bachelor of Music Education from Loyola University in New Orleans and a Master’s in Violin Performance from the University of North Texas. Under Mrs. Havenstrite’s direction, the Robinson Middle School Chamber Orchestra have been Honor Orchestra finalists numerous times as string and full orchestra. In 2009, they performed at TMEA as the Middle School Honor String Orchestra of Texas, and again in 2014 as the Middle School Honor Full Orchestra. In 2011 Mrs. Havenstrite was one of 5 honorees to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award for the Plano Independent School District.
Prior to her position at Robinson, Mrs. Havenstrite taught at Centennial and Frisco High Schools in Frisco, TX and at Jasper High School and Renner Middle School in Plano. In addition to her public school experience, Mrs. Havenstrite conducted the GDYO’s “DSE” Dallas String Ensemble from 2003-2006 and DAAYO in 2000.
Mrs. Havenstrite is an active performer in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex where she is the Principal 2nd violin of the Richardson and Lewisville Lake Symphonies and has been a regular performer with Fort Worth Symphony and the Dallas Opera. Ms. Havenstrite has studied violin with Phil Lewis, and Emanuel Borok.
Mrs. Havenstrite is an active member of ASTA, TMEA and TODA and frequently serves as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in the North Texas area. Mrs. Havenstrite currently resides in Plano, TX with her husband David and 3 talented daughters, Katy, Julia, and Molly Nell.
Emily De La Torre is currently the Assistant Orchestra Director at Rice Middle School. She was born and raised in Plano, TX and is a proud graduate of Plano ISD.
Mrs. De La Torre received her Bachelors of Arts in Music Education (B.M.E.), graduating summa cum laude from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. While there, she studied under the direction of Linda Keefer, Amanda Musser, Dr. Blaise Ferrandino, Helen Blackburn, and Dr. Curt Thompson.
Mrs. De La Torre earned a Masters of Music in Music and Human Learning (M.M.) from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011, with Dr. Robert Duke and Dr. Laurie Scott. Her studies included string pedagogy, special education, motivation and human development.
Prior to working at Rice, she was Head Orchestra Director in Belton ISD. While at Belton, enrollment in the orchestra program more than doubled, and her groups received Sweepstakes awards at UIL.
Emily De La Torre is an active member in both the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and Texas Music Educator’s Association (TMEA).
Liza Nations is the Assistant Orchestra Director at Robinson Middle School and Hendrick Middle School. She has been teaching in Plano as an orchestra director since 2012 and as a private bass teacher since 2008. Also, being a graduate of Plano East Senior High, she is a product of the wonderful orchestra programs in Plano.
Mrs. Nations graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelors in Music Education. While at SMU, she studied double bass with DSO member Tom Lederer and performed in the SMU Meadows Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Phillips.
Mrs. Nations holds a membership with TMEA. She currently lives in Allen,TX with her husband Jared.
Plano West Senior High Directors
Since August 2015, Ryan Ross is the Director of Orchestras at Plano West Senior High School in Plano, Texas. Previously, he was director at Jasper High School (Plano ISD), where his students were named the 2014 TMEA Honor Full Orchestra and also ranked multiple times as finalists in the string portion of the Honor Orchestra competition. In addition, the Jasper Legacy Orchestra was the 2013 winner of The American Prize for Orchestral Performance and the 2014 National Winner of the National Orchestra Honors competition (full orchestra division). He has also lead programs at Lewisville HS (Lewisville ISD) and Williams MS (Rockwall ISD). In addition, he served for five years as Music Director of the Tyler Youth Orchestra and four seasons as Artistic Director and Conductor for the Dallas Festival of Modern Music and its resident professional chamber ensemble, Ars Nova Dallas.
Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Mr. Ross earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was a conducting student of Donald Schleicher. More recently, he completed a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting at Texas Tech University, studying with Gary Lewis and serving as Graduate Assistant Conductor to the Tech orchestra program. While in Lubbock, Mr. Ross also held a position as Cover Conductor with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Ross has studied conducting in master classes and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including the 2011 Cabrillo Festival. Among the noted pedagogues he has worked with are Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, Joel Smirnoff, and David Hoose. He holds membership in ASTA, TMEA, TODA, and TMAA, and he has presented clinics on multiple occasions at the annual convention of the Texas Orchestra Directors Association.