OUR STAFF

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CHRIS MILLER

DIRECTOR OF BANDS

 

Mr. Chris Miller is the Director of Bands at Francis Howell High School. Since 2003, when he arrived, the band has consistently been a high-achieving, hard-working, and award-winning band program. The band has grown into three concert bands, a jazz band, the marching band, winter drum line, and winter guard. Occasionally, a jazz combo or small brass ensemble will perform for various school functions. The marching band is a finalist at almost every festival they attend, the drum line is frequently a semi-finalist at WGI Championships, and the winter guard is working to be a top three finisher in MCCGA. The Wind Ensemble consistently earns One ratings at the State Large Ensemble Festival and sends 20-30 solos and small ensembles to the Festival each year. 

 

Personally, Mr. Miller is an active performer around the St. Louis area with the Genesis Jazz Project and the Sentimental Journey Dance Band, in addition to several theatre troupes, churches, and other organizations that often secure his services. Mr. Miller toured Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Spain in college and performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival. He has performed with jazz greats Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Chris Vadala, Bobby Shew, Vince DiMartino, Allen Vizzuti, Frank Mantooth, Roger Ingram, Jim Manley, Don Menza, Tia Fuller, Matt Wilson, and the Boston Brass. Mr. Miller can also be found riding his Harley, playing with the family dog, or spending all day with his Big Green Egg smoking a wonderful meat treat. If you are lucky and join the band program, you just might be treated to one of his EGG-cellent meals!

 

Mr. Miller would never be able to lead our band program without the tremendous support of his wife, Jackie, and his two children, Alyssa and Carson.

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JOE SPARKS

VISUAL AND DESIGN COORDINATOR

 

Joe is currently in his 9th year as program coordinator for the Francis Howell Marching Vikings Band. He has Gold Drum and Bugle Corps and The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps.


Joe has been an adjudicator for the F.M.B.C. Florida Marching Band Championships Super Regional as well as several contests across the region. Joe is the former brass caption head at Gold Drum and Bugle Corps 2014 Open Class Finalist. He also served on the visual team at The Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps 2004/2006 World Class finalist, Marion Cadets 2002/03 Division III Bronze medalist and Teal Sound Div. II Finalist 2005. He also co-authored B & S Basics, a comprehensive guide to marching and maneuvering fundamentals, utilized by programs across the country.

 

Joe has worked with several high school programs across the country such as O’Fallon Township High School, Illinois 2007 Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional finalist, Middleburg High School, Florida, F.M.B.C. Class 3A 8th place 2011, and Star City, Ark. Class A Chic-fil-A Bowl National Champions 2015, Arkansas Class A runner-up.

Joe attended the University of Arkansas and Missouri State University where he studied Euphonium and Trombone. Joe has one son who resides in Atlanta, Ga. He is also a member of the traditional jazz group Annie and the fur trappers.

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CHARLIE BOURRAGE

GUARD AND DANCE COORDINATOR

 

Charlie is in his 25th year of teaching in the pageantry arts. His previous tenure includes groups in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

 

His background includes a BA from Southern Illinois University and a BA in Interior Design from Patricia Stevens College.  He is a classically trained pianist and has played for a number of touring casts for musical theatre and the Belleville Philharmonic. 

 

Charlie currently works as an Interior Designer and Account Manager for Prosource Wholesale in Earth City after 12 years teaching Instrumental and Vocal Music at the High School Level.  In his spare time he enjoys being a traveling foodie, exercise in all forms to stay in shape, and spending time with his family and friends. 

 

He is pleased to once again share his talents in color, design, and performance for the Howell Viking Band.

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CONNOR FRISCH

GUARD COORDINATOR

 

Connor is in his second year of teaching in the pageantry arts. He has previously taught at Seckman High School, Washington High School, and Pattonville High School.

 

Connor is currently working on his Bachelor’s in Management with an Emphasis in Human Resources Management at Webster University. Connor also works full-time at Webster University. He plans to attend Washington University in St. Louis to pursue his JD after receiving his Bachelor’s degree.

 

Connor began performing in the pageantry arts during his time at Fox High School 2016 – 2020, Echo Independent in 2020 from Alton, Illinois, Onyx in 2021 from Dayton, Ohio, and the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in 2021 from Sacramento, California.

 

He is excited to expand the students’ talents and provide an artistic environment at Francis Howell High School.

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MARK ISHMAN

PERCUSSION AND ELECTRONICS COORDINATOR

HERRIE PULLOM

DRUMLINE TECHNICIAN