Benjamin Aune is the Director of Bands at Hays Middle School in Prosper, TX. Mr. Aune will conduct the Symphonic Winds, assist and oversee all middle school ensembles, and teach beginner brass classes.
Mr. Aune most recently comes from Celina ISD where he was the director of bands for Celina High School. During his time there, the program grew by over 100% and all ensembles routinely received “Superior” ratings at UIL competitions and festivals. The Bobcat Marching Band was an area qualifier at the UIL level and was a silver medalist at the Bands of America DFW regional.
Before his time in Celina, Mr. Aune was a member of the staff in Prosper ISD. There, he team-taught a number of different ensembles grades 6-12 as a brass specialist under the guidance of John Alstrin. During Mr. Aune’s time in Prosper, ensembles routinely were awarded “Superior” contest ratings, named “Most Outstanding” at festivals and contests, and increased in membership by nearly 50%. The Prosper High School Marching Band qualified for the 5A Region 24 Marching Band Finals for the first time in school history.
From 2012-2014 Mr. Aune was on the campus of Texas Christian University. As a Master conducting student of Mr. Bobby R. Francis, Mr. Aune assisted with all aspects of the TCU band program as a Graduate Associate to the University Bands. In addition to giving music education lectures to undergraduate students, Mr. Aune rehearsed and conducted the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and the Horned Frog Marching Band. Mr. Aune was awarded his Master of Music in Wind Conducting in May of 2014.
Prior to his appointment at TCU, Mr. Aune learned from Christine Cumberledge as the Associate Band Director at Central Junior High School in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. There his duties included conducting and rehearsing a number of award-winning ensembles including two Concert Bands, the Jazz band, and instructing the beginning brass and percussion classes. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Mr. Aune was named the District Teacher of the Year for HEB ISD and was nominated as a finalist in Region XI for State Teacher of the Year. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Mr. Aune held the same position at Vivian Field Middle School in Carrollton – Farmers Branch ISD studying under Tricia Crowder before moving to HEB.
Mr. Aune received his B.A. in Music Education from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. During his studies, he received multiple performance awards as well as the Jones Fine Arts award for outstanding musicianship. His principal instruments are the bass trombone and trombone, which he studied under Chris Branagan. During Mr. Aune’s undergraduate work, he played in a variety of different ensembles including the Symphonic Winds, Jazz Band, and Orchestra under the direction of Keith Dye. In addition to his studies, he also provided private instrument instruction to a number of band programs in the Seguin area. Mr. Aune did his student teaching at Reagan High School in San Antonio, TX benefiting from the instruction of Mark and Carol Chambers.
Mr. Aune is a graduate of L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, TX. Mr. Aune was influenced greatly by many great band directors in high school including Joe Grzybowski, Steve Madsen, Jeremy Earnhart, Michael Boone, Brian Youngblood, and John Pollard.
Mr. Aune is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife of 12 years Lindsey, sons Anders (7), Abraham (3), and daughter Adaline (5). He is an avid follower of all TCU sports and is a life-long fan of the Minnesota Vikings.
Kara Kazyaka Pritchett
Kara Kazyaka Pritchett is the Assistant Band Director at Hays Middle School. Her responsibilities at Hays include teaching beginner woodwind classes, directing Concert I and Jazz Band, and assisting with Symphonic Winds and Concert II Band.
Prior to her move to Prosper ISD, Mrs. Pritchett spent five years as the Assistant Band Director at Faubion Middle School. Her groups consistently received Superior ratings during her time in McKinney ISD.
Mrs. Pritchett graduated from L.D. Bell High School in HEB ISD. During her time at L.D. Bell, the Marching Band was named BOA Grand National Champions and Silver Medalists at UIL State Marching Contest.
Mrs. Pritchett went on to study Music Education at Texas Christian University. During her time at TCU, she studied saxophone with Joe Eckert and was involved in the TCU Symphonic Band, Saxophone Choir, Saxophone Quartet, and Jazz Band. She was also a member and section leader of the TCU Marching Band, which performed at many venues including the Rose Bowl, the Poinsettia Bowl, and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Her time at TCU was concluded by student teaching at Hebron High School and Killian Middle School.
Her professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association. Mrs. Pritchett likes to spend her free time reading, playing ice hockey, and playing video games.
Oluwagbohunmi Fawehinmi is the Assistant Band Director at Hays Middle School. His responsibilities at Hays include teaching beginner woodwind classes, directing Concert II, and assisting with Symphonic Winds, Concert I, and Jazz Band.
Mr. Fawehinmi graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Texas Tech University, where he studied with Dr. David Shea, Dr. Sarah McKoin, Dr. Eric Allen, and Dr. Jacqueline Henninger.
While at Texas Tech, Mr. Fawehinmi played clarinet in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, and the Goin’ Band from Raiderland Marching Band. His tenure with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble included performing at the TMEA Clinic and Convention in 2017 and at the CBDNA Regional Conference in Houston in 2018.
While in Lubbock, Mr. Fawehinmi was also an active private lesson instructor, teaching lessons in both Lubbock ISD and Frenship ISD. Most recently, Mr. Fawehinmi student taught in Frisco ISD at Lebanon Trail High School with Kelly Wykoff and Adelle R. Clark Middle School with Benjamin Katz.
His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
Outside of teaching, Mr. Fawehinmi spends his time watching sports, lifting weights, and working with technology.
Dan Allen is the Percussion Specialist at Hays Middle School. His responsibilities include teaching beginner percussion classes, assisting percussionists with all performance responsibilities, and working with the percussion section of the Rock Hill High School Band.
Mr. Allen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and a Music Minor from Texas Christian University.
Prior to working in Prosper ISD, Mr. Allen served as the Percussion Director at Nazarene Christian Academy in Crowley, Texas for 3 years. In the spring of 2019, the NCA Drumline won 1st place in the North Texas Colorguard Association for their Percussion Concert A Class show, “The Storm.”
Prior to NCA, Mr. Allen performed with the Odesza Drumline as part of the “A Moment Apart” Tour, including performances at Lollapalooza, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, LaneWay Music Festival in Australia, and at Coachella 2018.
Mr. Allen also taught the Coppell High School drumline from 2015-2018, under the direction of Zach Scheer, a group that won numerous awards for drumline show competitions, including Lone Star 2015 and PASIC 2015 Champions and Best Snare line caption awards.
During his time at TCU, Mr. Allen performed with the TCU Drumline in 2005 and 2006, and at the 2006 PASIC College Drumline Contest, the group swept all eligible captions and took 1st place. Mr. Allen also competed in Drum Corps International as a marching snare drummer for four years: Pioneer, in 2005 and 2006, and with Phantom Regiment, in 2007 and 2008. He aged out as the drumline section leader during the summer of Spartacus, a show that earned Phantom Regiment a Fred Sanford High Percussion Award and a DCI World Championship Gold Medal.
In the fall of 2008, he represented TCU at PASIC in the College Snare Drum Solo category, and was awarded 1st place with an original solo called “On the Shoulders of Giants” - a tribute to the greats that made the art of rudimental snare drum what it is today.
Mr. Allen has taught more than 20 high schools throughout Texas and Colorado, and was on staff for both the Blue Knights Drum Corps and the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, as well as the Crossmen, Phantom Regiment, the Santa Clara Vanguard, the Vigilantes, the Troopers, and Vigilantes Indoor Percussion.
Aside from teaching, Mr. Allen also plays drumset in a trio with his brother Tim and their bass player, Nathan, under the name TimLightYear Trio, and is often found in the studio recording drums for a variety of different musical styles.