DIRECTORS

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Michael Cheripka
Director of Bands
mike.cheripka@birdvilleschools.net

Mr. Cheripka is currently in his 17th year of teaching and 13th year at Birdville High School. Since becoming the Director of Bands in 2012, the Birdville High School Band Program has received consecutive UIL Sweepstakes awards, has consistently advanced to the Area Finals in both Marching Band and the TMEA Honor Band Competition, advanced to the State Marching Contest in 2015 & 2017, and is a Bands of America Regional / Super Regional Finalist. The Mighty Hawk Marching Band was featured on the Discovery Channel’s hit television show “Fast’n Loud” in 2014 helping to unveil their 1968 Cornet. Under his direction, The Birdville High School Jazz Ensemble was selected as a “Commended Winner” for their 2012 recordings and a “National Winner” for their 2015 & 2016 recordings by the Foundation for Music Education in their National Jazz Honors Competition. The Birdville Wind Ensemble has received Grand Champion Awards at the Peak Music Festival in 2014, 2015 & 2016.  In 2016, the Birdville High School Wind Ensemble performed at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival as a “Featured Performing Band” and the Saxophone Quartet and Percussion Ensemble performed in 2019.
 

Mr. Cheripka received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he studied under Dr. Jack Stamp (conducting) and Dr. Kevin Eisensmith (Trumpet). During his time at IUP, he served as Phi Mu Alpha’s Director of Music, as well as their social chair. In 2002, Mr. Cheripka was a member of the World Champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in which he played lead trumpet. He currently serves as the TMEA Region 31 Jazz Chairman and Organizer.
 

Mr. Cheripka currently resides in Mansfield, Texas with his two Black Labs, Snoopy and Sadie.

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Joshua Stover
Assistant Band Director
joshua.stover@birdvilleschools.net

Joshua Stover is the Assistant Band Director and AP Music Theory instructor at Birdville High School. Previously, he was an Assistant Band Director at Walsh Middle School in Round Rock ISD. While there, the Walsh Band was invited to perform at the 74th annual Midwest Clinic and was a TMEA State Honor Band Finalist. He was also a successful trombone instructor for several award winning band programs in the school districts of Leander, Pflugerville, and Austin. He received a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from UT-Arlington.

 

He has a diverse performance background that includes playing with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores (premier jazz band), and recording albums with the historic University of Michigan Symphony Band. Other unique performance opportunities have included halftime at “The Big House” (Michigan Stadium) with the New York Philharmonic Brass, a summer at the Brevard Music Festival, and a performance with Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band. He studied trombone under Dennis Bubert, Charlie Vernon, and David Jackson. Notable conductors he has worked with include Keith Lockhart (Boston Pops) and Alan Gilbert (N.Y. Philharmonic), the legendary wind band conductor H. Robert Reynolds, as well as military conductors Col. John R. Bourgeois and Col. Arnald D. Gabriel. He was selected to the 2019 TMEA All-State Etude Committee, picking the bass trombone etudes for the state. He is an advocate for performance opportunities in the community for his students, which has included taking his trombone choir to perform at the Big 12 Trombone Conference, as well as a performance at the Central Texas Philharmonic’s Joe Alessi Concert and multiple invitations to perform the national anthem at the Round Rock Express’ July 4th Celebration.

 

Mr. Stover is a member of Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the International Trombone Association. He was born in England, grew up in Texas (Copperas Cove), and now proudly lives in Fort Worth with his family and rescue dog Chase. He is excited to be a part of the Mighty Hawk Band!

Shelby Mitchell
Assistant Band Director
shelby.mitchell@birdvilleschools.net
Dr. Akira Robles
Percussion Director
akira.robles@birdvilleschools.net
Austin Horton
Colorguard Director
austin.horton@birdvilleschools.net
 

Instructional Staff

Birdville High School Directors

Mike Cheripka

Joshua Stover

Shelby Mitchell

Dr. Akira Robles

Austin Horton

Richland Middle School Directors 

Katie Binkley

Karl Krause 

Smithfield Middle School Directors

Joshua Schechter

Jim Atilano