Directors

Nate Smith

Mr. Smith is in his 7th year of teaching in the Buda/Kyle community and his 3rd year as the Head Band Director at Chapa Middle School. He is a graduate of James Bowie High School in Austin under the direction of Mr. Rosendo Sanchez, Allen Sanders, and Cathy Bennett. He took private lessons from Mr. Glenn Richter from the University of Texas for 6 years during middle and high school. As the Head Director for the Cougar Band, Mr. Smith conducts the Wind Ensemble, the "Green and Blues" Jazz Band and teaches the Beginning Trumpet, Horn, Trombone. Mr. Smith's bands have consistently received sweepstakes "Superior" ratings from all judges at UIL, making Chapa Middle School history by earning this distinction in consecutive years for the last 3 years.

Prior to becoming a teacher in Hays CISD, Mr. Smith attended Texas State University where he graduated in May 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Music Education. While at Texas State, Mr. Smith was a member of the Bobcat Marching Band, Bobcat Basketball Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra, and the Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble and studied Tuba methods with Raul Rodriguez. He served in many capacities in the various ensembles including Section Leader, Drum Major, Visual and Field Coordinator for the Bobcat Marching Band, Principal Tuba of the Wind Ensemble, and Band Manager. He also was a student guest conductor of the Concert Band during his Senior year. While at Texas State, he received the Outstanding Instrumental Music Major Award and the Kappa Kappa Psi "J. Lee Burke Student Achievement" national award for scholarship and service within the School of Music. Mr. Smith's most recent accomplishments include an article published in the September 2013 issue of The Southwestern Musician magazine. Distributed to over 15,000 readers, the Southwestern Musician is the state's largest publication for music educators. He also was chosen as the 2014-2015 Chapa Middle School Teacher of the Year.

He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, the International Tuba and Euphonium Association, Alpha Chi Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Fraternity for College Bands.

In his free time, Mr. Smith enjoys hunting and fishing, watching Spurs basketball, and playing his PS4. He has been married to his wife, Alyssa, for 12 years and she teaches 2nd Grade at Tom Green Elementary, also in Hays CISD. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have a beautiful daughter, Adalyn, who will be turning 6 this year. The family lives on 3 acres just outside of Lockhart, along with their dog, Savana.


Rachael Janek
Ms. Janek is entering into her 9th year of teaching and her 5th year as the Assistant Band Director at Chapa Middle School. Ms. Janek is a graduate of Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas under the direction of Larry Schnitzer, Michael Kilgore, Allan Goodwin, and Scott Olsen. Throughout middle school and high school, she took lessons with Peter Unterstein, bassoonist of the Ft. Worth Symphony. Prior to her time in Hays CISD, Ms. Janek spent four years in Lockhart ISD and several summers as a cymbal tech coaching cymbal lines from Pflugerville down to Laredo.

Ms. Janek attended Texas State University and received a Bachelor's in Music Education in 2009. While at Texas State, Ms. Janek was a member of the Bobcat Marching Band, Bobcat Drumline, Bobcat Basketball Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra, the Double Reed Ensemble, and studied Double Reed Methods with Daris Hale and Dr. Ian Davidson. She served in many capacities in these ensembles including Section Leader for the Bobcat Marching Band, and Principal Bassoonist in the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. She was a recipient of the Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship, took part in several Concerto Competitions throughout the state of Texas and was a finalist in the Mid-Texas Symphony Concerto Competition. Ms. Janek was a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Ian Davidson's "Music Appreciation" classes and was also awarded the Tau Beta Sigma "Bandsman of the Year" award. Ms. Janek is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, International Double Reed Society, Percussive Arts Society, and Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Fraternity for College Bands.

As a Director for the Cougar Band, Ms. Janek conducts the Symphonic Band and has taught beginning flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, baritone, and percussion classes. Ms. Janek's bands have had consistent "Superior" ratings at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest at the Non-Varsity level since 2013.

 
Ms. Janek enjoys swimming, kayaking, hiking, road and mountain biking, visiting family in Dallas, and cooking. She is an active member at Maximum 3 Crossfit, participates in olympic weightlifting, and she also enjoys dog obedience and agility training with her female German Shorthaired Pointer, "Charley" aka Noodle Pants. Most of all, she loves playing with her nieces and nephews, sitting on the porch drinking coffee, and of course... Dallas Cowboys Football.


Kyle Manning

Mr. Manning is starting his 2nd year of teaching at Chapa Middle School. Prior to becoming a band director, Mr. Manning worked as a percussion specialist for 7 years teaching private percussion lessons and drumlines throughout Arkansas and Texas. In Texas, Mr. Manning worked in Leander ISD, New Braunfels ISD, and Austin ISD. He also worked as the Drumline Tech at Texas State University during their 2015-2016 season, guiding them to their PASIC performance in November of 2015. Mr. Manning is a graduate of Vilonia High School in Vilonia, AR under the direction of the late Steve Platt, Clay Paul, Scott Maddox, Robert Harkrider, and Phil Nichols. Mr. Manning was selected as an All-State Band percussionist for 3 consecutive years and an All-Region Jazz percussionist in 2008.

Prior to becoming a teacher in Hays CISD, Mr. Manning attended Arkansas Tech University where he studied Music and Anthropology with a percussion emphasis. While at Arkansas Tech, Mr. Manning was a member of the ATU Band of Distinction Marching Band, the ATU Drumline, the Percussion Ensemble, the Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble, and the ATU Basketball Band. Within these ensembles, Mr. Manning held many leadership roles including Principal Percussionist in the Wind Ensemble, Drumline Captain, Rhythm Section Leader in Jazz Ensemble, and Percussion Section Leader in the ATU Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Manning was selected to be a part of the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band in 2012, performing at the 2012 Arkansas All-State Convention. During his undergraduate study, Mr. Manning spent two years performing with the indoor drumline, River Valley Independent, performing in finals at WGI World Championships in 2012 with their show titled, “Great Expectations.” He also cofounded the Middle Eastern hand drumming ensemble, Raqs Zeeshan, alongside ethnomusicologist, Dr. Lowell Lybarger. Mr. Manning is a member of Percussive Arts Society, Texas Music Educators Association, and Texas Bandmasters Association.

As an Assistant Band Director for the Cougar Band, Mr. Manning oversees the percussion studio, conducts the Concert band, teaches beginning saxophone, tuba, percussion, and assists with the newly established Jazz Ensemble the "Green & Blues".

In his free time, Mr. Manning enjoys camping, hiking, kayaking, biking, and traveling with his wife, Becca, and their dog, Ozark. He also enjoys performing with the big band, Hill Country Jazz, as well as subbing in with various ensembles in central Texas.