David Lesser – Director of Bands
David Lesser is the first Director of Bands at the Clovis North Educational Center since opening in 2007 and has 16 years of teaching experience in the Clovis Unified School District (CUSD). He administers all aspects of CNEC Instrumental Music grades 7-12, conducts the Wind Ensemble, directs the award winning Bronco Marching Band and Color Guard, and conducts the pit orchestra for CNEC musical productions. Mr. Lesser is also the Secondary Instrumental Resource Teacher for the CUSD Visual and Performing Arts Department. Mr. Lesser is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno.
Since the opening of CNEC in 2007 the Clovis North High School Instrumental Music Ensembles have received National, State and local recognition. Notable performances include: an invitation to perform at the 71st annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago Illinois, December 2017,a featured ensemble at the 2017 California All State Music Educators Conference, a featured band at the 2016 Music for All National Concert Band Festival, and served as a lab band for Robert Sheldon at CASMEC in 2014. The Bronco Marching Band has been named Western Band Association (WBA), class or grand champions multiple times since 2010.
Mr. Lesser was proud to serve as part of the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade Music for All National Honor Band Instructional Staff. In 2014 Mr. Lesser received a Crystal award from the Clovis Unified School District for excellence as an educator. In 2006 Lesser was recognized by SBO Magazine as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” in the United States. While a teacher at Clovis West High School he was also the Fresno Madera Counties Music Educator Association (FMCMEA) Jazz Educator of the Year in 2005
David is always looking to support the performances of new wind band literature and is happy to have been a part of commissioning multiple works for wind band by composers such as Michael Daugherty, “Rio Grande”, Gary Gilroy, “Beacon of Polaris”, Timothy Mahr, “Symphony No. 1 for Band”, Vince Oliver title TBA 2017 premiere, and is a member of the California Wind Band Consortium inaugural commission by Adam Schoenberg 2019 premiere.
David has served in numerous capacities for state and local professional organizations, WBA, FMCMEA, CMEA Central Section, San Joaquin Valley Color Guard and Percussion Review. He is the founder of the San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational, an affiliate of the Music for All National Concert Band Festival presented by the Yamaha.
Mr. Lesser has been married 16 years to his beautiful wife, Carol Lesser, who is a Registered Dietitian and an extremely hard working mother. They have two beautiful children, Sarah and Justin. Mr. Lesser would like to give special thanks to the colleagues he works with on a daily basis, Mr. David Gabrielson, Mr. Jose Vargas, Mr. Arthur Howansky, Mr. Shawn Glyde, Mr. Erik Dewhirst, Mrs. Heather Bishop, Mr. Joel Abels, Ms. Jennifer Appleby and Mr. Cody Ashford for their leadership, collaboration and hard work in creating a high standard throughout the entire Clovis North Educational Center Performing Arts Department.
Jose Vargas – Assistant Director of Bands
Jose Vargas is an Assistant Band Director at Clovis North Educational Center where he directs three Granite Ridge Intermediate School Bands, the Clovis North Concert Band and assists with the high school Wind Ensemble, color guards, and the Bronco Marching Band.
Mr. Vargas has also served as the interim conductor of the CSU, Fresno Symphonic Band for the 2013-2014 school year. He currently serves on the Fresno-Madera County Music Educator’s Board as Past President. Mr. Vargas is also the High School Band Conductor at the YMCA Summer Music Camp at Sequoia Lake.
Prior to working at Clovis North Educational Center, Mr. Vargas was the Band Director at Fresno High School where he started a competitive Winter Guard, rejuvenated the Jazz Band, created a Percussion Ensemble, re-established the parent booster club, obtained private lessons for all his band students, and greatly improved the Concert Band. Mr. Vargas took his Percussion Ensemble and Concert Band to festivals where they received Superior ratings.
Mr. Vargas earned his Bachelors of Arts in Music from La Sierra University in 2007 and his Masters in Music in Instrumental Conducting from California State University, Fresno in 2010. He has studied conducting with Dr. Ken Narducci and Dr. Gary P. Gilroy.
Mr. Vargas resides in Fresno with his wife, Allison.
David Gabrielson – Assistant Director of Bands
David Gabrielson serves as an Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Concert Percussion at Clovis North Educational Center in Fresno, CA. Mr. Gabrielson is also a member of the Adjunct Faculty at California State University, Fresno. Advocates for new music, Mr. Gabrielson and his colleagues have commissioned composers for band and percussion ensemble including Beacon of Polaris (2011), Where the Mountains Meet the Sky (2013) and Passageways (2015). He also conducted the world premiere of Accidental Migration (2007) with the Fresno State Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Gabrielson holds a Master of Arts in Music Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Percussion Performance from Fresno State University.
A very active freelance musician, Mr. Gabrielson is a member of the Sacramento Choral Society Orchestra, Music in the Mountains Summer Orchestra, Bear Valley Orchestra and keeps an active performing and adjudicating schedule including regularly performing with the Fresno Philharmonic, Modesto Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Opera. He has also performed with such artists including Branford Marsalis, Doc Severinsen, Edgar Meyers, Zakir Hussain, Bela Fleck and Placido Domingo among others. Mr. Gabrielson currently serves as Vice President of the California Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and cohosts the Central CA Day of Percussion. He is also the cofounder of the San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational affiliated with the Music for All National Concert Band Festival. Mr. Gabrielson is proud to be a REMO Drumhead Artist and a YAMAHA Performing Artist.
Arthur Howansky – Director of Orchestras
Arthur Howansky received his Bachelor of Music degree from California State University at Fullerton in 1983, and a Master of Fine Arts in violin performance, under a Regent’s scholarship, from UCI in 1993. His violin instructors include, Haroutune Bedelian, Lewis Main Jr., Lori Ulanova, and Noumi Fischer.
Before moving to Clovis in 2004, he was on the music faculties at Concordia University, Irvine, Waldorf School of Newport Beach, and also taught strings at a number of Elementary schools for the Capistrano Valley School District. Other teaching positions include String and Orchestra instruction at the Rudolph Steiner Arts School in Oslo, Norway. He conducts the Granite Ridge Middle School Beginning and Advanced Orchestras, and the Clovis North High School String and Symphony Orchestras.
Mr. Howansky’s professional orchestra experience includes performances with the Orquesta Ciudad de Malaga, Spain, American Institute of Musical Studies Orchestra (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, Mozart Classical Orchestra, Capistrano Valley Symphony, South Coast Symphony, Fresno Grand Opera Orchestra, and the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. His chamber music experiences include performances with the Del Gesu String Quartet, Los Angeles Pops Quartet, Utah Chamber Orchestra and Irvine Chamber Orchestra. He has participated in numerous recording sessions in Los Angeles for movie and cartoon soundtracks, commercials and music recordings. Mr. Howansky has played with a number of pop artists such as Johnny Mathis, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, Barry White and Robert Goulet, to name a few.
He was the FMCMEA Orchestra Representative for the 2011 and 2012 seasons and continues his work with FMCMEA as the site coordinator for their Honor Orchestra performances. He is also a member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and the National Association for Music Education (NAFME).
Erik Dewhirst – Director of Jazz Bands
Erik Dewhirst, a native of Reedley CA, studied trombone with Robert Bergstrom while attending Reedley High School. He was principal trombonist of the 1991 California Band Directors Association All-State Honor Band. Erik was also California's only selectee in the 1991 McDonald's All American Band. He went on to major in Music Education at Fresno State where he studied with Dr. Larry Sutherland.
In 1998, Erik enlisted in the United States Marine Corps to serve as a trombonist. Throughout his 12 years as a Marine, Erik has been a featured soloist in three different Marine bands. In 2009 he furthered his study in performance, conducting, arranging and rehearsal techniques at the Armed Forces School of Music Unit Leader Course in Virginia Beach, where he was recognized as the honor graduate. He went on to be an Assistant Small Ensemble Leader at the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, Miramar CA where he led Marines in rehearsal and performance.
A veteran since 2013, Erik has enjoyed performing throughout San Diego, most visibly in Sea World's "Sea Street" band and the San Diego Zoo's, "Chameleons" brass band. He is lead trombonist with the Gaslamp Quarter Jazz Orchestra and performs with Salsa artists Manny Cepeda and Charlie Chavez and Blues artist Earl Thomas. He is married to his high school sweetheart Lisa Dewhirst, (formerly Blied) a flutist, and recently returning band director to Reedley. Erik joined the Clovis North Music team this fall, conducting their two jazz ensembles and mentoring the middle school and high school low brass sections. Erik and Lisa are happy to be back home in the valley pursuing new endeavors in music education. Erik has four talented children ranging in age from 13 to 19.
Shawn Glyde – Director of Marching Percussion
Shawn Glyde is a U.S. based musician, drummer, author, recording artist, drumline arranger, writer and instructor. In 2016, Shawn released his brand new method book series, Quick Start Drums, for drum set and drumline studies. He has recorded 3 solo fusion albums to date which have been highlighted in Modern Drummer Magazine.
He spends most of his time working on band and indoor percussion show designs. His original compositions and arrangements for marching band and indoor marching percussion have won numerous honors including 2010 and 2011 WBA AA Champions (percussion Champions 2010, 2012, 2013) and 2013 WBA AAA Grand Champions. He writes for several band and percussion programs yearly and has an extensive catalog of indoor marching percussion and marching band shows to his credit. There are an estimated 150 competitive programs per year performing his musical arrangements.
Currently, Shawn’s related affiliations include Clovis North High School marching percussion arranger and show designer (2007-present), Fresno State University marching percussion arranger/advisor (2000- present), Music Team 7 - film scoring and sound design (2012-present), Concord Blue Devils ‘A’ drum set arranger/consultant (2009- present) staff arranger for show-designs.com, xtremepercussion.com, keypoulanmusic.com, gpgmusic.com and related organizations (U.S. / Int’l.), private drum lesson (drum set and drumline) studio teacher (Clovis, CA).
Lynette Rodriguez – Color Guard Director