Aaron Lehde - Director of Bands, District Music Facilitator
Aaron Lehde is Director of Bands and District Music Facilitator for the Ladue School District, where he has taught since 2002. His duties include conducting the Symphonic, Concert, and Jazz Bands at Ladue Horton Watkins High School along with the Seventh and Eighth grade Concert and Jazz Bands at Ladue Middle School. Lehde earned his B.M. Music Education and Jazz Performance, (2000) and M.M. Jazz Performance, (2010) from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has served the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association as President (2016-2018), High School Jazz VP (2010-2014) and Middle School Jazz VP (2004-2008). Lehde has directed ILMEA District 6 Jazz Bands in 2011, 2013, and 2015, has been a Teaching Artist for Jazz St. Louis’ Jazz U program since 2008. Lehde has played saxophones and other woodwinds with numerous artists including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the MUNY Orchestra, Frankie Valli, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Manhattan Transfer, Maynard Ferguson, Byron Stripling, Wayne Newton, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, Idina Menzel, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jay Leno, Marty Allen, and Bob Newhart. His touring and performance experience has brought him to 47 states and 27 countries worldwide. Lehde is a member of NAfME, MMEA, MBA, Phi Beta Mu, and the AF of M, Local 2-197. Lehde lives with his wife Kristie, son Owen, and daughter Eleanor in Webster Groves. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess, golfing, and writing about himself in the third person.
Michael D. Faris – Associate Director, High School & Middle School Bands
Michael Faris is Associate Director of Bands and percussion instructor for the Ladue School District. In addition to his work with the bands, Faris directs the Concert and Symphonic percussion ensembles at the high school along with the sixth, seventh and eighth grade percussion ensembles at the middle school. A native of Washington state, Faris completed his undergraduate work at Central Washington University receiving degrees in Music Education and Music Performance concurrently, completing both in 1985. For the 1986-87 season he was the principal substitute timpanist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 1987 he relocated to Missouri to pursue graduate studies at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music from which he graduated with a Master of Music in 1989. In 1990, Faris was appointed principal percussionist with the Illinois Symphony and Illinois Chamber Orchestra with whom he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1991. During this same time he was also the percussion instructor for Lindenwood University and Webster University. In 1993 he accepted his current position with the Ladue school district. Faris is past president of the Missouri Percussive Arts Society and an active performer throughout the Greater St. Louis area. He has performed with the St. Louis Symphony and is past principal percussionist with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra and the Metropolitan Symphony of St. Louis. As an author, he has written three method books including “Initial Studies for Snare Drum and Keyboard Mallets” which he originally developed for the Ladue District percussion curriculum. He currently resides in Ballwin, Missouri with his wife Lenore and their three children. Aubrey is finishing her degree work in political science at The Ohio State University, Hans is in training with the U.S. army as a military intelligence specialist, and Miles attends Marquette high school.
Katie Solomon - Associate Director, Fifth Grade Center & Middle School Bands
Katie Solomon directs the Fifth Grade Center Band as well as the sixth grade band at Ladue Middle School. At the Ladue Horton Watkins High School, she assists with the Symphonic and Concert bands. Solomon has been teaching in the Ladue School District since 2006. She graduated from Truman State University with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and her Master of the Arts Degree in Education. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education and the Missouri Music Educators Association. Solomon lives in University City with her husband Mark, children Owen and Cora, and cats George and Gracie. She enjoys playing softball and cheering for the Cardinals.
Scott E. Harris - Associate Director, Middle School Bands
A native of Kansas City, Scott graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1987 and began his teaching career as Director of Bands at West County High School. From there, Scott has taught in the Central R-3, Fox C-6 and Northwest R-1 School Districts. Concert Bands and Wind Ensembles under his direction, have consistently received I ratings at both the Missouri Large Ensemble Contest and Festivals around the country. His 1995 Fox High School Jazz Ensemble was the featured Jazz performance at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention. He returned in 2001 as the Co-director of the Northwest High School Jazz Ensemble. Scott was also the Director of the Mineral Area Kicks Band in the early 1990’s and the Director of the St. Louis Community College Wednesday Night Jazz Lab Band from 1997-2005. A professional Bass Trombonist, Scott has shared the stage with many jazz musicians such as Louie Bellson, Marvin Stamm, Bobby Shew, Bill Watrous, Ed Shaughnessy and Manhattan Transfer. He is in demand across the Midwest as a clinician, adjudicator, conductor and professional Audio Engineer. Scott is also the owner of “Shhh” Productions, a professional On-Location Recording and Sound Company. Scott resides in Arnold with his wonderful wife Danelle, their son, Vincent, three cats and Sassy the dog.
Jason Harris- Associate Director, Fifth Grade Center & High School Bands
Jason Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and a Master of the Arts in Music from Webster University. Harris is an active musician in the St. Louis area with over twenty years of professional performing experience. A recent trumpet professor at Lindenwood University and Jefferson College, Harris has performed trumpet with The Temptations, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, Gateway Brass Quintet, Union Avenue Opera, Washington University Symphony, Gateway Festival Orchestra, Compton Heights Concert Band, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Webster Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony, Susan Slaughter’s Holiday Brass, St. Louis Brass Band, and the American Kantorei Orchestra to name a few. Currently, Harris is a member of the Winter Opera Orchestra, the Clarion Brass Quintet, and Stonehenge Brass. For about decade, Harris sounded “Taps” at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery for over 10,000 military funerals. Prior to joining the Ladue faculty, Mr. Harris recently served as the Instrumental Music Director for the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District for the past eleven years. As an educator, Mr Harris has garnered national recognition for his innovative approaches to utilizing technology in music education. www.jasonharristrumpet.com