Home of the Bands of the Ladue School District
Home of the Bands of the Ladue School District
The Ladue Band program provides students with a variety of opportunities designed to develop individual skills and talents through performance oriented experiences and to develop a greater appreciation of music through academic music classes. The effort and cooperation of the band instructional staff gives students the opportunities and incentives to continue their musical studies from grade five through grade twelve.
The Elementary Band program begins at the Fifth Grade Center. The classes meet during the school day three times weekly in homogeneous groups. Annual enrollments in the Fifth Grade Band have averaged 125 members over the past ten years.
The Middle School Band program has grown in quality and enrollment to its current enrollment of 210 students in grades 6-8. The subsequent curriculum materials created were published by the district and have found favor with other programs around the country. The Ladue Middle School Concert Band performed for the Missouri Music Educators Association State Convention in 1992, 1996, and 2001. The Middle School Jazz Band further enhances the quality and offerings of the band program and prepares students for the high school band experience.
The High School Band program offers performing opportunities in Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Chamber Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Pit Orchestra and Symphonic Orchestra. Pep Band performs at home football games, pep rallies, and basketball games. All students enrolled in the band program as percussionists are members of the Percussion Ensemble. Jazz Band members perform at the annual Night of Jazz Concert. Chamber ensembles are formed to promote independent musicianship. The Musical Pit Orchestra provides the music for LHWHS’s spring musical. Selected students join with the Chamber Orchestra to perform as a full Symphonic Orchestra. The Ladue High School Symphonic Band has performed for the Missouri Music Educators Association State Convention in 1982, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2013, and 2019.
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, Marilyn Maye, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Jay Leno, Marty Allen, Bob Newhart, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. 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.
Erin Elstner is Associate Director of Bands and percussion specialist for the Ladue School District. Elstner directs the Ladue percussion ensembles as well as assists with the LMS and LHWHS bands. Elstner received her B.M. in Percussion Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York (The New School University), her Music Education certification from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and her M.M. in conducting at Webster University. From 2007-2019, Elstner directed the Webster University Percussion Ensemble and the Webster University Community Music School (CMS) Percussion Ensemble. In addition, she has taught applied percussion lessons and percussion methods courses at Webster University and private percussion and drum set lessons at the CMS. She has been a member of the faculty at Maryville University, the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School, the Third Street Music Settlement, Carnegie Hall, and the Taichung School of Arts and Music in Taiwan. Elstner’s numerous performance achievements include playing percussion with the International Women’s Brass Conference, an American tour led by Susan Slaughter, the new music ensemble Synchronia, member of the Brazilian groups The Sambistas and the Sambanditos,“The True Heart” with Glen Velez, the VH-1 Fashion Awards in New York with the group De La Guarda, Peter Cetera of Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet, the Grateful Dead reunion tour, Motown, Weird Al Yankovic, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 100-year centennial celebration performance of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and the Wiz at the St. Louis Muny, Cirque Musica, The Who and drum set for the "Bright Lights, Broadway" Asian tour, Cabaret at the Repertory Theater of St. Louis and Sondheim’s Company at the Edison Theater at Washington University. Elstner is a member of the St. Louis Bach Society performing at Powell Hall and the Swing of Hearts Orchestra, performing regularly at McKendree University. Erin Elstner is an endorsed artist by the Zildjian Cymbal Company.
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.
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 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