The L.D. Bell Band Directors
Van Mathews is the Director of Bands at L.D. Bell High School in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District. During his tenure, the L.D. Bell Band Blue Raider Band has been named Bands of America Regional Champions, Bands of America San Antonio Super Regional Champions, Texas UIL AAAAAA State Marching Contest Silver Medalist in 2008 and 2010, Bronze Medalist in 2012 and has been a finalist 4 times at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana finishing in the top 3 in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Mr. Mathews’ concert ensembles consistently receive the highest ratings at the University Interscholastic League Concert and Sightreading Contest, performing some of the finest literature in the wind band repertoire. Prior to joining the L.D. Bell staff in 2008, Mr. Mathews taught for 8 years in the Birdville Independent School District at Haltom High School. As a Texas resident, Mr. Mathews has also taught at Lewisville High School in the Lewisville Independent School District and at Lake Highlands High School in the Richardson Independent School District.
Van will be returning to join the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in the 2016 season assisting the members and staff as a consultant. From 1992-1999, he was the brass caption coordinator and a member of the instructional staff with the Madison Scouts. From 2000-2009, Mr. Mathews served as a member of the brass staff for the 17-time Drum Corps International World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from Concord, California. Throughout his drum corps experiences, Van has had the opportunity to teach with incredibly talented music educators and outstanding brass performers earning the Jim Ott Memorial Award 6 times. Van began performing in 1984 with the Suncoast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps from Pinellas Park, Florida and aged out as a member of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps from Madison, Wisconsin.
Mr. Mathews received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Carolina and his Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois. While at the University of Illinois, he completed all course work for the Ed. D. in Music Education. Van is an adjudicator for Bands of America as well as numerous local and national marching band contests. In addition, Mr. Mathews conducts clinics and consultations for various concert and marching programs throughout the United States and Europe. His professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Gamma Beta Phi. He lives in North Richland Hills, Texas with his patient and loving wife, Brenda, charming and talented daughter, Gabriella, and spirited firstborn son Derek.
Chris Harmon joined the staff of L.D. Bell High School as Associate Director of Bands in the summer of 2016. Prior to moving to Texas, Mr. Harmon was the Director of Bands at Lake Central High School in St. John, Indiana from 1998-2016, and was the Director of Bands at Lowell High School in Lowell, Indiana from 1994-1997. Bands under his direction have consistently earned superior ratings at all contests and festivals. The Lake Central Marching Band has been a consistent ISSMA Class A State Finalist, Bands of America (BOA) Regional Finalist, BOA Semi-Finalist, and was named the 2013 BOA Toledo Regional Champion. The Lake Central “Tribe of Pride” has also been nominated four times for the prestigious Sudler Shield.
Mr. Harmon received a Bachelor of Music Education from Wichita State University, a Master of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois, and a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Northwestern University.
As a strong advocate for the importance of student leadership, Mr. Harmon co-presented a leadership session at the Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) State Convention in January of 2016. In addition to teaching leadership sessions at schools and camps during his “free” time, Mr. Harmon was fortunate to have the student leaders from Lake Central used as the demonstration group for the book/DVD Classic Leadership by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, published by GIA Publications.
Mr. Harmon has been extensively involved in Drum Corps International as a performing member with the Sky Ryders (1980-1985), and the Madison Scouts (1986-1988). He was also a staff member for the Madison Scouts from 1989-2002, returning in 2016 as a visual consultant.
Mr. Harmon’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Indiana Music Educators Association, Indiana Bandmasters Association, International Association for Jazz Education, College Band Directors National Association (associate membership), and the International Trumpet Guild. He also served several terms on the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) State Board, as well as the ISSMA Marching Band Committee. Mr. Harmon was recently inducted into the Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Mu (international school bandmaster fraternity). He lives in Arlington, Texas with his wife Anne, daughter Chloe, and dog Miles.
Suzanne Dell is currently an Associate Band Director at L.D. Bell High School in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District located in Hurst, TX. Her responsibilities include conducting Band Three and the L.D. Bell Jazz Ensemble, teaching Applied Music, teaching beginning brass classes in the cluster, and working with the L.D. Bell Blue Raider Band. Prior to her appointment at L.D. Bell, Mrs. Dell was the Associate Director at Bedford Jr. High from 2009-2014. Her responsibilities included teaching beginning brass classes and conducting the Non-Varsity Ensemble.
Mrs. Dell began her teaching career in 2003 at Mountain Ridge Jr. High and American Fork High School in American Fork, Utah. During that time, the American Fork Marching Band was a Bands of America Regional Finalist, Grand Nationals Semi-Finalist, and performed at the 2004 Presidential Inaugural Parade. From 2006 to 2008, Mrs. Dell was Director of Bands at Carroll Middle School in Southlake, TX.
Originally from Central Illinois, Mrs. Dell received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas, where she studied Horn with Bill Scharnberg and played in ensembles under the direction of Nicholas Williams, Brad Genevro, Brian Bowman, and Dennis Fisher. Mrs. Dell is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Conducting at Messiah College in Grantham, PA, studying with Dr. Brad Genevro.
Mrs. Dell lives in Bedford with her husband, Nick, and their two boys, Jacob (14) & Jonathan (7).
Ben Maughmer is in his third year as associate director of bands at L.D. Bell high school. His duties include teaching percussion and wind band at the high school and teaching beginner classes on both Bedford, and Hurst junior high campuses. Ben composes and arranges the percussion portion of the L.D. Bell marching band show.
He worked for 17 years teaching in the Birdville Independent School District, the last 11 years of which were Associate Director of Bands at Haltom High School, located in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. Under his direction the Haltom High School Percussion Ensemble won the 2004 Percussive Arts Society International call for tapes contest and performed a showcase concert at the 2004 PASIC convention in Nashville Tennessee.
As a performer and instructor Ben has accumulated 29 years of drum corps experience, 6 DCI world championships, and 3 Fred Sanford high percussion titles. Ben is in his 8th year teaching the Blues Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, where he instructs the percussion section and coordinates the music ensemble for the corps. Prior to joining the Blue Devils instructional staff in the fall of 2005; Ben served on the instructional staff of the Bluecoats from 2003-2005, the Cavaliers from 2001-2003 and Blue Knights from 1992-1998.
He earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of North Texas where he performed with the world champion U.N.T. drum line for three years and served on the instructional staff for three years.
Ben is a Yamaha Performing Artist. He is also endorsed by Pro-Mark drumsticks and Evans drumheads, and Zildjian Cymbals and has published several articles in various journals. His professional affiliations include, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Band Masters, and the Percussive Arts Society. In 2013 Ben travelled to China to sevre as a judge and clinician at the 16th Annual Beijing Students Arts Festival. He is an active clinician, judge and arranger throughout the United States. Ben lives in the Dallas- Forth Worth area with his wife Maya, and their four children, Bianca (12), Benjamin (9), Phoebe (7), and Theodore 5).