The L.D. Bell Band Directors

 

Suzanne Dell
Suzanne Dell

 

Suzanne Dell is the current Director of Bands at L.D. Bell High School. Previously, she served as an Associate Director at Bell (2014-2021) and at Bedford Junior High (2009-2014).  From 2003-2006, Mrs. Dell taught 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.

During her tenure with the L.D. Bell Blue Raider Band, the band has been a Bands of America DFW Regional Finalist, Atlanta Super Regional Class Champion, San Antonio & Atlanta Super Regional Finalist, and 2016 UIL 6A State Marching Contest finalist. Concert groups under the direction of Mrs. Dell have been awarded numerous Texas UIL Sweepstakes Awards and have received top honors at participating festivals and competitions.

Since 2016, Mrs. Dell has served on the brass staff for the 19-time world champion Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps from Concord, CA.

Originally from 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. She has a Master’s Degree from Messiah College, where she studied with Dr. Brad Genevro.

Mrs. Dell lives in Bedford with her husband, Nick and their two sons, Jacob (19) and Jonathan (13).

 

 

Chris Harmonchrisharmon

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.

 

 

Ben Maughmer

Ben Maughmer

Ben Maughmer is in his twelfth 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 worked for seventeen 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. In 2019 the L.D Bell chamber percussion ensemble won 1st place in the PAS chamber ensemble contest held at PASIC.

As a performer and instructor Ben has accumulated thirty-five years of drum corps experience, ten DCI world championships, and four Fred Sanford high percussion titles. Ben is in his sixteenth year teaching the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, where he coordinates the music ensemble for the corps and assists with the instruction of the percussion section. 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 endorsed by System Blue, Pro-Mark drumsticks, Evans drumheads, and Zildjian Cymbals. His professional affiliations include, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Band Masters, and the Percussive Arts Society. He is an active clinician, judge and arranger in the United States, Japan and China for marching band and Drum Corps. In 2013 Ben travelled to China to serve as a judge and clinician at the 16th Annual Beijing Students Arts Festival. In 2016 Ben traveled to Beijing on a clinic tour where he gave twenty-two clinics in eleven days including training for the top marching programs in the city as well as the Peoples Liberation Army and Navy percussionists.

Ben served on the staff of Metro Alliance Indoor Percussion Ensemble. He has served as a judge in the indoor percussion circuits NTCA, TCGC, MEPA, IPA, RMPA, MIA, NWAPA, and WGPO.

Ben lives in the Dallas- Fort Worth area with his wife Maya and their four children, Bianca (20), Benjamin (17), Phoebe (15), and Theodore (13).

 

 

Molly Neal

Molly Neal

Molly Neal is a graduate from Texas Christian University where she received her Bachelor of Music Education and studied horn with Heather Test. At TCU, Ms. Neal was a member of the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and the TCU Horn Ensemble, performing at venues such as TMEA and ABA. During her last two years at TCU, Ms. Neal served as the Drum Major for the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band.

Prior to LD Bell, Ms. Neal taught at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson, TX from 2019-2021. Her responsibilities included teaching beginner brass classes, working with the marching band, and leading the High School Symphonic Band. During her time at Pearce, the bands received Sweepstakes at UIL and was a Bands of America (BOA) Regional Finalist.

Outside of TCU, Ms. Neal spent three summers performing in Drum Corps International. In 2016 she marched with Carolina Crown, winning both the Jim Ott, Best Brass Performance, and the John Brazale, Best Visual Performance, awards. In both 2017 and 2018, Ms. Neal was a featured soloist for The Blue Devils and won the DCI World Championships in 2017. Ms. Neal’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Kappa Kappa Psi.