Director of Bands
Alex Yañez is very proud to be part of the LEE Band family as Director of Bands. Mr. Yañez is starting his 21st year in music education and can’t think of a better place to be other than the district that he grew up in. Mr. Yañez is a graduate of MacArthur High School and has lived in San Antonio all his life. He graduated from Texas State University and holds a bachelor's degree in music education and is certified in Jazz Studies under Dr. James Polk. While at Texas State he was a member of the Bobcat Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Salsa del Rio, Jazz Band, and Jazz Combos. He studied saxophone with John Mills, Greg Wilson and Doug Skinner. Mr. Yañez most recently was the associate director of bands at John Jay High School. Under his direction, his band has consistently received superior and excellent ratings at UIL. He was also the director of the Jazz Band, a competitive ensemble that has been very successful at local Jazz festivals. Mr. Yañez has been a clinician as a woodwind specialist in both concert and jazz in districts across San Antonio. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Education Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Jazz Educators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Mr. Yañez's greatest joy is being a father to his two kids, Ariana and Alejandro. He has been happily married to his wife Lydia for 18 years who is the Orchestra Director at Roosevelt HS. Mr. Yañez is also a freelance musician and is a member of the San Antonio Jazz Orchestra (SAJO) and Powerhouse Big Band. In his free time, he likes watching sports with his son, going to the gym, and just being around family.
Mr. Garza received both his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Music in Music Performance degrees from Texas State University. While working on his Master's degree, Mr. Garza was a graduate teaching assistant for the university music/percussion department. During that time he taught applied percussion lessons to undergraduate music majors, assisted and conducted with the university percussion ensembles, marching band, Panorama Steel Band, and was section leader of the university wind ensemble under the direction of Mr. John Stansberry.
George Garza most recently served as Associate Director of Bands at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Helotes, TX. Mr. Garza worked with all four concert bands, jazz bands, jazz combos, the marching band, and percussion ensembles. The O’Connor High School percussion section has made several appearances at the PAS National Marching Percussion Festival and in 2005 they were awarded 1st place in the marching division in Columbus, Ohio. Along with their win, they also won outstanding awards for snares, basses, cymbals, and tenors. In 2009, the group also brought home the outstanding cymbal award. The O’Connor HS Percussion Ensemble was also recently awarded 1st place in the large division of the Black Swamp National Percussion Showcase in 2016. The OCHS small percussion ensemble also performed twice at the PAS national convention and was awarded 1st place in the small ensemble competition in 2011 in Indianapolis. Other awards include outstanding percussion at Drums Along the Medina Marching Festival, Outstanding Percussion at East Central Marching Festival, and have been named Grand Champion at the Central Texas Drumline Classic.
Prior to his teaching at O’Connor High School, Mr. Garza was Associate Band Director in the Hays CISD, and district Percussion Coordinator. While at Hays, Mr. Garza taught 6th grade beginning French Horn and percussion, was the assistant band director at Dahlstrom Middle School and Hays High School, conducted the jr. high and high school percussion ensembles, and directed the Hays High School Indoor Percussion Ensemble.
Mr. Garza has also served as Adjunct Faculty at Texas State University where he taught percussion methods classes and applied percussion classes to upper-level music majors and has been on the Texas State Summer Percussion Camp faculty for the past 10 years.
Mr. Garza’s professional playing experience includes performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, the Berkeley World Music Festival in Boston Mass. EuroDisney in Paris, France and was a performer at Fiesta Texas Theme Park in San Antonio. Mr. Garza has also performed with the San Antonio Jazz Orchestra, the Infinity variety band, the Starlite Band, and was a member of the UTSA jazz band, and the Texas State University Jazz band under the direction of Dr. Keith Winking. Mr. Garza was also the lead player of the Texas State Panorama Steel band which did tours in Europe and Mexico City. Mr. Garza also is a part-owner and drum set player for his own band, Roadtrip, which plays regularly around San Antonio and beyond.
Mr. Garza enjoys spending all his free time with his 3 young boys, Ryan, Jacob and Riley, and his wife Kim, who is also a band director here in NEISD at Lopez Middle School.