Ron Lewis is a retired teacher in Oklahoma, and current director of the Wind Ensemble at the 9th Grade Academy in Van Buren. Ron has been teaching for 33 years and is a graduate from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He graduated high school from Checotah, Oklahoma. His bands have received many superior ratings and sweepstakes awards. Ron’s Collinsville High School Band won the Worlds of Fun “Festival of Music” contest in 2006, and his middle school band in 2011. The Academy Wind Ensemble won the same contest in 2018. His high school band in McAlester was selected as an OMEA State Honor Band in 1998 and his middle school band in Collinsville in 2011. Ron conducted the Van Buren 9th Academy Wind Ensemble in his first State Honor Band in Arkansas in 2018 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. While in Muldrow, Ron was voted Teacher of the Year for 1993. In Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, Ron is an active adjudicator, honor band conductor and clinician. He has judged over 100 Marching and Concert band contests over the years. Ron is a member of ASBOA Region 8, OMEA, OMMAA, ABA, OBA, JEN, and Phi Beta Mu. Ron is a Past-President of OBA (2004-2005). Ron also served as the OMEA All-State Band Chair for 2009-2010. Ron’s hobbies include gigging on trumpet and playing golf.
Ron’s wife, Gina, is a retired colorguard instructor and the AP Computer Science teacher at Southside High School in Fort Smith. His son, Saxon, is the Music Director at the School of Rock in Frisco, Texas and is a freelance musician in the Dallas area. His daughter, Kelci, is Team Coach and Office Assistant at Williams Center Dance and Gymnastics in Fayetteville.
Brad Reeves is in his 8th year as a member of the Van Buren Band Staff. Prior to coming to Van Buren, he served as the high school director for the Mansfield Public Schools (AR) and middle school director for the Cedarville Public Schools (AR). He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Education from Arkansas Tech University. Mr. Reeves conducts the Van Buren Freshman Academy Symphonic Band and co-directs the Van Buren High School Wind Ensemble. He serves as the low brass specialist for grades 6-12 in the Van Buren Public Schools as well as assists with all aspects of the visual design and implementation of the Pointer Pride Marching Band.
Mr. Reeves frequently serves as an adjudicator and guest clinician throughout Arkansas and holds professional membership in ASBOA, ABA, AASCD, and Phi Beta Mu.
He currently resides in Van Buren with his wife Crystal, who is the band director at Northridge Middle School in Van Buren, his 10-year-old daughter Avril Kay, who is a fourth grader at Parkview Elementary, and his 5-year-old daughter Harper Leigh. When not at school, Mr. Reeves enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on the hogs, and playing in the orchestra at Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith.
Julie Konzelman is in her 21st year of teaching. Julie is a 2010 graduate of Arkansas Tech University (M.Ed., Teaching, Learning and Leadership). She also holds a degree from the University of North Texas (M.M., Flute Performance) and is a 1985 graduate of Arkansas Tech University (B.A., Music Education). She is an active flute clinician and also serves as a mentor for new teachers throughout the state. She earned her National Board Certification in 2005 and was awarded a renewal in 2015.
Julie currently teaches 8th Grade Band at Butterfield Trail Middle School in Van Buren, Arkansas. She also team-teaches with colleagues and provides flute instruction for the Van Buren Band program. Ms. Konzelman previously held performing positions with the Fort Smith Symphony, the Altoona Orchestra, the Nittany Valley Symphony, and served as a Master flute teacher with the Victoria Conservatory of Music in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Ms. Konzelman is a member of ASBOA, ABA, and Phi Beta Mu. Julie also holds leadership offices in ASBOA and ABA.
Julie is married to Charles Konzelman and has a daughter, Carly, who is attending Baylor-Texas A&M College of Dentistry and a son, Alex, who is a student at the University of Arkansas.
Crystal Reeves is the Band Director at Northridge Middle School in Van Buren. Prior to coming to Van Buren, she served as the band director at Clarksville Junior High in Clarksville (AR). She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Arkansas Tech University and is a National Board Certified Teacher (2017).
Mrs. Reeves serves as the single reed specialist for the Van Buren Public Schools teaching clarinet, saxophone, & low reeds throughout the district. She considers her own clarinet teachers, Mr. Earl Allain and Dr. Kelly Johnson as some of her greatest influences.
In 2017, the Northridge Middle School 8th grade band was selected as a featured performing group at the ArkMEA State Convention. Mrs. Reeves has served as a guest clinician throughout Arkansas and holds professional membership in ASBOA, ABA, and Phi Beta Mu.
She currently resides in Van Buren with her husband Brad, who is a band director at Van Buren High School, her 10-year-old daughter Avril Kay, who is a fourth grader at Parkview Elementary, and her 5-year-old daughter Harper Leigh. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and enjoying all things Disney.
Colleen O'Connor is the newest member of the Van Buren Band Staff and serves as the Director of Colorguard Activities for the Van Buren Public Schools. A native of St. Louis, MO, Ms. O’Connor has performed with the Lindbergh High School Colorguard in front of a televised audience of over 47 million viewers at the prestigious Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. and has also performed with the 300 member Pride of Missouri State Marching Band while serving as the captain of their 80 member colorguard. Ms. O’Connor brings an extensive resume of Winter Guard International World Championship performance experience with both the Pride of Missouri State Independent ‘Open’ class winter guard and the National Avenue Independent ‘A’ class winter guard.
Ms. O'Connor also serves as a Culinary Arts teacher for the Van Buren High School. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. When she has free time, she loves to curl up on the couch with her dog and watch movies on Netflix, finding new hiking trails, or visiting her family in St. Louis.
Gail Sly is in her 22th year with the Van Buren School district. She proudly serves as the Van Buren Instrumental Department's Administrative Secretary. She divides her time between all of the bands at the Senior High School, Freshman Academy, Northridge Middle School and Butterfield Trail Middle School, assisting them with their programs. Her degrees are in Political Science, Sociology and Psychology.
Gail is a member of Heritage United Methodist Church and has served as president of Heritage’s United Methodist Women, Board of Ministries and Bereavement Committee. She has also served as the Secretary for the Northwest Arkansas United Methodist Women and the local Board of Church Women United.
Gail’s family includes her daughter Natalie, a graduate from Van Buren and UAFS and works for USA Truck and her fiance Evan Eiland. Her son Nicholas , a graduate from Van Buren and UAFS and the owner of Slyfix and his wife Allyssa, US Air Force and their 3 children Jacob 10, Zachary 3, and Adelynn 3 months. Her stepson Joshua who is studying for his Physical Therapy degree at UAFS, and her husband and the love of her life John Ferrell with whom in her free time enjoys traveling, fishing, following the NASCAR circuit and spoiling their grandchildren.
Brent Evans is in his third year as a member of the Van Buren Band Staff, joining the team after spending the past 5 years as a band director at Ramsey Junior High & Southside High Schools in Fort Smith (AR). Prior to coming to Arkansas, Mr. Evans spent 18 years directing bands in the State of Oklahoma where his bands were consistent OSSAA Sweepstakes winners.
Mr. Evans holds a degree in Instrumental Music Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. As a member of the Van Buren Band Staff, Mr. Evans co-directs the Van Buren High School Concert band, coordinates the Van Buren High School Jazz program, directs the Butterfield Trail Middle School 7th grade band, assists with the Pointer Pride Marching Band, teaches beginning trumpet, & works with Van Buren Freshman Academy Bands in all aspects of performance & player development.
Mr. Evans is a member of Phi Beta Mu, OBA, ABA, ASBOA, & past-president of the Eastern Oklahoma Band Directors Association. He firmly believes teaching music at any level to be a ministry.
He currently resides in Sallisaw, OK with his wife of 28 years, Carol who teaches 1st grade at Liberty Elementary in Sallisaw. The Evans's also have 3 children, Hayden (25) who is an electrician for Lowder Brothers in Fort Smith, AR, daughter Haleigh (21) Senior Public Relations Major at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, OK and Hope (19) a freshman at Oklahoma Christian University majoring in Vocal Music Education. They also are blessed with a beautiful daughter-in-law Jamie and their precious granddaughter Roseleigh. (15 months)
Ron Smith, Director of Bands, is currently serving in his eighteenth year as a member of the Van Buren Instrumental Music Department staff. A graduate of Alma (AR) High School, Mr. Smith holds a B.S.E. degree from the University of Arkansas as well as a M.Ed. degree from the University of Arkansas. Before accepting a position in the Van Buren School District, Mr. Smith conducted championship bands for eight years in the state of Oklahoma, consistently receiving accolades on the state and regional level.
While serving as the Director of Bands for the Van Buren Schools, Mr. Smith has added to the long and proud tradition of performance excellence that the Van Buren Instrumental Music Program is synonymous with throughout the state and region - including numerous marching band caption awards, class championships and overall championships, as well as the addition of 12 ASBOA Sweepstakes Awards to a legacy that spans more than thirty years consecutively.
Mr. Smith has served as the staff music arranger for numerous high school and university marching bands throughout the United States. Mr. Smith is also an active clinician, adjudicator and consultant throughout the southwest United States serving bands in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, California and New Mexico. Mr. Smith's professional affiliations include ASBOA, ABA, OMEA, OBA, MENC, and Phi Beta Mu.
This year Mr. Smith will be celebrating his twenty-sixth year of marriage to his extremely wonderful and supportive wife Stephanie Everitt-Smith, PhD. The Smith's have two wonderful children – Dylan (16) and Bailey (13).
Dustin Chambers is a 1994 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a degree in Instrumental Music Education. Mr. Dustin Chambers taught for the Collinsville School District (OK) until 1999, when he accepted the position of Director of Percussion Studies for the Van Buren School District. In 2009 Mr. Chambers accepted the position as the Assistant Band Director for Van Buren High School while also remaining as the Percussion Director for the district grades 6 through 12.
During his tenure at VBHS, the drum line has won many awards for outstanding drum line at the Arkansas Open Marching contest, the Arkansas Governor's Cup Marching Contest, The Northwest Arkansas Marching Classic contest, and most recently at Renegade Review in Tulsa, OK. The high school percussion ensemble has performed at the Arkansas Day of Percussion at the University of Arkansas.
Mr. Chambers frequently serves as an adjudicator for marching contests in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Currently he has been performing with the Fort Smith Symphony. Mr. Chambers is also a staff percussion arranger/composer for Jair Klarfeld Music. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, the Vic Firth Education Team and an endorser of Evans Drumheads. Mr. Chambers plays drumset in the Grand Family Orchestra at Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith.
He is married to his wonderful wife Stacey and they have 2 children, Ariana and Davis.