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MEET THE BAND DIRECTORS

Corey Graves

Director of Bands

Corey LaMon Graves is in his sixteenth year of teaching and is the head band director at Tony A. Jackson Middle School in Forney ISD. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Graves served as the head director of Roma Middle School for eleven years. Mr. Graves received his Bachelor of Music Education degree as a summa cum laude graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) in 2007. Mr. Graves earned a Master of Music in Euphonium Performance from The Ohio State University (OSU) as a graduate fellow in 2008.

 

Mr. Graves is a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar. Bands under his direction have consistently received superior sweepstakes ratings at UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest, and have also earned high levels of recognition at both the state and national stage, being recognized as a National and Commended Winner in The Foundation for Music Education National Wind Band contest from 2013-2019. The RMS Symphonic Winds have been consistent state finalists in the Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band Competition, being recently honored as the 2020 TMEA CC Honor Band.The RMS Symphonic Winds were also invited to perform at the 70th Annual Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. The RMS band program is a 2019 recipient of the John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Cup Award and named a Rio Grande Valley Program of Distinction. Mr. Graves was chosen as Roma ISD’s 2013 Secondary Teacher of the Year, Forney ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2023, and named the Phi Beta Mu Texas Young Bandmaster of the Year in 2017. He was also named as Yamaha “40 Under 40” Music Teacher of Excellence and a Country Music Awards Music Teacher of Excellence in 2023. He is an active clinician, adjudicator, guest euphoniumist, sits on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, is an educational clinician for the Conn-Selmer Division of Education, and maintains professional affiliations with Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, the UIL Prescribed Music List Committee, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

 

Mr. Graves credits his passion for music to his mother, Brenda M. Moore, his drive for success to his grandmother, Mrs. Vergie Graves, and his love of education to an incredible list of music educators across the country.

Tina Sala

Assistant Band Director

Tina Sala is currently in her third year of teaching and her third year in Forney ISD. Ms. Sala is a Baylor University graduate where she received her Bachelor of Music Education under Dr. Michael Jacobson, Dr. Eric Wilson, Mr. Alex Parker and Dr. David Montgomery. Her primary instrument is saxophone and throughout her undergraduate degree she participated in the Golden Wave Marching Band, the Baylor University Wind Ensemble, the Jazz Ensemble and other saxophone quartets and jazz combos. 

 

Ms. Sala currently serves as the Assistant Band Director at Jackson Middle School and Rhodes Intermediate, where she co-directs the Symphonic Band and teaches the beginning saxophone, flute, clarinet and double-reed classes. During Jackson's first year open in 2021, the Symphonic Band received the first UIL Concert & Sight Reading Sweepstakes Award in school history and has earned consistent UIL sweepstakes awards since its establishment. Prior to her appointment at Jackson, Ms. Sala was the Assistant Band Director at O.P. Norman Junior High in Kaufman ISD and in the fall of 2020, Ms. Sala was awarded the TMEA Music Educators Award. 

 

In addition to teaching, Ms. Sala regularly teaches at the Baylor Summer Music Camps and is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association. She currently lives in Dallas with her dog, Luna and loves to eat sushi. 

Quintavia Deshay

Assistant Band Director

Quintavia Deshay is excited to be a part of the Jackson Middle School Team and the Jaguar Band Program as a third-year Assistant Director. In addition to being the Director for Concert Band, Ms. Deshay assists the Honors Band & Symphonic Band classes and teaches beginning Tuba, Euph, Trombone, and Trumpet classes. 

 

Born and raised in Austin Texas, she earned her Bachelor's Degree May 2021 in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University, Magna Cum Laude. Her Stephen F. Austin mentors include Dr. J.D. Salas, Dr. Tamey Angelly, Dr. Christopher Kaatz, and Dr. David Campo. Ms. Deshay had the opportunity to serve as a tuba player for the Stephen F. Austin State University Bands, Roarin’ Buzzsaws, and as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant of the Lumberjack Marching Band. Upon graduation, Ms. Deshay was the recipient of the Outstanding Senior in Instrumental Music Education Award. When not teaching, Ms. Deshay enjoys playing her instrument, watching movies, and walking her dog Ivy-Simone.

 

Ms. Deshay feels honored to have the opportunity to work with and welcome such phenomenal students' ; who motivate her to grow not only as an educator but as a member of society. 

 

Ms. Deshay is professionally affiliated, with the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Young Band Directors of Texas, and International Tuba Euphonium Association.

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Kohei Sakai

Percussion Director 

Kohei Sakai is in his second year of teaching and currently serves as the Percussion Director and Assistand Band Director for Jackson Middle School and Rhodes Intermediate. He teaches all percussion classes and will be assisting with the beginner flute, trombone, and horn classes. 

 

Originally from Michigan and Ohio, Mr. Sakai came to Texas to attend the University of North Texas where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Percussion. He performed in the marching band, concert bands, various classical and world percussion ensembles, and jazz ensembles. Mr. Sakai served as the percussion director at North Forney High School in the 2022-2023 school year.

 

Outside of band, Mr. Sakai loves good food, sports, dogs, Japan, and hanging out with friends and family.

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