Mr. Hannah's concert and marching bands have consistently received first division ratings at the Texas University Interscholastic League. The Wind Ensemble has won several national music festival awards. The 2002 Full Symphony orchestra comprised, of the Wind Ensemble and PWSH five time String Honor group, was selected to perform at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Convention.
Hannah's jazz bands have also won numerous ensemble and individual student awards. Hannah's jazz band students have performed for several Grammy Award winning artists. These artists have included Wynton Marsalis, The Yellowjackets, Take Six, and Spyro Gyra.
James Hannah's honors and professional memberships include: Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Mississippi Music Educators Association, Music Educators' National Conference, Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Richland Archaeological Society and Richland Ballet Dance Theatre Company.
Mr. Hannah was selected for Who's Who Among America Teacher (1994, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), Garland ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year (1994), Naaman Forest High School Teacher of the Year (1994), Outstanding Young Men of America (1986).
Mr. Hannah was a guard instructor, judge and performer for over twenty five years. His experience includes instructor with WGI finalist Final Analysis, Charon Regime, University of Texas at Arlington, University of North Texas and numerous high school around the country.
Mr. Hannah's arts training has been fairly extensive. James studied conducting with Dr. Joe Barry Mullins, Dr. Kate Tamarkan, Dr. Jack Delaney, and Eugene Corporon; trombone with Larry Weed, Marta Hofarce, and John Kitzman; Voice with Virginia Dupuy; dance with Sally Johnson, Lilly Cabatu-Weiss, Marilyn Dewey, Sherry Mallard and Peter Kentes. Hannah is presently a member of the Richland Dance Theatre.
In addition to being a band director, Hannah also served as the color guard instructor for The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Arlington, and The University of Southern Mississippi. Mr. Hannah has also been a judge for the Gulf Coast Color Association and the North Texas Color Guard Association. His guards were frequent finalists at the WGI Regional and International competitions.
Hannah's hobbies include traveling, yoga, Tai chi, dance, archaeology, and cycling.
Stephen Chitta joins the Plano West wolf pack from Richardson ISD. He spent the first three years of his career at Richardson North Junior High, where he instructed two concert ensembles and beginners in the JJ Pearce Cluster. His Concert Bands received Sweepstakes and Superior ratings at UIL, and numerous Best in Class awards at PEAK Festivals and Sandy Lake Fun Fest competitions.
Mr. Chitta received his Bachelors of Music degree with All-Level Certification from Texas State University-San Marcos, and graduated with honors in May 2010. While at Texas State, he was a Baritone member and Section Leader in the Bobcat Marching Band, in the Tuba -Euphonium Ensemble, Trombone in the Jazz Orchestra, Euphonium in the Symphonic Band, Principal in the Wind Ensemble, and performed at the CBDNA National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. His mentors while in college include: Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt, Dr. Caroline Beatty, Dr. Al Corley, Raul Rodriguez, Jeremy Spicer, and Mark Chambers.
While in high school and college, Mr. Chitta was a marching member of the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps of Madison, Wisconsin. He marched euphonium and baritone from 2004-2008, serving as Section Leader and featured musician his age-out year.
Mr. Chitta's professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, and the Madison Drum & Bugle Corps Association.
Mr. Chitta is a native of central Texas, and has a twin brother who is also a Band Director in San Antonio. He resides in Dallas and enjoys reading, running, road trips, and attending Rangers games with his fiancé, Kaity, who is a pediatric oncology nurse at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth.
Colorguard Instructor: Rebecca Fuller