Alonso High School Bands

HOME OF THE RAVENS          8302 Montague Street, Tampa, Florida 33635

DIRECTOR OF BANDS: AMANDA R. GRIFFIS

Amanda Griffis is the Director of Bands at Braulio Alonso High School in Tampa, FL. She currently oversees all band activities which includes three concert ensembles, jazz ensemble, dance and color guard ensemble, percussion ensemble, and the Raven Marching Band.


Mrs. Griffis is a native of North Carolina where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned her master’s degree in the summer of 2021 from the Florida State University College of Music. She began her teaching career in Jacksonville, Florida in the fall of 2013, raising the enrollment and overall musical standard for each program she has had the pleasure of leading.


Bands under her direction have consistently earned superior ratings in concert, marching and jazz assessments. As one of the largest programs in the Tampa Bay area, the Alonso Band program prides itself on regular student representation in All-County jazz and concert ensembles, the Hillsborough Master Musician program, All-State ensembles, and collegiate honors ensembles. A high number of Alonso Band alumni go on to participate in some of the most recognized collegiate marching bands in the state including the University of South Florida Herd of Thunder Marching Band, University of Florida Gator Band, and the Florida State University Marching Chiefs.


Mrs. Griffis is an active adjudicator in the areas of marching band, concert band, and chamber ensemble events. She is currently in her 9th year of public high school teaching in the state of Florida. Most recently, her three concert ensembles earned unanimous superior ratings at the District 7 Concert Music Performance Assessment – a first in school history. Mrs. Griffis was awarded with the Florida Bandmaster’s Association’s Tom Bishop Award in 2018, which recognized dramatic growth in recruitment and overall musical performance with her ensembles at Chamberlain High School. Her concert band at Chamberlain earned the first straight Superior rating in over 20 years. Prior to this, her concert band at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Florida earned their first superior rating in over a decade. She has had the honor of being a presenter at the Florida Music Educator’s Conference in Tampa and serves as the Florida Bandmaster’s Association District 7 Chair. Along with being a state board member of FBA, her professional affiliations include the Florida Music Educator’s Association, Florida Educator’s Association, National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity.


Mrs. Griffis lives in Tampa with husband and fellow high school band director, Keith, and their dog Nola. They are both looking forward to welcoming their first child in May of 2022. Mrs. Griffis is a proud product of Davidson County Public Schools where she graduated from Ledford Senior High School in Thomasville, North Carolina. Go Panthers!

BRASS/VISUAL, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR - STACEY JONES

Ms. Jones is the Director of Bands at Davidsen Middle School, Center for the Arts, where she teaches the Concert and Jazz ensembles.


Ms. Jones graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from The University of South Florida. In her time at USF, Ms. Jones was a member and leader in the Herd of Thunder Marching Band, and studied conducting and music education under the baton of Dr. Matthew McCutchen, Dr. John Carmichael, and Dr. William Wiedrick. She also studied trumpet with Dr. Jay Coble, and served as a principal member and performer of the USF Symphonic and Wind Ensembles, as well as the Jazz Band and “Rumble” Pep Band.


In addition to being a band director, Ms. Jones is also a freelance trumpet player and private teacher. She has performed with the Florida Wind Band, and maintains a modest studio of private trumpet students ages middle through high school.


Prior to her appointment at Davidsen, Ms. Jones served as the Band Director at Sligh Middle Magnet, and completed her student teaching with Cynthia Starling at Smith Middle School. Ms. Jones believes that music education is essential, and is a fierce advocate for The Arts in our schools.

DANCE TEAM COACH - JULIA MAC

Julia.mac-ben-vzi@hcps.net

 

JAZZ SPECIALIST - TOM ZILEGELHOFER

Mr. Z served as a music educator in Hillsborough County for 36 years. The last 10 years as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum of Fine Arts at Howard W. Blake Performing Arts High School until his retirement in 2008. His other credits include serving as a clinician for the All-County Middle School Jazz Bands for Hillsborough and Pasco Co. He was also instrumental in the revival of the All-Star High School Jazz Band with featured soloist, Jeff Rupert in 2018. Mr. Z is a Veteran serving in the Navy Band, during the Vietnam Crisis. As a professional musician he performs locally with many groups, Dick Rumore's Jazz Cellar Orchestra, Encore IV Big Band, Tomcats Jazz Orchestra. J. R. Farley Orchestra, Anclote Symphonic Winds, to name a few. Currently Mr. Z is doing adjunct teaching at many high schools in Hillsborough and Pasco Co.

 

PERCUSSION TECHNICIAN - MATTHEW OLSAVSKY

Mr. Olsavsky is a percussionist and band director who moved down to the Tampa Bay Area with his wife where he will be the band director at Hillsborough Academy of Math and Science. He graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance under the direction of Dr. AndreaVenet.  Mr. Olsavsky has a very diverse musical background. He has performed all types of music from marching band to classical. In 2017 Mr. Olsavsky was a semi-finalist for the Great Plans International Marimba Competition. He is very excited to be a part of the Alonso High School band program!