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Mr. Benjamin Gerrard is in his first year as Director of Bands at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, teaching the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Chamber Winds, and AP Music Theory. He recently performed with the Wind Symphony as an invited ensemble at the Western International Band Clinic and the Symphony Orchestra at the FMEA President's Concert. He completed his Master of Music degree from Baylor University in Waco, TX, studying conducting with Dr. J. Eric Wilson. He also studied flute with Dr. Charlotte Daniel and jazz improvisation with Mr. Alex Parker. While at Baylor, he played with the Wind Ensemble, including performances at the Southwest Regional CBDNA and Midwest Clinic, and New Music Ensemble. He also holds a Bachelor of Music Education with Honors degree from The Florida State University, where he performed with the Marching Chiefs, Symphonic Band, and University Philharmonia.

Before his studies at Baylor, Mr. Gerrard was the Director of Bands at Merritt Island High School in Brevard County, FL from 2014 to 2021. He was responsible for the marching band, three concert bands, two jazz bands, percussion ensemble, and winter guard. He is an FMEA Emerging Leader, was on the Brevard County Public Schools Music Leadership Team, and served as District Secretary for FBA District 10. He is a guest clinician for middle and high school bands around the state of Florida.

Mr. Don Zentz, now in his thirty-ninth year of teaching, is an honor graduate of Valdosta State University (Georgia) where he earned BME and MME degrees. He has taught instrumental music at every level in education. These posts include elementary, middle and high school band director in Georgia and Florida, music professor at the University of North Florida (UNF), Valdosta State University, and Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Georgia Governors Honors Program music faculty, and the Director of Fine & Performing Arts at The Bolles School (Jax, FL). Don is in his ninth year at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where he serves as the Director of Jazz Studies on the band faculty and teaches a myriad of ensembles that include Jazz Ensemble I & II, Jazz Combo, Symphonic Band, Sax Studio Class, Jazz History, Music Theory, Music History, and prepares the award-winning pit orchestra for Fall musical performances annually. His philosophic premise has always been complete and total musicianship,


Don is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator in both traditional and jazz idioms. He has directed the All-State Jazz Bands of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Maine as well as the Delaware All-State Symphonic Band. 

For over twenty years he was a per service saxophonist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and has been a Keilwerth Saxophones artist since 1995. He enjoyed playing lead alto with the Jimmy Dorsey ghost band throughout the 1990’s in the southeast. Don served two terms as the Florida Unit/IAJE president and presently leads the jazz adjudicator recertification seminars for the Florida Bandmasters Association.


Don was recently bestowed honors for his work in jazz as an educator and performer. The National Jazz Festival presented him with their 2022 Jazz Educator of the Year Award and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival named him to their Hall of Fame in 2022. Zentz has received a Jazz Education Achievement Award from DownBeat, an Outstanding Teaching Award from UNF, a TIP Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Florida Board of Regents, and has been a Keilwerth Saxophones artist performer and clinician since 1995. His distinguished career reflects a commitment to student achievement, the ability to inspire and instill passion, and an unyielding standard of excellence at the highest level. Don is quick to credit his career successes to his mentors – Bob Greenhaw, Rich Matteson, and Joe David – and to Laurie, his loving wife of 38 years.

Dr. Kenneth Williams, a native of Florida, is a member of the Music faculty of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, Florida, where he teaches music theory, and is a co-conductor of the DA Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band. He holds a B.A. in music education and an M.A. in conducting from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in music education from the Florida State University. His significant professors and mentors were Charles Quarmby and James Croft (A.A./B.A.), Jerry Junkin (M.M.), and Clifford Madsen (Ph.D.). Dr. Williams has been a teacher of music since 1974. He has conducted bands and orchestras at the middle school, high school, university, and professional levels. Williams began his career in Sarasota, Florida, serving on the faculties of the Booker School, Sarasota High School, and the Sarasota Visual and Performing Arts Center, all while holding a principal chair in the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra.

He conducted both bands and orchestras at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida, and served as a member of the conducting faculty of the LaVilla School of the Arts in Jacksonville. During his tenure with Duval

County Public Schools, he has held Director of Fine Arts and Instrumental Music Specialist positions for the district. His additional faculty positions include the Florida State College at Manatee, the Tallahassee Community College, the Florida State University, and, more recently, the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he served as Chair of Music Education and conductor of the UTSA Symphonic Band. In addition, he has been privileged to serve as Associate Conductor of the Florida West Coast Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony Youth Orchestra as well as the Cannon Music Camp Orchestra of Appalachian State University.


Dr. Williams is a past president of the Florida School Music Association (FSMA) and the Florida Music Education Association (FMEA). He presently serves as the artistic consultant to the First Coast Wind Symphony, Jacksonville, Florida. He is a member of the FMEA Government Relations Committee and is a longstanding member of the Florida Bandmasters Association’s (FBA) Concert Music Committee. For many years he led the retraining of veteran adjudicators for the FBA Adjudication Training Program. He has often had the privilege of serving as concert adjudicator and clinician at the State Music Performance Assessment (MPA) of both the Florida Bandmasters Association and the Florida Orchestra Association. In addition, he has served as both guest conductor and clinic presenter at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago and has twice conducted a Florida All-State Band. One can find articles by Dr. Williams in the Florida Music Director magazine, the Glaesel/Selmer Newsletter, the Band World magazine, the National Band Association Journal, and the Music Educators Journal.


Dr. Williams holds membership with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Band Association (NBA), the Florida Music Education Association, and the Florida Bandmasters Association. He continues to be active as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. In November of 2016, the FBA honored Dr. Williams by inducting him into the Florida Bandmasters Association Roll of Distinction of the FBA Hall of Fame.

Ms. Paige DeDecker is a percussionist from Flower Mound, Texas. She joined the staff in 2018 as Percussion Instructor at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She graduated with her Masters in Percussion Performance from the University of North Florida in 2020 and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018. At UNF, Paige studied with Andrea Venet and worked as a graduate teaching assistant, instructing the UNF Drumline and participating in NuMIX, the university’s contemporary chamber ensemble.

At UNL, Paige studied with Dave Hall and was a member of the university’s percussion ensemble that performed at the 2016 Percussive Arts Society International Convention as a winner of the International Percussion Ensemble Competition’s Call for Tapes. She also participated in the Cornhusker Marching Band under the direction of Anthony Falcone and had the privilege of leading the Front Ensemble and Drumline as section leader during her senior year.

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