Starting off on a new note

Meet some of the new performing arts teachers on campus

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Samuel Park

Maya Hernandez Samuel Park is the new Assistant Orchestra Director on campus.

Assistant Orchestra Director

Samuel Park is the new assistant director for orchestra. A Richardson native, Park graduated from Southern Methodist University, where he participated in Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, a non-profit group that gives free classical music performances in public areas. Now, he doubles as an orchestra director on campus in the afternoon and at Lamar Middle School in the mornings.

“For me, high schoolers are more mature and more hard-working and I can challenge them more, but then middle schoolers are fun-loving and brave,” Park said.

While Park is still adjusting to the school and its traditions, he said he finds it inviting.

“[The school] is still very new to me, but the staff and students at Marcus have been pretty welcoming to me, and I’m really excited to work with these young musicians,” Park said.

Park enjoys watching sports and spending time with his two dogs and cat. He also has a varied music taste, as he enjoys listening to “Beethoven’s Symphony No.9,” as well as “Old Town Road.”

Park hopes to share his passion for music with his students.

 “I want my students to know that I hope they enjoy making music as much as I do, and I want to instill a lifelong love for music in them,” said Park.

 

Taylor Mudd

Maya Hernandez Taylor Mudd is the new Theatre Director on campus. 

Theatre Director

Taylor Mudd is a new theatre department director. She is from Euless and graduated from Texas State University with a degree in theatre. She previously worked as the theatre director at Centennial High School for four years.

Mudd likes to listen to pop musicians, such as Lizzo, as well as musical soundtracks such as the one for “Hadestown.” Her favorite production to watch is “Big Fish,” to star in is “Wild Party” and to direct is a stage play version of “Clue the Movie.”

Mudd said she has enjoyed working with passionate students. She said Denise Tooch and Elizabeth Lambert, her fellow theatre directors, were her “instant best friends.” 

Mudd wants her students to know that she will treat them with respect but expects the same back from them.

“I will treat you like a young adult,”  Mudd said. “That means I will expect you to have the commitment and care like a young adult would, but also I’m going to give you a little bit more liberty to speak your mind,” 

 

Elliot Jensen

Maya Hernandez Elliot Jensen is the new Choir Student Teacher on campus. 

Choir Student Teacher

Elliot Jensen is a new student teacher for choir. Born and raised in El Paso, Jensen’s music career started in his high school band, where he played the alto saxophone, as well as singing in the choir with other band members, Eventually, he chose choir, leading him to pursue singing at UNT’s music school. 

“The music called to me, and I decided I wanted to go into it,” Jensen said.

For Jensen, starting at a new school was an unfamiliar experience, but because of the choir directors Wesley Davis and Drew Howard and the choir students, he said he felt like he gained experience quickly.

“Overall, starting day two, I felt involved, like I had been here forever,” Jensen said.

He currently enjoys alternative music, specifically The Marias and their song “Ruthless,” but listens to a wide variety of music.

“I would say that I have one of the most diverse music tastes I know,” said Jensen. 

Besides teaching, Jensen also plays competitive Super Smash Bros., among other video games.

Jensen wants to let students know how he values communication between himself and them and hopes to foster a strong relationship. 

“That bond between the students and I is arguably more important than competitive success,” Jensen said.

 

Logan Stalcup

Shriya Mukkavilli Logan Stalcup is the new Assistant Band Director on campus. 

Assistant Band Director

Logan Stalcup is the new assistant band director. The oldest of four siblings, he grew up in Celina. Stalcup graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in music education and was a drum major for the marching band. 

Stalcup taught middle school but looked forward to working with high school students. 

“When they announced that I got hired for the job, the next day I came here there was a reception that the band put together. Every section in the band brought me a welcome card and wrote me a letter,” he said.

Although he feels still has much to learn, he said his fellow directors and staff “go out of their way” to show him the ropes. He finds that his passion for music is reflected in the students, saying that the  “thoughtfulness to the way the students approach the learning process” is his favorite part of the school so far.

“I think they’re really intentional in wanting to learn music at a higher level,” Stalcup said.

Stalcup listens to classical music and enjoys pieces by the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Winds, as well as dance music by artists such as Zedd or David Guetta.

He wants his students to know that he is willing to help them grow as people, not just musicians. He hopes to add on to the band’s already successful reputation.

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