Meet Mike Freel, a highly skilled and experienced high school band director with a passion for music education. Mike's love for music began when he was referred by his 3rd grade choir teacher in Texas to audition for the Houston boys choir. He made it to the elite boys' choir and continued singing until 7th grade when he discovered his love for percussion and joined the middle school band.
In high school, Mike joined the marching band drumline at Clements High School, a highly competitive school in Houston, Texas. He developed his musical abilities and learned valuable life lessons such as discipline, teamwork, and dedication. Mike's passion for music led him to Drum Corps where he became a member of the world champions Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. In his age-out year, the Blue Devils were undefeated and won the DCI world championships.
After his successful stint in drum corps, Mike moved to Oregon to attend Portland State University. At PSU, he earned his Bachelor of Music in performance percussion, a post baccalaureate in music education, and a masters in education. After working for several schools in Oregon, Mike is now the director of bands at Golden West High School in Visalia, California. He is dedicated to inspiring and nurturing his students' musical talents, building a strong and cohesive band program, and ensuring that every student gets the opportunity to excel in their musical journey.
Levi Hills is an accomplished and talented creative professional, known for his outstanding work as the Caption Head of the Color Guard at Golden West High School. Since assuming this role in the winter of 2021, Levi has brought his unique and visionary approach to the design, teaching, and choreography of both the fall marching band and winter guard shows.
Under Levi's direction, the Golden West Winter Guard has achieved tremendous success, taking the gold medal at the SVWAA Winter Championships in the Scholastic A category. Levi's ability to inspire and challenge his students has made him a highly respected leader in the field of color guard instruction.
In addition to his work at Golden West, Levi is also actively involved in teaching and designing for middle school winter guards in Fresno. His passion for the art of color guard and his commitment to sharing his knowledge and skills with young performers is truly inspiring.
Levi's talents extend beyond the world of color guard, as he is also an accomplished theater producer, designer, and actor. His creative vision and innovative approach to design and choreography have earned him a reputation as a rising star in the world of theater.
Overall, Levi Hills is a highly skilled and passionate creative professional, with a unique ability to inspire and empower his students and collaborators to achieve their full potential. His dedication to his craft and his unwavering commitment to excellence make him a truly exceptional artist and educator.
Key Poulan is the Music Writer for the Golden West Marching Band. He also works as an instructor and consultant for the marching band and wind ensemble. Key Poulan is a composer and arranger primarily for the marching arts and has written for the world's most famous drum corps including the Santa Clara Vanguard, Glassmen, Spirit of Atlanta, Mandarins, Caballeros, Bushwackers, Renegades, Juliana, Millennium, and Siamyth. As the owner of Key Poulan Music, he has been recognized as one of the top arrangers and composers in the area of contemporary marching band in the United States. He also has several concert band works to his credit. As an educator since 1985, he still spends his limited available time teaching high school music students each Fall.
Preston is known throughout the country and parts of Europe as a passionate visual designer, instructor and clinician. A Key ingredient that Preston possesses is his personality. He can get along with anyone and his sense of humor as well as his professionalism has worked in harmony over many years. This combination is the kind of glue that an organization needs when getting many passionate and creative people together.
"One of Preston's best attributes is his vision of the totality of a program. He sees music, drill, dance, theatre and guard equipment work as components of the greater whole. Couple his musicianship with his extensive background as a visual designer and extended training in dance, theatre and color guard, and you have a person that can drive a program from all sides. Each member of the design team can be assured that their voice will be heard through knowledgeable ears. Preston has taken on many musical ensembles and incorporated high levels of body movement to enhance the entire audio-visual experience in an intelligent and artistic way."