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Band Director - Chad Paetznick
Chad Paetznick became the band director at St. Pius X in July 2005. His goal is to highlight the God-given talents of every band student at St Pius by creating unique musical opportunities for them; performances, trips, and bringing in special musical guest artists to enhance the student experience at St Pius.
Mr. Paetznick earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, he performed in the symphony orchestra, concert band, symphonic band, percussion ensemble, basketball band, and was the drummer for the jazz ensemble directed by jazz organist great Hank "Marvelous" Marr, and trumpeter Pharez Whitted. Mr Paetznick studied percussion under Dr James Moore, Dr. Tim Sivils, Joe Ong, and Fernando Meza. He also studied conducting under Richard Blatti.
Mr. Paetznick marched snare drum with the competitive 1992 Star of Indiana drum & bugle corps (now known as the award winning theater group "Blast!"). That year, Star of Indiana placed third overall as a group, and finished second place in percussion at the Drum Corps International World Championships held in Madison, Wisconsin. Mr. Paetznick was also a member of the 1987 Florida Wave drum & bugle corps which placed 13th at the Drum Corps International World Championships. He graduated from Cooper City High School (FL) where he was a member of the award-winning "Sound of Pride" marching band. He was also a member of the South Broward County Honor Band.
Upon first arriving to Georgia (from Ohio) in 1998, Mr Paetznick instructed percussion at camps for Pope High School, Fayette County High School, Sprayberry High School, and South Cobb High School. He was also the Assistant Band Director of the "Pride of Paulding" band at Paulding County High School from 1999 to 2005. There his percussion students won the 2003 SCGC Gold Medal in indoor concert percussion, finished as the 2nd place runner-up at the 2001 WGI Percussion Regional in Rock Hill, SC and his band and percussion students won overall grand champion band and percussion at the Heart of Georgia band competition in 2004. Before moving to Georgia, Mr. Paetznick instructed percussion at Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio. His students at Thomas Worthington won the 1997 MEPA Class A indoor percussion championship, and also were semifinalists at the WGI indoor percussion world championships in Dayton, OH in 1998.
Mr. Paetznick was the recipient of the "Excellence in Teaching" award at St. Pius X for the 2008-09 school year. He has been nominated three times for "Teacher of the Year" (2007-08, 2010-11, 2013-14). He has also been nominated for the Grammy Music Educator Award. His hobbies include collecting vinyl records (he hosts the school's vinyl records club) and attending concerts. He also sustains a successful career as a professional drummer.
Assistant Band Director - Ian LaBreck
Ian LaBreck joined the St. Pius X faculty summer 2015 as the first assistant band director in the school's history. Mr LaBreck assists Mr. Paetznick with the St. Pius Band program, and he directs the St. Thomas More and Immaculate Heart of Mary middle school bands.
Mr. LaBreck grew up in St. Marys, Georgia where he attended Camden County High School and later graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL. Mr. LaBreck earned his Bachelor's of Music in Music Education from the University of Georgia in May of 2015, where he studied trumpet with Dr. Brandon Craswell. While at UGA, he was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band where he was a Section Leader and later served as Band Captain. Also at UGA, Mr. LaBreck participated in a number of ensembles such as the UGA British Brass Band led by Mr. Phil Smith, Professor of Trumpet and previous principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. LaBreck holds membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Men's Music Fraternity, in which he was president of the Epsilon Lambda chapter at UGA. Mr. Labreck remains an avid Bulldog fan, and whenever he's not at competitions or other band events he'll be in Athens cheering on the Dawgs.
Choreographer/Dance - Clay McCloud
Mr. McCloud was a performer at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for 10 years. While at Disney, he performed in shows, parades, and special events, as well as television specials. He was also an Assistant Choreographer during the 1996 Olympics here in Atlanta. Mr. McCloud has been contributing his creative knowledge to dance studios, musicals, pageants, dance teams, and special events in the Georgia dance community for 18 years. Clay choreographs routines for the St. Pius X Fine Arts Department and IHM After-School Dance Program.
Color Guard Instructor - Samantha Brisbay
Samantha Brisbay is a Georgia State University graduate. She graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Hospitality Administration. Samantha participated as a Charter member of the Georgia State University Marching Band color guard for 5 years. She marched in numerous parades such as the 57th Presidential Inauguration Parade and the 88th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. She has continued her color guard experience by touring with Atlanta CorpsVets Drum and Bugle Corps in the summer of 2016. Samantha taught at several greater Atlanta area high schools before recently accepting the position as the color guard Director at St. Pius X High School for the 2016-17 school year.
Assistant Color Guard Instructor - Madeleine O'Connell
Madeline O'Connell is brand new for the 2016-17 school year as Assistant Color Guard Instructor, and is very excited to be part of the St Pius program. She is a student in her senior year at Georgia Tech studying Computer Science with a minor in Music Technology. She is a returning 4th year member of the Yellow Jacket marching band, serving as the color guard's Pom Leader and Appearance Enforcer. She performed with Georgia Tech Winterguard last year in 2015 and plans to join them again this year, and also spent half of a season with Aureus Winterguard in 2013.
She grew up in Marietta, GA and danced from age 3 through middle school, and competed in Jazz Company but also has experience in ballet and tap. She attended Wheeler High School, where she played oboe and was in Tri-M Music Honor Society, and was a member of the color guard and winter guard for 4 years. Her senior year she served as a co-captain.
Percussion Instructor - John Benton
Additional Staff Help:
Elizabeth Hobbs - Woodwinds Tech
Erica Pirtle - Woodwinds Tech
Vivian McCoy - Battery Tech
Eyoel Endashaw - Bass Drum Tech
Jose de la Cruz - Mallet Tech
Mark Owens - Percussion Writer
Daniel Grass - Drill Writer