Aaron Theall is currently the Director of Bands at DeRidder High School. Aaron is in his 11th year of teaching, all of which he has taught both the DeRidder High School and DeRidder Junior High School bands. In his free time, Aaron enjoys playing in various musical ensembles on various instruments; Aaron plays french horn in the Lake Charles Community Band, tenor horn in the Calcasieu British Brass Band, baritone saxophone in the Southwest Jazz Ensemble, and rings hand bells and plays french horn in the orchestra at First Baptist Church in DeRidder, Louisiana.
Aaron is a 2012 graduate of Louisiana State University where he received a bachelor of music education in instrumental music. In 2012, while attending LSU, he was named a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. In 2022, he was named a Top Professional in the Marquis Who’s Who Publication as a Top Educator. He was also recognized in 2013 as a recipient for the Louisiana Music Educators Association’s Outstanding Young Music Teacher Award. He is the recipient of the 2022-2023 District V Band and Orchestra Directors Association’s Dr. Norman E Smith Band Director of the Year Award.
Aaron has served as an honor band clinician, both concert and marching band judge, and LMEA conference presenter. He served as the Vice President for the District V Band and Orchestra Directors Association from 2014-2019. In 2014, he joined the instructional staff of the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps where he became the Assistant Corps Director for 2015-2018. He served as the Corps director from 2019-2021 and as the executive director for 2022. He is a member of District V Band and Orchestra Directors Association, Louisiana Music Educators Association, Louisiana Bandmasters Association, Louisiana Music Adjudicators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society, and Phi Beta Mu.
Mrs. Amanda Escue is a 1999 graduate from DeRidder High School where she was a band member of the Ambassadors in Blue. After High School, she attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, earning her bachelor's degree in Music Education.
Mrs. Escue taught at Henderson Middle School in Henderson, Texas, serving as the Assistant Director for five years & then as the Head Director for two years. She moved to Canton, Texas in 2010 and took the position of Head Band Director at Canton Junior High School as well as the High School Assistant for 3 years.
Mrs. Escue decided to move her family home to DeRidder, Louisiana, where she became the assistant director at DeRidder Junior High School & East Beauregard High School for six years. She then became the head director at East Beauregard High School for the past 2 years. Amanda Escue is currently in her 20th year of teaching is currently the Assistant Band Director at DeRidder High School & DeRidder Junior High.
Evan T. McAleer
Evan T. McAleer is extremely happy to be returning for his sixth year in the DeRidder School System, his first as the Head Junior High Director. Evan is an active performer, designer, and educator. Evan has been a visual and drill designer for numerous schools across Louisiana for the past decade, and is thankful for the opportunity to help create performance opportunities for performers of all skill levels. In addition to his work in design and education, Evan serves as a member of the Allumer Quartet of which he is a founding member, and continues to work toward expanding the horn quartet repertoire through the commissioning and premiering of new music.
While at a young age, Evan was extremely fortunate to be a member of the Father Ryan High School Band Program as well as the Father Ryan High School Musical Theater productions, both of which helped foster a love of the performing arts. Before graduating with a degree in Music Education from Louisiana State University, Evan spent his 4 summers performing as a member of both the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2008-2010) as well as Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps (2011).
As an educator, Evan has served as a middle and high school band director throughout Louisiana, an instructional staff member for the Blue Knights, Phantom Regiment and Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, and a clinician for numerous marching bands, winter guards, and indoor drumlines.