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Directors

Aaron Theall

Aaron Theall is currently the Director of Bands at DeRidder High School. Aaron is in his 10th 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. 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 has served as an honor band clinician and marching band judge in the state. Aaron is a 2012 graduate of Louisiana State University where he received a bachelor of music education in instrumental music. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity and Pi Kappa Lambda music honor society. While attending LSU, he was named a Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. He was also recognized in 2013 as a recipient for the Louisiana Music Educators Association’s Outstanding Young Music Teacher Award. He has served as the Vice President for the District V Band and Orchestra Director's Association from 2014-2019. Aaron is currently the Corps Director of Operation for the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Aaron began his drum corps career with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps as a member of the mellophone section in 2008 and returned in 2011. In 2014, he joined the instructional staff of the Louisiana Stars Drum and bugle Corps where he became the Assistant Corps Director in 2015. 

Amanda Escue

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 19th year of teaching & will be the Assistant Band Director at DeRidder High School & DeRidder Junior High.

Daphne Richardson

Ms. Daphne Richardson is currently the director at DeRidder Junior High School and is an assistant at DeRidder High School.  She is currently teaching her 36th year of band and her 20th year in DeRidder.

She earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas in December 1985.  She has taught in both public and private schools in Missouri, Texas and Louisiana.  Ms. Richardson is a member of NAfME, LMEA, LBA, WBDI, TMEA, TBA and Phi Beta Mu.  She has served her state as an LBA President, LMEA District Director for both District 1 and 5, Band Division Chairman, Public Relations Chairman and District V Honor Band Chairman.  She is currently 2nd Vice President for the Louisiana Bandmasters Association. 

Ms. Richardson has directed several Honor Bands in Louisiana and has judged for Large Ensemble and Solo & Ensemble Festivals throughout Louisiana.  She was named Louisiana Bandmaster of the Year for 2012.  She currently plays trumpet with the Southwest Jazz Band, the Lake Charles Community Band and sometimes with the First Baptist Church of DeRidder.  Besides playing trumpet, Ms. Richardson loves to run half marathons, ride her bike and drive her Jeep.