Nathaniel Neugent is in his thirteenth year as Director of Bands at T.A. Howard Middle School in Mansfield ISD. Under his direction, the Howard Honor Band has been a six-time CCC TMEA State Honor Band finalist, placing in the top seven each time with their highest placement as First Runner-Up in 2017. They have also been awarded the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors eleven consecutive years, and have had 25 or more students place in both the Mansfield All-District and Region 5 All-Region Band every year. Mr. Neugent has continued the long tradition of UIL Sweepstakes Awards with the T.A. Howard Honor and Symphonic Bands, earning First Division ratings 10 years in a row. In addition, the T.A. Howard Concert Band is one of the few Sub Non-Varsity bands in the state to receive multiple Sweepstakes trophies.
Prior to Howard Middle School, Mr. Neugent served as Director of Bands at Creekview High School in Carrollton, TX. While at Creekview, his bands consistently earned superior ratings in UIL competition. The Creekview Wind Symphony was named Grand Champion of Musicfest Orlando, South Coast Music Festival, and Performing Arts Consultants, St. Louis. The Mustang Marching Band advanced to the AAAAA State Marching Contest twice, in both 2002 and 2004. They were also Bands of America Regional and Super-Regional Finalists in Houston, Arlington and San Antonio.
Before coming to Creekview, he began his career in Lewisville ISD as the assistant director at Lakeview Middle School in The Colony for two years under the mentorship of Clayton Paul and Dick Clardy. Mr. Neugent is a native Texan, having begun his musical training under Joe Gunn at Harwood Junior High and his father, Tom Neugent at Trinity High School in the HEB school district. He received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in music education from the University of North Texas under the guidance of Eugene Corporon, Dennis Fisher, and Royce Lumpkin. As an undergrad, he also taught trombone lessons and served as a marching tech for the L.D. Bell Band under the mentorship of his future in-law’s Joseph & Catherine Grzybowski.
Mr. Neugent is an active performing musician, clinician, adjudicator and drill writer throughout Texas. He has served on the staff at the TAMU-Commerce Leadership Camp for twelve years with Frank Troyka. Mr. Neugent's affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Nathaniel enjoys spending time with his wife Nicki, Assistant Band Director at Cross Timbers Intermediate, and his 18 year-old son Connor, who is an accomplished French horn player at Oklahoma State University, and a member of the consistent DCI Finalist corps, Carolina Crown. He enjoys working out every day, movie watching, traveling, eating and cooking modernist cuisine, listening to sports radio, and reading serious science fiction.
Victoria Hitz is in her fourth year of teaching, as well as her fourth year as Associate Director of Bands at T.A. Howard Middle School. In the past three years, Ms. Hitz’s ensembles have received consistent “Sweepstakes” ratings at UIL, and Superior ratings and “Best in Class” at the Sound Waves Music Festival in New Braunfels, TX. Most recently, the Howard Symphonic Band was named Non-Varsity Grand Champions (1st place overall) at the 2019 Beach Within Reach Music Festival in Haltom City, TX.
Ms. Hitz received her Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Houston and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2015. During her time in Houston, she studied flute with Houston Ballet and Opera Orchestra flutist, Melissa Suhr, and was a member of the internationally-recognized Moores School of Music Wind Ensemble, where she performed with the ensemble at the 2012 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, IL.
Ms. Hitz is a native of Keller, TX, where she was a flute section leader, Drum Major, President of the Keller Central High School Marching Band, and principal flute of the Keller Central High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Kevin McNulty. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Women Band Directors International, Phi Kappa Phi, the Golden Key International Honour Society, and Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity.
Shawn Hart is Associate Director of Bands/Percussion Co-Coordinator for T.A. Howard in Arlington, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and his Master of Music in Percussion Performance from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Along with UNT professors Mark Ford and Christopher Deane, Dr. Hart helped in the world premier of Ford’s “Afta Stuba!” at the Percussive Arts Society’s 2000 Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. While at UNT, Dr. Hart performed with the Grammy-nominated North Texas Wind Symphony on several of its Klavier label CDs, including “Deja View”, “Soundscapes”, “Sojoums”, “Convergence” and “WASBE Live!”. He was a featured percussion soloist for two percussion concertos on these disks, namely Michael Colgrass’ Deja Vu and David Gillingham’s Concerto for Four Percussion. He can also be heard on several volumes of the “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band” series recorded by the UNT Wind Symphony, under the baton of Eugene Corporon. Dr. Hart has also performed with the UNT Symphony Orchestra and the Las Colinas and Garland Symphonies.