Director of Bands
Michael Childress became SVHS's head band director in 2020 after serving as an Assistant Band Director at SVHS for two years. He graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. During his time in the Texas State Music Program, he performed in several ensembles including the Bobcat Marching Band, Symphonic Winds, Jazz Ensembles, Baroque Trumpet Ensemble and The Musical Theatre Orchestra. In 2008 Mr. Childress Marched Trumpet as a member of the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps and later as a member of the 2010 World Champion Bronze Medalist, Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps of North Canton Ohio.
Mr. Childress came to Smithson Valley in 2018 from Floresville ISD where he taught at the Middle and High School levels for six years. In his time outside of teaching, Mr. Childress enjoys working as a Visual and Drill Designer for marching bands, and composing and arranging music. Mr. Childress lives on the north side of San Antonio with his wife Amber, who is also a Band Director, and their dog, Cora.
Associate Director of Band/Color Guard Director
Robert Andrade came to the Ranger Band family in the Fall of 2020. He is a graduate of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX. While at TLU, he played in various ensembles, such as; the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Hounds of Sound Pep Band, Full Orchestra, Jazz Band, Woodwind Quintet, Sax Quartet, Flute Choir, and various other ensembles. In the summer of 2017 he was selected to play in the National Intercollegiate Band in Orlando, Florida.
Before coming to Smithson Valley in 2020, Mr. Andrade taught Basson privately for 3 years in New Braunfels ISD. Mr. Andrade is a member of the Heart of Texas Concert Band in San Antonio, performed with the Zion Theatre group, and is a past member of the Fiesta Flutes Choir in San Antonio. Mr. Andrade enjoys playing and performing when he can, and spending time with family and friends.
Associate Director of Band
Scott Duncan is from San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Winston Churchill HS then attended Texas State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. While at TXST, Mr. Duncan played as the principal trombonist in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and other various chamber ensembles. In the TXST Bobcat Marching Band, he served as trombone section leader in 2009 and as drum major in 2010. Mr. Duncan also marched DCI in the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps euphonium section from 2009-2011, appearing as a featured soloist in 2010 and serving as euphonium section leader in 2011.
Prior to joining the Smithson Valley Ranger family, Mr. Duncan taught as an Assistant Band Director for Terrell ISD. During this time, he directed the marching band, symphonic band, jazz band, AP Music Theory, and beginner brass classes, and assisted the middle school bands. He introduced the world of TMEA All-Region Jazz and had more students earn placement in the Region Jazz Band than any other schools in the district. Mr. Duncan's Symphonic Band also achieved their highest UIL Concert & Sight Reading ratings in school history.
In his free time, Mr. Duncan loves to compose/arrange and record music. His favorite activity outside of music is playing disc golf.
Associate Director of Band/Percussion Director
Travis Land was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He is a proud alumnus of Smithson Valley High School and the Ranger Band! After graduating from SVHS, he went on the study at Texas State University where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education. While at Texas State, he performed in many different ensembles including the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and multiple percussion ensembles. Mr. Land also performed in the 2017 National Intercollegiate Band in Orlando, Florida. In addition to his time at Texas State, Mr. Land marched in the drumline for two seasons at the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps.
Prior to joining the Ranger Band family, Mr. Land taught at Dahlstrom Middle School in Buda, Texas from 2020 to 2023. At Dahlstrom, he was responsible for conducting the concert band and jazz band as well as teaching multiple beginner classes. Mr. Land helped the concert band at Dahlstrom receive their first ever sweepstakes rating at UIL Concert and Sightreading. Before teaching at Dahlstrom, Mr. Land taught private lessons in Comal ISD for three years.
In his free time, Mr. Land enjoys spending time with his wife Jill and his dog Peach. He is also a huge Formula 1 fan!
Color Guard Instructor
Samantha Grudzinski is a New Braunfels native and graduate from Canyon High School. During her time there she marched all 4 years in color guard and winter guard. Serving as flag captain for her Junior and Senior year. After high school, she went on to help Canyon Lake High School start color guard when the school opened. Color guard has always been something she cares deeply for, and feels truly blessed to be working alongside the Ranger Band to create magic on the field.
When she isn’t working with the band, she takes on the role of Para Professional at SVHS working with special education. When that cape comes off she is a mother to 3 beautiful kids (Cailyn, Parker and Tristan). She enjoys being outside with them playing sports, hiking or camping. She is a lady of many talents and just feels lucky to be a part of such a great organization!