Header imageHeader image
line decor
- - CANYON HIGH SCHOOL SOARING PRIDE BAND - - 1701 23rd St., Canyon, TX 79015 - (806) 677-2740 - - MIKE SHEFFIELD, Director - - LUIS HERNANDEZ, Assistant Director
line decor

DIRECTORS for 2015-2016

MR. MIKE SHEFFIELD - Director of Bands, Canyon High School
Mike Sheffield

Mr. Sheffield is in his 17th year as director of bands at Canyon High School and in his 24th year of teaching. He spent three years as assistant director of bands at Randall High School (also in the Canyon Independent School District), and two years as director of bands at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo.

Mr. Sheffield is a 1988 graduate of Canyon High School, where he studied music with Ken Carriere. He attended West Texas A&M University (then West Texas State University) through 1995 where he studied percussion with Dr. Susan Martin Tariq and performed with the symphonic band and marching band under the direction of Dr. Gary Garner and Mr. Don Lefevre. Mr. Sheffield was one of the first to participate in a year-long student teaching project, traveling to Midland to student teach at Lee H.S. with Randy Storie and Midland H.S. with Cody Myers.

Mr. Sheffield resides in Canyon with his wife of 23 years, Michele, and his two children.

Bands under his direction have earned numerous first divisions and sweepstakes awards. The CHS marching band was recognized as a state finalist three times at the UIL contests, finishing in the top three twice. The symphonic band at Canyon was recognized as the 2005 Honor Band for 3A. He is an active clinician and adjudicator in Texas and Oklahoma. He is a member of TMEA, ATSSB, TMAA, and Phi Beta Mu.

MR. LUIS HERNANDEZ - Assistant Director of Band, Canyon High School
Luis Hernandez

Mr. Hernandez is an Assistant Director. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Mr. Hernandez attended Eastwood High School in El Paso, Texas, where he was a member of the All-Region, Area, and Texas All-State Band.

In 1982 while attending Texas Tech he was commissioned through the Army ROTC as 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 413th Civil Affairs Company in Lubbock, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Texas Tech in 1987. In 1990, Mr. Hernandez was deployed to serve his country in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm he served as Civil Affairs Team Leader and Staff Officer for the 1st Cavalry Division's Aviation Brigade.

Mr. Hernandez served as an Assistant Band Director/Choir Director for Tulia I. S. D. from 1990 - 1999. In 2001, Mr. Hernandez received his Master's Degree in Fine Arts from West Texas A & M University. During 2003 and 2004 he was deployed once again to serve our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as Military Liaison Officer with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Al Hillah), the Spanish Legion (Divaniyah), and the 4th Infantry Division (Tikrit). Mr. Hernandez retired after 23 years of service in 2005 as a Major from the Army Reserve.

Mr. Hernandez is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (Zeta Sigma Chapter) a professional music fraternity, the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 430, and a Life Member of the National Rifle Association.

Mr. Hernandez has received the following awards: The Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal (Twice), Naval Presidential Unit Citation, honor Graduate-Civil Affairs Advanced Course, Honorary Instructor-Colombian Armed Forces Civil Affairs/Psychological Operations School, a graduate of the Army Airborne Course, and a recipient of the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Bronze Award)

MR. ERIC RATH - Director of Band, Canyon Junior High School
Eric Rath

Eric Rath is an active educator, clinician, adjudicator, arranger and composer. Mr. Rath has served as a band and orchestra director as well as a percussion specialist at the Middle and High School levels. Previously, Mr. Rath served as the adjunct Percussion Instructor at Amarillo College.

As a composer, Mr. Rath has a growing list of original works and arrangements published through TRN Music, C. Alan Publications, Tapspace Publications, BRS Music and Eric Rath Music. His music has been described as "very exciting for performers and audiences alike." Mr. Rath’s music has been performed at the Midwest Clinic and the Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention. He and Ralph Hicks are the co-authors of the percussion ensemble collection, "Beyond Basic Percussion" and the snare drum and keyboard fundamentals book, "Five Minute Drill" (Tapspace Publications).

Mr. Rath is a member of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra and also regularly performs with the Amarillo Opera. He is an in-demand freelance percussionist and serves on the worship team at his church. Additionally, he is also an alumni member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps.

Mr. Rath is a proud graduate of West Texas A&M University, where he received both his Bachelor of Music Education and his Master of Arts Degree.

Mr. Rath resides in Amarillo, Texas, with his wife Kayla, and their children Regan, Grant and McKinley. His professional affiliations include the Percussive Arts Society, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). He is also an educational artist for Innovative Percussion, Inc.

MR. DAVID LOUGH - Director of Band, Canyon Intermediate School
David Lough

David is a 2003 graduate of Canyon High School. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in music with all-level certification from West Texas A&M University in 2008. In 2010, David completed his Master's Degree in Trumpet Performance at West Texas A&M University. David is the third trumpet in the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra and is also a member of the WTAMU Faculty Brass Quintet.

"Playing music is supposed to be fun. It's about heart, it's about feelings, moving people, and something beautiful, and it's not about notes on a page. I can teach you notes on a page, I can't teach you that other stuff." - From "Mr. Holland's Opus"


The Canyon Band Directors In Action


"Music is love in search of a word." - Sidonie Gabrielle


"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo 1802-1885


"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable." - Aaron Copland 1900-1990


"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have." - Edgar Watson Howe 1853-1937


"Music is the universal language of mankind." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: 1807-1882


"Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Andersen: 1805-1875

Updated: July 01, 2015