Matt Ehlers is Assistant Director of Bands/Percussion Director at McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy in Austin, Texas. Originally from Seward, Nebraska, he received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from the University of North Texas in 2006, where he studied percussion under Mark Ford, Christopher Deane, Paul Rennick, Ed Smith, and Dr. Robert Schietroma.  While attending North Texas, Ehlers was a member of their marching band drum line as well as the 14 time PASIC world champion indoor drum line.  He was also involved in Drum Corps International, performing with the 2001 Colts and the 2002/2003 Carolina Crown Drum Corps. As Assistant Director of Bands, Ehlers conducts the Symphonic Band, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Steel Band classes, high school percussion ensembles, and co-directs the JV Full Orchestra.  In 2013, with the help of a Creative Classroom grant, Matt founded the thirty piece Samba Knights at McCallum High School and created a community partnership with the Austin Samba School under the direction of Robert Patterson.  Ensembles under Ehlers have earned Superior ratings at the University Interscholastic League Concert (U.I.L.) and Sight Reading Contest in addition to Superior ratings at the U.I.L. Solo and Ensemble Contest.  The Advanced Steel Band also had the honor of performing at the 2006 PASIC Convention, 2007 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the 2012 PASIC Convention as part of the Andy Narell Steel Band/Big Band project, and the 2012 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.

Ehlers was awarded McCallum High School’s “Teacher of the Year” for the 2010-2011 school year.  In 2009 Matt performed with both the Invaders and the 2009 Panorama champions Silver Stars steel orchestras from Port of Spain, Trinidad for their annual Panorama competition.  He also was selected as a member of the 2012 PASIC All-Star Steel Band.  Matt is an active performer around the greater Austin area, having appeared with the InsideOut Steel Band, Austin Symphonic Band, Georgetown’s Palace Theater musicals, The Black Squeeze cover band, and various other ensembles.  In 2006 Ehlers founded the annual “Knight of Percussion Benefit Concert” with the intent to raise money and awareness for a different local charity each year through a percussion concert performed by McCallum High School and Lamar Middle School percussion sections.  In the summer, Matt works as clinician at several marching percussion camps, and co-coordinates two annual youth steel band camps in Austin.

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