Mark Veenstra

Mark Veenstra

Mark Veenstra has been the band director at Cy-Fair High School since 1983.
His duties here include director of the marching band, symphonic band, and supervision of all aspects of the band program. This year is Mark's 31st year as a band director and 29th at Cy-Fair HS. 

Mark is a member of Texas Music Educator's Association, Texas Bandmaster's Association, Texas Music Adjudicator's Association, and Phi Beta Mu music
honor fraternity. 

nelson bio pic

Associate Band Director
John Nelson

John Nelson has been Associate Director of Bands at Cy-Fair High School since the fall of 2008.  His duties include conducting the Concert 1 Band, assisting all other concert bands, assisting with the marching band, and directing percussion studies.

Graduating from Southwest Texas State University in 1996 with a degree in Music Education, John performed with the Mid-Texas Symphony, the University Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Band including performance tours of Europe and Mexico.  He received a performance scholarship from the Department of Music, was a two-time recipient of the Adams Scholarship, and won first place in the Woods Kone Scholarship by audition.  John is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, TCGC, WGI, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity for men.

John has been involved in the Indoor Drumline activity since its inception in Texas in 1996 and is an eight-time percussion class champion in the Texas Color Guard Circuit, a four-time WGI national finalist, and served as an advisory board member for WGI.  He has also served as Percussion Educator for TCGC as well as Percussion Administrator.  He was also selected to perform at the Bands of America National Percussion Ensemble Festival in Indianapolis, IN.   John is also employed as a professional percussion arranger, clinician, and adjudicator locally and with USSBA.  He was recently recognized by the president of Texas A&M for an award of excellence in education.

Most importantly, he lives happily on his 6 acre bamboo farm with his loving wife, Wendy, and their two sons, Austin and Carter (also percussionists).  E-mail Mr. Nelson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 cantu bio pic

Assistant Band Director
Alma Cantu

I have been teaching at Cy-Fair going on 7 years. I was born in Corpus Christi Texas and grew up in Alvin Texas. I attended Sam Houston State and recieved my degree from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi in 1992. I finished my teaching certification at University of St. Thomas. I play trumpet and Bass Guitar. I am a menber of TMEA and TBA. I also teach the Cy-Fair Jazz Ensemble where the students have been competing at the Sam Houston State Jazz Festival.

 mcconnell bio pic

Assistant Band Director
Michael McConnell

Michael McConnell is in his first year teaching as an Assistant Director of Bands at Cy-Fair High School. A Connecticut native, Mr. McConnell is active as a chamber, solo, and orchestral musician on all five woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon). He has performed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Symphony Orchestra, Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Civic Wind Ensemble, and the Dallas Winds. Mr. McConnell has lectured, presented studio classes, and taught private lessons at institutions such as the University of Florida, the University of North Texas, and Florida State University. He recently completed his coursework for a Doctor of Musical Arts in Multiple Woodwind Performance at the University of North Texas, where he was awarded a doctoral teaching fellowship. While at North Texas, Mr. McConnell was a founding member of the Mélange Saxophone Quartet, an ensemble which has been invited to perform and present master classes at a number of universities throughout the United States.

Mr. McConnell also holds a Master of Music in Multiple Woodwind Performance from Florida State University, where he served as a jazz saxophone graduate teaching assistant, and a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance from Indiana University Bloomington’s Jacobs School of Music. His former teachers include Eugene Rousseau, Otis Murphy, Thomas Walsh, Patrick Meighan, John Scott, Guy Yehuda, James Campbell, and Frank Kowalsky.

Mr. McConnell is thrilled to be working at Cy-Fair High School, and is looking forward to contributing to the band program in any way that he can. He lives in Cypress with his wife Sarah, daughter Allie, and their two cats.

E-mail Mr. McConnell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Luke Christisen bio pic

Color Guard Director
Luke Christisen

Originally from St. Louis Missouri, Luke has been an active Color Guard performer for the past nine years and an active Color Guard educator for the past five. Luke's marching experience began with the Winter Guard International (WGI) competitive high school, Francis Howell North. After graduating from North, Luke attended Missouri State University where he was a member of the Missouri State University PRIDE band for four years, serving as Color Guard captain the last two, and as a junior staff member for his fifth and final season. Luke also performed with the pride of Missouri State University Winter Guard for five winter seasons serving as captain for the last three. Luke graduated from Missouri State University in 2013 with his BA in Religious Studies and is currently working on his MA in Mental Health Counseling.

Luke has been active in Drum Corps International (DCI) starting in 2009 when he marched with the cavaliers drum and bugle corps. Luke went on to march with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in 2011 and 2012 where he served as the Color Guard captain in 2012.