Music Directors

Parker Bixby

Director MIHS Marching Band, Wind Ensemble & Percussion Ensemble

Parker Bixby has been a proud member of the MISD Band program since 1995. His primary responsibilities include directing the Islander Marching Band, three of the four MIHS Concert bands and the award winning MIHS Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Bixby holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Washington as well as a Master of Music Education from the University of Montana acquired during his fellowship as Assistant Director of the Grizzly Marching Band. Away from his students, he is an active performer as a member of the Washington Wind Symphony and enjoys spending time with his wife Jessi and two children Madeline and Duncan. Mr. Bixby is a member of The Washington Music Educators Association as well as MENC: the National Association for Music Educators.

David Bentley

Director MIHS Jazz Ensemble and IMS Band Programs

David Bentley serves as Band Director in the Mercer Island School District at Mercer Island High School and at Islander Middle School. Mr Bentley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from the University of Washington, and a Master of Music from the University of Miami.  He is active as a professional trombone player and can be heard with local jazz ensembles including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and The Jazz Police. Among others, he has performed with Natalie Cole, Lou Rawls and the Woody Herman Orchestra. David was the recipient of the 2005 Mercer Island PTSA Outstanding Educator, the 2003 Mercer Island Reporter Educator of the Year, and was recently singled out from all teachers in the State of Washington as recipient of the “Director Who Makes a Difference” award by School Band and Orchestra Magazine. Mr Bentley is active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout Washington and an active member of Washington Music Educators Association, and Music Educators National Conference. When not teaching or playing music, he enjoys spending time with his wife Cathy and their two children, Jacob and Anna.

Kyle Thompson

Director MIHS Marching Band & Morning Jazz Bands

Kyle Thompson is proud to be teaching band in the Mercer Island School District and has several years of teaching in Washington State. Kyle holds a Bachelors of Music Degree from Central Washington University.

Previous Education positions include Director of Bands at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall Washington, Consultant with the UCLA Marching Band, Program Coordinator with the Central Washington University Marching Band, Director of Education and Brass Caption Supervisor of the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps, Brass educational faculty of The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Rosemont Illinois and Brass Caption Supervisor of the Troopers Drum and Bugle corps from Casper, Wyoming.

His trumpet playing can be heard on the Central Washington University Jazz Band 1 release, “In a Mellow Tone” on Sea Breeze Records, and he is an active member of the National Association for Music Education and the Washington Music Educators Association.

Brian Lawrence

Director MIHS Band and IMS Band Programs

Brian Lawrence is a director of bands at Mercer Island High School and Islander Middle School. He is a graduate of Central Washington University, where he was a member of the school’s nationally-acclaimed music program. In addition to teaching, Brian is an active professional musician and arranger. His performance highlights include numerous regional engagements, the Monterey Jazz Festival, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Aliante Casino in Las Vegas, Sanda City Japan, and a 14-country tour as a woodwind player for Princess Cruise Lines. Brian’s music arrangements are performed by local jazz and marching bands, as well as headline entertainers on Princess, Holland America, and Carnival Cruise Lines. These experiences give Brian unique perspective in the classroom to share with his students. Brian is excited to be part of the outstanding community of families, students, and educators in the Mercer Island School District.

Haley Smith

Director IMS Band Programs

Haley Smith finished her 8th year as the band director at Chief Kanim Middle School in Fall City, WA before joining the Mercer Island band program. She directed over 220 band students each day, including instrument-specific 6th grade classes, 7th and 8th grade ensembles, and two jazz bands.  Because her school is in the same region as Islander, she has loved the chance to get to hear their bands at festival each year. Haley earned a BA in Music through Whitworth University (clarinet emphasis) before going on to earn a post-baccalaureate BM in Music Education through Central Washington University. While at university, Haley was active in the wind symphonies, jazz bands and jazz combos. She was highly involved in Whitworth’s student life programs and worked two years as a small group coordinator and resident assistant, respectively. Before teaching at Chief Kanim, she student taught with her now friend and mentor, Carol Krell! Over the last four years, Haley became a National Board Certified teacher and will finish her third and final summer of grad school this year at the American Band College, earning a master's degree in Music Education. She enjoys playing clarinet in her local church as well as the Washington Wind Symphony. 

Haley grew up in Burien, Washington, and spent her middle school years attending school in Blackpool, UK. She graduated from Highline High School. When not teaching or playing, Haley loves travelling, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. She's very excited to be an Islander and in the Mercer Island band program!

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