Prior to joining The Cavaliers, Monte Mast held the position of Director of Fine Arts for the Klein Independent School District in Klein, Texas for 12 years. A graduate of the University of Akron, he taught for one year in the Coventry Local School District before he was recruited to teach in Texas. He spent five years at Calallen Middle School before accepting the position of Assistant Band Director at Klein Oak High School. In the 13 ½ years he spent as the assistant or associate band director at Klein Oak, his bands were UIL Sweepstakes winners, two time Best-in-Class and three time runner-up festival winners, and three time UIL Area Marching Contest participants. He became the first Fine Arts Program Coordinator for Klein ISD in January 2006 and stepped into the role of the Director of Fine Arts after the retirement of his mentor Bob Blanton in July 2007.
As Klein ISD’s Director of Fine Arts, Monte oversaw the administration and personnel for the band, orchestra, choral, elementary music, theatre arts, dance, and visual art programs for the district’s 5 high schools, 10 intermediates, and 31 elementary campuses. He has been involved with bond planning, technology, curriculum, facilities design, professional development and GPA committees for the district. During his time as the Director of Fine Arts, he successfully added over 70 fine arts instructional positions, built an elementary art program where one did not exist, and increased fine arts stipends by over $400,000. He finished an instrument replacement plan for the district’s 2015 bond plan that included just under $5 million in funding with an additional $1 million for fine arts technology upgrades. During his tenure as Director of Fine Arts, ensembles from Klein ISD have been invited to perform at TMEA 12 times, the Midwest Clinic 7 times, the Music for All National Festival 8 times and Klein ISD was named a Best Community for Music by the NAMM Foundation 12 times.
Monte has given presentations on diverse topics including how to get a teaching job, standards based fine arts grading, instrument evaluation, student motivation, effective presentation techniques and marching band adjudication. Monte has been a member of and/or has made presentations to the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Administrators Conference, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Art Educators Association, the Midwest Clinic, and the Conn-Selmer Music Administration Collaborative as well as multiple individual ISD’s. He conducted the annual fine arts stipend survey for the Texas Music Administrators Conference and did additional research on fine arts teacher certification trends in Texas. His peers in the Texas Music Administrators Conference named him as the 2018 Music Administrator of the Year.
Whether as a performer, staff member, designer or judge, Monte’s marching arts experiences have been important parts of shaping his career. His involvement in drum corps started in 1981 with the Bluecoats and was horn sergeant and soprano soloist in the 1982 season. The Bluecoats went inactive in 1983 Monte joined the Phantom Regiment in 1984 where he finished second at DCI individuals on soprano bugle. Those experiences led him into becoming the primary visual designer for more than a dozen bands in Texas, Ohio, Missouri, and Kansas. After moving to Texas, he judged indoor guards for the Texas Color Guard Circuit for ten years including four championship panels. He spent three years as a member of the Phantom Regiment brass instructional staff and was instructing the corps in 1996 when they won the Jim Ott High Brass Trophy and their first Drum Corps International title. Monte started judging for Drum Corps Midwest in 1998 and transitioned to Drum Corps International where he was an adjudicator in the activity for 20 years and judged on multiple championship panels. Between drum corps and marching band, he has judged contests in 40 states including state championships in 11, including multiple Texas UIL SMC and ISSMA Finals assignments.
Monte recently celebrated his 21st anniversary with his wife Karen. They have two children Garrett (string bass player and theatre techie) and Julianne (theatre offionado and oboist). In his limited spare time, Monte loves travelling and exploring ethnic cuisines, drinking the best coffee he can find, and is an avid oenophile (wine geek).
You can reach Monte Mast at Monte.Mast@cavaliers.org