Meet Our Band Directors

Luis Alvarez is the Chair of the Fine Arts Department and the Director of Bands at GHS. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education and his Masters of Music from the University of South Florida.  During his graduate studies, he served as a Teaching Assistant in the Trombone Studio and Jazz Department.  Mr. Alvarez toured Europe as the lead trombonist for the USF Jazz Ensemble 1, performing at major jazz festivals such as Montreux, Umbria, North Sea, and Vienne. He has performed throughout the state of Florida and in 2013 recorded with the Jazz Surge on their album, River Runs, which was nominated for two Grammy awards.

Prior to joining Gaither High School, Mr. Alvarez served as the Director of Bands at Leto High School in Tampa, FL from 2009 to 2014. Under his direction, his bands have consistently received superior ratings at the district and state level. In 2013, his band program received the prestigious Community Award from the Grammy Foundation. In 2014, Mr. Alvarez was one of five finalists for teacher of the year in Hillsborough County. Luis Alvarez is an active member of the Florida Bandmasters Association. In 2017, his Wind Ensemble was among a select group of bands across that nation that were selected to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Luis Alvarez
Chair, Fine Arts Department
Director, Bands
Kristy Dell
Assoc. Director, Band
 Kristy Dell has been in education for 16 years and is currently in her first year as the Associate Director of Bands at Gaither High School.  Prior to teaching at Gaither, Mrs. Dell was the Director of Bands at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Tampa, FL where her responsibilities included teaching the Beginning Bands, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble.  In her tenure at Wilson, the bands earned Superior ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) District Music Performance Assessment, the Percussion Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2014 Florida Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference, and the Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the 2015 Stetson University Honor Band Invitational.  In addition, her students participated in the Hillsborough County Master Musician Program, the Hillsborough All-County Middle School Band, and the Florida All-State Bands.  During the 2011-2012 school year, Mrs. Dell served as a Peer Evaluator with Hillsborough County Public Schools under the Empowering Effective Teachers initiative. Prior to teaching at Wilson, Mrs. Dell was the Director of Bands at Lake Gibson Middle School in Lakeland, Florida and at Broadmoor High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 
 
Mrs. Dell currently serves the Florida Bandmasters Association as Chairperson of the All-State Band Committee and a Concert Band and Solo and Ensemble Adjudicator throughout the state of Florida.  Formerly, Mrs. Dell served the FBA as a member of the Concert Music Committee from 2009-2016, the District VII Secretary from 2012-2014, Chairperson of the Benevolence Committee from 2010-2014, Middle School All-State Band Coordinator from 2007-2014 and also served on the committee to create the “Best Practices for Middle School Bands in Florida in 2009.  At the district level, Mrs. Dell served on the committee to write curriculum maps for secondary music in Hillsborough County from 20014-2015 and was the Coordinator of the Hillsborough All-County Middle School Band from 2007-2009.  Furthermore, she has guest conducted the Volusia, Pasco, Lee, Polk and Big-Bend All-County Middle School Bands, and the University of Tampa and Florida State University Summer Bands. 
 
Mrs. Dell holds a Master of Music Education degree from The Hartt School-University of Hartford and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Florida State University.  She is currently an active member of the National Band Association (NBA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Florida Music Educator’s Association (FMEA) and the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA).
  

Sammy Alvarez is establishing his 4th year as the percussion director at Gaither High School, as well as, his fourth year as the Director of Bands at Ben Hill Middle School. Since taking over as director, the percussion ensemble has grown not only in numbers but also to new levels of success. 

Mr. S. believes the formula behind his success is the effort, talent, and work ethic displayed on the students behalf, in combination with their resilience and ability to adapt to his, and his staff’s new system of teaching. 

As the Director of Bands at Ben Hill Middle School, he has the immense honor of being the direct feeder to Gaither High School and to work closely with the music directors there, as well as, see his former students enter the new conservatory and conceive great accomplishments. Mr. S currently resides in the Tampa Bay Area with his wife and two boys.

Sammy Alvarez
Director, Percussion