Director of Bands
Ken Ringel is currently in his 12th year as Director of Bands at McKinney High School. Prior to his appointment at McKinney High, he served as the Director of Bands at Frisco High school, Gainesville High School, as well as Clark High School in the Plano Independent School District. He has also held assistant director positions at Clark High School and Jasper High School in Plano, as well as Midlothian High School.
His responsibilities at McKinney High include leading the Royal Pride Marching Band, conducting the Honors Band as well as team-teaching the Symphonic Band, Concert I, and Concert II Bands. Bands under his direction have consistently been awarded the “Sweepstakes Award” for Superior Ratings in University Interscholastic League Marching, Concert, and Sight Reading contests, and have been named “Best in Class” and “Best in Festival” at various music festivals around the country.
Mr. Ringel has enjoyed a wide-range of experiences in the music field. He held positions around the Dallas, Fort-Worth area as a freelance horn player and most notably served as a substitute horn player for the Fort-Worth Symphony Orchestra for nine years. He took part in Drum Corps International as a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps in 1989 and 1990. He has also been active as a marching band drill designer for 26 years. He has written and consulted for several High Schools and Universities around the country.
Mr. Ringel holds the Bachelor of Music Degree from Florida State University and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University. He earned his teaching credentials from Texas A&M Commerce. He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Bandmasters Association.
Aly Stephenson is excited to begin her second year of teaching with the Royal Pride Band. Prior to this position, Mrs. Stephenson was the marching tech at MHS and taught private flute lessons in McKinney and Plano ISD.
As a 2013 graduate of McKinney High School, Mrs. Stephenson is looking forward to returning to her alma mater, where she discovered her passion for music, marching band, helping others, and teaching.
After graduation, she attended Stephen F. Austin State University and pursued a major in Music Education. Mrs. Stephenson studied flute with Dr. Christina Guenther, and performed in the Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony, where she was Principal Flutist. She also had the pleasure of playing Piccolo in the “Orchestra of the Pines”. Mrs. Stephenson was a member of the Lumberjack Marching Band for three years, and she led the piccolo section in her final year. She graduated from the SFA School of Honors, Magna Cum Laude, and as a member of the National Music Honor Society Pi Kappa Lambda.
Mrs. Stephenson lives in Richardson, Texas with her husband. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing Mario games, reading, and taking Disney World vacations.
Mrs. Stephenson’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association, and Pi Kappa Lambda.
She is looking forward to a great year!
TJ McCrea is a graduate of the University of North Texas with a bachelors in Music Education. While at UNT, Mr. McCrea performed with many ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Green Brigade Marching Band and the award-winning Funky Fresh Basketball Band. He also studied bassoon with Kathleen Reynolds and Jorge Cruz as well as tuba with Adam Koble. Mr. McCrea taught bassoon lessons and student taught with the Fossil Ridge HS, Fossil Hill MS, and Chisholm Trail IS in Keller ISD.
Mr. McCrea has been fortunate to be on staff with many talented band programs in the DFW and Austin areas which achieved success at the UIL State, BOA San Antonio and BOA Grand National levels; including the Round Rock, Keller, Hendrickson, and Coppell High School bands. Mr. McCrea is a proud alumnus of the Phantom Regiment (2012 - Bronze Medalist).
Mr. McCrea is very excited to join the McKinney High School staff where he will direct the Jazz Band and Concert Band I. He will also help team teach the Honors, Symphonic, and Royal Pride Marching Band. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Young Band Directors of Texas, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Tyler Nechamkin graduated from the University of North Texas in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. At UNT, Mr. Nechamkin enjoyed performing with the schools many ensembles including the snare ensemble that took first place in the 2015 PASIC Small Ensemble Competition – continuing the legendary history of UNT’s dominance in marching percussion.
Mr. Nechamkin was a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps in 2015 and in 2016 when the corps won its 12th Fred Sanford High Percussion Award for best percussion performance in Drum Corps International. In 2014, Mr. Nechamkin was given the incredible opportunity to perform with the Synergy Percussion Group on a week-long tour of Italy, wrapping up with a percussion ensemble performance in Rome.
Mr. Nechamkin is excited for his first year with the Royal Pride Band. Before coming to McKinney, he was the Assistant Percussion Director at Wylie East High School and the Percussion Director at Bethesda Christian School. He is also an avid composer and arranger – his works can be found at tapspace.com.
Mr. Nechamkin is a member of TMEA and the Percussive Arts Society. When not teaching, Mr. Nechamkin enjoys writing music, spending time with friends and family, and endlessly re-watching The Office and Friends with his wife, Lauren, and their dog, Chloe.