About Us

Amy Allison, Head Band Director

Amy Allison has been the Head Band director at Canyon Ridge Middle School since the opening of the school in 2004. Ms. Allison received her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas where she studied education under Fred J. Allen and flute under Helen Blackburn.

Her strongest teaching mentors have been Ron Morrison, the Fine Arts Director of Pearland ISD, and her high school band director, Dr. Ross Grant. Her first two years teaching were with Dr. Ross Grant and Mark Wessels in DeSoto, Texas.

She is currently in her 15th year of band directing and has had numerous UIL sweepstakes bands throughout the years. Under her direction the CRMS Honor Band placed 10th in the CC Texas State Honor Band Competition in 2006 and placed 1st in Region and 4th in Area in 2010.

The CRMS Honor Band has been selected as a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence Project in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and has been named "Overall Outstanding Band" at the DC Festival of Bands frequently over the past 8 years. In 2014, the Canyon Ridge Middle School Honor Band was invited to perform at the 68th Annual Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

Before starting her teaching career in the Texas Public School System, Ms. Allison played professionally as the piccolo player for the American Wind Symphony in Pennsylvania. Ms. Allison directs the Honor Band and teaches the beginning flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon classes.  She also directs woodwind sectionals.

Ms. Allison can be reached at amy.allison@leanderisd.org.

Carter Matschek, Associate Band Director

Carter Matschek is an Associate Band Director at Canyon Ridge Middle School, a position he has held since 2009. Mr. Matschek graduated magna cum laude from Texas Tech University, where he received his bachelor's degree in Music Education.

While at Texas Tech, Mr. Matschek performed in the wind ensemble, orchestra, and sang in the university choir. He studied percussion with Alan Shinn and Dr. Lisa Rogers.

Mr. Matschek directs the Symphonic Band and teaches 6th grade trombone, tuba/euphonium, and percussion classes. The Symphonic Band has consistently received superior ratings at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest under his direction.

Mr. Matschek can be reached at carter.matschek@leanderisd.org.

Amanda Dawson, Associate Band Director

Amanda Dawson is beginning her first year as an Associate Band Director at Canyon Ridge Middle School. Ms. Dawson received her Master's degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012 where she studied saxophone with Mr. Harvey Pittel and was a member of the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Professor Jerry Junkin. Prior to becoming an associate director at CRMS, Ms. Dawson taught for 5 years in Leander ISD as a private lesson instructor.

Ms. Dawson is a native of Georgia where she was previously the band director at Central Middle School in Carrollton, Ga. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama where she studied saxophone under Mr. Mace Hibbard. While at JSU Ms. Dawson performed in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I, Pit Orchestra, Pep Band, and was a member of the JSU Marching Southerners.

Ms. Dawson is a founding member of the Austin Saxophone Ensemble where she serves on the board of directors, is an active performing member of the group, and co-directs ASEYouth, the group's youth program made up of grades 7-12.

Ms. Dawson directs the Concert Band and teaches 6th grade saxophone, horn, and trumpet classes.

Amanda Dawson can be reached at amanda.dawson@leanderisd.org.