Michael Hernandez, Director of Bands

Mr. Hernandez is the Director of Bands at Caffey Junior High School. He has been a band director since 2016. Prior to teaching at Caffey, he taught at Aragon Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and down the street at Manvel High School in Alvin ISD.

Mr. Hernandez was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas. In 2016, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Before that, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with honors in Accounting and worked in Human Resources and Strategic Management at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

At the University of Houston, Mr. Hernandez studied French Horn under Roger Kaza and Gavin Reed. He was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and the Spirit of Houston Marching Band. After college, he continued performing locally and became Associate Principal Horn of the award-winning Texas Medical Center Orchestra located in the heart of Houston. He also sings with various local community choirs and has performed with the Deep Steel Thunder for the Houston Texans.

At Caffey Junior High, Mr. Hernandez conducts the Symphonic Winds and teaches all of the beginning brass and flute students. Students in his bands have consistently earned first division ratings and Sweepstakes awards at the UIL Concert & Sightreading event. His mission is to build the Caffey Cardinal Band into a program that emphasizes performing at the highest level while using the art of music to grow happy, well-rounded, and successful students.

His motto? “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.


Dr. Mindy Pyle, Assistant Director

Dr. Pyle is the Assistant Director at Caffey Junior High School. She has been a band director since 2005. Before joining the staff at Caffey, she taught at Hanna High School in Brownsville, TX, for fourteen years and her alma mater Henderson High School in Henderson, TX, for three years.

Dr. Pyle graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2001 before going on to receive a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Clarinet Performance from Arizona State University in 2008.

During her studies at SFASU, Dr. Pyle studied with Raphael Sanders. She was selected as a winner of SFASU’s first annual Concerto Competition for which she enjoyed a solo performance of Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino with the Orchestra of the Pines in Nacogdoches, TX.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Pyle studied with Dr. Linda Bartley. She was principal clarinetist in the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, E-flat clarinetist in the UW-Madison Wind Symphony and performed in the Madison Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her many performance opportunites, Dr. Pyle also enjoyed teaching her private clarinet studio.

During her studies at Arizona State University, Dr. Pyle studied with Dr. Robert Spring. She was a founding member and principal clarinetist in the Musica Nova Orchestra, principal clarinetist in the ASU Symphony Orchestra and private clarinet teacher. She also enjoyed taking part in the recording of Black Dog (Summit Records) with her clarinet professor Dr. Robert Spring and the ASU Wind Symphony.

At Caffey Junior High, Dr. Pyle conducts the Concert Winds and teaches the beginning oboes, bassoons, clarinets, and saxophones. Dr. Pyle's students have consistently earned TMEA All Region, Area, and All State Band placements as well as first division ratings and Sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert & Sightreading.

Her motto? "Work hard. Be kind. Never say 'I can't'. Have fun."


Tyler Burkham, Director of Percussion

Mr. Burkham is the Percussion Director at Iowa Colony High School and Caffey Junior High. Prior to teaching in Alvin ISD, he was an Assistant Director/Percussion Director for Van ISD, an active clinician and arranger for multiple marching band and indoor percussion programs in Southeast Texas, and served as Percussion Director for Orangefield ISD in Orange, Texas.

Originally from Lindale, Texas, Burkham got his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Lamar University.

Burkham was a member of Monarch Independent for the 2016 & 2017 seasons, and has been on the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps Administrative Staff since 2017. This is his 5th Season with the corps, and his first as Tour Director.

Burkham enjoys spending time with his loved ones, eating good food, teaching percussionists to play in time, and playing with his cat, Malikah.


Tim Pallone, Director of Bands - Iowa Colony HS

Currently in his 16th year in education, Tim Pallone is the Director of Bands at Iowa Colony HS. Earning both his BS in Music and MME in Music Education and from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX, he studied with acclaimed music educators such as Barry Johnson, Scott Weiss, Raul Ornelas, J. Wayne Dyess, and Scott Deppe.

Before coming to Alvin ISD, he taught the majority of his career in Lumberton ISD and Port Neches-Groves ISD. His concert bands have been consistent recipients of UIL Sweepstakes Awards and his marching bands have been consistent UIL Area Finalists with his Lumberton HS Band competing in the UIL State Marching Band Championships in 2017 and 2018. Along with being an active adjudicator, clinician, and marching drill writer, he is a member of Phi Beta Mu, TMAA, TMEA, TBA, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, great food, and sports (Go Astros and Texans!). He and his lovely wife Shanea live in Houston with their three dogs Baxter, Stella, and Matilda and are expecting their first child in late 2022.

His motto? “Winning is fun, but those moments you can touch someone’s life in a positive way are better.”