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 Concert Winds and teaches all of the beginning wind 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. James Pendell, Percussion Instructor

Dr. James Pendell is currently a paraprofessional, private lesson teacher, and freelance musician in the Houston area. Prior to his residency in Houston, Pendell was the director of percussion studies at the University of Tennessee Martin. He also held positions at Coastal Carolina University and served as a Graduate Teaching assistant at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Pendell was born in raised in El Paso, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Texas Tech University, a Masters degree in Percussion Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Texas Tech University.

As a performer, Pendell has shared the stage with musical artists such as Geoffrey Keezer, Andy Narell, Liam Teague, and was a featured soloist with both the Indiana University Wind Ensemble and the Texas Tech University Concert Band. Currently, he plays drums for up and coming country singer Jake Worthington and has held positions with a variety of ensembles including the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Midland Symphony Orchestra, Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, Long Bay Big Band, Long Bay Symphony Orchestra, and Paducah Symphony Orchestra.

Pendell has performed, adjudicated, and presented at music conferences all over the world. He is a Vic Firth Performing Artist and a frequent contributor to various scholarly publications.

His motto? “Aim for small victories each and every day.”