Secondary Directors

Daniel Hartley | Director of Bands | KSD Music Coordinator |

Mr. Hartley is in his sixth year as Director of Bands at Kelso High School where he instructs the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, Basketball Band and also serves as the District Music Coordinator for Kelso School District. Prior to Kelso High School Mr. Hartley earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education and his Master of Music Education from the University of Oregon School of Music & Dance. The Kelso High Band program has seen incredible growth under Mr. Hartley’s leadership, with all ensembles growing in numbers and improving festival scores. The Kelso bands have made appearances at the University of Washington's Pacific Northwest Band Festival, University of Idaho's Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Clark College Jazz Festival, the Mt. Hood Community College Jazz Festival, and the Marching Band competes annually in the NWAPA marching band circuit. The Kelso band has around 80 students participate in the annual Solo & Ensemble competition and frequently sends over 15 students to the State Solo & Ensemble Contest in Ellensburg, WA. Mr. Hartley was recognized as Kelso School District's Secondary Teacher of the Year in June of 2017, is the President-Elect of the Southwest Washington Music Educator's Association, and was nominated for the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce K-12 Teacher of the Year in 2019. He lives in Vancouver and enjoys getting outdoors with his fiance and playing with his two cats Gizmo and Gadget.

Colin Cossi | Director of Choirs |

In the Fall of 2016 he began as an Elementary Music Teacher in Kelso, spending time at Catlin, Wallace, and Butler Acres Elementary Schools. In the Spring of 2018, Mr. Cossi transitioned to Coweeman Middle School and Kelso High School as the Director of Choirs.

Before beginning his teaching career in Kelso, he earned a Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of Oregon in 2016. In his time there, Mr. Cossi sang Baritone in University Singers, Chamber Choir, the Collegium Ensemble, and On the Rocks. With these groups he traveled and competed in Oregon, Washington, California, Texas, Germany, and Austria. He guest-conducted the University of Oregon Women's Choir, and student-taught at Awbrey Park Elementary School, Springfield High School, and Clackamas High School.

Since 2018, Mr. Cossi has sung for the Oregon Bach Festival chorus in Eugene, OR, the Collegium Choir at Proto Cathedral of St. James the Greater in Vancouver, WA, and Portland's new chamber choir ensemble, In Medio. He has helped to create and execute the KHS Music Retreat and the KHS Holiday Gala. Additionally, he has organized and hosted the SWWMEA Vocal & Piano Solo Ensemble Contest, the Kelso Elementary Choir Festival, and the Kelso Secondary Choir Showcase. He looks forward to increasing the rigor and joy found in singing by Kelso students in the years to come.

Josef Ward | Director of Orchestras |

Mr. Ward is in his 2nd year as the Director of Orchestras for the Kelso Secondary Schools. He will instruct the Kelso High School Orchestras as well as the beginning and concert orchestras at both Coweeman and Huntington Middle Schools.

Prior to moving to Kelso, Mr. Ward graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon. He also served as the Graduate Employee for the Oregon Athletic Bands during the 2017-18 academic year. Mr. Ward has also directed the University of Oregon Campus Band, guest directed the University of Oregon Campus Orchestra, and directed the Thurston High School Instrumental Ensembles during his student teaching experience.

As an active performer on Double Bass, Mr. Ward has served as principal bassist with the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra, The Shedd Institute, Composers of Oregon Chamber Orchestra, section bass with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Next, and the Rogue Valley Symphony. As an Electric Bassist, he played with the Green and Yellow Garter Bands, as well as the Oregon Basketball Band. Mr. Ward currently performs in the Cowlitz County area with the Southwest Washington Symphony, the Funk Junkies, The Dude, and with the worship team at his church.

Mr. Ward looks forward to expanding student knowledge of music beyond performance through the use of Music Theory and History, as well as creative exercises. He also looks forward to community outreach opportunities, spreading the beauty of orchestral music around the Kelso area. Mr. Ward enjoys photography, video editing, working on cars, camping, the outdoors, golfing, and spending time with his wife Heather and cat Sterling.

Christopher Wurst | CMS Band Director | KHS Marching Ensemble Instructor |

Mr. Wurst is extremely excited to embark on his first year as Director of Bands at Coweeman Middle School and Percussion Director at Kelso High School. His primary duties include directing the Coweeman Middle School Concert Band, Intermediate Band, Beginning Band, and Beginning Percussion Ensemble. He will also be teaching and instructing the Kelso High School Percussion Ensemble, assisting with the high school marching band, and co-directing the high school basketball band. Mr. Wurst earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, and his Master of Arts in Trumpet Performance from Washington State University.

As an educator, Mr. Wurst taught for three years at Washington State University as an Assistant Athletic Band Director and Instructor of Music, he was the Brass Caption Head for the Thunder Drum and Bugle Corps for two years, and most recently, he taught for three years in the Portland Public School District. In Portland, Mr. Wurst restarted the band and general music programs at César Chávez K-8 School. He was also a Teaching Artist with the El Sistema inspired program Bravo Youth Orchestras. With Bravo, he was able to transform the lives of underserved youth through intensive music training, inclusion, equity, and social responsibility, all of which continue to be pillars in the way he educates students.

Mr. Wurst currently resides in Portland, OR with his wife Leah and their dog Albi. As a family they enjoy camping, golfing, and attending baseball games and concerts.