Highland HS Band & Color Guard

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Meet our Instructors

Erin Freise – Band Director

Ms. Freise, a Palmdale Native and Quartz Hill High School alumna, is returning to Palmdale to share her performance skills and passion for music with the students at Highland High School. An incredibly accomplished director and percussionist, Ms. Freise earned her associates degree in Liberal Arts from Antelope Valley College while simultaneously working as a Percussion Instructor at Quartz Hill High School and Percussion Caption Head at Rosamond High School. After her time at Antelope Valley College, Ms. Freise earned two bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Music Performance (emphasis in Percussion) from the University of California, Los Angeles. During her time at AVC and UCLA, Ms. Freise taught a variety of subjects to students in local elementary, middle, and high schools, including marching band, concert band, string orchestra, guitar, and indoor drumline. While at Highland High School, she has also taught jazz band and beginning band. In addition to her teaching experience, Ms. Freise is an accomplished musician who has performed with a variety of ensembles, including the UCLA Marching Band, the Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, the well-known rock band Muse, and the highly-acclaimed Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Nic Virtue - Assistant to the Director

Nic graduated from Quartz Hill High School and attended San Diego State University to study Music Education.  Nic has had experience in teaching multiple levels of wind bands, jazz band, percussion ensemble, string orchestra, marching band, music theory, and choir. He is currently working towards earning a teaching credential to become a K-12 educator.

Bailey Hooper - Color Guard Instructor 
Bailey graduated from Lancaster High School as a section leader of the color guard and has performed with the Pacific Crest Drum & Bugle Corps and the Tournament of Roses Honor Band in the 2018 Rose Parade. Bailey is currently continuing her education at Antelope Valley College and is studying to be a nurse.

Tatum Lee - Color Guard Instructor

Tatum is an alumni of Quartz Hill High School and currently works for the Westside School District as an Instructional Aide. She has previously performed with Opal, an independent winter guard group. Tatum is student at AVC and is studying to be a teacher.  

Meenah Alam - Percussion Instructor

Meenah is an elementary and middle school Band Director in the Westside Union School District. She graduated from Quartz Hill High School in 2014 and earned her B.A’s in Percussion Performance and Music Education and teaching credential from UCLA in spring of 2018. She is currently enrolled in 2 Master's programs, one in Music Education at the University of Michigan and the other in Percussion Performance at UCLA.

Erik Alvarado - Percussion Instructor

Erik graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 2014 and began studying Music Education at AVC. While attending AVC, he participated in the Pasadena City College and Bakersfield City College indoor percussion ensemble programs. Erik is now continuing his music education and percussion performance studies at UCLA.

Albert Godinez - Visual/Drill Instructor

Currently based in Corona, CA, Albert was a member of the Pacific Crest DB from 2009-2012. He has taught at multiple high school marching band programs, such as Downey HS, Pete Knight HS, Littlerock HS, Quartz Hill HS, and Palmdale HS as a Visual Instructor and Drill Designer. He is currently a student at Fullerton State University and is pursuing a degree in Music Education.