A native of Boston Massachusetts, Jeff began his studying drum set in 1997, mostly playing along to CD's stolen from his much cooler older brother. Growing up in Boston allowed him the opportunity to experience an abundance of live music, both at all ages rock clubs and at universities like Berklee School of Music and New England Conservatory.
In 2002, Jeff graduated from Boston College High School and moved to New Orleans, earning a Bachelor's in Music Education from Loyola University. After a brief Hurricane Katrina related diversion, Jeff graduated Cum Laude in 2006 and moved to Austin TX. Shortly thereafter he began his teaching career as Assistant Director of Bands at Cedar Creek Middle and Intermediate Schools in Bastrop ISD. As an assistant Jeff founded the schools first jazz band and percussion ensemble, as well as taking the non varsity band to it's first ever UIL competition. Upon his promotion to Director of Bands in 2013 the Cedar Creek MS Band went on to achieve two consecutive UIL Superior ratings, or "sweepstakes awards", the first in the school's history. Additional accomplishments include raising over $25,000 in various local, state, and national grants as well as the establishment of the High Flyer Scholarship, providing more than 25 extraordinary students the opportunity to attend summer music camps at Texas State and the University of Texas.
Since taking over in 2016, the Paredes Puma Band has seen seen drastic growth in both quality and size. The 2018 and 2019 Paredes Wind Ensemble earned consecutive UIL sweepstakes, their first since 2014 and just the third and fourth in school history. Since 2017, Eleven Paredes students have been selected to the greater Austin All-Region concert- Enrollment has steadily grown to almost 300 students.
Previous instructors have included Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Johnny Vidacovich, Ayn Inserto, Alexei Tsiganov, and Dr. Joseph Hebert. Recording credits include Love the Future by Chester French, produced by Pharell Williams.
In his spare time Jeff is also a Martial Arts dork, achieving the rank of Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Oki Ryu Kenpo, Level 1 Jau Gau in Seven Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu, and Jo Kyo Nim (1st degree Black Belt) in Pyon Moo Do.
Mr. Hefler directs the Wind Ensemble, beginning Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone, Baritone, and Tuba classes.
Mr. Nickolas Conte is in charge of the Symphonic Band as well as the beginning Saxophone and French Horn classes. Mr. Conte is currently in his 5th year of teaching. Previously, while pursuing a graduate degree in music education, he worked as a graduate teaching assistant for the Texas State University Bobcat Marching Band, where he taught woodwind sectionals, and marching fundamentals, as well as various other administrative jobs. Before that, he worked as an assistant band director in Dayton, TX, where his job responsibilities included teaching 6th grade woodwind beginners, assisting in teaching beginning brass, directing the junior high Symphonic Band, and assisting with the Dayton High School marching band. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education, and his primary instrument is saxophone.
Mr. Conte was born in Austin, TX (that’s right! ACTUALLY born here), and grew up in Kyle where he went graduated from the Hays CISD school system. He credits his band directors for constantly demanding the best, while always being caring and understanding. When not teaching, Mr. Conte enjoys spending time with his family, performing in various local bands, and playing disc golf.