Huntsville High School Band: Band Directors

Director of Bands - Stuart Tankesley
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Mr. Tankesley was raised in Huntsville, Alabama.  Prior to HHS, he was the Assistant Band Director at James Clemens High School for five years.  He holds a Master of Arts degree and Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Alabama.  While at James Clemens, the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Marching Band never received less than a superior rating in its short history.  They were also invited to perform in the 2017 London New Year's Day Parade and the 2016 Alabama Music Educators Association Conference.


His duties at JCHS included marching band, concert band, team-teaching competition marching band, and class piano.  He also started the choir program.  Before James Clemens, he spent four years teaching band and choir at Discovery Middle School, where the Wind Ensemble and Choir consistently received superior ratings, including performing at the state music conference in 2008.


In addition, Mr. Tankesley has served as an adjunct faculty member at The University of Alabama in Huntsville and as a music director for musical theatre productions throughout the community.  He is an alumni of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps out of Fort Mill, South Carolina, and a former conductor of The Tuscaloosa Winds Community Band in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  In summer 2011, he served as a technician and instructor with a community jazz band on a three-week performance tour of China.  In 2012, he created Madison Music Camp - a summer music camp for middle school students that has grown to 200 students participating every year.


Besides music, he is a huge sports fan, loves to work out, travel, and go see musicals.  He and his lovely wife, Anna, live in Hampton Cove, Alabama with two adorably mischievious dogs - Weezer and Indy.


Mr. Stuart Tankesley

2304 Billie Watkins Avenue

Huntsville, Alabama  35801

256-428-8050, Ext. 190




Associate Director of Bands - Holly Connell
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Holly Connell comes to Huntsville from Maryville, Tennessee, but grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she attended Tri-Cities Christian High School.  She attended Tennessee Technological University where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, and she also holds a Master's degree in Music Education from the University of Florida.

Mrs. Connell spent the first two years of her career in elementary general music and middle school choir before accepting a band position in Blount County, Tennessee, as Director of Bands at Union Grove Middle School and Assistant Director of Bands at William Blount High School.  Most recently, she was the band director at South Doyle Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee.  During her tenure in both Blount and Knox counties, her bands enjoyed tremendous growth and achievement as the groups received Superior ratings in both stage and sight reading performances at the East TN School Band and Orchestra Association and TN Secondary Schools Band Directors Association Large Group Performance evaluations.

Holly has been a guest clinician for the TN Secondary Schools Band Directors Association Jr. Band Clinic, as well as a Concert Performance adjudicator for the South Carolina Band Director's Association.  She is a member of the National Education Association, TN Education Association, Knox County Education Association, East TN School Band and Orchestra Association, Women Band Director's International, and TN Bandmasters Association.

Outside of school, she is wife to Mark Connell and mom to son, Zachary.  She also enjoys playing flute in the Tennessee Wind Symphony and is a nationally ranked member of USA Triathlon, where she regulary competes and places in the top tier of her age division. 

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