DIRECTOR – IAN BLACK
Mr. Black joined East Lake High School as Director of Bands in 2018. He directs the ELHS Wind, Concert, Jazz, and Percussion Ensembles. He also teaches AP Music Theory and Music Technology. Under the direction of Mr. Black, the East Lake Silver Sound experienced significant growth in membership, doubling in size in two years.
Prior to his appointment at East Lake, Black served as Director of Bands and Orchestra at Dunedin High School for eight years. At Dunedin High School, his responsibilities included directing the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Scottish Highlander Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber (Full) Orchestra, Percussion Ensembles, and also served as Department Chair. Additionally, Black taught Advanced Placement Music Theory. He has served as both District Secretary and District Chairman for the Florida Bandmasters Association. In 2013, he was honored by the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association as the recipient of the Kraf-Custer Outstanding Educator Award, and has been nominated twice for the Pinellas County Secondary Music Educator of the Year Award.
A Pinellas County native, Black graduated summa cum laude with his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of South Florida with Honors College distinction. While at USF, Black served as Drum Major of the 300+ member Herd of Thunder Marching Band for two years. He studied clarinet performance under Professor J. Brian Moorhead, principal (solo) clarinet with the Florida Orchestra. He also studied conducting under Dr. Michael Robinson and Dr. William Wiedrich. Additionally, Black served as Festival Coordinator for the 2008 USF Festival of Winds, Opus 34.
Under Black’s direction, the Instrumental Music Program at Dunedin High School experienced numerous achievements. All of the ensembles at DHS consistently earned Superior ratings, and the size of the program steadily increased. In 2012, the Instrumental Music program travelled to Washington D.C. in 2012 for the Spirit of America Music Festival and earned the title of Overall Festival Champion. During the 2012-2013 school year, the band was invited to Disney on two separate occasions: In December 2012 for the nationally televised Disney Parks Christmas Parade, and in May 2013 to perform for Disney's 'Coronation' of Merida. In 2014, the Wind Ensemble earned its first Superior rating at the FBA State Band MPA. Also in 2014, the band traveled to Stirling, Scotland, to perform in festivities for the 700th anniversary of the historic Battle of Bannockburn, including performances at Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle.
Black is a member of NAfME, FMEA, FBA, FOA, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He resides in Tarpon Springs with his wife, Shannon, and two cats, Mina and Migo. “I am excited to join the faculty at East Lake,” said Black.
“At the core of what I value are people and music. I believe in cultivating strong relationships and growing through meaningful experiences – all while creating exciting artistic and musical opportunities. It will be a humbling honor to share these values with the students and faculty of East Lake High School.”
Ms. Bert was born and raised in Tampa. While at Chamberlain High School, she was a member of the Symphonic, Marching, Jazz, and All-County Bands. She played the bassoon, clarinet, and trombone! Ms. Bert was a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Band where she performed at the home games (in the stands and on the field) and also at pep rallies. The Buccaneers Band is where she met her husband; he plays the trombone.
Three of Mr. and Ms. Bert’s four children were band members. In 2010, when Ms. Bert’s daughter was in the Dunedin High School band, she started assisting Mr. Black a couple hours per week. That turned into a couple days each week, and, eventually, whenever the kids were on the practice field or in the band room. In 2018, Ms. Bert followed Mr. Black to East Lake High School because, “I love doing what I can to help the kids and their amazing band director.”