OUR DIRECTORS

mr-b

ZACH BJORNSEN WIG Co-Director, UTG Director

Zachary P. Bjornsen is in his 10th year of teaching, spending the past 8 years at Millard West High School. Mr. B, Co-Director of Choral Activities, holds multiple degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Bachelor’s in Music Education and Master’s in Music.

During his time as a music educator, Mr. B has directed 6th, 7th & 8th grade choirs, middle school show choirs, beginning mixed high school choirs, men’s choral ensembles, women’s choral ensembles, varsity mixed high school choirs, jazz choirs, high school musicals and high school show choirs. Zack has also had the privilege to be the guest clinician at various choral festivals in Nebraska and Iowa.

Mr. B is also an accomplished performer and has been very fortunate to perform locally and all over the United States and Europe with various ensembles, including: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Marks Basilica in Venice, The Palms in Las Vegas, along with Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, & the Nokia Theatre in New York City, among others.

Most of all Mr. Bjornsen enjoys his number one job: being a devoted family man: spending time with his wife, Abby, and daughters, Willow Jo and Hattie Pearl.

mryoung

THOMAS YOUNG WIG Co-Director, SCATS Director

Thomas Young is Co-Director of Choirs at Millard West High School. Mr. Young spent most of his formative years in Wheaton, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BA in Music Performance and an MA in Education.

Throughout his career, Mr. Young has had the joy of working with a variety of K-12 students and performing groups. He is also active as a choral and band arranger for show choirs and concert choirs. Mr. Young has had the privilege of being a clinician at choral festivals in Nebraska and in 2013, he was awarded the Outstanding Young Choral Director of the Year by the Nebraska Choral Directors Association.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Young is active as a freelance musician and has performed in 22 states as well as tours in England, France, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico and Canada.

He is an avid Husker fan, an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time with his wife, Katrina, and two boys, Andrew and Gabriel.

Jordan Newhouse

JORDAN NEWHOUSE Director of Show Bands

Jordan Newhouse is a pianist and singer who serves as Staff Accompanist and Director of Varsity Showbands at Millard West High School. Along with his piano work with the music department each day, he is on staff at SNJ Studio of Music as a private voice and piano instructor.

A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Jordan received a Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance and a Master's in Christian Formation and Ministry.

Prior to moving back home to Omaha, he resided in the Chicago-land area working as a church musician and freelance collaborative pianist/singer.

Drew Firkins

DREW FIRKINS Assistant Director of Show Bands

Drew Firkins, Assistant Director of Show Bands, is currently an undergraduate music education major at the University of Nebraska: Lincoln, where he also studies composition, euphonium, and music technology.

An avid arranger, he writes for several show choirs and bands across the midwest. Drew is the music director for the Bathtub Dogs a cappella group and Big Red Singers show choir on campus. He is also a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band and the University Singers.

Drew is thrilled to be back at his alma mater directing the Swing Cats show band, the Snazz Cats, for his second year.