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Charles A. Stephens was born in Beaumont, Texas. Mr. Stephens received the Bachelor of Science Degree in Music from Florida A&M University where he was a proud member of the FAMU Marching 100, and a Mater of Arts Degree in education from Pepperdine University. He has taught band in the Jasper County Schools in Ridgeland, S.C., Wheatley High School in HISD, and he retired after a 29 year tenure at Waltrip HS.

Under his direction the Waltrip Ram Band developed into one that is highly recognized as being very successful and has appeared at local, regional, state, and national performances earning numerous awards. These include UIL 1st Division ratings, advancement to Area Marching Contest, and Best Band Director at the 1997 All-American Music Festival and the 2001 Heritage Music Festival. Mr. Stephens is known for being fair, firm, and consistent, and as a teacher of all forms of music. Many of his former students are successful performers and music educators, including many band directors

Mr. Stephens continues to serve as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, and is equally proficient on the conductor’s podium and the marching gridiron. He is affiliated with the Houston Music Teachers Association, National Band Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Ssociation of Jazz Educators, Houston Symphonic Band, and the Moose Lodge Northwest Branch. He has served in State Appointed positions with TMEA and served as Region 9 Jazz Chairman for six years. Mr. Stephens believes that his success can be attributed to the fact that, “Music is in everyone’s heart. It goes across all cultural lines. In order to teach all forms of music, one must be able to relate to and communicate it. At the same time, the student must be self-motivated - they have to want to learn and get it!” Mr. Stephens’ interests include a love for cooking and gardening.

Mr. Stephens has been honored as Teacher of the Year for Waltrip High sChool in 1992 and a Lifetime PTA membership. His passion for music education and dedication to his students has been recognized through his receipt of the “Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation” Award. In 2011 he was awarded the Spec’s Charitable Foundation Award for Music Education Excellence by the Houston Symphony.

Charlie Stephens is inarguably a master teacher and an inspirational example of persistence and longevity. May all learn from his love of music education and his inclusive approach to all musical styles. Charlie Stephens has definitively “Raised the Standard!”

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