Page Howell, Jr.
Colbert Page Howell, Jr.
Director of Bands
Colbert Page Howell, Jr. became the Director of Bands at VBHS in 2016. He had served as the Associate Director of Bands at Vero Beach
High School since 2006. Howell’s duties at Vero Beach
include team - teaching both symphonic bands and the
Fighting Indians Marching Band, directing the Jazz Band I,
conducting the Wind Ensemble, directing the chamber music
program, and conducting the Pit Orchestra. Additionally,
Mr. Howell helps administrate the entire band program. Mr.
Howell serves as conductor and music director of the Vero
Beach Chamber Orchestra and is the founder and conductor of
the Treasure Coast Wind Ensemble.
Mr. Howell earned his BM
in Education from The University of North Carolina at
Greensboro where he studied conducting with John Locke and
Clarinet with Kelly Burke. He earned the Master of Music
Degree from Louisiana State University where he studied
conducting and wind literature with Frank Wickes and Music
Education with James Byo and Evelyn Orman.
Since 1999, Howell has
been a rehearsal assistant, musicianship class instructor,
head dorm counselor, and conductor at the UNCG Summer Music
Camp. Howell currently serves as Chairman of District 13 of
the Florida Bandmasters Association and is a member of the
Executive Board. He is a member of MENC, FMEA, FBA, NBA, and
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Brandon J. Putzke
Brandon Putzke is a native of Michigan but calls Vero Beach
“home.” He is a graduate of Vero Beach High School during
which time he was an avid band member and percussionist. Mr.
Putzke received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education
from the University of South Florida.
In January of 2000, he and his family returned to Vero Beach
where he joined the teaching staff of Indian River County.
He was the Music Teacher at Liberty Magnet Elementary for 15
years, of which he was 2010 Teacher of the Year and one of
the top 5 finalists for Indian River County. He is also the
Percussion Director for Vero Beach High School and the
Co-founder/Director of the Treasure Coast Percussion
Camp. Mr. Putzke is currently self-employed (Treasure
Coast Percussion) and teaches percussion at multiple
schools throughout Indian River County and the Treasure
Coast area of Florida.
Liberty’s Eagle Orff Ensemble and chorus are two-time Grand
Champions at the Music USA Festival in Orlando, FL, have
made two appearances at the Kennedy Space Center and have
performed at Epcot and the Capitol building in Tallahassee,
FL. The Vero Beach High School Percussion Ensemble
has made appearances at the Florida Day of Percussion, The
McCormick Marimba Festival, and the Sandy Feldstein National
Percussion Festival. The ensemble has earned superior
ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association District and
State Solo and Ensemble Festivals each year. Mr. Putzke is a
percussion composer/arranger and has been published in the
national subscription of Music Express Magazine and Music
K-8. He is a sought after clinician and adjudicator around
the state of Florida.
Mr. Putzke has recorded several CD’s with his elementary and
high school groups and with professional talents from all
over the state. He performs regularly with local band,
Souljam, the Vero Beach Orchestra, and several theatrical
productions at area theatres and churches.
Mr. Putzke is a current member of the Florida Bandmasters
Association and the Percussive Arts Society. He has received
his National Board Certification and is endorsed by Vic
Firth, Remo and Sabian.
James M. Sammons
Director of Bands Emeritus
James M. Sammons
retired as the Director of Bands in 2016 a positition he held since 1980. Mr. Sammons is a native of Colquitt,
Georgia and graduated from Miller County High School
in 1972. He received his Bachelor of Music Education
from Troy University in 1976 and was a member of the
famed “Sound of the South” Band under the direction
of Dr. John M. Long.
Mr. Sammons is a life member of the Florida
Bandmasters Association, serving the FBA for
eighteen years in a variety of positions at the
district and state level including District
Secretary, District Chairperson, Solo and Ensemble
Chairperson. Mr. Sammons served as President of the
Florida Bandmasters Association from 1996-1998. He
is also a member of the Florida Music Educators
Association, the National Association for Music
Education and the National Band Association. Mr.
Sammons was inducted into the Florida Bandmasters
Association Hall of Fame in November of 2013 and was
featured the School Band and Orchestra Magazine in
Mr. Sammons began his career at Goshen High School
in Goshen, Alabama (1974-1976) as Director of Bands
(including all instrumental activities, grades 4
through 12) while completing his undergraduate
studies at Troy University. During his tenure with
the Goshen High School Band, the band appeared at
the Alabama Bandmasters Association State Concert
Festival for the first time in school history. From
1976-1980, Sammons served as Director of Bands at
Walton High School in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. The
Walton High School Band consistently received
superior ratings at both marching and concert band
festivals and appeared at the Florida Bandmasters
Association State Concert Festival on three
occasions, the first such appearances by the band in
over 25 years.
Mr. Sammons is an active adjudicator and clinician
for state and national events.
He has been recognized as the Indian River County
Teacher of the Year and has received Official
Proclamations and Citations from the City
Council of Vero Beach, the Indian River County Board
of Commissioners, the Veterans Council of Indian
River County, the Legislature of the State of
Florida, and the Office of the Governor of the State
of Florida. He has been awarded the Citation of
Excellence from the National Band Association
and the Southeastern United States Concert Band
Clinic. Mr. Sammons has also been honored by the
Indian River County Association of School
Administrators’ with the Best of the Best
Award and has received the Principal’s Award for
Excellence from Vero Beach High School.
In addition to his duties as Director of Bands at
Vero Beach High School, he serves as Chairman of the
VBHS Performing Arts Department and Coordinator of
Instrumental Music for the Indian River County
Schools. He has been married to Mrs. Priscilla
Sammons since 1999, working with him as an integral
member of the VBHS Band Staff and serving as
Director of Auxiliary units since 1995. His son, Dr.
Michael Sammons, D.M.A., a 1998 graduate of Vero
Beach High School and member of the VBHS Band,
currently serves on the percussion faculty at the
University of Utah.
James M. Sammons