General Information
Middle School Band



Colbert 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 Putzke

    Brandon J. Putzke
Associate Director

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 April 2114.

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


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