Orchestra Director & Fine Arts Department Chair

Mr. Neal Springer

Neal Springer has been an orchestra director at Clements High School since 2014. Before coming to Clements, he taught at Crockett Middle School in Fort Bend ISD, and worked for orchestra programs in Abilene ISD in Abilene, TX.  Under his direction, orchestras have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes and Best in Class awards in festivals across the state.  The orchestras at Clements have also consistently placed as finalists in the Texas Honor Orchestra Competition.

Mr. Springer graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He recently completed his Masters in Music Education and Conducting from Colorado State University in the summer of 2018. He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. While at Hardin-Simmons, he was honored as the College of Music’s 2010 Presser Scholar. He also has served as TMEA Region 13 Middle School Orchestra Coordinator and Tabulation Chair. His private viola students have participated in numerous region and state orchestras. He has performed as a violist with a variety of ensembles including the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Abilene Opera Association, Houston Civic Symphony and Cypress Philharmonic Orchestra.

When he is not teaching or conducting, Neal enjoys traveling with his family and watching movies. He is eternally grateful to his supportive wife, Rebekah, and loves spending time with his son.

 

 

Orchestra Director

Mr. Emory Daniel

Emory Daniel has been an orchestra director at Clements High School since 2019. Before Clements, he taught at McDonald Junior High in Katy ISD.  His orchestras consistently receive UIL Sweepstakes ratings.  He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Orchestra Directors Association. 

Mr. Daniel graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015 with two bachelor degrees in both double bass performance and music education. While at UGA he was a concerto competition finalist, a substitute bassist for the Atlanta and Augusta Symphonies, served as principal bassist for the Athens Symphony, and led bass sections in both Italy and Argentina. Mr. Daniel also did graduate work at Indiana University.  He played for the Terre Haute and Columbus Philharmonic before teaching full time in 2016. Along with conducting at Clements, Mr. Daniel teaches privately. His students have received Region and All State Honors in both Georgia and Texas. His students have also been accepted to music programs such as Brevard, Tanglewood, Interlochen, and the Houston Youth Symphony. Mr. Daniel continues to play in regional and local orchestras around Houston.

When he is not playing or teaching Mr. Daniel loves traveling with his family, drinking coffee, and eating spicy food.

 

 

Harp Coordinator

Mrs. Stephanie Gustafson

Originally from Chicago, harpist Stephanie Gustafson now resides in Houston, where she is an active performer, educator, and writer. She has been principal harpist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra since August 2015 and is a regular guest of the Houston Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. She has also worked with the Austin Symphony, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, and the El Paso Symphony and Opera. Prior to her move to Houston, Stephanie lived in Washington DC where she held the position of principal harpist with the Annapolis Symphony and regularly traveled to Chile to performed with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Santiago as acting principal harpist for their 2013–2014 season.

A passionate educator, Stephanie is co-director of the Houston Youth Harp Ensemble, which she co-founded in 2018. She is also on the faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, where she teaches middle and high school harp students every summer. From 2016–2018, Stephanie was a Young Artist with Da Camera of Houston, which awarded her a grant to develop a music program to help combat school bullying. She also maintains an active private teaching studio for students of all ages in Houston.

In 2018, Stephanie was named the News Editor of Harp Column, a bi–monthly print publication serving the international harp community, where she writes on auditions, competitions, and album releases.