Ron Planks

Director

Our Directors

A Bryan, Texas native, Mr. Ron L. Planks is the Director of Orchestras here at Rock Hill High School. After receiving his Bachelors degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Conducting and Theory/Musicology from Sam Houston State University, he went on to directing orchestras at Memorial Middle School and Memorial High School in Spring Branch, TX from 1996 to 1998 and Williams High School in Plano, TX from 1998 to 2015.

 

Mr. Planks also established the Veta Louise Morriel Arts and Leadership Academy, a non-profit organization, which supports the Strings of Color Orchestra, a community orchestra formed to encourage and uplift more minority string players in the Dallas area. At its height, Strings of Color was comprised of 32 predominantly African-American students from areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex such as Dallas, Richardson, Plano, and Arlington. This group was also invited to perform at the San Diego Jazz Festival and received praise from singer-songwriter Kenny Lattimore.

Mr. Planks also went on to inspire young students through his ETHOS (Ethnic Teens Honoring and Owning Success) program, an after school mentoring program for at-risk teen males in Plano ISD. After receiving a grant from Plano ISD for its success, this biweekly program was featured in a local documentary titled The ETHOS Way, directed by Adam Michaels.

Mr. Planks frequents as an orchestral clinician and judge, and serves as a member of TODA and TMEA. In his free time, Mr. Planks enjoys song-writing, exercising, reading, and being a dog-lover.

Cassie Cepeda is the Associate Orchestra Director at both Rock Hill High School and Prosper High School. Prior to joining Prosper ISD, Mrs. Cepeda worked with the Lake Highlands High School Orchestra in Richardson, TX. Mrs.Cepeda also actively works with the University of Texas at Arlington, Summer Strings Camp. 

 

Mrs. Cepeda graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. She was a member of the UTA Symphony Orchestra and Studied Violin under Dr. Martha Walvoord, and Dr. Tim Angel. 

 

Mrs. Cepeda has spent her entire life in the DFW area, growing up in Lewisville, TX and currently resides in The Colony, TX with her Husband and Cat.

Cassie Cepeda

Associate Director

Blue Hawk Orchestra Booster Club

Executive Board 2022-2023

President - Joey Stelzer - joeystelzer@gmail.com

Vice President - Jayme Shelton - djshelton13@gmail.com

Treasurer - Ify Okororie - bisify@yahoo.com

Secretary - Jamie Busby - jsbusby@prosper-isd.net

Blue Hawk Bureau Student Officers

Samyuktha Shanthakumar (Sami)

Historian & Outreach Officer

Hello, my name is Samyuktha Shanthakumar, but you can call me Sami if it's easier. I am a Sophomore in Chamber Orchestra. The things I really like about Orchestra are the socials and the concerts.

Praneel Mahalatkar

Outreach Officer

My name is Praneel Mahalatkar, and I am going to be in my Freshman year of Chamber Orchestra. My favorite thing about orchestra is being in the tight-knit community and the energies we create when we are playing together.

Chloe Dias

Outreach Officer

Hi! My name is Chloe. I'm a sophomore violist in symphonic. My favorite part of orchestra is my friends and getting to share my love of music with other people. :)

Mae Truong

Outreach Officer

My name is Mae Truong and I am a freshman. I play the cello and I am in Chamber Orchestra. I love the cello because its sound is beautiful birth in orchestra and in solos. To me, orchestra is not only a place where your individual talents are recognized in a team setting, but also a place where you can gather support promoting unity through the sound of music.

Ife Okororie

President

Hi! I'm Ife Okororie and I'll be a senior this year (ikr crazy). I'm in Rock Hill's Chamber Orchestra and I've played the Double Bass for six years now! My favorite thing about orchestra has to be end of year banquet where we just all get to recap the amazing year we've had.

Sunde Tolentino

Vice President

Howdy! My name is Sunde and I’m a senior. I am so excited to create fun memories and beautiful music with my fellow orchestra members this year! :-)

Soujanya Tetali

Historian

Hello! My name is Soujanya and I'm a senior. I play the Violin in the Symphonic Orchestra. My favorite things about orchestra is learning new music and performing at concerts.