Director of Bands
Mr. Lance J. Finley is a native of Richmond (Booth), Texas. He is a class of 2000 graduate from B.F. Terry HS in Rosenberg, TX. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2005 from Stephen F. Austin State University, which is located in Nacogdoches, TX. While working on his degree, Mr. Finley was a member of the SFA Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Swingin’ Axes and Aces Jazz Ensembles, SFA Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Band and the Roarin’ Buzzsaws Pep Band.
Lance Finley is currently the Director of Bands/Percussion Coordinator for the Needville Independent School District in Needville, Texas. He joined the Needville Band Staff in 2006 and serves as the Director of the HS Marching Band and Wind Ensemble. These ensembles have earned numerous Sweepstakes Honors and Superior ratings at Texas UIL and festival events.
Before coming to Needville, Mr. Finley was the Assistant Band Director and Percussion Coordinator for La Marque ISD in La Marque, Texas, where he was in charge of all aspects of percussion from 6th through 12th grades.
Mr. Finley continues to be an active clinician and consultant for area schools. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association and (the) Association of Texas Small School Bands. Mr. Finley is an educational endorser for Pearl Drums/Adams Percussion and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets.
Asst. Band Director
Dean Hurta has been an associate band director for the Needville ISD Bands since 2013, co-conducting the NHS Symphonic Band, leading the NJH Concert Band. He is the brass specialist with the Marching and Beginning Bands. Before becoming a Bluejay he taught in the Lamar Consolidated ISD at Lamar and George Junior Highs. He has dramatically increased retention of brass students where he has taught and his bands have earned numerous Superior rating at UIL and recorded at Various Universities in the area.
Mr. Hurta grew up in Richmond, Texas and started playing trombone at Lamar Junior High where he would later teach. He attended Lamar High School, Arts Magnet at Booker T. Washington in Dallas, and Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He earned a Bachelors in Music Education in Las Vegas and came home to Texas thereafter with his lovely wife of now 25 plus years. They soon were blessed with two beautiful daughters who have gone through the Needville school system. He enjoys swimming with his wife, playing trombone at church, cycling, camping, snow skiing, and eating at In-N-Out Burger.
Asst. Band Director
A Native from Brownsville, Texas, Robert A. Palermo, literature has taught master classes in numerous high school and middle school throughout out Texas. He is a current Saxophone Artist/Clinician for the Stephen F. Austin State University Summer Band Camps. As an active performer and freelance musician, Palermo has performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, National Intercollege Band, Texas Music Educators Association, and the National Association of Composers USA/Texas Chapter. Robert has enjoyed working and performing with the Danville Symphony Orchestra, the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, SFASU Theater, Harlingen Performing Arts Theater, the Orchestra of the Pines, Angelina Community College Big Band, along with other community bands. Palermo has performed and recorded with the Black Orpheus Septet, Lords of Denman, The Mix and Matches Jazz Quartet, and has earned the Honorable Mention and semi-finalist in the MTNA and NASA Solo and Chamber Competitions. Robert has previously taught in Brownsville ISD, Progreso ISD, and is currently an Assistant Band Director in Needville ISD. Mr. Palermo has had his bands and students earn Sweepstakes and Superior ratings in Texas State Solo and Ensemble, ATSSB and TMEA All-State Bands.
Palermo holds a Bachelor in Music Education and a Masters in Music Performance from SFASU, where he studied with Dr. Brian R. Utley, Dr. Nathan Nabb (BM and MA), and Debra Richtmeyer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Patti Jan is the sponsor for the Jr High and High School Twirling Line. Mrs. Jan has been employed with the Needville Independent School District for sixteen years, where she has served as the Jr High Sponsor for approximately fourteen years. Mrs. Jan is a former Needville High School Twirler and has taught twirling lessons for over twenty-five years. Mrs. Jan has two daughters, Kirby and Madison, who were both former Needville High School Twirlers, and Kirby was also the Feature Twirler at Texas State University. Her daughters also competed in twirling competitions, where they both won National Titles in events with NBTA while they were in high school. Mrs. Jan loves the sport of twirling and is very excited to work with both the Jr High and High School Lines.
Kristy graduated from Needville High School in 2000 where she was co-captain of the color guard her junior and senior year. She has been the color guard sponsor for six years. She currently teaches 4th at Needville Elementary School and has 2 children, both attending Needville High School.