Lance Finley
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.

Dean Hurta
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.

Armand Cavazos
Asst. Band Director

Armand Cavazos is currently Assistant Band Director for Needville Independent School District where he serves as the woodwind specialist. Mr. Cavazos is the director for the Needville Junior High Symphonic Band, as well as co-director for both Needville High School Symphonic and Jazz Band. Mr. Cavazos graduated from Harlingen South High School in Harlingen, Texas, and is a previous member of the studio of Professor James Warth, Previous Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Texas A&M University- Kingsville.

Mr. Cavazos has performed consistently with the TAMUK Wind Symphony and Jazz Band 1. While attending Texas A&M- Kingsville, he has held the position of TAMUK Band Camp Counselor,  Head Music Technician for the Javelina Marching Band, Principal Saxophone in the Wind Symphony, and been a featured soloist with the Wind Symphony. Mr. Cavazos is also a Brother of the National Honorary Band Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.

Since 2013, Mr. Cavazos has worked as a private lesson lesson instructor and consultant for a variety of recognized band programs, including Los Fresnos High School, San Benito High School, Santa Gertrudis High School, and Vela Middle School. Mr. Cavazos has also previously performed with several active performing ensembles around Texas, including the Dean Canty Jazz Orchestra, Blue Experiment, Kingsville Symphony Orchestra, and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, and Victoria Symphony Orchestra.

Abbigail Ramsey
Asst. Band Director


Ms. Ramsey was born and raised in North Texas where she graduated from Prosper High School in Prosper, TX. Ms. Ramsey is currently completing her final semester of her M.M. in Wind Conducting degree at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and graduates this spring. During her graduate studies, Ms. Ramsey studied conducting under Dr. Tamey Anglley and Dr. David Campo, and horn with Dr. Andrea Denis and Dr. Charles Gavin. She served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for The Lumberjack Marching Band, the Roarin’ Buzzsaws Basketball Pep Band, Undergraduate Conducting Courses, the SFA University Band, and plays horn in the Wind Ensemble and Horn Choir. Ms. Ramsey has been teaching at The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps since 2019 as a high brass technician.

Ms. Ramsey attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she received her Bachelor of Music Education degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude in Spring 2020. She studied horn with Dr. Charles Gavin and conducting with Dr. Tamey Anglley and Dr. Chris Kaatz. During her time as an undergraduate student, Ms. Ramsey served as the Drum Major of The Lumberjack Marching Band for two seasons. In addition to being involved with the marching band, she was a member of the Horn Choir, Roarin’ Buzzsaws Basketball Pep Band, Wind Symphony, and Wind Ensemble. Ms. Ramsey was also a member of the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2018 DCI season, where she was the mellophone soloist and was awarded “Brass Rookie Member of the Year”.

Ms. Ramsey’s professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Young Band Directors of Texas, Graduate Wind Conductors Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, and she is an Honorary Member of Tau Beta Sigma. Ms. Ramsey is happily engaged to her high school sweetheart, James, and they have a goofy Cocker Spaniel named Bonnie. Outside of teaching, she enjoys long walks outside, weightlifting, hammocking, talking about her dog, and spending time with loved ones.

Kristy Palmer
Color Guard Sponsor


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.

Patti Jan
Twirling Sponsor

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.