Photo by Marion MeakemChris Weise

A native of Vienna, Virginia, Mr. Weise is a product of the Fairfax County Public School System where he attended Thoreau Middle School and James Madison High School.  He received a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from James Madison University in 2004.  While at JMU, Mr. Weise was a member of the Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Brass Band, Tuba Ensemble, and 450-member Marching Royal Dukes.  He has studied euphonium with Gene Duman, Matt Troppman, Lance LaDuke, Roger Behrend, and Kevin Stees.  In 2016 he completed a Master’s Degree in Music Education/Teaching Artistry from Bowling Green State University where he studied with Dr. Ken Thompson.


Mr. Weise started his career as the Band Director and Music Department Chair at Kilmer Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia.  He was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the music program.  In his four years at Kilmer, the band program grew from 180 students to over 260.  The Kilmer Symphonic Band received straight superior ratings at all contests and festivals of which they had entered.  They also received multiple Grand Champion awards at all Musicale and Music in the Parks festivals on their spring trips.  In 2006, they were the featured middle school performing ensemble at the Virginia Music Educator Association’s State Conference.  In 2008 Mr. Weise was a nominee for the Washington Post/Fairfax County Teacher of the Year.


In 2008, Mr. Weise became the Band Director at McLean High School.  During this time, the McLean Bands have grown from 170 students to over 250.  Mr. Weise is responsible for overseeing and teaching all aspects of the McLean Band Program including three concert bands, two jazz bands, three winter guards, AP Music Theory, percussion ensemble, pep band, and the Highlander Marching Band.  Ensembles under his direction have continuously earned “Superior” ratings at state and national events.  In recent years, the Symphonic Band has been the Grand Champion of national festivals in Orlando, Boston, Chicago, and New York. In 2011 and 2016, the Symphonic Band was the featured high school performing ensemble at the Virginia Music Educator Association’s State Conference. They were also featured at the 2015 Music For All National Concert Band Festival marking McLean’s fifth appearance at this prestigious event.  The Highlander Marching Band competes in the USBands and Music For All/Bands of America circuits where they are regularly featured as Regional Finalists. In 2015, Mr. Weise was chosen as Teacher of the Year at McLean High School.  He is currently a nominee for the Washington Post/Fairfax County Teacher of the Year for 2016.  In May of 2016, Mr. Weise was selected by the McLean Chamber of Commerce as the Teacher of the Year.


Mr. Weise is an active member of the Virginia Music Educators Association, the National Association for Music Advocacy, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Band Association, and the Fairfax County Band Director’s Association.  He has been a contributing author for numerous articles in the state publication, VMEA Notes.  He is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for ensembles and festivals throughout the D.C. metropolitan area.  Mr. Weise resides in Vienna, Virginia with his wife, Christina, and children, Savannah and Jackson.

Contact Mr. Weise at

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Deidra M. Denson

Deidra Denson began her teaching career in Potsdam, New York in 1987, teaching band to grades 7-12. She began her tenure in Fairfax County in 1989 when she became the director of bands at Poe Middle School. Ms. Denson later held the same position at Stone Middle School. Recognized several times as a distinguished educator in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, her bands consistently received superior ratings at the VBODA district band festivals and first place and grand champion awards at various regional competitions. Ms. Denson became the assistant director of bands at Kilmer Middle School and began teaching elementary school band in 2003. While at Kilmer she was very fortunate to be able to work with a few very talented band directors, one of whom was Chris Weise. Since 2009 she has been the associate director of bands at Longfellow Middle School.

Ms. Denson graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in Bassoon Performance and a Master’s degree in Music Teaching. While at Oberlin, she performed with the Bläserquintett woodwind quintet during its Music from Oberlin tour, and was awarded two contrabassoon fellowships to attend the Aspen Music Festival. Ms. Denson played for several years with the Washington Bach Sinfonia, Mount Vernon Orchestra, Canton (OH) Symphony, Ashland (OH) Symphony Orchestra, Fairfax Wind Symphony, and the Potomac Winds woodwind quintet. During her time with Potomac Winds, the ensemble performed on the Sunday Concert Series at the Phillips Collection. 


Ms. Denson is both thrilled and honored to become a part of the McLean High School tradition and to again have the opportunity to work with Chris Weise.

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Scott Weinhold currently plays saxophone for the United States Army Band, Washington, DC. Prior to working for the Army Band he was on the road with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Other performance experience includes working on cruises in Europe and the Mediterranean, touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and performances with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, and the Blue Wisp Big Band in Cincinnati, OH. Scott has studied jazz with Nick Brignola, Rick VanMatre, Phil Degreg, Pat Harbison, and David Baker. As an educator, he has performed and taught at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN and Miami University, Oxford, OH. Scott also taught music in the Cincinnati Public School System. Scott Weinhold has earned degrees from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY (BS Music Education), and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM Saxophone Performance). He also spent one year at Indiana University working towards another graduate degree in Jazz Studies.


David Wolf  is a percussion educator and performer in the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. Metro area. He serves as the Percussion Director for McLean High School where he teaches the Percussion Class, directs the Percussion Ensemble, and oversees all percussion activities for the Marching and Concert Ensembles. He also serves as a Percussion Specialist at the feeder middle school, Longfellow Middle School. Additionally, he holds the same positions at James Madison High School and Thoreau Middle School in Vienna, VA. Under his direction, the McLean High School Percussion Ensemble has performed at the 2011 and 2015 Music For All National Percussion Festivals, the 2015 VA/DC Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion, and at the 2016 Ohio State High School Percussion Festival. Dr. Wolf also maintains a vibrant private studio and is an Adjunct Professor of Music at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Dr. Wolf regularly performs with the Washington, D.C. based new music chamber orchestra Great Noise Ensemble in addition to other freelance performance opportunities. Soloist appearances include performances with the Northeastern University Concert Band, Louisiana Tech University Percussion Ensemble, Ohio State University Percussion Ensemble, McLean High School Symphonic Band and the Capital Wind Symphony. Dr. Wolf holds degrees from The Ohio State University (DMA), the University of Oklahoma (MM) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (BM).

Dr. Wolf is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society, National Association for Music Education, and the College Music Society, and is an educational endorser for Remo Drumheads & Percussion and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets.

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Kaitlyn Ries, Guard Director


Originally from Chicago IL, Kaitlyn came to Northern Virginia for school and job opportunities. Although she started dancing at the age of four, she has been spinning since 6th grade in middle school all the way up until senior year of high school at John Hersey in Illinois, where she was captain of the guard. She continued to spin with George Mason University Winterguard for three years, where she was captain for two of those years. She has won distinguished scholarship awards in both the Midwest Color Guard Circuit and the Atlantic Indoor Association for her character, leadership and dedication to the sport.

     In terms of coaching, during her senior year of high school Kaitlyn coached the Thomas Middle School Cadet guard. In between high school and college she choreographed and designed for a Elk Grove High School back home in Chicago. Since 2014, she has worked with multiple schools in FCPS as assistant instructor at Oakton High School for two years and worked with Woodson High School for a year, where she took over as Director mid-season. Aside from color guard, Kaitlyn is working towards pursuing a career in law with a focus in family law and aiding children through any adjudication process.


Bobby Jones - Drill Design

Mark Lortz  - Music Arranger

Carina Gutjahr - Visual Coordinator

Joe McClure - Marching Band Coordinator

Ashley Orifice - Show Coordinator

Melody Johnson - Marching Tech

Brian Fisher - Marching Tech

Kurt Walters - Marching Tech

Jim Kirchenbauer - Marching Tech

Ted Frederick - Marching Tech

Melody Johnson - Marching Tech

Justin Polyblank - Marching Tech

Dakota Kaylor - Front Ensemble Tech

Joe MacMorran - Percussion Tech

Richard Sanger - Music Tech

Jim Swarts - Drumline Tech

Nick Taylor - Drumline Director


Brianna Slaughter - Assistant Director

Ashley Huang - Equipment Tech



Jeff Bianchi - Horn Sectionals

Jim Bittner - Trumpet Sectionals

Bruce Brown - Flute Sectionals

Ed Fraedrich - Saxophone Sectionals

Lynn Gaubatz - Bassoon Sectionals

Jim Moseley - Oboe Sectionals

Kristen Sheridan - Clarinet Sectionals

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