Director of Bands
Tom Harrington is the Director of Bands at Cypress Woods High School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. He began teaching in the Spring Independent School District at Twin Creeks Middle School in 1990 where he was the assistant band director for seven years. In 1997, he moved to Cypress-Fairbanks where he was the Director of Bands at Dean Middle School for eight years. In 2005 he opened Spillane Middle School and remained there until 2017 when he moved to Cypress Woods.
Mr. Harrington graduated from Westfield High School where he performed in bands directed by Mr. Richard Crain and Mr. Philip Geiger. While at Westfield, he earned a chair in the TMEA All-State Band and was named an Outstanding Soloist at the UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest in Austin. He earned his Music Education degree from The University of Houston where he was in the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Eddie Green and studied trumpet with Houston Symphony principal trumpet, Mr. James Austin.
While at Dean Middle School, he was named the 2003 Teacher of the Year and was listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers for 2003 and 2005. Mr. Harrington's bands earned numerous Sweepstakes Awards and first divisions at area festivals both in the Spring and Cypress-Fairbanks school districts.
In 2005, Mr. Harrington opened Spillane Middle School. Since then the bands at Spillane have been consistent sweepstakes winning bands and has also advanced to the area round of the state honor band competition. While at Spillane, Mr. Harrington was named Teacher of the Year in 2011 and to the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Hall of Fame in 2012. The Spillane Band was named a Commended Winner in the National Wind Band Honors competition in 2015 and 2016.
Mr. Harrington served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Bandmasters Association from 2006 to 2013 and served as the association’s president for the 2011-2012 school year. He has also served as the Texas Music Educators Association Region 23 Junior-High Region Band Coordinator from 2001-2004 and the Texas Bandmasters Association Region Representative to TMEA Region 23. In addition, he has been a conductor at the Sam Houston State University Band Camp since 1998. Currently he serves as the TMEA Region 27 Region Band Chairman.
Mr. Harrington has been a member of both The Texas Bandmasters Association and The Texas Music Educators Association since 1986 and is a member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.
Mr. Harrington and his wife Shelley reside in Klein, Texas with their sons Robert and Adam. Their daughter Amber resides in San Antonio where she is working towards a nursing assistant certification. Robert is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and anticipates attending Officer Candidate School for the U.S. Navy. The youngest, Adam is an All-State horn player and a graduate of Klein Collins High School. Adam attends the University of Houston as a music education major.
Mrs. Harrington earned her music education degree from The University of Houston in 1992 where she was in the Concert Chorale and studied voice under Jean Preston. Mrs. Harrington teaches music at Kreinhop Elementary School in the Klein Independent School District. She is active at the couple's church.
Associate Director of Bands
T.J. Peterman currently serves as the Associate Director of Bands for Cypress Woods High School. Mr. Peterman joined the staff in the Fall of 2017, and is currently in his third year at Cypress Woods High School. His responsibilities include directing the Marching Band, Symphonic Winds, co-directing the Concert Band, and assisting with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Winds. He also serves as an Assistant Director for the CFISD Honor Clarinet Choir which has performed at The Midwest Clinic and TMEA. Mr. Peterman holds a B.M. in Music Studies and Certificate in Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, graduating in the Spring of 2017. He is currently pursuing his M.M. in Music Education from Texas State University during the summers. His professional affiliations include Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association.
Prior to joining the team here at Cypress Woods High School, Mr. Peterman completed his student teaching at Westlake High School and Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas. He also worked with New Braunfels High School (2014), Dripping Springs High School (2015-2016), and taught private lessons in Dripping Springs ISD and the surrounding Austin area (2014-2017). His mentors include: Kerry Taylor, Richard and Cheryl Floyd, Keith Lancaster, Al and Paula Corley, Jerry Junkin, Ryan Kelly, Larry Matysiak, Jarrett Lipman, and Jodie Rhodes.
While at the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Peterman performed in the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Jerry Junkin, as well as the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, and has been Principal Clarinet in both ensembles. While at UT, Mr. Peterman performed with the Wind Ensemble on the 2014 World Tour, with the Wind Ensemble at TMEA in 2014 when the group premiered John Mackey’s, Wine-Dark Sea, and TMEA in 2016 with the Symphony Orchestra. During his time at UT, his primary clarinet instructor was Steve Cohen. Born and raised in the Austin area, Mr. Peterman attended Dripping Springs ISD schools. During his time at Dripping Springs High School, he was a three-time All-State Musician and Drum Major for the band.
Director of Percussion
Cinjin Casillas is in his seventh year with the Cypress Woods Band. Mr. Casillas is a graduate of Texas Christian University where he received his Bachelor's Degree in music education. He is also a graduate from Cy-Fair High School, where he was an All-State Percussionist. Mr. Casillas is a former member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Casillas has studied with percussionists Dr. Brian West, Dr. Richard Gipson, Dr. Dave Hall, and Paul Rennick.
Mr. Casillas was a member of the TCU Percussion Orchestra, a group that has won five total PASIC "Call for Tapes" competitions, the most prestigious award given to the top college percussion ensembles in the country. He was also a member of the TCU Drumline, winners of the 2012 PASIC Marching Festival. He has performed in Carnegie Hall with the TCU Wind Symphony, and at the Fiesta Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Super Bowl with the TCU Marching Band.
Mr. Casillas has enjoyed great success at Cypress Woods High School. Under his leadership, the percussion section has secured many best in class and caption awards at Band, Drumline, and Percussion Ensemble contests. Mr. Casillas’ bands have also secured many sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert and Sightreading. In addition to his normal duties, Mr. Casillas is a frequent clinician for percussion programs in the Houston area.
Mr. Casillas enjoys spending time with the family dogs, expanding his knowledge of all things “nerd”, and tending to his LEGO collection. Mr. Casillas resides in Cypress with his wife Molly Casillas who is also a busy band director.
Assists with Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Concert Winds, and Concert Band
Oversees 6-12 Percussion Program
Assistant Director of Bands
Ben Underbrink currently serves as the Assistant Director of Bands for Cypress Woods High School. Mr. Underbrink’s responsibilities include assisting with the marching band and directing the Symphonic Band, and teaching AP Music Theory.
Mr. Underbrink received his undergraduate degree in music education from TexasA&M University – Commerce. During his time at Commerce, Mr. Underbrink served as President for the band service organization, Kappa Kappa Psi, was a drum major of the “Pride” marching band, 4-year member of the Wind Ensemble, and member of the horn studio directed by Michael Morrow. He also worked as a marching technician for Berkner, Denison, and Wakeland High School, and taught private lessons in Sulphur Springs, Denison, Forney, and Frisco ISD.
Prior to joining the Cypress Woods High School staff, Mr. Underbrink completed his student teaching at Lake Highlands High School and Yale Elementary in Richardson ISD. Since 2012 he has also taught summer leadership camps and music conferences including those held in Texas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Hawaii.
Mr. Underbrink is thrilled to join the wonderful community here at Cy Woods!
Assistant Director of Bands
Austin Byers is currently an Assistant Director of Bands at Cypress Woods High School in Cypress, Texas. Mr. Byers received a Bachelor of Music in Music Studies and Certificate in Trombone Performance from the University of Texas at Austin.
While at UT, Mr. Byers was fortunate to perform with numerous distinguished ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Trombone Choir, and Longhorn Band. He was a part of the 2018 TMEA Wind Ensemble performance, conducted by Jerry Junkin. He also served in the Trombone Choir, conducted by Dr. Nathaniel Brickens, when they were runner-up for the International Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition twice.
Before coming to Cypress Woods, Mr. Byers was a Marching Instructor for Westwood High School and Westlake High School. During his time, both programs were finalists for multiple BOA Regional and Super Regional contests. In the Spring of 2020, he student taught at Westlake High School and Hill Country Middle School learning from Kerry Taylor and Kristin Hames.
Mr. Byers expanded his performance career outside of the classroom participating in Drum Corps, Winter Guard, and a dance company. He marched with Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps the summer of 2016, and received silver and bronze medals marching with Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017 and 2019. Finding a passion for movement, he performed with ORIGINS, an Independent Open Winter Guard, and a professional modern dance company to expand his knowledge and appreciation for the arts.
Mr. Byers is very excited to join the Cypress Woods family!