Michael Bell, Director of Bands
Michael Bell is currently the Band Director for the 2015-2016 school year at Passage Middle School. He is an alumnus of Woodside High School and Virginia Commonwealth University. He graduated from VCU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and was an active member of their University Band and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. During his enrollment at VCU, he was also an active member of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity.
Outside of Passage Middle School, Mr. Bell works closely with the Woodside High School Marching Wolverines during their marching season as a marching assistant and drum major instructor. He is also a saxophone instructor at Center Stage Performing Arts Academy in Yorktown, VA.
Under his direction, the Passage Middle School bands have earned superior and excellent ratings at state assessments as well as local music competitions. He looks forward to continuing to have students strive for excellence throughout their middle school band experience.
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Shawn Roberts, Director of Orchestras
Shawn Roberts is currently the Orchestra Director at Passage Middle School in Newport News Public Schools, VA. At Passage, he teaches Orchestra to 115 students in grades six through eight. Under the Direction of Mr. Roberts, the Passage Middle School Festival Orchestra has achieved the rating of Superior. Previously, he taught at Dozier Middle School and Saunders Elementary School in Newport News Public Schools, VA.
At Dozier Middle School, he taught ninety students in grades 6-8, and took a Beginner/Intermediate Festival Orchestra to a Music in the Parks Festival, scoring an excellent rating of 88/100, and third place of all middle school orchestras, including advanced orchestras from several different states. At Saunders Elementary School, he taught over 3500 students, up to 730 students each year, in grades kindergarten through five. There, he directed over thirty musical performances, created a 120 student choral program and a ninety student after-school theatre company that produced official Broadway Jr. shows. Theatrical productions include Seussical Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., Disney’s Aladdin Jr., and Honk Jr.
Mr. Roberts holds a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where he studied violin with Amadi Hummings and Leslie Stewart, viola with Jennifer Snyder and piano with Marilyn Forman. He has worked with several groups around the Hampton Roads area including the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, the Very Special Arts of Virginia and a beginning strings program at Parkview Montessori School in Portsmouth, VA. Most recently, Mr. Roberts earned a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership
and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Advanced Educational Leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy in Advanced Educational Leadership at Regent University as well.
In addition to his role as a professional music educator, Mr. Roberts also works as a Regional Coordinator with Music in the Parks, where he is responsible for festivals at the Busch Gardens venues. As well, Mr. Roberts works with Pearson as a scorer and trainer for professional educator assessments.
Outside of his career as a music educator, Mr. Roberts currently holds the position of pianist at the Catholic Church of St. Therese in Gloucester, VA and accompanies and consults for area groups. Mr. Roberts is married to his lovely wife, Jennifer. They have nine children: Luke, Alexander, Stephanie, Caitlin, Zachary, Eoghan, Juliette, Maximilian, Theodore, and Annabelle, who all love music.
Mr. Roberts loves his career and works to be a positive influence for all of his students and colleagues.