William C. Kite
, currently in his fourteenth year at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, KY serves in his tenth year as Director of Bands. His duties include overseeing the Henry Clay High School Band program consisting of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Lab Jazz Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensembles, and Steel Bands.

Prior to his appointment as Director of Bands at Henry Clay High School in the summer of 2009, Mr. Kite spent one year at Beaumont Middle School serving as Associate Director of Bands. His responsibilities included assisting in the direction of the jazz band, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands while directing the 5th grade band at Rosa Parks Elementary School. Previously, he spent four years (2004-2008) at Henry Clay High School and Morton Middle School, serving as Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Director of Bands. Mr. Kite directed the Jazz Ensemble, Lab Band, and Concert Band at Henry Clay High School in addition to assisting in the direction of the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Pep Bands. He also aided in the direction of the 6th Grade Advanced Band and the 7th Grade Band at Morton Middle School. In 2002 through 2004, Mr. Kite spent two years at Meade County High School in Brandenburg, Kentucky, where he taught numerous general music classes, directed the Jazz Ensemble, and served as an assistant for the Concert Band, Marching Band, and Pep Bands.

Under Mr. Kite’s direction, the Henry Clay Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band receive consistent distinguished ratings at national and KMEA concert band assessments and festivals. The Wind Ensemble was selected and performed at the 2013 and the 2018 KMEA In-Service Conference and the 2010 UK High School Band Invitational Concert. The Henry Clay High School Jazz Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2007, 2011, and 2016 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) In-Service Conferences and has received numerous invitations for public performances. The Henry Clay Marching Band was a Bands of America Regional Finalist in 2012, 2013, 2017, and 2018 and is currently a 10 time KMEA class 5A semifinalist and recently appeared at the Bands of America Grand National Championship in Indianapolis, IN.

Mr. Kite earned a Master of Music in Music Education degree from the University of Kentucky in the spring of 2012. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2001 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. He studied trombone at UK and his experience includes performing and recording with a variety of professional and community ensembles around the state of Kentucky including the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO), the Kentucky Jazz Repertory Orchestra (KJRO), Men of Note Jazz Orchestra, Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors (BAJA), People’s Choice Band, Lexington Community Orchestra, Lexington Brass Band, and the Capital City Community Band. He is also active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator serving in local and statewide auditions as well as a variety of solo and ensemble festivals, honor bands, and assessments.

Mr. Kite is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Band Masters Fraternity, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA), and the Fayette County Band Director’s Association. He served for two years as the KMEA All-State Jazz Chair and Coordinator and several years as District 7 Jazz Chair. He is currently working as the KMEA Jazz Assessment Manager and District 7 President. Mr. Kite was awarded the honor of 2012 KMEA District 7 High School Teacher of the Year. A native of Marshfield, Massachusetts, he lives with wife April, sons Will and Luke, and daughter Ella in Lexington, Kentucky.


Kelley Ray, MCHS Assistant Band Director, had the good fortune to grow up in a musical family.  His father sang in a gospel trio with mom playing piano.  They were both educators as well.  At the new McCracken County High School, Kelley manages and directs the school’s Instrumental Jazz Program, teaching Theory and Improvisation, as well as directing the big bands and combos.  Additionally, he teaches Beginning and Advanced Guitar classes.  Finally, Kelley assists with McCracken County’s overall band program and serve as musical arranger for the Mustang Marching Band, pep band, Jazz bands and school choir program.  He also contributes as staff arranger for Marching Show Concepts   

Kelley served as Director of Bands for Lone Oak High School.  He has held multiple director positions during his 20+ years as a music educator, including the Fulton and Graves County School Systems and Ballard Memorial High School.  In addition to public education, Kelley also writes and arranges music for both concert and marching bands.  Another facet of Kelley’s musical career is his service as a judge with the Midwest Judges Guild, judging for DCI-M.  Prior to beginning his teaching career, he worked as both a professional touring and studio musician. 

Kelley earned advanced degrees in Vocal and Brass Performance and Jazz Studies from Campbellsville University and Stephen F. Austin State University.  His Rank I Education Certification is from Murray State University.  Kelley is currently a member of the Kentucky Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education.


Dr. Christopher Strange, a native of Windham, Maine, has been teaching the Lafayette Jazz Ensemble since 2008.  He has taught instrumental music at public schools in Maine, Indiana and Kentucky.  Dr. Strange holds a bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Maine, a Master’s and Doctorate from the University of Kentucky. 

Upon completing his Master’s degree he spent a year touring the country with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as its’ lead Tenor Saxophonist.  In addition to teaching at Lafayette, Dr. Strange enjoys teaching private lessons and band at Jessie Clark Middle School and Wellington Elementary.  He currently lives in Lexington with his wife Julie.


David Threlkeld is a Professor of Music at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY where he has taught since 1990. He is a native Kentuckian, having graduated from Russell High School before earning his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Morehead State University and a Master of Music in Performance degree from Northwestern University. He has pursued additional study at the University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, and Tulane University.

At Cumberlands, Mr. Threlkeld is the director of the UC Jazz Ensemble and is also the reed specialist, teaching private lessons on clarinet and saxophone. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he currently serves as the Chair of the Music Department. He appears frequently as a soloist, clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator throughout the region.

Mr. Threlkeld is past president of The Kentucky Association of Jazz Educators and former College/University chair for KMEA. He has been chosen as the university representative for KMEA District 10 on numerous occasions. In 2013 he received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award at University of the Cumberlands.

He remains active as a performer in a number of groups throughout central Kentucky including the DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO), The Somerset Big Band, and his own eight-member band Miss Direction.