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Pilot Point ISD Instructional Band Staff

Mr. Daniel Balkema – Director of Bands - Pilot Point High School - Office: 940-686-8740 x. 10011


Mr. Balkema is in his 21st year of teaching and 12th year at Pilot Point High School.  He is a graduate from the University of North Texas in 2003, with a Bachelors degree in Music Education, and holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Hawaii, all with an emphasis in Instrumental Music.  While at UNT, he was a member of the Marching Green Brigade, and a member of the Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Brass Band. Mr. Balkema is a Brass specialist with Trumpet being his primary instrument. While at UH, he was an active member in Music Education research for the University. His Master’s Thesis involved “Parental Involvement and the Success and Motivation of Texas Band Programs.”

After Graduating from UNT in 2003, Mr. Balkema was hired for the Midland Independent School District as the assistant band director for Lee Senior High School.  Mr. Balkema's many responsibilities included teaching marching band, brass sectionals, assisting the concert and symphonic bands, teaching beginner brass classes at the junior high’s, and teaching the entire jazz program.  His bands have made Consistent UIL Sweepstakes and he attended the State Marching Competition with the Lee Senior High School Band two years in a row while in Midland. While Mr. Balkema was an assistant at Lee Senior High School, the Lee Senior High School Band was nominated as The “Texas Exemplary Band Program” by the Texas BandMasters Association. 

In 2007, Mr. Balkema moved back to the Dallas area and was hired by the Dallas Independent School District teaching at George W. Truett Elementary School. During his 6 year tenure at Truett E.S., his responsibilities included teaching the entire music program including beginner band, choir, guitar, and general music and was the fine arts department head.

Mr. Balkema currently holds a Professional Certification through the State of Texas and is certified to teach All-Level Kindergarten through 12th grade music.  He is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Adjucators Association - UIL Marching Judge,  National Association of Music Education, International Trumpet Guild, and has been nominated three times for the "Who's Who Among American Teachers" award. He currently resides in McKinney, TX with his wife Liz, 11 year old little girl named Lily,  8 and a half year old Andrew and a 1 and a half year old old Golden Retriever puppy named Lucy!

Mr. Fred Alonzi –Assistant Director -  High School/ Middle School -
Office: 940-686-8740 x. 10011

Mr. Alonzi began his teaching career in 2009 and is excited to begin his 13th year of teaching with the Pilot Point Band Program. Mr. Alonzi is a two-time graduate of the University of Oklahoma, earning his Bachelor of Music Education in 2008 and a Master of Music in Conducting in 2013. Before coming to Pilot Point, Mr. Alonzi taught in Frisco ISD, Garland ISD, Berryhill Public Schools and Lindsay Public Schools.

Mr. Alonzi most recently served as Assistant Director of Bands at Fowler Middle School in Frisco ISD, where he directed the Concert Band and taught the beginner brass classes in addition to beginner bassoon.

As the Director of Bands at Berryhill High School, the “Berryhill Brigade” High School Marching Band was named state champion in class 3A in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the Berryhill High School Jazz Band was state champion in 2014. Mr. Alonzi’s concert bands also consistently earned Sweepstakes at OSSAA. The Berryhill Brigade has also performed at the Bands of America Super Regional in St. Louis as well as the Bands of America Grand Nationals competition in Indianapolis.

Prior to teaching at Berryhill High School, Mr. Alonzi completed his Master of Music in Conducting at the University of Oklahoma in 2013, where he studied under Dr. William Wakefield. As a Graduate Conducting Associate, Mr. Alonzi worked with “The Pride of Oklahoma” Marching Band, the OU Wind Symphony, Symphony Band and Concert Bands. Mr. Alonzi’s responsibilities also included directing the “Sooner Showmen” Basketball Band and assisting with undergraduate conducting and music education classes.​

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As a trombone player, Mr. Alonzi studied under former International Trombone Association President, Dr. Irv Wagner and has performed across the country with the University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony and Trombone Choir. Mr. Alonzi also marched with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps where he played baritone (2005) and euphonium (2006).

Mr. Alonzi currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Elisabeth, his son, Carter and chocolate lab, Nestlé.

Mr. Chase Kleiwer –Assistant Director -  Middle School / High School -
Office: 940-686-8730 x. 415


Mr. Kleiwer is in his second year teaching and first year at Pilot Point.


Chase Kliewer, originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, first came to Texas to attend The University of North Texas. Mr. Kliewer graduated from UNT in 2023 with his Bachelors in Music Education.


While at UNT Mr. Kliewer played saxophone in the Green Brigade Marching Band, UNT’s Jazz Bands, UNT’s Wind Bands as well at student taught in Pilot Point ISD. Mr. Kliewer after graduation went to Wichita Falls where he was the Assistant Band Director at Barwise Middle School. Now he is excited to work with the mighty bearcat band and make great music.


When he is not making music, Mr. Kliewer enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, playing strategy and RPG video games, and listening to a variety music.

Ms. Brenna Gournay –Assistant Band Director - Pilot Point Middle / High School

Ms. Gournay is in her 3rd year teaching and 2nd year at Pilot Point. She attended North Forney High School where she served as a section leader for 3 years and participated in the NTCA circuit with the award winning North Forney Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2017 and 2018. She received her Bachelors in Music Education in 2022 from Texas A&M University-Commerce. During her time in Commerce she performed in the Pride Marching Band where she served as a section leader and received the Most Outstanding Front Ensemble Member Award. She performed in percussion ensembles, Panimation, and symphonic band, and the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps in 2021. Ms. Gournay spent a lot of time teaching during her undergrad at Caddo Mills High School, and Commerce High School where the band went to state for the first time in 31 years. 


Ms. Gournay completed her student teaching at Cooper Junior High and Wylie High School. After graduation, she began her career at Mineola ISD as the Director of Percussion. During her time at Mineola the drumline won many caption awards, performed exhibition at the Area Marching Contest, helped students receive Superior ratings to make it to the State Solo and Ensemble Contest, and won Honor Band. She holds membership with the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Percussive Arts Society, and the Association of Texas Small School Bands.


Ms. Gournay lives with her fiancé, Austin, cat, Leo and dog, Layla. In her free time enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and kayaking.

Ms. Mariam Masri -Colorguard Director - Pilot Point High School


Ms. Masri is in her 8th year of teaching colorguard and 2nd year at Pilot Point. As a proud Texas native, she is from The Colony, Texas and is a graduate in 2013 from The Colony High School. She later attended Collin College graduating in 2020 with an Associate of Liberal Arts, and holds a Bachelor of Science emphasizing in Youth Advocacy and Educational Studies from Texas Christian University, Class of 2023. Riff Ram Bah Zoo, Go Frogs! While attending TCU she was an active member in the Horned Frog Marching Band’s Colorguard.

In 2017, Ms. Masri started working with the Griffin Guard as Assistant Director. During that time she also was attending Collin College. In 2019, she started working as a paraprofessional in special education at Ethridge Elementary in Lewisville ISD for two years. While at Ethridge she started the Eagle Cadets. They were an after school winterguard club for 4 th and 5 th graders. While attending TCU Ms. Masri was also the Colorguard Director at two local high schools in Fort Worth, Western Hills High School and South Hills High School. Her responsibilities while leading these programs included designing shows, write/teach choreography, and teach basic skills/technique on flags, rifle, sabre, and dance/movement.

When Ms. Masri is not teaching colorguard she works as a Registered Behavioral Technician at an applied behavioral analyst clinic. She teaches children ages 3-8 years old that are nonverbal with an autism diagnosis various skills such as: functional communication skills, adaptive life skills, and social/emotional skills. During her free time she loves to attend guard
clinics and traveling to different beaches. Her current goals are to see all of the beaches in the USA and to perform at WGI.

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