Tate Fincher is in his first year as an Associate Band Director at Akins High School. Having wanted to relocate to the Austin area for the better part of a decade, Mr. Fincher is thrilled to be able to live in central Texas and work with the great students of Akins High School.
Tate Fincher grew up in Southwest Arlington and graduated from James Martin High School where he performed on saxophone and bassoon in the band and orchestra program under the direction of Joe Dolkos, David Kirkley, and Bill Huff. He was a recipient of the John Philip Sousa Award as well as “Outstanding Member” each year of his high school career.
After graduation, he studied Music Education and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and Baylor University for several years. He finally settled at the University of Texas at Arlington where he began studying under Phillip Clements. He served on the staff of the UTA Marching Band for four years. He was selected by his peers at the “Outstanding Band Member” in 2001, 2002, and 2003 and was awarded a special commendation for “Dedication and Service” by the band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi (of which he was not even a member) in 2003.
Mr. Fincher began his teaching career at Wylie High School in Wylie, TX. While at Wylie, he directed the third performing ensemble that, under his direction, received their first ever Sweepstakes Award in the Spring of 2006. During his time at Wylie, the Marching Band made an appearance at the 2005 State Marching Band Contest and consistently placed in the top 5 at other contests throughout Texas. In addition to his duties with the concert and marching bands, Mr. Fincher was charged with teaching the Jazz Band. Having only one semester of Jazz experience in college, he took a limited ensemble and over the course of three years built it into a fully developed ensemble that consistently received first division ratings at all Jazz Contests and Festivals attended.
Prior to joining the Akins Band Family, Mr. Fincher taught as the First Assistant Director at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, TX. While at Lake Highlands, he directed the Symphonic Band and assisted with the Wind Ensemble and Marching Band. In addition to his duties at the high school, he also taught beginners on all instruments and coordinated the cluster-wide private lesson program. During his tenure at Lake Highlands, the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble earned UIL Sweepstakes Awards both years and in 2009, the Symphonic Band was named Best in Class at the South Coast Music Festival. The group (composed of 80% freshmen) was placed higher than groups that were composed of primarily Juniors and Seniors. The Lake Highlands Marching Band was a consistent finalist at marching contests throughout the north Texas area, winning music and marching captions at various contests.
Mr. Fincher is active as a marching band drill designer and consultant for band programs throughout the state of Texas, and has played an active role in the development of over 50 fall productions. Mr. Fincher also serves as an Ensemble Analysis judge for Texas Winterguards, judging Winterguard competitions in Dallas, Austin, Houston, El Paso, and the central Texas area. He has served on the faculty of the UTA Leadership Camp and in the spring of 2006 he presented a clinic at the Texas Music Educators Clinic and is active in that organization as well as the Texas Bandmasters Association.