Band Staff

Ken Ringel

Director of Bands -

Ken Ringel is excited to serve as the Director of Bands at Newman Smith High School!
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Ringel has enjoyed a twenty-six year career teaching band, and
most recently was the Director of Bands at McKinney High School for fourteen years. He has
also held positions in the Plano, Frisco, Gainesville, and Midlothian Independent School
districts. Bands under his direction have consistently received Superior ratings in UIL Marching,
Concert, and Sightreading Contests, and most notably advanced to the UIL State Marching
Contest as well as placing as a TMEA Honor Band Finalist. In 2019, Mr. Ringel’s band was
awarded the Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors from the Foundation for Music

Before beginning his band directing career in 1997, Mr. Ringel was a freelance horn player in
the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex performing with the Richardson Symphony, Waco Symphony,
Las Colinas/Garland Symphony, Arlington Symphony, Shreveport Symphony, Plano Symphony,
Dallas Ballet, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. During this time, he taught private horn
lessons in Plano, Allen, and even had two students here at Newman Smith! In addition to his
orchestral playing experience, Mr. Ringel marched two summers with the Bluecoats Drum and
Bugle Corps in 1989 and 1990. He has also been a marching band drill designer for over thirty
years and has written shows for college and high school bands all over the United States.
Mr. Ringel attended the University of Kentucky before transferring to Florida State University to
finish a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree on Horn. He moved to Texas to attend
Southern Methodist University and completed a Master of Music Performance Degree on Horn
in 1995. He earned his teaching credentials from Texas A & M University in Commerce. Mr.
Ringel is a member of the Texas Music Educators’ Association.

Ken lives in McKinney, with his wife of twenty-nine years, Melissa, who teaches elementary
music. He has two grown children, Caroline, who works in Plano, and Eli, who attends The
University of North Texas. The Ringel family shares their home with three dogs and two cats.
In his spare time, Mr. Ringel enjoys spending time with his family, binge watching shows, and
playing video games.


Assistant Director of Bands - 


Joon Choe

Percussion Director-

Joon Choe is originally from Plano, Texas where he had the privilege of being under the direction of James Hannah and Alan Brawdy at Plano West Senior High School. Mr. Choe graduated from the University of North Texas where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. During his time at North Texas, he was very fortunate to study under renowned educators such as Mark Ford, Paul Rennick, Robert Schietroma, Ed Smith, and the late Christopher Deane. While at North Texas, he spent time performing with the Green Brigade Marching Band and Drumline, the 2 O'clock Steel Band, the Gamelan Ensemble, and the Concert Bands.

Prior to joining the staff at Newman Smith High School, Mr. Choe has taught for Azle isd, Carrollton-Farmers Branch isd, Plano isd, Frisco isd, and most recently Aubrey isd where he served as the percussion director and coordinator for both Aubrey Middle School and Aubrey High School. While at Aubrey the percussion studio consistently received superior ratings at all UIL events.

Mr. Choe is currently a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, the Percussive Arts Society, and an active performing member of the Dallas Asian Winds. Mr. Choe is excited to begin his new role as the Director of Percussion for the Newman Smith Cluster.