Our Core Values

Unity ArtistryExcellence

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Michael Tramm

Director 
michael.tramm@smusd.org

Mr. Michael Tramm has been the band director at Mission Hills High School since April of 2012.  Originally from Torrance California, Mr. Tramm holds a Music Education degree from the University of Southern California where he performed with the famous University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band.  He is also currently pursuing a Master's degree in instrumental conducting from San Diego State University.  Mr. Tramm taught instrumental music for six years at the Santee Education Complex High School in Los Angeles.  Mr. Tramm also performs regularly on trombone all over the Southern California area.

Christopher Coughlin

Assistant Director

christopher.coughlin@smusd.org

We welcomed our Assistant Director of Instrumental Music, Chris Coughlin, to the Mission Hills music team in 2016. Mr. Coughlin earned a double degree in music education and composition from Arizona State University, where he served as drum major for the celebrated ASU Sun Devil Marching Band. He also holds a Master’s degree in band directing from Sam Houston State University in Texas. An accomplished trumpet player, Mr. Coughlin began his career in Phoenix, Arizona where he taught music and served as Arts Department chair and Technology Liaison, initiating the district’s pilot program in music technology. He also performed with the Tempe Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Coughlin has already displayed a deep dedication to the students’ instruction, motivation, and inspiration. He fits right in to our music community!

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Joshua Hall

Percussion Director

joshua.hall@smusd.org

Josh Hall began teaching at Mission Hills High School in 2013 as a drumline instructor and became a full-time music teacher in 2020. Mr. Hall specializes in rudimental percussion and digital music and as brought an overall wealth of knowledge to Mission Hills High School! Josh has taught, arranged, and worked as a clinician for several high school percussion ensembles throughout Southern California, including Valhalla, San Marcos, and Carlsbad. He has worked as a snare technician and battery coordinator with Watchmen Drum and Bugle Corps, Gold Indoor Percussion, and has consulted for Catalyst Percussion. His performance experience includes Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps, Dark Sky Percussion, the San Diego State University Marching Aztecs, and the SDSU wind symphony and symphony orchestra.
Josh holds a B.A. in Communication and a Minor in Classical Music from SDSU, as well as an M.A. in Communication from SDSU. Additionally, he proudly endorses Innovative Percussion Inc. sticks and mallets.

Tollak Rafto
Percussion Tech

Tollak Rafto works as a percussion instructor and private teacher throughout San Diego county. He teaches marching percussion, drum set and specializes in mallet percussion. He currently works with high schools throughout northern San Diego, and has past instructional experience with WGI World Class ensemble Dark Sky Percussion as well as DCI Open Class ensemble Gold Drum and Bugle Corps. He proudly endorses Innovative Percussion Inc. sticks and mallets. 

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Benjamin Contreras
Color Guard Director
benconcg@me.com

Ben Contreras has been a staple in the San Diego color guard community for over 20 years.  Originally from Imperial Beach, CA, he has been hired to coach color guards all over the greater San Diego area and also has been hired on special assignments to work with groups in Hawaii and Arizona.  Ben also has extensive experience with the drum and bugle corps world having worked for The Academy in Phoenix, AZ and the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets in Santa Clara, CA.  Ben also heads his own Vox Artium independent winter guard group that has traveled to the WGI Winter Guard Championships and made finals 3 years straight from 2016 to 2018.

Coaches

Flute Coach - Valerie McElroy

Clarinet Coach - Breanna Haenisch

Saxophone Coach - Josias Miguel

Horn Coach - Terrence Cooper

Color Guard Assistant - Kaitlin Stapleton

Battery Technician- Pierce Rose

Front Ensemble Technician- Andrew Kolbe

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