Mrs. Carolyn Cansler, Director of Bands
Mrs. Cansler has been the Director of Bands at Griffin Middle School since 2015, and loves being a Griffin Gator! Originally from the Chicago area, Mrs. Cansler attended Millikin University in Decatur, IL and then taught high school band for two years before moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Her bands at Lakeview Middle School (Lewisville ISD), Crownover Middle School (Denton ISD), and here at Griffin have earned consistent sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest, and Division I ratings from judges at other festivals.
Mrs. Cansler also served for many years on the staff of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, teaching conducting, marching, leadership and teaching fundamentals to high school drum majors from across the country.
Mrs. Cansler lives in Little Elm with her husband Chris, who is the Assistant Director of Fine Arts for Frisco ISD. They have two children: Haley is a member of the Wakeland High School Band and Eric is a member of the Griffin Band.
Mr. Greg Leutwyler, Assistant Director of Bands
Mr. Leutwyler was born in Dallas and graduated from Red Oak High School before attending Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. Prior to his time at Griffin, he taught for 4 years at Vivian Field Middle School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD and before that, one year at Farmersville Junior High.
As a trumpet player Mr. Leutwyler played with the top band and jazz ensemble at SFASU and has most recently enjoyed playing in the Dallas Chamber Wind Ensemble.
In his spare time Mr. Leutwyler enjoys camping, traveling, hiking, reading, riding his bike, and spending time with his wife, Jessica (who is also a band director); dog, Duke; and cat, Sammy.
Mr. Nathaniel Collins, Percussion
Mr. Collins is an active performer and educator currently based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Prior to coming to the Wakeland Cluster, Mr. Collins taught in the Plano West Senior High cluster from 2011-2018. While in Plano, he acted as the Percussion Instructor at Jasper High School, Plano West Senior High and coordinator for the Plano West Middle School Drumline.
Mr. Collins holds the position as Principal Percussionist with the Abilene Philharmonic and a position with the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale. Additionally, he works frequently with the Dallas Winds and will appear on the upcoming albums featuring the music of John Williams and John Mackey, and also works with many local professional large ensembles and music theater companies.
Mr. Collins completed his Masters of Music in 2012 at Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor’s of Music with Distinction from the Eastman School of Music in 2009.