Division Chair Elections – 2024

Both the Band and the Vocal Divisions have two nominees for Division Chair (2024-2026 term).

Voting will be open March 1 – 15, 2024. A link to the electronic ballot will be sent to all current full LMEA members prior to the start of voting. You must have your membership number and expiration date to vote.

All other divisions and the position of president had only one nomination. Those names will be submitted to the board and accepted by acclamation.

All new terms will begin during the May 2024 board meeting.


Billy Hochkeppel

Billy Hochkeppel is currently in his thirteenth year of teaching instrumental music in Louisiana. He serves as the Director of Bands at Southside High School in Youngsville, Louisiana.  After receiving his Bachelors of Music Education Degree from Louisiana State University, he spent his first 6 years teaching at Westgate High School and Acadiana High School.  In 2017, he was hired as the first band director for the inaugural year of Southside High School.  Under his direction, his bands have consistently received superior ratings at various competitions on the district, state, and national levels including performances in Disney World.  In 2023, the Southside Symphonic Band was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  His bands have also collaborated with some of the leading composers and clinicians in the music profession, such as John Mackey and David Maslanka.  

Mr. Hochkeppel has performed and conducted many ensembles throughout the state.  While at LSU, he was a member of the LSU Wind Ensemble under Frank Wickes and a member of the LSU Tiger Band.  He frequently performs with the Acadian Wind Symphony and the Skyliners Big Band and serves as the assistant conductor for the Lafayette Concert Band and the music/orchestra director for the Iberia Performing Arts League.  Mr. Hochkeppel was a Grammy Music Educator Quarter Finalist in 2022, received the Louisiana Music Educators Association Outstanding Young Music Educator Award in 2012, and was named Southside High School’s first Teacher of the Year in 2017.  His professional affiliations include the National Association of Music Educators, the Louisiana Music Educators Association, Southwest Louisiana Band Directors Association, Phi Beta Mu,  and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Mark Minton

Mark Minton, a native of south Louisiana, holds his bachelors and Master of Music degrees from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Mark has been the Director of Bands at Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana since 1997, where he directs the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Marching Band. Under his direction, the Parkway Band consistently receives superior ratings at competitions on the district, state and national level for both concert band and marching band. Mr. Minton’s bands receive many requests to perform at business openings, military events (Barksdale Air Force Base) as well as special events in the Shreveport area. Mr. Minton has adjudicated at Band, Jazz, and Solo and Ensemble Festivals throughout Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. As a professional musician, Mr. Minton is a composer, arranger, and performer. He is a former member of the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, North Texas Symphony Orchestra and currently performs with the Bill Causey Orchestra.

Mr. Minton is co-founder and assistant conductor of the “Red River Wind Orchestra”, a professional concert band whose mission is to perform challenging music of “Artistic Merritt”. Mr. Minton’s professional affiliations include Phi Beta Mu, National Association of Music Educators, Louisiana Music Education Association, and Kappa Kappa Psi.


Stephen Galliano

Stephen Galliano has been the choral music director for 37 years at Catholic High School. He earned his Bachelors of Music Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana and his Masters in Choral Conducting at LSU. He has served on the board of the Louisiana Chapter of American Choral Directors Association for years and is currently the chairperson for the LA-ACDA SSAA Choir. He has also served as president of District IV LMEA organization for years. Stephen has been a volunteer at the LMEA All-State Conference for many years helping out with the All-State choirs.

Choirs under Mr. Galliano’s direction have consistently received the coveted Sweepstakes Trophy at district and state level choir festivals. He is in demand as a choral adjudicator throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Mr. Galliano’s choirs have traveled to New York numerous times, performing in the prestigious Carnegie Hall. His choirs have also performed in Europe numerous times, participating in the Linz Choral Festival and the Rome International Choral Festival. Stephen was selected to conduct a 200-voice choir for the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Diocese of Baton Rouge which consisted of singers from 72 different church parishes throughout the diocese. Mr. Galliano is a charter and past member of the award-winning NOVA, a professional choir in New Orleans, Louisiana. They present concerts throughout the year across southeast Louisiana. His students consistently receive superior awards for their solo performances at local and state competitions. Many of his students continue their musical studies in college and become music teachers and music directors for their parish churches.

Stephen loves spending much of his free time traveling with his wife, Nessie. As a hobby, they both make jewelry and attend numerous craft fairs throughout the state of Louisiana.

Dr. Shane Thomas

Dr. Shane Thomas is the Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Vocal Music Education at McNeese State University where he conducts the Concert Chorale and Chamber Singers. He teaches courses in vocal music education, conducting, choral literature, and applied voice. Dr. Thomas is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Louisiana Vocal Arts Ensemble, a new professional chorus committed to sophisticated, relevant choral performance connecting and serving all people across Louisiana. He currently serves as the College & University Choirs R&R Chair for the Louisiana ACDA. He has served as a clinician, adjudicator, lecturer, and professional tenor across the United States, Europe, and China.

At McNeese State University, Dr. Thomas has rapidly grown the choral program through its robust membership, innovative performances, and diverse recruitment offerings. He established the first-ever McNeese Summer Vocal Camp and McNeese Choral Festival which saw immense participation from middle and high-school students across Louisiana. Prior to joining the faculty at McNeese State University, Dr. Thomas was the Director of Choral Activities at Martin County High School in Stuart, FL for five years. Choirs under his direction were repeatedly named “Choir of Distinction” by the Florida Vocal Association and were accepted to perform at state and regional ACDA conferences. They were consistently awarded the highest ratings at district, state, and national music assessments and traveled all over the US serving as ambassadors and music leaders for the state of Florida. He served as the Florida ACDA Secretary for five years and in Florida Vocal Association District Leadership for three years. Dr. Thomas taught private voice to students who have gone on to win professional awards and entry into undergraduate and graduate music programs across the United States.

A passionate advocate for music education, Dr. Thomas works closely with primary and secondary vocal music teachers in the field and serves on university-wide education professions committees to champion and implement best practices for pre-service educators and practicing vocal music teachers across Southwest Louisiana and the state. Dr. Thomas is looking forward to working tirelessly to support all vocal music teachers across Louisiana.