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Education Through The Arts


For over 30 years, the West Branch Music Department has brought the fine arts to the students of the West Branch Local School District. Currently, the Music Department features multiple chamber choirs, multiple band ensembles, holiday show choirs, and produces multiple stage productions each year.

Meet Our Directors

Krista Clay has been teaching at her alma mater, West Branch for the past 15 years. In her time at West Branch, she had the opportunity to work with John Zamarelli both as a student and a colleague. Krista received her Bachelor of Music Education from Mount Union College in 2004, and completed her Masters in Music Eduation at Boston University in 2010. She was director of vocal music at Marlington Local Schools and Lake Local Schools before returning to her alma mater. Since beginning at West Branch in 2008. Krista has served as both a middle school and high school vocal music educator, and she has also helped Mr. Zamarelli with the musicals.  When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her three children, Gavin, Ashton & Sutton and husband, Corey. She also enjoys traveling to visit family and friends and watching as many sunsets as possible. She is also a Disney fanatic.  is passionate about all students having access to a successful music program. Email:


Lauren Stitle is a 2016 graduate of West Branch High School and a 2020 graduate of Bowling Green State University. While at West Branch, she participated in Band, Jazz Band, Young and Alive, and choir. At Bowling Green she earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education and participated in ensembles like the Falcon Marching Band, Bowling Green Wind Symphony, and both Jazz Ensembles. She is involved in music organizations in the community such as the Salem Quaker City Band and has played with the Alliance Symphony Big Band. She is so excited to be back at West Branch where her musical journey began! 


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Bryan Stehura is our middle school instrumental music teacher. Joining the department in 2005, Bryan is a source of energy for the entire Middle School. Leading the Middle School Bands, Bryan shows his drive for education and making music fun. Bryan received his Bachelor of Music Education  from Mount Union and his Masters of Music Education from The University of Akron. Bryan also directs the Alliance Symphony Big Band. When he's not busy working with our students, he enjoys time with his wife and two boys. , that works well on almost every site.

Staff Members

Chris Brown

Assistant Band Director |

Joining us in 2015, Chris brings an unmistakable passion for Band. He assists with all Band activities from Marching to Concert Band and Solo and Ensemble.

Victor Trimmer

Audio Engineer |

Another student-turned-staff member, Victor has built and maintained our in-house and touring sound systems (along with many other technical marvels) since 2006. You can find him in the Control Booth at nearly every production.

Eric Waggoner

Technical Director |

First stepping backstage as a student in 2006, Eric has now been involved with almost every production and event since. Eric is responsible for our computer and ticketing systems, website, and generally keeping all of our technology in order.

Tessa Wells

Marching Band Majorette Instructor | 

Tessa is a graduate of West Branch and is currently attending the University of Mount Union. This spring semester, she is working at Disney in Florida for the Disney College program. Tessa was our featured majorette while in high school. She also is one of our choreographers for our show choir and musical theatre productions. 

Jessica Hartzell

Marching Band Colorguard Instructor | 

While her day job is in the Vocational Agriculture Department, Rebecca joins the band every fall as our Flagline Instructor! With years of experience with flags and band auxiliary, Rebecca has been a great asset to the department!

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