Degrees and Certifications:
Cowboy Band Staff
Mr. Russell Balusek, Director of Bands
I was born and raised in East Bernard, TX. After high school, I spent two years at Wharton County Junior College as a music major and a member of the Pioneer Band and Jazz Band. We were fortunate to perform at the Wichita Jazz Fest and New Orleans Mardi Gras while I was there. In 2000, I transferred to Stephen F. Austin State University (Axe 'em Jacks!). I was a member and squad leader for the Lumberjack Marching Band, as well as a member of the Roarin' Buzzsaws Basketball Band, Swingin' Aces Jazz Band, and Trombone Choir. I graduated in 2004 and accepted my first job with Sealy ISD. In 2016, I moved to Edna with my beautiful wife, Briana, and daughter, Addison. We are live music fans, and active and loud supporters of the Astros and Texans!
Mr. Cary Richards, Choir Director
I’m originally from Houston, but I’ve also lived in New York, North Carolina, Las Vegas, and Dallas. I attended Alvin Community College after high school where I double-majored in Music and Drama. I left school when I was hired for my first professional theater job in Galveston as an Actor/Singer at what was then known as the Lone Star Historical Drama Association. After several theater jobs including two shows for Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), I started my own professional Big Band first in Houston and later in Dallas. I also worked in broadcast radio beginning at Houston’s KQUE-FM.
I returned to college graduating in 2015 from Tarleton State University; earning my Music Education degree. I was music teacher and band director for Damon ISD where I started the first all jazz program for the district.
In addition to my duties as 2nd Assistant Band Director for the Edna Cowboys, I am also the new Choir Director and I will be teaching theater at the junior high as well as AP Music Theory at the high school. My wife Sharon, our son Spencer and I currently live in Rosenberg (along with our dog Hundley and Clyde the cat). I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to contribute to Edna ISD’s continuing dedication of excellence in the Fine Arts!
Ms. Casey Garcia, Junior High Band Director
I am originally from Columbus Texas. I attended Blinn College in Brenahm Texas after high school. I was a part of the Buccaneer Marching band, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble. In 2013 I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts. After my time at Blinn I attended Sam Houston State University. I was part of the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Bearkat Marching Band, Sam Houston Percussion group, and Steel Pan Band. I graduated in 2016. Over the years I have taught percussion camps around the Houston area including Galena Park, Magnolia, and Bryan. I am a member of Texas Music Educators Association since 2011 and Percussion Arts Society since 2013. I can’t wait to start the new school year and to be a part of this community. Go Cowboys!