Instrumental Music Directors


Brett Benson
brett.benson@district196.org

Brett Benson is active as an educator in the Twin Cities, now in his eighth year of teaching at Eagan High School. His ensemble responsibilities include Wind Ensemble, Wildcat Band Blue, Jazz 2, Musical Pit Orchestra, all percussion ensembles and team-teaching both the Varsity Marching Band and the Freshmen Marching Band.  As the percussionist specialist, Mr. Benson teaches all of the curricular percussion lessons.  In addition to his job at Eagan HS, he spent three years (2013-2015) on the staff of the University of Minnesota Marching Band and he currently serves as Director of the University of Minnesota Summer Band, a group comprised of current U of M students as well as alumni.

Mr. Benson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a Master of Arts in Band Conducting.  In his free time, he loves to golf, spend time at the beach, and taking care of his home and yard while simultaneously failing to keep his vegetable garden plants alive.  Many members of his immediate and current family live in the Twin Cities area, and he appreciates their support and is thankful for their ability to be present at many of the concerts and performances that he is involved in.


Doug Hart
douglas.hart@district196.org

Doug Hart teaches instrumental music at Eagan High School and Dakota Hills Middle School.  At Eagan High School he teaches Brass Lessons and directs Concert Band, Jazz III, Brass Ensemble and co-directs the Varsity Marching Band and Freshmen Marching Band.

Mr. Hart began teaching in District 196 in 1992, prior to that he taught in Iowa.  He graduated from Wheaton College and have done graduate work from Minnesota State University (Mankato).

In his free time he enjoys biking walking, gardening and can be found doing various DIY projects at home.  


Michael Pearson
michael.pearson@district196.org

Michael Pearson is a musician and educator from the Twin Cities Metro area.  Through his position at Eagan High School he directs Jazz Ensemble I as well as the Symphonic and one of the Freshmen bands.  As a performer, Mr. Pearson directs and performs with the After Hours Big Band and has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, jazz great Bob Mintzer, and taught and performed at the Taipei Summer Jazz Institute in Taipei, Taiwan in 2008.  

Mr. Pearson is currently working on his Masters degree in Music Education Research with a focus on Cognitive Approaches to Jazz Improvisation from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.  Outside of music, Mr. Pearson enjoys spending time with his wife Justine and their on-the-move toddler son.