Director of Bands | District Fine Arts Coordinator
Jacob Pipak is entering his twelfth year as a music educator and his fourth year with Sunnyvale ISD. He served a total of eight years in Spring Hill ISD in the East Texas area. Mr. Pipak served as the Junior High band director and an assistant at the High School during his time spent with Spring Hill ISD.
Since Mr. Pipak has arrived in Sunnyvale - the Band Program has maintained its Sweepstakes Title for four consecutive years. Receiving 1st Divisions in Marching, Concert and Sightreading at UIL since 2019. Under the direction of Pipak - the Sunnyvale High School Band received 2nd runner in the 4A State Finals of the TMEA Honor Band Contest in 2022 - also - the 2022 Sunnyvale High School Symphonic Band also won 1st Place in the 4A State OPS Concert and March Category.
In his time with Spring Hill ISD, the program received consecutive Sweepstakes ratings at the Junior High and High School in Marching and Concert Contests. The HS and JH placed in the ATSSB Outstanding Performance Series at the State level consecutively (Overall Winner at the JH in 2014). The High School Band advanced to the UIL Texas State Marching Band Contest in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, finishing 5th place in the Finals in 2016.
After graduating from Hallsville High School in 2006 under the direction of Mrs. Sherri Morgan, he began studying Horn with Dr. Charles Gavin at Stephen F. Austin State University. While at Stephen F. Austin, Mr. Pipak was a member of the Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Fred J. Allen. He also held a principle spot in several other ensembles, including the Orchestra of the Pines, Chamber Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, SFA Brass Choir, SFA Horn Choir, Roarin’ Buzzsaws, and the Lumberjack Marching Band. Mr. Pipak would be considered a brass specialist with experience teaching all brass instruments at all levels. He as also spent several years assisting with the Percussion program and classes. Mr. Pipak is an active member of TMEA, ATSSB, TBA, the International Horn Society the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and the United States Golf Association. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with friends and family or playing horn, golf, exercising, watching sports or just being active in general.
Head MS Director | Jazz Studies
Mr. Novak is currently the Head Middle School Band director, director of Jazz Studies, and Assistant Marching Band Director at Sunnyvale ISD. Before arriving in DFW, he worked as an in-demand saxophonist, clinician, and teacher in the West Texas region. He was also the Artistic Director of the El Paso Youth Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Novak is a proud graduate of Texas Tech University and holds undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Saxophone Performance, as well as a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies.
As a performer, Mr. Novak has been a member of the longstanding Lubbock-based group, Jazz Alley, often performing a variety of jazz, pop, and R&B standards. When based in El Paso, he lead his own groups and collaborated with area musicians in order to bring live music to the community. He was the lead altoist in Marty Olivas’ Eklectic Jazz Group, a member of the Big Bad Guiseppe Big Band, and the tenor saxophonist for the El Paso Winds. He has also performed with a number of Rock and Roll groups including The Sidemen Project and South Texas Hippies, where he was a guest on their first EP.
Mr. Novak has demonstrated prowess as a multi-instrumentalist - performing in musicals as a member of the Lubbock Moonlight Musicals and Texas Tech Theatre pit orchestras. Performances include a premiere of Andrew Lloyde Webber’s CATS and a critically acclaimed performance of Joe Masteroff’s Cabaret. He is a regular call for traveling shows and has worked with Las Vegas-based crooner Steve Lippia, country/opera singer Carrie Tillis, America’s Got Talent winner Landau Murphy Jr., and smooth jazz superstar, Tom Braxton. His versatility and flexibility as a saxophonist can be heard on recordings of performances of Ravel’s Bolero, with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and performances with The Midland/Odessa Symphony and Chorale. Mr. Novak is excited to begin his ninth year of teaching and his second year as a band director at Sunnyvale. Him and his wife, Trombonist, Dr. Joyce Hsu, and kitty cat, Katya, are looking forward to a great year!
Assistant Director | Percussion
Michael Nation comes to us from Natchitoches Louisiana where he obtained a bachelors degree in music education from Northwestern State University. While attending NSU, Michael served as the drumline section leader and arranger for the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band. After graduation, Michael spent three years in the Dallas metroplex as a private lesson instructor where he taught and arranged for some of the best performing ensembles in the area. In addition to percussion, Mr. Nation also directs the Gold Band at SMS and teaches beginner low brass.