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Instrumental music staff –

Jake Esterberg –

Mr. Esterberg is the Elementary Band Director in Waconia at Bayview, Southview and Laketown Elementary schools.  He also works with the WHS Marching Band Drumline during the Summer.

Mr. Esterberg is a graduate of UW – Eau Claire holding a Bachelors of Music Education.  His primary instrument is Percussion, but enjoys playing all the Band instruments with the 5th Graders!  Mr. Esterberg performed with the Wind Symphony, Blugold Marching Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Jazz Band,  and University Band (playing Alto Saxophone and Bassoon) while at UWEC.  He also marched with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps, MBI Indoor Percussion and the Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps.

Outside of Waconia, Mr. Esterberg is an active Marching Arts educator and designer across Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.  He is currently the Percussion Caption Head for the Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (2019 DCI Open Class Finalist) as well as the Assistant Director of MBI Indoor Percussion.  He has also instructed the Percussion section of the Minnetonka Marching Band since 2014 (Awarded Outstanding Percussion 2016, 17, 18).

When not teaching Music, Mr. Esterberg enjoys playing music (recently picking up Ukulele!) and listening to his growing record collection.  He also enjoys exploring new things to cook and relaxing by the lake.

Phil Snyder –


Mr. Snyder serves as a full time band director for Waconia Middle School.  Mr. Snyder’s duties include conducting 6th and 7th grade concert bands, Middle School Jazz Band, and small group lessons.  Mr. Snyder also teaches high school marching band and jazz band.

Mr. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he studied music education as well as the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire where he studied trumpet performance.  At both institutions Mr. Snyder held principal trumpet positions in top orchestras and wind ensembles.

On top of his teaching and performing schedule Mr. Snyder has become an accomplished marching band drill designer writing 7–10 competitive and noncompetitive marching band shows for bands throughout the Midwest.  Bands that have used Mr. Snyder’s drill designs have been responsible for 11 state championships. Mr. Snyder is also on the instructional staff for The DCI World Champion Finalist Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, DCA World Champion Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps, and DCI open class Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

Mr. Snyder is an outspoken advocate for music education at all levels and enjoys a busy schedule as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and freelance trumpet player.

Outside of the music world Mr. Snyder enjoys distance running, nordic skiing, and spending time with friends in the greater twin cities area.

Nick Hansberry –

Nick Hansberry teaches band and music courses at Waconia High School and has been a
member of the department since 2021.  During the school day, Nick sees 3 curricular bands: the
Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Symphonic Band.  He also teaches or co-teaches courses in
music theory and music appreciation.  Outside of the day, he directs two of the high school jazz
bands, the pep band, the fall musical pit and the Waconia High School Marching Band.

Nick is proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he earned his
Bachelor of Music Education-Instrumental (2015) and is currently pursuing his Master of Music
in Music Education at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. Upon graduation from
UW-Eau Claire, Nick accepted the Associate Director of Bands position at La Crosse Central High
School in La Crosse, WI from 2016-2019 and served as the director of the Philharmonic
Orchestra of the La Crosse Area Youth Symphony Orchestra during this time. Nick then
relocated to Colorado and served as the Director of Instrumental Music at Arvada West High
School in Arvada, CO from 2019-2021.

A strong advocate for the marching arts, Nick has served on various marching band and
drum corps staffs throughout the year most recently on the visual staff of the Music City Drum
and Bugle corps based out of Nashville, TN. In addition to his teaching of marching bands, Nick
has also served as an adjudicator, designer, and consultant throughout Wisconsin and the Twin
Cities area.

When not at school, Nick enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing his tuba,
cooking, and cheering on his Minnesota United FC.

Alli Mottaz –


In Waconia, Ms. Mottaz spends her mornings teaching the WHS bands, and her afternoons teaching the WMS bands – co-teaching lessons and full ensembles with Mr. Snyder and Mr. Hansberry. She also works with the Waconia High School Marching Band, WMS Percussion Ensemble, Purple Jazz band, and WHS Jazz 1. She also teaches private lessons to some of our percussionists.

Ms. Mottaz is a 2016 Music Education graduate from UW-Eau Claire, originally from Stillwater, Minnesota.  She was the principal percussionist in the UWEC Wind Symphony, played vibraphone in Jazz Ensemble I and II, and played bass drum in the Blugold Marching Band. She also was a front ensemble member of the Oregon Crusaders (2015) and Minnesota Brass (2016 and 2017).

Previous to Waconia, Ms. Mottaz completed her student teaching placement at Cumberland Middle/High School in Cumberland, Wisconsin.  Post-graduation, she had the amazing opportunity to intern for Mr. Chris Gleason, the 2017 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist during the 2017 spring semester.  During this internship, she worked with Mr. Gleason’s 7th grade band students and conducted a world premiere at their spring concert.

In her free time, Ms. Mottaz likes to spend time with her friends and family, play board games, play in a community band, and watch Disney movies.