Keiser Winds 2021 Staff

Meet our team

We offer passionate educators that will help you reach the next level!


Dr. Andrew Hayward

Dr. Hayward received his D.M.A in clarinet performance from Rutgers University in New Jersey under the guidance of Jessica Phillips of the MET Opera and Dr. Maureen Hurd. In addition, he has also studied with Dr. Rie Suzuki of the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra and Anthony Gigliotti of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

French Horn/Mellophone

Dr. Kuanting Chang

Dr. Chang completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in French Horn Performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, the Master of Music in Performance degree from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the National Taiwan University of Education.


Dr. Jeremy Benson

He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Flute Performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, the Master of Music in Performance degree from Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jacksonville State University. He is currently the Principal flutist in the Gadsden Symphony


Andrew Thurston

Andrew Thurston received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology education from University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fl. Musically, Mr. Thurston is an alumnus of two the most notable HBCU bands in the state of Florida, Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 and The Pride of Bethune Cookman University. He has performed in various capacities such as the 2006 Annual Grammy Award Show with Kanye West and Jaime Foxx as well as a Super Bowl XLI halftime with Prince.


Ben Skinner

Ben Skinner has been active in the arts as a freelance musician, educator and consultant for four decades. He has performed with orchestras throughout south Florida, on internationally released albums and television. He has founded numerous musical groups and several school music programs. After conducting local community bands for several years and at the urging of local musicians, Ben realized that a professional -level wind band was needed. Thus, the inception of the Palm Beach Winds.


Kyle Mechmet

International concert saxophonist Kyle Mechmet brings his “clear, thrilling sound” (Florida Weekly) to audiences in his home state of Florida, as well as across the globe, performing a wide range of repertoire with the goal of cajoling listeners into welcoming the saxophone as a serious classical instrument.

Low Brass

Dr. Jose Leonardo Leon

Dr. Leon received his Bachelor of Music at Florida International University, a Master at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and most recently his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music. Currently, Jose L. Leon plays tenor and bass trombones with the Florida Grand Opera, the Palm Beach Symphony, and the Symphony of the Americas. Dr. Leon is a Bach Brass & Conn-Selmer Artist.

Low Brass

Franco Jimenez