Charles R. Pisarra
Director of Bands / Associate Director of Fine Arts
Union High School
6636 S. Mingo Rd.
Voice / 918.357.7225
Fax / 918.357.7195
6836 S. Mingo Rd.
Voice / 918.357.7415
Fax / 918.357.7498
Appointed Director of Bands and Associate Director of Fine Arts in 2014, Charles Pisarra is originally from Tulsa and has been a part of the Union Public Schools community for over thirty years: thirteen years as a student (graduating class of 1995), three years as consultant/designer, three years in a part-time role, and thirteen years in a full-time role. From 2006-2014 he served as Assistant Director and Percussion Specialist.
Mr. Pisarra holds a Bachelor of Music Education (with distinction) and the Master of Music Education, both from University of Oklahoma, where he studied wind band conducting with Dr. William Wakefield and Music Education with Dr. Steve Paul, Dr. Michael Raiber, & Dr. Nancy Barry. His mentors in percussion include Dr. Richard Gipson, Dr. Lance Drege, Dr. Julia Gaines, and Dr. Blake Wilkins.
As a percussionist, Charles enjoyed performing with the University of Oklahoma Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band, Steel Drum Band, & Percussion Orchestra. As an OU percussionist, he was fortunate to have had performance opportunities, including world premieres of major percussion ensemble works, at the Julliard School, NYC’s Merkin Hall, the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy, & the PASIC Convention. Charles performed with the Concord Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps, and played & taught with the Dubuque Colts Drum & Bugle Corps.
Among his duties at Union are leading the Union High School Wind Ensemble, overseeing a full time staff of eight assistants & nearly twenty part time staff members, and facilitating a nationwide team of clinicians & designers for the pageantry arts programs. Serving over 1,100 students, the Union Bands program includes five high school level concert band ensembles, seven ensembles at middle school level, two curricular jazz ensembles, four curricular winter guards, numerous extracurricular chamber music and competitive percussion ensembles, and over ten beginner-level instrument classes.
In his tenure as percussion coordinator, Mr. Pisarra’s chamber & marching arts ensembles earned superior ratings & championship acclaim, and during his first year as Lead Band Director, the Union High School Renegade Regiment earned Bands of America Grand National Championship Finalist status, OSSAA Sweepstakes Recognition, and the Union High School Wind Ensemble was invited to appear in honor performance at the 2016 OkMEA Winter Convention. Under his direction, the Union H.S. Wind Ensemble has garnered sweepstakes status annually, and the competitive marching band has twice earned national championship finalist appearances (2014 and 2017), top-5 finalist appearances in regional championship events five years consecutive, has consistently garnered numerous other awards and championships, and has performed in Florida at the Orlando Citrus Parade and at Walt Disney World.
Administratively, Mr. Pisarra leads fine arts students involved in the district’s Service Learning program, handles supervisory duties as a TLE evaluator, and serves on the district’s co-curricular committee. As Associate Fine Arts Department Director, he interfaces daily with a wide array of district departments, including accounting / finance / purchasing / assets / budget, child nutrition, safety/security, athletics, transportation, human resources, operations, I.T., and communications, all for the purpose of strategically equipping teachers to engage students in instrumental music and the arts.
Mr. Pisarra is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, the Northeast Band Directors Association, and the Percussive Arts Society. He proudly endorses Innovative Percussion sticks & mallets, SABIAN Cymbals, and Neutrik audio connectors. Outside his work life Mr. Pisarra enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.