Contact Mr. Nelson

Sentinel High School

901 South W. Ave

Missoula, MT 59801

Tel: 728-2400, ext 7041

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Lewis Nelson

Mr. Nelson was born and raised in Missoula Montana, where his love for music was shaped.  Mr. Nelson attended the University of Montana where he earned a BM in Saxophone Performance and a BM in Music Education with honors. After graduating from the University of Montana, Mr. Nelson attended Arizona State University where he earned a MM in Jazz Education.  Following his time at ASU, Mr. Nelson began his teaching career at Highland High School in Gilbert Arizona for 8 years.  While at Highland Mr. Nelson co-created the Highland/ASU jazz festival, helped win the first ABODA state Marching Championship, and his ensembles consistently earned Superior ratings in Arizona and California.

After teaching in Arizona, Mr. Nelson taught Band, Music Theory, and Music History at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, Germany for 2 years.  While at the John F. Kennedy School, Mr. Nelson was influenced greatly by the culture and appreciation Europeans have for art and music specifically.  While in Berlin, Mr. Nelson was able to travel the world due to work and leisure.  

Mr. Nelson is going into his 5th year at Sentinel High School Fall 2020.  Mr. Nelson is excited to be back in Montana with his wife Teresa and two children Amelia and Lewis (Lewie) Jr.  He is excited for what the future holds and is excited to watch the Sentinel Band program grow and flourish!  

Dr. Benedict Kirby - Sentinel Brass Coach and Private Instructor

Dr. Benedict Kirby is the Instructor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Montana School of Music and director of UM’s Tuba and Euphonium Choir.   He is also the principal tubist of the Missoula and Great Falls Symphony Orchestras and freelances with other regional orchestras and ensembles.  He is  also a conductor, composer and arranger with several works in publication for band, orchestra & chamber ensembles. He was born and raised in Minnesota and now resides in Missoula, MT with his family. 

If you are interested in taking lessons with Dr. Kirby, please email him at  He teaches all low brass instruments.