The SME Bands are lead by Alex Toepfer and Emily Babcock.

Director – Alex Toepfer

Alex Toepfer is the Director of Bands at Shawnee Mission East High School where he conducts the Symphonic Band, Marching Band, the Blue Notes and Blue Knights Jazz Ensembles, Musical Theater Pit Orchestra, Pep Band, and Indian Hills Middle School 8th grade band. Active in the community as an educator, advocate and performer, Mr. Toepfer serves as artist coordinator for the Prairie Village Jazz Festival, is an educational consultant for the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, and frequently works with various community outreach organizations. Toepfer has appeared professionally as a member of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Kansas Music Educators All-Star Big Band, High Plains Music Camp Faculty, The Kerry Strayer Jazz Orchestra, and several Kansas City area bands as a freelance saxophonist. He earned a Master of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Fort Hays State University.

A native of Hays, Kansas, Alex lives in Overland Park with his wife Alyssa Toepfer, soprano and fellow music educator. He enjoys BBQ and cats (but not together).

Assistant Director – Emily Babcock

Emily Babcock holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Central Missouri. Emily began her teaching career in 2017 at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas. She serves as the band teacher for several Shawnee Mission schools including Prairie, Belinder, Tomahawk, Crestview and Rushton Elementary schools.

As a performing musician, Emily has been a flutist in multiple ensembles in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, including the Crossroads Wind Symphony and the Midwest Winds.