Staff

Dr. Alan Clark, Director of Bands and Woodwind Instructor

Dr. Alan Clark Dr. N. Alan Clark is currently Director of Bands at Middle Georgia State University. He has taught and conducted at all levels from middle school through high school to professional military bands. While teaching High School in Lakeland, Florida he also served as an adjunct music faculty member at Florida Southern College and as an instructor with the Suncoast Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. In 1987 he entered the U.S. Air Force and served as saxophone section leader and Assistant Drum Major of the Air Force Band of the West in San Antonio, Texas. In 1990 he was commissioned as an Air Force Band Officer and appointed Deputy Commander of the Band of the United States Air Forces in Europe. While stationed in Germany he conducted concert tours, ceremonies, and special marching performances in seventeen countries across Eastern and Western Europe. In 1993 Major Clark was appointed Deputy Commander of the Air Force Band of Flight in Dayton, Ohio and served as rehearsal conductor of the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. In 1996 he assumed command of The Band of the United States Air Force Reserve in Warner Robins, Georgia. Major Clark accepted the appointment as Air Force ROTC Commandant of Cadets at Louisiana State University in April 2004, and he retired from the Air Force in 2007 after twenty years of service. While an Air Force music director Major Clark worked with such notable artists as Celine Dion, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Lee Greenwood, Wynonna Judd, Crystal Gayle, Ernie Watts, Clint Black, and others. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha. He holds both the Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Fine Arts in Saxophone Performance degrees from the University of Florida as well as the Master of Science in International Relations from Troy University. He received his Ph.D. in Music Education with a minor in composition from LSU in 2012.

Mr. Miguel Castro, Percussion Coordinator and Band Assistant

Miguel Castro Miguel Castro studied music from 1977 to 1983 at the "Conservatorio Nacional de Musica" in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic earning a Master's Degree in Music Performance. After that, he went to New York to study at Drummers Collective International in 1984-85 where he had the opportunity to study with some of the world leading percussionists such as Steve Gadd, Doug Allen, and Frank Malabé to name a few. From 1989 to 1992 Miguel lived in Germany where he played in numerous Latin American, jazz, pop, and chamber groups as well as pursuing an extensive recording career. He performed on tour throughout Europe with various groups, including the Puerto Rican Salsa star Marvin Santiago. Miguel has been a recording artist with ARC Music record label since 1992 and has produced 15 Compact Discs with them. He has performed with various professional orchestras including the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic, the Swiss Philharmonic Orchestra, the Carol Morgan Operatic Society, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Maracaibo, the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and currently the Latin American Orchestra of Houston Texas. Mr. Castro served as Director of Percussion Studies at Mercer University in Macon for eight years and was Director of Percussion Studies and Jazz Band at Middle Georgia College in Cochran from 1998 to 2012. He is currently our lead percussion instructor and band assistant here at Middle Georgia State University. He serves as the Percussion Coordinator for the Houston County School System. Mr. Castro is regularly in demand as a percussion clinician (Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, Georgia Percussive Arts Society Conference, and the Southeastern United States Band Clinic), adjudicator, composer, arranger and recording artist, maintaining a busy schedule in and outside of the United States.

Ms. Tisha Simeral, Assistant Professor of Music

Tisha Simeral After earning a performance degree from the Ohio State University School of Music, Tisha began appearing regularly with a variety of small and large groups in her hometown. She was a member of the Columbus Symphony Pops, the Afro-Rican Ensemble, and Vaughn Wiester's Famous Jazz Orchestra, and also performed with many vocal and instrumental artists throughout central Ohio. A regular at the annual Columbus Arts Festival, she once set the record for appearing with the greatest number of bands. In Columbus Tisha became an in-demand music educator. She taught at Capital University and at Fort Hayes Career Center, and served in the Columbus Arts Council's Artists-In-Schools program. She then relocated to Nashville in 2004, taking her career to a whole new level. Tisha has since performed with a vast array of artists from across the musical spectrum: Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Darrell Scott and Jon Vezner, bluegrass legend Roland White, rocker Trey Anastasio (Phish), contemporary jazz guitarist Denny Jiosa, hit songwriter Thom Shepherd, and country-rock artist Eric Heatherly, to name only a few. Her recent projects include the alternative classical music collective Chatterbird and the Kelli Cox Collaborative, a modern jazz sextet. From 2006 to 2014, Tisha worked with Americana artist Brian Ashley Jones. Together they appeared at such legendary venues as the Kerrville Wine and Music Festival (Kerrville, TX), the Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT), Eddie's Attic (Atlanta, GA), and Nashville's renowned Bluebird Café. One of the duo's Bluebird performances was featured in the U.K. television series “Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives.” In addition to her bass work, Tisha is a respected composer and arranger. Her scores have been performed by jazz trombonist Sarah Morrow, the Women In Music Columbus Orchestra and String Sinfonia, the Land Of Legend Philharmonic, and the Prevailing Winds Quintet. She's also an accomplished harmony vocalist. Tisha attended graduate school at Middle Tennessee State University, completing a Master of Arts in music in 2014. Following graduation, she taught in MTSU's Department of Recording Industry and School of Music. In 2016, Tisha joined the faculty of Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia, as Assistant Professor of Music in the Department of Media, Culture, and the Arts. Tisha's affiliations include ASCAP, the International Society of Bassists, and the American Federation of Musicians #257.

Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown Thomas Brown retired from public school teaching after a 38 year career. In his last position, he served as the Director of Bands at Veterans High School in Kathleen, GA, where he helped open the school in 2010. The 240-member program earned Superior ratings in marching and concert band every year since opening. In 2009, the Veterans Wind Symphony was invited to perform at the Southeastern United States Concert Band Clinic at Troy University in Alabama. Prior to this, Mr. Brown held the same position at Jeff Davis High School in Hazlehurst, GA for 17 years. The Jeff Davis Concert Bands received Superior ratings at the GMEA State Large Group Performance Evaluation for 17 consecutive years while performing the highest quality band literature. In 1996, the Jeff Davis Band was selected to perform at the SEUS Clinic in Troy, Alabama. In 1998, the band was chosen to perform at the GMEA State In-Service Conference, one of the few rural school bands in Georgia to ever be so honored. In 2006, the band again performed at the SEUS Clinic in Troy, AL. In 2007, the band was honored to perform for a second time at the GMEA State In-Service Conference. In 2008, the band was invited to perform at the prestigious University of Georgia Janfest. Additionally in 2008, the band was named an Honor Band of Georgia by Columbus State University. In 2009, the band was selected to perform for the third time at the SEUS Clinic in Troy, Alabama.

Mr. Brown is in demand throughout the southeast as an adjudicator and clinician. He has judged marching bands in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. He has judged concert bands in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina and has been a Head Adjudicator in Georgia since the program’s inception. He has been an Honor Band Clinician in GMEA Districts 1, 2, 10, 11 and 13. He has been the guest conductor for the Southeastern United States (SEUS) Concert Band Clinic Middle School Honor Band at Troy University and was the first High School Director ever invited to conduct one of the SEUS High School Honor Bands in 2010. He has been listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers and was the Jeff Davis County 2007 Teacher of the Year. He is a four-time recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence. In January 2009, he was named the GMEA State Music Educator of the Year. He has served GMEA as a Vice-president for All-State Events, the District and Instrumental Chairman for District 8 and served as Instrumental Chairman for District 11.

In addition to his public school work, Mr. Brown served as an Adjunct Professor of Woodwinds at Brewton-Parker College and Fort Valley State University. Mr. Brown currently works weekly as a band and woodwind consultant for 4 high schools in Houston County and has 20 active students in his personal Clarinet Studio.

Jonathan A. Baker

Jonathan Baker Mr. Baker earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Chicago, IL and later studied at the world renowned New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he worked towards a Masters of Music in Bass Trombone Performance. Baker has studied with the leading trombonists in the country including Douglas Yeo, formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Mark Fisher of the Chicago Lyric Opera; Charles Vernon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic to name a few.

Mr. Baker has been an active trombone teacher and freelance player in the Atlanta, Hartford, New York and Boston metropolitan areas. Mr. Baker has held teaching positions with several area secondary schools as a brass coach and trombone instructor, including two years at the University of Connecticut as bass trombone professor. Mr. Baker joined First Presbyterian Day School as the Director of Bands in 2007. Mr. Baker has also been the conductor of the Macon Youth Orchestra since the fall of 2012.

A member of Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, member of the National Association for Music Education, the International Trombone Association, the American Federation of Musicians and the Georgia Music Educators Association, Baker is a frequent adjudicator on audition panels for district, state, and marching competitions. Mr. Baker has been a clinician, guest conductor and guest artist in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia, as well as Brazil.

Mr. Baker has been involved in a wide range of recording projects including three recordings with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in New York, a studio recording for an independent film, soundtracks for WGBH Boston Public Television/Radio, television commercials, a promotional video for John Hancock Insurance Company, two recordings with the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, and recordings with the nine piece jazz-fusion group, Klarmusic, as well as a recording session with Para Music recording artist Aunray the Great, hip-hop artist in Atlanta. Mr. Baker has performed with numerous symphony orchestras, including the Alabama Symphony, the Macon Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony and New Hampshire Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Albany Symphony Orchestra in NY. Mr. Baker also performed a two-year Broadway National tour of The Music Man from 2001-2003 and a mid-west tour with the New Sousa Band under the direction of Keith O’Brion. Mr. Baker can also be heard playing shows regularly at Macon Little Theatre, Theatre Macon and with the Civic Club of Macon.

Mr. Baker resides in Macon with his wife Juciene, from Brazil. They have three beautiful daughters, Isabella, Sophia and Olivia.

Maggie Hollis

Maggie Hollis Maggie Hollis has a Bachelor of Music from Furman University and a Master of Music from the University of South Carolina. She was previously a band director before beginning her woodwind studio in 2011. Teaching students from public and private schools all over middle Georgia, Maggie has coached several students to All State Band and District Honor Band. She has previously worked as a Woodwind Instructor with the Mercer University Marching Band, as well as many local area high schools. She currently plays in the orchestra at Ingleside Baptist Church, and has performed with the Macon Youth Orchestra and the Middle Georgia Concert Band.

Maggie lives in Macon with her husband, Jason, and two children, Cooper and Diana.