Mr. David Willson is in his twenty-second year as Director of Bands at the University of Mississippi. Under his leadership the band has developed into a truly outstanding university band and has doubled in membership. A Jackson, MS native who attended Provine High School and the University of Mississippi, Mr. Willson has directed bands in Mississippi at Independence, Columbus and Clinton. His bands have consistently won awards at the state and national level. Mr. Willson was awarded the A.S.B.D.A. Outstanding Young Band Director Award in 1985 and in 1990 the Mississippi Bandmasters Outstanding Band Director of the Year. Willson worked on the Mississippi Lions All-State Band Staff five times including serving as head director in 1995 when the All-State Band won the international parade in Seoul, Korea. He has served as president of the Mississippi Bandmasters, Mississippi Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, the state chair of C.B.D.N.A., and served four years on the N.F.I.M.A. national board. He is now currently serving as the International President of Phi Beta Mu. Willson is active nationally as a conductor, adjudicator and speaker. Mr. Willson conducts the UM Wind Ensemble and instructs music education and various courses within the music department. His “Band Calisthenics” and “Starting Beginning Bands” books are used extensively throughout the Mid-South. Mr. Willson was the 2005-2006 recipient of the Frist award for outstanding service to students and is the 2006-2007 recipient of the Elsie M. Hood Oustanding Teacher Award for the University of Mississippi.
Dr. Bill DeJournett is in his tenth year as the Associate Director of Bands at the University of Mississippi. He directs the “Pride of the South” marching band, conducts the UM Symphonic band, and teaches courses within the music department. Prior to coming to Ole Miss, Dr. DeJournett was Director of Athletic Bands at Colorado State University and at Elon University in North Carolina. Dr. DeJournett has also taught in the public schools of Alabama and Georgia. He possesses degrees from the David L. Walters Department of Music at Jacksonville State University, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Mississippi.
Dr. DeJournett is the author of “Brass Secrets”, and his articles have appeared in the Instrumentalist, Fanfare, the NFIMA Journal and the NACWPI Journal. He has presented his research at professional conferences throughout the Southeast and in Seattle, Washington. His professional associations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, Omicron Delta Kappa, the Mississippi Bandmaster Association, Music Educators’ National Conference, the College Music Society and the College Band Directors’ National Association, and has served as state chair for the National Band Association. Dr. DeJournett has conducted honor bands and adjudicated concert festivals in Mississippi, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, West Virginia and Saskatchewan. He has earned a reputation as a respected marching band adjudicator having judged numerous contests in Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado, Mississippi and Arkansas and is currently sanctioned by the USSBA. Dr. DeJournett is a former member of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps and a former member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps of Rockford/Loves Park, Illinois, and has instructed various drum corps at the Open Class and World Class levels.
Mr. Randy Dale is in his fourth year as the Assistant Director of Bands The University of Mississippi. Mr. Dale assists with the marching band, directs the basketball pep bands, directs the UM Concert Band, and is responsible for all on-line communications for the Ole Miss Band. Mr. Dale also teaches courses within the music department, including Instrumental Arranging, Percussion Methods, and Fundamentals of Conducting.
Mr. Dale earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education from The University of Mississippi in 2001. He served with the Ole Miss Band as a graduate assistant for one year before becoming the Director of Bands at Northpoint Christian School (NCS), formerly known as Southern Baptist Educational Center (SBEC) in Southaven, Mississippi in 2002. Mr. Dale continued studying through the University of Mississippi to earn his Master’s degree in Music Education in 2005. He is a proficient music arranger for Marching and Concert Bands, and arranges for band programs around the state of Mississippi. Mr. Dale serves as an adjudicator for marching band competitions and indoor percussion competitions throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. He holds memberships in The College Band Directors National Association, The Music Educators National Conference, The Percussive Arts Society, and The Texas Music Educators Association.
In eight years as the Director of Bands at NCS, Mr. Dale was able to produce outstanding results that were unprecedented for the program. Under his direction the band tripled in size and won numerous awards and superior ratings at marching contests throughout Mississippi and Tennessee. Mr. Dale has produced students that have made the Mississippi Lions All-State Band and who have participated in World Class drum and bugle corps. In 2005 Mr. Dale was awarded SBEC Teacher of the Year by the Staff and Administration.
Pride of the South Graduate Assistants
Kyle Hickey – New Albany, MS
Kyle Hickey, a native of New Albany, MS and an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, received his Bachelor’s of Music Eduction in May of 2013. While at Ole Miss, Kyle was a four-year member of The Pride of the South Marching Band and served as a drum major in the fall of 2012. He also participated in various other ensembles at the university including: the UM Wind Ensemble; the UM Symphonic and Concert Bands; the Mississippians Jazz Ensemble (tenor and bass trombone); and the UM Trombone Choir. While at Ole Miss, Kyle was privileged to travel with the Mississippians to play at the Jazz Educators’ National Conference in Louisville, KY in January of 2012. Kyle has worked with various bands throughout Northeast MS and teaches private lessons (instrumental and drum major). Kyle is also an emerging arranger whose music has been played by school bands in MS and AR. Kyle is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Music Education.
Bo Boutwell – Guntown, MS.
Bo Boutwell, hailing from Guntown, MS, received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi in the spring of 2013. While at Ole Miss, Bo has participated in various ensembles including: The Pride of the South Marching Band, the LOU Symphony, the Mississippians Jazz Ensemble, the UM Wind Ensemble, and various pit orchestra performances for theater. Bo worked with various high school bands throughout Northeast Mississippi during his time as an undergraduate and continues to do so now. He is currently pursing his Master’s degree in Music Education. This is Bo’s first year as a graduate assistant.
Drew Smiley – Oxford, MS.
Drew Smiley of Oxford, MS received his Bachelor’s of Music Education in May 2011 from the University of Mississippi. While at Ole Miss, Drew was a member of many university ensembles including: The Pride of the South Marching Band; the UM Wind Ensemble; UM Symphonic Band; the LOU Symphony; The Mississippians and Collegians Jazz Ensembles; UM Saxophone Quartet; and the Basketball Pep Band. Drew was initiated into Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in April, 2008 where he served as the Chapter Fraternity Education Officer, Warden, and Collegiate Provence Representative of Province 24 (MS). Drew is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree of Music Education at Ole Miss.
Percussion - Randy Dale and Cody Logan
Color Guard – Tiffany Priewe
Rebelettes - Carley Cryer
Arrangers - Ryan Todd, Randy Dale, Tom Wallace, and Courtney Mosley
Visual Designers - Alan Alexander, Alan Temby
Band Secretary - Kristi Boggan