Band Faculty and Staff
TIM OLIVER – DIRECTOR OF BANDS
Dr. Tim Oliver is the new Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Mississippi. A strong proponent of promoting connections among performance, education, and community, Dr. Oliver will conduct the Wind Ensemble, teach courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting and music education, and administer the Ole Miss Band Program alongside his colleagues.
A native of Centralia, MO, he earned his bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from Truman State University and his doctoral degree from Florida State University. Before his appointment in Oxford, Dr. Oliver was the Director of Bands and Coordinator of Wind and Percussion Studies at Arkansas State University for 16 years. Previously, he served as a faculty member at Temple University and the University of Kansas, as well as a junior and senior high school band director in Missouri and Florida.
As an active guest conductor, performance clinician, and adjudicator, ensembles led by Dr. Oliver have been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for their balanced approach in performing established and contemporary repertoire. During the last 15 years, he has premiered or helped commission, either individually or as a consortium member, over 50 new works for winds. His ensembles accepted invitations through juried selections to perform at the 2010, 2014, and 2020 Southwestern CBDNA Conferences. Composers, including David Maslanka, John Mackey, Andrea Reinkemeyer, and Michael Markowski, have praised Dr. Oliver’s interpretation of their compositions.
He is also an active researcher with projects on conducting pedagogy, wind band repertoire, and aesthetic distance. He has been invited to present at numerous professional venues, including the Midwest Clinic, National and Divisional CBDNA Conferences, and multiple NAfME and state music education association proceedings. Publications featuring his work include the Journal of Band Research, NBA Journal, WASBE Newsletter, The Instrumentalist, and several state music education journals.
Dr. Oliver also believes strongly in servant leadership. In addition to regular university service and collaborations with music educators, he was the Vice-President then President-elect of the CBDNA Southwestern Division and a state chair for the National Band Association. He is also very proud of the students and colleagues he mentored during his more than 20 years of service as a college professor, as noted in 2013 when he received a university award as the Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Year for his work mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.
Vigorously cheering the Kansas City Chiefs for over 30 years, completing home improvement projects, watching various sci-fi television shows and movies, and his latest hobby, disc golf, are activities he enjoys outside of music. He also loves spending family time with his wife of nearly 26 years, Rebecca, and his now adult children, Benjamin and Gwendolyn. He is very excited, humbled, and honored to be selected to lead the next chapter in the storied history of the Ole Miss Band Program.
RANDY DALE – ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BANDS, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC BANDS
Randy Dale, Assistant Professor of Music, is the Director of Athletic Bands, Conductor of the UM Symphonic Band, and is very active in recruiting for the University of Mississippi. 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.
Dale is a proficient music arranger for Marching and Concert Bands, and arranges for band programs throughout the mid-south area. Some of his published works are played by high school and collegiate bands across the country.
Mr. Dale serves as an adjudicator for marching band competitions and concert band festivals throughout the Southeast. He holds memberships in The Mississippi Bandmasters Association, The College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), The Music Educators National Conference, The Percussive Arts Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Beta Mu.
Mr. Dale is an active clinician, having presented at regional and national events, most recently the CBDNA Athletic Band Symposium. Mr. Dale serves the music profession through clinical work at honor bands and in rehearsal settings on a regular basis.
MEL MORSE – ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF BANDS
A native of Irvine, California, Mel Morse earned a bachelor’s (1998) and master’s (2001) degree in music education fro the University of Mississippi. During his time at Ole Miss, he served as drum major for the Pride of the South Marching Band for three years and as a graduate assistant for one year. For twenty-two years, Mr. Morse directed band programs throughout Mississippi in Houston, Lewisburg, and Oxford. His bands have consistently seen unparalleled growth in band membership and the number of students selected for the Mississippi Lions All-State Band. Under his direction, the bands demonstrated a high level of excellence on both the marching field and concert stage, including winning three Mississippi State Marching Championships, a Mississippi Indoor Association Wind Championship, Sweepstakes, and repeatedly receiving all-superior ratings.
Mr. Morse is the 2002 recipient of the A.E. McClain award, given to the most outstanding young band director in Mississippi. He worked on the Mississippi Lions All-State Band staff twice, including serving as head director in 2011 when the band won the international championship in Seattle, Washington. Currently an active member of the Mississippi Bandmasters Association, Northeast Mississippi Band Directors Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the United States Band Directors Association, he has served as president of the Mississippi Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu and the Northeast Mississippi and I-55 Band Directors Associations. Mr. Morse is an active adjudicator and clinician throughout the Southeastern United States.
David Willson is the former director of bands at the University of Mississippi (1991-2023). Under his leadership the band developed into a truly outstanding university band and doubled in membership. A Jackson, MS native who attended Provine High School and the University of Mississippi, Mr. Willson directed bands in Mississippi at Independence, Columbus, and Clinton. His bands 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 the Mississippi Bandmasters Outstanding Band Director of the Year in 1990. 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 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 also served as the International President of Phi Beta Mu. Willson is active nationally as a conductor, adjudicator and speaker. 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 Outstanding Teacher Award for the University of Mississippi.
UM BAND GRADUATE ASSISTANTS
Carly Coleman Lambert – Batesville, MS
Carly received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi in May of 2022. During her time at Ole Miss, she played trumpet in the Pride of the South Marching Band, the UM Wind Ensemble, the University Band, the LOU Symphony Orchestra, the Trumpet Ensemble, and the Ole Miss Basketball Pep Band. She also served as Vice President, Membership and Vice President, Ritual for Sigma Alpha Iota. Carly completed her student teaching at Lake Cormorant High School under the direction of Jamie and Jon Young. She was selected for Who’s Who 2020-2021 and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies. Carly is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Brandon Roach – Wiggins, MS
Brandon is a first-year graduate student at the University of Mississippi. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi in May, 2023. In his time at Ole Miss, Brandon has played French Horn in the Pride of the South Marching Band, LOU Symphony Orchestra, brass quintets, woodwind quintets, the University Band, and the UM Wind Ensemble. Brandon was nominated for the G. Bart Delashment Scholarship for music excellence. Brandon participated with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in 2022. Brandon completed his student teaching at Oxford High School and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Sydney Rush – Jonesboro, AR
Sydney received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education form Arkansas State University in May of 2023. During her time at Arkansas State University, she played clarinet in the A-State Wind Ensemble, Clarinet Studio, Howling Winds Woodwind Quintet, Arkansas Intercollegiate Band, and National Intercollegiate Band. Sydney played euphonium and served as section leader in the Sound of the Natural State Marching Band. She also performed with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps during the summer of 2022. Sydney served as the President, Vice President of Membership, and Corresponding Secretary for the Gamma Xi Chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. In the Spring of 2023, Sydney was awarded the Baton, the highest award that TBS bestows upon a student member for leader and service. Sydney is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Kaylan Weaver – Batesville, MS
Kaylan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music education from the University of Mississippi in May, 2022. In her time at Ole Miss, Kaylan played flute and piccolo in the Pride of the South Marching Band, the UM Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Flute Studio, the University Band, and the Ole Miss Basketball Pep Band. Kaylan completed her student teaching at Lafayette High School and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Administrative Assistant – Kristi Boggan
Marching Percussion Instructor/Arranger – Mason Atkins – Olive Branch, MS
Mason instructs the marching percussion component of the University of Mississippi Marching Band. He graduated from Auburn University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences and from the University of Mississippi with his second Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Exercise Science. Over the course of his marching arts career, he performed with ensembles such as the Auburn University Marching Band, the Academy Drum & Bugle Corps, and Q2. In addition to his role with the Pride of the South, Mason serves on educational staff for the Memphis Blues Drum & Bugle Corps, Q2, Lumière Winter Guard, and the Lewisburg High School Marching Band. He also consults and collaborates with various scholastic and independent groups across the Southeastern United States. Mason currently teaches chemistry at Lewisburg High School in Olive Branch, MS. When not in the classroom, in the lab, or in rehearsal, he enjoys yoga, reading, and training for whichever marathon is next on the calendar.
Color Guard Instructor/Choreographer – Madeline McKinney – Booneville, MS
Madeline is a graduate of Booneville High School and currently serves as the color guard instructor for the Pride of the South. She also works with the color guard at Lafayette High School in Oxford, MS, aiding in technical training and choreography for their fall and winter seasons. Madeline was a three-year member of the Mississippi Lions All-State Band. She later became a three-year member of the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps Color Guard. She was a staff member of the Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps in 2023.
Rebelettes Dance Team Coach – Rachel Levetzow