DAVID WILLSON – DIRECTOR OF BANDS
David Willson is in his thirtieth year 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 Outstanding Teacher Award for the University of Mississippi.
RANDY DALE – ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BANDS, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC BANDS
Randy Dale is the Director of Athletic Bands, Conductor of the UM Symphonic 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 throughout the mid-south area. Mr. Dale serves as an adjudicator for marching band competitions and indoor percussion competitions throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. He holds memberships in The Mississippi Bandmasters Association, The College Band Directors National Association, The Music Educators National Conference, The Percussive Arts Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Beta Mu.
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.
UM Band Graduate Assistants
Wes Brown – Oxford, MS.
Wes received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi in May, 2019. While attending Ole Miss, Wes was a member of the Collegians Jazz Band, UM Symphonic Band, Basketball Pep Band, and the Pride of the South Marching Band. He played tenor trombone for the marching band and bass trombone and tenor trombone for the jazz and symphonic bands. Wes also worked as a summer worker in the UM Bands office in 2016 and 2018. Wes completed his student teaching at Senatobia High School in the Spring of 2019. Wes is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Jiwon Lee – Oxford, MS.
Jiwon is originally from Daejeon, South Korea. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance (Magma Cum Laude) from the University of Mississippi in May, 2018. During her time at Ole Miss, she played piccolo in the marching band, and she became the first international student selected as drum major, a position she held for two years. Jiwon has also served as the president for the Korean Student Association; worked in the UM Office of International Programs; and conducted campus tours to others in her native language. Jiwon has performed with the UM Wind Ensemble, the Basketball Pep Band, the Opera Theatre Pit Orchestra, and she has served as the concertmaster for the LOU Symphony Orchestra. She has served as the president for the UM chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Ole Miss in 2018. She was the 2017 recipient of the Marcus Guinn Spirit Award. Jiwon is currently pursuing Master’s Degrees in Music Education and Music Performance.
Raven Gordon – Coldwater, MS.
Raven is a first-year graduate student at Ole Miss. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi in 2017. During her time at Ole Miss, Raven played trumpet in the LOU Symphony Orchestra, the UM Wind Ensemble, the Pride of the South Marching Band, and the Collegians Jazz Band. She also served as treasurer of the Alpha Omega chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. After completing her undergraduate education, Raven taught middle school band in the Tupelo Public School District for three years, where her students earned superior ratings in concert and sight-reading evaluations. Raven is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Brandon Mitchell – Rockwall, TX.
Brandon Mitchell received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in May of 2020 from the University of Mississippi. During his time at Ole Miss, Brandon played trumpet in the UM Wind Ensemble, the LOU Orchestra, the Collegians Jazz Band, the Ole Miss Basketball Pep Band, and the Pride of the South Marching Band. Brandon completed his student teaching at Hernando High School and was inducted Into the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society in the spring of 2020. Brandon is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Jessica Googe – Madison, MS.
Jessica Googe received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Mississippi in May 2020. During her time at Ole Miss, Jessica played clarinet with the Pride of the South Marching Band, the UM Wind Ensemble, and the LOU Symphony Orchestra. She also served as Vice President for Sigma Phi Lambda. She completed her student teaching at Pontotoc High School. Jessica is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Music Education.
Sam Farris – Southaven, MS.
Administrative Assistant – Kristi Boggan
Adjunct Instructional Staff – Kevin Cole & Larry Gooch
Percussion – Mason Atkins
Color Guard – Megan Walls
Rebelettes – Rachel Levetzow