Jay McArthur retired in 2019 as Director of Bands at Choctawhatchee High School in fort Walton Beach, Florida. Previously he enjoyed a twenty-eight year career as a band director in the state of Mississippi which included stops in Kosciusko, Quitman, and Ridgeland where he was Ridgeland High School’s founding director. McArthur’s organizations were recognized for their quality including consistently Superior ratings, multiple state championships, and finalist appearances at Winter Guard International events. He has served on the Executive board of the East Central Mississippi Band Directors Association, the Mississippi High School Activities Association Legislative Council, and the Advisory Board for the National Federation of State High School Associations. McArthur was especially honored to be asked to serve two separate terms on the Mississippi Bandmasters Executive Board. In so doing, he was the first person in 40 years to be elected to serve two separate times.
A 1985 graduate of the University of Mississippi, McArthur also holds a Masters degree from Southern Oregon University. His Drum Corps International experience includes Charter Membership with the Memphis Blues Brass in 1980, and staff experiences with the Sky Ryders and Southwind Drum and Bugles Corps. He has been a staff member of the Mississippi Lions All-State Band numerous times as Percussion Director, Assistant Marching Director, and Marching Director and has also served as percussion instructor for the Florida All-Star Marching Band. McArthur’s performance experiences include the Tupelo Symphony, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Downbeat Jazz Orchestra, and the Mississippi Symphonic Winds.
An active clinician, adjudicator, and consultant for bands and events both nationally and internationally, McArthur is a member of Phi Beta Mu, , Mississippi Bandmasters Association, and Mississippi Indoor Association, and is especially honored by his association with Winter Guard International’s percussion division.
Jay is married to the former Amy Lewis of Quitman. They have two sons, John Thomas, III, and Cadden Moore, who are enrolled at the University of Mississippi, and they are guarded by the fierce Yorkshire terrier, Lily.