|Travis Coakley - Director of Bands|
|Mr. Coakley has been the Director of Bands for the Biloxi Public School District and Department Chair for the Performing Arts at Biloxi High School since 2011. In that time, the Biloxi Band has consistently received the highest ratings for marching band and concert band performances. Biloxi High School was awarded the Sweepstakes Award for the first time in school history in 2012-2013 and performed in the 6ABC Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, PA. Biloxi High School was recently named a Grammy Signature Schools Semi-Finalist for the 2013-2014 school year and the Biloxi Public School District was named by the NAMM Foundation as one of the "Best Communities for Music Education" in 2014.
Mr. Coakley directs the 160-member Biloxi High School Marching Band and Symphonic Band. He is currently serving as the State Chairman for the American School Band Director's Association and was named the 2013 "Thad Cochran Distinguished Arts Educator for Music" for the state of Mississippi.
Mr. Coakley was recently named the Biloxi Public School District Teacher of the Year (2013-2014) and the Gulf Coast Band Director's Association High School Band Director of the Year (2013-2014).
Mr. Coakley is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (Bachelor of Music Education, 1999, Master of Music Education, 2002). He has memberships that include the American School Band Director's Association (ASBDA), National Band Association (NBA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Mississippi Bandmaster's Association (MBA), Gulf Coast Band Director's Association (GCBDA) and the International Trombone Association (ITA).
Mr. Coakley's past instructors and mentors include Dwight Hollingsworth, Glen Buckalew, Jackie Davidson, Ray Young, Dr. Marta Hofacre, Dr. Gary Adam, Dr. Steven Moser, Dr. Thomas Fraschillo and James Copenhaver.
|Jennifer Cook - Assistant Band Director|
|Mrs. Jennifer Cook has been a band director in Mississippi for the past fifteen years. She began her career in Laurel where she taught for five years. For the past ten years, she was the director at Stringer High School. Through the years her bands have received consistently high ratings at state and regional competitions. In addition, her band programs have performed across the country in many venues including as Mississippi’s representative in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. and performing at the LIncoln Center in New York City. Her marching bands have also won many awards including the Brett White Memorial Spirit Award, Best in Class at multiple competitions as well winning the State Marching Championships four times in 2006, 2008, 2011, and again in 2012.
Mrs. Cook is a member of the Mississippi Bandmaster’s Association where she has served on the championship committee, music selection committee, and on several appointed boards. She is also a member of the South Eastern Mississippi Band Director’s Association where she served as an officer and President of that Association. Mrs. Cook is also a member of the National Band Association from which she received Certificates of Merit for her accomplishments in marching band in 2008, 2009, and again in 2011. She has served as a guest conductor/clinician at several clinics throughout the state and In 2009, Mrs. Cook was chosen as Star Teacher for Stringer High School.
In her personal life, Mrs. Cook is married to Robert Cook. Together they have four wonderful children: Stephanie, Trey, Turner, and Nathan. Other than spending time with her family, during her free time she likes to volunteer in the community. She was a Relay for Life team member in Jasper County where she was chosen as the Jasper County Volunteer of the year in 2012. In the Elks she is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary and helps with the Stats Drug Awareness Progam in which she also recieved the volunteer of the year award in 2008. She also serves as the activities director for the Elk’s Youth Summer Camp, and has volunteered at the Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp for Mentally Disabled Children and Adults since she was twelve.
|Mark Dickerson - Assistant Band Director|
|Mark Dickerson is a 1997 Graduate of George County High School in Lucedale, Mississippi. Mr. Dickerson attended Jones County Junior College where he studied trombone with the late Raymond Young. He credits Mr. Young, a world-renowned euphonium artist and brass teacher, with inspiring his love for performing and teaching as well as instilling in him an appreciation for the pursuit of excellence in musicianship. After graduating from JCJC in 1999, Mr. Dickerson continued to study Music Education at the University of Mississippi, earning a Bachelor’s degree in 2001.
Dickerson began his teaching career with the bands of the Tupelo Public School District in the fall of 2001, teaching beginning bands and assisting with junior high and high school bands. After two years with the Tupelo bands, Dickerson returned to Ole Miss in 2003 to study with David Willson as a full-time graduate assistant for the Pride of the South and UM band department, receiving the Master of Music Degree in 2004.
Mr. Dickerson taught with the Quitman School District as an assistant director for four years. His responsibilities included directing junior high bands, assisting the All-Superior QHS Big Blue Crew Marching Band, and directing the Quitman High School Concert band. During that time the QHS Concert Band received superior ratings in concert and sight-reading from every adjudicator at State Band Festival.
Dickerson was the Director of Bands in Hernando, Mississippi for four years. The Hernando bands were consistently rated superior in marching and concert, and the Hernando band program was the repeated recipient of the MHSAA's sweepstakes award.
Immediately prior to his arrival here in Biloxi, Dickerson enjoyed a two-year term as an instructor with the bands of the Clinton, MS public schools where he was primarily responsible for 6-8 winds curriculum and served as the director of Junior High Bands.
Mr. Dickerson is a Member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Mississippi Bandmasters association, and Phi Theta Kappa. He is a past president of the Hernando Desoto Band Directors association and has served on the Executive Board of the East Central Mississippi Band Directors Association. He has been active as a clinician and as an adjudicator for bands in Mississippi, having served as guest conductor for honor bands at the junior high and high school level.
In his spare time, Mr. Dickerson enjoys fishing, motorcycling, and playing guitar.
|John Dunlap - Assistant Band Director & Front Ensemble Coordinator|
|John Dunlap has over 20 years of experience composing, arranging, and teaching in both the indoor and outdoor percussion realms. John also proudly serves as an Educational Artist for Innovative Percussion Inc., Pearl Corporation, and Evans drumheads.
John’s original arrangements are featured on Wayne Downey’s Xtremepercussion website, a part of EXTREMEBRASS LLC at www.xtremebrass.com and with Shane Gwaltney at www.shanegwaltney.com.
Serving as percussion representative and advisory board member for the Louisiana Color Guard and Percussion Circuit, Mr. Dunlap is well known to educators, parents and students as a teacher who creates a positive and enthralling learning environment for students of all ages along the Eastern and Southern coastlines.
Recently inducted into the Gulf Coast Circuit Hall of Fame, John currently resides in Biloxi where he works for Biloxi Public Schools and is continuing to focus on composing original scores for a variety of educational levels.
|Jody Dunwoody - Director of Percussion|
|Mr. Dunwoody has been a percussion instructor, designer, and adjudicator for over 17 years. He has taught at numerous high schools and colleges throughout the southeastern United States including the WGI World Finalist Tate High School from Pensacola, FL as well as Madison Central High School from Madison, MS.
Mr. Dunwody was a marching member of the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps in 1992 when they captured the DCI Division II World Championship as well as winning the high percussion award. Jody went on to become a staff member at Southwind the following year, as well as being a staff member at Suncoast Sound Drum and Bugle Corps in 1994.
Jody has judged for organizations such as the Indiana Percussion Association, the Southern California Percussion Alliance, the Gulf Coast Color Guard and Percussion Circuit, the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association, the Louisiana Color Guard and Percussion Circuit, as well as adjudicating for Winter Guard International. He has been a member of the WGI Percussion Advisory Board as well as a member of the Percussion Steering Committee for WGI. Jody was named to the Gulf Coast Color Guard and Percussion Circuit Hall of Fame in the spring of 2008. He is currently an endorsed artist/educator for Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets.
Jody presently lives in Gulfport, MS and works at Biloxi High School where he is the Director of Percussion and teaches social studies.
|Brittany Swindoll - Junior High Director|
|Mrs. Swindoll is originally from Laurel, MS. She holds an Associate’s of Art degree from Jones County Junior College, a Bachelor’s of Music Education with highest honors from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Master’s of Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. In the summer of 2012, Mrs. Swindoll studied chamber music in Saarburg, Germany at the Saarburg Serenaden Music Festival and also performed at the International Horn Symposium in Denton, Texas during the same summer. In 2013, she served as the graduate assistant to the horn studio and currently serves as a local horn and drum major adjudicator and private lessons instructor.
Prior to being on the Biloxi staff, Mrs. Swindoll was the director at Long Beach Middle School in Long Beach, MS. During her tenure at Long Beach, the bands received All Superior ratings in both concert and sight reading evaluation, and consistently placed students in various local honor band clinics. Currently, she is a member of the National Band Association, Mississippi Bandmasters Association, and the Gulf Coast Band Directors Association.
Mrs. Swindoll is a band director at both Biloxi High School and Junior High. She resides in Gulfport with her husband Jordan, along with their two cats, Diddle and Felix, and dachshund, Rocky.
|Olivia Dunwoody - Colorguard Director|
|Mrs. Dunwoody is a native of Clinton, Mississippi and a graduate of Mississippi State University and Bellhaven University.
She has been a colorguard instructor for over 8 years and has taught at Ridgeland High School and now Biloxi High School.
Mrs. Dunwody resides in Gulfport, MS and works at Biloxi High School where she is the Colorguard Director and teaches Drama.
|Destinee Ladner - Assistant Colorguard Director|
|Ms. Ladner is a graduate of Harrison Central High School and was a four-year member of the colorguard. She served as weapons captain in 2012 and assisted teaching the Harrison Central Novice Winterguard.
Ms. Ladner was also a four-year member of the Korkoma Winterguard at Harrison Central which placed 4th in Scholastic A at the WGI World Championships in 2013.
Ms. Ladner joined the Biloxi staff in 2014 and assisted the Biloxi High School Winterguard win a bronze medal and 3rd place finish at the LMCGPC Circuit Championships.