|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.
|Bill Lee - Assistant Band Director & Jazz Ensemble Director
Mr. Lee is a graduate of Mississippi State University. In 1987 he began his teaching career in the Biloxi Public Schools at Fernwood Jr. High School. During that first year he was named the Biloxi Rookie Teacher of the Year by the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Lee is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity as well as the Mississippi Bandmasters Association and the Gulf Coast Band Directors Association. He is a past president of the Gulf Coast Band Directors Association and was a past recipient of the GCBDA Jr. High Director of the Year award. Mr. Lee is also a member of the 41st Army Band with the Mississippi National Guard.
Mr. Lee helps teach the beginning band students and directs the high school Jazz Band and the high school Concert Band.
|Anna Schwartz - Assistant Band Director & Director of Junior High Bands
Mrs. Schwartz is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and a native of Gulfport, MS. After creating very successful band programs in the Gulfport and Ocean Springs districts she now oversees the Biloxi Junior High Band program and directs the Symphonic Band.
Mrs. Schwartz is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and was recently named by SBO Magazine as one 50 band directors nationally that “make a difference!” Mr. Schwartz is an active clinician and adjudicator and drum major instructor and adjudicator. She is currently on staff with the Mississippi Lion's Band.
|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.
|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.
Leanna Gottberg - Assistant Colorguard Director
Ms. Gottberg 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.
Destinee Ladner - Assistant Colorguard Director
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.