Reid Atkinson serves as a designer for marching bands around the country and the Director of Education for Ultimate Drill Book . Reid served as a band director for 14 years, most recently as the Marching Director at Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, TX. As the marching director, Vista Ridge was recognized with several high honors including a UIL Texas 6A Championship, BOA Grand National finalist, BOA Super Regional medalist, and BOA Regional Champion. Prior to his appointment at Vista Ridge, Mr. Atkinson served as the Director of Bands at Grain Valley High School in Missouri for ten years where the marching band earned multiple AA BOA Division Championships, BOA Super Regional Finals performances, and a performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Mr. Atkinson resides in Leander, Texas with his wife Alison, daughter Ainsley and son Paxton.
Chris Church, a graduate of Missouri State University, is a 41-year Veteran Band Director, serving as the Director of Bands & Fine Arts Department Chairman in Willard, Missouri, and in Springdale, Arkansas. He is currently on staff with the Pride Band Program at Missouri State University. His marching bands consistently placed at or near the top in all festivals attended and he has also worked as a drill designer for numerous bands throughout the Midwest. Chris has over 20 years of experience working within Drum Corps International. He spent 13 seasons with the World Champion Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois where he worked with 6 DCI Hall of Fame members. While with Phantom Regiment, Chris served on the Marching/Visual Staff, Visual Caption Head, and drill writer. He is currently serving as a Visual Judge for Drum Corps International (DCI). He has provided marching clinics and adjudicated marching bands, concert, and jazz ensembles in 27 states throughout the United States. Chris also judges for several Winter Indoor Circuits. He is a graduate of the Marching Roundtable Judges Academy.
Jerell Horton has been the band director at Vestavia Hills since 2006. He is a graduate of Samford University. Prior to his appointment at Vestavia Hills High School, he served as assistant director at Pizitz Middle School and Vestavia Hills High School. While at Vestavia Hills, the bands have consistently earned superior rating at District and state concert band festivals as well as the ABDA festival, the Vestavia Hills Wind Ensemble performed at the 2011 Alabama Music Educators Conference, and the Music For All National Concert Band Festival in 2013. The Vestavia Hills High School Rebel Marching Band performed in the 2010 London New Year’s Day Parade in London, England and the 2018 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. The Vestavia Hills High School band was awarded the National Program of Excellence Southern Division Blue Ribbon Award presented by the National Band Association. Mr. Horton has served as an honor band clinician within the states of Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. He is also on staff for the Auburn Summer Marching and Leadership camp and the Music For All Summer Symposium. Mr. Horton a National Board Certified teacher and was named to SBO magazine’s 2014 list of 50 Directors Who Make a Difference. Mr. Horton was honored to serve on the teaching staff for the 2017 and 2022 Bands of America Honor Band in the 2022 Rose Parade®.
James G. Hudson serves as Director of Athletic Bands and is in his 15th year at Arizona State University. His duties include coordination and direction of the Sun Devil Marching Band, and Athletic Bands. During his tenure with the SDMB, they have consistanly been selected by the College Band Directors National Association as an exemplorary collegiate program. They have performed with Tower of Power, Little Richard, OAR, and the Boston Brass and are one of two bands in the Pac 12 to have been awarded the prestigious Sudler Trophy.
Prior to his appointment at the ASU, he served for three years as Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Kansas and for eleven years as Director of Bands at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). While at the University of Kansas, he directed the University of Kansas Marching Jayhawks, the Volleyball and Basketball Bands, KU Jazz Ensemble II and the University Band. He also serves as coordinator of the Midwest Music Camps. While at Southwest Texas, the Pride of the Hillcountry Marching Band performed internationally in Switzerland, Italy, France, and Ireland and nationally at the 1999 Bands of America Grand National Championships. The band also performed extensively in Texas for the University Interscholastic League and Bands of America. In 1995, the “Pride” was selected to appear on the Video Express production “Best of the College Bands”.
His public school teaching experience includes one year at Harmony Community Schools in Farmington, IA and nine years at Oskaloosa Community Schools in Oskaloosa, IA. While at Oskaloosa his band received many honors and distinctions including 4 Bands of America Summer National Class A Championships, performances at the Fiesta Bowl National Pageant of Bands and Parade, 1990 State 3-A Jazz Champions, and 1990 Iowa Bandmasters Honor Jazz Band.
His family includes his wife Denise, who is currently a Colorguard Instructor for the Sun Devil Marching Band and FENIX Independent Winter Guard, and has been on the instructional staff at Gilbert High School (Az) Oskaloosa High School, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Southwest Texas State University, the University of Kansas, Blue Springs High School (Mo), and the Sky Ryders Winterguard. Additionally, she was co founder of the Millennia Winterguard from Texas. They have one son, Aaron, who is a recent graduate as a History and Anthropology Major at ASU and alumni of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps.
Mr. Hudson received a Bachelors of Music Education Degree from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) and a Masters of Music in Wind Band Conducting from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His professional affiliations include CBDNA, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, Phi Beta Mu, MENC, Texas Music Educators, Texas Bandmasters, Kansas Music Educators, Kansas Bandmasters, Missouri Music Educators, Missouri Bandmasters, and Iowa Bandmasters. He is a very active adjudicator, drill designer and clinician, and has adjudicated for Bands of America, Western Band Association, University Interscholastic League (Texas), Kentucky Music Educators Association, Kansas Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, Iowa High School Music Association, and the Iowa Jazz Championships, Inc. as well as many University Sponsored Festivals and Contests.
He is also currently on the instructional staff for Bowl Games of America, and has assisted in the production of halftime shows for the Liberty Bowl, the Alamo Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the BCS National Championship Game.
Mark Nichols is currently the Assistant Director of Bands at Brazoswood High School in Houston, Texas. Mark is entering his 11th season as Brass Caption Head for the 2018 World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard. Prior to that, he was a brass technician for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle corps. At Brazoswood, his Concert Bands have been able to earn a UIL Sweepstakes consistently. In his first year, his Winds II Band also earned straight 1’s and won its class at the Gator Fest in Dickinson, TX. After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas in Music Education, Mark went on to obtain a Masters in Music Education graduating Summa Cum Laude. In 2006, he undertook post-graduate studies in instrumental conducting at Baylor University.
Prior to Brazoswood High School, Mark was at La Porte High School. At La Porte, his Concert Bands earned consistent first divisions in Concert and Sight Reading. The Marching Band at La Porte was a consistent award winner and in 2017 earned the highest finish in 30 years at the Area Marching Contest. The band at La Porte grew by 50% and is now the pride and joy of the La Porte community. Prior to Mark’s position at La Porte, he was the associate director at Dickinson High School. His Concert Band earned first divisions in Concert and Sight Reading and was able to earn sweepstakes for the first time in eight years. The marching band under his direction finished 14th at the Texas State Marching Contest. This was the 1st State performance at the 6A level for Dickinson High School. Prior to his appointment at Dickinson High School, Mark was the Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, Kansas. His bands at Blue Valley West earned consistent honors around the Midwest in marching, concert, and jazz. His marching band was a Grand Champion at the Blue Springs Marching Festival, and a Class Champion at the Champion of Champions festival in Columbia, Missouri. The concert bands under his direction earned consistent first divisions and perfect scores while being named the Kansas State Honor Band. In 2010, the Wind Ensemble performed at the KMEA music convention and was also named a Choice Music Festivals Kansas State Champion.
Prior to Blue Valley West, Mark taught at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, Kansas. Mark’s Blue Valley High Band was the first band in the history of the school to earn straight 1st Divisions. Mr. Nichols also taught at Parkhill Junior High and J.J. Pearce High School from the prestigious Richardson School District in Dallas, Texas. His Parkhill program grew from 150 to 300 students in just two years and was named a top festival band at numerous competitions. At. J.J. Pearce High School Mark led the Symphonic Band to straight 1st Divisions for the first time in ten years. His jazz band was an Essentially Ellington finalist, and the marching band was a consistent area finalist. Mark spends his free time with his wife Krissa and their three boys, Riley, Blake, and Brady.
Based in Mesa, Arizona, Ryan Springler is a designer, consultant, adjudicator, and instructor active across the nation. In addition to serving as the Program Coordinator at Mountain Ridge Highh School, he also the Visual Coordinator and Caption Head at The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and Program Coordinator/Artistic Director at Breakthrough Percussion. Some other notable clients include Lawrence Central HS, Homestead HS, Loveland HS, Blue Knights Indoor Percussion, OCI Winds, Lux Winterguard, The Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps, and Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.
This will be his fifth year at Mountain Ridge, and he is thrilled to get back to work with this wonderful team! Outside of his work in pageantry, he is an active painter and avid consumer of all spicy foods.
Brandon Wickham is a visual designer, clinician, and adjudicator from Indianapolis, IN.
Since starting his career in pageantry, Brandon has worked with several award- winning scholastic programs throughout California and the Mid-Western United States. From 2011-2015, Brandon worked as a designer and visual caption head of the 2011 and 2012 WBA Champion and 2013 BOA Grand National Finalist, Ayala High School Band and Color Guard, as well as the 2013 WBA Champion Upland High School Marching Band and the 2014-2105 WBA class champion Cerritos High School. After the 2015 competitive season, Brandon moved to Indianapolis, where he has since worked with several prestigious programs including the Avon Marching Black and Gold, Ben Davis Marching Giants, and the Center Grove High School Marching Band.
Outside of the competitive fall season, Brandon works with several indoor percussion and wind ensembles throughout the western and mid-western United States, and also teaches during the summer as a visual instructor for the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps and The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps,
When he is not teaching in the United States, Brandon works as a designer and consultant for competitive marching organizations throughout China, Taiwan, and England.