L-R: Jacob Fortner, Matt Deal, Dr. Jefferson Grant, Jon Bowman, Robert Maynard, Phil Mika, Alan Drew

Jon Bowman

Jon Bowman serves as Director of Bands at Lowndes High School. He taught in several school systems in the state of Alabama before coming to LHS.  While serving as Director of Bands at Lowndes High School the numbers of the Marching Band have grown as high as 480 members while placing emphasis on the Concert Band programs.  Mr. Bowman oversees all aspects of the program which include the Lowndes High “Georgia Bridgemen” Marching Band, 3 Concert Bands, the Jazz Band, Varsity and Junior Varsity Winter Guards and Indoor Percussion.

Mr. Bowman most recently served as Director of Bands at Prattville High School in Prattville, Alabama. While at Prattville, Mr. Bowman directed the “Pride of Prattville” Marching Band, the Prattville High School Wind Symphony, the Symphonic Band, Concert Band and the Jazz Ensemble. Before his tenure at Prattville High School, Mr. Bowman also served as Director of Bands at Tallassee High School in Tallassee, Alabama and Beauregard High School in Opelika, Alabama where he also served as the assistant baseball coach.

Under Mr. Bowman’s direction the bands at Prattville never received less than superior ratings at District and State Assessment and the Marching Band received numerous Best in Class awards.

Mr. Bowman is a 2000 graduate of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, having received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. In 2002, Jon received his Masters of Music Education from Auburn University. While at Auburn University Jon was a member of the Auburn University Marching Band, the Auburn University Symphonic Band, the AU Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drum Band, the Auburn Community Orchestra, the Auburn Concert Choir and a member of the Auburn University Singers. Mr. Bowman has performed with the Columbus Symphony, the LaGrange Symphony and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Jon has performed in many venues in the Southeast, Lincoln Center in New York, New York and several countries in Western Europe.

While in Prattville, Mr. Bowman served as an assistant to the Minister of Music at Heritage Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a past member of the Alabama Bandmaster’s Association, the Music Educator’s National Conference, and the National Band Association.

Jon is married to his beautiful wife Angee and has five children.  Taylor (18), Austin (17), Grace Ann (14), Tanner (7) and Collins (4).

Robert Maynard

Robert Maynard is a 1980 graduate of Clearwater High School in Clearwater, Florida. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in 1987 from Troy State University and in 1997 he earned a Masters in Music Education from Valdosta State University. Robert taught for 3 years at Saint James Private School in Montgomery, Al. prior to coming to Lowndes. He has been a director for the Lowndes High School “Georgia Bridgemen” for the past 18 years.

He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Professional Music Fraternity, Delta Chi and Sigma Kappa Chi Social Fraternities, Georgia Music Educators Association, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. Robert has written/arranged music and drill for numerous marching bands throughout the southeast. In his early years, Robert was a member of the Suncoast Sound Drum and Bugle Corps for 6 years, where he played trumpet for 3 years and was Drum Major his last 3 years. He was also brass instructor with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Jefferson Grant

Dr. Jefferson Grant serves as the Associate Director of Bands and Director of Percussion. Dr. Grant holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in performance and music theory from The University of Southern Mississippi as well as a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from Columbus State University and the University of Louisville respectively. His teachers include Dr. John Wooton, Dr. Greg Byrne, James Campbell, Brian Mason, Bret Kuhn, Troy Breaux, Dr. Frederick Speck, and Dr. Thomas Fraschillo.

He has performed with a variety of ensembles including the Spirit of Atlanta and Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera, the Lagrange Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Atlanta Symphonic Band, and the Dan Adams Band with whom he released one full-length album and one EP on the Kudzu Record Label.

Dr. Grant has served as a marching percussion consultant at many schools including Bands of America St. Louis Regional Champion Male High School (KY), 2005 Class A Indiana State Champion Paoli High School (IN), and on the university level at Auburn University, The University of Louisville, and The University of Tennessee, and in 2005 with the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. While at Prattville High School, both of the Prattville indoor percussion ensembles won Gold Medals in 2010 as well as medaling every year at SCGC Championships .

Dr. Grant is an active arranger, adjudicator, and clinician. His articles have appeared in Percussive Notes, and he has presented clinics at the University of Louisville Percussion Symposium, Northwest Missouri State University music camps, National Conference of Percussion Pedagogy, The Alabama Music Educators Association State Conference and the Mississippi Bandmasters State Convention. Dr. Grant is also the co-founder of the Southeastern Percussion Festival (SEPF). Dr. Grant has served on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit (SCGC) and is the former President–Elect of the Alabama Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

He is a member of Delta Chi, Phi Mu Alpha, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, The Percussive Arts Society, MENC, and BMI. Dr. Grant is proud to endorse and support Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Sabian cymbals, and Yamaha drums.

Phil Mika

Phil is a graduate of Crestview High School in Crestview, Florida. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. Phil has been directing beginning, middle school and high school bands for over 25 years in the states of Alabama and Georgia. During that time, his bands have consistently rated superior in marching, concert and jazz band contests. Currently, Phil is the band at Hahira Middle School and is a staff director for the Lowndes High Georgia Bridgemen. Phil has adjudicated marching band contest in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky.

Alan Drew

Alan Drew is a 1969 graduate of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree in 1973 from Valdosta State College and in 1981 earned his Master of Science in Education Degree from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. He is a member of Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha professional music fraternity, and Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Alan has been teaching students in middle school and high school programs for over 35 years. Twenty-eight of those years were full-time with the Lowndes County School System as Director of Bands at Hahira Middle School. There his middle school bands consistently received superior ratings at Georgia Music Education Association Festivals. He has taught marching band clinics in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida and has judged festivals and contests throughout the Southeast.

Upon his retirement from full-time teaching in 2004, he taught two years with the Lanier County School System as the Assistant Director of Bands. He then returned home to Lowndes in the fall 2006 where he currently divides his teaching skills between Hahira Middle and Pine Grove Middle.

Alan resides in Valdosta with his wife, Diane. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing golf, and traveling, especially cruising.

Matt Deal

Matthew Deal is the band director at Pine Grove Middle School here in Valdosta. He has been teaching band in the South Georgia area for the past 13 years. Matt was previously director of bands for two years at Cook County High School in Adel, GA, one year at Irwin County High School in Ocilla, GA, and six years at Eighth Street Middle School in Tifton, GA.

Matt graduated from Valdosta State University in May of 2000 receiving his Bachelors degree in Music Education. In 2008 he received his Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Valdosta State also. During college Matt marched with Valdosta State’s Marching Band and was drum major for two years. In his time at Valdosta State he performed with various ensembles including Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Brass Quintet, Horn Quartet, and pit orchestra. Matt also worked on staff with the Georgia Bridgemen during his college years and completed his student teaching at Lowndes High.

During his time in Tifton Matt was recognized as the Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year 2005. He was also the orchestra director for Northside Baptist Church of Tifton. Matt and Sheri have been married for 17 years and have four children, Lane (13), Logan (10), Allie (5) and Abby (5 months). They attend Crossroads Baptist Church.