Jon Bowman – Director of Bands
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, Austin, Grace Ann, Tanner and Collins.
Michael Thomas – Associate Director of Bands
Michael E. Thomas is the Associate Director of Bands at Lowndes High School. Previously, Michael served twelve years as Director of Bands at Valdosta High School in Valdosta, Georgia. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education Degree in 1995 from Troy University and graduated with his Master of Science in Education Degree in 1999 also from Troy University. Mr. Thomas holds an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Sarasota, in Sarasota, Florida.
Before his appointment to Valdosta High School, he was the Band Director at Northside High School in Warner Robins, Georgia. Prior to his position at Northside High School, Mr. Thomas spent eight years as the Director of Bands at Americus-Sumter County High School in Americus, Georgia. Before moving to Americus, Georgia, he spent two years starting a previously non-existent band program at Calhoun County High School in Edison, Georgia. Concert bands and marching bands under Mr. Thomas’ direction have received numerous superior ratings, Best in Class awards, divisional awards and Grand Championships. Students under his instruction have been accepted to participate in the Georgia Music Educators Association District Honor Band, District Jazz Ensemble, South Georgia Region Honor Band, All-State Jazz Ensemble and the All-State Concert Band. Additionally, Mr. Thomas has had students perform in Florida, North Carolina, New York, England, France, Italy and Germany.
Mr. Thomas was selected as the 2017 Music Educator of the Year by the Georgia Music Educators Association and has served as the Fine Arts Department Chairperson at his previous schools. He has been elected to serve as the Georgia Music Educators Association District VIII Chairman, District Honor Band Chairman, Music Selection Committee Chairman and the Georgia Music Educators Association Adjudication Committee Chairman. He has also received recognition three times from Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and from Outstanding Young Men of America. During his distinguished career Mr. Thomas has received seven Golden Apple Awards and has adjudicated and/or conducted bands throughout Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
He is a member of the Southeastern United States Honor Band and Clinic Band Board of Directors at Troy University. His professional organizations include Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Fraternity for College Bandsmen, National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, and the Georgia Association of Educators.
Dr. Jefferson Grant – Associate Director of Bands
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.
Matt Deal – Pine Grove Middle School/Middle School Coordinator
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.
Emily Anne Nguyen – Hahira Middle School
Emily-Anne Nguyen is an alumna of Auburn University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors degree in Music Education. During her time at Auburn, she served as the head drum major for the Auburn University Marching Band, as well as tuba section leader. In addition to actively participating in marching band, she was a member of the Symphonic Winds, Concert Band, Pep Band, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, Community Orchestra and the East Alabama Community Band. She was also a charter member of the Alabama Voices, one of Alabama’s premier choral ensembles.
Mrs. Nguyen has been teaching for the past 6 years. Her low brass students have consistently been selected for All-State, All-District and honor bands. Mrs. Nguyen has worked as a clinician for the Auburn University Leadership Camp since 2016 and has also served on staff at the Smith Walbridge Clinics and the Music for All Summer Symposium. Most recently, she was the band director at Jemison Middle School. During her time at Jemison, the Symphonic Band attended Alabama Music Performance Assessment for the first time and earned straight superior ratings. Currently, Mrs. Nguyen is the band director at Hahira Middle School and a staff director for the Lowndes High “Georgia Bridgemen” marching band.
Mrs. Nguyen currently lives in Valdosta, Georgia with her husband Alex and their cat Goodwin. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, and attending Broadway musicals.
Alex Nguyen – Lowndes Middle School
Alex Nguyen is the current Band Director at Lowndes Middle School in Valdosta, GA. He recently graduated from Auburn University with a Master’s degree in Music Education while also serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with the Auburn Bands. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Mr. Nguyen assisted with teaching the Auburn University Marching Band, Pep Band, Symphonic Winds, Concert Band, and Campus Band. He also performed various administrative duties including maintaining and inventorying instruments for all Auburn University Bands; planning and organizing band trips, including the Final Four pep band trip to Minneapolis; and organizing the Auburn University Summer Campus and Symphonic Honor Bands. Prior to this position, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, also from Auburn University.
While at Auburn, he performed with the Symphonic Winds, Concert Band, AUMB, Pep Band, Jazz Band, AU Singers Band, AU Community Orchestra, and the East Alabama Community Band. Mr. Nguyen has performed with the Jazz Band at the Alabama Music Educators Association In-State Conference and as a soloist with the AU Community Orchestra for the Biannual Concerto Competition. He was also a founding member of the Alabama Voices.
Mr. Nguyen is a graduate of South Forsyth High School in Cumming, GA, and was highly involved in the band program, performing with the marching band, concert bands, jazz band, and indoor percussion. He currently resides in Valdosta with his wife, Emily-Anne Nguyen and their cat, Goodwin.