DeMario Jefferson is an assistant band director in the Starkville School District. He is a graduate of Mississippi State
University with a bachelor's degree in music education with an emphasis in tuba.
During his high school years he was a member of several performing
ensembles and placed 1st chair in numerous clinics. In 2002 and
2003, he was a member of the
Mississippi All State Lions Band.
He has had the opportunity to perform with several notable conductors and arrangers of
which include Donald Hunsberger, Frank Tichelli, Jerry Junkin, and Stephen
In addition to teaching, DeMario enjoys arranging. His arrangements have been featured by
numerous high school and most notably the Mississippi State University Pep Band.
A native of Columbus, Mississippi, Doug Thomas attended Mississippi State University for four years before moving to Nashville
and finishing his Music Education degree at Belmont University.
Doug was a member of the
FMFPAC Marine Band at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for four years and also played professionally in Nashville
for many years. After working on cruise
ships, he moved to San Francisco and played professionally for ten years.
Doug moved back to Mississippi in 2006 and has
been an assistant band director in the Starkville School District since 2007.
His students admire him for
his professional music career as a performing musician.
Karen Dieckmann is an assistant
band director in the Starkville School District. Her duties include working
with the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands and assisting with the Starkville High
School Bands. In addition, she works with the SHS Band Color Guard as choreographer
Mrs. Dieckmann began her
music career as a small child taking both piano and dance lessons. She started band as a fifth grader at Southeast
Lauderdale Attendance Center. She is a
graduate of Mississippi State University.
While a student there, she was a member of the Clarinet Choir, Concert
Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and served as the Color Guard Captain for
the Famous Maroon Band.
This is Mrs. Dieckmann's 10th year in the Starkville School
Beverly Doremus teaches music to third and fourth grade students at Ward Stewart Elementary School in a wonderfully equipped music classroom with limitless possibilities.
Doremus began her teaching career in 1983 as a
kindergarten music teacher in Louisiana.
As a general music teacher in the Jackson Public School District in the
1990's, she implemented a fourth and fifth grade choir that was invited to
perform at festivals and meetings throughout the greater
Jackson area. Doremus' junior high and
high school choral students consistently earned superior ratings at state contest each
year under her direction. In her 27th
year of teaching music to children, Doremus's students
are learning to play xylophones, glockenspiels, drums, temple
blocks, and hand-held unpitched instruments. She most enjoys connecting with her students
on a musical level and watching
them as they discover they are actually producing something beautiful whether
it is singing, playing an instrument, or
Doremus holds a bachelor's
degree in music from William Carey College and a Master of Music
from Mississippi College. She is a
member of the American Choral Directors Association and Delta Omicron Music
Kathy Baker is currently
teaching at Armstrong Middle School where she team teaches the beginning
woodwind, brass and percussion classes
and the seventh and eighth grade bands.
She also assists with the Starkville High School band program. A native Texan, Mrs. Baker graduated from the
University of North Texas where she earned a Bachelor of Music Degree. While at UNT she studied horn with Dr.
William Scharnberg, played in
the UNT Symphonic Band with Dennis Fisher, and made several recordings with the
Symphonic Band on the Mark recording label.
She also recorded the CD "Luminaries"
with the UNT Wind Symphony under the direction of Eugene Corporan.
After graduating from the
University of North Texas, Mrs. Baker held positions at Little Elm Middle
School in Little Elm, Texas and McMath Middle School in Denton, Texas. Prior to coming to Mississippi she was the
Director of Bands at Crownover Middle School in Corinth, Texas where she developed and implemented all
aspects of the band program.
Jamero Carter shares his love of music with students at Sudduth
Elementary School and Henderson Elementary School in the Starkville School
Carter, who earned a bachelor's degree in music with an emphasis in
piano performance from Mississippi State University, is in his second year as a
music teacher. As you might imagine, his
teachings concentrate on helping his young students learn rhythm and movement.
A trumpet player in his high
school band, Carter realized his real talent as a musician was as a pianist in
2003. He spent the next year teaching
himself how to play the piano, and in 2004, he began playing for his church and
decided to make a career change from international business major to music
Carter considers music a
universal language that connects individuals of all ages. For him, music is a gift to share with his
Lisa Chamblee Joiner
graduated from Mississippi State University
in 2007 and began teaching in the Starkville School District at Armstrong
Middle School that same year.
She has taught 7th grade general
music, 8th grade chorus, and directed the AMS Select Chorus.
Under her direction, the AMS
Select Chorus has performed for Café de L'Art, the Cotton District Arts
Festival, and numerous school functions.
She has also served as the Assistant
Director for the AMS Spring Musical for the past 3 years.
Tara Lowrey currently teaches
6th grade general music and 6th and 8th
grade Select Chorus at
Armstrong Middle School in the
Starkville School District.
Lowrey earned a bachelor's degree in music education
from Mississippi State University in 2003.
This is Lowrey's seventh year
in the Starkville School District.
Kathy McGill is the music
teacher at Sudduth Elementary where she teaches kindergarten through second
grade classes. She began her career in
2000 as music specialist at Ward-Stewart Elementary. She also serves as director of children's
choirs at First Presbyterian Church in Starkville.
Kathy holds a Bachelor of
Arts in music education and vocal music and a Master of Science in Educational
Leadership from Mississippi State University.
She is a National Board Certified Teacher in early and middle childhood
As a teacher, the reward for McGill is when all parts come together,
and her students are suddenly making really great music and they know it. It is hearing the beautiful music that young
children make and experiencing their excitement and pride in making it that
makes McGill's job so worthwhile.
Norman Mellin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received his early musical training
on the piano. His mother was a staunch advocate for preserving Austrian folk
traditions and music within the family. This influence and reverence for folk
culture and traditional arts became the major factor in his pursuance of
folklife studies later in life.
During his childhood and early teens, he learned to
play the cello, bass viol, violin, fiddle and guitar and then pursued his study
of music at the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music where
he completed his undergraduate work. At the conservatory he studied cello,
violin, string methodology, and music composition with Scott Houston, a student
of noted composer Howard Hanson. He continued his graduate studies at Bowling
Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Since moving to
Mississippi and being directly involved with southern
folk culture and musicians, he applied his compositional talents to the writing of over 150 original songs and fiddle tunes
and transcribing numerous fiddle tunes from those he documented in his field
During his career as a professional music educator,
Mr. Mellin gravitated towards the folk music spectrum as a means to enrich
the experience of his students. The Goat Ropers String Band composed of
students from Starkville Public Schools was his second venture into creating a
folk music ensemble.
Mr. Mellin is the recipient of two Mississippi Arts
Commission Folk Art Apprenticeships. The first apprenticeship was granted
in 1993 to study with old-time fiddler, Charles T. Smith, in Cumberland, MS
whom he met in the fall of 1990 and who taught him much of what he knows about
iddling. The second apprenticeship was granted in
2001, to study with old-time gospel fiddler, John "Buddy" Crocker of
Greene County, MS. Five of his fiddle students have also been awarded Folk Art
Apprenticeships to study with fiddler, Charles T. Smith, and they are as
follows: Hanna Melby, Stacey Phillips,
Andrew Rogers, Ruby Jane Smith and Collin Whitten.
Regina Weeks is in her tenth
year as the director of choral music at Starkville High School. Under her direction, the SHS Singers have
consistently earned superior ratings in regional and state choral adjudication festivals, and
her choirs have been invited to perform at Walt
Disney World, National Youth Chorale at Carnegie Hall, and the University of
Southern Mississippi Invitation Choral Conference and Concert. In 2008, the Mississippi High School
Activities Association highlighted the
SHS choral department as one of the finest programs in the state in its "Year
in Review." In 2009, Weeks led more students to the All-State Honor Choir than
any other high school in the state.
Weeks earned a bachelor's
degree in music education with an emphasis in voice and piano
from Mississippi State University in 1994.
Weeks is also a National Board Certified Teacher in music in early
adolescence through young adulthood.
Weeks has earned numerous
honors during her 25 year career as a music educator, including SSD Teacher of
the Year. Most recently, she was named
Outstanding Music Educator in Mississippi, and she will represent the state in
the national competition. She is also currently serving as
President Elect of the Mississippi Music Educator's Association.
Shawn Sullivan is currently
in his fourth year as the director of bands for the Starkville School District.
Before coming to Starkville, Sullivan served as director of bands at Central
High School, Ridgeway High School, and
East Junior High. He was co-director of bands at Overton High School for the
Creative and Performing Arts in Memphis, Tennessee and an assistant
director at West Memphis High School in West Memphis, Arkansas.
In 15 years of teaching young musicians, Sullivan's bands
have consistently received
superior ratings at both marching and concert festivals and various state
competitions. His bands have been invited to perform in New York City,
Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Orlando, and
His marching bands have won
several grand championships for their talents and even a Governor's Trophy at
the state marching contest in Arkansas. He is co-author of the Sr. High Music
Curriculum for the Memphis City Schools and has served on numerous state and local committees.
Sullivan has served as both
an adjudicator and clinician in seven different states: Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
New York. He's also served as the
director of the Memphis Area Youth Wind Ensemble at the University Of Memphis
Community School Of Music.
Sullivan holds a bachelor's
degree in music education from Arkansas State University and
is currently working on his Masters in Educational Leadership