Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I graduated from Harding University in 2009 with a degree in Vocal Music Education. From there, I spent a year teaching guitar as an adjunct at Harding, then had the opportunity to teach elementary music for one year and direct a band for five years at Alabama Christian Academy.
My wife Brooke grew up in Searcy, Arkansas, and we met at Harding. She’s also a musical person and a beautiful singer. She stays at home with our 3-year-old son Connor, who is a hoot and a bundle of constant energy. We love him so much.
What made you want to teach music?
I grew up in a super musical home. Every night when I was going to bed my dad was playing guitar or banjo in the living room. When I was in the 6th grade my dad was a backup guitar player for an Elvis impersonator, and they needed a bass player, so I learned how to play the bass with Elvis songs. Between playing music with friends and family and training in school, I developed a love for the technical side of it. It was a passion and also a study. It was something I couldn’t shake, and I knew that I would never regret learning more about music.
What have you learned about being a music teacher and band director in the past 5 years?
I’ve learned that my best motivation, and the best motivation for kids, is to truly try to honor God by giving my best as a teacher and them giving their best as students. If that’s what centers us, that always makes us more excellent and more kind to each other. There’s a verse I use that’s at the core of what I try to talk to the kids about. 2 Timothy 4:7 – For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love and self-discipline. This is who God made us to be.
What is your philosophy as a teacher?
Excellence is so important. It has to be part of what we pursue because it is in that excellence that we give our best. We know God has given us these gifts, and we are amiss if we don’t use those for his glory. What is our potential and how can we get there?
What do you hope for the future of the CAC choral program?
I’m excited to see the growth of the choral program not just numerically, but spiritually. The opportunity to see what is in store for that is awesome, and I’m excited to see how the Lord can be glorified through what we do.
The Fine Arts Show on Sunday, December 17, will be your first CAC concert. What are you most looking forward to?
Watching the culmination of months of hard work is always a fun thing. It’s a different dynamic when the audience is there and their energy is in the room. It’s also a great time for me to meet parents and see people united at one event.
What can the audience expect to hear at the concert? (Or is that a secret?)
It’s not a secret! We’ll be singing a mixture of Christmas songs, one fun African piece and closing with The Lord Bless You and Keep You. And I’m excited to open that particular song up to any CAC alum or staff who would like to sing it with us.