POPE H.S. BAND FACULTY
(click on highlighted names for e-mail)
DIRECTOR OF BANDS
Matthew Bo Sodders is the Director of Bands at Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, Georgia. The Pope Wind Symphony was a featured ensemble at the 2021 University of Tennessee Chattanooga Honor Band Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the 2020 Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference in Athens, Georgia. Prior to his engagement at Pope High School, Mr. Sodders was the Director of Bands at John McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia.
Originally from Lima, Ohio, Mr. Sodders graduated cum laude from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio with an instrumental and elementary specialist degree in Music Education. While at BGSU, Bo Sodders studied with trumpet professor Mr. George Novak and conducting with Dr. Emily Freeman Brown.
Mr. Sodders is active in the drum and bugle corps activity, having work with Phantom Regiment, Blue Knights, Troopers, Spirit of Atlanta, and was the brass caption head of Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Sodders is a five-year veteran of the Glassmen Drum and Bugle corps from Toledo, Ohio, where he served for two seasons as drum major.
Mr. Sodders is a staff member of the 2016 and 2017 United States Army All-American Marching Band. Sodders’ professional affiliations include membership in the National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educator Association, MENC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu 'International Bandmasters Association'.
DIRECTOR OF MARCHING / VISUAL PROGRAM
Patrick Wright has served as the Visual Coordinator at Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, GA since 2007. His responsibilities include teaching marching technique and choreography to both the marching band and indoor drum line. Prior to coming to Pope, Patrick worked with high school bands in Gwinnett and Hall Counties. He was also a member of the DCI finalist Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps for three years (’01, ’02, ’04). He received his bachelor's degree in Music Education from Georgia State University and will complete his master's at the University of Hawaii in May 2016. He currently teaches music with Paula Williams at High Meadows School in Roswell, GA. He lives in Powder Springs, GA with his wife Autumn, 4 year-old son Ryan, and 2 year-old daughter Brooklyn.
AARON KAVA & PATRICK NOLEN KAVA
COLOR GUARD DIRECTORS
Aaron began his color guard career as a Freshman at Georgia State University for the 2016 Winter, Fall 2016, and Winter 2017 seasons. Immediately following, Aaron became a member of the Atlanta CV Drum and Bugle Corps in 2017, 2019 and 2021, where he was a part of the color guard when they won the High Color Guard award in his first two seasons. The winter of 2018 was his first season as a part of Divenire Youth Performing Arts family as a staff member, then as a member for 2019, and on staff again for 2020. Aaron has now been the Co-Director of Divenire’s Independent A Winter Guard for 2 years. He has been the director of the Thompson High School Color Guard for 2 years and worked with them for 5. Under his direction, Thompson was a 3-time WGI Virtual Finalist, 5 time SCGC Champion and 4 time Alabama State Champion, along with one appearance in WGI World Championship Finals in Scholastic A. He is excited to step into this new role at Pope and is ready to join the Greyhound family!
Patrick Nolen Kava began his color guard career in 2011 as a performer in the UAB Marching Blazers Color Guard and Amor Winter Guard. Since, he has gained over 10 years of experience directing, teaching, and performing in the color guard and marching band community. Currently, he is the Founder and Executive Director of Divenire Winter Guard, earning 2 WGI finalist rankings (2019 and 2022) and one in WGI Virtual Finals during the 2021 season. Patrick has also co-directed Thompson High School Winter Guard (2021 WGI Virtual Finalist and 2022 WGI SA Finalist). He has played a crucial role in Winter Guard International and local circuits, working with programs across the southeast. Patrick has performed with Atlanta CV Drum and Bugle Corps for 5 seasons (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021) – winning two high color guard awards. Patrick continues to design and stage programs across the South while serving on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF BANDS
Mr. Josh Rudolph is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Alan C. Pope High School and went on to earn a Bachelors of Music degree from the University of South Carolina. As a senior in High School, Mr. Rudolph was the inaugural recipient of The Revelli Award, a national award given to a single graduating senior going on to pursue music education as a career.
Mr. Rudolph spent six years as Director of Bands at Carolina Forest High School. Prior to that, he was the Director of Middle School Bands at Carolina Forest for two years. While in Myrtle Beach, Mr. Rudolph was the founder and conductor of the Carolina Youth Wind Symphony, an organization for advanced musicians of the greater Grand Strand area. He has been selected for inclusion in the 2002 and 2004 editions of "Who's Who Among American Teachers". The 2006 the Carolina Forest Symphonic Band was selected to perform for the South Carolina Governor's Inauguration.
Mr. Rudolph has served as a guest clinician, conductor, and adjudicator in several states throughout the Southeast and also remains active as a trumpet player. His professional affiliations include GMEA, MENC, Kappa Kappa Psi, and NBA.
DIRECTOR OF PERCUSSION
Claire Smith Kenney is a percussion educator, clinician, and performer in the Greater-Atlanta area and is currently the Percussion Director at Pope High School and Hightower Trail Middle School. She is originally from Cumming, Georgia and attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama for her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Claire then continued her education at Texas Christian University, where she earned her Master’s degree in Percussion Performance. Since 2004, Claire has been involved with many performing ensembles, including Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps (2005, 2006), Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps (2007, 2009), Music City Mystique (2007-2010), Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps (2017) and is currently the Front Ensemble Coordinator at Atlanta Quest. She has most recently performed with The Atlanta Percussion Ensemble and Atlanta Steel Collective and is a conductor for the Atlanta Youth Percussion Ensemble. She is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, Georgia Music Educators Association and an educational artist for Innovative Percussion. Other than percussion, Claire enjoys running, being outdoors and spending time with her husband Kevin and their two dogs.
JAZZ BAND DIRECTOR
Ravan Irving Durr was born and raised in Marietta Georgia. He graduated from Marietta High School in 1976 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree from Jacksonville State University and the Master of Music from University of Georgia. Mr. Durr retired from the Cobb School System after 24 years of service. He is an active musician performing and teaching throughout the Metro-Atlanta area. He has produced and performed on three CDs under his own name. Mr. Durr and his family are members of Piedmont Church in Marietta where he serves in the music ministry.