Matthew Bo Sodders is the Director of Bands at Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, 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. Under his direction the McEachern Wind Symphony has performed at the 2018 Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival, the 2017 University of Georgia’s “JanFest”, the 2016 University of Alabama Honor Band Festival, and the McEachern Marching Band participates annually in Bands of America Regional and Super Regional competitions.
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 currently a member of the brass staff with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Rockford, Illinois. He has also worked on staff with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps, Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, and was the brass caption head of Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps from Jacksonville, Florida. 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'.
Patrick Wright: 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.
Bobby Jones: Head Color Guard Instructor
Bobby Jones graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Early Childhood Education. He also received his Specialist Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of West Georgia. Bobby has many years of marching experience with several groups. He started his colorguard career marching with The Blue Devils "B" Drum Corp. He attended Tracy and Lassiter High School where he participated in the fall and winter programs. He then went on to march with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum Corp for three years, and finished his drum corps career with The Cadets. Bobby spent several years marching various winterguards. He marched with Aspera, The Pride of Cincinnati, Phantom Regiment, and Aimachi. His teaching experience includes Wheeler and Milton High School. Bobby is currently on faculty at an elementary school in Cobb County.
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.
Paula Williams has been the Percussion Director at Alan C. Pope High School since 2002. She has also been the Music Director at High Meadows School in Roswell, GA. since 2005. She holds a Master of Science with honors in Education Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University, and a Bachelor of Music in Education and Percussion Performance from Georgia State University. Professional Memberships include PAS, GMEA, NAfME, AFM, AOSA, ISTE, and AATE.
As a student, Paula was fortunate enough to study percussion and timpani with Jack Bell, Mark Yancich, and Cloyd Duff. She performed with regional orchestras, and was an extra on multiple occasions with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. As an arranging and composition student of Robert W. Smith’s, she generated several publications for Warner Brothers Music.
Paula spent 15 years in the drum corps activity, first as a member, then as an educator. She has 10 years of experience in the WGI indoor percussion activity, culminating in 2006 with Pope’s bronze medal placement in the Scholastic Open Class at World Championships. Her private students consistently rank as principal players in District bands and All-State bands, Governor’s Honors, community honor ensembles, and several have gone on to study percussion at major conservatories. Paula has taught band and percussion in the Atlanta area and the southeast for 26 years.
Casey Baker: Assistant Visual/Brass Instructor
Casey Baker is the Director of Bands at Floyd Middle School in Mableton, GA. Prior to Floyd; Ms. Baker was the Assistant Director of Bands at Osborne High School and worked with Hillgrove High School, Columbus High School, and Pope High School.
Ms. Baker is a Cobb County native and graduated from Alan C. Pope High School. She is a graduate of Columbus State University, and will complete her Masters of Music Education from the University of Florida in May of 2016. Her professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, the Georgia Music Educators Association, and a serving as a charter member in Sigma Alpha Iota- Lambda Sigma chapter. She continues to serve as a clinician, judge, and instructor throughout the state. Ms. Baker was also a member of Spirit of Atlanta for three years, serving as the trumpet section leader in the 2010 season.
Dr. CJ Longabaugh: Assistant Visual/Woodwind Instructor
Dr. CJ Longabaugh recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance with a secondary emphasis in Musicology at the University of Minnesota. He received his Masters of Music degree in Saxophone Performance at the University of Minnesota and his Bachelor of Music Education at Kansas State University. Dr. Longabaugh has studied saxophone with internationally renowned concert artists such as Eugene Rousseau, Anna Marie Wytko, and Preston Duncan.
During his graduate studies Dr. Longabaugh competed at numerous prestigious solo and chamber music competitions. Most recently he was named a Finalist and a prizewinner at the 2017 William C. Byrd International Concerto Competition, a Finalist and a prize winner at the 2017 Plowman National Chamber Music Competition, and winner of the 2016 Masters Concerto and Aria Competition sponsored by the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra.
Outside of his graduate studies Dr. Longabaugh served as the woodwind specialist with the Irondale High School Marching Knights in New Brighton, MN. The ensemble has been named a twelve-time Bands of America Regional finalist in St. Louis, placing 8th out of 60 bands at the 2013 competition.
From 2011–2013, Dr. Longabaugh was the Assistant Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. His teaching responsibilities included marching band, wind ensemble, concert band, and lab jazz band. Additionally, he taught fifth grade band at Lakewood, Liberty View, and Sunset Ridge Elementary Schools. His concert ensembles received exclusively superior ratings at all regional and national contests, and in 2013 the Blue Valley West Symphonic Wind Ensemble was selected to perform as the featured 6A concert ensemble at the KMEA In-Service Workshop.
Ravan Durr: 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.
Bernard H. Flythe joined the faculty at Kennesaw State University in 2007. Prior to his appointment at KSU, Mr. Flythe served for three years as the assistant professor of tuba and euphonium at Austin Peay State University and served four years on the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. He also served on the faculties of Emory University, the University of Georgia, the University of Toledo, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan All State Program at Interlochen, the University of Michigan Summer Arts Institute, and the UNC-Greensboro Summer Music Camp.
Mr. Flythe has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Nashville Symphony. During the 1992–1993 season, he served as the acting principal tubist with the North Carolina Symphony. As a chamber musician, Mr. Flythe has performed with the Detroit Chamber Winds, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet, and the North Carolina Symphony Brass Quintet.
Mr. Flythe received a bachelor of music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned his master of music and his specialist in music degrees from the University of Michigan. Mr. Flythe's principal tuba teachers include Fritz Kaenzig, Robert Leblanc, David Lewis, Wesley Jacobs, and Michael Sanders.