Director: Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett is a native of Hoover, Alabama. After graduating from Hoover High School in 2008, he attended Jacksonville State University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Mr. Bennett participated in Drum Corps International as a member of the world class organizations Spirit and The Madison Scouts. Mr. Bennett went on to receive his Masters in Music Education from William Carey University in the Summer of 2019. He previously served as the director of bands at Jacksonville High School and Mary G. Montgomery High School before joining the Thompson High School faculty.
Mr. Bennett currently works with the Thompson High School Marching Southern Sounds, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and their two beautiful daughters currently reside in Helena, Alabama.
Assistant Director: Mark Knauss
Mark Knauss is a music educator with experience in public school and collegiate bands. He holds a Master of Arts in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Jacksonville State University. Previously, Mr. Knauss was the Director of Bands at Mary G. Montgomery High School (7A) in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Knauss’ bands consistently achieve top ratings and have performed at national events such as the 100th Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In addition, Mr. Knauss has organized and led bands in major events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis, IN and the OVC Basketball Tournament in Nashville, TN. During his time with JSU Jazz Ensemble One, Mr. Knauss performed on two albums – including the Downbeat award-winning album, Everything In Its Right Place.
Currently, Mr. Knauss is the Associate Director of Bands at Thompson High School. He directs the THS Symphonic Band, THS Jazz Lab Band, and co-directs the award-winning THS Marching Southern Sounds.
Assistant Director: Ashton Bowles
Ashton Bowles is in her fourth year at teaching! Ashton teaches the Thompson High School Concert Band and the Thompson Middle School beginning band oboes, bassoons, trombones, and tubas. Ms. Bowles likes to play multiple instruments but her primary instrument is tuba.
Bachelor of Science in Education magna cum laude from the University of Alabama, 2018
Master of Music from the American Band College, accredited through the Central Washington University, 2020
TMS Band Director: Michael Chambless
Michael Chambless is in his sixth year as Director of Bands at Thompson Middle School, and his eighth year of teaching. Mr. Chambless is a native of Hoover, Alabama and a graduate of Hoover High School.
Prior to his time at Thompson, Mr. Chambless began his teaching career at Hillcrest and Duncanville Middle Schools in Tuscaloosa, AL. His bands have consistently received superior rating at the Alabama Bandmasters Music Performance Assessment. His bands have also performed in Orlando at both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. He has served on staff at various summer music camps throughout the region and also assists with the Thompson High School Marching Southern Sounds.
Mr. Chambless holds a Bachelors of Science in Music Education from The University of Alabama and a Masters in Education from the American Band College at Central Washington University. At UA, he was a member of the Alabama Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Million Dollar Band, and studied saxophone with Dr. Jon Noffsinger. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, Alabama Music Educators Association, and Alabama Bandmasters Association. He currently resides in Alabaster with his wife Cindy, who is a professional musician, and their daughter Caroline.
At Thompson Middle School, Mr. Chambless conducts the Symphonic Band and Concert Band 2, and assists with Concert Band 1.He also teaches beginning band saxophone, clarinet, and flute classes.
TMS Assistant Band Director: Meredith Greene
Mrs. Greene is originally from Winfield, Alabama. She earned her bachelors and masters degrees in music education from The University of Alabama. While attending the university Mrs. Greene was a member of many performing ensembles, including the Alabama Wind Ensemble, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, the Million Dollar Band, and many other ensembles. She also served as a graduate teaching assistent in the music education department and taught the preK music classes for the Tuscaloosa City School system. Prior to joining the faculty at Thompson Middle School, Mrs. Greene taught music at Holt Elementary school in Tuscaloosa and band in the Winfield City School system. This is Mrs. Greene’s sixth year at Thompson Middle School.
Percussion Director: Jamiah Robbins
Guard Sponsor: Aaron Kava
Guard Sponsor: Brandon Cornelison
Varsity Dance Team: Emily Bennett
Emily Bennett is a native of Oxford, Alabama. After graduating from Oxford High School in 2009, she went on to attend Jacksonville State University where she received her BS in Kinesiology. Mrs. Bennett went on to receive her Masters in Elementary Education at Jacksonville State University, as well as her certification in Physical Education grades P-12.
Mrs. Bennett began dancing at the age of four participating in ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and contemporary. She became a part of the Oxford High School Golden Girl Dance team where she served as the dance team captain her senior year. During Mrs. Bennett’s time as a Golden Girl, the team competed in annual UDA national competitions. At Jacksonville State University Mrs. Bennett continued her dance career as a JSU Marching Ballerina. During her forth year as a Marching Ballerina she served as the Head Ballerina. While serving in this position she choreographed and led the dance line for the 2012 season. Mrs. Bennett has been teaching dance for nine years at both studios and schools consisting of: Mary G. Montgomery High School, Causey Middle School, Jacksonville High School, Helena High School, Calhoun County Dance Academy, and Oxford High School.
Mrs. Bennett will be teaching dance courses at Thompson High School and Thompson Middle School, as well as assisting Mrs. Morris with the THS Warriorettes and Majorettes.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennett and their two beautiful daughters currently reside in Helena, AL.
Junior Varsity Dance Team: Harlie Wilson
Majorette Sponsor: Anna Catherine Wilson
My name is Anna Catherine Wilson and this will be my third year of teaching at Thompson High School! I graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. This year I teach Honors Geometry with Data Analysis and Geometry with Data Analysis. I am the THS Majorette coach and enjoy my time working with the Marching Southen Sounds Band! War Ealgle and go Warriors!
Master Teacher: Jon Bubbett
Jon Bubbett, a native of Dothan, AL, graduated from Dothan High School (1977). He received his BMEd from Troy State University in Troy, AL, in 1981 and his MMEd in 1989 from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL. His career spanned thirty eight years with the last twenty six at Thompson High School in Alabaster, AL. His previous schools were Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School in Washington, GA, Demopolis High School in Demopolis, AL and Erwin High School in Birmingham, AL.
His bands have performed in a variety of venues across the southeast, most notably the Thompson High School Wind Ensemble performed for the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in 2011 and again in 2015. The Thompson High School “Marching Southern Sounds” performed in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2017. The Thompson Wind Ensemble was also selected to perform at the Alabama Music Educators Association In Service Conference (1997, 2009, 2014, 2019), the Alabama Honor Band (2010, 2018), the University of Georgia JanFest (2013), the University of Alabama at Birmingham Honor Band (2016) and the CBDNA / NBA Southern Division Conference (2012). Mr. Bubbett is a seven time recipient of the National Band Association “Citation of Excellence,” as well as a recipient of the NBA Programs of Excellence “Blue Ribbon” Award in 2014. Additionally he received the Phi Beta Mu, Rho Chapter (Alabama) “Bandmaster of the Year” Award for 2015.
Numerous times Mr. Bubbett has served as a guest clinician and adjudicator in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. He has served as a clinician participant for both the Alabama Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and has served as the rehearsal assistant for the Music for All Honor Band of America since 2016.
Master Teacher: Kim Bain
Kim Bain recently retired as Director of Bands at Pizitz Middle School in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Ensembles under her leadership have consistently been cited for musical excellence at both the state and national levels throughout her 28 years of teaching. Ms. Bain was named 2012 Teacher of the Year for the Vestavia Hills City Schools. In 2013, her Symphonic and Concert Bands performed at the Music For All National Middle School Music Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana. The John Phillip Sousa Foundation awarded the Sudler Cup to the Pizitz Band program that same year. She was awarded the Phi Bet Mu, Rho Chapter, Outstanding Bandmaster Award in 2014. That same year the Pizitz Symphonic Band performed at the CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference at the University of North Florida. In December of 2014, the band performed at the 15th Annual Southeastern United States Middle School Clinic at Troy University. The Pizitz Band was declared a national winner of the National Band Association’s Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence in 2015, and in December of 2015 her band performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Pizitz Jazz Band and Percussion Ensembles have performed at the Alabama Music Educator’s Conference and the Symphonic Band performed at the Music for All Regional Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. The Pizitz Band have also performed at the CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference at the University of South Florida.
Ms. Bain received National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in November 2010. She has served as a clinician for the Alabama Bandmaster’s Association and guest conducted numerous honor bands and camps in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education, a Master of Arts in Music Education, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Alabama. She also holds a Master of Music degree in saxophone performance from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Ms. Bain’s professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, Alabama Music Educators Association, Alabama Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, and Phi Beta Mu. In addition to her teaching activities, Ms. Bain is an active freelance musician in the Birmingham area, and saxophone instructor at Samford University.